(An ongoing writing project in which I catalog and quantify my extensive TARDIS collection. Find previous entries HERE.)
There are a number of Doctor Who bobble heads on the market, usually featuring likenesses of the various Doctors. I have no real interest in them, save for maybe a Tom Baker to add to my Tom Baker collectables shelf. Even that, though, is a bit of a stretch because I’m just not a huge fan of bobble heads in general. If they’re you’re thing, then go with God, but I just find them a bit off-putting–what with their normally proportioned body and then a big giant wobbly head on a spring. I mean who really needs a giant-headed William Hartnell wobbling disapprovingly at them. (I really wanted to use Collin Baker for that joke, but I don’t think they’ve made one of him yet.)
However, there are a few TARDIS bobble heads that I can get behind, mainly because they’re simply normally-proportioned TARDIS recreations that are mounted on a spring. (Though, I suppose you could to an Idris bobble head, and I’d probably buy it.) They have been manufactured in various sizes and levels of complexity, from various companies. Some are painted in accurate TARDIS colors. Some are chrome-coated plastic. Some are Christmas-themed. Some even play sound effects.
I now own three TARDIS bobble heads and have for quite a few years. I don’t know if today’s TARDIS is my favorite of the bobble head TARDISes, but it’s one I am very fond of all the same. It’s a TARDIS bobble head “monitor mate” that I believe I may have bought from Entertainment Earth, or ThingsFromAnotherWorld.com or perhaps the late and lamented ThinkGeek.com. (You can currently find one fairly cheap at Amazon.) It’s a simple hard rubber TARDIS, of the Matt Smith era style, that I believe was manufactured by Biff Bang Pow! around the time of the 50th anniversary of the show in 2013.
Being rubber, this TARDIS has no hard angles to be found. There’s a minimum of paint, due to the rubber being TARDIS-colored to begin with. It’s also not huge, being only around 4 inches in height with maybe an 1.5 inch base. While no one would mistake it for a realistic model of a TARDIS, it’s certainly a respectable impression of one and I appreciate it for that quality. While it is designed to be a monitor mate bobble head, it has never once been placed as the mate of an actual computer monitor at my house. This is mostly due to the fact that all of the flat screen monitor’s I’ve owned have had round-edged housing that would prevent even this TARDIS’s narrow base from resting on it in a stable fashion. Instead, my bobble head TARDIS lives in a specially constructed corner of the closet-based audiobook recording studio in my office. Why’s it so special? Lemme tell ya.
My recording studio is located in what is technically a walk-in closet of my office, but only because a single human being could, technically speaking, walk into it. It would only take a single step, and, once inside, there would be nowhere to go but back out, or to remain in a small two-foot square of space. The studio area takes up half of the small 2.5’x6’x6′ space–the other half being devoted to office supplies. Actually, of those dimensions, you’d probably have to back out around two inches of space on each wall due to the carpeting and sound foam I’ve lined them with.
The studio area is composed of a simple board shelf for a keyboard and mouse; a sewing desk beneath that which has been repurposed to hold my sound board; a music stand to hold my folding laptop, creating a screen to read copy from; and a boom mic. However, the placement of the boom mic gave me some trouble. In a former studio space, I’d had loads of room for it, but not so much in the tiny studio. My plan was to affix a stout block of wood to the back corner and use that to mount the boom arm to. However, I could never quite get it to work right. Because of the awkward mechanics of the boom itself, when mounted to the block, there simply was not room enough for its hinged and springed boom elbow unless that joint was extended, pushing the mic far out into the space where it could not satisfactorily be used to record anything. After fighting with it for an hour, I eventually realized that the boom worked just fine when mounted to the keyboard shelf, which allowed room for its elbow to stretch back to the corner. The block mounting point remained, though, and looked in need of a purpose. So I plunked my monitor mate TARDIS bobble head on it and called it a day. While I never actually reach back and cause it to bobble (for fear of sending it into the chasm of chaos and wiring beneath the shelf), I do like looking at it. It never fails to cheer me up.
You may not have noticed, but there are technically two TARDISes to be seen in the photo of the space. Or, at least, a TARDIS and part of the interior of a TARDIS. The orange-shaded rectangle on the green sewing/sound board table, is actually a quilted, double-sided, coaster matt featuring an image of Matt Smith’s first TARDIS console.
This brings me to a TARDIS-related subject that I have only partially addressed in this series of entries. My mother-in-law, Susan “Bad Sue” Holloway, has gifted me with and/or crafted for me with her own two loving mitts, a goodly number TARDISes in my collection. (One I have already written about is the TARDIS cookie jar, my third TARDIS to own ever, circa 2006.) Not all of them are traditional, three-dimensional representations of the TARDIS, mind you, but can take different artistic forms. As such, I count them as part of the collection and will continue to celebrate them here.