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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2008
When you install the batteries it requires the use of a small phillips head screwdriver... So you need a regular screwdriver to make your Sonic Screwdriver work. (And while I was doing this, I actually was thinking to myself, "Hmmm, this really could be more sonic!")

I've had this thing for about a year now, I use the regular pen nib quite often and it's currently not showing signs of running out of ink. The nib with the UV ink, unfortunately was lost.

That is the biggest issue I have with the item. The instruction pamphlet that comes with it says that you can order replacement nibs from customer service. You can not currently just order replacement nibs from Amazon, nor are they currently listed in the "Spare Parts" section of the Character-Online customer service website. (Though there are spare Dalek parts which is kind of awesome.) You have to call the company's customer service department which is in the UK. So unless you want to call long distance and pay shipping from the UK for pen nibs? Do not loose them. (This may change, I hope it does.)

Onto the good stuff!

I really love owning this thing. A few days ago I had a blackout at night and (due to a recent move) I couldn't find my flashlight, but I was using this thing to make some notes. So I used it to find my keys and my wallet to go out and buy a proper flashlight and some candles. Doing that was more fun then I should probably admit in a public forum. Secondly, the UV ink is tangentially educational. Your child likes Doctor Who, you get them this pen, they write secret messages on the psychic paper and say "Cool! How does that work?" They then become interested in what UV light is, learn all sorts interesting stuff about wavelengths and "Yay! Science is fun!"

If you're a cosplayer through, that's not really your concern. From close up and far away it looks good, it has the right moving parts, lights up and makes the noise. It comes with batteries. I don't know what more you could ask for.

Just don't misplace the pen nibs.
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on September 9, 2011
I got this for my husband as a gag gift for his birthday - he loves Dr. Who. Now he runs about the house sonic-ing the door locks, the computer, the microwave, even the dogs. The dogs don't like it much, but he sure does.
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on January 1, 2010
Go forth and Google, and check it out: This is the toy that was made from the prop that so impressed the prop that they switched. Yep, the one on TV is a version of this toy, recast and hand-finished.

Too much fun.

I have been stopped once while flying, and the TSA guy said, "What's this?"

"It's a sonic screwdriver... And a pen."

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on January 4, 2008
I purchased the Sonic Screwdriver as a Christmas gift for my 7 year old daughter. It was a huge hit! She was more excited about it than any of her other gifts. My wife and I were also very impressed with the quality of the product. It is very well made and came with its own batteries. I must admit that with the interchangeable ballpoint pen and invisible ink heads I really would love to get this as a gift myself. It is so great to see a toy that is so well made. Doctor Who fans at any age will love this product.
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on January 31, 2012
I ordered this sonic screwdriver with the intention of being able to ~use~ it, but all it's done so far is light up and make the sound, which doesn't help me much at all. The other day I was at a space station and demonized ood were chasing me and my pals and I couldn't even unlock the door with it. Do you even realize how embarrassing it is to have a useless sonic? I mean, I know it doesn't do anything to wood but that's expected, and I just think this screwdriver needs a little more sonic.
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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.
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on May 18, 2011
Just received this item in the mail today and first impression is very underwhelming.

The sound is pretty quiet and doesn't resemble the sound from the TV show very well. You have to use your imagination. I suppose this is good if your kids are going to be using it all the time, but it does greatly weaken the coolness factor when you are showing it off to your friends.

The light is also on the dim side. This may be a limitation of a UV light, but a bright blue light would be a lot more impressive, and the novelty of invisible ink (for which you need a UV light) wears off pretty quickly.

As others have noted, it is plastic and not so durable.

If you love the Dr. Who TV show it is still a fun purchase, but it could be so much better...
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on November 9, 2009
This is a very good facsimile, I would say about 95% screen accurate. I am a professional Prop Maker, so I am very picky about my Props. The controls on the original are a little different, but not so the average person would notice. for the price and what it does, it is a beautiful piece of work. A definite yes buy for the avid collector. Mind you it is plastic but if you are careful with it, it will last a very long time. I myself have purchased several of them so I could modify some and use the circuits from others.
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on January 1, 2014
This version of Tenth's sonic screwdriver is the purplish UV light bulb version with an interchangeable black end for a UV pen and a regular pen. The head is extendable, just like in the series. There are four sounds and two buttons that activate the electronic effects but only one button works at a time, depending whether or not the head is extended. It's lightweight but sturdy. Its small frame also makes it very portable and fun to carry around in your pocket. Like the other sonic screwdriver toys, this costs more than it probably should but you won't mind because you'll feel like The Doctor when you wave this baby around.

There is another version of this sonic, the blue LED bulb version that lights up more similarly to the Tenth Doctor's sonic. It has no pen, though. For comparison of these two sonics screwdrivers, feel free to visit my blog for more pictures [...]
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on August 21, 2010
I bought this toy for a friend who I introduced to Dr. Who and is now obsessed. She absolutely flipped out when she opened the bag and saw this toy! Shes had it for over a month now and as far as I can tell it is still in perfect working order. I did notice that the ink nibs that fit into the hilt of the toy do not fit as tightly as I would like them to, but they arent loose enough to prevent using the pen feature if you are careful. The UV ink is a novel idea but what really stood out about this particular toy was the fact that the head extends just like it does on the show, and the cheaper versions of this toy that amazon has available do not have this cool feature. The best thing about this toy is the first reaction of the reciever! Get ready for screams of joy and hours of role playing as everybodies favorite time traveller.
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