Product Review - A PROPER 'Doctor Who' Sonic Screwdriver prop replica

A fanboy (or girl) wants what a fanboy (or girl) wants. If you're a fanboy (or girl) who happens to love 'Doctor Who' and dreams of owning a proper metal sonic screwdriver, your wait is over...

Reviews Opinion

Well, I’ve gone and done it – I’ve created my own fansite! At first I really didn’t know exactly what I wanted to cover (there are a LOT of great fansites already out there), but then it dawned on me - aside from my love of all things comic book, I am a HUGE ‘Doctor Who’ fan (and before anyone says anything, 'YES' there was/is a 'Doctor Who' comic book!)! Since it appears that no one else is covering this topic – PRESTO! ‘The TARDIS Databank’ was born.

My first entry is a product review of a prop replica Christopher Eccleston / David Tennant sonic screwdriver from the new series (seasons 1-2).

The maker is the Celestial Toymaker (in reference to an episode of the same name from the classic series back in 1966). I just received it in the mail today (apparently CT has been working on this since 2007) and all I can say is it’s abso-BLOODY-lutely BRILLIANT!

Fans of the show will instantly recognize it’s iconic shape (I’ve been told it’s been modeled exactly off of one of the original props from the series). It’s crafted out of stainless steel with a clear perspex extendable neck (none of the cheap plastic crap you’ll find at the on-line toy stores!), and it feels… "meaty" (it’s the only word I could think of to describe it). The tip glows blue when the trigger is depressed (just like in the show) and it make the sound (just like in the show).

Now I must tell you, this is not an “authorized” prop. The Celestial Toymaker is located in China. There is an “authorized” version (manufactured by MFX Warehouse – the guys who do the effects for the show), that is comparable in price. It is modeled off of a later design (the body is slightly bigger and light tan in color, as opposed to the original grey), but here’s the kicker – the ‘official’ version does NOT make a sound (so in essence you’re paying for nothing more than a very expense flashlight).

Now I’ve had some rather heated blog conversations in the past with MFX Warehouse’s owner (Mr. Neil Gorton) about the whole ‘authorized’ versus bootleg thing (over another item). He seemed to get all red-faced about licensing and legal mumbo-jumbo, going off about how people like CT were ‘stealing’ from ‘authorized’ people like himself, etc. I on the other hand, approached it purely from a fanboy perspective – “If you build it, they will come…” especially if it's a better product (regardless of who has the 'rights'). I admittedly do not have the ‘authorized’ screwdriver to do a side-by-side comparison, but I did see the prototype at last year’s Comicon. Truthfully, when I found out it didn’t make a sound, I quickly lost interest.

The pricetag of this little treasure (and the ‘authorized’ other) is about $350.00. I know what some of you are probably thinking, “$350.00?! Are you mad?!” But think about it, SOME of you (and I won’t name names) have paid as much (if not more) for comic books and various fan memorabilia, so what's wrong wtih $350.00 for a solid piece of 'Doctor Who' memorabilia? As I’ve stated before, “A fanboy (or girl) wants what a fanboy (or girl) wants…” If you’re a rabid ‘Doctor Who’ fan (like I am) and you’ve got the cash (which I did), check out both sites and compare (nothing wrong with a little friendly free-market competition, right?). I have a strange feeling that you’ll do what I did and go with the ‘UN-authorized’ version…

Did I also mention that CT also makes proper metal replicas of the Chameleon Arch fob watch (as seen in the episode ‘The Family of Blood’) and the Master’s signet ring (as seen in the episode ‘Last of the Timelords’)...? Oh, and if (when) you do order from CT, tell him, "LoganONeil says 'Hi'!"


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