What can be said about the Vashta Nerada? Well according to the Tardis Wiki the Vashta Nerada are swarming, carnivorous beings. The name meant “the Shadows that melt the flesh”. This is a review of the Vashta Nerada action figure in the Doctor Who 5 inch figure line.

To be fair this is a review of the Vashta Nerada suit creature, because the actual Vashta Nerada are just shadows. Making them the first action figure you were ever born with! And insanely cheap to army build! But in the episode in which the Vashta Nerada appeared, they inhabited a space suit where they ate all the flesh of the human inside and then walked around using the suit as a body while the last remnants of the mortal soul echoed creepy messages over and over.

This is the traditional clamshell package that fits with all the new Doctor Who figures. I’ve reviewed it before, so not much to say here. It’s easy to open with a pair of scissors and inside there is a tray with about four twist ties. Not too bad to free the Vashta Nerada from his plastic tomb.

Shadows have unlimited articulation, but once inside a space suit it becomes a bit more limited. That said, this figure features about as much articulation as any figure in the Doctor Who line has had. It has cut legs, arms, wrists, swivel arms, swivel ankles as well as knee and elbow joints. Because this creature has his space suit helmet on, the head doesn’t turn. I’ve been told that if you crack off the helmet, he has articulation on the skull underneath. I haven’t opened him that way since the helmet doesn’t naturally remove, so I can’t comment one way or the other.

Impressive is one word that comes to mind. Plain is another. Impressively plain? How can it be both? Read on!

The skull head is really incredible in how well it’s designed and painted. It’s dare I say, probably the best skull toy I’ve ever seen. Again seeing pictures of it out of the helmet shows just how detailed the full sculpt is, with neck bones and all. Of course I haven’t cracked mine open, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. What you can see though, is quite beautiful.

Butt Shot

The rest of the suit is loaded down with wrinkles and detail that make it appear very lifelike, but the paint scheme is a flat white with just the grey stripes throughout. That’s what makes it very plain. This figure won’t stick out on your shelf unless someone notices the skull inside the space suit. I suppose it could be cool for NASA enthusiasts as well for some diorama scenes or something. The paint work is good and the suit is actually painted white, not molded in white. There are variants with gray thumbs. I have no idea if that’s more accurate or not, I didn’t pay that much attention in the episode.

Another nice detail is the little sensor bar that was featured in the episode and sort of works like the Ghostbuster ghost traps, in the sense that it locks in the last remnants of your soul. Which forces your last few moments to die a very creepy and lonely death in the dark.

Hey, Who turned out the lights?

Bupkiss. Accessories aren’t a big part of this line and it’s very evident in this figure. Although I can’t think of anything the figure would need, it’s still kinda sad not to get something. Later versions include a BAF piece, but not mine.

Additional Notes:
For most of the episode the Vashta Nerada are basically an invisible boogeyman. Although the episode itself was pretty brilliant and downright creepy at times, the figure is kind of bland. So it could be a pass for casual collectors. Although it does look a lot like a Scooby Doo villain who appeared a few times, so customizers might want to take that route.

I paid about $12 for him and I’m fine with that. He’s not a bad figure, but he’s not an essential figure either. I think an army of them might be kind of neat, but as is, the Vastha Nerada is a one shot episode and this figure is sort of dull as a result of it. You almost need River Song to even make a decent diorama.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 9
Accessories – N/A
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

Although this is the lowest reviewed figure yet for my Doctor Who action figures, I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with this figure. It’s practically a perfect representation of everything we saw in the episode. That is sort of the flaw though, the creature itself isn’t very exciting and the figure doesn’t do anything to change that. I think if this figure would have had a voice chip to say “Hey who turned out the lights?” It’d been much cooler. As is, it’s fun, but not a must have by any means. Now excuse me while I go count my shadows.

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