Doctor Who Memorabilia: An Unofficial Guide to Doctor Who Collectables

Available now from Amberley Publishing is a new book which provides a nostalgic look back on some of the myriads of Doctor Who Merchandise that has been released over the years. It is an enjoyably nostalgic look back on some of the much-loved merchandise of the past.

It is an unenviable task to attempt to cover the vast entity which is Doctor Who merchandise within a mere 96 pages. As a result, this is not an exhaustive release that covers every single piece of merchandise ever produced. Other titles such as ‘Howe’s Transcendental Toybox’ are far more suited to the completionist. Similarly, ‘The Target Book’ provides a thorough journey through the history of the popular Doctor Who novelisations. Areas of merchandise are therefore covered with broad strokes, lacking detailed analysis. The collectables chapter, for instance, is notably short. Other strands of merchandising, such as clothing, are omitted entirely. Who could forget the infamous Tom Baker underpants? However, this strategy is perfectly understandable given the colossal volume of Doctor Who merchandise that has been released over the years.

Merchandise from 1963-2004

This book only covers the ‘classic’ era of Doctor Who from 1963-2004. Merchandise has exploded since the show returned in 2005 and is a story for another time. However some of the more recent Character Options figures based upon the classic era, for example, are mentioned. Newer Doctor Who fans, who have perhaps followed the show since it returned in 2005, will find this book to be an ideal introduction to the world of Doctor Who merchandise that they might not be aware of. For older Doctor Who fans this book provides a nostalgic revisit of memories. A huge amount of images are found throughout. Action figures and book illustrations will no doubt jog lots of memories.

For me, it was the Doctor Who video collection. As a person discovering the show when it was no longer producing new television stories the videotapes were a way to explore the programme’s history. This book rekindled the memories of that first VHS, ‘Resurrection of the Daleks’ if anyone is interested, the excitement of finally getting a copy of ‘The Invasion or ‘The Daleks’ Invasion of Earth’ and the despair when they changed the cover style.

The Afterword also provides some very wise advice and puts Doctor Who collecting in perspective. It is impossible to own everything Doctor Who related because there is simply so much of it! Doctor Who collecting is therefore about acquiring whatever makes you happy. A collection of DVDs so you can watch your favourite episodes whenever you want may be ideal. Whatever pieces constitute your collection it is a very personal experience, one that truly engages you with the programme you adore.

This book is a good, quick read, full of nostalgia. Whilst, not one for the completionist it provides a wonderful introduction to the world of Doctor Who collectables. It is available now from Amberley Books. 


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