Dalek sixth scale statue
following is a guest review. The review
and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford
or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the
|Jeff stops by tonight with a guest review on a cool Dr. Who collectible - take it away, Jeff!
Thanks Michael, and now from toy-lord to Time Lord… well his nemeses anyway!
have been around for some time now, they are still considered a young
company, but with a very rich heritage. The company was born in 1987
more out of necessity than anything else. With TV companies and movie
studios seeing just how ideal New Zealand and Australia were for the
making of large scale productions, it seemed obvious that a good
physical and special effects company was needed in the area. But with
stiff competition already in existence in the US and Europe it needed
something else to offer.
And so the unique selling point came in
not only being on the doorstep of all these new productions, but also
in the passion that Richard Taylor, Tania Roberts and their crew
lavished on the projects they brought to life… and boy did they bring
them to life.
Although their portfolio is rich and diverse, it
was of course the groundbreaking work they did on Peter Jackson’s, Lord
of The Rings trilogy (where they designed
the creatures, weapons, outfits, miniatures and bigatures) that raised
the company up and stood them centre stage, and the awarding of three
Oscars for their work on the trilogy was testament to the fact they
weren’t just playing with the big boys now… they were the big boys!
much so that when James Cameron needed a company to help him fully
realise the look and feel of his epic Avatar, it was obvious they would
be the company to seek out (they went on to win a Scientific and
Technical Academy Award for innovations in visual effects technology
for this as well).
But enough with the back ground, all I was
pointing out was that if you wanted to find a company to bring you
white hot, state of the art collectibles, then they are your men… and
The collectibles division was a natural evolution for
the company, as both Richard Taylor and Peter Jackson both shared a
love of old garage kits and fantasy collectibles in general. And so
apart from the licenses they were directly involved with they cast
there eyes around on what other properties interested them specifically
as well, and being men of a certain age (I should know, I’m one too)
the once cult, but now increasingly mainstream Doctor Who was quick to
blip on radar. You can peruse the full line up here
and even though personally I’m a big fan of the Jon Pertwee and Tom
Baker years, it was the fantastically detailed work on the ‘open’ Dalek
that had me as giddy as a schoolboy.
Here we have what was believed to be the last remaining son of Skaro, from the episode ‘Dalek’.
|It was held in a secret vault beneath the Utah desert by billionaire
collector Henry Van Statten in what he believed to be a secure holding
facility. But the Dalek proved nothing was secure enough to hold it
indefinitely. So, after escaping and subsequently being tracked down by
the Doctor and his companion Rose it opened it’s armoured shell,
exposing the pitiful creature that dwelt within, also showing an
uncharacteristically vulnerable side not witnessed by the Time Lord
He is forced to choose between compassion for another
being that is the last of its kind and vengeance against the very life
form that made him the last of his!
So, if you’ve wanted a top
quality… all important (well to me anyway) 1/6th representation of the
Doctors most infamous of foes, or if you just feel the cult status of
the show and indeed character, need a presence in your collection…
could this be the one?
it comes to packaging, companies are always looking for a new angle,
and the inventiveness that is coming through at the moment is pretty
impressive. But here we have what is basically a large scale and very
heavy polystone statue, and when things get this big, detailed and
weighty, then protection is always the most important part of the
However, Weta have still given us a pretty lavish full
colour bit of graphic design here. It comes encased in a brown shipping
box which when opened reveals the full colour, gloss coated corrugated
cardboard packaging within, there’s even a poly-bag between this and
the outer shipping box to protect it from rubs. The top has the new
Doctor Who logo set against the swirling orange back ground that is
used in the series opening titles. Then all of the four surrounding
sides have different images of the statue alongside a potted history of
the Doctor Who phenomenon from inception in 1963 through to the modern
day, then there’s a brief synopsis of the episode ‘Dalek’ that was the
inspiration for this particular statue.
Inside is a split
Styrofoam case, pre-formed on both sides to hold the contents safe and
snug, the main body, base and his appendages also come in a protective
Styrofoam wraps, with pieces of actual foam inserted between some of
the more potentially delicate areas of the Dalek's open carcass.
not the most ‘inventive’ bit of packaging, but to be honest I wasn’t
expecting it to be, in fact I wasn’t expecting it to be as attractive
as it is. Having seen many of the simple screen-printed boxes some
companies often put their large-scale statues out in, and considering
this is virtually 14” square and very heavy… colour me impressed! And
the fact it got from point A, (it’s place of manufacture in China) via
point B, (the Weta distribution warehouse) and all the way to point C,
(my home in sunny England) without so much as a scratch, means the
packaging designers did their job handsomely!
