MODELS SPECIFIC TO DOCTOR WHO

Although the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on 23rd November 1963, it wasn't until the mid-1970's that the first police box marketed as official Dr Who merchandise became available.


This TARDIS was marketed by Denys Fisher, and is to the same scale as their fourth Doctor and Leela figures. Both front doors open, and inside is a rotating chamber which can be used to make the Doctor "disappear". The panelling is in reality merely a printed effect, and there is no call panel. These toys turn up on eBay from time to time, and indeed mine was bought in an eBay auction. Some of these seem to have been marketed under the brand name Mego.

These money boxes were marketed during the period of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors. The Fourth Doctor figure (seen here on the left) is actually a drawing, whereas the Fifth Doctor figure is a photograph. The lids are removeable to allow access to one's savings, and the coin slots are on the rear. I bought the Fourth Doctor box in an eBay auction, but the Fifth Doctor box was bought in a shop in the early 1980's. The Fourth Doctor box carries a copyright date of 1980, and the Fifth Doctor box a date of 1982.

This model (shown here with one door open) was marketed by Dapol as part of their range of Dr Who figures. The roof and floor are detachable, and the walls fold out flat to serve as a "TARDIS interior" backdrop for the TARDIS console offered in the same range of figures. There is a battery compartment inside the roof to provide power for the flashing roof light - the on/off switch for this is visible towards the rear of the roof. One version of this model has sound effects consisting of the TARDIS dematerialisation, in-flight and materialisation effects. The Dapol range of figures was withdrawn at the end of 2001 after a 14-year production run, as the BBC did not renew Dapol's licence.

In 1987 Target Books published a book called "Build The TARDIS", written and designed by Mark Harris (who also wrote "The Doctor Who Technical Manual"). This book contained all the parts necessary to assemble a model police box. The parts are made of what is essentially a heavy grade paper, and fit together along the lines of "Insert tab A into slot B". The finished model stands at around ten inches (25cm).

According to Amazon.co.uk, a book called "Doctor Who: The TARDIS Manual: Includes Build Your Own TARDIS" is due to be published by Penguin Character Books Limited on 3rd November 2005, but I don't know if this is a reprint of the Target book or a new design.

Yet another eBay acquisition, this TARDIS by the Danbury Mint is made out of pewter. The detailing is quite accurate (apart from the roof light), and the model has been left in its original pewter colour.

Looking a little like a scaled-down version of the Danbury Mint TARDIS, this is the rook from a Dr Who chess set. As can be seen, it's mounted on a small pedestal, and the red colouring is presumably to indicate which side the rook is on.

This model by Fine Art Castings looks a little like a clone of the Dinky model, although the call panel is on a different row, and there is no St John's Ambulance badge. The model is just under 70mm in height, and although hollow is quite heavy, indicating that it is probably made from lead or some such dense metal.

This kit by Millennia Models of Ottawa, Canada, is quite accurate. It required some assembly, in that the roof and light assembly had to be attached to the main body. The model was then painted and the transfers applied. The model is 1/32 scale, and the packaging described it as a Type 39/40 TARDIS. It is model number MMI-1140 in the manufacturer's catalogue.

This resin model is the same size as the Dinky police box, and came complete with a Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) figure. I bought this model in another eBay auction, but have not been able to identify who the manufacturer was or when it was manufactured.

Issue number 291 dated 31st May 2000 of the Dr Who Magazine carried an advertisement on page 30 from a company called ARC Modelmakers, based in Sheffield (UK), for a limited edition of 2000 1:10 scale models of the TARDIS, priced at £94.50. As far as I have been able to determine, full-scale production of this model never went ahead. However, models purporting to be the prototypes turned up on eBay some time later. I won the auction for one of these models, but it was delivered to me in a broken state and required repair. It was also supplied on a cirular plinth, which was duly removed. Although the original advertisement stated that the models would have sound effects and a flashing light, this model does not. Having said all that, it is indeed a very good and accurate model made of wood and plastic, with inward-opening doors.

To coincide with Doctor Who's 40th anniversary, Corgi released a range of models, including a model TARDIS. The other models in the range included a Dalek, Davros, the 4th Doctor, Bessie, a Cyberman and K9. The TARDIS model is just over 6.5cm high. Given Corgi's reputation for quality models, I was surprised by the innacuracy in this model of the wrong door being the one shown open. This isn't the first mdoel police box that Corgi have produced, as in the 1960's they produced a kit of a Mark Three police box, which is not the same mark as the one on which the TARDIS is based.