It’s hard to decide what to buy the people in your life for Christmas. Gift guides can be useful, but only if they are specific to the person you are shopping for, and are generally only useful if made by fans of the thing being recommended.
As Doctor Who mania seems to be sweeping the United States, making the long-time British hit popular on this side of The Pond, too, I thought a Doctor Who gift guide might be a valuable tool, especially because the BBC has so many great, new products out this holiday season.
Doctor Who: Limited Edition Gift Set
First of all, how can one be a true Doctor Who fan without having watched the series? The Limited Edition Gift Set packages together the first six series of the 2005 reboot with DVD specials, art cards, a comic book, and a 11th Doctor sonic screwdriver toy. The price is hefty, but for everything you’re getting, it’s pretty worth it.
I like this set because it does bring together most of the episodes, save the latest few, which would have to be purchased separately. If you’ve got someone who has only dipped their toe in the water, and wants to watch from the beginning, this is a good suggestion. The extras that come with it are interesting, though not an especially big draw. This set is recommended more for the adventures themselves.
The drawback with this release is if the fan you’re buying for already has several of the seasons, it might make more economic sense to just buy those that they currently don’t own. Also, the new Doctor Who installments are also on Blu-ray, which is a great way to experience the very exciting visuals and sounds of a special effect-laden show, but this Gift Set is only available in standard DVD edition.
Monopoly: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
If you like Monopoly and you enjoy Doctor Who, why not combine the two? From the cards to the cash to the properties to the game pieces, everything has been customized to fit with the classic British sci-fi show.
The pluses are numerous. The game looks very cool. Each set of properties that are connected by color feature similarly themed episodes, so continuing stories are found together. It will be fun for those who are fans to remember the serials represented in this game. Also, once you have the game, it might be a good way to familiarize non-fans with the show, and recruit them.
It may even help open the door to fans of the new reboot to look into the classic series, which, despite cheesy special effects, given the budget and time period, hold up pretty well, because the stories told are so good. I’ve viewed a number of the old serials, and have found very few that lack high quality writing.
My complaints stem more towards the budgetary and the practical. It is understandable that the number of episodes represented must be limited, based on the constraints of the game board, and the way the game is played. However, I am disappointed that only six tokens are available. They are relics, rather than characters, and only cover six of the eleven Doctors. Would it have been that hard to have manufactured five more, so that each Doctor is represented, even if the game can’t be played by all eleven at once? I mean, some classic versions of regular Monopoly are already sold with up to twelve of these tokens. Going with only six seems like an avoidable mistake.
Doctor Who Tardis vs Dalek Salt and Pepper Shake Set
OK, this one does verge a little towards the kitschy side of things. My wife isn’t exactly thrilled to bring a sci-fi television show to our dining room table. But even she can’t argue that these look sweet. They’re ceramic, easy to fill, and small enough to be unobtrusive.
That being said, they aren’t the easiest things in the world to use. There are only two or three small holes in the top of each one. Thus, they are more aesthetically pleasing then actually useful. Plus, some fans (like myself) will be a little annoyed that the TARDIS is the same size as the Dalek, instead of much bigger, which it should be, were scale respected.
Neither shaker is labeled as to which spice belongs in which, but the Dalek is black, so the choice seems obvious to me.
Yellow Dalek Christmas Ornament
The BBC has previously released blown glass Red Dalek and TARDIS ornaments. This year’s new ornament is a Yellow Dalek.
The ornament looks fantastic. It is hand painted, light weight, and makes a great addition to any tree. I hung mine with its weapons pointed at my wife’s beloved Alice in Wonderland, providing hours of entertainment for the simple-minded, like myself.
Do I wish that there were Doctor or companion ornaments available, instead of just going through the different colors of Daleks? Sure. But the Daleks are probably simpler to make, and it’s unlikely that fans of certain colors of Dalek will grow impatient waiting their turn, the same of which could not be said for fans specific characters. Plus, it’s just fun to have a Dalek on my tree.
Doctor Who TARDIS Robe
Now one can step out of the show and wrap themselves in the TARDIS itself. The robe contains a hood. Why? I don’t know. But it’s soft and warm and looks just enough like the police box that the Doctor travels in to tickle most fans. Sadly, it is only available in sizes medium and large, which will satisfy many, but not all, fans.
Doctor Who Van Gogh Women’s Tee
One of the most memorable episodes of the new incarnation of Doctor Who is the one where the Doctor and his companion visit Vincent Van Gogh. Inspired by this episode, the BBC has created a variation of the famous Starry Night painting, which has an exploding TARDIS at the center.
I love how the picture plays upon such an iconic portrait, and delivers its own twist. This is Doctor Who at its best, having a little fun with history, but basing itself enough in the real world to stay relatable for viewers. I only wish the shirt were available for men too, though admittedly it does look good as a female-geared product.
Doctor Who Character Building Series
I love action figures and I love Legos, so imagine how thrilling it is to see the two combined! Doctor Who has not been immune to this latest pop culture trend, releasing a number of mini playsets and characters (though they are not officially Lego), including all eleven Doctors!
This year’s latest edition is an Angels cave. It is kind of small, and there isn’t much to it, though I have not bought it, so I cannot say for certain if it’s worth it. However, I have definitely suggested to those that would buy for me that they purchase the TARDIS playset, which is huge, and comes with the 11th Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River Song.
Sure, these kinds of gifts are designed for kids, and would make a great present for children in your life. However, they are also advisable for nostalgic big kids who still like to play, no matter how age inappropriate it might be.
So, I hope that gives you some ideas on what to get your favorite Doctor Who fan. There are many other options, of course, but this should be a good starting point. Feel free to chime into the comments below with anything that you feel should be included that I may not have listed.