(An ongoing writing project in which I catalog and quantify my extensive TARDIS collection.)
I wish I could say the “Doctor Who – Wind up Tardis” was given to me as a gift. If it had been, I would feel an obligation not to insult the person who gave it to me by taking a dump on it over the course of 1000 words and just write something like “Boy howdy, it sure does wind up. Look at it go.” Then I’d slap a two or three TARDI rating on it and call `er a day. I wouldn’t have to dwell on any of its super-obvious aspects of questionable quality. I could just walk away and be the bigger man. But, no. I bought this thing with my own money and of my own free will and have no one to blame but myself.
As I mentioned before, I try very hard not to buy crappy TARDISes, but sometimes it happens anyway. In this case, I’m pretty sure I bought it sight unseen from my comic book mail order service after having seen it in a thumbnail image on their online catalog three months previous. When it arrived and I was able to cast actual eyes on it, I could immediately see the error I had made.
Much like its dumpy cousin, the Doctor Who: Light-Up Tardis “Kit”, the The Doctor Who – Wind up Tardis is solidly lame. They could almost be mistaken for one another, except that “wind up” is slightly larger than “kit.” They both, however, have the out-of-scale over-sized wood grain sculpting. Where “wind up” improves on it, though, is that the wood grain sculpting on the roof panels is actually parallel to the roof edges. Beyond that, they both have the same painted on windows and the non-recessed Police Public Call Box signs. Curiously, the creators of the “wind up” TARDIS didn’t even try to get the roof lamp at all accurate. It’s just a chunky cube of clear plastic with some blue paint daubed on the top of its semi-sculpted cap. It’s like they got the base of the lamp and the cap of the lamp then just threw a cube of plastic in between. And it doesn’t light up.
Where the “wind up” TARDIS distinguishes (extinguishes) itself, however, is in its ability to roll and spin when wound up. (Y’know, like how TARDISes do on the show all the time?) It has four wheels on the bottom which may be wound by rolling them backward (“backward” being difficult to determine without experimentation, since the wheels are, as designed, free-moving within a disc that rotates as the wheels spin, so they are therefore always facing a different direction than “forward”). Once wound, you can then release the TARDIS and watch it roll a couple of feet while at the same time spinning kind of slowly, as you can see in the video below.
I guess this spinning is meant to simulate the TARDIS spinning through space, cause it’s not like the vehicle is known for spinning along the ground. In its defense, the TARDIS is also not known for, say, holding cookies, salt, coffee, liquid soap, a Yahtzee set, your head, or for wrapping you up in a snuggly embrace either, all of which are things some of the TARDISes in my collection are frequently called upon to do. This being the case, I suppose I shouldn’t really complain about a TARDIS spinning along the floor–particularly a product called “the Doctor Who – Wind up TARDIS”, a fact that I was aware of in advance of its purchase.
I still give it two TARDI, cause its overriding lameness just annoys me.