We’re back! Yes indeed – just like the hardest working paranormal psychologists uttered upon triumphantly defeating the Scolari Brothers, the Mattel 12” Ghostbusters figures have returned to Matty Collector just in time for the holidays. This time they have been repurposed into a two-pack release format and, to keep with the theme of twos, the figures focus on the guys from their Ghostbusters II appearances. Up for your consideration today (just in time for their sale date on December 15th) is the first set featuring beloved doctors Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz. Our old friends are decked out in new togs and come toting a university’s ransom worth of ghostbusting implements. Come check out the new-look Busters, it will make you feel good.
You know, I have to say that prior to these two-packs being announced, I honestly thought that we had seen the last of the 12-inch GB toys from Mattel. I mean really, everyone wants the four main guys in their most iconic looks, right? Sure, and over 2009 and 2010, we got Peter, Ray, Egon and finally Winston just like you remember them from the first movie. But lo! The job was not done yet. As much as some of you might want to block out the existence of the second Ghostbusters movie (I happen to dig it), the boys did have some new uniforms and some new devices to show off in their quest to defeat Vigo the Carpathian. You know, I could talk about Vigo the Carpathian for hours long past the recommended dosage… Anyway. So, instead of dragging out the releases of all four of the guys over a couple of years, Matty paired them up and decided to release them side by side all in one shot. At $120.00 for each two-pack, that is pretty good considering the going rate for a lot of figures at that scale, but that is still no small penny so I hope you have saved yours. Or you have worked out a deal with Santa Claus or Sandy Claws or Annual Gift Man or your parents or whoever brings you toys in December.
So, there will probably a lot of different reasons why people are going to want these sets. I am not going to consider all of them, but I would have to say the biggest reasons for getting this particular pairing is for Ray and all of the accessories. Now, don’t get me wrong, Egon is tied for my favorite Ghostbuster (with Peter), but in the grand scheme of things, he is not the most exciting part of this set. That is to say if you already have the previously-released Egon. If you do, well, this figure pretty much exactly the same figure, but with a couple of subtle differences. If you don’t have Egon in this scale yet, you are in luck! Now, depending on your penchant for particularity, the differences might be big things or small things. Personally, they changes don’t rate particularly high for me, but at least one of them is a definite improvement while the other two are simply a matter of preference.
First, remember that these figures are representative of Ghostbusters II and thus the figure change in this Egon figure over the original is that his GB shoulder logo is the appropriate second movie version. You know – the one with ghost showing “two”? I know that is important to people so Mattel did get that right. The little tube that runs from the pant leg to the back is now clear instead of yellow. However, past that, I don’t think there is anything different about the outfit save that the zippers are now gold instead of silver. Now, that is completely fine, and the color of the uniform is accurate to the movie, BUT I kind of wish he would have been in the gray suit to match Ray. I know, I know, they did not wear the gray for very long during the movie, but the different costume would have been neat to have.
The second difference is the paint job on the head. Now, this is where I think this figure is vastly superior to the original. The detail is about the same as it was before, but I think that Egon has a much more natural color complexion now than he did before. If you look at the side by side pictures, the first version almost looks yellow by comparison now. Egon has a little more life breathed into him now and while it is obvious that the sculpt is still the same, this paint compliments it more.
Now, Ray is where you really get something different in terms of comparison to a first release. In fact, I am pretty positive that he is the main reason why most people will be buying this set (and Winston for the other). Without even mentioning all of the new accessories (which we will be getting to in a moment), this ray offers a new outfit in gray, a new (much more accurate) head sculpt and the ever-important Slime Blower. Yep, yep, yep – this be the Ray we remember from part two. My biggest beef with the previous 12-inch Ray figure what the accuracy of the likeness in the head sculpt, so let’s start there.
I will be honest, I think Dan Aykroyd must have a tough puss to mimic in plastic. Every once and while, new figures of famous people will debut in a toy line and something will always seem off them. Viggo Mortenson was hard to capture in the Lord of the Rings line and Ray Stantz has been the least accurate likeness across all of the GB lines in my opinion. I will say that I think the first 12-inch Ray was the weakest of them all though. Something about it just did not capture the look and the hair is just kind of weird. Fortunately that figure came with the Ecto-Goggles so that helped somewhat, but again the sculpts of the rest he just was not as strong. Now, I am not sure if this Ray got a new head due to that or the fact that Dan looked fairly different (see: heavier) from the first movie to the next or both, but I like this head quite a bit more than the first. It is not 100% perfect, but it is much improved.
