In this first of my Doctor who action figure reviews we are going to be looking at a rather special pack that was released in 2009 by Character Options. Why was it special? Well, a lot of action figure packs come with cool accessories, but this one has an entire character complimenting the main figure!
That’s right, we are going to be taking a look at ‘Mangus Greel and Mr. Sin‘ from the first wave of the Character Options Doctor Who classics series.
They are from the ‘Talons of Weng Chiang‘ serial featuring the fourth Doctor, produced when the show was at the height of its Gothic era, under the excellent skills of Philip Hinchcliffe. The story was what some would say the BBC are best at, a period drama, with a brilliant ‘nod’ to the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
It is fantastic that Character Options have included Mr. Sin with Greel and I have to say that both figures are excellently done. The molds are great and the paint work is also really top notch.
So what is the story about?
The Doctor and Leela arrive in Victorian London where a number of young women are disappearing, mostly after taking place in a Chinese magic show. The magic show is being conducted by Chang who is in the service of Magnus Greel, a despot from the 51st century who had fled from the authorities in a time cabinet, now masquerading as the Chinese god Weng-Chiang. Chang is helped by the diminutive Mr. Sin who acts as a ventriloquists dummy on stage but is in fact a murderous robot operated by the cerebral cortex of a pig.
Greel’s time travel technology is based on ‘zygma energy’ which is unstable and has eroded his own DNA leaving him severely disfigured. As such he is using the life force from the young women to keep him alive. Eventually Leela is captured by Greel and the Doctor and his new friend Professor Lightfoot (acting as a Dr. Watson type character) come to the rescue.
Anyway, back to the figures.. ..they come in a domed blister pack, which also contains and arm and ‘disintegrator gun’ to the K1 robot. If you collect all eight action figures in this season you have all the parts you need to make a 18 cm tall action figure of the robot. You also get the mask that Greel wears for most of the serial and Mr. Sins knife – which is minuscule and very easy to loose.
Articulation of Greel is somewhat limited, with little arm movement and no real leg movement to speak of.. ..mainly due to the molding of the robes he is wearing. He also falls down quite easily, which is slightly irritating. However, the detailing on his costume, hands, mask and face is excellent.
Articulation of Mr. Sin is better than Greel – the arms move a lot more and there is some slight movement to the knee joint.. ..however, again this is limited somewhat by his robe. Again the detailing is excellent, he looks like he has just jumped out of the TV!
So, all in all, a really good action figure pack.
Yes I would certainly recommend picking these two fellows up; they were really good value when they first came out at c. £10. They are getting slightly harder to find now and will set you back a little more, but they are certainly not rare.
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