#3008: The Family That Busts Together



“Phoebe’s love of science and affinity for bustin’ ghosts runs in the family. She’s got Spengler blood, after all.”

Finding a good follow-up to the first Ghostbusters has been a difficult task since, well, the first Ghostbusters, honestly.  Even the combination of the whole original cast, the original director, and the original writers on Ghostbusters II wasn’t enough to capture that particular lightning back in the bottle, so in a modern world where reassembling the whole team is no longer possible, it’s an even more daunting task.  2016’s attempted reboot was divisive to put it mildly.  So, Afterlife seemed like it was taking on a rather Herculean feat, but it actually managed to achieve the seemingly impossible, and finally craft an actually pretty decent follow-up to the first movie.  Its success largely lies in how it interweaves old and new, as the old story is still there, but there’s also an actually rather likable cast of new characters to accompany them.  Central to the film is Egon Spengler’s granddaughter Phoebe, whose curiosity about her grandfather’s old habits launches her into the film’s events, as she is guided by her grandfather’s spirit, metaphorically, and then (SPOILERS), not so metaphorically.


“The Family That Busts Together” set is a Target-exclusive Ghostbusters: Plasma Series release, which was announced the week after Afterlife hit theaters, and started hitting shelves just after Black Friday/Cyber Monday.  Currently, the set is the only way to get Plasma Series versions of either of the two included characters.  It does seem a little odd, since Phoebe is unquestionably the film’s main character, and it’s an exclusive set, but with the rather notable spoilers surrounding the other half of the set, I can get the move for a retailer exclusive, since that allows for a closer to film release, while also keeping the reveal close to the vest for as close as possible.  The set did at least prove fairly easy to find at first, though in the aftermath of holiday shopping, time will tell as to exactly how easily acquired it is.


Afterlife‘s new cast each sort of follow the archetype of one of the earlier ‘Busters, with McKenna Grace’s Phoebe taking her grandfather’s spot as the slightly quieter, more scientifically-minded member of the crew, though perhaps one that’s a little more outwardly driven than Egon ever was in the films proper.  As with all of the figures thus far from the film, Phoebe is based on her fully geared up look from later in the film, which is certainly sensible, as far as toy choices go.  Just basic day-to-day attire might not be quite as fun.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and she has 25 points of articulation.  While there are similarities in the sculpts of all the new Ghostbusters, none of them are actually sharing parts, so Phoebe is an all-new mold.  It’s a pretty solid one.  The articulation is perhaps a touch more limited than I’d like, but it does somewhat come with the territory of her being much smaller.  The likeness on the head sculpt is pretty spot on, and I really like the little touches to show that she’s had to quite hastily tailor her grandfather’s jumpsuit to her smaller stature.  The paint work on the figure is on par with the earlier releases in the line, which is to say its pretty clean and basic, with the best work by far being shown off on the head, which has the face printing.  Phoebe gets a rather impressive selection of accessories, including Egon’s modified proton pack, with removable back plate and neutron wand, as well as an effects piece, a PKE meter, which can be clipped to her belt, a jar of ooze from the second movie, and one of the chess pieces from the game she and Egon’s poltergeist are playing throughout the film.  The very moment-specific extras are definitely a lot of fun, and I was glad to see them turn up.  Lastly, and not so much for her specifically, the set also includes the head to the Terror Dog version of Zuul, designed for use with the Build-A-Figure body released last year.  Since that one was specifically Vinz Clortho, and it was re-used again for the set with Tully, it was very nice of Hasbro to find a way to give collectors both dogs.


