Miscellany | Collectables and Oddities

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Hammer Horror

Part of Titan's maxi-bust range, Peter Cushing strikes a dramatic and iconic pose as Van Helsing from the climax of DRACULA. This 8" polystone encompasses incredible detail, from the vampire hunter's candelabra-clenching gloves, to his fur-collared greatcoat.

Sculpted by Mike Hill, this CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF Oliver Reed bust is brought to vivid life by Keith Cousins, as shown on the Clubhouse model museum website.

Part of the Distinctive Dummies Roy Ashton collection, this 11.5" custom action figure represents Jacqueline Pearce as THE REPTILE.

In 1977-78, Mego manufactured their 'One Million BC' line, taking inspiration from the Hammer/Raquel Welch classic. There were five family cave figures and three dinosaurs in the set, but the tribal lair treehouse advertised on the card backs was never produced. Here is Mada, the mother of the clan, who sports a recycled head sculpture used by Mego for Ma Walton.

Before video, Super 8 digest movies were extremely popular, distilling the essence of the films into several minutes of "edited highlights." These nostalgic collectables often carried garish box cover art; this is Warner's release for WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH.

Topps' Hammer trading cards were released in the UK in 1976. This 50-piece set used stills from Warner Bros releases, most of which were Christopher Lee as Dracula. A year previously, an American version only got as far as test copies, but featured a wider span of films and different captions.

The 'Great Britons' stamp issue celebrated individuals across sport, journalism, music, politics and the arts whose anniversaries of birth or outstanding achievement fell in 2013. Here is the Peter Cushing stamp included in the set, depicting the actor as Sherlock Holmes in THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES.

Manufactured by Odeon Licensing, this ceramic mug celebrates THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT. One side features the original theatrical poster, the other a still of Richard Wordsworth as doomed astronaut Victor Carroon.

Also from Odeon Licensing, the 14.5 x 10cm three-fold CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN wallet contains eight inner pockets. This item is velcro-fastened and made from sewn nylon and PVC.

Straight from Hammer, these TASTE THE BLOOD OF DRACULA socks are available in UK men's size 6-11. Christopher Lee is obviously the preferred choice for sock aficionados, as the other two designs are Lee as the Count from DRACULA PRINCE OF DARKNESS, and the Creature from CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.

Amicus

Part of the Distinctive Dummies horror collection, this 12" custom action figure is of Peter Cushing as Dr Schreck, from DR TERROR'S HOUSE OF HORRORS. The figure included a miniature deck of Tarot cards.

Part of the Distinctive Dummies Roy Ashton collection, this 12" custom action figure sees Peter Cushing as Arthur Grimsdyke, from the 'Poetic Justice' segment of TALES FROM THE CRYPT. The figure included a torn out heart.

Part of the Distinctive Dummies horror collection, this 12" custom action figure portrays Vincent Price as actor Paul Toombes in his Dr Death guise from MADHOUSE. The figure's hat is removable.

Doctor Who

Leeds-born Denys Fisher was a military component engineer before inventing the Spirograph drawing aid in 1965. In 1977 Fisher and Mego developed a small range of 10" DOCTOR WHO toys. Here is the infamous Tom Baker/Fourth Doctor, where the head sculpture was not allegedly based on Gareth Hunt as Gambit from THE NEW AVENGERS.

The Denys Fisher/Mego Cyberman used serials THE INVASION and REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN as inspiration, although for reasons unknown a button nose was added.

Dapol, the Welsh model railway manufacturer, also produced a wide range of inaccurate DOCTOR WHO action figures between 1988 and 2001. The line featured a five-sided TARDIS console, a green-painted K9, and a two-handed Davros. Pictured is a TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN-era Cyberman, of which a Cybermat accessory was prototyped but abandoned.

Get your hands on Peri - and a Rogue Cyberman with a detachable faceplate - in this Underground Toys ATTACK OF THE CYBERMEN set.

The DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary British icon Dalek stands 12" tall, with poseable arms, head and luminated eye. It also says eight phrases, including "We are the supreme beings," "Seek, locate, annihilate," and the customary "Exterminate!" 

Relieve the anxiety of time travel - or watching modern era DOCTOR WHO episodes - with this squishy 4" stress relief Dalek.