Your common-or-garden ‘classic’ Dalek is actually a relatively straight forward shape, when I was a kid you could make a pretty convincing toy model of one with an inverted ‘screwball’ ice cream container, a few dabs of paint and three strategically placed sticks.
not only did the Daleks get a new hi-tech make-over for the new series,
but this particular model exhibited his ability to fly and open-up his
mid section to expose the tentacled creature living within. And Weta
have risen to the challenge admirably of showing the beast, in all its
The Dalek is basically 90% armoured tank, a
robotic mobile gun platform, from which the spiteful, hateful, mutated
life form within could wreak havoc on all it surveyed.
we get a heavy-duty polystone base, in the shape of a hexagon and
sculpted to show gouges and blast marks gravitating out from where the
figure sits. In the centre of the plinth is a large shaped peg giving
you the option to display the model either mounted upon it or free
standing. I have to admit my preference is for the free standing look,
but the plinth does give a little more drama should you like it that
way. The stand is however pretty important as on it’s underside are all
the licensing credits along side it’s edition number, mine being 221 of
a 900 run. It also lets us know that the superfine sculpting here was
done by the combined talents of David Tremont and Daniel Cockersell.
Both have solid credentials with Weta, and both have worked creatively
on multiple movie titles in the past, including one of my favourite
movies in recent years, namely District 9. In fact Weta have a couple
of limited edition pieces planned from this as well, a fantastic
figural statue of the two ‘prawns’ Christopher Johnson and son, plus a jaw droppingly cool version of the mechanised Exo-suit alongside a host of other cool books and replicas from the movie… but I digress, I’m here to talk Daleks!
of what is on show here is machined and mechanical, as the outer body
is very hi-tech and industrial in its appearance, the lower section or
skirt is made up of radiating angled flat panels raising up from its
bumber-car like fender base, on which it hovers and propels itself
around. Each panel has 4 ‘hemis’ half spheres protruding from its
surface, which we now know are also part of its defence mechanism, you
can find just about all you could want to know about the construction
of Daleks on this site here, and if that’s not enough for you then Wikipedia also has a wealth of info as well.
next part is the mid section or torso. This is actually known as the
shoulder section and its from here that the two arms protrude, but as
this is in the open position the Daleks anatomy is somewhat
compromised. Both the arms, the right hand ‘plunger’ and left hand
‘gun’ are on protruding separate sections that stand proud on panels
held out by automated arms. In the show these were obviously
articulated to show the mechanical ‘opening’ of the cockpit, but as
this is a statue, here they are set in a fixed position. The detail
here is gorgeous, with superfine observations on the actual arms, the
gun has super fine bars running along its length, and some sublime
details on the wires, cables and indeed organic sinewy matter that is
stuck to their interiors. These cables join to the ‘seat’ where the
mutated organic Kaled sits; perhaps it would be better called a bed, as
the creature’s anatomy is more like an octopus than a human. The Kaleds
were once meant to have been human like in appearance, but ravaged by
the after effects of a nuclear, biological and chemical war against the
Thals on their home world Skaro, they were left as the pitiful creature
we now see housed in the Dalek shell, as much a prison to the creature
as a home. The Kaled is shown reclined, its distended brain lying
towards the rear of the interior with two clear neural and nutrient
tubes piercing its surface. Around the creature the collar or neck
section is held open on metallic bars that hold the two fore sections
open like doors. The Kaled’s eleven tentacles then spill over the
front, the side ones drape over the controls while the front ones
struggle to raise themselves, displaying the weak and diseased state
the creature finds itself in. Again all the details here are fantastic,
showing the mechanical layering and again the membrane of organic
matter that surrounds the creature when the outer shell is closed. The
last area is the head proper, the dome from which the eye stalk and
twin energy dispensers protrude. The front section of the eye stalk is
the lense, it’s protected by a robust case and behind it are a row of
delicate insulators before the stem enters the head. The energy
dispensers are made of clear plastic painted with a steel effect to
distinguish between the different ‘implied’ materials.
this is a hugely detailed piece of work, made all the more impressive
because of the fact it’s constructed of solid polystone! Admittedly a
few small pieces of mixed media are used to help replicate the details
as closely as possible, but virtually everything else is not only very
solid but also hugely heavy. It’s also worth pointing out that both the
arms and the eyestalk are constructed as separate items, so a little
construction is required before display, though construction does seem
like too big a word, as you simply slot the pieces into pre-made holes,
it’ll literally take you a few seconds.
