On LEGO Doctor Who

Six weeks back I wrote about the need for LEGO and the BBC to put their heads together and bring out a line of Doctor Who LEGO sets. Apparently, I’m not the only one to feel there’s an obvious need to be filled, as there’s an entire thread at TrekBBS on the subject.

Interestingly, the first post in the thread is from someone who wrote to LEGO and proposed Doctor Who as a potential license. He then posted LEGO’s reply:

I think Dr Who LEGO would be a fantastic idea but I don’t know of any plans to make any. Our Design Team, based in Denmark, try to find products that will be popular all over the world, so they tend to use well known licensed characters such as Harry Potter, Star Wars and Batman.

As I wrote earlier, I think that Doctor Who would have the worldwide appeal, and it would certainly have an all-ages appeal.

But then, I had an interesting thought. And if you read the TrekBBS thread, you’ll hit that idea, but I’m going to write at greater length about it here.

One of the great things about LEGO is that you’re not limited to building whatever the instruction manual lays out. Yes, for some things — like the various model designs — you’re probably going to build it exact, and then never, ever touch it again. (The USS Constellation model is like that for me.) But just taking a bucket of bricks, and building something that you’ve seen only in your head — well, that’s the joy of building with LEGO.

Something that LEGO used to do — though I’m not entirely certain that they still do — is they would publish, about once a year, a book of LEGO designs that fit into their “worlds” but didn’t have kits to actually go with them. Sometimes there would be instructions, but sometimes it was just pictures of things you could do with LEGO. And you could sit down, take a bunch of bricks, and either follow these new directions or build something completely different, riffing off something they had pictured. In some ways, the LEGO Magazine does this, and there’s TwoMorrows Publishing’s BrickJournal, but they’re not at all what I remember from my youth.

What I’m getting at is this: Test the market.

Suppose LEGO and the BBC teamed up and produced a profusely-illustrated book of Doctor Who rendered in LEGO. And provided instructions for building an “official” LEGO TARDIS, and “official” LEGO TARDIS Console, even an “official” LEGO Dalek. Assume the buyer has the parts — perhaps even offer a special brick bucket with the parts and then some — and sell LEGO Doctor Who like that.

In terms of production costs, there would really only be the cost of designing the models, designing the book, and publishing it. And it would be a book that would appeal as equally to the eight year-old who loves his LEGO sets as it would to the thirty-something who has a whole line of licensed LEGO sets. At worst, it would sell like an art book. At best, it would indicate to LEGO that the market exists for “real” LEGO Doctor Who sets.

The fantastic thing about Doctor Who is that the TARDIS can visit any of the environments that LEGO creates. LEGO probably couldn’t show the LEGO TARDIS in a picture with LEGO Star Wars sets or LEGO Harry Potter sets, but the LEGO TARDIS could certainly land in and interact with the Town, Space, or Castle sets. The TARDIS can go anywhere, it has the immediate crossover appeal.

As I said six weeks ago, LEGO Doctor Who simply needs to happen. There’s a way for LEGO to test the waters without committing to investing in an entire line. Doctor Who is the BBC’s most identifiable brand, and one that would appeal to the same ages and demographics that LEGO targets. Yes, there would be licensing costs simply to produce an illustrated book, but if such a book goes over well, then perhaps LEGO could follow that with full-scale sets.

I, for one, would welcome anything LEGO Doctor Who. 🙂

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

33 thoughts on “On LEGO Doctor Who

  1. I’ll never forget when our dog ate a block of lego. It constipated itself for days but, once it came out, he was just so relieved.

  2. i think they should make lego doctor who because doctor who is very popular and so is lego and i hope that finally they should make doctor who lego and i would buy it because i am a lego fan and doctor who fan .

  3. i have got real lego doctor who and i am not joking i went to gamleys yesterday and bought lego doctor who there i was shocked to see it because i thought that it didnt exist the set i got includes a 10th doctor and a tardis and on the back of the box you can get other sets which is a new earth set and a masters valiant ship including a lego master minifig and other sets.

  4. yes it is true i have lego doctor who actual lego set and the tardis is so cool its not just a lego normal police box it is an official console room and you have to make the police box to make it look like it is bigger on the inside. i do hope there are more sets i can find anyway thanks for reading my comment.

  5. Josh – could you please upload some pics?

    Lego Dr WHo needs to happen now!
    Btw, if you happen to live in the NE suburbs of Adelaide, the Tea Tree Gully Library are having a Lego Dr Who comp, closes on 30th June 08.

  6. I’d love to see Lego Doctor Who sets. Even moreso, I’d love a Lego Doctor Who video game. I’ve been playing the new Indiana Jones one and have already played the Star Wars ones. The tongue in cheek humour would just be perfect for Doctor Who. And with all the unlockable characters, think of all the Doctors and companions there could be.

  7. And also imagine the ability to have the Doctors & companions in every other LEGO game, allowing you to play LEGO Star Wars or Indiana Jones the way the Doctor would play.

