Figure Review: Doctor Who Series 5 River Song
Doctor Who – Series 5
5 Inch Scale
By: Character Options
Ah River Song, you finally get your new series single card figure dues. I’ve waited a long time for this figure, and I am really glad that Character Options is finally getting around to making some of the actual regular characters from the show into figures. Their methodology for choosing which figures to release is perplexing at best, but until I take over the company in a massive display of insider trading, we’ll just have to keep calm and carry on.
Nothing really spectacular here. The back board just lists a bunch of characters that they are releasing. It gives you a good idea about what kind of planning is going on at headquarters because we have another doctor figure without any real difference, and a ganger figure with the same body, just different hands and feet. The astronaut does look neat, and might be nice to have just as a standalone figure, but why Uncle was chosen and WE STILL HAVE NO RORY FIGURE is beyond me.
Inside each package you get not only the character, you also get a small bag of “The Flesh.”
It’s taped to the inside of the board, and because it is right behind the figure this has lead CO to slightly modify the way the figures are packaged. Instead of the standard wire binding their figures usually come with, these figures are held in with much less potentially pokey plastic thread ties.
This sculpt has some really nice things going on with it, and some really bad. We’ll start with the good.
This figure is very detailed, and it is nice to see so much time went into the actual sculpt. There are little details all over the place that really make this figure pop, such as the show accurate props on her belt (which sadly do not remove) the working holster, and the layers in the jacket. The figure is also fairly steady and stands with little effort, even in different poses. There was no stiffness in the joints, or over looseness, which has been a problem for me with some of these figures.
There are really two complains here. The first is the messy paint. There are several places on the figure where the white paint on the jacket is not doing a good job of covering up the pink underneath. I do not know why this figures torso was not just molded from white plastic instead of molding it from colored and then painting it white.
The entire figure is painted, like all CO figures, and that is really odd to me. Unless changing colors in molded plastic is really, really expensive, I cannot think why it is cheaper and easier to pay someone to repaint the entire figures. Paint slop is frequently an area that I have problems with in their figures and I really wish they would consider a change.
I know hair is hard to sculpt with a plastic toy, but seriously, this looks like plastic dreadlocks. There is no bounce or vibrancy or anything . Character options has really not done a great job with hair, especially on their female figures, but at least this hair lets her neck turn.
Also, I can’t shake the feeling that this sculpt originally was based on Zoe Wanamaker and then quickly adjusted to Alex Kingston.
The other problem is with how they sculpted the hip joints. I just do not understand this. This just looks terrible. I know this is a typical bend for Who hips, but on this figure it really looks grotesque. And the top of the legs are covered in plastic burrs and paint, so it just really looks messy. Standing, the figure looks fine, but when you try to flex you get this mess.
It’s not as if they don’t have better female hips. The Amy figures have featured more natural and less freakish hip bends, but apparently that would be too easy.
This figure has the standard Who joints: Shoulder with ball sockets, upper arm, elbow, wrist, torso, hips, knees, and neck. They all worked well and had no problems flexing.
A nice piece, although a bit confusing again with the paint. In the show the gun was white with black smudges. On the toy it’s black with white Christmas flocking sprayed on it. She holds it well, but since her fingers are all together she can’t really look like she is firing it. It does fit nicely in the holster though.
Yeah, all the figures in this wave come with these, even the astronaut I think. I guess that’s the big selling point for kids? It fits well but really doesn’t add anything to this figure for me. Also, since this River figure is from series 5, not 6 there never was a flesh connection there in the first place, so, yeah…
As stated before, all these figures also come with little pouches of the flesh. I guess it’s for kids, although it’s interesting to me that the point of the episode with the flesh is that the flesh was a living thing and should not just be treated like disposable gunk to be tossed aside when it wasn’t needed anymore. And to honor this, they give you a pouch of it to squeeze on the floor, and then throw away when it isn’t needed anymore. So, again, yeah…
This figure is going to cost you around 30 bucks on the internet. It looks kind of cool, and has some nice features, but is also has some big problems for that price. And now that they have a River face sculpt they are bound to start dropping it on other bodies that will hopefully be better planned out. Personally I am hoping we’ll see River in her US denim outfit, as well as her Cleopatra outfit, but only time, and I guess sales, will tell.
If you can get it cheap, it’s worth it, but don’t break the bank if you can. You might want to hold out for the next one.