PETER VENKMAN, EGON SPENGLER, RAY STANZ, & WINSTON ZEDDEMORE
You know what I haven’t reviewed enough recently? Minimates. I’ve only reviewed one set of Minimates in the last month, and it wasn’t even a set I was all that excited about. Well, I promise you, that’s going to change with the next few reviews. I just got in a shipment of new Minimate stuff, and I’m gonna go nuts!
I mentioned in my review of Ray from Mattel’s Retro Action line that there hasn’t been the greatest selection of Ghostbusters merch over the years. There’s been one exception to that: Ghostbusters Minimates. I know I may be a little bit biased, given my love of all things Minimates, but they’ve had a really great offering. They were the first company to offer all four of the ‘Busters styled after the movie, and they gave us just about every major character and ghost from the films. They are definitely some of my favorite Minimates. However, the main versions of the main characters are a few years old, and haven’t aged the best with some of the more recent innovations in Minimate design. Diamond being the cool company that they are, they responded with a brand new set of the guys, with some improvements to their designs. Let’s take a look at the figures!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
These four were just released as the newest entry in the Ghostbusters Minimates line as part of the “I Love This Town!” Boxed set, which is, of course, named after Winston’s final line in the movie, after the team successfully defeats Gozer.
First up, the guy who is arguably the lead character of the first movie, Peter Venkman. By the way, does anybody else find that they refer to Venkman by his last name, but all of the others by their first? Because I feel weird calling him “Peter.” It seems off. Anyway, Venkman is based on his look from the first movie. He’s on the basic Minimate body, so he’s got the usual 14 points of articulation and he stands about 2 ½ inches tall. Venkman features 7 sculpted pieces: hair, proton pack, 2 elbow pads, a belt, and 2 glove cuffs. Most of this appears to be reuse, with the hair and elbow pads hailing from the original Venkman release, the proton pack coming from the Real Ghostbusters Janine, and the glove cuffs being one of the standard pieces. The belt appears to be a new piece to this set, but I’m not 100% certain of that. The proton pack is a pretty big deal, as there’s been demand for the regular ‘Busters to be updated to that piece since it first appeared. It looks much better than the bulky overlay that the originals had, so it’s a welcome change. The paint also features an important change as well. On the original Ghostbusters Minimates, the ‘Busters were depicted with a light gray uniform. Apparently, the actual uniforms looked like this, but due to the lighting of the film, they looked different on screen. So, while the gray was technically more accurate, everybody remembers the uniforms being khaki. This time around, Diamond obliged and released them in the color we all remember. The paint detailing on the figure is on par with what you’d expect from a Minimate. Everything’s nice and clean, and you can even read “VENKMAN” on his little nametag. Also, the face is probably the best Bill Murray that we’ve gotten from Diamond, which is really great. Venkman includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, a proton stream, an alternate screaming head, and a clear display stand. The trap can be plugged onto the proton pack for easy storage, and the walkie talkie can hook onto the belt. The screaming head is a nice touch and makes for some entertaining set-ups.
Next, the resident genius on the team, Egon Spengler. Egon is on the basic body, so he’s got the usual statistics. Like Venkman, he features 7 sculpted pieces, which includes: hair, proton pack, belt, 2 elbow pads, and 2 glove cuffs. He shares all of the uniform pieces with Venkman, and the hair is from one of the previous releases, though this is the first time we’ve seen this particular hairpiece on an Egon from the first movie. Most of the paint is the same as Venkman, though Egon does have his uniform tucked into his boots, as opposed to Venkman’s more lax “over the boots” look. The paint work is okay, though the line between the pants and the boots is a bit fuzzy. The likeness on the face is pretty good, better than the previous Egons’, though perhaps not as good as Venkman. Harold Ramis does have a pretty distinctive nose, so the lack of it probably doesn’t help. Egon includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, a proton stream, a PKE meter, an alternate head with a disgusted expression, a marshmallow covered hairpiece, and a clear display stand.
Next up, it’s the loveable and ever so helpful Ray Stanz. Ray is also on the basic body, and has all the usual stats. Like the previous two, he’s got 7 sculpted add-ons, which is pretty much the same layout. He’s got a different hair piece than the previous two, and it’s the same hair we’ve seen on every release of Ray so far. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess. Ray’s painted details follow the same layout as Egon, with the pant legs tucked into the boots. He has the same issue as Egon, with sloppy edges on the boots, but everything else looks pretty sharp. The face is definitely Dan Akroyd, and looks better than some of the previous attempts, though I do wish there was an option for a more normal expression, similar to Egon and Venkman. Ray includes 2 ghost traps: one closed and one deployed, a walkie-talkie, a pair of goggles, a marshmallow covered hairpiece, and a clear display stand, making him the most accessorized ‘mate in the set!
Lastly, the ‘Buster that always seems to be left out, but my personal favorite: Winston! I suppose he’s getting a little bit of respect, given that it’s one of his lines that the set is named after, but it’s hard to tell. He’s got the same body and sculpted add-ons as the rest of the figures in the set, though with a unique hairpiece like all the others. It’s a piece we’ve seen used for Winston a few times before, and I believe it was sculpted specifically for him. Winston has the same uniform detailing as Egon and Ray, with the nametag changed, of course. He does seem to have lucked out on the boot front, as he doesn’t have the same sloppy paint issues in that area. The likeness is definitely there, and they’ve decided to depict Winston right as he delivers the line the set is named for. As with Ray, I would have liked to have a more “default” expression, but it actually suits Winston pretty well, so I can’t complain too much. Winston includes a ghost trap, a walkie-talkie, and a clear display stand. He’s the lightest figure in the set, accessory-wise, though I suppose you could group the open trap with him, to even things out a bit.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This set was purchased from my favorite Minimates provider, Luke’s Toy Store. I hadn’t kept up with all of the Ghostbusters boxed sets once they got the original set of the main four out, but I was definitely on board when they announced an updated set. I still love my original set, but every ‘mate in this set mops the floor with its predecessor. If you’re a fan of the movie, I wholeheartedly recommend picking up this set. It’s easily the best version of the team available anywhere!