#2458: Terror Dog



Ranking probably in the third spot on the list of most memorable Ghostbusters ghosts, the Terror Dogs serve as Gozer’s precursors in the first film, eventually transitioning to full-fledged hench-dogs by the film’s climax.  Like Gozer, the Terror Dogs were a notable absence from Mattel’s 6-inch Ghostbusters line, though they did get some toy love from both NECA and DST.  Now, Hasbro’s jumping in on the game with at least one of the two.


The Terror Dog is the Build-A-Figure for the first assortment of Ghostbusters: The Plasma Series.  Honestly, this feels like a more natural choice of BaF than the wonky Logo Ghost that we got from Mattel’s one retail line, so I can definitely get behind it.  There are two Terror Dogs in the movie, Zuul and Vinz Clortho.  Since we technically already got a Zuul in this set (in the form of the Dana Barrett figure), this guy pretty wisely goes with the Vinz Clortho option, as showcased by the slightly longer horns on the head.  The figure measures 5 inches tall and 6 inches long in its standard standing position, and it has 25 points of articulation.  The articulation is pretty good…on the front half.  Not so much on the back.  Seriously, the neck joint, moving jaw, and front legs all work well, but the total lack of any sort of mid-body joint, the odd decision to only do cut joints for the back hips, and the lack of a proper knee joint on the hind legs makes the back half of the figure surprisingly stiff.  I was a little let down by the lack of mobility there.  Also, make sure to not be a total idiot like me, and get those hind legs on the correct sides the first time around, because that will only further make issue of posing the figure.  On the plus side, moving past the slightly disappointing articulation, the sculpt is actually pretty nice.  There are a few spots where its a little soft on the details, but it’s a far more accurate recreation of the film design than the DST and NECA versions, at least to my eye, and fits in very nicely with the rest of the line in terms of styling.  The paint work on this figure is pretty solid as well, with a nice bit of accent work going on with the silver airbrushing.  It brings out more of the sculpted elements, and also gives the figure a cool sort of otherworldly feel, which is appropriate for the character.  The Terror Dog doesn’t include any accessories.  Being an accessory itself, it’s not unexpected or unreasonable, but I do think it’s too bad we couldn’t also get a second Zuul head to give collectors the option of which dog they want to display.  Of course, the only way to get a second body is to buy the whole set again, which might not be a ton of fun, so maybe Hasbro’s got something else up their sleeves on this one.


The Terror Dog has never been the star attraction of any Ghostbusters merch for me, so I was really buying this set for the individual figures, and not this guy.  I was, however, intrigued by the figure, and certainly curious to get it assembled.  Ultimately, I’m not the biggest fan of some of the choices Hasbro made, but at the end of the day, it’s a good accent piece to an otherwise truly impressive assortment of figures.

#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.