All posts by John Gervais

Head Writer for The Gallifrey Post

Future Plans

As you’ve probably noticed, I have never rountinely published podcasts, blog posts, or videos. This is mainly due to legitimate priorities in my life. (This applies to Nicholas Johnson, a writer here, too.)

Unfortunately, this update is not evolving into me writing false-promises of routine updates. Updating Instagram already takes up more time than you may think. I dedicate a full day each month, or two months, to JUST taking photos. I usually take a few hours the next day editing them. Then, I take even more time writing captions for them all so I have diverse content always ready to post. I’m not complaining about this. Updating Instagram isn’t my job. I do it because it’s fun!

What in getting at here is simple. I already put a relatively significant amount effort into updating Instagram, so I’m going to focus most, if not all, of my content to being created for Instagram. A lot of it will be experimental, but I think it will be a lot of fun. I have great plans that I will explain further in a future blog post.

Rubbertoe Replicas 11th-12th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver: Review

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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.

QMx 11th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver: An Overview

Today is the day the world gets its first review of the QMx Artisan Master Series 11th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver, as made by Nick Robatto. Many have regarded this replica As something that has simply fell off the face of the planet. Most people who have interest in this replica have only seen the product photos which were advertised on the QMx website. Finally, after many years of this elusive replica being shrouded in mystery, I am finally here to save the day and review it.

This replica sonic screwdriver was sold by QMx in 2010 as a part of their “Artisan Master Series.” This series was intended as a preliminary release of sonic screwdriver replicas, made by Nick Robatto, to reface QMx’s own eventual replicas. The sonics sold were the 11th Doctor’s and River Song’s. Both replicas were entirely handmade like the original props, unlike the CND’d replicas both Rubbertoe Replicas and the Celestial Toystore currently sell. Of course, fast forward to now and you know QMx’s plans never came to fruition. Mr. Robatto created 25 11th Doctor sonics, 15 River Song sonics, and that is where they left it. A quote from Mr. Robatto regarding this specific replica can be found on his website:

“These were made entirely by my own fair hand and this was the first time a replica had been offered of the 11th Doctor’s Sonic…The Sonics I made for QMX are unique in the world of prop collectables, in that they were all entirely made by hand by the maker of the original prop. They have my blood (quite literally at one point, but that’s another story), sweat and tears poured into them and hopefully they will hold their value as unique and rare pieces of Doctor Who history.”

These specific replicas are modeled after the series 5-6 props, with the exception of larger rivets which are present on the series 7b-8 props. In fact, this replica is strikingly similar to the Celestial Toystore’s original prototype, down to the fat leather section. As previously stated, this replica is entirely handmade by the original prop maker, Nick Robatto, and it is comprised of about 150 separate pieces. Each sonic took approximately two weeks to fully fabricate and assemble. In addition, these replicas were constructed exactly like the original four series 5 props. Of course, this means that these replicas should not be flicked or treated like Matt Smith treated the props, as they were consistently broken by him and in need of repair. The original sonics were not made to be flicked, and this replica is not either.

Each replica is delivered inside a very large, beautifully finished wooden box. The River Song sonic screwdriver replicas came with the same boxes. Due to their massive size, the previous owner of my River Song sonic replica thew his away. Luckily the previous owner of this sonic recognized its value and did not! The box itself is beautifully finished and looks like something you would use to display the sonic on top of. You probably wouldn’t mind having it sitting on your coffee table, even. The series 5 “DW” Doctor Who logo is stamped on top of the lid.


This replica is not for play. It should be regarded as an awesome display piece, and nothing more. This point is supported by the gorgeous light up display stand contained within the mega-box. This intricately designed, custom made, octagonal display stand has three metal plaques on the front sides. The leftmost plaque contains the edition number, in this case number 10 of 25, as well as basic licensing information. The middle plaque confirms, for any drooling fans, that this is in fact the 11th Doctor’s sonic screwdriver you’re looking at.  Finally, the rightmost plaque proudly boasts Nick Robatto’s signature, and states that this is a custom made piece personally made by the original prop maker. This stand compliments the sonic screwdriver perfectly, with a resin base that matches the sonic’s handle, illuminated green top which mimics the sonic’s emitter lens, and copper claws to hold the replica, which match the sonic’s body.


Although the box and display stand are exquisite, the replica itself remains a story of its own. It truly is a collector’s dream. Rubbertoe Replicas advertises the fact their sonics are assembled by the prop maker. The Celestial Toystore boasts about their screen accuracy and beautifully swirled lenses. Regardless, this is the only replica that is truly handmade, not just assembled, by the prop maker himself. Due to the replica’s accurate construction, it is limited as a display piece. As such, it looks phenomenal. The core sleeves are brilliantly swirled on each side. There are absolutely no gaps in the cage section, and each aluminum section stands straight, both issues on some CNC’d replicas.  The tarnished copper is gorgeous, and the emitter lens is bright and glossy. When it comes to appearance, this piece ticks almost every box.

Almost? Well, it would be unfair of me not to speak upon the accuracy of this replica. Before I do so, I must make a few simple and understandable comments. Nick Robatto is not at fault for any inaccuracies in this replica. Mr. Robatto makes his living as a prop maker, less so as a replicator. He made the original prop in about a week, and then three more in the immediate two weeks. He never had the intention of replicating these for commercial sale. He kept little to no documentation of how he made these props, and almost no measurements. In fact, all of the four original props significantly differed in measurements and appearance. He is the original prop maker, but it is unreasonable to expect this replica to be entirely screen accurate. As such, there are some inaccuracies. Most notably, the rivets are noticeably larger than the rivets on the series 5 props, as well as the leather handle being quite fat in comparison to the props. The claw screws are mounted left-to-right, while they were right-to-left on the props.In addition, The claw brackets are rounded instead of being hexed off, and the end cap is held on using a pin instead of a magnet. There are a few more inaccuracies, but they are not worth mentioning.

In my opinion, none of these inaccuracies detract from the value of this replica. In the end, this remains an amazing, unique replica, which to the untrained eye is perfect. I am incredibly proud and truly shocked to own this replica, as well as very delighted to share it with the readers of this review. Please enjoy the gallery of attached photos, and feel free to contact us with any questions.

Meet the Authors

John Gervais

       Howdy! I am extremely delighted to have totally rebuilt this website, and I can’t wait for it to get up and running like Nicholas and I imagine it will. Although I still believe the original podcast was a good idea, it simply didn’t fit our schedules. This regenerated page will be the best of the best.

     I myself am a prop replica and costume collector, who tends to do some cosplay as well. I love going to conventions and taking pictures with people who ask me, but even more so with people I find who have strikingly unexpected costumes. Meeting people at conventions is something I am very accustomed to, and I have grown to seriously enjoy it.

       Although I mainly specialize in collecting accurate props and costume pieces, I greatly appreciate the art and effort that goes into custom made replicas. Although I don’t have many, I do love seeing them and watching the processes people go through to fabricate them.

       Feel welcome to follow me on Instagram if you don’t already! @Doctor.Disco is my handle!

Nicholas Johnson

The worst.

From Podcasts to Articles: A Regeneration

Today, The Gallifrey Post is regenerating from a podcast to an article based publication! Our authors’ availability to sit down and write is vastly more significant than their ability to sit down and record a podcast. Because of this massive change, we will be able to publish articles which cover the material you wish to learn about much more rapidly. There will be no more waiting for podcasts!