#0826: Ray Stanz




Ghostbusters was a pretty big deal in the ‘80s. Unlike so many other films from that decade that had no business getting toys, but miraculously got them, Ghostbusters wouldn’t get any movie-dedicated toys until the early 2000s (and the actual ‘busters wouldn’t get figures until 2009). Anyone who wanted Ghostbusters toys would have to settle for the next best thing: Real Ghostbusters. Yes, the cartoon based on the movie did get a toyline, from the masters of licensed toys, Kenner. Today, I’ll be looking at ¼ of the title team, Ray Stanz.


RayRGB2Ray was released in early 1987 as part of the first wave of Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters line. The first wave pre-dates Kenner’s move into wacky variant territory for the main characters, so he’s a pretty straightforward version of Ray. The figure is roughly 4 ¼ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Ray’s sculpt offers a pretty nice representation of his design from the show. Obviously, he looks nothing like Dan Ackroyd, which is correct. The basic sculpt is somewhat simple, but he actually shows a bit more detail than his animated counterpart. He’s got a unique build, which very much fits the character, and the jumpsuit actually has a nice amount of finer detail work. Ray’s paint is pretty much to be expected. Of the four Ghostbusters, his color palette changed the least from movie to show, so he’s mostly just brown and dark grey. They aren’t the most exciting colors, but they look fine. He has his proper ghostbusting logo on his right shoulder, which is nice and sharp. Ray was originally packed with his proton pack and a “Wrapper Ghost.” As is the case with many retro figures I own, mine did not include these pieces.


Ray was a rather interesting find. On the way down to visit some extended family in NC, my family and I stopped at a few antique stores. I actually did a few rounds of the store, having found nothing, but at one point, I stopped to tie my shoe, and noticed Ray sitting on a bottom shelf. Since he was a fairly low price, and I never actually owned a Ray figure, I picked him up. He’s definitely a nice figure, even if he isn’t the most thrilling.

#0823: Ghostbusters Ghosts Minimates




You know what this site could always use more of? Minimates. While Marvel Minimates have undeniably been the flagship line for the brand ever since their inception, the number two spot is one that’s been passed through a number of different licenses. For a while a few years ago, it was very definitely Ghostbusters, which was largely due to Minimates being the first expansive line of toys from the property to actually be based on the first two movies. Over the course of the line, they covered just about every ghost seen in the first two movies. These were typically distributed through two-packs, with each ghost being packed with a variant of one of the Ghostbusters. Of course, not everyone feels the need to own an army of Venkmans (Venkmen?), so DST was kind enough to offer some of the ghosts without their human foes.


These four were each initially released in one of the Toys R Us exclusive two-packs, throughout the run of the Ghostbusters Minimates line. This set of four was released through specialty locations in June of 2011. The four figures contained in the set are identical to their two-pack releases.


GhostMini5The Jogger Ghost was first released in the second series of two-packs, alongside an Egon variant. He’s one of the ghosts during the “back in business” montage in Ghostbusters 2. He’s caught via a well-placed trap while running a marathon. The figure is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation, due to his shoes blocking ankle movement. He has four add-on pieces: his hair, watch, and shoes. The hair was first used on the 24 Minimates “Day 2” set’s George Mason; it’s a fairly standard receding hair piece, which fits the jogger’s look on screen. The sneakers are from the Back to the Future 2 version of Marty McFly, and work reasonably well for running shoes. The wristwatch was originally used on of the Rocky ‘mates, where it wasn’t actually a wristwatch, but hey, it works. The Jogger’s paint is particularly cool, because he’s done completely translucently, which looks pretty darn cool, and gives him that proper ghostly look.


 GhostMini2Vigo was first released in the third series of two-packs, alongside the “World of the Psychic” version of Peter, who I reviewed here. He is, of course, the main antagonist of the second film, so he’s somewhat important. He uses six sculpted add-on pieces for his hair, chest piece, gloves, and boots. All of these are unique to Vigo, and they do a pretty decent job of looking the part. The only real complaint I have is that his arms end up being just a tad long compared to the rest of him. He definitely would have benefited from a torso riser of some sort. Other than that, the parts are actually quite nicely sculpted, and manage to look fairly imposing. Vigo’s paint is generally not bad, though the work on the body is a little sloppier than I’d like. He’s got one of the most detailed faces I’ve ever seen on a Minimate, which does actually look a fair bit like the character in the movie. Vigo includes a mask piece, which depicts him in his more monstrous form. The cool thing about this piece is it can go on Vigo himself, or be placed on another ‘mate, as if Vigo is possessing them.


