The first wave of Doctor Who toys proved successful enough to warrant a second wave – and in a hurry, too, despite almost every possible indication that the show itself was in decline. For the next round of toys, Dapol concentrated a little more on the show’s popular villains and other fan favorites from the show’s past. In this wave, only one recent character was included – well, maybe two, if one counted the recent appearance of Davros, the creator of the Daleks.
Before we go any further, a quick confession (as well as an admission of how much spare time I had in my childhood): the “scarf” which appears on the Tom Baker action figure in these pictures is not included with the figure. Many, many, many years ago, when for some reason I had a couple of Mego’s Dukes of Hazzard action figures (don’t know why, as I don’t recall avidly watching the show itself), I turned Tom Wopat’s figure into Tom Baker, and made that scarf for him. It turned up in the old toy chest the last time I moved, and has now found a home on the shoulders of a genuine Tom Baker figure. Considering its tumultuous history, the “scarf” is therefore appropriately threadbare…
The only real variation to emerge from the second wave of Doctor Who figures was an inadvertent one which drew as much fan comment to Dapol as, say, rounding off the pointed ears on a Spock figure. The early production run of Davros toys came with two hands – a bit of a plastic blooper, since Davros has only had one hand and a stump since his first appearance in 1975’s Genesis Of The Daleks. Also, in a somewhat more minor nitpick, I don’t ever recall the Ice Warriors carrying a thin, vaguely-rifle-like weapon such as the one included with their plastic representation.
Despite the show’s production team making sure that Ace was the Doctor’s sole companion going into the 25th anniversary season, Melanie had been turned into an action figure for the first wave and the anniversary playset. Ace became a figure in this second wave, and came with a rucksack accessory and a baseball bat – handy for dealing with pesky Daleks, no doubt. A surprising amount of detail was paid to Ace’s collection of badges and patches, with things like her NASA mission patches and various other appropriated insignia represented very accurately.
It wasn’t long after this wave’s release that a fire at Dapol’s plant closed down all toy production, including the Doctor Who figures. This was the last batch of Doctor Who toys to appear until after the 1996 TV movie aired. When Dapol’s plant re-opened, they had to recast molds from the existing figures to replace the master molds that had been destroyed in the fire, and there was criticism from some collectors that the “remakes” of figures from the first two waves were of a lower quality than the originals. (We have a side-by-side comparison of an original 1988 figure with a more recent “recast” in our coverage of the first wave of figures so you can look for yourself.)