Afterlife begins with the death of Egon, shot in such a way as to avoid showing him directly, given Harold Ramis’s passing seven years before the film.  Throughout the film, he continues to have a role in the film as a spirit with no visible form, again to keep him included, while still acknowledging the loss of Ramis.  The big reveal during the film’s climactic battle, after the remaining three original ‘busters have shown up to assist the new team, and after Phoebe in particular steps up to face down Gozer, is Egon as an actual visible ghost.  It’s a moment that allows both Egon and Ramis to stand alongside their respective teams one last time, and it’s one of the film’s most emotional moments to be sure.  This set in particular is designed to replicate that sequence, and Egon’s appearance in particular.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s largely the same as all of the other older ‘busters from Afterlife, meaning he’s using the Ray body from the first series.  It gives him a slightly huskier build, which matches to Ramis’s look later in life, as well as how Egon is portrayed in the film.  The only thing that *doesn’t* match up with the film is the presence of gloves, which Egon pointedly didn’t have on as a spectre.  However, there aren’t yet any non-gloved hands and forearms for the standard ‘Busters body, so it would have required new tooling, and given how the coloration works, it’s a forgivable change, since it’s not very visible anyway.  The one new piece here is a new head sculpt.  It’s not as spot-on a likeness as the prior Egon, but it’s also based on a cgi recreation of a likeness, and it given the turnaround time on this one, it’s likely it wasn’t even a fully-formed render at the time yet.  All things considered, it’s perhaps a little on the large side, but otherwise not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint work on this figure is a definite change-up from the others, since it needs to give him that spectral look.  This is achieved by molding him in translucent blue plastic, and then painting on some trace details, notably on the face and the upper torso, making him look like an apparition that fades away as it gets to the edges of his body.  It’s a well-rendered effect, especially when seen in person.  Egon’s more of an accessory himself, so he doesn’t get anything of his own, but a few of Phoebe’s accessories also work for Egon as well, so there’s some crossover there.


As I’ve mentioned before, Egon’s my favorite member of the Ghostbusters, and Harold Ramis is also one of my favorite creators, so the lack of both of them in this sequel was something I was worried about going into the new movie.  I really loved how they worked his legacy into the story, and I’ll admit to being rather touched by how they built to his ultimate reappearance late in the film.  Likewise, I really identified a lot with Phoebe and her quest to connect more with her late grandfather.  She was certainly my favorite addition to the cast, so I found myself wanting this set quite a bit after seeing the movie.  Thankfully, Max was there with the assist on this one, and snagged me one back in December.  Phoebe is definitely the real star here, but the accessory selection and inclusion of Egon really make it a home run of a set.

#2898: Egon Spengler



Hasbro became the latest holders of the Ghostbusters license last year, and, apart from one set of Plasma Series figures and the two Transformers crossovers, they didn’t have a *ton* of product.  Afterlife getting pushed back I’m sure didn’t help things, but with its release actually happening this year, things are starting to make their way out again.  Hasbro’s doing the Hasbro thing and diversifying their output, with a few different styles of toys based on the franchise.  On the more all-ages side of things is Fright Features, a new line of stylized figures based on the core team.  I’m taking a look at the Egon from that line today!


Egon is part the initial shipments for Hasbro’s Ghostbusters: Fright Features line.  There are two case pack-outs floating around, which swap out which ghosts Peter and Winston get.  Egon, however, is the same across both.  The figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  The designs on these new figures have a little bit of a Real Ghostbusters vibe, but mixed with the actual film designs, so he’s a cartoony Egon that still kind of looks like Harold Ramis.  It’s an aesthetic I can get behind, and it makes for a pretty nifty looking figure.  All four ‘Busters share the same base mold, which can be a little tricky on more realistic lines, but works out okay in this more cartoony set-up, I feel.  If nothing else, it works for Egon, and with him being the only one I currently have, that’s cool by me.  About the only complaint I might have is that the arms are just hanging straight down by his sides, meaning he can’t two-hand the wand, but that too sort of fits with the pseudo-RGB vibe of the line. His head sculpt is his one unique piece, and it’s a good effort on an Egon that isn’t a spot-on Ramis, but still feels like Ramis’ Egon.  All of the important character elements are there, and it’s adapted well to the style that they’re going for.  Egon’s paint work is a rather simple endeavor, but it gets the job done, and the application’s all pretty clean.  He’s packed with his proton pack, which is a rather simple piece itself, but works well enough to be what it needs to be, so that’s cool.  The “Fight Feature” comes not from Egon himself, but rather from his other accessory, a small little ghost, which has a spring-loaded feature that makes it “scarier.”  I’m not sure exactly what ghost this is meant to be, but it’s a fun little gimmick, and I’m all about giving all of the main guys a ghost to square off against right out of the box.


