Doctor Who: 1980s Cybermen
Character Options supplemented its selection of new series Cybermen in early 2009 with a wave of Cybermen spanning the history of their appearances in Doctor Who, from The Tenth Planet through their then-recent return in The Next Doctor, the 2009 Christmas episode. But there were two distinct Cyberman designs missing.
The Revenge Of The Cybermen “look,” a reworking of the Invasion Cybermen, would eventually arrive in a boxed set of two Cybermen and a Cyberleader (a set that sold out so quickly that it’s very hard to find in the U.S.). But the most conspicuous omission from the evolution of the Cybermen was their distinct ’80s look, introduced in 1982’s Earthshock and considered the de facto Cyberman design until the new series’ chunky, solid-metal-look Cybermen.
The second wave of individual classic Who figures would start rectifying this: along with the other original series baddies, the second classic wave gave fans an individual Cyberman as seen in Earthshock, with an impressive amount of fine detail. The mottled texture of parts of the Cyberman’s protective garb is well represented, along with the tubing running from the chest unit to the rest of the body. Another nice touch is the translucent mouthpiece on the helmet, giving a glimpse of a humanoid chin within, duplicating the costumes seen on screen.
In 2010, Character covered its bases by going to the opposite end
of the Cybermen’s evolution in the 1980s. A Cyberman-and-Cyberleader
two-pack from Silver Nemesis depicts the Cybermen in their final
TV appearance in the original series, and it’s not just a matter of
sticking the Earthshock Cyberman in a different box.
The tubing, texturing, and even the chest unit and helmet are all different. In some respects taking advantage of the advances in the costuming state of the art since 1982 (Silver Nemesis was the 25th anniversary episode of Doctor Who, airing in 1988), the new designs also looked back at previous “generations” of Cybermen, bringing back the circular feature at the top of the forehead that had been part of the design since 1966. This set was limited to 3,000 worldwide.
Unless Character plans on addressing the very minor differences (imperceptible to all but the pickiest fans) between the Tomb Of The Cybermen and Moonbase Cybermen, all of the creatures’ stages of evolution are represented in plastic, one of those cases where the classic Doctor Who figure range is almost an embarrassment of riches.