Toy Review – Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens The Doctor (Fezzes Are Cool Version) By Character Options

Fezzes Are Cool Version” isn’t actually the name of this figure, but it should be.

This is now the crown jewel of my toy collection. The fact that I own a toy of the Doctor wearing a fez is so utterly incomprehensible and wonderful that I will give the decision maker at Character Options a full kiss on the mouth if I ever meet them.

So be warned, decision maker. You might want to avoid Dragon*Con.

Really, the only thing that could conceivably replace this as my favorite action figure concept ever would be an actual, for-real licensed Phantom Troublemaker figure in the GI Joe 25th Anniversary style.

But is this variant of everybody’s favorite rogue Gallifreyan really that great? Read on…

First Glance: It’s the Doctor. Wearing a fez. Did I mention that?

Sculpt: The head sculpt is a very good likeness of Matt Smith. I believe it is the same sculpt used for the Crash set, the box set and the first single card release, but with the fez added on. Which is just fine. I thought at first that the sculptor had forgotten to add a tassel on the fez, but a little research showed me that the Doctor’s fez is tassel-free. My best guess is that a tassel would have presented some continuity issues during filming. Or would have created a tassel hassle. If you will.

The rest of the figure is the same as well. He has the typical CO articulation that I wish they would fix – mainly the shoulders and biceps. The neck could use a ball joint, but that’s really more nitpicky than anything. It’s those darn swivel shoulders and unsightly biceps that bother me. Also, his elbows seem to be positioned a bit low. It isn’t terrible, just a bit funny looking when you examine them. I do like that his legs are sculpted in an almost bow-legged stance.

His clothing is well done. The bow tie looks good (which is important) and the jacket, shirt and pants are just rumpled enough. I’ve noticed while rewatching Doctor Eleven’s first series that he’s just rumpled enough to have character but not look sloppy. This figure reflects that.

Design: I’m not crazy about the paint on this figure’s face. The skin is a bit too pale and it looks like he’s wearing makeup. The Doctor looks almost creepily cherubic.

The rest of him is great, though. His jacket has a nice herringbone design and the paint on the elbow patches is clean and not blotchy. The Doctor’s shirt has a neat pattern on it and his bow tie looks good. His pants and shoes are black, but different glosses so they look good.

Accessories: Each figure in this set comes with a piece of the Pandorica and a CD with part of a Doctor Who audio adventure. That may seem a bit strange, but Doctor Who audio stories and plays are what kept the franchise alive and current in the UK from 1989 until 2005 (the TV movie got mixed results). These audio-only adventures are hugely popular over there and are considered as in-canon as anything else, so it’s pretty neat that CO worked them into the Pandorica design.

That being said, the Pandorica is kind of a letdown. It is not a toy. It is a flimsy plastic box to keep your six CDs on. Once I need the room I won’t hesitate to take it off of my Doctor Who shelf.

The Doctor comes with his Sonic Screwdriver and a mop. The mop looks… moppy. It looks good and the figure can hold it. The Sonic Screwdriver has a great sculpt, but not enough paint. There is no green on this thing. It almost seems like an error. Either way, the figure can hold it and that’s kind of more important.

Packaging: A plain old blister card, which is totally okay. There aren’t bios or anything on these – just a generic shred back. I don’t care because I opened these, but it might be a bit dull for those of you who keep stuff in the package. I like the plain packaging of Character Option’s main Who line, though. It means to me that they expect their toys to be opened and played with.

Overall: The face puts me off a bit and I wish so very much that CO would address their crummy arm articulation, but this is still my favorite toy ever.

4.999999999975 out of 5

That score is too high, but I don’t care.

Doctor.

In a fez.

Fezzes are cool.

Side Note: I suppose I need to address the price points of the Doctor Who line. With all the complaining I do about how expensive I think Mattel’s lines are, it might seem unfair that I’m perfectly fine with paying just as much for smaller figures.

It’s not so much that I’m fine with it; it’s just that Doctor Who has been a lifelong obsession of mine and only in the last few years have toys been readily available. And even now they are nowhere near as common as Mattel’s offerings. So right there you’ve got one reason to pay a premium.

Also, they are generally crafted with a lot more skill than other lines and cannot share nearly as many parts. Tooling must be a much pricier consideration than anything Mattel does.

Lastly, while I honestly can’t justify forty dollars for a figure of Doctor Four with K-9, I paid it because Hasbro sure as heck isn’t going to be making one any time soon. Doctor Who is a very British thing, and the toys come from a British company. They’re all imported to specialty retailers in the US and honestly could be even more expensive than they are.

-Phantom

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