Exterminate!

We’ve been on the look-out for Doctor Who toys this week as we get ready for our stall at Whooverville VI at the end of the month. Whooverville is an annual gathering of Doctor Who fans in the East Midlands. It’s on Saturday 30 August this year and returns to last year’s venue, Derby Quad.

Link to Whooverville 6

Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor will be there along with Terry Molloy, who has played the role of Davros, creator of the Daleks more times than any other actor. Molloy regularly appears at conventions all over the world and was the last actor to play Davros in the original series, when he battled the seventh Doctor and Ace in Remembrance of the Daleks back in 1988.

Davros action figure

As Molloy is one of the guests this year we were very pleased to find a Dapol Davros action figure from the same era. We’ve also picked up some other Dalek toys to take, that are mostly made by Character (previously Character Options), a British toy company who have been producing the Doctor Who toys since the new TV series kicked off in 2005.

Dalek Battle Pack

This smashing Dalek Battle Pack  with Rose Tyler is in the “going to Whooverville” box. It’s one of the first two toys Character produced at the start of their run – the other was also a Dalek Battle Pack, but with the Doctor. If you missed it on the telly, you can watch Rose battle the Daleks in this brilliant Rotersand video Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy.

Dalek Sec mask

Then there’s this mask of one of the weirdest looking of all the daleks, Dalek Sec Hybrid. He appeared in the Series 3 episode Daleks in Manhattan when Cult of Skaro leader Dalek Sec merges with a human to create a new half-dalek / half-human hybrid race. The Dalek Sec Mask is great for cos players; it says Dalek Sec phrases and has a voice changer mode so the wearer can even sound like a Dalek.

Blue Dalek

There have been eight of the new Doctor Who series so far and halfway through, in series five, Character changed from their distinctive red and yellow packaging to what you might call Tardis blue. That same year they brought out this 13 inch radio controlled Dalek Strategist that will be reminding visitors to Whooverville that Daleks are the supreme beings in the deep gravely voice of the new Daleks.

Supermag Dalek

This week we also found this unusual magentic Dalek construction toy. It is one of a series of “supermag” Doctor Who toys that  include a Tardis and Cyberman. The Daleks don’t turn up very often and even with the instructions it was challenging to complete, but I really like it. It’s got a nice weight to it and the top with the eye stalk is balanced on a magnet and has a smashing smooth swivel that’s really quite spooky (if you are slightly unnerved by Daleks like me).

Dalek bubble bath

Last on the list of Whooverville Dalek goodies is this Dalek bubble bath, that’s modeled on the Supreme Dalek from series four. I have a tendency to pick up toys for the bathroom and was very tempted to keep this to go with my Tranformer, Dath Vader and Tombliboo bubbles (among others!) Especially as the Supreme Dalek made Doctor Who history in 2008, when it was the first red Dalek  to appear in the TV series.

Dalek watch

But then I found this rather fab Dalek watch – which is why I couldn’t keep the bubble bath – because it’s staying with me, sorry folks!

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It’s it’s a dinosaur!!

Our fave find this week was a Jurassic Park (JP) full body Triceratops puppet. As is often the way with toy hunting, we found the full body T.rex the week before the Triceratops popped up, although we hadn’t seen any dinosaur puppets at all before that.

Dinosaur puppets

It took a while to track down the toy company that made the puppets as the majority of JP toys were made by Kenner in the 90s (at that point a division of Hasbro). However, it turns out there was a separate puppet toy line, produced by the short-lived American toy company Resaurus, at the time of the second JP film, The Lost World in 1997.

These are big puppets but not in comparison to the life-size dinosaur puppets used in the Jurassic Park films. As this blog post explains small-scale and life size animatronic puppets were made by Stan Winston Studio to bring the Triceratops to life, or rather close to death. Shannon Shea recalled his fun if unglamourous task on the day of shooting, “…I was responsible for doing all of the cosmetics on the dinosaur for the shoot. I had to do all of the pus and the spit and the rheumy eyes and all that stuff…”

T.rex puppet

It seems very appropriate that these two dinosaur puppets have come along at the same time, given their frequent pairing one way and another. One of my favourites was when Giant Tyrannosaurus met Giant Triceratops in this battle to the death. Made decades ago, this fight scene is from The Last Dinosaur, a joint Japanese-American TV movie that aired in 1977 and has been described (rather well) as Jurassic Park on a Godzilla budget.

Triceratops puppet

The pair surfaced again in 2005 in the BBC documentary The Truth about Killer Dinosaurs when Bill Oddie joined forces with a team of experts who used scientific evidence to construct life-sized, bio-mechanical replicas of dinosaurs’ weaponry. In part one he considered the science behind T.rex vs Triceratops and dramatically demonstrates their awesome potential.

Amazingly last year an actual fossil of T.rex and Triceratops embraced in a fight to the death was discovered by a ranch owner in Montana, US. Expected to sell at auction for millions of dollars the 68million-year-old fossil proved too pricey for the world’s museums and ended up back in storage and doesn’t seem to have been in the news since.

T.rex head

How much the puppets resemble real dinosaurs is open to question, the T.rex in particular may have looked very different as research now suggests that many meat-eating dinosaurs had feathers. So it will be interesting to see how the dinos look in the next of the Jurassic Park series. Happily there’s not too long to wait, the fourth film, Jurassic World, is apparently in the works and due for release next year.

In the meantime if you haven’t stumbled across this sci-fi classic here’s a snippet from the first film featuring the T. Rex at the moment it all starts to go wrong…