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Doctor Who Action Figures have been around right from the early days of the show if you include the Marx Toys Daleks from the 60's, the Denys Fisher figures of the 70's through to the Dapol figures of the 80's.
But it wasn't until Character Options were awarded a Master Toy Licence by the BBC in 2005 that production of the first serious world-class Dr Who Figures began in earnest.
The 5" Character Options figure range did not initially begin with single carded action figures. The range in fact began in 2005 with the Dalek Battle Packs; one version included a 5" Ninth Doctor figure wearing a burgundy shirt, the other included a 5" Rose Tyler figure.
In 2006 the first carded 5" figures were released. Throughout 2006 more and more 5" action figures were released in the UK in three waves; Waves 1, 2 and 3.
Although the figures comprising each Wave were listed on the reverse of the packaging, these listings did not accord with the actual releases of the figures that were staggered throughout 2006.
In 2007 Character Options began to release figures according to the Doctor Who Series in which they had appeared. Figures from Series 1 now come in red-backed blister packs, those from Series 2 in blue, and Series 3 in green packs. Several of the 2006 Wave versions will be available also as Series 1, 2 or 3 figures.
The very first wave of figures included The Doctor Regeneration Set, a twin pack that featured a Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, figure and the regenerated David Tennant Tenth Doctor. This second Ninth Doctor (2006) figure differs from the first Dalek Battlepack Doctor (2005) in that it has the Doctor in a black as opposed to burgundy shirt. Also part of Wave 1 (2006) were The Doctor in suit and The Doctor in long overcoat. 2007 sees The Doctor in 3-D glasses; a 5" figure only available with The Doomsday Set. The Series 3 'The Doctor' (2007) version has The Doctor in reading glasses and red plimsoles
2005 saw the release of the first Dalek Battlepack Rose figure. In 2006 two further versions of Rose Tyler were released. 'Rose & K9' Wave 1 (2006), featured an improved Rose figure with darker blonde hair . 'Rose & K-9' Wave 3 (2006), has the Rose figure as she appeared in the New Earth episode. In 2007 the Wave 1 Rose figure was re-released as Rose Tyler with two Robot Spiders, Series 3 (2007).
The first Cyberman 5" figure was the Wave 2 (2006) Cyberman carded figure, of which later versions had the Arm Weapon. The Second Wave also included a carded 5" Cyber Controller figure of which there are two variations; the first release had white eyes, later versions had blue eyes (the 2006 'Cyber Controller & Guards' throne set also included the 5" Cyber Controller). In addition in 2006 the 'Dalek Battle Pack with Cyber Leader' has a 5" Cyber Leader figure featuring removeable chest plate and EMP Device, though this figure was not released as a single carded figure. In 2007 a rebranded Series 2 'Cyberman With Arm Weapon' figure was released.
Needless to say, the first Wave 1 release of action figures was a phenomenal success and was soon followed by a second Wave. Dr Who action figures became branded with flashes as 'Series 1, 2, 3 and 4' figures.
The 12" Dr Who Action Figure range began with Character Options first 12" releases in 2006. The very first release was the 12" David Tennant 'The Doctor' figure.
In 2007 and 2008 Character Options released many more improved 12" figures featuring removeable accessories and real fabrics.
Presently, global distribution of Doctor Who Figures is improving with the 2007 appointment of Underground Toys as the US distributor. In Australia the distributor is Funtastic.
There is now a massive range of over one hundred 5" figures, a fantastic range of 12" figures with accessories, a range of deluxe action figures and a number of action figure sets.
2008 saw the start of Character's Classic Series Dr Who Figures which have been very widely acclaimed and warmly received by Who fans of all generations.
2010 saw the release of arguably the best Doctor Who toy ever - Character Options Eleven Doctors Figure Set.
In 2013 Character began production of a brand new range of Series 7 Dr Who Action Figures in a smaller 3.75" scale. Among the first assortment were very rare limited edition figures.
Check the site regularly for all the new release information about Doctor Who figures.
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