Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Eleventh doctor with beard and straightjacket

One advantage that the new series of Doctor Who has over the classic series is that it is mor comfortable with the Doctor dressing up in clothes other than his "costume." The old series would occasionally have the Doctor wear a kilt or something, but mostly his clothes would be variations of his classic costume. The new series had The new series on the other hand would often place The 10th Doctor in a space suit or a tuxedo and not really make a fuss about it. This meant that when Character Options put out new figures of the Doctor in each wave they could offer more variations than simple color swaps, something they don't really do when releasing all their variations of the classic Doctors. There's about a half dozen variants of the Fifth Doctor and most of the variants focus on the pattern on his pants or whether he has celery on his lapel.

With the 11th Doctor the stories have gone back to the model of not having him stray too far out of his chosen outfit. The pattern on his tweed coat changes, the color of his shirt or bowtie, but it's pretty interchangeable. However what they've done differently is have the Doctor experiment with accessories. Hence the popularization of fezs in nerd culture. What this means for the toys is that the 11th Doctor can be released multiple time in the same wave but they can legitimately claim the variations might be wanted by fans. Which is why wave 6 of the Doctor Who figures includes the Doctor with beard variant.

I'm still uncertain why I love 11th Doctor variants when I couldn't give a damn about the 10th Doctor ones. Maybe it's that they have better articulation. Or maybe it's because when the 10th Doctor changed his clothes they didn't make a big deal of it. A passing aside to how he looks in a tux, but it never affected how he acted. But the 11th Doctor takes great joy with every costume variation. (this is apparently a result of actor Matt Smith being similarly exuberant. The costume designer, upon hearing that the 11th Doctor would get a fez for a few minutes in an episode, groaned because she knew Matt Smith would be so delighted he would never take it off and probably try wearing it off the set.) So each variation is associated with moments of whimsy or joy rather than the utilitarian boredom of the Tenth Doctor. It's like the 11th Doctor likes playing dress up and so the toys have more of a play time feel to them.

Which really is a long way for me to explain that the variant I seriously wanted ion Wave 6 was the Doctor in a straight jacket. And holy crap did other go all out on this. Seriously. THEY GAVE HIM DOUBLE JOINTED ELBOWS SO THAT YOU CAN TIE THE STRAIGHT JACKET ARMS BEHIND HIS BACK. And yes, they include a way to affix the arm belts to his back. It's a toy with realistic Straightjacket features.

How freaking awesome is that? Screw you 4th Doctor figure with slightly different colored jacket, this is how a good variant is made.

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