When these figures were first shown off last year, I was vaguely interested, but was mostly focused on the Plasma Series offerings.  I really only need so many different versions of the whole team.  I did like the looks of them, though, so, when they finally actually started showing up, I went ahead and snagged myself an Egon, because how can you go wrong with an Egon?  You really can’t.  This is a pretty fun little figure, especially for the price, and I’m curious to see what else Hasbro plans to do with this line.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#2450: Egon Spengler



“When ghastly ghouls and spooky specters come looking to paint the town dead, the Ghostbusters are ready to answer the call! Egon Spengler’s like a proton: he always stays positive!”

We went 25 years without any proper toy coverage of the first Ghostbusters, but since hitting that 25th marker, we haven’t exactly had a shortage, especially in terms of collector-oriented lines.  Mattel got in on the scene in 2009, with a line of articulated six-inch figures, which ran for a couple of years through their Matty Collector site.  Diamond Select Toys initially picked up the license for Minimates, but eventually expanded that to their 7-inch Select format.  Even Mezco got into the game, with a set of the main team as part of their One:12 Collective last year.  At the start of this year, Hasbro announced that they were the latest holders of the Ghostbusters master license.  So, are we treading on the same ground again, or will Hasbro well and truly make it their own?  Well, to help answer that question, I’m going to be doing things here ever so slightly differently, and making a rather direct comparison between two versions of my man Egon, one being Hasbro’s new one, and the other being Mattel’s old offering (originally given its own review here).  Let’s jump right on in.


Egon is figure 3 in Hasbro’s first series of Ghostbusters: The Plasma Series…he was also figure 3 from Mattel, so I guess he’s just always the third one.  Unlike Mattel’s offerings, these Ghostbusters aren’t exclusive to anywhere, although they’re still a little tricky to find at mass retail at the moment.  Egon’s based on his appearance in the first film, which is so far the source of the whole line’s appearances so far.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Height-wise, he and his Mattel counterpart have negligible differences.  The first real differences come into play with the articulation.  Not only does the Hasbro Egon have more articulation, what he’s got is also just plain has a better range on it.  Hasbro’s been steadily improving their articulation scheme throughout LegendsBlack Series, and Lightning Collection, and Egon represents the best of those kind of getting rolled into one.  Not only does he get double joints at both the elbows and knees (an amazing improvement on the Mattel version, which couldn’t even get a full 90 degrees out of either joint), but he also gets a ball-jointed waist and even butterfly joints for the shoulders, which really helps with proper proton wand posing.  The joints are also a fair bit better worked into the sculpt on the Hasbro figure than on the Mattel equivalent (which, to be fair, is using a sculpt that is mostly over a decade old at this point), meaning he looks a little more pleasing from that standpoint as well.  While the Mattel Egon likeness didn’t look *unlike* Harold Ramis, it was always a somewhat weak offering.  Hasbro’s stab at it is really, really good, and is a pretty much pitch-perfect Ramis likeness.  In particular, I think they way they’ve done the glasses, more just suggesting their presence than actually putting a small pair of glasses on top of the face, works a lot better at this scale and style.  The Mattel Egon shared everything below the neck with his fellow ‘busters. which was a little bit to his detriment.  Hasbro’s Egon still shares a fair number of his parts with Peter and Winston, but not with Ray, who was kind of the odd-man out in terms of build, and ultimately the one whose build really through off the rest of the team on the Mattel side.  The Mattel jumpsuit really didn’t hang very realistically, but Hasbro’s actually looks like someone wearing a baggy jumpsuit.  Moving onto the gear, like the later Mattel figures, this Egon has a removable proton pack, though its a fair bit more detailed, and looks to be better scaled to the figure.  He can also more properly stow his neutrino wand on his back (it doesn’t have to go at a weird angle), and the pack sports all the proper straps, including the ones that were missing from Mattel’s.  In terms of paint work, Hasbro’s really got things down resulting in more consistent, more lifelike final product than what Mattel gave us, thanks largely to Hasbro’s face printing tech, which really does the sculpt a lot of favors.   In addition to the previously mentioned removable proton pack, Egon is also packed with his PKE meter, which can be hung from his belt, as well as one of the left legs to the Terrordog Build-A-Figure.


