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The Sonic for Show-offs!!!
on 4 February 2009
Also produced by Character Options hot on the heels of the Series 3 finale is a toy replica of the Master's Laser Screwdriver to partner with the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver.
The problem with these sorts of things is, they exist solely as novelties and as such, all they have going for them is a novelty that may quickly wear thin for some people. It's 4 stars worth of fun for about 5 minutes before it gets dismantled and placed firmly back in its box because its noises are comparable to having nails dragged down a chalkboard after you get sick of hearing the same sound effects for the umpteenth time - and this is coming from a fan of the show.
Don't get me wrong though - I, being fond of the better episodes of the new series have inevitably collected a couple of pieces of merchandise along the way, comprised of both screwdrivers along with a selection of DVDs. The toy is great fun for little and big kids but beyond pretending to be a psychotic alien villain, the device serves no more purpose.
Although the device does feel reasonably large and sturdy in the hand, this is not enough to disguise the fact that Character Options have cut some corners, and make many of the toys including this one from cheap plastic. The BBC branding team has also come down with an unfortunate case of licensing-liberties and have seen fit to slap a price tag exceeding £12 for this little thing in most retail stores. Many will find such a price to be unreasonable to the point of brazen extortion, hanging on the thread of pester-power from excitable, tantrum-prone children on a shop floor. The best deal for the product is by far on Amazon.
The battery-life is not quite so bad as some people have mentioned. In my experience they are equally as good as those provided for the Sonic Screwdriver, although no better par se. So long as the user is cautious enough to remove the batteries after use, and keep the packaging for storage, they should last a long time. There is however a major design flaw with the batteries, in that they are, for those trying to assemble the device out-of-the-box, very complex and borderline frustrating to properly fit. In the event that the batteries do run out, you are advised to search the house from stern to port for a very small Alan Key to stand a chance of actually removing them.
The big dipper with this product though, inevitably is the novelty that -let's face it - is pretty much the only thing any franchise merchandise ever had going for it. For those who are not fans of Doctor Who, they daren't bat an eye to what will be a complete waste of money regardless of the price. Even for those that are, the novelty may soon wear off; but if you're a big kid who just wants a collectable to play with now and again, or a younger fan with dreams of conquering The Doctor, this will be right up your alley.
It's bigger, but not better - a Sonic Screwdriver for the less subtle of Doctor Who fans.