Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Review: Doctor Who Character Building

£1.99 per figure (blind packaging)

There is a craze these days amongst toy manufacturers to produce, what are essentially, copies of other toy lines. I suppose it lessens the risk of failure if you're just putting a spin on an existing idea than creating something entirely new.

Character Building from Character is the latest in a series of 'not Lego' lines. Taking on Lego is a big challenge, but Lego has always had one flaw - its expense - and it's this that, for example, Megablocks targeted.

Character don't appear to be going for cheaper. They're relying on the pulling-power of Doctor Who to sell their toys. They don't really appear to be pushing the 'building' aspect either, having only a couple of sets with actual bricks (though I guess this may expand later). Instead they are pushing the 'newsagent' approach -  individual figures, blind-packaged, displayed at the tills of newsagencies and supermarkets.

On the face of it this seems great - it's a Lego Doctor Who! But then I had a look on the website where it lists the ratio of figures being released.  The overwhelming majority of figures in the packs are of the Doctor. Fine, everyone wants a Doctor, but every child is going to end up with hundreds of Doctors.

What exactly do you do with hundreds of Doctors? You can't swap them with friends because everyone else will have hundreds of Doctors too. It's not like daleks or cybermen where having an army is a good thing.

So what are kids going to do with them all?

Really, what?

Nothing is the answer. They'll sit unplayed with, which is why - despite me liking the figures generally - I can't recommend anyone buy them. Or at least not buying in the 'blind package' method. Character are selling the 'army' characters - daleks, cybermen and screaming angels - in packs of 5 for £10. You can buy a TARDIS set that comes with a Doctor figure.

If I was going to buy more of these then that's how I'd do it - the TARDIS set and then maybe a couple of the army packs. That's all.

But I'm not going to.

My children are happy with the three that were given free with the Daily Mirror - which luckily included the main characters of the Doctor and Amy. They've asked for more daleks, but since they've already lost the tiny sucker & gun from from it my purchasing ends here.

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