For my second review here in Doctor Who month, I figured it only fitting that I review my favorite and “first” Doctor, the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker. Growing up in average Joe America, I like many was first introduced to Doctor Who through PBS. In the early 80’s PBS stations across the country began airing Doctor Who. At the time I didn’t have cable and Doctor Who on PBS was like getting Lost or Heroes on TV. Back then TV sucked pretty bad and this crazy British Sci-fi show was incredible. I used to spend late nights watching Doctor Who. The best part was they’d show 6 or 7 episodes in a row!
Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor was the one most often shown and he immediately grew on me. Slightly cocky, slightly insane, the Fourth Doctor is the quintessential Doctor. He’s become the most famous Doctor throughout time and chances are even if you know very little about Doctor Who, you know the Fourth Doctor. The hat, the hair, the scarf, it’s all part of his distinct image. Character Options (the company that makes the Doctor Who toys) started a classic Doctor Who line this past year and of course, Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor was in the first series of releases.
Here I was talking about how I don’t review packages in my last review, but I’ve got more to say again. We’ve got another clamshell bubble, but this time instead of the Tardis designed plastic, it’s just a bubble. Why the change? Well the Doctor Who Classics line is a separate line from the main Doctor Who line, so I can only imagine that they tried to make them look different. As I’ve never seen these on a store shelf, I can only speculate. I should also mention that there are four twist ties which hold the figure in. That was true of the Ninth Doctor as well, but the Classic Fourth Doctor also has a small rubber band holding him in. No idea why.
Inside he has a paper cardback instead of the more thick one of the regular line. Not sure why the change, but it’s not important either way. I do like that it mentions a bit about him and K-1 robot on the back as well as show how long each “era” of the Doctor lasted. That’s a nice piece for fans.
The Fourth Doctor is loaded down with articulation all things considered. He has the big five, (no ball jointed necks for you ball jointed neck lovers out there) plus swivel arms, swivel thighs, swivel wrists, plus knee and elbow joints. That’s more than enough articulation for a figure IMO and especially considering this is a Doctor Who figure, he’s not really going to be getting into some of the same poses as Spiderman. He also has the strange side ball joint thing that I mentioned on the last review. I’m not sure what the name of that joint is, but it’s similar to the DCUC leg joints. Basically, Doctor Who can do a Sweet Chin Music.
This is probably the best sculpt that this line has ever seen. This looks exactly like Tom Baker. You have the serious head, with a stern looking face and you have the maniacal grin face. If you don’t think it looks good, just look at the package! The real Tom Baker’s face looks the same. He really does look like a creepy child molestor or a mad scientist… Or a child molesting mad scientist.
His shirt is painted nicely, his coat has all the added little bits of design like wrinkles and those swank 70’s elbow pads. Everything is painted really nicely, no smudges, no slop. This is not a Mattel paint job. This doesn’t even look like a mass market paint job, that’s how good it is. His scarf is probably the most impressive piece, it looks great and emulates the scarf well. Some suggested that they do a real fabric scarf, but WhoNA tried to make some of those recently and they just don’t look right in this scale.
I could go on and on about the whole sculpt and paint, but let me just say two final things. The shoes and the hair are two of the finest bits of detail I’ve seen on an action figure in a long time. They look like a McFarlane level statue. The shoes look like beat up and worn dress shoes, with the right amount of sculpting and paint. With a little wash here and there. The hair looks very lifelike, like Tom Baker’s real afro!
The Fourth Doctor also breaks the mold in terms of accessories. He’s got quite a lot. He comes with his sonic screwdriver, which is a different sculpt than some of the other screwdrivers in this line. Character Options went above and beyond here, making this look like the Fourth Doctor’s version of the tool.
He also has a spare head! That’s right, a detachable head. So you can choose which insane Tom Baker face you want. I’m very glad they included a serious face for him as well. I picked up two of the figures, just so I could display one head each way. They’re both great sculpts and neither is better than the other.
Finally he has his scarf. Some wouldn’t consider this an accessory, but I do. It’s removable and it can drastically change his look. He looks good without it, but obviously looks best with it. The Fourth Doctor is known for his scarf and this soft rubbery scarf is excellent. It’s painted on both sides too. CO didn’t cheap out at all on this work of excellence.
He’s also part of the K-1 Build-a-Figure series, so he comes with the hips of the giant K-1 Robot. Needless if you aren’t building him, but I’d suggest picking all the K-1 parts up.
I should mention that the scale on this figure is great. Tom Baker is a tall man and he ended up being the tallest Doctor. The figure reflects this with the Fourth Doctor being a pretty good height over everyone else. It’s little things like that which take this figure from good to excellent.
This is another one of those strange sections when it relates to this figure. The Fourth Doctor retailed for regular price in Jolly ol’ England, so whatever that was (About $10 I think) was quite fair. However because of the Fourth Doctor’s popularity he’s MUCH harder to get your hands on in the US. So how do I base his value? Well if you’re a Doctor Who fan, you’re willing to pay for the Fourth Doctor. Almost everyone loves the Fourth Doctor, so if you love him like I do, you’d pay. I paid almost $30 for my first one. That hurt, but he’s worth it to me. I only paid $12 for my second one. At that price I’d bought 100 of him! Needless to say, he typically runs about $15-20 and he’s getting harder and harder to find. At whatever the price though, for classic Doctor Who fans he’s a must.
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 10
Articulation – 10
Accessories – Second head, Sonic Screwdriver, Scarf, K-1 Robot Hips
Value – 7
Overall – 10 out of 10
You may be wondering how he’s overall a 10 out of 10? Well… He’s fucking bloody perfect! That’s why. Price, package, none of that matters when the final product is this good. He comes with everything you need and even a little more. If I’d had this figure back when I was 8 or 10 watching Doctor Who on PBS, lord knows how much playtime he would have had.
This figure is so good he could be a high end collectable. There is nothing “toy” about this figure. It’s a must have for Doctor Who fans. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. This is the perfect Tom Baker Fourth Doctor figure. Now all he needs are some Jelly Babies!