Mattel’s Ghostbusters. A three-way review


Stop the snickering. Normally I’d review each of these bad boys separately. However, bearing in mind that I’m several months late on Ray and Egon alongside reasons that will be explained further on in the review, I’ve chosen instead to review en masse.

Ghostbusters has been experiencing a bit of a popularity surge of late, and considering it’s never seemingly fallen out of a popularity (at least to my knowledge) it is an interesting time indeed. In the last year alone we’ve had a major push for a third movie (well major in that Bill Murray seems to have being an ass about it- hoo-ray costly divorce…) the release of the 80’s animated series, a long overdue video game (which can sub as a third film if you want) and now the figures. Mattel is doing the honors, first releasing Egon at last summer’s San Diego comicon, followed shortly thereafter by Ray with Winston newly released. Sadly it’ll be a bit of a wait for Venkman, but until then…..

Sculpt:

And here we have the second reason I combined the reviews. Much to collectors annoyance, Mattel decided to use the EXACT SAME BODY for all three! Despite that, it’s a fine sculpt- highly detailed, or at least more than we’ve seen prior, and since the last we saw was the animated lines…that’s saying something. The proton pack is attatched and it seems, at least to me, that it’s a little undersized when compared to what we saw in the film. Unfortunately that may have something to do with the generic body type Mattel opted on. Which, by the way, is decent enough, not muscular and really falling in line with ‘average joe’ aspect of the characters, and it does the job well enough.

Of course we did spend 30 bucks a pop on them so you would think they’d have spent a little cash to make each of them a tad more ‘unique,’ aside from the head sculpts and Winstons hands (which are a different color because….well WINSTON IS BLACK) even a slight change in the placement of gear on their webbelts (FYI the gloves are on the wrong side) or simply making one of them gloved, etc. No matter how you slice it, Mattel skimped out in regards to this.

So are the head sculpts better? Kind of. Egon vaguely resembles Harold Ramis (the actor…duh) but sculpt suffers in that his head seems….squashed. It’s all there, but Ramis has a longer neck as well more ‘hatchet’ shaped head. It appears they went and rounded off his head, not to mention having a seperate pair of glasses attached- and it looks sort of goofy.

Ray looks slightly better. It certainly looks like Dan Ackroyd, too bad it’s Ackroyd from somewhere around 1995 not 1984 (roughly where I imagine he’s supposed to be from). His head is less rounded, but looks chubbier, and while Ackroyd isn’t a skinny dude he didn’t have this fat a head back then.

Winston is the best of the lot. Aside from some ‘soft’ features, it looks dead on.

this is not what I think of them personally- I just suck at paint edtining...
this is not what I think of them personally- I just suck at paint edtining...

One final bit before we move on. Originally the proton ‘wand’ attached to the pack was made of soft rubber(?) which allowed the wire easy movement, but tended to warp the wand itself when in the figures hands. Ray and Winston received a new soft, but stiffer, plastic. It holds it’s shape. However, the wire is now shorter and word is it’s more apt to break after repeated use. Honestly I felt Mattel should’ve made it a two piece unit- rubber hose with a plastic wand. But what do I know?

Paint:

No major problems here overall. Trouble areas seem to be the name-tags, as the black either bleeds or doesn’t cover the whole thing (honestly thought Egon’s was different sculpt due to this). Aside from that the paint is fine overall- and I was actually surprised at the level of detail on these things, especially on the packs.

Egon has one major difference, as a SDCC exclusive, he sported a special ‘slimed’ deco. Don’t worry though it generally looks more like an overdone paint wash than anything else, and really doesn’t detract from it.

Articulation:

Great amount, a little limited at the elbows due to the sculpt, but you won’t have any problems posing them. Besides these guys were never known for dynamic poses and aside from holding the wand what else is there? It does the job put simply- even if they look a little stiff when not holding their gear.

Accessories:

Not counting their packs, which are more or less part of the main figure, each ‘Buster boasts ONE accessory. No surprise this also has received a fair many complaints from fans and collectors. Not shocking since, like earlier stated, these are 30 dollar figures after you factor in shipping and such (and since these are Mattycollector.com EXCLUSIVES you kinda have to) and let’s be honest we like getting a bunch of crap with our figures. Egon, being the first and a con exclusive was excused, but Ray? Winston? Come ON.

Anyways….

Egon: Has the second best of the trio with Slimer, that pain in the ass ghost from the first movie and Hi-C juice boxes (I miss Ecto-cooler by the way). He’s cast in clear green plastic with some minimal paint on the teeth, tongue and eyes- all of which look superb, so no complaints there. He looks more like a hybrid of the film and cartoon versions- mainly in his less sinister expression and more rounded (seeing a trend here..) body.

For added fun he has some limited articulation, ball jointed shoulders, hinged elbows and cut wrists (that didn’t come out right…), which is nice. It was expected but it is welcome, too bad he’s clear and not quite screen accurate. But you are getting a second character as an accessory, so there is that.

Oh and he has a clear stand as well, do you need me to elaborate on that?

Ray: By far the worst of the bunch. He has, and I’m not kidding, the Ghostbusters logo in 3-D Yeah that’s it. I won’t lie, it is interesting (to say the least) but after Egon we expected more, and this is it? He lacks any articulation, glows in the dark (because us adults demanded that) and it’s only interesting feature is you can split him in two, remove the red logo, and display him as a generic ghost.

Why not some accessories? Other ghosts who actually appeared in the film (and not as marketing mind you), it’s a major disappointment. That’s the best that can be said.

Winston: For myself, he holds the title of having the best accessory. The Ghost Trap! After Ray I wasn’t expecting much, and initial pics of the trap worried me, but in person it’s an awesome piece! Screen accurate for 99% and the other 1% being to help the trap open (meaning the top is wider to allow for hinges). Matching the fine job for paintwork as the figure.

As and added bonus it comes with and clear blue energy web to ensnare ghosts, which fits Slimer incidentally. Early pics didn’t indicate that this piece was removable. I’m happy to say it is,which just adds to it. Here we have an actual accessory, with both play features and display features. Why exactly was this hard for Mattel to manage? Only two gripes: One the handle is too narrow, sadly no one can hold it properly, and cable attatching it to the footpad is stiff plastic which is a pain to pose. Overall it’s a great piece.

Overall I’m happy with these figures. Now is it because they’re great figures or is it more to do with my love of the franchise in general? I’m more for the latter as this line is riddled with easily solved problems. Now is Mattel going to correct them is another thing. I, like many others, plan on dropping this line after the release of Venkman if there are no improvements. Just so you know Mattel, cutting corners to save a buck will cost you later.

kylethoreau

KyleThoreau is a time-traveling axe murderer from the 1800’s. He stopped in the 2000’s because he ran out of the secret time-travel juice that the cyborg clone of Abe Lincoln gave him. He must now find the clone of Abe to return to his time-travel duties. In the meantime he has decided to report on geeky news and read comic books.

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