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Ghostbusters: Slimeblower Ray
Stantz Review (Cinema Ghost)

With the not so great news coming out about Ghostbusters Classics like the cancellation of the Ecto-1 subscription and the $8 blowout (but not sellout), it doesn’t feel like the greatest time to be a Ghostbusters collector. Still, I picked up Slimeblower Ray, but he did little to cheer me up.

The first thing that you can’t help but notice about Slimeblower Ray is that you feel like you’ve seen him already. I certainly feel like I’ve reviewed him before… because I have, in parts. I take some heat some times because I’m generally content with the buck system. I love the Super Powers-esque buck used on DC Classics, I like the cohesive look the buck gives to the MOTU Classics line, and who can argue that the Four Horsemen’s Scarabus gets gorgeous mileage out of a basic buck figure.

So, as a casual fan of the buck system, the parts reuse in Ghostbusters shouldn’t bother me too much. The original actors aren’t terribly different in stature, at least not enough that their plastic 6″ quartet looks wrong on the shelf. And it stands to reason that Slimeblower Ray should just be the Slimeblower body with a Ray head. If pressed I’m sure Toy Guru would ask “What more did Slimeblower Ray even need?”

While I’m a little disappointed by SB Ray, I also think it’s kind of silly to be disappointed. The basic body sculpt is perfectly fine (a huge nod to Mattel for fixing the Slimeblower buck, which some theorize might be where this figure’s tooling dollars went), the Slimeblower is nifty (though I wish there was a spot to stow the cannon), the Ray head is… what it is (I still don’t get how it looks so much better on Labcoat Ray), the articulation is standard for the line, the paint is fine, etc.. As far as things go, this is a serviceable figure.

The other reason it’s a bit silly is because he’s not the first Ghostbusters figure to forego new tooling. Though he is the first one you could recreate yourself with zero customizing skills. I popped one together for fun and then paid $20 to have it “for reals”. I think that, more than anything else, really contributes to making this one feel like Mattel should have done something more. It makes this figure really take a hit when it comes to the value, serviceable or not. So why did I even buy it? I imagine the same reason that a lot of us bought it… Continue to Page 2…

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17 comments to Ghostbusters: Slimeblower Ray
Stantz Review (Cinema Ghost)

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Sadly, I think that ghost line-up pic speaks volumes to the lackluster quality of this line.

    In theory, a pic like that should leave me kicking myself for not picking up every variant in the line, but they’re only so-so to be honest.

    On Ray’s head, it definitely looks different on the RTBY figure, like the crown of the head is a little more broad.
    Hard to tell from the pics, but it sort of looks like most of the Rays are more pinched in the top portion/forehead region.
    Can you tell the difference in person Noisy?

  • 3B

    That last comic hit the nail on the head. These were $15 figures, at best, but the corporate machine needed to be fed. I just hope they quit after next year. I don’t want any more GB anything from Mattel. Really. It’s like a dying horse and they just keep pushing it on to the racetrack expecting a first place finish.

  • Gildeft

    I bought when was Ghostbusters Halloween sale PKE meter Egon and GB1 Ray.Still I need to get Winston to complete my team.

  • Nik

    They Ray head on RTBY is definitely not as “pinched”. Leads me to believe the sculpt is fine and it’s just the factory or the plastic used that’s effing it up. Why they could fix it once only is baffling. My only guess is that the RTBY head has a different neck to fit on that body and therefore they corrected it when they had the chance do to necessary retooling.

  • I just don’t…

    I don’t get why Mattel just throws away such potential. Little things like you said, Noisy, simple things. Removable backpacks. Swappable hands/forearms. Design the buck so you can just make accessory packs and SELL MORE BASIC FIGURES. Not to mention howzabout a set of just ghosts?

    Now, in one way I can side with Mattel over the removable backpack issue. Straps (and closures in particular) are a pain in the butt at that scale and tend to be oversized, awkward and ugly. The flak vest that the slimeblower is attached to would be an even larger problem. Still, I think there could be creative solutions to this.

