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Toybox Review: Doctor Who 'The Five Doctors (1983)' Figure Set - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: Doctor Who 'The Five Doctors (1983)' Figure Set - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: Doctor Who 'The Five Doctors (1983)' Figure Set - Mexinter.net

Doctor Who 'The Five Doctors' Figure Set 01

Release Date: December 2021
RRP: £19.99

With how long Character Options have been producing Doctor Who action figures now, it's amazing that it took them until the end of 2021 to produce a set based on The Five Doctors. Marking the 20th anniversary of the franchise, the story saw the then-five incarnations of the Doctor pulled into the Death Zone - a dimension on Gallifrey wherein combatants are pitted against each other in "The Game of Rassilon". The Five Doctors (1983) Collector Figure Set was released as part of the second assortment of B&M Store exclusive sets for 2021, and is notable for being the first to include a paint variant figure. While all of the sets included both the Third Doctor and a Raston Warrior Robot, the Cyberman was available in both standard soldier and Cyberleader variants.

Doctor Who 'The Five Doctors' Figure Set Box 01

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The Five Doctors (1983) Collector Figure Set comes in the usual three-pack packaging Character have been using for the Doctor Who line for the last few years, adopting a blue, grey and white colour scheme with stencil-like TARDIS graphics and the modern Doctor Who logo. As well as that big window showing off the figures inside the front also features both the name of the set and that familiar gold "limited edition" sticker that appears on all of the B&M exclusive releases. Unlike the History of the Daleks sets the back does not feature a story synopsis or any behind the scenes information, instead opting for just stock images of the three figures. Note that the box pictures (and names) a standard Cyberman, and makes no reference to the Cyberleader variant that's also available. However one thing Character have brought over from the History of the Daleks sets is the inclusion of background insert cards - this one featuring the cave wherein the Doctor and Sarah encounter the Raston Robot before it swiftly takes out a platoon of unsuspecting Cybermen.

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The first figure in this set is a new variant of the Third Doctor, based on the costume worn in The Five Doctors. Of course with there being an extremely limited budget for new tooling across the line the figure doesn't feature any new parts, but a combination of existing parts and a decent paint job are enough to do the job nicely. This variant uses the Jon Pertwee head sculpt used across all of the Third Doctor figures (and as such is not completely accurate to how he looked in The Five Doctors), with a red jacket repaint of the tie-less torso previously unique to the regenerated Fourth Doctor figure and the soft plastic cloak used on both a number of Third Doctor figures and the Talons of Weng Chiang Fourth Doctor. The cloak is removable, and underneath the jacket has been fully painted. Credit wherein it's due the paintwork on the costume itself is superb, but the colours on the head sculpt are definitely a little questionable. Both the eyebrows and lips have a blue tint to them, which makes the Doctor either look very cold or very unwell. The detailing itself is great, so it's a shame that the colours throw it off a bit.

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You don't need to look at this figure very long to know that the cloak impacts on the articulation quite significantly, but underneath that chunky piece of soft plastic is a figure that's pretty much in line with the rest of Character's Doctor Who range. The Third Doctor sports;
- Shoulder, bicep, waist, hand,  and thigh swivels
- Swivel hinge hips
- Hinged elbows and knees
Straight off the bat the waist joint might as well be non-existent under both the jacket and cloak, but this is one figure that could really benefit from the swivel hinge shoulders Character added to some of their later releases. If the arms were able to move outwards the restrictions caused by the cloak wouldn't be so bad, but because they're only able to move forward/backward the bicep swivels and elbows have to do most of the work in making the arms look good. Character have done plenty of variants with this cloak already so most collectors will know what to expect already but for those less in the know it's a figure that certainly looks the part but doesn't have quite as much to offer when it comes to posing.

