Blind-boxed figures are tons of fun to collect, but if you're actually trying to track down each figure in a set, it can be a pricy, time-consuming endeavor. That was my lesson after making countless visits to Suncoast as I tried to piece together a complete set of the first wave of Titans' Doctor Who vinyl minifigures. I considered my set done when I had all the basic figures and was missing just two variants, but I ended up with several doubles, and let me tell you -- at $10-$11 a pop, getting doubles stings.
When news of wave 2 hit, I knew I was going to have to try a different approach because I was definitely going to need each and every character related to my beloved 10th Doctor, so I preorderd a case of 20 from BigBadToyStore. What's awesome about getting a case it that you get the official box that converts into a retail display tray (pictured above and below). The artwork is a lot of fun and reflects the actual figures contained within nicely. Once it's all set up, it looks so nice that it almost seems a shame to sully this display by opening them, but that thought lasted only about two seconds as my wife and I celebrated an early Christmas in September and tore into all 20 boxes like rabid maniacs.
This is an absolutely fantastic assortment and every single one is a must-have in my book. All the figures are pictured on each box with the variants kept a mystery as far as specific details go. I had managed to avoid online spoilers prior to opening my batch, so I didn't even know what the variants were, exactly, but I had some guesses in place based on the hints. I'm happy to report my set of 20 yielded two of the four variants, so now I've got to decide if I want to go through the trouble of tracking down the two I didn't get.
Like the previous 11th Doctor wave, these were designed by Matt Jones (), and he did a great job translating the likeness of each character to this super-deformed vinyl platform.
I love the blueprints on the back of each box. It's the same for each box, so there are no hints as to what is contained in each box. I like how it gives an articulation breakdown so you know what you're getting with each figure. There are no more than three points of articulation here, so it's best to expect a display piece rather than an "action figure."
THE 10TH DOCTOR
When we started tearing into the boxes, this guy was the first I opened and he was one of the ones I was most pleased to find. The blue suit is the 10th Doctor's most iconic look and I was thrilled to start off this set with him. David Tennant's likeness is definitely here, and I think it's the hair that really nails the look. His sonic screwdriver looks so dead-on. It looks almost exactly like the one Tennant used on the show. All the detail work here is just excellent. Everything from his tie to his brown pinstripes looks really sharp and and totally nails the character.
This TARDIS is the variant, and it looks as though it's going to make a nice display piece for Christmas time. The wreath is so darn cute and I love that the TARDIS is painted so it looks as though there's a thin layer of snow on top of it. This was one that my wife opened, and she just about lost her mind with joy when she saw it. This is one I'm definitely happy we got in our set.
Hands down, this is the figure I wanted most out of this set, so I'm really pleased to have gotten two of them. The Vashta Nerada comes from one of the creepier story arcs in the 10th Doctor's tenure, and the look of the figure is just awesome. In the episode, the skull-face is lit up by an LED light from within the helmet, but here the skull is painted a soft blue color to mimic a light-up effect. The result is one of the more striking figures in the set.
The one thing that disappoints me here, though, is that the skull doesn't glow in the dark. The first wave had a couple figures that came sporting glow-in-the-dark enhancements, so I fully expected the blue paint of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver and the blue paint of the Vashta Nerada to glow as well, butno dice. Unless I didn't let them sit under the light long enough, that is. No bid deal, though, because the Vashta Nerada still looks completely awesome on the shelf and he is still the stand-out of the wave as far as I'm concerned.
Perhaps the 10th Doctor's most well-known adversaries, the Weeping Angels are probably the creepiest thing Doctor Who has ever produced, and I'm thankful to have gotten two in my set because they are definite army builders. The sculpt here is good, but it doesn't quite succeed in looking like "stone." The two-tone gray color of the figures help, but still. If I didn't already know they're supposed to be made of stone before, these figures would not have clued me in to that fact.
Regardless, they succeed in looking creepy and they look awesome flanking the Doctor. An obvious variant opportunity would have been one with a more placid facial expression since they don't look scary all the time. Maybe we'll see a calm Angel as an exclusive down the road or something.
Don't blink! That which holds the image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel!
And the award for most adorablefigure from this wave goes to a most unlikely recipient: the Sontarnan! This was one I hadn't really given a passing thought to in light of getting a Vashta Nerada and Weeping Angels, but he was one that grabbed my attention the quickest. He looks so grumpy in the cutest darn way. There was only one of him in my set, so I am going to have to track down another as soon as possible because I need another one for the shelf.
The Sontarnan is one of the smaller figures in the line, coming in at about half an inch shorter than the Doctor. The two-tone blue suit with sliver details succeed in mimicking the Sontarnan's suit on the show, and his head succeeds in looking like a mean little potato.
The most curious release in this set is the Adipose, the little walking balls of human fat from the episode where Donna Noble officially became the Doctor's companion. While every other figure in the line is a small, super-deformed rendition of their respective characters, the Adipose look just likethe Adipose. This is what they look like on the show; nothing has really been altered or enhanced here.
That doesn't mean they aren't as awesome as the rest, however. They may not fit in as well as the others stylistically, but they're still adorable and they look great on the shelf.
This wave is just hitting comic and specialty shops now, so availability should not be a problem. I got my case of 20 from BigBadToyStore, but if a case isn't your style, then singles are available as well, but be aware: they are blind-boxed, so it requires a little bit of luck to get the specific ones you want. There are no codes or hints on the boxes that I could find that may indicated the contents of each, so it is a gamble. But since there's not a dud in the bunch, any one you get is totally worth it.
Check back later this week for part two where we'll take a look at the rest of the figures in the set!