Back when the Mattel stuff was first starting to hit, I really wanted to get into it, but Matty Collector and its insane pricing structure and ordering process wasn’t anything I wanted to be messing with.  By the time the far easier to acquire Walmart set was put out, I was kind of burned on the whole thing, and Egon was the only one I could really justify purchasing.  The Hasbro announcement had me cautiously optimistic, and I think it may have well paid off, because this Egon is by far the best version of the character out there, and undoubtedly blows the Mattel version out of the water.  Hopefully, he won’t prove too hard to find in the long run.

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.

#2203: Spectral Ghostbusters



“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 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.


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.

#1865: Ghostbusters Boxed Set



“Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, spectre or ghost?”

The nature of Minimates, pretty much since the Marvel ones got on the scene in 2003, has been to have one flagship line, and a secondary line that’s still doing a lot of the business.  For 99% of the brand’s run, Marvel’s been the flagship (apart from a brief dark period for the line, which resulted in DC having the upper hand for about a year), but that secondary slot has filtered its way through a few other properties.  From 2009 to 2011, that secondary property was Ghostbusters.  Today, I’m looking at the set that introduced the property!


Venkman, Spengler, Dana, and Louis were the first boxed set, and the first official entry in DST’s Ghostbuster Minimates (TRU’s exclusive two-packs hit just days later, though).  All four figures are, of course, based on the first film, and the set is designed to pair off with the second boxed set, which rounded out the main team, and gave us the two remaining villains.


Venkman is arguably the lead character of Ghostbusters, and is the face of the group, so his placement in the first set is definitely sensible.  Plus, it gave DST an extra leg-up when comparing their assortment to Mattel’s own figures, where Venkman wound up as the fifth figure in the line, causing a degree of controversy about whether he’d actually show up at all.  No worries about that in this line-up.  The figure uses the usual ‘mate body as a starting point, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and has the usual 14 points of articulation.  Venkman was built using add-ons for his hair, torso/proton pack, and elbow pads.  All of them were new pieces to this set, but they’ve been subsequently re-used a number of times, notably on the “I Love This City” version of Venkman, who used everything but the torso piece.  The torso piece is kind of noteworthy, as it’s really the one thing that held these releases back, and it’s definitely the one thing that signifies them as out of date amongst newer offerings.  The bulked up nature just looks off, since the ‘busters were just average joes.  Still, the piece does exhibit a nice selection of details, especially on the proton pack.  The paintwork on Peter is fairly decent.  The earlier ‘busters used a prop-accurate grey for their jumpsuits, which doesn’t quite match the on-screen appearance but is *technically* more accurate.  His face has a passable Murray likeness.  It’s not as spot-on as some of the later offerings, but it’s not bad.  Venkman is packed with his radio (which can be mounted on his belt) as well as an energy stream effect for his neutrino wand.


