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First Look – Retro-Action Ghostbusters Janine and Samhain

Even though I have made the journey to the San Diego Comic Con for several consecutive years, the thrill just does not go away or even dim with each trip. I really go for two main reasons: to see all of the new toys I will be salivating to collect in the next several months and to see all of my friends from the community and industry that I only get to see once a year. Those are two pretty good reasons I think and I plan on going back every year until that changes. But, to go along with the first reason, I really get a thrill out new toy reveals. If you are reading this you can most likely relate, but as routine as some of the things about Comic Con can be, that never gets old. There are varying degrees and types of excitement that comes from those reveals too, and one of my favorites is the “complete surprise”. If you are savvy collector and regular online, you can often get a pretty good idea of what *might* be revealed for your favorite lines before the figures are unveiled. Every year though, there are some pretty cool surprised that take me completely off-guard. This past year, the Retro-Action Ghostbusters Janine and Samhain set was certainly one of those. I mean, not only did I think the GB R-A line was over and done with, I would not have guessed that we would actually be getting a ghost too.

I admit that I am a true blue Ghostbusters fan. I have loved the movies all my life and the Real Ghostbusters was one my favorite shows and toy lines as a kid. The show had some great stories and excellent featured ghosts and the toy line was extremely diverse in its scope. So, while the RGB offerings from Mattel have been limited to their Retro-Action execution, I am still really hoping that if a new movie finally gets off the ground, they will continue on with some regular action figures including tons of those ghosts that I love so well. Samhain and the Boogie Man were certainly two of my favorites so I am quite glad to the former in this style and I must say he works pretty well.

The figure is a standard male R-A body with tattered robes and his iconic pumpkin head. If you have any of the previously released GB or DC RA (that is a lot of very short acronyms) you know what to expect. It is cast in a very slightly translucent orange plastic to match his head. Speaking of which, I think the head sculpt is a pretty good representation of the character in this style. It might be a little move ovular than a fat pumpkin head, but due to the style it fits in pretty well. His robes are actually very well executed and they have cuts along the seams so that they look tattered and torn. The robe is made of a very soft, almost velvety material that hangs very freely over the basic frame. Since his head is large and tall this gives the figure a tall and skinny effect, even as it uses the standard body.

Janine is also a very welcome addition to my shelf as this is the first time she has been accounted for in a Mattel GB line. The best part is I think she has the absolute best likeness out of any of the figures in the line. Now, that might be partly thanks to her iconic triangle glasses, but this really looks like Janine. She is a sassy lady and I really like how you can pose her head so that her eyes look over the top of her glasses. Janine sported the busting jump suit and Proton Pack on a few occasions on the show if I remember correctly so I actually prefer this choice in costume for her as her standard sleeveless shirt and miniskirt would show off all of the articulation cuts of the base body. She is definitely coming onto the scene better prepared than any of the standard GBs that have already been released. Not only does she have the standard Proton Pack, but she also has the trap, Ghost Sniffer and PKE meter that were previously released with Egon, Winston and Ray. I am always happy to get an extra trap so I am glad it was included here, but the PKE and sniffer will most likely find their way into the accessory bin since the other boys already have their own devices.

While the pack is touted as a two-pack (and is currently available at Toys R Us) it is actually a TRHEE pack as the cartoon version of Slimer is also in this set – yay! I would argue that he is actually the most recognized character out of all of them and he had a very expansive role on the show. The likeness in the sculpt is pretty accurate and he has an expression that is most certainly “Slimer”. His body is made of a soft plastic and is hollow save for the arms which are more rigid and articulate with a twist at the shoulder. If you can say Slimer has shoulders that is. I want to say that he is slightly smaller than he should be, but I am having trouble remembering from the cartoon. I remember his “Green Ghost” figure in the RGB line was way too big, but this feels more like it is in a 1:12 scale to me, rather than Retro-Action. Correct me if I am wrong on that though.

The final piece of this set is the Fire House. Yes, that is right – the Fire House. Included is a giant cardboard likeness of the front façade of the Ghostbusters’ home base. I know it is not like getting an actual play set and I LOVE my vintage Fire House, but I have to admit, this is a great display piece for fans of the RA line, or the Movie Masters figures as well. It comes in three main pieces – the garage with doors that can open to show Ecto-1, the upstairs with Ghostbusters sign and the roof overhang to add some depth. The package boasts that it is about 22” tall and I would say that is pretty accurate, but while it has been said that the package itself turns into the diorama – it does not. The Fire House is made up of pieces packaged inside the blister so you do not need to worry about preserving the card for the purposes of turning it into the backdrop, just something to note. If you have the MM figures or the SDCC Stay Puft, they go great right along with this too.

Right now, the future of the GB lines is in a state of flux. The Club Ecto-1 was recently cancelled for next year in lieu of day of sale figures only and this looks to currently be the last RA set. I am hearing rumors that the new movie will be starting production with or without Bill Murray (can you even imagine it?) next spring so hopefully Sony will throw Mattel a bone so they can start some real retail marketing. I mean, I am sure that is why they got in this game in the first place and the Hollywood paralysis is really cramping my style. I would REALLY like to see some fun new things done with the standard line, as well as the Retro-Action, especially now that we have a ghost, but a full-blown line of Real Ghostbusters product is my biggest want right now. This is a nice way for the RA line to go out though and Samhain is my favorite figure that we have gotten in this style to date. Plus, how can you have cartoon Peter without Slimer there to bug him? It just isn’t right.

*Thanks to Rhobyn and the GB team for making this First Look possible, hopefully the future will turn out bright for all things busting. More soon!

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