Customer Reviews: Doctor Who Doctor Who 11th Sonic Screwdriver
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on June 18, 2011
Here's the thing: A lot of people have bad things to say about the 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver. And they're valid complaints. BUT, I think it's over-all a great product.

About the seller:
AWESOME. The product came with no problems or complications, and it arrived two days before the estimated arrival date.

About the Screwdriver itself:
-It IS kind of lame that when the claws are extended you have to push the button at the bottom to activate the light and sounds.
-It IS kind of lame that the main button on the side doesn't quite line up sometimes, so when the claw is not deployed, and you're supposed to be able to use the primary button, about half the time it doesn't work.
-A lot of customers say that installing the batteries is overly complicated and difficult.

-Releasing the claws and the spring action is SO satisfying and makes you feel like you're gonna take on the whole Dalek empire singlehandedly.
-I didn't have any trouble at all installing the batteries. It was simple and quick.
-Sure, it's disappointing that the main button is finicky. But it requires you to adjust the top of the screwdriver or hold it in a specific way. It takes a delicate touch and I've gotten pretty good at it while my friends still can't get it. And that makes me feel even more like the Doctor. It's totally an oversight on the part of the manufacturer, but it's fitting that you have to fumble about and make the screwdriver work sometimes just like The Doctor often does with his technology.

Overall, it's an awesome toy. It's not perfect, but who cares? It's 20 bucks and you get to run around annoying your friends, pretending to be the doctor, and sonic-ing everything in sight.
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on September 20, 2012
Epic. Well designed. Well built. But still doesn't do wood. Goodness, I'll have to invent a setting for that, it's embarrassing!
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on July 18, 2011
This is not for people who are careless and rough with their toys. For the price, I'm not surprised that it's made of plastic. It really does look a lot like the 11th Doctor's screwdriver, but because it's made of plastic, it doesn't have much weight to it. This is not a negative criticism given the price and the materials used. The light and sounds work just fine with the extender claws retracted and extended.

There were a lot of negative statements about installing the batteries. This made me hesitate to order the item, but I found that it wasn't difficult to put the batteries in at all. I think there will be some subset of people who will find it more involved than others, and that's all there is to it. This toy doesn't use AAAs. It uses three 1.5V L1154 disc batteries (thicker versions of your average wrist watch battery). You'll need a small tipped Phillips screwdriver to open the battery casing. Not a huge difference from most toys. And if you want to be really careful, the toy does come with instructions.

When the claws are extended, the black button that turn on the LED light and sound is disengaged. There is a hidden red button at the tip of the handle that allows you to make the sound and turn on the light instead. This is because when you extend the claw, the button that enables light and sound extends with the claws--a design choice made by the manufacturers. You can see a very small black button along the shaft that lines up with the regular button when the claw is extended. If you have little fingers, you can press that button to engage the sounds and light instead of using the hidden red button.

I suppose that a more involved design that allows the use of the same button whether or not the claws are extended would have raised the price. The 11th Doctor's sonic screwdriver is mechanically more complicated than the ones that preceded it. The more moving parts there are, the more likely something will break, the more thought needs to go into the design, and the more expensive it will be. That said, the challenge here was to balance accuracy, functionality, and price. I am guessing they didn't want it to be ridiculously more expensive than the earlier sonic screwdrivers. Food for thought.

We got this for our 10 year-old who is a fan of the new Doctor Who series. There are other toys at this price range that are rubbish. In our experience and given my son's interest in Doctor Who, this isn't one of them.

Overall, it's a fun toy. My son has been playing with it on and off without any problems.
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on November 9, 2011
It's a VERY cool toy and has impressed many of my Whovian friends. It's not completely flaw free, after all, it's a TOY! The bottom button cover has seemed to lose it's ability to remain closed (I plan on embedding two small magnets to fix that). If you don't have the top half snugged on tightly, it's possible it will completely pop off.