    But no. From everything I see this line is just lazy. It was meant to cash in on a movie that didn’t get made. The line would have gone ‘wide’ in stores if GB3 actually happened but oops.

    And it’s a damn shame. Because it seems like there’s an entirely different management behind the GB role-play toys as all indications are they both have been 100% awesome. So of COURSE they don’t make more of THEM, right? Shoot, why defray those costs by making more, meeting demand and increasing visibility of the line? HA! OBVIOUSLY it’s crazy to sell things people WANT. What’s that? Volume of production leads to lower per-unit costs which leads to lower prices which leads to increased sales because cheaper always sells? MADNESS!

    Boy, it’s a good thing I don’t run a toy company. Clearly I have no idea how to maximize my paradigm. :)

    • dayraven

      sadly, steve, mattel even beats their own performance for things like accessories. i’ve said for a while now that mattel’s turn on the WWE property is light years ahead of the stuff they’re doing for dcu, in terms of more bucks, diversified cast, accessories, quality, etc… and just recently, IAT regular mose snagged up the tag team demolition and said he agreed w/ me that the quality was much better on the WWE stuff… and that extends to outfits. demolition and the road warriors/LoD have outfits that include workable snap fitting closures in a soft yet sturdy feeling rubbery plastic that hold up very well to actual play… i wager much better than the more expensive GB stuff does. i don’t know for sure, as i won’t own the ‘busters while mattel’s doing them, but i’d place good money, given the other comparisons i can make, that the WWE stuff “wins.”

      noisy’s last statement, about if mattel could have sold more units by not cheaping out, that’s pretty much all you need to say, for me. i absolutely think they culd have. firstly, getting actual actor likenesses… why the hell is mattel paying for those heads, when for example, DST skirted a deal w/ the lugosi estate on their recent universal dracula figure and gave their fig a head that looks about as much like lugosi as this ray looks like aykroyd. it’s not a good likeness, it’s barely a pasable suggestion of the actor it should represent… or to put it another way, if mattel owes aykroyd for this likeness, they owe the kilmer estate a cubic buttload of duckets for icarius.

      second griff, noisy makes the comparison in buck usage to the scarabus base the horsemen used for the recent fanex release… but they’re apples and oranges. the bucks that the horsemen and NECA are using for some of their properties lately are far from “basic” in the sense that the dcu or GB bucks are… those companies realized that by creating a more detailed, complex looking buck, a little change in paint ap or packout feels like a more substantial difference for purchase. the GB body alone would have been aided hugely by nothing more complex than adding a canvasy texture to the boys’ jumpsuits, because that means paint would adhere differently to the surface, so every release would look slightly different in shade, and you’d feel like, visually, the sculpt was changed, just by tricking the eye w/ that shading. a little goes a long way.

      thirdly, they refuse to get on the RGB bandwagon, and clearly, the demand is there. as cartoony as these GB bodies are, i don’t see any reason that they couldn’t continue to use this buck and just swap heads and accessories, and by god RELEASE MORE GHOSTS! it’s an easy way to keep revenue streams open. they also missed a huge merchandising opportunity this season… around halloween, every channel wants to play ghostbusters, and many get in on GB2… why are there not commercials for the various GB products available to air during these movies? well, partly because mattel runs the dumbest webstore on the internet, but also partly because mattel hates money. that’s the only reason i can see for paying to license these movies, and then failing to monetize the licensed goods.

      • DR, I know exactly what you mean about the WWE figs and accessories. I keep seeing the Rey Mysterio set with the crane camera and man, man, I WANT that camera. I want that with my Space Ghost figure (remember that thing?) so he can interview my other figures.

        Cripes there’s a new Ghostbusters SLOT MACHINE and it got more ‘push’ than what Matty does.

        Why not another 4-pack with some kind of Halloween theme or deco?

        As to actor approval crap, that’s something that just has gone too far. I’m all for figures that look like the actor, but realistically, you shrink a person’s head down to solid plastic and it RARELY looks right. You NEED to change it some, alter it so it becomes like a caricature which catches the essence of the actor.