GhostMini3Slimer, or Clear Slimer as he was dubbed originally, was first released in Series 1 of the two-packs, alongside a slimed version of Venkman. However, that figure had a few issues, leading to a Best Of release a little while later, which is the one this figure is a re-release of. Slimer is based on his appearance in the first film (making him the only ghost in this set not to be from GB2), where he was a bit more frightening and less “cutesy” than GB2 and the cartoons would later make him. He only uses the upper half of the usual Minimate body, replacing the legs with a flight stand (Slimer was the very first to use the flight stand, actually). In addition to the flight stand, he also has a piece that slips over his head and torso, making up Slimer’s “body.” It’s a fairly simple piece, but it does a pretty good job of capturing Slimer’s basic shape. Slimer’s paint is by far his best feature. He’s done in a nice, disgusting clear green, with detail lines on the add-on piece to represent his face. The best part is the food printed on the actual torso block, which can be seen through the add-on piece, to make it look like Slimer’s just eaten. Definitely a cool touch!


GhostMini4The Titanic Ghost was released in the third series of two-packs, which a GB2 version of Egon. He’s another GB2 ghost, from the scene towards the end when the ooze is playing havoc with the streets of New York, including finally bringing the Titanic to its intended destination. He’s not a super notable ghost himself, but the scene is somewhat memorable. He makes use of two add-on pieces, for his hat and the bottom portion of his jacket. The hat is from the Marvel Minimates Series 22 General Ross, and it’s a pretty decent fit for a captain’s hat. The skirt piece was first seen in the BSG line, and it’s simple enough to do its job well. The paint work is kind of key on this guy, and it’s pretty on point. Like the Jogger Ghost, he’s done in all translucent parts, which looks sufficiently ethereal. The face in particular has some really nice detail work, with a whole lot of depth, which really sells what could have been a fairly boring ‘mate.


I received this set from my friend Diane, over the summer. She’s been a friend of the family for quite some time, and has long been supportive of my action figure habit. She apparently won this set somewhere, and since she doesn’t really collect Minimates, I was the first person she thought to give it to, which was really nice of her. It’s a pretty solid set all-around. None of the actual ‘busters are present, but these are easily four of the strongest ghosts DST produced in the line. Each of them has something cool to add to the collection.

#0395: Ghostbusters Video Game Minimates



Hey, look at that, more Minimates. This time around, I’ll be turning to Ghostbusters Minimates, a line I haven’t shown enough love. DST’s take on the ‘busters was pretty notable for offering just about every character from Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2. However, before they had even finished a complete set of the main characters in their signature uniforms, they released this little gem of a set, based on the then current Ghostbusters video game. The set offers figures of four of the more pivotal ghosts created for that game.


This set was released as an Amazon exclusive, but its history is sort of confusing. It was originally meant to be packed in with this super-mega release of the game that had this huge selection of various goodies. Minimate fans in particular weren’t happy about having to drop a rather large sum of money just to get these four, but many signed up for the preorders anyway. Then, the release was cancelled. Most people figured the ‘mates were not to be, but Amazon stepped in and offered the set as their own exclusive, sold on its own.


The Chef is one of the early ghosts in the game, fought at the famous Sedgwick Hotel, where the ‘busters got their start. He’s a take on the basic Italian Chef, and he actually fits in with the ghosts from the movies pretty well. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and it features 7 points of articulation, due to the lack of a lower half. The figure makes use of the arms and torso of the standard Minimate body, with different pieces for the head, hands, and lower half, as well as add-ons for the rolled sleeves, torso, and skirt. The head is originally from the DC Minimates Series 8 Sinestro, the hands are from Marvel Minimates Series 18’s Venom, the floating lower half piece is from this line’s Slimer, the sleeves are from the first Back to the Future Marty McFly, the torso cover is from Marvel Minimates Series 26’s Blob, and the skirt is from Marvel Minimates Series 18’s Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane. All of the pieces are well sculpted, and they add up to a pretty decent approximation of the character from the game, though the hole in the top of the head is sort of annoying. The paintwork on the figure is great; everything is cleanly applied, and all of the detail lines are nice and sharp. They’ve even given him little food stains on his coat! Chef Demassi included no accessories.