My personal favorite ‘buster, Egon is the second member of the team represented in this set.  Harold Ramis had been doing a lot of rounds talking about the production of the movie right around this time, so he, and by extension, Egon, were quite in the spotlight.  Egon is very similar to Venkman in construction, just with a different hair piece.  It’s the weakest of the new parts for this set; it’s just too reserved for Egon’s distinctive pompadour from the movies.  That’s probably why it was replaced fairly quickly as the line progressed.  Egon’s paintwork is once again fairly similar to Venkman’s, though with the obvious change-up for the face, as well as extra detailing for his boots.  Egon is packed with his PKE meter (again, belt mountable), and another energy stream  effect piece.


The central plot of the first film (and the second film, for that matter) is driven by Sigourney Weaver’s Dana Barret, who made her toy debut here.  She’s seen here decked out in her garb from after she’s possessed by Zuul, which is really the most distinctive of her looks from the film.  She uses add-ons for her hair and skirt.  Both were new to this figure, and, apart from a single re-use on the hair for the second Dana, they’re remained unique to her.  They do a good job of replicating her film design, and are nicely sculpted.  The paintwork is fairly decently handled.  The Weaver likeness is actually better than the Aliens line gave us, and the metallic coloring on the dress is sharp looking.  That said, there’s a slight misprint on the chest, so the coloring doesn’t quite match up with the printed lines.  It was a  problem going back to the prototype and is present on the whole production of Danas.


Dana’s neighbor Louis Tully was a part originally written for John Candy, who envisioned him as husky Russian man.  For the final film, the part actually went to fellow SCTV alum Rick Moranis, whose nerdy, eccentric doormat was one of the film’s most distinctive characters.  The Minimate is an early instance of a figure pulling double duty, and getting us two distinct looks.  He’s packaged as a Terror Dog, and makes use of seven sculpted add-on pieces, for his head, torso, pelvis, and each of his feet.  It’s actually a pretty faithful recreation of the design from the movie.  Take off the head, torso and pelvis, and swap out the front legs for the included arms, and you can turn him into a rather disheveled Luis Tully.  And, if you have a spare head, torso, and legs laying around, you can even display both of them at the same time.


I grabbed this set new from Cosmic Comix back when it was released.  I’ve been a fan of Ghostbusters for a long time, and I’d even been contemplating picking up Kubrick’s announced line before DST showed off theirs.  Subsequent releases of Peter and Egon have supplanted these two, but Louis and Dana can’t be beat, and this a pretty fun set all around.

#1708: Egon Spengler



Playmobil?  On this website?  This seems like different and uncharted territory!  Oh, wait, it’s licensed Playmobil?  Well, maybe that’s not so different.  Yeah, after years of making non-licensed toys, Playmobil decided to follow in Lego’s footsteps and start releasing some actual pop culture characters to go with their pre-existing sets.  Amongst the earliest properties to be adapted is actually one that’s run the whole gamut of block figures, Ghostbusters.  Today, I’m looking at my personal favorite ‘buster, Egon!


Egon is part of Playmobil’s Playmogram 3D product range, which offered up the four main ‘busters in their Ghostbusters 2 uniforms.  There’s a gimmicky phone feature included, but for the most part, it’s just an excuse to release some fairly straightforward figure releases.  Egon is built on the standard Playmobil body, which stands 3 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  The Playmobil body is kind of one of the standards for the industry.  Its not super posable, and it’s very definitely of it’s own style, but it certainly works for someone of an average build like Egon.  He’s got an add-on piece for his hair, which if I’m honest seems a bit long for Egon’s hair.  It’s got more of an Elvis thing going on.  It gets the job done, though, and it looks close enough to work.  Egon also gets a unique set of legs, detailing his boots and the bottom of his jumpsuit, which is just different enough from the basic legs to give him a unique edge.  You can also add Egon’s proton pack and gloves into the mix, via snap-on pieces.  The gloves are a little odd, since they only cover one side of each hand, so I’m leaving those off of mine.  The proton pack, on the other hand, is an awesome piece, which gets all of the important details of the design, while still simplifying it for the style.  Egon’s paintwork is pretty decent.  Basic, of course, since that’s what the line’s going for, but there’s actually a lot going on with the uniform, especially since Egon’s been covered in some pink slime.  Egon’s pretty decently accessorized for a smaller set.  He gets his PKE meter, a splotch of slime, and a ghost trap.  The trap is where the Playmogram feature comes in.  Download the app to your phone, and you can get a little holographic ghost to appear in the trap.  It’s somewhat nifty, in the same vein as the Star Wars Studio FX thing that Hasbro tried with Rogue One.  And, if you don’t like it, you’ve still got a cool trap accessory.


