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For a long time I've wanted to set up an online repository of my interviews, reviews and other writings ... and here it is! Use the Subject List to the right to select an author/topic and you will get all the entries which relate to the selected subject. Have fun browsing through!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Merchandise Roundup 5


Wesco Price £4.99 Available Now
*** (3 stars)

What a cool idea! The SpinnerZ are a small model (of a Dalek or a TARDIS, whichever takes your fancy) housed in a little plastic bio-dome. You clip this to your mobile phone and then when Auntie Ethel calls for a chat, or you send a message to your mates, the little model spins around and small blue LEDs light up all round it. It even activates when you turn the phone off and on. What a lovely, and completely pointless, little device. It apparently uses new and unknown mystery technology, so can probably control your brainwaves and alter your DNA into the bargain.

Worlds Apart Price £29.99 Available Now
*** (3 stars)

What do you do when your little Doctor Who maniacs want to have a sleepover to discuss the finer points of Toclafane invasion, but there aren’t enough beds to go around? Break out the Doctor Who Ready Bed! This rather neat item is a sort of inflatable sleeping bag. There’s an outer shell printed in cool new series patterns and designs and into that you pop an inflatable mattress. It even comes with a small foot pump to blow up the mattress and a carry bag to pop it all in for transporting from house to house. It’s perhaps a little expensive at £30 but it can be picked up online for less.

Hasbro Price £4.99 Available Now
*** (3 stars)

The perfect way to delete germs. Get your hands on this cute little Cyberman shaped bubble bath holder. Better still, you have to rip his head off to get at the gubbins inside … well unscrew it anyway. Unlike the white foam of yesteryear, today’s Cybermen seem to be full of a thick, clear gunk that takes forever to pour out. If this product has a downside, it’s that it only contains 150ml … which makes it pretty expensive. The figure’s legs and arms are movable (only at the joints with the body) and so he makes an impressive poseable display figure whether the gloop is used or left inside to perhaps mutate and evolve of its own volition. A nice little item, and things on the cheaper side are always welcome.

Sababa Toys/Flair Price £8.99 Available Now
** (2 stars)

I’m not entirely convinced. I never really got on with Etch a Sketch as a toy not being even remotely artistic. All my attempts to draw Daleks ended up looking like badly scribbled piles of boxes, and about the only thing that could be managed was a very poorly rendered TARDIS. There are however some geniuses out there who can draw proper pictures using the toy, and so maybe for budding artists or graphic designers this would be ideal. The screen is a tiny 3 inches by 2 inches, so there’s not much can be fitted on, but the plastic Cyberman head that acts as a cover and a stand is very nicely rendered. A lovely looking item, but perhaps lacking in play value. 

Character Options Price £9.99 Available Now
** (2 stars)

In essence this is a chunky UV pen, which makes neat bleepy noises when you press a button or pull the cap. Not terribly inspiring. However, add it to the talking Judoon Helmet and the pint-sized Judoon army can now go around scanning and assessing family members and friends, hunting for rogue aliens, and terrorising the cat. I’m really missing a nice chunky waterbased (washable) black marker pen on the end so that large crosses could be made on the hands of those assessed and cleared. The box even warns that the UV Pen should not be used on skin. Spoilsports! 

DNC Price £4.99 Available Now
*** (3 stars)

Here is a properly Cyber-themed set of stationery. This is wonderful value and contains everything you could possibly need for school: a protractor, two set squares, a rubber, a sharpener, two pencils, a ruler, 18 coloured felt tip pens and 18 coloured pencils. The packaging is nice and chunky, and overall it’s a well made and substantial piece of kit. All that’s missing is a voice chip and flashing eyes!

Ravensburger Price £6.99/£9.99 Available Now
*** (3 stars)

Just when we thought the humble jigsaw puzzle had died a death, Ravensburger come along with some wonderful designs. There are two Series Three ones available, a 100 piece puzzle featuring images of a Weeping Angel, a Carrionite, a Scarecrow, the Dalek Sec Hybrid and a Judoon; and a more complex 1000 piece jigsaw, featuring a gorgeous image of the Doctor and Martha surrounded by Daleks and Pig Men. The Dalek puzzle is especially wonderful as all those Daleks make for a very tricky time assembling it.  

Cartamundi Price £2.99 each pack Available Now
*** (3 stars)

These packs of playing cards are just right for games of Story Snap, or Bridge, or even Patience. There are three basic packs available, one for each Series so far, and special two and three packs in some stores. The cards are very nicely designed, with slightly darkly printed full bleed images, and the selection of pictures and the overall look and feel of the cards is wonderful. Another superb pocket money piece of merchandise and ideal for the Christmas stocking.