  8. Lol 🙂
    I built the eight doctor..he has blond hair and a white suit 9from something i dont rember) and his afce is a star wars one..lol

  9. In Adelaide, SA in Australia, my local library are running a Dr Who Lego competition.
    Daleks are quite easy to build – I will eventually post pics of my Daleks and the pieces required, as well as the 2nd Doctor I made, and how easy it is to have a sonic screwdriver – a grey aerial piece without it’s base.
    I also used aerial pieces with their bases for both the Dalek’s gun & eyestalk.

  10. For those who live near the TTG Library, grab a form & get building, as forms are due this Monday (30th of June)

  11. sorry i have not emailed for a while but i forgot this site existed becuase i havent been on it for a while but i still have my lego dr who but i am dissapointed becuasethis is the first time in a long while ive been on this site and i read about the lego compitition just now but relised i could not do it becuase the date has expired.Anyway if you go on brickshelf and type in tardis console my lego tardis inside is on there but sadly i had to replace the doctor and rose with people that look like them becuase i have lost the real ones but anyway enjoy looking and hope you like it [thanks for reading my comment]

  12. year i do hope they bring out a lego doctor who game out but not just on x box alsom on ps2, ps3 ,psp,nintendo ds and nintendo wiiit woul be great.

  13. year i do hope they bring out a lego doctor who game out but not just on x box alsom on ps2, ps3 ,psp,nintendo ds and nintendo wiiit would be great.

  14. year i do hope they bring out a lego doctor who game out but not just on x box alsom on ps2, ps3 ,psp,nintendo ds and nintendo wii would be great.

  15. hi im back to say that i have found my doctor and rose lego figures and are on my shelf in my lwgo tardis console and alao has any one seen my lego dr who set on brickshelf yet

  16. I reckon the whole series could consist of characters you can collect. I think Lego could get away with just releasing collectable lego figures because, like this article mentions, the Tardis can go anywhere, and if you have the figures, you can combine them with any set.

    1. A small set with a Tardis, the doctor and possibly K9 and a few other compainions.

    2. A larger set, which would probably be a collector’s item, of the Tardis interior. It’d be amazing to see the famous mushroom-shaped control panel in lego.

    3. Some more small sets with figures in them, like a dalek, cyberman or some other monster.

    4. Maybe, just maybe, a historical one where the doctor goes back in time? He could encounter knights in shining armour-or maybe even dinosaurs!

  17. If, in my dizziest of daydreams, Lego made some Doctor who lego sets and then made a video game, maybe it’d be like this:

    1. Gameplay– The levels would probably be about the new series. (The ninth doctor and the Tenth doctor) However, maybe once you’ve completed them, you can unlock secret levels with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd doctor…etc. One of them could even be in black and white!

    2. When you play as the doctor you could use his sonic screwdriver to access areas other characters can’t. He would also be the only one who can operate the Tardis-thus you would have to unlock him before you can do so. Other character abilities could include K9 stunning enemies with his laser and accessing areas with small entrances.

    3. Playing as the villians would be extra fun. I reckon playing as a dalek would be sooo cool. You could unlock abilities (such as being able to hover up staircases and exterminate lego people)


  18. Uh, Josh, I know I’m kinda new to this website (this is my first, and possibly only, post) but I noticed you said you had some dr. who lego in 2008. Also SOMEONE said that SOMEONE read that there was master and Valiant kit. Could you possibly tell me where this dr who lego was from?

  19. I wrote to the Beeb about Doctor who lego and they replied that it needs to be bigger in the US.

    We’re fine up here in Canada, we just need our southern neighbors to get into it.

    Matt Smith FTW!

  20. Quite so, JAH, quite so.

    That’s why I think the way to test the market is to produce an Official LEGO Doctor Who Instruction Book. There’s no expense in producing sets that may or may not sell, just the expense of creating the plans, illustrating the book, and seeing if the market can support it.

    It’s what I’d do. 🙂

  21. Personally I’d like to see a videogame.As someone who plays Lego Star Wars on a frequent basis and currently awaiting anxiously for the release of Lego Harry Potter,I would be so happy if there was a DW version.

  22. I’ve built the 4th 7th 10th and 11th doctors all the sonics are simple, for the newer ones just a lightsaber hilt with the correct color transparent stud on top and btw LDD is good, I’ve built the box the old console the 10th doctor’s console and the new console for the eleventh doctor I hope to buy them for my doctors oh and IF Lego ever made this it would be bought by ppl who like lego (making doctor who more popular) and Doctor Who Fans (making Lego more popular) the old sonics are a lightsaber hilt with this piece: http://shop.lego.com/pab/?warning=false and a red stud in the socket. plus I FOUND (making clear I didn’t design it) this REALLY good minifig scale K9: http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4391841647_0ca5b9502e.jpg

  23. I now have all the doctors and a pretty big TARDIS also another, much smaller, TARDIS for the master I have built Jenny (the doctor’s daughter and plann on getting pieces so that they are all a bit better

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