You really have to hand it to William Atherton. Sure, you might not be able to recall a face by his given handle, but the man is really good at what he does. What does he do? He plays a-holes in movies, and he does it very, very well. He has a body of work that includes film and television and it spans decades but two turns certainly stand out – his portrayal of slimy sensationalist reporter Richard “Dick” Thornburg in Die Hard I and II and of course, his most famous work – EPA jerkface Walter Peck, whose day in plastic is featured here. Like I said, despite his rich body of work, I am sure that even Mr. Atherton himself never imagined he would have his own action figure – leave it to Matty and Four Horsemen.
So far, we have only seen three figures in the 6 inch Movie Masters Ghostbusters Classics line, and they have all been ‘Busters. As we are all well aware, any action figure line is often times only as good as it’s villains and females so it was about time we got a bad guy in this line. But what of Zuul, Gozer, Mister Staypuft and my beloved Vigo the Carpathian? Where are they? They were villains, right? Sure, they are the really recognizable villains of the two GB movies, but, without exception, Walter Peck is the one you REALLY hate. I mean, he makes me mad just thinking about him and I don’t think the Environmental Protection Agency has every fully recovered its image since that original movie. That is what makes Bill Atherton such a badass – he single-handedly destoyed a government agency’s reputation and upstaged a hundred foot marshmallow man all in a supporting role. Damn right he deserves an action figure.
I am not sure if the Four Horsemen had a specific frame from the movie for reference when they were sculpting Mr. Peck, but his slimeball expression is about as perfect for the character as you can get. I can’t wait to get my Venkman figure to tell this jerk that he has Ph.D.s in psychology and para-psychology so maybe, just maybe it will wipe that smarmy look off of his face. The likeness to Atherton is pretty spot on and I am REALLY tempted to dip him in a jar of marshmallow fluff. Makes me realize how much fun I could have had with a Walter Peck action figure 20 years ago… who am I kidding, I will do it eventually. You will too. Just remember to take a picture.
Past his neck, Wally Wick here (or Dickless if you are not watching the movie edited for TV) also has a brand-spanking new suit body developed just for the Ghostbusters line. It has all of the articulation and detail you have come to expect but it is also modular in some areas so key pieces (like the tie and vest) can be switched out to suit other suited figures (courtroom Venkman, Spengler and Stantz, perhaps?). I think they can get a lot of milage out of this body so it was a good investment.
So, that is the plastic realization of the perfect movie scumbag. I can’t freakin’ wait to get Venkman so I can pose these two together. Even now, despite that I am a total face-forward vanilla action figure poser, I am tempted to pose my Spengler figure trying to throw a choke hold on Peck. Any guy that can elicit that strong of a reaction out of Egon is certifiably butt-headed in my book. “Your mother!” Awesome.
But wait, there’s more! Despite Peck’s importance to the Ghostbuster’s mythos, he is really squeezed into the right corner of the packaging. Why? There is a gigantic custom made storage facility in there too – you know it as the Containment Unit. Heck yes. If I have not successfully made the case for the greatness of the character of Walter Peck to you yet, the containment unit is going to own any part of you still holding out. This is one of the coolest action figure “accessories” ever. Let’s be frank, it is also the biggest reason why most people are going to throw down thier Jackson to get Peck.
The Unit itself is packaged in two pieces, the wall section and floor section; they snap together easily making for a scale-accurate interactive diorama piece. Of course, the painfully accurate detail is there at every turn from the cords to the clear plastic safety lights to the real-working spring-loaded handle that opens the trap loader. This feature works really well and stays safely closed when not in use. I love getting ghosts and other ‘Busting accessories with this line, but I would love to see more pieces like this included with future figures.
Speaking of which, there is also newly sculpted ghost trap accessory (non-opening and cordless) included that fits into the containment unit perfectly so you can imprison all of your spooks, spuds and free-repeaters safely in your firehouse wall. Just keep Peck away from it from now on.
The containment unit itself is a really fun piece and I think lots of people who thought they could get away with just getting the actual Ghostbusters in this line will be thinking twice about this – it really is perfect and very essential. I would love to see an industrious customizer add working lights to this (hint hint) but I don’t want to tell some pencil neck how to do their job.
There it is – William Atherton is a badass (despite the cardback calling into question the existance of his genitals). I love the bad guys and in the Ghostbusters world, he is as slimy as it gets. And that is in a mythos that includes a character named Slimer! Thanks so much for reading and check back soon for most Ghostbusterly goodness.
*Muchos Gracias to Toy Guru and Matty for keeping our First Looks bureaucratly balanced.