REVIEW: Doctor Who Micro-Superstars Dalek Set

by Zepo
13 June 1999

RATING: 8 (of 10)

Doctor Who (Dalek Playset) [Micro-Superstars Series], (Swindon,  
UK: Bluebird Games, 1997), Realia (Toy).

[Image of Set]

     Sometimes a Doctor Who product is released that is not aimed at
adults.  Given that _Doctor Who_ started as a children's television
show I actually enjoyed writing that line.  Most of the products in
the 1960s were aimed at children, but since _Doctor Who_ has achieved
cult program status most of the show's marketing has been aimed at
adults who have grown up with the program.  This particular toy has no
real research value but I figured that I would tackle a review of it
simply because it was... well... cool.  I'm talking about the 1997
Doctor Who Micro-Superstars Dalek set by Bluebird Games.
     This toy set is rather interesting and comes blister packed
on a piece of cardboard backing.  Collectors beware, though
attractively packaged the real fun of this set is the toy inside.
Bluebird's Micro-Superstar Collection is similar to the American
Galoob Toys Micro-Machines Collection, best known by sci-fi 
collectors for their Star Wars sets.  This set however brings the 
Doctor and his enemies the Daleks into this miniature playset world.
     The Doctor Who toy set is supposed to be modeled after the 
interior of the Dalek battle cruiser (from "Remembrance of the 
Daleks") and includes three levels.  The top level contains the 
Emperor Dalek which, if you move his dome, reveals Davros's face 
inside.  The second level features the TARDIS which has doors that 
open to reveal the interior of the timeship.  The third level is 
rather interactive and contains the Dalek ship controls.  This level 
features a ramp that a Dalek can roll down, a gun that the Daleks can 
use for defense, as well as a secret button the Doctor can press to 
eject the Dalek from their own spaceship.  To complete the set are 
two miniature action figures, one of the Fourth Doctor holding his 
sonic screwdriver and the second is a Dalek which has a ball bearing 
in its base allowing it to roll on tabletops or down the set's ramp.  
The set itself is self contained as the mini-action figures can be 
stored inside and the set folded for storage.  Folded up, the set 
takes the appearance of a Dalek, complete with plunger and gun arm.  
The plunger attachment is actually removable and fits inside the 
interior's Dalek gun. This gun and plunger combination can be fired 
by flicking your finger at the back of the gun and striking the 
plunger causing it to fly out of the gun at its target.  
     Well, those are the set's features.  Built out of a rather
sturdy plastic, the set is attractively colored and recommended
for ages four years old and up.  But how do kids actually like
it?  Well, for Christmas I gave one of these sets to Colin, the
five year old son of one of my best friends.  Before you ask,
Colin has already seen all of the existing episodes of _Doctor
Who_ and the Daleks are indeed creatures that will send him
hiding behind the sofa (yes folks, I'm writing this in 1999). 
Colin's reaction to this toy was one of enjoyment and amazement. He
played with the toy, folded it up, unfolded it, played with it as an
oversized Dalek and took it with him everywhere he could (at least the
day he got it).  He seemed to really love the set. But what about me?
After all, I'm the person reviewing the set.
     I think this is one of the more interesting and enjoyable
toys ever made for _Doctor Who_.  To me, this set represents the
arrival of Doctor Who into the world of modern toy production. 
This is the first toy in the post-program era that is similar to
the top of the line toys on the regular toymarket.  Comparing
Dapol's substandard and overpriced action figures with those of
the current line of Star Wars, Star Trek, or McFarlain toys is
actually embarrassing to a Who collector.  This set, while a
touch overpriced (imported, I paid $25 for it at a US convention) is 
in fact quite on par with other micro-toy sets.  I relish the idea 
that the figures from this set could be used with a Star Wars set and
the Doctor could be used to simply outsmart Darth Sidious's or Darth 
Vader's plans to conquer the universe.  
     This toy is one of the more functional and fun toys I have
seen in my many years of Doctor Who collecting.  I keep one of
these toys in my office at the University and a number of the
students have actually been seen exploring the set.  It seems as
if age is not a factor for the enjoyment one might get from this
product.  This set fails to get a perfect rating only because
some toys that have hit the market in the past few years have
been extremely detailed and well painted (any McFarlain Toys
action figure is a good example).  It also would have been nice
to see a second Dalek in this set and even a small K-9 figure. 
None the less I recommend this set for both its collectablity and for
its payability.  This offering is especially recommended for children 
to enjoy.

(c) copyright Zepo, 1999.

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Last Updated June 21, 1999