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Ok, but somehow not what I was hoping for.
on April 9, 2011
For context, I'm 41 and a long-time fan of Doctor Who since the days of Tom Baker. My daughter is 11, and she's become a big fan this past year. I offered to buy us both sonic screwdrivers, so that we could use them together when we watch the show, and bond in a geeky father-daughter sort of way.
I think I can address the discrepancy that shows up in other reviews of this product. This sonic screwdriver is fine, and it is exactly what it is advertised to be. It does telescope up and down; it does light up and make noise when a button is pushed; it does contain a pen (with disappearing ink); and it does look more or less like David Tennant's version of the sonic screwdriver from the television show, at least when viewed from a distance. It is fun to have one of these while watching the show, and I could easily imagine a child using this as a part of a Halloween costume.
All of this being said, if you're an adult, either a collector or someone looking to indulge in fantasy for a moment, it doesn't "feel" like a true sonic screwdriver. Nor does it look real when viewed from up close. It is what it is -- a couple of pieces of injection-molded plastic, a small flashlight, and a ballpoint pen. It's an inexpensive child's toy. And that's fine.
Two things trip me though. One is that this looks and feels like something that ought to be priced at $5 or $10, rather that $24. Maybe I'm just getting old. These days, it's hard to even find a regular flashlight made of metal, so perhaps it's too much to expect that a $24 version of the sonic screwdriver would actually be a close replica of the original, in terms of materials and appearance. But it's hard to buy this without feeling like the BBC is getting a huge licensing royalty on something that's basically a cheap piece of plastic.
The other thing that trips me is that I'd like to be able to buy a version of the sonic screwdriver that really *does* feel like a solid reproduction. But as far as I know, the only stage-prop quality metal reproductions are both unlicensed and very expensive (hundreds of dollars). Again, maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, but somehow this disappoints me. BBC ought to be able to license a stage prop version of the sonic screwdriver that looks and feels real, but that doesn't cost $100 retail. That's my opinion.
So I guess the final word is, if you're looking for a child's toy or Halloween costume accessory, then this product is fine (although expensive). But if you want something that would actually fool a native from Gallifrey, then this falls a bit short.