1965 saw the release of Berwick Toy's ramshackle Dalek Playsuit for the excessive - at the time - sum of £1/6/6d. Packaged in a large box, the costume comprised of a red plastic dome atop a cardboard neck to look through, over which was slotted a vinyl skirt with white hemispheres. An eye fitted into the dome, with the plunger and gun arm held through holes. The Berwick Toy Catalogue of 1977 contained a genuinely creepy Tom Baker Playsuit, alongside other designs such as Mr Spock, Donald Duck, Dracula and Wonder Woman.

In 1971, Kelloggs ran a DOCTOR WHO promo in packs of Sugar Smacks. Free inside were one of six metal badges: Third Doctor, The Master, Bessie, Jo Grant, Brigadier or the Unit Symbol.

Nestle licensed two types of DOCTOR WHO chocolate bars. The first, in 1971, offered fifteen different wrappers. Each of these featured a different instalment of an illustrated Third Doctor story, Doctor Who Fights Masterplan "Q". In 1975, a new range had the Fourth Doctor, Bessie and The Brigadier on the wrappers.

In 1975, Weetabix ran a very successful 'DOCTOR WHO and His Enemies' promotion, which included stand-up card characters and background scenes printed on the reverse of each cereal packet. With this, fans could create their own adventures. Above is the TARDIS background.

These sample cards for the 1975 Weetabix promotion depict a Cyberman, The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

Weetabix ran a second promotion in 1977, this time card characters were used as pieces for board games. Above is the 'Discover the Lost Planet' board.

These sample cards for the 1977 Weetabix promotion illustrate monsters from the programme's Gothic era: a Zygon, a Krynoid and a Wirnn.

Typhoo Tea ran an 'Amazing World of DOCTOR WHO' promo between July and September, 1976. One octagonal card was given away in a 36 pack of tea bags, two cards in a 72 pack, and four cards in a 144 pack (there were twelve in total to collect, which could be collectively stuck on a poster). Here is card 9, a Zygon.

As part of this advertising, Typhoo made available an accompanying 64-page hardback book through mail order only. Heavily reprinting Doctor Who Annual 1976, it did contain two original short stories.

The Daleks virtually created the merchandising arm of the BBC. The Dalek Book was published in 1964, and was the first collection of comic strips and text stories set in the DOCTOR WHO universe. Written by David Whitaker and Terry Nation, also included was a Dalek dictionary, and a map of Skaro with its continents Dalazar and Davius. The Dalek World followed in 1965, and The Dalek Outer Space Book in 1966.

Four Dalek annuals appeared between 1975 and 1978. Branded Terry Nation's Dalek Annual, they were far more narratively integrated than their 60's counterparts, featuring tales of the Anti-Dalek Force and a regular cast of space agents.

Doctor Who Annuals were a mixture of text stories and the occasional comic strip. These tales - always submitted to the BBC for approval - were interspersed with features, puzzles and games, which almost never had anything to do with the DOCTOR WHO universe and acted more like page-fillers. The writers and artists were rarely credited which is probably a godsend for the latter, as the illustration likenesses - especially for Tom Baker - were highly suspect.

Fifty-two DOCTOR WHO story novelisations were published by Target Books during the 1970’s. Initially Target endeavoured to commission the original scriptwriters to adapt their own tales, but thirty-one ended up being written by Terrance Dicks. Some early titles differed from serial names; for example, Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion was an adaptation of DOCTOR WHO - SPEARHEAD FROM SPACE.

With a lack of DOCTOR WHO merchandise in the early 1970's, the gap was filled - to an extent - by Jigsaws. In 1971 Michael Stansfield Holdings released two Jigsaws, a Bessie-themed publicity shot and a UNIT laboratory still from TERROR OF THE AUTONS. Two years later Whitman took over the license and released pieces from THE GREEN DEATH, THE THREE DOCTORS and DAY OF THE DALEKS. In 1975 Whitman released another four Jigsaws, all featuring publicity shots from ROBOT.

Target published Doctor Who Monster Books in 1975 and 1977. The first contained large photographs and black and white illustrations from Target novelisation covers, with rudimentary text by Terrance Dicks. The second had two-page spreads and story outlines of Tom Baker adventures, where photographs from TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN are used for REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN. Target occasionally mixed Cybermen with little regard on how they had appeared on screen.

Between February 1977 and April 1978, Target published five Doctor Who Discovers … educational soft covers. Edited - and presumably written - by Fred Newman, The Doctor addresses readers as if we were accompanying him on his travels, looking at ‘Early Man’, ‘The Conquerors’, ‘Space Travel’, ‘Prehistoric Animals’ and ‘Strange and Mysterious Creatures.’

