Some of the most beloved characters in the history of Doctor Who are finally getting their own action figures.
Ever since Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005, it’s been accompanied by one of the best sci-fi toy lines in the history of sci-fi toy lines, though one could be forgiven for having missed it. The real heyday of the Character Options 5-inch action figure line was between 2005 and 2010, culminating in a glorious package of the first through eleventh Doctors in a TARDIS-shaped box set just in time for Christmas 2010. Offerings have become a bit more sporadic since then; a short-lived attempt to switch to a Star Wars-sized 3 3/4″ scale met with consumer resistance, and has meant fewer figures in the Peter Capaldi and Jodie Whittaker “eras” of the series.
2019 saw U.K. retailer B&M step in with a handful of figure box sets exclusive to that chain of stores; one set unexpectedly brought classic Tom Baker-era companion Harry Sullivan (played by the late Ian Marter) to collectors’ action figure shelves, while other sets depicted versions of the Doctor from the Big Finish audio stories. And next month, B&M is doing it again, but this time… it’s all about the Doctor’s favorite companions. And, if you’ve been a longtime fan of the show, yours too.
The “UNIT 1971: The Claws of Axos” box set brings back the Brigadier, already immortalized in figure form, with – for the very first time – the other two most familiar UNIT characters from the 1970s, Captain Mike Yates and Sergeant Benton, both ready for hazardous duty in the field.
The action figure of the fourth Doctor (i.e. Tom Baker) already has companions in plastic form – three variations of Leela have hit store shelves in years past, along with K-9 – but the Companions Of The Fourth Doctor set is a must-get, finally bringing us action figures of both of Romana’s regenerations as well as Sarah Jane Smith in her distinctive (and very atypical) camo outfit from 1975’s Genesis Of The Daleks. Previous figures of Sarah Jane all hailed from the 21st century spinoff series The Sarah Jane Adventures, so this is the first “classic series” figure of the beloved character played by the late Lis Sladen.
The late, great Patrick Troughton is the only Doctor immortalized in plastic in this wave, but as an added bonus, he comes with the flat-topped TARDIS as seen in Troughton’s final hurrah as the incumbent Time Lord, 1969’s The War Games. (The 10-part story was in black & white, but fear not – the action figure and his TARDIS are in full color!)
Another box set, labeled “Friends and Foe of the Thirteen Doctor”, brings things really current – as in the season that aired earlier this year – with two of the current TARDIS travelers, Yaz and Ryan, and a Judoon soldier, all as seen in this year’s mind-bending episode Fugitive Of The Judoon, which began turning the series’ entire mythology upside-down by introducing us to an entirely new Doctor whose place in the mythology was left a mystery until the end of the season. (Maybe. It’s still a bit of a mystery.)
Say, when do we get the Jo Martin Doctor in action figure form?
A two-pack of classic series 1960s Daleks rounds out the B&M offerings, which will start hitting their stores in mid-to-late June. Stateside fans and collectors, take heart – WhoNA.com will reportedly be making an effort to import these goodies, and they’ll likely show up on eBay as well.
Perhaps the best news of all is that fans and collectors can finally re-enact this classic scene on their toy shelves.