PETER VENKMAN, EGON SPENGLER, WINSTON ZEDDEMORE, & RAY STANZ
“The Real Ghostbusters follows the continuing adventures of The Ghostbusters, secretary Janine, accountant Louis, and their mascot Slimer, as they chase and capture rogue spirits around New York and various other areas of the world.”
Happy Halloween dear readers! For this year’s spooky-themed entry, I had intended to keep up with the running theme of looking back at DST’s ill-fated Universal Monsters Minimates, but they continued with the ill-fated bit, so I wasn’t able to get that particular set ready to go. I guess there’s always next year. So, I’ll be jumping over to one of DST’s other somewhat spooky lines of Minimates, the Ghostbusters, a far less ill-fated line. After doing a rather successful run of movie-based ‘mates, DST picked up the license to the cartoon and rebranded the line under the Real Ghostbusters heading, producing another three boxed sets, plus a whole bunch more two-packs. The first two sets covered the ‘busters and their supporting cast, but the third went the variant route, giving us all four ‘busters together, albeit in a slightly askew form.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
The Spectral Ghostbusters were released in December of 2011, as the third and final boxed set in the Real Ghostbusters off-shoot of Ghostbusters Minimates, based on their appearance in the cartoon episode “Citizen Ghost”, the 11th episode of the show, which sees the ‘busters’ uniforms from the night they fought Gozer reainimated by spectral approximations of themselves.
It’s Peter’s fault that the Spectral Ghostbusters come into existence in the first place, so I guess he’s the defacto leader of this particular bunch. He was also, at the time of this figure’s release, the only Spectral Buster with a prior figure, courtesy of Mattel’s Retro Action line. The figure stands 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. He’s built on the basic ‘mate body, with add-ons for the hair, shoulder pads, and torso piece. The hair was re-used from the basic RGB Venkman figure, with the torso piece being a re-use of Wintson’s piece from set two, with a slight adjustment to the proton pack’s left side to allow for storage of the ghost trap. The torso pieces were still rather bulky at this point, an issue that wouldn’t properly be addressed until the “I love this town” boxed set, but I do have to say that they looked better here, probably because they were molded plastic, rather than painted, which slimmed them down ever so slightly. The paint on these was also somewhat notable for being the first ‘busters to be in the tan color that more closely resembles the color of the uniforms seen on-screen in the films. Of course, Venkman was also notable for being green and translucent, which was something he usually wasn’t. The spectral effect on the face works quite well, and like all of the RGB ‘mates, he has a fully detailed torso under the chest piece, which I was always happy to see crop up. Peter is packed with a ghost trap and a proton wand effect in green.
Egon is pretty similar to Venkman, but obviously swaps out a few of the add-on parts to make things slightly more unique. The hair is from the RGB Egon, and has that distinctive swirl, while the torso is from the Venkman/Egon figures of set one, meaning he gets that extra strap at the front. It’s safer that way I guess? It does mean that he’s got a plug on the right side of his belt, which is missing anything to plug into it (prior Egons had his PKE), but I guess it’s not terribly noticeable. The paint work changes up a little bit to match the new pieces and to change up the face for the likeness. Again, the spectral effect is pretty cool, and the glasses make it look even cooler. Egon is packed with the same trap and effect piece as Peter; shame they couldn’t throw the PKE in there.
Wintson is even less different from Peter than Egon was. From the neck down, the two are completely identical figures. It’s just that head that changes things up, with the proper Winston hair piece and an adjusted likeness on the face. Beyond that, same figure, right down to the same pair of accessories. Fortunately, that means he doesn’t look like he’s missing anything the way Egon did, so I guess it works out alright for him.
Last up, there’s Ray, and what a surprise, he’s really similar to the other three. I know, what a shock. He does mix things up ever so slightly, getting the animated Ray hair and the Box 2 Ray torso piece (interestingly, Ray is the only ‘buster who never had to share his torso piece with any one else), but like Egon that leaves him with a peg that goes unused for this particular release, where the trap would have gone on the original release. At least he and Egon have each other? Beyond that, it’s all pretty much business as usual. The paint’s pretty much the same, with the expected adjustments, and the accessories are again the same.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Though I mostly skipped the RGB line, I nevertheless ended up with this set. Why? Do I have some sort of undying devotion to the Spectral Ghostbusters? Nope, I bought them because they were cheap. Cosmic Comix got the set in, and the glue on the backing card was faulty, so it fell off. To save themselves some trouble, they marked it down to half price and boom, there I was, buying me some half-price Minimates. While perhaps not the most unique or individually thrilling ‘mates, I actually do dig this group, especially as a set. They aren’t perfect, but they’re goofy, and gimmicky, and actually rather fun.