        Look at many of the recent Star Wars figures. I just saw a Luke decked out with his ‘just after the compactor’ look and he looks somewhat like Mark Hammil but he looks EXACTLY like the whiny teen he was at that point in the movie. It should come with a word balloon “But I was going to Toshi Station to get some power converters!”.

        DR, the only excuse I suspect Mattel would throw about the WWE figs would be “we get these out to the mass market and we’ve got a national push due to the weekly shows so yes we pour more Development sugar on them” which, you know, isn’t really an answer. Because the Matty stuff is PURE PROFIT, 100% sales, zero return allowance, no co-opt money going out to buy shelf space.

        Arrggggh.

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  • JRSly

    You really nailed it, the whole line is just done so unbelievably lazy. The bare minimum of effort is put in, just hoping to coast by on nostalgia and crazy fans(like me) who will snatch up almost anything with a No Ghost logo on it. Ray’s reuse isn’t the issue, though seeing that damn terrible head again stings..especially when we get a new Winston head, it’s that they save that much money on him being a total cobble-job and don’t put any more effort into it. Yeah, give him a swappable Vigo head, give him another tripod trap since the only scene we see them in, there are four. Give him the gigameter since we’re unlikely to see anymore GBII variants. Include a slime stream(or even better..GASP..one for Winston as well). Give him baby Oscar. Give him SOMETHING to make him seem more worthwhile. At this point, it’s pretty brazen to expect folks to be happy with a 100% reuse figure. Yes, yes…the ghost, but this is such a given in a line like this, and Mattel always acts like they’re doing us a big favor by including any ghosts in a GHOSTbusters line.

    Don’t get me wrong, I own every figure. I’ve happily bought them on day one. But I can still say that the line has been a disappointment due to Mattel’s lackadaisical and frustrating, misguided attitude.

  • And yes, it would take nothing to release RGB versions of the GB figures. Heck, cheap out and just do repaint and deco changes. Doing them RIGHT would of course mean a need for separate new sculpts.

  • He-Mullet

    I Honestly TRIED to like the line, but the Cost cutting and ass-backwardness from Mattel turned me off.
    I get SOME of the reasons for using a buck system, but THIS LINE cannot survive on that.
    Then the next best thing should be accessories. Another Opportunity that Mattel wasted. I understand the Logistical reasons why each buster got a brand new accessory and all that, but what I DON’T Understand is:

    Why in the Heck they did NOT release an accessory pack!? I think it’s RIDICULOUS and INSULTING of them to say: you want Proton Streams? Buy 4 Venkmans… It’s NOT just 4 Venkmans, Mattel!
    Venkman + Proton Stream
    Slimed Peter
    Slimed Egon
    PKE Meter Egon
    Ray
    Winston
    The Four Busters from the TRU Multi Pack
    Courtroom Peter
    Marshmallow Ray

    It’s 11 MORE VENKMAN Figures that I’d have to buy so every figure that has a proton pack could have a stream… Now what do I do with the Spare Venkman army?

    Was it Too logistically Impossible to throw an accessory pack with 3 Streams 2 Traps, 2 light effects for the traps a PKE Meter AND the Goggles?

    Ghosts: Here’s the Reason WHY a buck system line fails. How many ghosts do we have?
    4 Minus Slimer (2 versions) and Stay Puft…
    Where’s Gozer? (which should be easy given the amount of basic bare bucks that Mattel should have at their disposal.) Vigo is coming, but seems a bit underwhelming.
    Terror dogs are MIA… Mattel’s lack of interest in expanding the universe with RGB and Xtreme GB (Adapting them to a slightly more realistic style) could’ve been the nice booster shot that this line needed.

