When Character Options miraculously brought the latest TV Daleks in to the shops in time for Christmas 2005, we could have been forgiven for assuming they'd used the Doctor's TARDIS.
The new series had only just blasted its way across our TV screens and audiences were still reeling from the realism brought by special effects the old BBC serial could have only wished for.
These new series remote control foot-tall Daleks disappeared off toy shop shelves faster than a Time Lord in a vortex , as parents and sci-fi collectors alike snapped up these amazingly detailed and fully functioning models of the world's favourite alien mutant cyborg.
Not only did these gold coloured models have the steerable remote control, flashing ear lights and motorised head of the now familiar Product Enterprise classic series Daleks - they also boasted a revolving mid-section and had the added extras of illuminated eyestick and button operated speech selection on the remote.
Demand was greater than the Chinese factories churning them out could cope with and the models were soon selling for silly money on ebay.
The RRP is £39.99p.
The main unit requires 4 AA batteries and the remote one 9 volt battery.
Each Dalek unit operates on a frequency of either 27 or 40 MHz, enabling two models to be controlled independantly at the same time.
Original first batch models from 2005 will become valuable to collectors because of a changed grille placement on the front of the Dalek.
In the full-sized studio props, the vertical slats don't block the centre eyeline, so the Dalek operator can see clearly out of the front mesh. The first batch of Character Options models had a vertical slat going straight down the centre of the mesh.
When purists pointed this out to them, the company went to the added expense of altering the manufacturing process, so the current models are totally accurate.
Ironically, Product Enterprise is still producing its classic Dalek models with the incorrect grille placement and appears to have no plans to change this anomaly.
Care needs to be taken when unpacking the Dalek, as the manufacturers have gone overboard with securing the model in its box - and there's a spaghetti junction of plastic wire to remove. They should try taking a look at the clever packaging Product Enterprise use on their Dalek models.
Quite a sturdy unit, with detachable eyestalk and ear lights, although the motor is rather noisy and the voice chip on the original gold Dalek is more reminiscent of a Munchkin than Skaro's fiercest.
There have been a few problems with ear lights and eyestalks that don't work properly - however this can sometimes be rectified by gently pushing the connector back in to place.
Some stores have told me many units have been returned as faulty when the purchaser has simply failed to read the instructions about re-connecting loose parts.
That said, some of the paint finishes are not what you would hope for on a toy costing the best part of £40 and it's clear quality control could be better.
Scratches on the dome, body and bumper, hemispheres and their surrounds coming loose - as well as unsightly hardened glue deposits - are not uncommon. So check before you buy if you can, to ensure there are no damp eyes on Christmas morning.
For Christmas 2006, Character Options have treated fans again with a new 12 inch Black Dalek version, based on the Leader of the Cult of Skaro - known as Dalek Sec - who appeared in the last two episodes of the 2006 show.
The lastest version has gone butch with a deeper sounding voice chip and a couple of new phrases fresh from the TV series, giving it a selection of eight sound samples:
"Multiple spectrum scanning now engaged."
"No other warning will be given."
The gold version voice chip has the following selection of eight phrases
and sound effects:
"Seek, locate, annihilate!."
"Seek, locate, destroy."
"You will obey the Daleks, obey, obey!"
"Halt, or you will be exterminated!"
"You are an enemy of the Daleks!"
"We are the supreme beings."
"Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!" (followed by Dalek gun sound effects).
"Exterminate! "(followed by Dalek gun SFX).
Other variants were brought out during the year, including a claw Dalek - from the last episode of Season One - and an Emperor's Imperial Guard Dalek, complete with sensor arm, also from last season.
The claw version is exclusive to Toys r Us and the Imperial Guard is a Woolworth stores exclusive. The latter is almost impossible to find this Christmas and is being shown as unavailable on the Woolworth website.
Inevitably, these variants have also been fetching high prices on ebay.
Both of these additions to the range have a darker bronzed paint-job to the original gold soldier Dalek, while the Imperial Guard version also has a black dome.
Character Options brought out a 5 inch version of the Black Dalek towards the end of 2006 to match the mini gold Dalek, which can be used with the Dalek Battle Packs. These smaller units only have a couple of sound samples, unlike the larger versions.
Dalek Battle Packs usually contain a 5 inch model of the Doctor, or a Cyber Leader. The Cyberman version is exclusive to Argos and comes with a detachable breast plate and a Cyberman-disabling EMP device, as used by the freedom fighter Mrs Moore in the show.