I’m not entirely unversed in the whole Playmobil thing, but I don’t think I’ve bought a set in over a decade.  My mom had them growing up, so I recall them from when I’d stay at her parents’ house when I was younger.  They’ve always caught my eye, though, and I very seriously considered some of the larger Ghostbusters sets when they hit, but just never got them for whatever reason.  This guy was purchased largely due to TRU going under.  He was there, and at the discount they’d hit, it was very hard to say no.  He’s actually quite fun, if you’re into this sort of figure.

#0981: Egon Spengler




“If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?” Well, the song would have you believe it’s the Ghostbusters, but in reality, you’d probably call the cops. At least, that’s what I’d do. But, let’s be honest here, the Ghostbusters are the far more exciting choice. Also, they make for better toys, and that’s the most important part to me! For the last several years, Mattel has held the main toy-license for the Ghostbusters franchise (though Diamond Select has been a pretty steady contributor of products as well). While the license has been a bit dead the last few years, it’s finally returned, like some sort of…ghost. Weird. Actually, it’s not weird at all, seeing as there’s a movie titled Ghostbusters coming out next month and Mattel obviously wants to get on the marketing bandwagon for it. In addition to the stuff based on the new movie, there’s also a decent amount of merch based on the original films, including today’s focus, Egon Spengler!


EgonSpengler2Egon is figure number 3 in Mattel’s recently released Ghostbusters: Classic line. It would appear that this particular set of figures is exclusive to Walmart, but time will tell if they remain that way. The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Egon is based on his appearance in the first Ghostbusters, which is kind of the obvious choice, really. Structurally, Egon is mostly re-used pieces from Mattel’s previous Ghostbusters line. The head is taken straight from their original Egon, and while it’s not a perfect likeness of Ramis, it’s pretty close. The legs and upper arms are also from the first Egon (and by extension, the Ray and Winston figures as well). The lower arms and hands are from Mattel’s Venkman figure to give him the gloves that the prior Egon figures lacked. The torso is the one new piece here, as it’s been re-sculpted to include a removable proton pack (all previous figures had the packs permanently affixed). While the new pack obviously isn’t as snug a fit as prior figures, it’s fairly decent for the scale. The pieces all mesh together fairly cohesively, which is good, I guess. The level of detail is a little low for a figure based on a real person, but that’s pretty typical for a figure from Mattel. Points for consistency. The biggest flaw with the sculpt is that the body wasn’t sculpted with Egon in mind. Since the same basic body pieces are being used for all of the ‘busters, the body has to be sort of an amalgamation of all four of their body types, which robs them all of some of their individuality. Egon in particular should really be a little taller and skinnier than this figure is. The paintwork on Egon is passable. There’s not really anything to write home about, but it’s mostly pretty clean. I do wish his name tag were just a little better placed. In addition to the removable proton pack, Egon also includes the, uhh… Yeah, there’s really no other way to say this: he comes with the butt of the logo ghost. I guess that would be cooler if I had the other three pieces.


Egon was something of an impulse buy. I was at Walmart with my family and noticed they had several pegs worth of these figures. I knew they existed, sort of, but hadn’t really sought them out, mostly due to never being very much impressed by the prior figures Mattel had done. Egon’s always been the ‘buster I most closely identified with, and they only had the one of him, so I bought him. I must admit, I’m pleasantly surprised by this figure. He’s not perfect, but he’s far better than I’d expected him to be. Take this candy bar Mattel. You–you’ve earned it.