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The Raston Warrior Robot is a new figure exclusive to this set, or at the very least as new as these B&M retools can be. Much like the Sensorites, Voord and a dozen other figures before them, the Raston Robot reuses the Humanoid Axon body with brand new head and hand sculpts. In the show the Raston Robot is a silver repaint of the black Cyberman androids that appeared in Earthshock, and Character have in turn followed suit by releasing a black version of this figure as part of the Earthshock set included in this wave of releases. It's an extremely basic looking figure as it no has no discernible features, and though the Axon torso is considerably baggier than the skin-tight show costume it still does the part rather nicely. The new head sculpt features a smooth faceplate painted in a shinier silver than the rest of the body, and the hands have been moulded in show-accurate "firing" poses. It's a good looking figure, but there's also a certain roughness to it as well.  There are visible seamless running across the legs, and the black wear and tear around the feet looks almost like damage rather than an intentional effect.

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While the Axon body might be getting around a little too much in regards to these new figures, there's no denying that when it comes to articulation it's one of the better Doctor Who figures out there. Altogether the body features;
- Neck, waist, bicep, wrist and thigh swivels 
- Swivel hinge shoulders and hips 
- Hinged elbows and knees 
Yes it may not look all that different on paper, but it's amazing just how much different swivel hinge shoulders make on the figures. The ability to move the arms outwards makes a phenonemal difference to the overall poseability, and without them the Raston Robot wouldn't be able to pull off half of its signature poses. It helps that there's nothing on the body to affect posing and balance either, so the Robot can easily assume all those outstretched poses to take down a platoon of unassuming Cybermen. While the Raston Robot might be the most basic figure design-wise in this set (and together with the androids in the Earthshock set, arguably the entire range), the poseability of this thing is enough to one of the more exciting pieces in this set.

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The final figure in the set is either a standard Cyberman or Cyberleader, depending on which version of the set purchased. Why one of these figures couldn't have been included in the Earthshock set instead of two androids (wherein's the logic in an Earthshock set with no Cybermen?), but I'm sure Character had their reasons. The figure reuses the 2012 Attack of the Cyberman version of the mould as opposed to the 2010 original, which featured new boot parts. Unfortunately, this figure still isn't 100% screen accurate as mouth plate and chest unit are still clear plastic as opposed to the solid silver they are in The Five Doctors. It's a minor nitpick, but it's also a very minor paint application that Character could have easily done. What you can't deny however is just how beautifully detailed the 80s Cyberman sculpt is, with the under suit absolutely covered in moulded detail brought out with a wash of black paint. The head sculpt is just one of the all-time greats of Doctor Who, and Character have done a marvellous job of capturing all that detailing at this scale and price-point.

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It might be one of the oldest moulds in the classic Doctor Who figure range, but the fact the Cyberleader isn't all that different to the rest of the line when it comes to articulation is (for better or worse) a testament to how little it's changed over the years. Altogether the body sports;
- Shoulder, bicep, waist, glove, thigh and boot swivels
- Swivel hinge hips
- Hinged elbows and knees
The loss of a moveable neck is a sad but necessarily sacrifice given the costume design, but in its place are a nice few extra swivel areas thanks to the glove and boot cuts. Being able to swivel the hands was a must so that the Leader can properly pull off that iconic David Banks 'excellent' gesture. Though the chest armour does nullify the waist swivel somewhat, everything else works exactly as it should. The limited articulation on these figures means that the Cybermen aren't going to be pulling off the most extravagant poses, but at the same time they aren't exactly that extravagant in their movements to begin with so it fits them well enough. 

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A set based on Doctor Who's 20th anniversary story has been a long time coming, and while on first glance The Five Doctors (1983) Collector Figure Set may have an odd choice of characters given how iconic the Raston Robot scene is Character actually made an excellent choice with the selection. There are some great figures in this set, though none are without their flaws - whether it be the odd colouring on the Third Doctor's face sculpt, the rough paint job on the Raston Robot or the suit inaccuracies on the Cyberleader. The decision to make the Cyberleader a paint variant isn't a great one either, given the limited nature of these sets and certain "collectors"' tendency to scalp them. Simply finding them can be hard enough for some people, having to worry about variants as well is just a step too far - especially the Earthshock set could have easily included a Cyberman/Cyberleader instead of two identical androids. 



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