In honor of Back to School season coinciding with Capaldi’s debut as The Doctor, Amazon.com has a sale on three different Doctor Who backpacks, each with horrifically bad, keyword laden titles that will make your average Whovian scream. Luckily, no one has to know the list name. Instead, they will merely look on in envy at your choice of personal storage. Before you shell out your hard earned cash, I’ve rounded up the pros, cons, and prices for each model.
List Price $70
Sale Price: $44.99
Listed Dimensions: 21” x 12.5” x 2”
Hands down, this has the best design aesthetic of any TARDIS backpack. I can easily see high school students, college students, and convention goers loving the heck out of it.
To start off, they didn’t just make it rectangular – they also added little padded nubs at the top and bottom to give it the full Police Box treatment. The proportions on this are great, the backpack is the right color, and they even added some nice shading to give it a better sense of depth. Heck, even the placement of the hand hold at top evokes the light atop the TARDIS. My favorite bonus design feature has to be the TARDIS key zipper pull. This backpack was clearly designed by someone who loves the show.
I’m afraid they sacrificed some functionality for the sake of style.
My biggest concern is the depth. The round topped backpack is five inches deep. People with school age kids say that’s plenty of room for textbooks, notebooks, and a lunch box. This much cooler looking rectangular backpack is only two inches deep. If your kid goes to the type of school where all textbooks have been replaced with a tablet, that’ll be fine, but if they’re in a more average school district, they probably won’t be able to use this bag to tote everything they need.
I can totally see high school and college students proudly toting this backpack. Face it. This thing looks amazing. I wouldn’t recommend it for elementary school students, though. The sheer height of the rectangle would probably overwhelm them. Coupled with the lack of interior space, that could get pretty awkward for a nerdy kid.
If you ask me, this is really aimed at the con crowd. If you’re not in costume, this is a great bag for stashing your swag and snacks while you wander the floor. Prepare to be stopped, because you will get compliments.
List Price $60
Sale Price $38.96
Listed Dimensions: 16″ x 13″ x 5″
This is, hands down, the most practical and usable TARDIS backpack. The size is small enough it won’t physically overwhelm an elementary or middle school student but big enough to fit all their textbooks and notebooks.
The front pocket is built to extend out from the front of the backpack, which means your kid can actually fit pencils and small stuff in there without deforming the TARDIS shape. There’s even a hidden pocket on the inside. Like any decent backpack, the straps and back are both lightly padded for ease of use.
They did a good job adding all the basic TARDIS shapes to it. You’ve got the Police Box black banner at the top, white framed windows in the middle, and Pull to Open and St. John’s Ambulance quadrants on the bottom. It looks like a nicely thought out officially licensed product.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who breaks out in hives every time I see someone write “Dr. Who” instead of Doctor Who? This product title was obviously create by someone who has never seen the show.
While I’m being nitpicky, the color isn’t quite TARDIS blue, which gives some people hives, but it is a nice, bright sapphire blue that’ll help your kid stand out.
If you ask me, they missed out on the chance to add an extra cool factor by making the top rectangular instead of square. That distinct curved backpack shape dooms this bag to be scorned by high school kids who don’t want to look like a middle schooler. That said, if your elementary or middle school student loves Doctor Who, this is an affordable way to make their first week of school wibbly wobbly in all the right ways.
List Price $50
Sale Price: $39.99
Listed Dimensions: 15” x 13.5” x 1”
This is another handsome bag clearly designed by someone who loves Doctor Who. It’s much more compact and casual looking than the rectangular backpack and worlds more stylish than the rounded top backpack.
The dark, TARDIS blue color is spot on. They did a good job with placement of the iconic items, too. The Police Box stripe is on the backpack’s top flap, then there’s just enough space between the two windows for the black fastening strap to fall between them instead of overlapping. The Pull to Open and St. John’s Ambulance quadrants have been turned into cute, individual pockets.
The overall look is a nice, modern homage to Doctor Who without being too fussy or literal.
This is not a backpack. It’s a purse. You literally can not fit a standard sized school notebook inside. Furthermore, instead of padded straps, it has a wide, polyester weave single strap looped through a couple of D rings. That means it not only won’t hold it’s shape, but will also put strain on your shoulders if you try to load it up.
I’m not a fan of deceptive marketing. Calling this one a backpack will lead to a lot of people scrambling for realistic replacements at the last minute. I suspect they were afraid of alienating boys by calling it a purse.
Non Sale Backpacks
In addition to a slew of unlicensed messenger bags, Amazon.com stocks a couple more Doctor Who backpacks that aren’t currently on sale. You can pick up a very usable Exploding TARDIS backpack for $49.50 or an unusably tiny 50th anniversary backpack with a neat extended TARDIS front for $16.21.