#0827: Egon Spengler




Hey, did you like yesterday’s Ghostbusters-themed review? Well, whether you liked it or not, I’m doing another one today. Because this is my site. So there. Also, because I have this master list of items I review, and I don’t dare deviate from it. Therein lies madness.

Anyway, let’s have another look at Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters line, with another member from the titular team. This time around, it’s the nerdiest of the nerds, the scientist amongst scientists, Egon Spengler.


EgonRGB2Egon is part of the first series of the previously mentioned The Real Ghostbusters line from Kenner. He was released in early 1987. Like Ray, he pre-dates the move to wacky variants for the line; he’s just a basic version of Egon. The figure stands about 5 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. His sculpt is a pretty decent approximation of his cartoon design, though he’s not as close as the other ‘busters. The proportions of the body are definitely right, and the face is pretty close. The hair is the most “off” part; it’s just a little too subtle to properly capture Egon’s ‘do from the show. The general quality of the sculpt is really nice, though, and the base detail work is really nice. His build is appropriately different from Ray’s, being tall and lanky, as opposed to short and stocky. The figure’s paintwork is pretty good, though it’s a fair bit more subdued than the cartoon look. The blue is quite grey, and he lacks the pink accenting. The color of his hair is also much paler. However, the application is pretty nice and he works as a pretty good mid-point between the movie and cartoon designs. Egon was packed with his proton pack and a “Gulper Ghost.”


When stopping at that antique store on the way down to NC, I didn’t just find Ray on that low sitting shelf, I also found good ol’ Egon here. I actually had a couple of the Egon figures from this line growing up (he was my favorite of the Ghostbusters, or at least the one I related to the most), but I never had the most basic version of him, so I picked this one up. Sure, he’s not super exciting, but he’s a solid figure.

#0165: Egon Spengler



When there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? If you answer anything other than “The Ghostbusters” I might have to hit you. Yeah, you right there.

Here’s another look at Mattel’s attempt at making the license work for them (here’s a hint: it didn’t).  This time around it’s Egon Spengler, hailing from Mattel’s Mego-Styled Retro Action Heroes line. Egon was of course played by Harold Ramis in the films (R.I.P.), and Maurice LaMarche in The Real Ghostbusters, the cartoon adaptation that these were based on. That’s right, Egon and the Brain were voiced by the same guy!


Egon is based on his design from the cartoon. Egon’s redesign was perhaps the most radical of the set, as they opted to make him a blonde, I suppose to make the characters a bit more diverse. Like the rest of the team, the cartoon also gave Egon’s uniform its own color scheme, blue and pink in this case. It was an odd combination, but, hey, it was certainly unique. Egon stands about 8 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation. He’s built on Mattel’s basic Retro Action body, which is an alright piece. Not the greatest, but it works pretty well. Egon features a newly sculpted head, a pair of black boots, a proton pack with neutrino-wand, and a cloth jumpsuit in the appropriate colors. The head is quite nicely sculpted, maintaining the proper Mego aesthetic and keeping in line with the character’s design on the cartoon. The boots and proton pack are the same ones used on Ray. My opinion of them hasn’t really changed. The boots are fine, and the proton pack is really cool. Egon’s paint is a rare occurrence, but what’s there is nice and cleanly done, with no noticeable slop. Aside from the proton pack, Egon also includes is faithful PKE meter.


I’m actually pretty fond of this line, and outside of Minimates, it remains my only full set of the Ghostbusters I own. Egon has on and off been my favorite Ghostbuster, so this figure is probably my favorite of this particular set. I picked each of the ‘Busters up as I found them at my local TRU. Egon was the second figure that I found, sitting there all by himself.

#0129: The Ghostbusters!



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!


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.


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!