Dr Who memrobilia
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26 June 2008
Hi, im writing this short guide to help anyone wanting to start a dr who collection or are looking to buy to sell on. As with most memrobilia collections there is alot to look for and also alot to avoid. Dr Who has been big business since the 1960's when it first came out, people were mesmorised by the fact that an 'old geezer with white hair' (quote from 'rememberence of the daleks') and his 'rackity old police box' (quote from 'The five doctors') could travel through time and space and meet new and wonderful lifeforms that inhabited the planets they landed on. With the doctors adventures being so popular with children, a merchandising scheme was set up so children of all ages could re-live or create thier own stories in-between the episodes that were aired once a week. The most iconic baddie the doctor has encountered is the dreaded daleks, they are heavy armoured pepper pots with a bug eye, sink plunger and a deadly exterminator gun, to put it bluntly the kids loved (and hated) them, so it was clear that the main bulk of toys from this point on were to be related to the daleks. All sorts of toys were produced ranging from a nursery toy (for babies etc, Health and safety would have a field day with it now!) which was a large plastic dalek that came in various colours, a set of small daleks called 'rolykins' (these had a silver ballbearing in the bottom to make them move) and probably the most popular daleks were those made by the lous marx factory. Louis Marx was a british based toy maker with very inivative ideas and produced some wonderful examples of the daleks. However, the thing the louis marx factory got wrong was the actual shape of the dalek which was totally out of proportion, with a neck section that was to long, a dome section that was to small and a skirt section which was quite frankly all over the place, however, these daleks are now some of the most sought after models that were ever made. They came in various sizes and styles but the most famous dalek range was the 'bump and go' dalek. These daleks were battery operated and were fairly large models, and, if memory serves, they came in three variants, Black, red and silver/grey. They had a light bulb in the clear neck section which flashed violently whilst the spinning wheel underneath the dalek sent it into a frenzy, bashing into eveything it touched, spinning round and repeating the whole thing over. They were great to watch and originals now fetch between £10-£350. During the seventies (mainly tom bakers era) a large number of other toys were produced, which, for fans was great, because the tardis was now to play a huge part in the merchandising scheme. A company called denys fisher produced a range of doctor who toys which included the tardis, cyberman, doctor (tom baker) and k9. All these are now very collectable and have been known to fetch in excess of £500 in absolute mint condition. Books, games, comics and other items were swamping the shops (even dr who underpants were made with tom baker on them). Also palitoy/bradgate/tomy had a dabble at making 2 dalek varients and a K9, of which both talked and are now very very collectable. The variants consisted of a Red and black Dalek and a Grey and blue dalek, these were able to talk with the aid of a small record which was housed in the skirt section and when a black button was pressed on its head, it would utter very random phrases including the now famous 'exterminate'. Again these daleks were based on the same shape as the louis marx moulds and looked totally wrong, but, they are now very rare to find with boxes, still talking and with original accesories (eye piece, sucker and gun), Repro parts are available which is good but also beware of repro arms on the toys being sold as originals. When buying, please read carefully and learn what the originals should look like compared to the repro sets.Boxed examples of the red variant fetch upto £200 where the grey variant can fetch upto £300+ if in ultimate mint condition, even loose they can fetch alot but non-talking ones are hard to fix as its usually the motor which has gone and they are near impossible to source. When the eighties rolled around, methods for making toys were very much different from before and with new machines and technologies, new toys were able to be made and i would say some of the best toys were made in this period. A Tardis tent (dekker toys) made an appearence (woolworths exclusive) These are very rare to find with boxes and with all the poles intact. And Tardis bubblebath (1987) which boxed can fetch from £5-£50 if in good condition (even better with the bubblebath in). And welsh firm DAPOL gained the licence to make Dr Who toys and they did it very well (sometimes). They made a vast array of items including a very rare and collectable tardis playset which included a console (not enough sides), tardis, 7th doctor, mel, K9 (Green or grey dependent on set) and a base to make up the console room. It was to commemerate the 25th anniversary of the show and was a huge hit and is now worth well over £100 if in good, boxed, working condtion. They also made Re-issue louis marx daleks (see above) and various characters from the show. A green K9 was also made (in error) as the only picture they had of K9 was on the grass and it made him look green and thus, a green k9 was born. A davros model was also made with 2 hands, these are collectable but they are not as scarce as some would lead you to believe, Different coloured outfits on some models were available, the 7th doctor came with either a grey or brown jacket and Mel came in a pink or blue variant, im not sure which are more sought after, but both are quite readily available. Also produced was a Tom baker figure with no long coat or scarf which really dissapointed fans. Probably the most sought after item from dapol is the infamous 'Transmat Dalek', this figure can go for stupid money so keep your eyes peeled for a bargain. The 90's were still very much dominated by the Dapol front, but a new company loomed on the horizon called 'product enterprises', it is the general view that these guys made some of the best looking dr who figures in existance. From large remote control daleks to tiny rollamatics, almost all of this companies work is highly collectable and getting hold of boxed examples is a must. Some items are reasonably priced, and be wary of sellers who 'overprice' because they think its a 'rare' item. Many are genuine 'rare' items and do deserve the price tag to go with it but make sure you scan before buying. The new millenium saw the end of Dapol as a maker of doctor who but they did manage to make some 'millenium daleks' which were painted in very funky glitter paint and looked fantastic, i personally would just get one as its a talking point for your collection and they really stand out from the crowd. Product enterprises toys are still easy to get hold of and are fairly reasonable in price. I will finish by saving the best until last, one word to sum up perfection, ARC, ARC was a company, who, for a time had the rights from the beeb to make daleks and dr who models, but these were with a difference, every single model was hand made by a master craftsman and a certificate was given, signed by the maker and induvidually numbered. They were the most fantastic, awesome and realistic models to ever be made. The company made limited runs of there models, usually upto 250 of one variant, but, in some cases they made 500 of one variant (usually the larger scale models). These are very very very rare, and as such carry a nice price to go with them. A standard 1:10 scale dalek, new, would cost you between £150-£250, so, now the sky is the limit, some only fetch peanuts, others can rocket into silly money, so always be on the lookout for an ARC dalek. The 1:5 scale are also fantastic and command higher price bands, but, in my opinion, they are worth every penny. As you may be aware, dr who has so many unusual things to look out for and as such i cant list them all, but, i hope you have enjoyed reading my brief guide. Many thanks and good luck with your collections, buying and selling.
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