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Cyberman Christmas brain scramble

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Sales of merchandise from the BBC Wales' hit show Doctor Who are set to soar in the run-up to Christmas, with some analysts predicting the market could be worth close to £20m. Yesterday a chart revealed Doctor Who calendars are one of the best selling for 2007, just one of a number of charts which toys and goods related to the show, which is filmed around Cardiff, have been topping. It's expected sales of toys such as the radio-controlled Dalek, a K-9 dog and the Doctor Who Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet - this year's most sought-after Christmas gift - will boost profits for manufacturer Character Options and the BBC. But with just weeks to go before December 25, shops around Wales yesterday warned the sought-after toys are flying off the shelves and some fear new supplies will not be received until after Christmas - especially the limited edition showing the Cyber-brain.:

FROM PAGE 7: Dr Who lords it over mere mortals like Kylie in race for top pin-up: We've had Tellytubbies, Tracy Island and Buzz Lightyear. They are the must-have toys which parents scour the shops for in the run-up to Christmas, knowing if stocks run out, a stocking featuring anything less just will not do.

This year, anything related to the hit show Doctor Who is flying off the shelves, but the Cyberman voice-changing helmet is already threatening to become this year's must-find gift.

But not just any Cyber helmet, mind you, the limited edition featuring a glimpse of the brain inside is the real catch.

It is all part of the astonishing marketing drive that has seen Doctor Who prop up the toy market this year.

The BBC Wales hit show was yesterday revealed as one of 2007's top calendar pin-ups, pitting the show against popstars.

Figures released yesterday show the sci-fi drama came second in a chart of best-selling calendars, just one of a long list of charts which merchandise from the show is topping in the run-up to Christmas.

Earlier this month WH Smith and Waterstone's predicted The Official Doctor Who Annual would outsell The Beano, which has traditionally held the number one best seller spot each Christmas.

And the Toy Retailers Association's lists of top Christmas toys features a number of Doctor Who products, including the Doctor Who ¼ scale radio-controlled K-9 and the Doctor Who Tardis Electronic Playset.

Based on sales so far for Danilo, Europe's biggest official calendar company, Doctor Who lost out only to Robbie Williams, beating Kylie Minogue, Cliff Richard and the Simpsons in the popularity stakes.

With less than a month to go until Christmas, retailers yesterday said Doctor Who toys, which are manufactured by Character Options, are flying off the shelves, with Doctor Who Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet being one of the most sought-after products.

Ronnie Dungan, editor of trade magazine Toy News said merchandise related to the show is propping up the toy market this year.

He said, 'We've spoken to a number of retailers and they're expecting the Cyberman mask to be one of their best selling toys. Of all those we spoke to, 32% said they thought Doctor Who toys would be their best selling product this Christmas.'

Other popular products include the Doctor Who 5-inch Action Figures and the Doctor Who 5 inch Radio Control Dalek.

This year toy retailer Toys 'R' Us has been given exclusive rights to sell a Cybercontroller Voice Changer Helmet - similar to the original model but with a plastic panel on the front which reveals a brain inside.

Although both models are the same price, the relative rarity of the controller model means the product is in extra demand, with some parents turning to eBay to secure the item in time for Christmas.

Toy shop owners yesterday also warned that, similar to last year, they are experiencing some problems with supply.

Alan Vaughan, assistant manager of Doctor Who specialist shop Comic Guru in Cardiff, said many shops in Cardiff have already sold out of the helmet which changes the voice of the wearer into alienspeak, although part of the reason for this may have been retailers underestimating demand.

He said, 'The Cyberman voice changer helmet is the most popular but the Tardis Playset and the half-scale K-9 are very popular as well.

'But there are problems again this year with supply. A lot of places are selling out and won't have new stock in time for Christmas.'

According to retail analysts NPD Eurotoys, whose tracking service represents 71% of the UK market, the market for Dr Who toys from January to October 2006 was £12.8m. But a spokesperson said sales of toys are usually expected to increase by 50% in the two months before Christmas, which would put the total value of the market close to £20m.

Earlier this month Character Group said they expected annual profit to beat forecasts and that it was anticipating strong Christmas trade based on the sale of toys related to Doctor Who.

According to the BBC, which produces a wide range of merchandise in addition to Doctor Who toys, the brand is one of their most profitable.

A spokesperson said, 'Doctor Who is probably one of the best selling children's brands we have got.' Although yesterday they refused to say how much money they've earned through merchandise, a spokesperson said all profits are ploughed back in to the BBC.: The Doctor Who range:Doctor Who ¼ scale Radio Controlled K-9 With 360-degree movement, flashing lights and speech, this K-9 includes Nose Gun blaster sounds and seven other phrases. Price: £39.9 (Argos) Doctor Who Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet This Voice Changer is a replica Cyberhead but also features speech, sound effects and lights. Price: £29.99 (Argos) Doctor Who 12-inch Action Figures Price: £17.99 (Argos) Doctor Who 5-inch Radio Control Dalek Price: £16.99 (Woolworths)

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  • APA 6th ed.: Watson, Molly (2006-11-28). Cyberman Christmas brain scramble. The Western Mail p. 1.
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  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Cyberman Christmas brain scramble | url= | work=The Western Mail | pages=1 | date=2006-11-28 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=3 March 2024 }}</ref>
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