The juxtaposition of the
slimy organic Kaled set against its hi-tech Dalek armour makes for a
very visually interesting display piece. And the fine tooling on the
details of the creatures brain and eye are offset wonderfully against
the mechanical grills and rivets… Amazing!
I’m sure this will
impress even the most exacting of Doctor who fanatics, after all they
were the original nerdy geek fans; they even put the Eek in geek.
Before a single Trekky had fumbled to part his fingers in the Vulcan
salute of ‘live long and prosper’ Doctor who fans had been furtively
meeting up in coffee shops and producing fanzines, after all Terry
Nations Doc has three whole years on Roddenberry’s interstellar crew, a
veritable lifetime in fandom!
apps here are clean and solid, and the depth of colour is impressive
enough to make you feel like you are actually picking up a lump of cast
metal. The predominant colour for the outer Dalek shell is a deep warm
bronze, with secondary details picked out in gold, black, steel and
white. The division lines are all crisp and the weathering and ageing
help give this a very real-world feel, the implied runs and drips
beneath the ‘hemis’ are a nice touch. The organic Kaled is a putrid
fleshy mottled pink, but look closely and you’ll see beige, yellowish
puss like colours that flood the low-lying areas of the sculpt. Making
the alien look like a decaying putrefying cadaver… you can practically
The watery yellow eye is picked out with red dots
surrounding the black pupil, and the coating of varnish over the entire
body aids in making the whole thing look sticky and slimy. Much like
the sculpting section, it’s the differing nature of the living tissue,
set against its biomechanical life support system that gives the Daleks
such strong visual impact. And another thing that has to be taken into
consideration when viewing this baby up close and reviewing the quality
of the paint application is just how tricky it must have been to work
on some areas of this thing. It’s not like handling a small piece of
plastic that can be freely turned in your hand this way and that as you
work on it. This thing weighs over 14 lbs, admittedly, some sections
can be worked on separately before being fully constructed, but I still
raise my hat to the folks working in production who kept the apps here
so sharp and consistent. The bright blue light at the end of the
eyestalk is particularly well carried out, and the electric blue used
with its soft graduation really gives the illusion of glowing. In short
this is a pretty amazing paint job on a very complex subject matter,
and for a production polystone statue the quality is as about as near
to perfection as I would imagine it is possible to get!
Well, it comes with a plinth/stand… but that’s not so much an accessory as a display option!
available direct from Weta for $225, though if you were paying
attention, you may have noticed the Dalek was available for a knockdown
$150 for a limited time during their Summer sale.
However, even at the full RRP this is still a knockout piece of merchandise.
though $225 may seem quite a hefty sum, this is quite a hefty item and
the small run of 900 means all the research and development, coupled
with the huge amount of actual polystone physically used (not to
mention the cost of the license) then $225 actually seems like a pretty
good price… not a bargain admittedly, but how often is top quality
available at a bargain price?
Factor - ***1/2
This is definitely 'NOT' meant to be played with!
fact I doubt many kids could even carry it, let alone try and scoot it
around the floor while screaming ‘EXTERMINATE’. The fact of the matter
is that judging a statue on ‘fun’ is a bit of a moot point, other than
the ‘fun and joy it brings to your heart’, but if that’s your criteria
then the outcome obviously depends on just how much you-
A- Love Daleks
B- Really, really, really wanted one in true 1/6th scale!
for me it’s about 11.5 on the funometer, as for years I made do with
the Character Options RC figure, which I still like a lot, but the
scale is a bit off as Daleks are a pretty ‘stumpy’ lot. And as cool as
the detailing was on that figure, it pales into insignificance when
viewed next to the statue. So, had this quality been translated onto a
more articulated figure, i.e the opening panels could be closed, then
this would have been perfect. But even as a static statue it nearly
hits the top of the fun scale.
Every aspect of
this statue just reeks of quality, from the awesome work on the sculpt
through to the clean detailed work on the paint apps. I hope that with
the phenomenon that is Doctor Who gaining popularity not only in the UK
and US but all around the world, this statue, and indeed the others
Weta have made and have planned get embraced by the fans… but fans are
a fickle lot!
In the UK Character
Options have flooded the market with numerous small-scale figures that
have been received very well by the collectors. Sadly their 12”
figures… the ones I was collecting met an early demise, as they simply
didn’t sell well enough!
But if as a fan of Doctor Who you want a top quality centre piece to your collection, you can not go wrong with this!
to Buy -The most obvious first port of call is to purchase direct from the Weta website here,
it’s also being imported to the US by Darkhorse, so bug your local
comic store to get one in… but I warn you, once you’ve seen it in the
flesh it’s pretty hard to resist.
This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer.
Photos and text by Jeff Parker.