BBC Worldwide have revealed their 2013 festive wares to the world, and a fair old mix of the marvellous and mesmerising there was, too.
Of most interest to readers of this article, no doubt, will be the vast range of Doctor Who memorabilia coming up. Cashing in on the undoubted raised public Whowareness (did you see what I did there?) created by both the 50th anniversary and impending regeneration, they have a shedload of Gallifrey’s finest ready for the Christmas shopping frenzy.
From serviettes, notepads and laptop sleeves in a variety of Ice Warrior and Cybermen designs, through new family pastimes such as the DVD-based Who trivia board game, to the much feted Lakeland range of Doctor Who baking aids… there is a wide and almost mystifying range of gift possibilities based on the franchise. One does end up wondering: exactly who needs a three-foot high stuffed cuddly Dalek or an Oystercard holder endorsed by the High Council of Gallifrey?
However, let me take you through some of the things that did catch my eye.
First and foremost, the Wand Company have produced a second gesture-based learning remote control, this time based on the design of David Tennant’s sonic. Literally, it seems: apparently, David owns the only remaining prop of the object, and kindly leant it to tWC for laser scanning and all sorts, as part of the development process.
Like the Matt Smith sonic remote control released last year, this isn’t cheap: it retails at around £69. However, it is absolutely a thing of loveliness, and being made from, for example, precision-lathed aluminium, it feels so much better in the hand than, for example, the toy sonics that are available. It’s also rather fun to use, with the would-be channel changer having to mimic a range of Tennant’s sonic-thrusting lunges and swipes to switch the TV on or get it off bloody TOWIE.
Next up, one of my favourite things: a range of designer Doctor Who Onesies. Yes, you too can lounge around in yuppie pyjamas come Christmas Day – perhaps a Tardis Onsie (there’s also a Tardis bath robe available for Whofficionados who are not quite up for getting dressed yet but nonetheless have managed to maintain a degree of dignity), or maybe the Fourth Doctor’s Costume Onesie, complete with scarf design adorining the lapels. The world is your oyster – or (this being Skaro) clam.
Framed series seven posters and commemorative pictures of each Doctor are also available, as is a rather interesting map of Hedgewicke’s World from the Gaiman-penned episode Nightmare in Silver. Detailed and full of interesting locations – some of which appeared in the episode itself – this map makes the place look like a rather appealing theme park in and of itself. But most interesting is the copyright notice in the bottom left corner. Could something be on its way…?
Beyond Who, Worldwide have a number of other tie-in gift possibilities on offer. For example, their first foray into mainstream film production – the Walking with Dinosaurs 3D movie, in cinemas this Christmas – has a wide variety of merchandise, from jigsaws and games to rubber dinosaur feet. Likewise, there are games from the worlds of Mr Tumble and Charlie & Lola, and a rather nice range of cookery books and utensils from Kirsty Allsopp, of all people.
All in all, there’s a fair range of items going to be available from BBC Worldwide this Christmas. Some of it’s fun, some of it’s not for me to be honest – and some of it’s just a bit bloody weird. But a lot of it looks rather good, and depending on your budget, you could do worse than check these out.