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July 17th, 2017 89 comments

Character Options Renews Doctor Who Licence


Toy firm Character Options, who have held the master toy licence for Doctor Who since the show’s 2005 relaunch has renewed its deal with BBC Worldwide as UK master toy licensee for long-running SF TV series, following the announcement that Jodie Whittaker would take up the iconic role, as the first ever female Doctor.

“We are very happy that Character Options will continue to be the lead licensee for our Doctor Who merchandise,” commented Rikesh Desai, licensing director for merchandise and gaming, BBC Worldwide. “Their products excite and delight UK fans and we are looking forward to working closely with them over the tenure of new showrunner Chris Chibnall and the adventures of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor.”

Jon Diver, group managing director at Character added: “We are delighted to re-confirm the Master Toy License for Doctor Who with BBC Worldwide which has been one of Character Options’s key brands for over ten years. The global and loyal following for whom the ownership of toys is essential, complemented with the regeneration of the Thirteenth Doctor and Chris Chibnall being the new producer for series 11, we can be sure of an exciting few years ahead!”

The Character Group, which has offices in London, Manchester, Hong Kong and China and employs over 230 people, was founded in 1991 and designs, develops and distributes toys and games. In 2003, the Group made a decision to develop its own products to market along side those sourced from third party distributor partners. Today, over 75 per cent of all products marketed by the group are developed in-house and they’re sold in over 30 countries worldwide.

In the last 12 years, BBC Worldwide’s partnership with Character Options has seen over 10 million action figures and almost five million sonic screwdrivers sold worldwide.

The deal will see a development of new products featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and new items are expected to hit the shops later this year, with Thirteeth Doctor product becoming available in autumn 2018.

Categorised under: Toys


  • Maria

    October 1st, 2017 - 4:10am

    Wish Character Options did a 5 inch Clara in one of her outfits not a repainted Oswin. Titan Vinyls and Funko at least made an effort.

    • The Outcast

      October 1st, 2017 - 8:51am

      Hey, atleast we’ve got Clara figures, unlike Jamie, Susan, Tegan, Romana 1 and 2, Nyssa and (atleast, at this point in time) Bill.

    • Dalek4ever

      October 1st, 2017 - 9:30am

      Have to agree with Outcast here. Yeah a proper Clara figure would be nice but think about the many classic fans (including myself) wanting figures like Jamie, Susan, Tegan, both Romana’s, Nyssa, Silurian, Haemover etc (I probably spelt that last one wrong)

    • WouldYouLikeAJellyBaby?

      October 1st, 2017 - 9:43am

      We won’t see a new Clara figure as it’s been left too late, but we may see a Bill figure as Pearl Mackie has said she’s seen the prototype. Hopefully we “should” have an announcement from CO within the next couple of weeks.

    • 100,000 BC

      October 1st, 2017 - 11:33am

      If they do Bill, Ben and Polly I will be very happy.

    • The Outcast

      October 1st, 2017 - 11:49am

      As will I. Companions for 1, 2 and 12 sounds like a good deal to me!

  • LastOfTheSonics

    September 9th, 2017 - 9:17pm

    9th September… still no news on any new products. I get there’s 4 months left of the year still, but anyone else think we should’ve heard something by now?

    • WouldYouLikeAJellyBaby?

      September 9th, 2017 - 11:06pm

      It might be a while yet, we didn’t hear anything last year until early/mid October when UT announced the Tenth Doctor in Tuxedo. We know that CO are attending a trade event in early October so it’ll either be then or before.

  • Anonymous

    July 22nd, 2017 - 5:33pm

    So, could they do new figures for collectors
    I think they should only do the characters that have appeared in supporting Roles in Two and Over episodes

    My Thoughts would be

    12 Figure (Black and Red Velvet Coat)
    Missy (New Version)
    The Master (New Version)
    Cyberman Set
    Ice Warriors

    This Would be very easy to make
    A Few Variants and Two or Three New Molds

  • thetruth

    July 19th, 2017 - 7:19pm

    Character don’t hardly release anything

    • the ergon

      July 21st, 2017 - 2:32pm

      Of late I haven,t much confidence in them for a long while aside from a few old rehashes. Although it sounds promising if UT go back to the days of those exclusive 5 inch ranges as part of this relaunch of the show, even if its maybe just a few new characters to test the water so to speak.

  • thetruth

    July 19th, 2017 - 7:17pm

    Argos never had anything in stock apart from 1 or 2 figures and 1 of everything else. Which is why they never sold. They don’t like stocking anything these days.

    Toys r us have tons of Missy left so I guess no one wanted her.

