The newest exclusives in the Doctor Who Classics range have hit the online stores in the last few days. With the release of the “Unearthly Child” first Doctor, the 7th Doctor and TARDIS and 4th Doctor and TARDIS, US based Doctor Who fans have now experienced the monthly frustration of a He-Man collector.
These latest toys were all shared exclusives, with the US distribution falling under Underground Toys and UK distribution going to Forbidden Planet. Word on the street is that originally the volumes were expected to be split 50-50; but still be quite limited. However, Character Options (owner of the Doctor Who liscense) shifted the volumes in favor of Forbidden Planet. This resulted in severe allocation for US based retailers. For example, WhoNA.com had expected ~ 150 units of the 7th Doctor + TARDIS set; they recieved 40. Other retailers have reported similar experiences, with some recieving only a partial case of the “Unearthly Child” Doctor. The allocations resulted in the figures selling out in minutes with many fans left empty handed and feeling angry.
So what’s this mean in the long term? Obviously Underground Toys haven’t made on comment (rarely do they say anything on anything) but allocations are likely to continue, so if there’s a Doctor Who exclusive you want; I would place the preorder sooner rather than later. All of these classic releases (Wave 2, exclusives) should be assumed to be one-offs. Once they’re gone, that’s likely it. Its like Masters of the Universe without the eventual reissues, and a distributor who is silent to the criticism.