Let me preface this review by saying, I hate my camera. I plan on getting a new camera in the next month or so because this one is just terrible and it consistently brings down the quality of this site. If you have a good camera you can recommend please let me know below. With that bellyaching out of the way, we’re on to another review, this time of my first ever Torchwood figure! Huzzah! Today we’re taking a look at the deadly Blowfish!


The Blowfish isn’t really one of Torchwood’s top foes, he barely appears in the series although he does show up twice. This version only shows up in one episode so a lot of people have questioned why SciFiCollector decided to include him into their toy range, especially when more important characters like Owen and Rhys haven’t been made. Regardless of that face, he’s a man in a suit (easy to make) and he’s got a friggin’ blowfish for a head! Plus he had this awesome opening scene:

With any toyline, but especially one like this you have to walk a careful balance between making core characters and making neat characters. The Torchwood line barely has any monsters so the Blowfish seems like a good place to inject a little fun into the line. These figures are not made by Character Options, who make the excellent Doctor Who toys, but this line is supposed to be compatible. How does it hold up?

Packaging:
The package here is pretty good with a collector friendly clamshell. I would agree with my old pal Wes Crayon that clamshells are sort of only collector friendly if you’re a MOC collector. You can never reseal a traditional clamshell.


The front has all the normal stuff you’d expect and they keep it pretty snazzy. I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse. On the flip side they show off the other figures in the series as well as showing the first series. That’s a good idea. It seems like such a simple thing, but plenty of other toy companies forget that important part of the cross sell. It even tells you to be on the lookout for special edition variants!


Another neat part about the package is these little “burn” marks. When I first noticed it, I thought my package was flawed. Instead the inner card has several little burn bites on it. I assume this is to simulate the idea that this package has been through a battle… Or that it’s a top secret file that someone has tried to destroy.


It’s a pretty good package overall but you’ll have to pretty much destroy it to get him out so I guess it’s a moot point.

Articulation:
Character Options is constantly tweaking their level of articulation in Doctor Who, but they almost have it down to a science. The first wave of SciFiCollector’s Torchwood figures didn’t quite have the same level of articulation and it hurt some of the capability element.


This second series of Torchwood figures has amped up the articulation and in some ways improved upon what the CO range of Who figures offers. Overall though I think this falls just a bit short of it’s complete potential. The one area that’s probably an improvement is the ball jointed head. That gives this guy a lot of character.


Although the head is improved, the level of movement in the legs is hindered by the sculpt. Maybe you can make yours move more than mine but he can barely lift his leg on mine. The knees and elbows are Hasbro style ball joints or “Hasbrows” as they are sometimes called. This does allow you a more seamless swivel than the Character Options figures but it also doesn’t quite give you the range of movement.


You may notice some water on the figure in a couple of these pictures. No, that’s not sculpted on there. His joints were tight… So tight in fact that I had to dunk his whole body and do a “boil and pop” to the whole thing. The worst part was the head. I recommend doing a few boil and pops and working the head very closely. I’ve seen some reviews of this figure swear that his head doesn’t move, it does and it’s got a full ball joint but it’s so tight that you absolutely can not move it without some work. I believe the Blowfish head is made of a softer plastic and it stuck in the molding process, but once you do get the head loose, trust me you’ll be thankful for it.

Sculpt:
This figure originally looked pretty lame, but it turned out quite nice. As I said in the intro, I think SciFiCollector probably chose this guy because he’s an easy design but he’s also a “monster”. The suit is very plain with little detail or paint application. That’s true to the design of the show and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention he even has his trademark driving gloves on.


I’m a maniac, maniac on the floor…

The Blowfish head is really where all the detail shines through. It has a lot of little details in it and the paint job is really well done. Of course it doesn’t look as good as it did on the show, but it definitely looks good. I’d say this Blowfish head is the best sculpt that SciFiCollector has done. It can definitely stand toe to toe with the sculpting work of Character Options.


The fact that this head sculpt is made out of a slightly more rubbery material just adds to the realism in my view. It’s a really neat sculpt and while it’s not exactly chocked full of detail it definitely fits the bill for this character. I couldn’t ask for too much more than that.


As I said, the rest of the costume is pretty plain. You either like it or you don’t. I thought the idea of the Blowfish in a purple suit was pretty cool. When I originally saw the design I was hoping he was going to be a gangster of some sort. Sadly that wasn’t really the case, but in my Torchwood/Doctor Who world, he’s totally a mobster boss.


Scale wise he fits in perfectly with your Character Options Doctor Who line. He’s just about as tall as Jack Harkness. Since he’s an alien that also gives you a little more leeway whereas a oversized Gwen might look funny. I think he’s a pretty perfect match.

Accessories:
You may notice this awesome sword he’s carrying… He doesn’t come with that. That’s a sword from Snake Eyes, but since I have a ton of them and I thought he’d look cool with a sword I gave it to him. If you have one of these Snake-Eyes swords, I totally recommend giving it to him.