  • Anonymous

    July 19th, 2017 - 1:51pm

    I think this might mean a return to spamming out lots of 5″ figures at an affordable + or – £10 price range 🙂 I really hope they listen to the fans because we ALL want the red coat doctor xD

    • Anonymous

      July 19th, 2017 - 5:35pm

      I think most fans would rather new figures then another doctor variant.

    • Anonymous

      August 29th, 2017 - 5:56pm

      Yeah we’ve had enough of Doctor variants. Would be nice to get a new companion or monster for a change. The last figure we got a BRAND NEW monster in 5 Inch was the Peg Doll Soldier in 2011.

    • WouldYouLikeAJellyBaby?

      August 29th, 2017 - 6:27pm

      I’m hoping CO push the boat out next year in terms of merchandise. Hopefully with a new Doctor and showrunner they’ll put out a decent wave with a Thirteenth Doctor, new companion and a new monster or two. They’ve missed their chance to make a redesigned Cyberman, Ice Warrior and Zygon so they probably won’t bother with any of them, then again they made a Tenth Doctor in Tuxedo figure 11 years after we asked for one.

    • Anonymous

      December 26th, 2017 - 10:41pm

      Did we ask for that one?

    • booboo

      December 27th, 2017 - 8:28am

      many collectors did at the time very much so

  • ChristopherAdventures

    July 19th, 2017 - 12:35pm

    My brother made a video on his thoughts about this! Please watch it 😉

    • DWFAN1

      July 19th, 2017 - 5:56pm

      Nice I agree, Awesome channel subscribed!

  • When The Doctor Was Me

    July 19th, 2017 - 9:39am

    I’m kinda hopeful for a wave of figures now.
    12th Doctor (Red coat, New Sonic)
    Bill (Smile Costume)
    Nardole (No Coat)
    Ice Queen

    Maybe a couple of episode packs like back in Tennant years.
    WEAT Set – Mondasian Cyberman, Cybus Cyberman, 2013 Cyberman
    TDF Set – 12th Doctor (injured), The Master, Missy

    • The Outcast

      July 19th, 2017 - 11:19am

      I’d love this. New villains and twists on old villains. In total, only about 5 totally new figures (most of which can have variant potential, e.g Truth monk) most of the others are either repaints (Cybus Cyberman) or slight remoulds (e.g Missy).

      The only one I would change is the Ice Queen, to the New Who Ice Warrior, because army building.

    • Anonymous

      August 29th, 2017 - 6:19pm

      Oh please, not an Emojobot. That episode was rubbish. I’d rather have an Ice Warrior.

  • Mr. J

    July 18th, 2017 - 10:12pm

    Does this mean a new wave of figures?! Would love a decent wave of figures from series 10!!! Such opportunity and potential there!!! I think they would sell like hot cakes !!! Please please please!!!

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:22pm

      I expect bill and a couple more 12th Doctor variants, anything else will be a bonus at this stage

      if we suddenly get a mass of new figures one has to ask what an earth has been going on the last few years

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 11:24pm

      and as far a the 13th Doctor goes lets hope we get far more (accurate) variants than we have with the past female figures

    • Anonymous

      July 19th, 2017 - 12:52am

      which female figures didn’t have an accurate look about them?

    • Anonymous

      July 19th, 2017 - 7:41am

      Clara they just repainted an oswin figures dress blue

    • The Outcast

      July 19th, 2017 - 7:43am

      Amy doesn’t really look like Amy. Same with River and Rory.

  • Anonymous

    July 17th, 2017 - 11:26pm

    Yes because it makes sense to renew a license and do nothing with it.

    • EndlessTimelord

      July 17th, 2017 - 11:27pm

      “The deal will see a development of new products featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and new items are expected to hit the shops later this year, with Thirteenth Doctor product becoming available in autumn 2018.” hopefully that means new figures on the way

    • Anonymous

      August 29th, 2017 - 6:20pm

      Realistically, it means another mug.

    • booboo

      August 29th, 2017 - 6:38pm

      well thankfully Characters licence doesn’t cover mugs, only toys

  • Michael

    July 17th, 2017 - 10:24pm

    Whilst a female Doctor will be a shot in the arm for the series I can’t see it being great for the figure line. I don’t think boys will be buying a girl figure in droves. Girls (13) and old men (12) don’t sell like a dashing young hero.

    Hopefully, the line will keep going for us collectors.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:38pm

      i share your concerns here, especially as the core collectors market is not enough to keep the line going

    • Pottery Barn

      July 18th, 2017 - 8:12am

      i think there gonna go mad for it like in the tennant days with a massive relaunch of who, we have a new doctor, new show runner, new dwm editor and i think there gonna swamp the market with merchandise.

