Back in May of 2015, I made my first move into Doctor Who prop replica collecting. (That’s a mouthful!) I received the Rubbertoe Replicas 11th and 12th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver. It was not the first screen accurate replica I had ever owned, but it was the first Doctor Who replica. When I received this replica, I was incredibly excited and overwhelmed. I was immediately satisfied. There were some noticeable gaps in the cage, but they were only large on one side. The bottom core sleeves had intricate swirl. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the emitter lens, that just came down to my personal preference.
Overtime, my satisfaction lessened. The lens would become loose with each flick and often fly off. At one point, the internals were damaged due to my flicking. The sonic would only light up when extended! Nick Robatto, the prop maker and owner of Rubbertoe Replicas, serviced and fixed my sonic for free, but I was never fully satisfied since it had broken. Did I regret my purchase? No, I never have. On the other hand, it was at that time I purchased the Celestial Toystore’s replica.
This is not a review of my first sonic screwdriver replica. After a year of making these replicas, Mr. Robatto vastly improved. In June of 2016, I received a second 11th Doctor sonic screwdriver from Rubbertoe Replicas, which was a perfected version of what he originally sold. My satisfaction returned!
The emitter lens shape is something that has been debated for some time. The shape is certainly not accurate to the series five lenses, but many argue it is not accurate to the series seven-eight lenses either. After examining many close up photos of all screen used props, I have found some lenses the where shape looks almost exact, and some where the shape still looks off. Regardless, this lens looks fantastic. Like the screen used lenses, it maintains translucency in some areas. The swirl pattern on the core sleeves is wide and prominent, and although it is not my favorite style out of the lenses, it looks amazing. The color of both the top and bottom sleeves is maintained, unlike my other sonic which was given to me by VoteSaxon07. The lens lights up bright and green, and it doesn’t fly off when flicked.
When extended, you can see that the claws no longer have machining lines in the middle. This is something that was quite annoying on his first replicas that was not screen accurate to the props. It was one of the reasons my satisfaction of my first replica originally lessened. This was a necessary improvement, and I’m very glad it was made. The claws are almost evenly spaced, although one seems not to open up completely. Luckily, this is hardly noticeable. The claws are still very loose when moved from side-to-side, but I’m sure the props were too.
Looking at the cage section, we can see Mr. Robatto has finally eliminated the gaps! There is some side-to-side movement on the cage, but this is necessary to allow for smooth extension and less friction. On the topic of extending the sonic, the flicking movement is also very improved. It’s smooth and doesn’t leave the sonic feeling top heavy, like my original sonic. It’s not too tight, and it’s not overly loose, albeit it’s definetly not as tight as the CT sonic. In my opinion, the CT sonic is borderline too tight. This sonic is a happy medium. The swirl pattern is almost perfect It isn’t extremely prominent like the sonic me made for VoteSaxon07, but the white swirl isn’t pooled and overdone in certain areas either. It’s subtle, but still noticeable like the props appear onscreen. I have no complaints here; I am incredibly satisfied.
An unfortunate issue with this sonic is the placement of the leather handle. It isn’t centered with the bottom portion of the sonic. It wouldn’t be noticed unless you are looking at the sonic inverted, but it is quite annoying once it has been noticed. In addition, although the lens doesn’t totally fly off, when flicked a few times or too strongly, it does begin to come loose.
Moving down to the white conical handle, there are no dents! (There aren’t any dents or machining marks on the entire sonic!) This is a huge improvement from the early replicas. In fact, this is the first sonic out of three I have seen in person without any flaws in the metal or resin. The game has been stepped up, and it is very much appreciated. Once more, I have no complaints with this section.
Overall, this replica is a wonderful display piece and an incredibly cherished collector’s item. It should not be treated like a toy, and I would be wary of bringing it to a convention, but it is a beautiful and functional replica of the 11th and 12th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, used from series seven to series eight.