HOWEVER, there is a little secret to this toy! It has a HIDDEN FEATURE! At present, if you press the sound/light button, it alternates between two sounds. HOWEVER, if you quickly press it THREE times and hold, you get a new sound. THEN, press and hold FOUR times, you get another new sound! Enjoy!
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on August 25, 2013
i ordered this product because I was the eleventh doctor for halloween, and i wanted a sonic to complete my costume. also, i just wanted eleven's sonic because matt smith and his wavy arm dance connect to me on an almost spiritual level. The batteries the toy came with are still working well, which is pretty rad because i've been using this since october!
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on January 10, 2015
I bought 3 for my sons for Christmas and they love them! It makes more than one sound which makes it more real for them. I can tell they really feel like they are Doctor. They grab them when we watch the show and turn them on when the Doctor does. We've been having so much fun! Matt Smith is our favorite! It's a big hit in our house and even better than I thought it would be!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon August 13, 2012
I purchased the 10th and 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdrivers at the same time, so some comparison will be made in this review.

Authenticity: About a 3. It's generally the right shape, design and all. The jaws are notably plastic and cheaply made, but the paint job overall is well done. Note that I have seen two other of this model brand new, and neither had as fine a paint job as the one I purchased here. So I'd say their quality control needs a bit of work. The 10th version is far more authentic because well... it was the exact model used in the show itself. The 11th cannot unfortunately make that claim.

Fun: I consider this overall more "fun" than the 10th version because it actually has a spring-loaded extension mechanism which slaps into place with a rather satisfying "whack" (and is great for startling unsuspecting onlookers). The drawback is that the hilt button ceases to function when extended, requiring one to either have a rather long thumbnail to reach the displaced button inside an opening within the driver (which was not meant to be reached)... or using the default button on the butt-end (which works with no problem but does require one to realign one's hand). Still, a rather satisfying effect overall and significantly better than sliding a rather largish button (as is the case with the 10th version, authentic as that version may be).

Educational value: It will be a real education trying to install the batteries. First you will be educated you probably do not have a cross-head screwdriver that small, as well as the price of obtaining one. Then you will learn just how much torque can be applied to a cheap screw head without stripping it, which will improve your motor-coordination skills. You will then discover that polarity on batteries and direction of placement can be critical to an electrical project, as well as the benefit and necessity of reading instructions despite the delusion you already know how to assemble the device. Lastly users will learn humility and control of language. All in all, a rather educational device.

Durability: I'd have to rate that rather low. As mentioned the jaws are cheap plastic, the device itself is cheap plastic and the electronic and battery compartment appears to be made by the lowest bid in a Chinese sweat-shop. The instructions are full of cautions and "avoid this"... which I'd say one would do very well to follow. I would estimate that dropping it may end its usefulness as a functional item, so I do not recommend doing so. Nevertheless it has a sufficient feel and weight as well as easy gripability (is that a word?) so overall it should hold up so long as one avoids banging it about or messing with the jaws.

As a note: the extender spring seems a bit stroppy... to the point that it gives me caution triggering it enough times might actually damage the device. Because of this I've developed a habit of holding my finger against the extender body to reduce the impact of "launch" somewhat. It really comes out with quite a "thwack". I think a spring of about half the tension would have been sufficient. I do not intend to run durability tests to find out how many clicks it will withstand.

Sound: The sound is significantly louder and more satisfying than the 10th version, but still not sufficiently loud to startle onlookers, more's the shame.

Light: Like the 10th version the light only comes out the very tip. I would have enjoyed seeing the entire fore-barrel light up. As it is the effect is somewhat "toyish" and somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless the extension and sound somewhat makes up for that.

Not a pen: The 10th version was an ink pen, which meant it was actually useful beyond sitting on a shelf or role playing at conventions. No pen in this. But in truth since it is significantly larger than the 10th version, it probably wouldn't make a very good pen anyway. Perhaps a cricket bat...

Overall rating: Four stars because well, it just looks rather incredible and has that spring-loaded extender thing, doesn't it?

Should you buy it: If I were to buy ONE Doctor Who collector's item, it would have to be the 10th Doctor Sonic because well, it's totally the real thing, isn't it? (They actually used the "toy" on the show itself.) The 11th version cannot make that claim. However this is a very impressive-looking device and quite satisfying overall. Most Whoobies would relish in having the 10th and 11th Sonic Screwdrivers sitting side-by-side on a display shelf (which is how I have them arranged). So if you can afford it all at once or in two purchases over time, I'd say this is well worth the purchase.

