There’s something strange, in the Fwoosh Offices. Well, aside from the people that actually hang out there, but now we know who to call and they have finally arrived – the REAL Ghostbusters! Not the fake Ghostbusters, not the movie Ghostbusters (they were already here), not the Filmation Ghostbusters – the real deal. After over a year of movie-related Ghostbusters items from Mattel, we finally have some figures based on the fantastic cartoon, and vintage line of figures. As much as the original Ghostbusters movie made an impact on me as a kid, the RGB cartoon was equal in it’s influence, it was so well done and I continue to watch it to this day. Further more, the RGB toys were on of my major toy lines as a kid (going along with Super Powers, MOTU, Thundercats and TMNT) so for the first time about 20 years, I have new REAL Ghostbusters toys.
When I learned that Mattel had secured the license to make toys based off of the movie and cartoon properties of the GB, I was very excited. I have NEVER had toys of the movie guys and, as I said, the RGB line was one of my favorite (and mostly complete) lines of my youth. I was really hoping to see a full-blown line of action figures with a lot of influence from the vintage line – the busters themselves and LOTS of ghosts. I have to say that I did not see the property fitting into the Retro-Action style since that is more of a 1970s thing to me, but for now, the first (and only) RBG offerings are coming in the form of the R-A style.
We got a taste of this back at SDCC with the “preview” Peter Venkman figure. While the head sculpt resembled the cartoon counterpart, the jumpsuit and Proton Pack color scheme followed the movie (and ONE episode of the cartoon, “Citizen Ghost”, that explained the different colored uniforms. That figure was a nice precursor to the actual line of figures (he, unlike these three has a voice chip) but I did not get much of a RGB vibe from him. Egon, Ray and Winston certainly change that though.
The three that we got from preview (Peter was not included) keep the Retro-Action styling but do offer a lot of influence from the cartoon control art. I don’t think these were at all intended to be influenced by the old toys so I suppose Mattel felt it unneeded to hold to the tradition figure execution most people were probably expecting.
As it is, they are pretty fun figures for what they were intended to be, and while they are in the Retro fashion, most of the things that were done for them were executed well. Right out of the box though, of the three, there is certainly an order (for me anyway) of how well each of them turned out. Egon is BY FAR my favorite with Winston coming in second and Ray bringing up the rear. The latter falls there for a couple of reasons, but I will get to those in just a minute.
First the good stuff- Egon. Aside from the different-colored suits (I like all of them and they really pop) the only real way for these figures to differentiate themselves from each other is in the head sculpt and the accessories. They are all made from the same R-A body, with the standard black boots, belt and Proton Pack. Egon is my runaway favorite for both the head sculpt and the accessory. While still still conforming to the retro style, the head really scream RGB Egon to me. The expression, glasses and AWESOME hairdo are all there and it makes me feel very nostalgic for both toon and old figure. The PKE Meter is his accessory and, again, I like it the best out of all of the rest. I has a lot of personality to it and it makes me thing of the crazy PKE screen from the RGB cartoon. Egon can hold it well and his eyes are painted just so they look like they are looking down his nose right to the screen. Best of the three for sure.
Winston comes in at number two, and overall he is a very likable figure. His jumpsuit is colorful and the ghost trap actually has a lot of detail to it. The cord is really short, but it is positioned so that it will lay flat when on the shelf so any of the figures can step on the foot pad. The trap doors do not open, but I really was not expecting them too. The head sculpt is fine, I suppose it looks like Winston, but other than the front of his hair, nothing really ever stood out about him; that is kind of the same take I have on the head. It is serviceable and I don’t think it will upset anyone, but I don’t think anyone will championing it to be their favorite sculpt/likeness ever.
Finally there is Ray. I always liked Ray on the cartoon, he was smart, but kind of klutz and definitely lovable. He also had a pretty pronounced belly on him too, and that is where the reuse of the standard R-A body falls short. Ray is build just like the others, and while Egon was always pretty skinny he cheats better with this body than Ray does. I miss the gut. He is also just as tall and one of the things the cartoon and toys did to make the GBs different from each other was also make Ray noticeably shorter than the rest of the gang. So from that perspective, he does not hold up as well as the other two. Also, I am not feeling his head sculpt as much. The expression is there, kindly and all that and the hairdo is pretty close, but the face itself just completely non-descript. Not that this style lends itself to a ton of pronounced detail, but they captured Egon so well, Ray just doesn’t hold up to him. The color of the costume is, in spirit, with the cartoon, but it is VERY peach. I always thought of Ray keeping the movie uniform in the cartoon as it was always close in color. This one is certainly brighter though. Finally, he comes with a RGB-style Ghost Sniffer. I don’t think I remember them ever using that in the cartoon, but I really like this accessory and it is very detailed. Importantly too, Ray can hold it just fine.
Overall, I think this is a pretty fun way to do RGB figures. Most people will probably have their minds made up one way or another on these, even before seeing them in person. If you like the Retro figures, you will probably dig them. If not, then these are probably not for you, though, you might still give Egon a try, he is truly great. I still want a true action figure line based off the RGB property and I really see something like that as the future of the Ghostbusters property at Mattel – save for a new movie debuting. These should be hitting, along with the brown-clad Peter, anytime now at Toys R Us and comic shops, so be on the look out. I hope we get a few more characters from this style too as I think a lot of people will like these guys a lot more once they have them in hand. Janine is named on the card back and we just got a female R-A body, so hopefully she will come our way sometime next year. This is a fun set a figures and I glad to get some RGB goodness, but I still wonder what the future holds for this corner of Busterdom.
*Thanks once again to Toy Guru and crew for sending these along, I gots to get me a new Pete now too. Coming up next: back to the DCU. I think. Lots more still.