Howe's Transcendental Toybox - Update No.1
The Complete Guide to 2003 Merchandise

Authors: David J Howe and Arnold T Blumberg
Telos Publishing
RRP 7.99
ISBN 1 903889 57 X
Available 19 October 2004

This first update to the definitive collector's guide to Doctor Who merchandise covers all the items released in the 40th anniversary year, 2003, and also contains updates to the main book, as well as market reports and comments from both the people who produce the merchandise and the people who sell it...

This update volume to Howe's Transcendental Toybox includes product descriptions and black and white photographs of the majority of items of Doctor Who merchandise from around the world, including items released in America, New Zealand and Australia as well as the many UK-produced items.

While it's impressive that Telos are publishing an update to take in all of the 2003 merchandise that was absent from the last volume, I'm trying hard to think of a reason to justify buying this. While the main book represented a collection of all Doctor Who merchandising over the years, and their prices in today's market. Update No.1 simply lists items released during 2003 (with a few updates on the last book). While David Howe states that this is the first in an annual series I'm trying to work out why any Who fan, however fanatical, would simply want a list of all the new material produced each year with their RRP? Transcendental Toybox worked because the reader could check out how much their collection was worth.

Now I know that this update is designed to add to the original book without the reader having to pay out for all the information they already have, but wouldn't it make much more sense to update and reissue the original title every five years. Five years can see a huge shift in the value of collectable items, so the idea of an update volume becomes pointless. For example, assuming that there is an updated volume released every year, which volume will you look at if you want to see how much your collection is worth in five years time? You may have items that have not been updated for a few years or are refreshed every other year, which will make tracking items down difficult.

No doubt Who fans will pick this up anyway. Personally though, I think it's a little pointless buying a book that lists new items - especially when you can see most of these by walking into Forbidden Planet, or any other other sci-fi collectibles outlet. However, despite my personal feelings, there will no doubt be a whole stream of individuals who will lap this up.

What it does, it does well - I just don't really see the point.

Pete Boomer

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