However, having received it and seen both it and the 10th version... I am more tempted than ever before to buy another one of these, pull the guts out and make my own Sonic Screwdriver out of real metal and hang the authenticity. After all, having a personalized one-of-a-kind hand-made Sonic Screwdriver of one's own design-- well the chance for creativity just shouts, doesn't it? And of course there's the bragging rights: "Yes, I made it myself." Then tell the purists you're the 27th Doctor and they can go pout somewhere because you spoiled their "compulsive authenticity" fun. And that's what the Doctor is all about: the creators doing whatever they can flat well get away with. Yes? ;)
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on December 23, 2010
I don't know what you twonks are complaining about. I had no problems with the battery compartment. You just need a very small Phillips-head screwdriver (I used my eyeglass repair kit). The batteries fit in fine and it works great! I'm having lots of fun sonicing my cat, Corwin. He runs from the green light, but he seems to like the ultraviolet of the 10th Doctor's screw driver. I agree that this one feels way more solid. Albeit it's plastic, fells very durable. I'm going to enjoy rewatching the episodes and sonicing along with the Doctor, though my fiance will probably hit me if I use it too often! Overall,great fun! Highly recommended!
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on June 13, 2012
I've been a Who fan since 1976. In my opinion Matt Smith has the coolest sonic screwdriver of them all. This replica is plastic (what isn't these days?) and that's the biggest downside to this item. I'm an adult collector (in a fan sense, not "collector" sense) who on the occasion plays with it with my granddaughter. I have a lot of Who toys. We really enjoy this screwdriver. It has two sonic sounds and the pop-up mechanism is solid. I'm never afraid of breaking it. I'm not a little kid running through the house like a terrorist zapping stuff. I can only imagine that's why some reviewers here are down on it.
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on April 22, 2010
I will admit, I had higher hopes for this toy. I have several sonic screwdrivers (9/10 UV light edition, Future Sonic from "Silence in the Library", the Master's Laser Screwdriver), and have always been impressed by the quality of the product and it's versatility during cosplay. Aside from a few instances where the screwdriver felt a bit brittle, I've dropped them all only to find them in perfect condition afterwards. So I expected nothing less than similar quality when I ordered the new 11th Doctor screwdriver.

Right off the bat, things went horribly wrong. After a gut-wrenching time trying to twist off the top to access the battery case (I felt like I was going to snap the extender arms), I found that one of the screws (the one closest to the inside) was of extremely poor quality and stripped as I was trying to open it. So here I was, unable to open the casing without cracking it. I eventually had to break the casing off just to access the batteries, and smooth down the sides so the device would extend properly. (It still doesn't, it only extends halfway on the initial press, and halfway when the button is released, unless you tap it very fast, at which point it will extend fully in one shot.)

After inserting the batteries and testing the device out, I found that the only way to turn on the SFX while the device was extended was to use the second access button, hidden at the base of the handle. While mine worked (I know this is a common issue- several of my friends have found the second button does not work at all, even when extended), it feels like an incredibly poor idea to have the second button be the only one that works while the device is extended. It would have made more sense for the buttons to work the other way around- it makes the device ungainly to hold and wield while extended.

Speaking of extension: I tried to place mine back in the box for display, only to find that once it clicked back into the holding tray, the device would turn on...and stay on. None of the buttons were being pressed, it just refused to shut off until I removed it from the tray. I've read reviews that this sometimes happen when the device is extended, but the seemingly random nature behind mine made me remove the batteries before I could store it.

As to the design of the torch itself: I have no real complaints. While the screwdriver resembles a single handed lightsaber hilt (a friend of mine refers to it as a cattle prod as well), it has a strangely comfortable grip and is easy to twirl around. From a strictly aesthetic point of view, I don't dislike it. It looks a lot more "futuristic" than other screwdriver models (even the Future Screwdriver, which I jokingly say looks like something out of steampunk), and it is a bit more fun to wave around. But all the aesthetics in the world cannot save this from being poorly produced and designed. I have the distinct feeling they rushed this out as fast as they could without proper testing, from the fans or designers. Character Options needs to seriously review their design schematics before producing more of these.

On a side note: as I write this, I am chatting with a friend who is messing with his screwdriver. He said that while we were going over the flaws in the design, his backfired and now no longer makes any sounds or lights. Like some others, the hidden button on his never worked properly, and two of the clamps were loose out of the box. I would like to test mine out to see if the same issues would happen, but at the same time am reluctant to see my screwdriver break any further.
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