With Doctor Who enjoying huge public support the BBC have unleashed a flurry of merchandise in time for Christmas. A recent BBC Worldwide product catalogue lists everything from books to Dalek socks with items to suit most budgets and appetites.
However some shoppers are reporting difficulties tracking down certain products and even the BBC’s own on-line shop is currently reporting ‘out of stocks’ on some items with deliveries to shoppers unlikely to commence until “15th December”.
According to the manager of one central London store the merchandise is selling “faster than we can get it on the shelves”. Another told unitnews that they could “easily” sell “twice our allocation” of stock.
Any parent familiar with ‘the Christmas must have’ scenario will recognise the situation; from Cabbage Patch Dolls to Teletubbies via The Thunderbirds, every Christmas sees at least one product or brand for which supply simply can’t keep up with demand.
Gauging demand for new products, especially TV tie-ins, is extremely difficult. Manufacturers have to walk an important line between meeting realistic demand expectations and over-producing.
The ambitious range of Who merchandise already available is even more impressive when one considers that, although many retailers and manufacturers normally plan Christmas ranges at least 12 months ahead, some Doctor Who licensees have only had from March this year to bring products from concept to shelves.
Commenting on the need to get products into shops in time for Christmas, Richard Hollis, Head of UK Licensing at BBC Worldwide, told unitnews:
“Ironically, considering the Doctor’s mastery of time, the battle against the clock has been the biggest challenge in launching Doctor Who merchandise this year.
Once the show itself was advanced enough for us to have access to images, CGI and storylines, many of our competitors’ 2005 Christmas ranges were already finished. We are delighted with the speed and skill with which Character Options, our master toy licensee, have developed an outstanding toy range.
The Daleks in particular are set to dominate this year’s toy sales as strongly as they did on their original launch in 1965. We have a long list of other manufacturers also signed up and there are many more really exciting Doctor Who products coming for 2006.”
Here at unitnews we’ve scoured the high street and internet to buy, play with and review as many Who related products as possible to bring you our pick of the best items currently in the shops:
Sonic Screwdriver (Character Options | �9.99 )
Bearing a striking resemblance to the TV prop, the unit has a solid and robust feel. In an age where tie-in merchandise is often an exercise in quick cash-ins this is a splendid purchase, especially given the retail price of just �9.99
Tardis Moneybank (Character Options | �9.99)
Make saving fun! This solid and well built Tardis-shaped moneybank plays a number of phrases and is a great gift for younger fans of the series.
Doctor Who 2006 Calendar (Danilo | �7.99)
Lavishly illustrated with full colour pictures of Doctor Who, Rose, The Slitheen and Daleks, this is excellent value for money and would make a great gift for fans of all ages.
Monsters and Villains (BBC Books | �7.99)
A colourful and fact filled guide to the monsters and aliens who have plagued the Doctor for over 40 years including the Slitheen, Daleks and Cybermen.
BBC Book range (BBC Books | �6.99 each)
A series of novels featuring Doctor Who and Rose as played by Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. Witty, engaging and fast paced these accurately reflect the style and flavour of the hit TV show.
Doctor Who Annual (Panini | �6.99)
The first Doctor Who annual in a decade and half, this is packed with fun activities for the younger reader. Includes articles and features written by show supremo Russell T Davies and series writers including Rob Sherman. From the team behind the excellent Doctor Who Magazine.
Doctor Who & Rose/Dalek Posters (Pyramid Posters | �3.99)
Inexpensive ‘stocking fillers’, these are well printed on high quality paper and will add a touch of colour to any bedroom wall!