I’ve harboured a secret desire to own a 1:6 scale doll of my favourite Doctor, Tom Baker, for a very long time now. Usually I prefer a larger (1:5 or bigger) scale, but 1:6 seems to be the norm in this arena and so obviously I have to go with the flow on that score.
In the early 1990′s, Dapol, who had the toy license back then, showed off a prototype of their 4th Doctor in his burgundy, season 18 outfit. At the time they were producing 3¾” figures, but they wanted to branch out into the larger figure market and so they debuted this offering in an issue of Doctor Who Magazine. I was hooked, alas it wasn’t to be as not long after, their license for Doctor Who products came to a close. Oh well…
Almost a decade later, another company, Product Enterprise, announced with much guff and fan fair that they’d be producing a range of articulated 1:6 figures, starting with – wait for it – Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor. Yaaay! The joy was short lived though. The product evolved, but not in a good way. It went from an articulated figure to a polystone statue and while the sculpt was very nice, it just looked rather dull and lifeless.
I have to say that I was tempted, but having heard many horror stories of the product snapping in twain on removing it from the packaging, it just sort of put me off – especially with the hefty price tag that it came with. My dream was quickly fading.
Last year, or maybe it was the year before, yet another company came to the fore with the same announcement for the same product. Third time lucky? Actually, yes.
Above is the photo of Big Chief Studios’ prototype that came with their announcement.
Now that did look promising and what sold me on it was the face, they’d opted for a more somber look and none of that mad, gurning, smiley toothfest that had become such a horrible cliché with every 4th Doctor product bearing this particular look over the last ten years or so. It was / is a blessed relief to see such an alternative take on him.
All they needed to do was sort a few minor issues out and they’d be laughing! And that is exactly what they did.
Look at it, it’s utterly fantastic! The likeness is spot on. Okay, some people have bemoaned the 5 o’clock shadow that he’s sporting, but that’s really down to your own taste and pot luck with the product that you receive. Obviously one of their painters is a little heavy handed, but it doesn’t detract from the over all look. Another issue people have had is the scarf, some just don’t think it looks right. I think it looks fine as it is. You have to accept the limitations of the scale, fabrics simply do not scale down perfectly, and if you can get by with this and embrace it, then you’re going to be happy.
There have been some people attempting to modify theirs and while I applaud their efforts, I’m often left cold by the results because they don’t blend in well – or even sit well with the rest of the product, they always will look like a third party add on and in some cases, the results are simply awful. No, in my mind, just leave it as it is, it’s great.
I especially love all the little add ons that you get to modify the look of the doll – and the hand props are simply divine. This is the Tom Baker figure that I’ve dreamt of owning for years.
The numbers are limited to just one thousand and the price tag is a “sharp gasp of breath” inducing £170. The latter point I am struggling with.
As much as I think that this is value for money, it’s still a lot of dosh for me to justify on what is essentially a trinket. Perhaps I should set some money aside and save up… it’s not like I’m planning on going on an expensive holiday or anything like that in the foreseeable future.
You even get a little Hand of Fear to go with the doll – that’s another little incentive, I love that prop!
The attention to detail is staggering, they’ve given the Doctor the correct yo-yo.
This particular brand used to be very, very common here in the UK decades ago. I even have a couple of these in a box somewhere and are probably the ones that I learnt to do yo-yo tricks on as a kid! I must dig them out.
Now, if I do succumb to getting one of these dollies, then I’m going to have to build this…
The TARDIS from Tom’s first two seasons – thus matching the outfit that the doll comes in.
This little marvel was built by a friend of mine, Morethanatimelord. He’s done a simply magnificent job, wouldn’t you agree?
And here is his Big Chief Tom standing proud in the TARDIS.
Words fail me at the combined sheer beauty of the pair. This is definitely something that I’m aspiring to – and hopefully it’ll be something that I’ll achieve on both counts.
We shall see.