Even though it's going to be quite some time until we see The Twelfth Doctor having adventures on our TV screens, that's not going to stop the behemoth that is merchandising from getting us an early peek at the new Time Lord next year, albeit in action figure form - Bif Bang Pow have already started sculpting theirs!

The company behind 8" inch collectable 'Mego-style' dolls from various pop culture franchises (from Battlestar Galactica to The Venture Bros., to Twilight Zone and even Adventure Time!) is no stranger to Doctor Who, having done dolls of the Fourth Doctor, Leela and other Baker-era baddies, as well as an Eleventh-and-First Doctor twin pack for this year's SDCC.

But this level of pre-production for the Twelfth Doctor's figure seems a bit extreme - Matt Smith hasn't even regenerated yet, and according to BBP's blog post revealing the headsculpt, we'll be seeing the figure by May of next year, well before Series 8 begins airing:

I was really excited to hear that Peter Capaldi has been chosen to be the 12th incarnation of Doctor Who! Of course, for us, the announcement immediately threw us into high gear! We are licensed to make Doctor Who action figures, and we want to be sure that fans can get their hands on their 12th Doctor action figures as soon as possible!

So what does this mean? As soon as we heard the announcement, we began making the sculpt for the action figure's head. It takes a long time to create a sculpt that meets our standards. We also need to get it approved by the BBC and the actor himself.

Once we get a sculpt approved, we've got to wait... we need to see what the actor looks like in full costume and makeup. We have to modify the sculpt to reflect appropriate facial expression, hair color and style, and facial hair. We have to see what the new Doctor will be wearing so we can prepare authentic clothing for the figure, too. Then we need to choose fabrics, design the clothing, and create a mockup. This too must be approved by the actor and the BBC. Finally, we'll go into production on the figure! We estimate that the figure will be ready to ship to you in May 2014.

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So there you have it - here's your first look of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor! Sort of.

[Bif Bang Pow]