Right away the biggest problem that I had with the first figure has been relieved – Ray has a much more natural hairdo this time around. It has a more slicked back look to is but with a few strands falling out of place onto his forehead. I am actually okay with displaying the figure without the goggles now. Yay! The face sculpt hits closer to home but I still think Ray has the least accurate likeness. Like Egon, his complexion is more natural now two and he does not look like he has a slight case of jaundice.
Ray is also sporting those rare gray togs from the second movie. Like I said, I would have loved if all four of the figures would have featured this outfit, for the sake of variety as well as cohesion. I think Ray makes Egon look as though he is still wearing his outfit from five years previous (though it is completely accurate) and they don’t go together. Tan or gray, the boys always wore matching colors. The other thing that is a bit curious about this gray suit is that, unless I am mistaken (and leave me a comment if I am), Ray and Winston never wore the gray outfits while they had the Slime Blowers. I know, particular near the point of being extreme, but It is something I noticed. Overall though, I think they GBs look good in gray and that is certainly the case for Ray.
Finally, the big new thing for Ray in this pack is that he comes equipped with the aforementioned Slime Blower rather than a Proton Pack. When the four decided they would go take care of Vigo they decided that he and Winston would get the new gear. I must say that I have been a fan of the 12-inch Proton Packs (featured with this Egon) and the Slime Blower is every bit as good in terms of construction and detail. All of the tanks and stickers are there and the actual blower itself can be positioned in movie-accurate poses. It does have the “football pad” harness as a separate piece for Ray to wear since these heavy things require some reinforcement. The actual lights light up so they can be shown over the shoulder via a button on the back (think the Proton Pack). Where this differs though is that the lights will stay on until you push the button again, they do not shut off automatically. All of the tubes and hoses are soft enough to hold a pose but they are not made from a rubbery material so I don’t think you will have to worry about corrosion in the near future. The ONE misgiving I have with this is that I wish a “slime glob” was included in the set so you could make look like it is in action. You know, like a Proton Stream? Speaking of which…
The accessories included in this set are all top-notch, accurate and some are quite hilarious. The first, and probably tied for my favorite, is the proton stream. I remember when the proton stream was announced in the six-inch line, it was a big hit. This one is pretty much an up-scaled version of that (not exactly). It fits onto the end of the wand nice and snug and is light enough it won’t weigh any arms down. It also glows in the dark. A reissue of the Ecto-Goggles is also included because while you don’t need them to hide hair, there is not a Ray Stantz out there the feels complete without them. On a similar note, you can also give Egon an extra PKE Meter that is also included. Oh, and the requisite swappable bare hands are there too.
After that, you really get into the gizmos and gadgets essential for capturing spooks and spirits. Included in the set is Egon’s giant magnifying glass (for close ups of Vigo pictures), the gooper scooper that Ray uses to collect samples from the river of slime, a hard hat so the subway rats won’t get you, the Giga meter, that thingee Ray uses to examine the painting of Vigo and, of course, the Ghostbusters hot beverage thermal mug (no free balloons for the kids). The mug, helmet, scoop, magnifying glass and painting thing are all solid pieces with no moving parts, the Giga meter’s antennae can move in and out. I have to admit it, I am a sucker for GB gadgets so I really like getting all of these implements, I just wish Egon and Ray had more hands. I did not get the Peter and Winston set yet so I would be curious to see if they got the same accessories. I would have to rack my brain to come up with anything else that can be included in terms of implements, so I would bet they are indeed the same.
Overall, this is going to be a must-have set for the completists but also a great jumping-off spot if you have not bought into this line yet. Hopefully you have been saving your pennies as the set is not cheap, but you get a nice amount of accessories for two complete figures if you compare it to the single releases. The Slime Blower is particularly nice, and while I wish both figures were in gray and that there was a Vigo “mask” for a possessed Ray, there is quite a bit to like. As mentioned, this set goes on-sale on the 15th alongside the Peter and Winston set so it they could all arrive in time to save us from the end of the world on New Year’s Eve. If these sell well enough I can keep my fingers crossed for a 12-inch Vigo figure. That would be EPIC.
*Thanks for reading and thanks to Rhobyn and team for sending these guys along for a First Look, we really appreciate it! Stay tuned, we have more coming!