The Doctor Who Discovers ... series had a precursor in Target’s Doctor Who Dinosaur Book - released in December 1976 - written by Terrance Dicks (“So if you’d like to join me for a little trip in the TARDIS, we can take a look at the monsters who once ruled the Earth.”) The cover and interior pencil art was created by George Underwood, who designed the albums Hunky Dory and The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars for friend David Bowie.

In 1977, Crosse & Blackwell had a DOCTOR WHO offer ("to get together ... and set up a super home science lab.") Tokens could save you money on a chemistry set and a radio/electronic kit, plus for 95p you could have a cut-out TARDIS with colour pencils.

The Jon Pertwee Book of Monsters was published by Methuen as a hardcover in 1978, and by Magnet as a paperback a year later. Edited by Richard Davis, this is not actually a collection of DOCTOR WHO tales, rather an anthology of horror stories using Pertwee's name, though the actor does provide a prologue, epilogue and introduction to each story, mentioning some of the monsters he faced as the Time Lord.

The 'Tardis Tuner' was released by the Shortman Trading Company in 1978. Actually a black medium wave radio, there were flashing lights and a "Time Warp" bleeper control switch. Shortman also produced a promotional one-page comic strip, which had The Doctor and Romana use the device in their escape from the steel dungeons of The Turgids.

It is always cause for concern when a Sci-Fi show introduces a robot companion. Palitoy, however, cashed in on this by manufacturing a talking K9 in 1978, where an integral record player produced amusing phrases.

Target’s The Adventures of K9 and Other Mechanical Creatures by Terrance Dicks was published in September 1979. The first half of the book features K9’s serials while latter pages look at other “mechanical marvels” and include quizzes and games. The highlight, however, is a copy and cut-out cross-section, to make your own K9.

Target published Terry Nation’s Dalek Special in October 1979, which was actually compiled and edited by Terence Dicks. Using the same format as the K9 book, a third of this release is taken up by Nation’s story Daleks: The Secret Invasion, which tells of four heroic children encountering stranded Daleks in the London Underground. Littered with references to the capital’s landmarks, the story was commissioned by The Evening News, and mentions of Harold Wilson, Roy Jenkins and the children’s attempt to watch THE EXORCIST, actually dates the story to c.1974.

In 1979, the BBC released a condensed audio version of 1975's DOCTOR WHO - GENESIS OF THE DALEKS as an LP, with Tom Baker providing bridging narration. To celebrate Record Store Day 2016, the product was reissued by Demon pressed on ‘70s TARDIS blue heavy weight vinyl. 

For Record Store Day 2017, Demon made available Argo’s 1976 LP 'Doctor Who and the Pescatons' on heavy weight green coloured vinyl. Also in this gatefold item was the 'Doctor Who Sound Effects' album from 1978 on orange vinyl. This was the first original audio adventure for the Time Lord, voiced by Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen and written by Victor Pemberton, who had penned DOCTOR WHO - FURY FROM THE DEEP. 'Doctor Who and the Pescatons' sees The Doctor defeat the “cunning, ravenous creatures; half-human, half-fish” invaders of Earth by high-frequency sound. Argo, an imprint of Decca, faced a number of obstacles from the BBC, the corporation alarmed that - due to an oversight at BBC Enterprises - rights had been secured for £50. The record makes the most of its soundscapes - The Pescatons announce their presence with an ominous- sounding heartbeat - and during the adventure the Time Lord plays a piccolo, and distracts an alien by singing Hello, Dolly!

In the late 1970's, DOCTOR WHO made its mark on American audiences via a syndicated package from Time Life Television. A four-page introductory booklet was marketed, with a cover reproduced from Target's second Doctor Who Monster Book.

Alan Moore

This 6.5" custom action figure of Northampton's favourite resident was made by "loosecollector" and detailed on the Figurerealm website. The creation includes a Lord of the Rings head (with sculpted hair) and Terminator hands (with sculpted ring).

V fancy dress, Alan Moore's revolutionary from V for Vendetta. This costume was manufactured by Close Up in 2012.

The Mustard comedy magazine offers cut-out-and-make paper toys of its cover stars, designed by Sally Grossart. You can download the PDFs from their website; Alan Moore - who was interviewed in Mustard #4 - is available in cover mode and wedding finery.

Alan Partridge

Here's a great faux Alan Partridge action figure from the Mustard comedy magazine website, complete with traffic cone, large Toblerone and twelve-inch dinner plate. Kiss my face!