    Roster: 15 figures (19 if you count the TRU set) and 3 of them are NOT Ghostbusters!? See where I’m getting to? The amount of GB variants is TOO DAMN HIGH! Also, WALTER PECK!? There’s Janine, Dana, heck even Janosz would’ve made a more interesting figure than Walter Peck! As I said before: GOZER requires a basic buck with maybe some bubbles clusters that could’ve been sculpted as a sort of “tunic” over the plain buck and then painted in with a pearlescent finish… or something, but somehow Walter Peck was more Exciting…

    The Quality of the sculpts has decreased (as seen in Clortho and the upcoming Vigo):
    Losing the 4H WAS one of the key things that sealed the fate of this line. I don’t mean to insult the quality of Mattel’s in-house GB sculpting team, but sadly their skill don’t match the 4H and it shows.

    Even at $8 each figure they weren’t appealing enough for me to buy…

  • I think they did answer the “why no accessories pack” question, and if I may be evil, it boiled down to “it wouldn’t sell any more figures or increase traffic”.

    Yes, that’s paraphrased. Sorry. I just feel the need to peel the ‘corporatespeak’ off things. :)

    But, that’s still a completely illogical answer. Streams, Traps, Goggles, Stands, Meters. Not a drop of new tooling. Throw them in a bag and staple a piece of cardboard on it. That’s profit. Pure, easy profit. If you HAVE to put added value into it add a glow-in-the-dark Slimer or cobble together a storage rack from some other existing line. (yes, I know, storing proton streams like they were fishing rods makes an insane visual, just roll with it, OK?)

    So here’s easy money, and they won’t do it. Just will not do it. I do NOT understand it.

    • He-Mullet

      As I said, Mattel’s plan of “forcing” to rebuy the same figure again and again for the accessories is ridiculous and insulting to the customers… Instead of pushing those Proton Stream Venkmans, selling an accessory pack would help the customers and it’s pretty much a new SKU with ZERO new tooling, basically free money for them… Ass-backwards logic if you ask me… I know that I would’ve bought at least 2 accessory packs! One for the GB and the second for props in my other 6 inch figure displays… That’s why I bought a LOT of the Jakks Pacific WWE accessory packs!

      • Ya know, it’s almost as if someone said “Dammit, it took FOREVER to get Murray to sign off on this damn thing, and time is money! We need to find a way to sell more of these cursed figures…” “Hey, let’s give him something that everyone will HAVE to have, NEED to have and the ONLY way to get it is buy this figure!” “Brilliant! You’re now in charge of whatever we do with the DC license!”

        Hey, that crap happens you know… :)

  • bjpalm1994

    Poor Ghostbusters :( I was really hoping the line would succeed like MOTUC but it doesn’t look that way. And when you think back at how long the RGB line lasted, this line shoud have been a lock. I went ahead and bit on the sale so I could have a complete team but having to by extra Venkmans to get proton streams was a bit much. I never was to excited about the Walter Peck & Courtroom Peter figures, heck even the Ready to believe you figures were a pass for me. But having both the movie & cartoon GB under one umbrella would have been awesome! Yeah I think this can be called a wasted oppurtunity.

  • da man

    I think all the comment here have said it all. To not do an accessory pack during this sale makes no sense no matter what they says. Zero tooling would have been required. Unless those venkmans were going to be a dollar each it is crazy for mattel to think thay people would buy extras for his streams alone. I am sure some folks did, but if you are trying to liquidate merch, a little item like accessories could pull in customers to buy more. Instead I am sure they have a warehouse full of venkmans with no home . This line had some great potential but has been a letdown in a lot of ways. They have done some good but some
    of the choices mad just make you crazy and wonder what if…m

  • dayraven

    and as IAT semi-regular tekwych has often pointed out, the industry, especially the bigs, need to have a long hard talk w/ fans about packaging for online-exclusive figures. there’s no reason that the motuc weapons pack require that huge box, a GB accessory pack could easily have gone in a plastic bag w/ a cardboard clipper, and there’s ZERO reason to include a j hook on a motuc box. for a lot of these toys, we could reduce packaging to a simple rectangular box w/ a graphic on it to ID the piece in it. keep it small, keep it simple, keep it recyclable. i know, it would drive the MOCers crazy… but quite honestly, let them vote w/ their dollars. let’s try that simplified packaging a few times and see how many of them bow out of purchasing. i wager not many. especially in the light of how much cash we could save on that crap.