Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Geeky London trip 2014: Doctor Who haul

Continuing the fandom-centric parts from my geeky trip to London, here is what I got in the Who Shop (for my visit to the shop, see previous post here):

Both my mum and I got Ten's sonic screwdriver (I want to cosplay Ten and she wants to cosplay Nine, but the screwdrivers are pretty much the same except for the colour of the case - Ninth's is bluish). I also got a model of the TARDIS.

The items out of the packaging:

The TARDIS I got is the 'Spin and Fly TARDIS' (This one). It's sturdy and very nicely made. The level of detailing is also very good, from the wood texture, to the windows, the lantern top and the 'Pull to Open' sign. The colour shows darker on the pics, but it's very close to the trademark 'TARDIS blue' in real life. The doors open to show a curvy 'bigger on the inside' view of the console room:

This model simulates the TARDIS' take off and landing sequences (also the vortex buzzing) with sound effects and the top lantern blinking on and off. The sounds are cool, but way louder than I expected! This TARDIS also has a detachable transparent 'flight cradle' attached, so you can spin it (by hand). It's definitely not the best feature of this model, as it's cumbersome and tiring to spin smoothly. 

Ten's screwdriver plastic replica (this one) is a pretty cool prop, well-made, with button-activated light and sound effects (four options). Very happy with it :). Of course, one always wishes it was the real deal so that I could open doors, repair stuff, do sciency scans and fight aliens xD. But even considering its limitations, I find it really very cool :D

After visiting the Who Shop, we went back to the hotel and proceeded to play with our sonics while eating chocolate, so here's a video featuring the four sound effects:

Next Geeky London Trip post will feature Harry Potter :)

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Geeky London trip 2014: The Who Shop

UPDATED: So regarding fandoms and this blog, I leave most of the fandoms stuff for my Tumblr blog here, but from time to time I'll be posting geeky stuff here as well, especially if reviews or feminist writing are involved (especially given that I'm the writes-a-lot type and I don't want to flood my Tumblr with lots of writing as yet xD). 

So, first geeky-site review! I've recently come back from a geeky holiday in London (with my equally geeky mum) and I have so many geeky pics to share ^^. During our stay in London, we focused on three fandoms: Sherlock BBC (my favourite fandom!), Harry Potter and Doctor Who. 

I'm relatively new to Doctor Who, although I'm steadily beginning to identify with the word 'Whovian' and am currently the proud owner of  my very own sonic screwdriver ^^. General info about me and DW includes Ten and Nine being my fave doctors and loving the TARDIS :). And I'm still interested in writing reviews of DW episodes from a feminist point of view, btw (just, I haven't got a lot of spare time at the moment, that's why there's only one review here. But I've already drafted a couple more). 

   So, during our stay in London we decided to pay the Who Shop a visit. Emboldened by our desire to get a model of the TARDIS and sonic screwdrivers xD (just because they're cool :), and for our future cosplays as well), we undertook the relatively lengthy journey to this whovian destination in Upton Park. 
   I had read that this area was a bit dodgy, but, to tell the truth, I didn't find it all that different from other parts of London. It's not central London, granted, but (at least during the morning) I didn't find it that dodgy-desolate as I had been expecting, which was a good thing. The only unsavoury people we met was a brute of a woman shouting and hitting her children for asking her water on the tube back to central London (poor kids :( ).
   After getting off the tube, we decided to go the opposite way and ended up taking one bus to nearly Canary Wharf (the fates wanted me to experience feels again, it seems), and then another back to where we should have been going. Turned out that London A-Z was right and it was a short walking distance from the Upton Park tube, only the numbers on the streets were a bit jumbled up and we decided that turning right instead of left was the right thing to do xD. Well, at least we got some fish and chips for lunch.

    So after our little adventure, here we were (click on pics for larger image):
The shop is biggish and TARDIS blue (obviously). The shop windows were pretty cool as well, with lots of random Whovian merchandising, daleks and a cardboard cutout of Ten included:
The interior of the shop was satisfyingly geeky, even for one who doesn't still fully identify as Whovian. They had quite a lot of stuff, such as TARDISes, Daleks (both full size decorative models and merchandising), books, magazines, toys, prop replicas, some costumes, plastic screwdrivers with light and sound effects (we got two of those, Ten's - my mum will cosplay Nine because he's her favourite, but the screwdriver is basically the same), DVDs and CDs, and T-shirts, among other stuff.
 Regarding the T-shirts, they had some female sizes as well as male, yay for a bit more equality. Although there wasn't a lot of variety, imo, and the sizing, even if female-intended, was still too large for me. I don't see why thin-structured people like me can't have geeky T-shirts that fit us snugly (it is a bother to be a female geek and like snug clothing rather than loose clothing!). And the same for larger people. Such limited sizing is not cool (anywhere in the clothes industry, but specifically in the geek culture industry) :/.

There were also some Star Trek and Sherlock items (just some T-shirts and books in the last case). My mum got a cool Sherlock T-shirt with 221B on it, and we also got a cute (and shared) TARDIS model with sound and light effects.

One of the two full-sized TARDISes in the shop, and the full-sized Dalek (with 'Don't touch or you will be exterminated' on it):
And here's me having fun with the (very fearsome xD) Dalek. I've always thought they're kinda cute, but it actually sort of freaks one out a bit when you have a full-sized one standing right next to you in real life...Laughing at it in the pics might not have been a great idea, now I think about it...:D
The shop also includes a small museum with some costumes and props, some of them replicas, some original, and mainly classic Who-themed. I personally didn't find it all that thrilling (I wasn't expecting Cardiff Who experience level (which I still haven't visited), but perhaps a little bit more). Also, I'm hardly familiar with classic Who yet, so that's probably  another factor why I wasn't thrilled about it.

The visit to the museum included unlocking and stepping into one of the model TARDISes, and that was pretty awesome on its own and totally worth it, though! (Please notice the fact that we both decided to wear something blue :) ):

And more fun pics with the TARDIS! 
I like this pic a lot :). TARDIS aside, hey, my hair's looking long! From my perspective, it usually doesn't feel that long to me, so cool :)

And because we need a rant of sorts in an activist blog (feel free to skip. If not, read more):

 The staff of the shop was friendly and helpful, but there was one thing I didn't quite like about the Who Shop, and that is their photograph policy. Apparently, you can only take pics in the TARDIS if you've paid to see the 'museum', and you can take pics of the items in the 'museum', but you cannot post them online (I'm sorry, but what's exactly the point of that, from a fan's point of view? I didn't feel like taking any pics because I'm not familiar with Classic!Who yet, but still, didn't quite understand. Do they think that people won't come to visit their museum if there are pics online? Personally, seeing pics of places where I want to go further motivates me to go and gives me an idea of what to expect). You apparently can't make videos either (once again, I find video tours pretty helpful before visiting the actual place). Also, donating the museum fees to charity is pretty nice, but I still think that donations should be about free choice, rather than a part of compulsory fees to get into a museum.