#2456: Dana Barrett

DANA BARRETT

GHOSTBUSTERS: THE PLASMA SERIES (HASBRO)

“When ghastly ghouls and spooky specters come looking to paint the town dead, the Ghostbusters are ready to answer the call — but not before Dana Barrett is possessed by Zuul, ready to unleash Gozer’s wrath on New York City!”

Though not a member of the titular team, Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barrett is a pretty pivotal piece of both of the original Ghostbusters films.  Despite this, she’s received a whole lot less toy coverage over the years, thanks in part to her character being dropped from spin-off material such as The Real Ghostbusters, and in part to Sigourney’s general lack of interest in letting her likeness be used on toys.  If the notable quantities of Ellen Ripley figures that have hit retail in the last five years are anything to go by, she’s laxed up a little bit on such things.  Back when Mattel had the Ghostbusters license, the only Dana we got wasn’t a figure at all, but a statue that was in scale with the other figures.  That always felt like a bit of a rip-off.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s finally giving Dana her due, and have included her in their first assortment of figures!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Dana is figure 5 in the first assortment of Plasma Series figures.  Like most Dana figures, she’s based on her appearance while possessed by Zuul, which is a sensible enough choice as far as memorable looks go.  It’s perhaps not the easiest to translate into toy form, but we’ll discuss that more in a moment.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and she has 27 points of articulation.  Dana’s articulation isn’t quite as practical or useful as that on the ‘busters.  The skirt does a lot of limiting on the legs, and the elbow joints in particular don’t have much range at all.  These are, of course, the symptoms of adapting such a design into plastic, since her rather flowy and lightweight dress doesn’t really translate into plastic all that well.  And really, that’s kind of the overwhelming thing that you run into when dealing with this figure: it’s translating a design that just doesn’t translate so well.  There are parts of the figure, particularly on the torso and arms, where they’ve made some design compromises so as to not impede articulation quite as much, and it doesn’t really work.  I mean, I like that the arms are separate pieces, thereby allowing actual movement, but ultimately they’re separate pieces, and very obviously separate ones at that, which don’t look like the single piece of clothing from the film.  Instead, she kind of looks like she’s wearing separate sleeves or something.  Moving away from the hard to translate flowy dress, let’s talk about the hard to translate poofy hair.  Sigourney Weaver’s hair later in the film is…well, there’s a lot to it, and it behaves in ways that really only hair can do.  When you try to make that into a solid piece of plastic, changes have to happen.  And that they did here.  The actual face does sport a solid likeness of Weaver, but the hair around it seems strange.  She’s definitely got some helmet hair going on here, and it doesn’t really look right from any angle.  I can see what they were going for, but it just ends up looking strange, and just off.  It’s the weakest part of the figure, because it just never looks right, no matter how you pose her. One area where the figure actually does pretty well consistently is the paint.  The face uses the printing, which works quite well for her heavy make up, and I quite dig the metallic sheen on her dress.  I would have liked for her sash to have a little more accenting or something going on, but it’s not atrocious as is.  Dana’s only accessory isn’t really anything for her, but is instead the torso of the Terror Dog Build-A-Figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Going into this set, I was expecting Dana to be the weakest of the bunch.  I don’t feel I was wrong on that front.  However, she’s actually a fair bit better than I was expecting her to be, and honestly Hasbro deserves some pretty major kudos for actually attempting to make her a real figure, rather than just the accent piece that Mattel saddled us with.  This figure definitely has her flaws, but is still far from terrible, given how tricky to adapt this particular look is.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure.  They’re currently sold out of their initial shipment of the line, but should be getting more soon.  If you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

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