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12" Remote Control Dalek

Our resident expert on expensive sixth scale figures, Jeff Parker, stops by tonight with a review of the remote control Dalek - Dr. Who fans rejoice!  What's the scoop, Jeff?

Here's an unusual one, it's definitely a 1/6 scale figure but comes with the added bonus of being remote controlled. I've never really been that sure how popular Dr Who was/is in North America, sure I know it has some hard-core fans over there, but this side of the pond it's always been a fave of your fully paid up, card carrying sci -fi geek AND the general public. I personally loved it as a kid, meaning I'm most fond of the John Pertwee (1970-74) and Tom Baker (1974-81) years and genuinely used to watch it through my fingers as a 7 year old, finding the Daleks the most terrifying of his nemesis. It was always famous for it's wobbly sets and poor special effects meaning it sadly hasn't aged well, mind you neither have I. But it was the interesting, complex and often philosophical storylines that always
ending in a cliffhanger denouement that kept people coming back for more, making it the most talked about programme in the playground come Monday morning at school! 

But now a whole new generation of kids have been switched on to Dr Who, thanks to a new series that aired in the summer of 05 on the BBC. The critics and viewers seemed delighted with what writer Russell T Davies had done with the character, I'm afraid I wasn't. 










It's not that it was that bad, but on a sunny summer evening I'm afraid I'd rather be out side with my girls (I have two daughters and a wife....not a harem!) so only caught a few episodes. It seemed to me they were making Dr Who for the Buffy generation, now again don't get me wrong, I was a big fan of Buffy. But Dr Who was always sooooo English, where as now it felt like they had one eye on syndicating it to a world audience, I can't blame them, but it don't mean I gotta like it. Personally I felt Christopher Eccleston wasn't right for the role, I've always felt the Dr should be more mature and certainly a lot more eccentric (especially in a sartorial sense). I did hear that Alan Rickman was considered/approached and think he would have been a great Dr, but is wasn't to be. Now we will have a new actor playing the part as Eccleston decided he didn't want to be pinned down by the role and David Tennant has slipped on the Timelords shoes.....he's even younger, so time will tell how he gets on.

The up side to the new interest is a lot of Dr Who product has been hitting the shelves. And as I've always had a soft spot for your common or garden 'Dalek' (show me a British man of between 30 and 50 who says he isn't, and I'll show you a liar!) it was an item I had to have....but even better received it as a Christmas present.

Packaging - ***
This box looks great, full colour, lots of pics, little hole to reach in push his button and make him talk and see his 'bits' light up, and it protects him well. But my god, when you come to take him out I swear you will never find a figure that puts up more of a fight to stay where it is, and I've tackled the 18" Spiderman!. Twisty tie after twisty tie work together to frustrate and vex you. It can be done neatly....as I proved, but you'll have a few moments of wanting to throw the whole thing across the room. Needless to say any hope of putting him back just as he arrived will be challenging to say the least. 

Sculpting - ***1/2
To be fair you would think it should be hard to do this one badly. After all it's a very angular robot (well actually it's more of a personal tank/gun platform, as each Dalek houses a living sentient being) but over the years it has been done very badly, with over sized heads and disproportionate appendages, most of the current crop available from both Character and the retro versions available from Product Enterprises are much closer to the actual proportions. This time however they're right on the money, and this Christmas it was, along with the new PSP and Robosapien the must have toy for any self respecting boy of a certain age......OK that age isn't 'MEANT' to be 38, but cut me some slack, you couldn't get anything this cool when I was a kid. 

Paint - ***
Minimal paint work is needed, but where it is applied its done tightly. The grill running horizontally round the head dome is painted black, and the arms, eye stalk and rivets are all picked out in silver, to contrast with its over all copper colour. 

Articulation - ****
Not a hell of a lot of articulation, but everything it needs. The head turns, it's eye goes up and down, his central part rotates and his gun and sink plunger (yes that's right, Daleks are an intergalactic race of evil plumbers, mind you if you've ever had any plumbing work done and received the invoice you will realize that essentially all plumbers are evil!!!) move in all directions, thanks to ball joints. I managed to get mine in a crawling pose and he also reclines quite well. And you'll be pleased to know he doesn't need a stand.

Accessories - N/A
Well I suppose you could call the remote control unit an accessory, he certainly wouldn't give you as much fun without it. He needs a 9v and 4 AA batteries, but once they are inserted he's ready to conquer the universe, as long as there are no stairs (a problem remedied in the new series as now they can fly....well more kind of levitate, sadly not a feature this toy can mimic). They've styled the remote unit to look like something from the Daleks universe and it does it's job well, but it's not really an accessories, more of a necessary add on.

Outfit - N/A
Tell me you're joking. Well I suppose you could argue that essentially the whole thing is an outfit as it's meant to be a life support and defence capsule for the small hideously mutated, slimy Dalek that dwells within. But needless to say he doesn't come with any casual wear!

Fun Factor - ****
If it's fun you want then here it is. A near perfect 1/6 remote control light up talking Dalek. I had much fun over Christmas sitting (all be it slightly slumped and a little the worse for alcohol consumption) making my horny Dalek dry hump various peoples legs (like a robotic Jack Russell) and if any one complained he answered with any of these replys:-

'Seek,locate, annihilate!'
'You will obey the Daleks, obey, obey!'
'Halt or you will be exterminated!'
'We are the supreme beings!'
'Exterminate!' followed by gun sfx.

And you ask me if it's fun! 

Value -  ***1/2
Well it was a present, so price wasn't an issue for me. I know it's meant to retail for 39.99 but a leading supermarket in the UK, namely Tesco were knocking these out for 19.99 just before Christmas. I'm sure some specialist importers will have it in the U.S but I have no idea what they'll retail for. But even at the R.R.P. of 39.99 I think you're getting a lot of Dalek for your money.

Things to Watch Out For - 
No problems at all, but be careful how you pick him up. It's pretty robust as it's primarily designed as a kids toy, but the instructions do request you don't pick him up by his head or arms. 

Overall - ***1/2
A must have for Dr Who fans and a great toy for kids, but it's sculpted and modled so well that it looks great displayed next to other 1/6 scale figures as well. So as far as I'm concerned its a winner all round.

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ****
Accessories - N/A
Outfit - N/A
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to buy
If you can hop on a plane to the U.K I'd recommend Tesco, if you can find one, other wise check on line (www.kultureshock.co.uk have them for 39.99) and my old faithful eBay have a few of the vintage styled ones (made by Product Enterprises) hovering around the $70 to $80 mark, and there's one of this the new style (made by Character) for $53, all sellers are in the U.K so check shipping prices before you commit as he ain't a lightweight.


Figure from the collection of Jeff Parker.

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