Howe's Transcendental Toybox
The Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who Collectibles (Second Edition)

Authors: David J Howe and Arnold T Blumberg
Telos Publishing
RRP 25.00
ISBN 1 903889 56 1
Available now

The definitive collector's guide to Doctor Who merchandise contains an overview of everything that has been commercially released world-wide, from the rare and obscure to the commonplace and disposable...

Are you a serious Who collector sitting on a small fortune? Or is that Dalek cake gathering dust in the attic unnecessarily stinking out the neighbourhood? It would appear, on the whole, that your treasured Who collection is unlikely to be worth a great deal - most items you will have paid a few pounds for are unlikely to be worth more than £30 to collector's of today. But then most fans wouldn't part with their treasured possessions.

This, the second edition of Howe's Transcendental Toybox, is fully revised and updated, covering all items released up to the end of 2002. Not only is a must own book for serious Who collector's, it's also great fun to flick through even if you are not a huge Who fan now you are older.

Sadly, it would seem that it's not worth digging around your parent's place to see if any old Who merchandise from your youth is hiding away. Don't bother to dig around in the bottom of that huge chest freezer to see whether there is a Wall's Dalek's Death Ray Ice Lolly which escaped from it's box many moons ago. It's only worth £22 now anyway.

Shame to see those Tom Baker Y-front's I had as a young lad are worth very little, as are my sound effect LP, glow in the dark keyring, and single of the theme tune with Tom Baker on the cover. But that doesn't matter. What is important is how well researched and designed this collection is. Most of the entries have accompanying photography - although it's a shame that the colour pages are wasted on reprints of all of the covers of Doctor Who magazines. But, when there are so many quality enteries, how do you decide which section will be given the full colour treatment.

It was also interesting to see that there is the odd entry warning fans of fake merchandise - like the modern counterfeit eggcups which have been made to look like collector's items and currently sell for £50. Sadly, these eggcups were never available to the public as licensed products, so it's not even as though you'll be buying a counterfeit product of a real collector's item. There is, on the other hand, the argument that these counterfeits are rare and will themselves be worth something to collectors in years to come.

Whether you are a Who fanatic or a casual fan, this collection is a must own item.

Pete Boomer

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