The Architect is the game’s primary villain, and he actually turns out to be Ivo Shandor, the man who built Dana and Luis’s apartment building from the first movie, which was a nice way of tying things together. The Architect is bout 2 ½ inches in height and he features 14 points of articulation, though most of the leg movement is rendered motionless by the skirt. The figure’s look appears to be based on the big figure towards the end of the game, but it’s missing the horns. He makes use of the basic Minimate body, with add-ons for the hair and skirt. The hair is from Ultimate Sabretooth, way back in Series 3 of Marvel Minimates, and the skirt is from The Spirit’s Formal Wear Sand Serrif. The pieces aren’t bad, though the hair is a little out of date. They make for a decent approximation of the Architect’s look. The Architect’s paint is, if nothing else, interesting to look at. He’s got a molten rock kind of a look to him, which is handled by strategic use of red and gold line work, with some dark grey thrown in for a little extra detail here and there. Everything is pretty well applied, and it ends up looking essentially like the design should. The Architect included an energy blast piece, which adds a bit of variety to the figure.


So, the first Ghostbusters had green slime, the second had pink, guess it’s fitting that the game got black slime. And if you’re going to have black slime, you have to have a Black Slime Monster, right? Sure, why not. The Black Slime Monster is just over 2 ½ inches tall and sports 14 points of articulation. The figure uses that standard Minimate body, with specific hands and feet, as well as add-ons for the torso and waist. The hands are from the Marvel Minimates Series 18 Venom (just like Chef Demassi), the feet are from the Series 20 Abomination, and the torso and waist pieces are from the Series 22 movie Abomination. The pieces are all pretty good, and they add up to a pretty decent approximation of the design from the game. The paintwork on the figure is decent. Nothing amazing or anything, but everything’s well applied, and the figure looks appropriately “mucky.” He at the very least makes for a visually interesting monster. The Black Slime Monster included a hook on a chain, which is a re-use from DC Minimates Series 7’s Lobo.


When you’re making a set entirely out of re-used pieces, sometimes you end up with a figure that’s more than a little off. Case in point with the final figure in the set (and, incidentally, my personal favorite), Azetlor. The character has a few designs in the game, and this one doesn’t really look much like any of them. Which isn’t to say it’s a bad figure, just not a particularly accurate one. The Azetlor is about 2 ½ inches tall and he’s got 14 points of articulation. The figure pretty much the standard Minimate body, but with a DC Minimates Sinestro head in place of the standard one. What’s interesting is that all of the prototype shots show this guy with the normal head, but they decided to change it somewhere along the way. So, with a mostly basic build, he relies on paint to make him work. He’s molded in clear plastic, with details painted on here and there, making him look like bits of debris floating to make up a vaguely human shape. It’s all done very nicely. All of the lines are nice and clean, and the blue parts have some impressive shading, which gives the figure some much needed dimension. The Azetlor included no accessories


So, I totally skipped this set when it was first released. And I never really tracked it down. I almost bought the Azetlor by himself a few times, but I never really was pulled in by the rest of the set. So, what changed? Price changed. Cosmic Comix, my local comicbook store, got in a large quantity of this set, and they were selling them for $2.99 a piece. That’s less than $1 a figure! For that, they were more than worth it! It’s actually a pretty decent set of Minimates, especially if you’re just looking for some good generic monsters!

#0187: “World of the Psychic” Peter Venkman



I think most Ghostbusters fans will agree that Ghostbusters 2 isn’t anywhere close to the level of the original, however, it’s not as bad as some will lead you to believe. One of the cool things to see was just what all of the characters had been up to since the end of the first film. Peter Venkman seemed to get the most entertaining of gigs of all the main characters, working as the host of the show World of the Psychic, where we get to see him interacting with two people who believe they know when the world will end. It’s one of the more amusing scenes in the movie, and Diamond Select Toys decided to honor it with the release of Peter from that scene in Minimate form.