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 8:42am

      I really hope so, because nothing much has been working for a while, the high street is virtually void of anything Doctor Who right now.

      as merchandise is my thing I will be very interested to see how this plays out

      Will a female in the lead role get people buying figures again “on mass”

    • Michael

      July 18th, 2017 - 12:29pm

      Boys buy action figures. Boys don’t buy girl action figures. I’m generalising obviously but that’s been generally true for a long time.

      Perhaps the new Star Wars has changed that? I don’t know.

      The appeal of a thoughtful hero ‘action’ figure is limited anyway.

      Time will tell….

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 12:41pm

      Character must be convinced

      The headline almost made it sound they had only renewed the leisence because of the announcement

    • Anonymous

      July 18th, 2017 - 1:36pm

      I think Jodie Whittaker’s casting is the entire reason for Character renewing the licence. The most care they’ve put into anything figure related in recent memory were the variants of Missy in that stylish packaging. I doubt they had much intention on doing Series 10 figures beyond another Capaldi variant and Bill before they received this announcement. I hope this means we’ll also see 5″/5.5″ figures of a Zygon, Ice Warrior, and Cyberman from the Smith/Capaldi era.

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 1:55pm

      if we are now going to get all the figures we want now there is a women in the roll, then they should have cast one 3 years ago!

    • Ieuan

      July 19th, 2017 - 2:43am

      In argument to that “boys do not buy girl action figures”, Girl action figures, such as the Star Wars Black Series Wave (Jyn, Rey) are some of the most popular figures in the line and often sell better than the male action figures. Again, with Doctor Who, you would never see any stray Amy figures left lying on the pegs back in 2010 when Series 5 was released. I remember being given Amy as a present for doing well in my school report, and I was just overjoyed that I finally had a female companion in my collection (she was the only one at the time). I can’t imagine a Bill figure not being a big hit with fans (Just as Missy was a big hit) and therefore I think female figures (such as the 13th Doctor) will sell extremely well and have a better chance of being sold then yet again another 12th Doctor Variant…

    • booboo

      July 19th, 2017 - 7:54am

      I think we all hope the line does well, but if that is the case (and I dont think Missy did well to be honest) its rather odd that over the years we only got for the most part one or 2 variants of each companion (and not even an accurate Clara to this day) as opposed to 10+ of each Doctor.

      If female figures are good sellers now we should get at least 5 Bills (she had some wonderful costumes)

      However it could just be that because she is “The Doctor” and lead character we get 10+ figures of here but nothing else much will change.

  • Ryan

    July 17th, 2017 - 10:15pm

    Still only plans for New Who, no Classic Who then?! There are SO many wonderful characters we would like to see pre-2005, particularly companions e.g. Sarah Jane Smith, Professor Litefoot & Henry Gordon-Jago (especially after the incredibly sad new of the passing of Trevor Baxter RIP), Susan, Harry… pretty much every companion, the list is endless! Don’t want to see anymore repackaged figures, we want NEW ones!

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:22pm

      they said in a recent DWM that there would be no classics in the foreseeable future

      That isn’t because they dont want to make them, its because retailers are not interested enough in them

    • Ryan

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:23pm

      Oh, that’s a real shame! I thought it would’ve been something like that… The retailers may not be interested, but I’d say the fans most definitely are! Since when do they speak for us?

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:35pm

      there are not enough fans

      classic wave 2 did not sell so retailers like Argos didn’t want any more

      UT/FP took over and after a good start demand dwindled, especially in the states

      end of the classics, for now

    • Bruno B

      July 18th, 2017 - 9:18am

      Retailers are the ones paying for the figures, so if they don’t want to buy toys, we don’t get them.

    • Antonio Zambonini

      July 18th, 2017 - 6:20pm

      Thats destroyed my fan life now rip classic figures alot of them would of been amazing but now its gone i guess its end of the line for me

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 6:40pm

      well never say never

      i’m sure in the future you will be able to 3D print a very accurate and coloured version of virtually anything

  • Someone

    July 17th, 2017 - 10:05pm

    im mainly hoping for a 5 inch bill

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:10pm

      she was openly telling people one was coming at a recent convention and we know she has seen a finished prototype

    • DoctorSong2016

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:14pm

      I suppose she could have been taking about a Titan or Pop though

  • DoctorHawk

    July 17th, 2017 - 9:06pm

    I’m hoping more wider retail stores like The Entertainer or Smyths will consider picking up the newer toys.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 9:12pm

      both have not had Doctor Who stuff for sometime, nor has Argos except for the sonic, its these retailers you have to get back on board really, as well as the supermarkets

  • LastOfTheSonics

    July 17th, 2017 - 8:33pm

    Is it possible we might see or hear something at SDCC in a few days time?

