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The Collector’s Corner #12: The Scorpion Automotives Dalek

This is the holy grail for Doctor Who merch collectors. It is rare. Very, very rare. I’d guess, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, that there might be 20 of these left in the world. It is as rare as a sighting of Lord Lucan galloping past on Shergar. As rare as a truthful utterance from the lips of Donald Trump. Nearly as rare as a film canister of episode four of The Tenth Planet. As rare as– well, you probably get the gist.

It’s the Scorpion Automotives Dalek.

Did I mention it was rare?

It is not to be confused with the more common and more risible Berwick Dalek playsuit, an example of which was sported by the young lady playing Jessica Carney in An Adventure in Space and Time. I covered the differences between the two in the very first of these Collector’s Corners. There, I said:

There were two Dalek dressing up outfits available in 1965. The magnificent Scorpion Automotives one was horribly expensive and was only owned by rich kids who went to posh schools, had a swimming pool, and were probably called Rufus and Chloe or Eustace and Jocasta or something.

The bargain basement version for the plebs was the Berwick Dalek Playsuit.

As you probably know, the Scorpion factory (where they made toys, not scorpions, you understand) caught fire and very few of their Dalek outfits survived…

And yet, dear reader, and yet

One of them surfaced this March on eBay. In my home town. Bedford. Yes, Bedford: site of the notorious Dalek mines. A bloke found it in a house clearance. And here it is.

I put in a bid. I reckoned a tenner would do it. Maybe a bit more. I was willing to go up to fifty smackers. But: here’s the thing.

Guess how much it went for?



Three thousand three hundred quid! That’s insane! I mean, the original price was 8 pounds 15 shillings and sixpence. It sold for 376 times its original price! As the Doctor said in City of Death, “That’s a very nice piece of capital investment.” (According to some inflation calculator page I found via Google, £8 15s 6d is worth about £150 in today’s money – that’s $207 for American readers. So it was always expensive. Just not as expensive as it is today.)

3300 quid is more than I paid for my Ford Fiesta! It’s a third of a deposit on a flat!

£3300 would also buy you:

  • 253 Jodie Whittaker action figures from Character Options
  • 105 gallons of beer (and which would you prefer, eh?)
  • About 33 boxed Marx Tricky Action Daleks from 1965
  • 660 bottles of plonk from Aldi
  • A peerage (well, maybe not a peerage, but I bet it could get you an OBE)
  • About 10 signed photos of William Hartnell
  • 330.3 copies of Philip’s new book
  • Over a third of a tonne of chocolate

I mean, look, I grant you that the Scorpion Automotives Dalek is very nice. But even I wouldn’t pay that for it.

Here is a pic of a less bashed-up one for you to ogle. Just think: some day, one just like this might be yours.

We can but dream.

Simon Danes

The Collector’s Corner #12: The Scorpion Automotives Dalek

by Simon Danes time to read: 2 min
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