Peter was released as part of the third series of Toys R Us Exclusive Ghostbusters Minimates. He was packed with the film’s main villain, Vigo the Carpathian, but my Vigo figure’s gone missing, so it’s just Peter today. Peter is built on the usual Minimate body, which means he has 14 points of articulation and stands about 2 ½ inches tall. He has two sculpted add-ons: a hairpiece, and a coat. The hair is the same piece used on the previous versions of Venkman, and the coat was a new piece, I think, but it has seen a fair number of re-uses since then. The paint is fairly basic, with mostly solid blocks of color on each piece, but he does have a decent Bill Murray likeness, this time with a more solemn expression, and he has funky red shoelaces on his shoes. Peter’s one accessory is a hairless cat, which is a great scene specific piece that could have been easily over looked.


I picked up Venkman and Vigo from my local TRU. I believe it was an after school trip with my Dad during my senior year. It’s neat idea for a figure, I suppose, though it’s a bit drab and it will hardly be anyone’s definitive version of Venkman. Still, I suppose it’s not too bad.

#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!

#0123: Ray Stanz



I am so resisting the urge to start this review off with “Who ya gonna call?”  I want to, but I feel it may be over played.

So, yeah, this is a Ghostbusters review.  My very first on the site.  Ghostbusters is another of those properties where I’m a pretty big fan of the movie, but the toys that have been made haven’t always been the best.  I like the minimates, because that’s my thing, but as far as actual figures, it’s been a bit lax.  Mattel picked up the license a few years ago, and there was a lot of excitement, but it was Mattel, so they ran it into the ground, surprising no one.

The best way to get stuff based on the characters is to check out some of the stuff based on The Real Ghostbusters, the cartoon made between the first and second movies.  There was a toyline released when the series was on the air, and when Ghostbusters got a bit of a resurgence a few years ago, there were a few more items released.

Mattel didn’t totally screw up their part of the cartoon stuff, and they released a nice set of figures to tie in to the hole Mego-styled retro figures craze.  I’ll be looking at that line’s version of Ray Stanz, who was played by Dan Akroyd in the movies and animation veteran Frank Welker in the cartoon.


As I mentioned in the intro, Ray is based on his appearance in the cartoon, after he received his more unique uniform along with the rest of the team.  The uniforms were mostly just a palate swap, and even then, Ray’s is probably the one that remained the closest to the uniforms from the first movie.  Ray stands about 8 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  If you’re familiar with the Mego style, then sculpting and such is pretty straight forward.  The figure is built on Mattel’s basic retro-style body, which was actually a little different from the more straight Mego riff that everyone else was using, because they’re the masters of “If it ain’t broke try and fix it anyway.”  It’s not bad, but I prefer the aesthetics of the body everyone else had.  Ray had a newly sculpted head, as well as a pair of black rubber boots, a proton pack with neutrino-wand, and, of course, a cloth jumpsuit.  The head is well done.  The style of the Mego type figure is very compatible with Ray’s cartoon design, so that works out well.  The boots are fairly generic boots, but that works pretty well.  The real star here is the proton pack, which has some very nice sculpted details, while still remaining faithful to the cartoon and Mego aesthetic.  The neutrino-wand is attached to the pack by a yellow tube, and can be clipped onto the side of the proton pack, or removed completely, depending on what you prefer.  Ray is sparse on the paint, but the work on the head and pack is all well done, with no real issues of slop or over bleed.  Ray’s one accessory is the spectral sniffer, which matches the proton pack in styling and fits nicely into Ray’s hand.


The retro-styled figures aren’t for everyone, but I really like them.  When I was growing up, I stayed at my grandparents’ house often, and my dad pulled out his old Mego figures so I had some things I could play with while I was there.  I really liked those figures and I have lots of fond memories of them, so seeing them have a brief return was pretty cool.  The Retro versions of the ‘Busters are actually one of the few complete versions of the team I own, so that probably adds to my appreciation even more.

I picked these figures up one at a time as I found them, usually at my local TRU.  Ray was actually the last of the four figures I found, so I was excited when I found him because I had finally completed the team!