    • Anonymous

      July 17th, 2017 - 8:34pm

      i highly doubt it

    • DoctorSong2016

      July 17th, 2017 - 10:14pm

      If a Bill figure is coming they’ll either have it or at least talk about it there.

    • The Outcast

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:39am

      We won’t have to wait long atleast.

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:49am

      We dont know if UT has any input to the figures anymore or are even interested in Doctor Who, if not we wont hear a thing unless Pearle herself shows it

      most manufacturers announce in advance what’s happening

  • Demdike@CultLabs

    July 17th, 2017 - 7:55pm

    What did i say yesterday?

    The merchandise explosion will begin after Christmas.

  • Mr Fish

    July 17th, 2017 - 7:04pm

    Good news – there are plenty of characters from Capaldi’s era that could sell! Just hope they give us something.

  • EndlessTimelord

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:57pm

    Booboo what do you think the chances are of getting a Wave of 5-6 figures from Series 10? This looks to be good news! 😀

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 7:03pm

      I really don’t know, i thought they had renewed the licence some months back to be honest

      it just says new products with the 12th Doctor, could be anything.

  • Jordan Scott

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:53pm

    I just want a decent line of Series 10 figures, like 5 figures or something as suggested in the poll. As long as they do that I’d be happy.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:57pm

      think we will all be happy with that

    • prototype dalek

      July 17th, 2017 - 7:10pm

      I certainly would!

    • DannyTheNerd

      July 17th, 2017 - 8:05pm

      As would I!

  • Edward

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:41pm

    The company needs to revert back to the better, more accurate 5″ action figures for series 11 onwards. The 3.75″ are rubbish; never bought them.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:42pm

      i assume that line i dead, unless they try it again of course

    • TigerMan1995

      May 18th, 2018 - 10:06pm

      I thought they said the 3.75″ line was dead as it was selling at all as no one wanted them. I certainly don’t want them. I was disappointed back in 2013 when I got the Eleventh Doctor figure. I sat looking and went “WHYYY”

  • DannyTheNerd

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:38pm

    Great news!

  • LastOfTheSonics

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:37pm

    Bill and 12 repaint is all we’re likely to get to be honest.

    Would absolutely adore it if we got a whole new wave of figures though. Still, no harm in dreaming.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:44pm

      an accurate Clara would be nice, and I really don’t know why we have not had a Cyberman with so many variant possibilities

    • prototype dalek

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:46pm

      And they would sell well

    • The Living Shadow

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:56pm

      And they’re army-builders! I know I’d buy at least 3..!

    • The Outcast

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:02am

      I would buy all the Cyberman variants.

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:10am

      how many are there

      With gun
      without gun
      Danny Pink Face

      any more?

    • The Werewolf

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:15am

      With and without partially black handles.

    • booboo

      July 18th, 2017 - 10:28am

      in The Dotor Falls, they should have had some gold ones, to show they had evolved beyond being effected by gold

      also, if possible, when in Scotland, the Tardis should have changed to an Edinburgh style police box ( we know it can change police box styles)

      all these missed opportunities

  • Dalekparadigm2

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:27pm


  • Mechanoid Fan

    July 17th, 2017 - 6:24pm

    Here’s hoping for Bill and Nardole – and of course our new Doctor!

  • Bicky

    July 17th, 2017 - 5:31pm

    Hardly exciting news…The days of loads of new and different new series and classic series figures are over!

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:31pm

      time will tell, we are in unknown territory, and we don’t know if the CO/UT ties are severed, might get an idea this week from SDCC

  • Anonymous

    July 17th, 2017 - 5:25pm

    They wouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste. New figures and saving lots of money here I come

  • prototype dalek

    July 17th, 2017 - 4:57pm

    So far so good, really hope they make something with it then just a couple of B&M and TRU exclusives

  • Joey

    July 17th, 2017 - 4:43pm

    So do you think we’ll get some Series 10 figures by the end of the year??

    • Anonymous

      July 17th, 2017 - 5:48pm

      Most likely seen as they said there will be new Twelfth Doctor products so most likely Bill and Nardole will be out.

    • booboo

      July 17th, 2017 - 6:18pm

      we could do, it all sounds very positive although toys r us were not expecting anything this year unless something has changed

      I think we will get BIll, as for the future i hope they can work out a way of getting the figures to market quicker

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