All he actually comes with is a hexagon stand with the Torchwood logo on it. The stand is decent but my camera screwed up the picture so it’s all blurry. I’d take another picture but my camera’s battery is recharging and even from this blurry picture, you get the point.


The stand is actually handy not only as a stand, but it makes a good piece of background if you’re making any Torchwood dioramas. If you watch Torchwood you know that they love to plaster their logo all over everything. So it can be used in a few ways.

I’d have loved to seen him come with oh, I dunno… A SWORD! But since he barely did anything in the show I assume it’s okay that he didn’t get a weapon. Although he did use a gun in the show, so that would have made sense. Accessories are always nice.

Value:
I don’t remember exactly what I paid but he runs for about $12.99 here in the states. If you look around you can definitely find him a few bucks cheaper. As always that’s not a great value, but it is a decent one. The Doctor Who and Torchwood toys are always a better value than DC or Marvel toys even at their higher price points because these figures are IMPORTS. When you’re getting imported toys for only a few bucks more than retail toys here, it’s a added bonus. Plus the toys are typically pretty good.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Stand
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10

I could probably go an 8 on this figure but I’ll stick with a 7. That doesn’t mean this is a bad figure. According to my scale a 7 is right at average or so but this guy is definitely a little better. He’s a lot of fun and as a character he’s largely a blank slate so you can fill in the backstory yourself. You could make him like a mob hitman who wields a samurai sword… Just saying, you could do that if you wanted.


“Harkness, you dirty rat… You killed my brother! NOW YOU DIE!”

I’ll probably pick up some more Torchwood figures down the line but I don’t know if I’ll end up getting the whole crew or not. I could definitely get an Owen though. These are good toys, especially if you are a fan of the show but they aren’t quite as awesome as the Character Options Doctor Who toys, but really, what is? Ciao.

8 Responses to Torchwood: Blowfish Figure Review

  • DrNightmare says:

    Are you using a point and shoot camera? If it has manual settings, use manual focus to focus specifically on whatever you want. Or of it’s all auto, use macro, different cameras have different distances you have to be away from the subject. Sometimes it’s 1 inch, sometimes it’s 1 foot.

    If you want to upgrade, you’re gonna need like $500 at least for a SLR. I have a Nikon D80, it’s pretty good, it can take badass pics if you know what you’re doing. Ask around at the camera shop what’s best for you, and go to a REAL camera shop, not a pawn shop, lol.

    Of course, what lens you use also affects your pictures, expect to spend like $250, up to, and past $1000 for quality lenses. Craigslist is good for finding lenses cheaper.

    Torchwood, I thought it was a western-type show and said I’d get around to watching it, but this is what Torchwood is!? Mutant fish people, odd humor, the mandatory sexy British accents, oh yeah, gotta watch it!

    How do you open your clamshell packages? I use a box cutter to cut along the back, within the outer rim. That way I just lift the flap of plastic and all the goodies come out. The cut isn’t even noticeable, you can put all the stuff back in and secure with a little piece of tape.

    Huh, sorry for the long post, I was watching “Mary and Max” and felt chatty, lol

  • I was looking at a Nikon yesterday for about $250 I liked. I don’t need anything too fancy.

    The Macro function on mine works great but I think the camera itself is just bum now. Flashes are starting to fade. It sometimes just won’t shoot even though I press the button. It’s gotten frustrating. I finally learned how to use it quite well but now it’s falling apart. I think it’s just too old.

    Torchwood is definitely not a western, haha.

  • Bill White says:

    Newton, forgive my ignorance, but you’ve used the term “boil and pop” a few times. What does that mean.

    BTW, I think Designworks, the group that does the Doctor Who sculpts for CO, does the Torchwood designs too.

  • @Bill: Boil and Pop is a term used to describe a easy way to pop off limbs. In this instance I was using it not to pop off the limbs, but to make them more moveable (which the method can also help) and unstick stuck joints.

    Anywho, it’s pretty simple really. Just put the arm, leg, head, whatever into boiling water.

    It usually doesn’t have to be a genuine boil. I usually just pop a bowl of water into the microwave for about 3 minutes and that’s usually hot enough to do the trick.

  • DrNightmare says:

    *twitches*

    Or use a hair-dryer, less messy and you don’t scald your fingers 🙂

  • Bill White says:

    Thanks for the tips, guys!

  • Yikes, hairdryer? No way. In my experiance a hairdryer is more likely to melt something.

    Of course everyone uses different methods, but I’ve never had something damage on water, but with hairdryers I have. Made my poor Dalek stalks droop.

    I had to bring Rose over to get them rigid again. *rimshot*

  • DrNightmare says:

    Here’s a tip, don’t set your hairdryer to 500 degrees ;D All it takes is like 10 seconds on the area, then it’s poppable, but yeah, different hairdryers have dif powers. I use a crappy one, it’s not hot enough to burn, just enough to soften the plastic.

    If boiling, be careful not to let the hard plastic parts soak too much, they will eventually start to crack.

    I melted a few figure parts using the boiling method when I started, there are dangers everywhere! xD

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