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! 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.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
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 Legends, Black 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.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
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.