Review-A-Palooza chugs on with a short review on a much-anticipated addition to Mattel’s Ghostbusters line, Vigo! I’ve put this off review because I wasn’t sure what tone to take with it. Do I get hung up on its limitations? Focus on what I like? Ideally, this review falls somewhere in between.
Mattel’s Ghostbusters sometimes feel like a noose around my neck. It’s a property that I’ve loved since I was a wee tot. I love both the movies, the cartoon, the old toys, t-shirts, stickers, buttons, there’s even a “vintage” Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man notepad (granted, I never use it) is my desk drawer just beneath this keyboard. I love Ghostbusters. And, so, Ghostbusters figures should be a foregone conclusion.
They were at first, and then I escaped until Stay-Puft drew me back in. I got caught up again late last year, but the last figure I snagged was Louis/Vinz and, let me tell ya, that figure will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Combine that Vigo not being quite up to my expectations and the cancellation of the Club Ecto-1 Subscription and a good dose of dissatisfaction has re-entered my feelings on this line. In fact, I almost didn’t order RTBY Peter after I saw the shipping. I finally caved and spent $30 for him and the upper half of the Taxi Cab Ghost (review coming soon), but I’m still not convinced I’ll be buying Dana, but that’s a discussion for a later date.
See, I’m a couple paragraphs in and still I’m not talking about Vigo. Everything I just said is stuff I’m thinking about when I look at him. There are some specific criticisms which I’ll get to, but I can’t help but feel this figure has issues with the line hanging on it like an albatross. There are collectors happy with it – are they crazy? There are collectors dismissive of it – are they crazy? I don’t know, but I do know I’m somewhere in between (and surely crazy).
Vigo is a wholly new sculpt – which hasn’t been a good thing for the line since the Horsemen were moved to ‘greener’ pastures. For the most part the line is reuses a lot of the 4H-sculpted pieces, which I do think has helped the line. The first foray into using in-house sculptors resulted in Vinz Clortho and that is a fairly bad figure. The likeness is mild and the torso is just crappy. Granted, when I compare Vigo to one of the better Ghostbuster figures like Egon or Winston, he doesn’t measure up as nicely – but compared to Vinz? Mattel’s learning curve is pretty steep.
For the body of the figure, I’m happy with the sculpt. The hands are a little soft, but there’s some great layering with the softer plastics and the armor, laces, rivets, and general texturing are good throughout. It does feel like there should be some more texturing on the torso – or maybe it should just be beefed up a little, but I think the figure looks fine as a whole. I really love the height he has over the other figures. In terms of sculpt, I think the main complaint for is going to be the head.
First a confession, I don’t really care about the head sculpt. I know that it doesn’t look like Vigo from the painting. I also know that it doesn’t look like Wilhelm von Homburg. But the thing is, the painting from the movie doesn’t look like Wilhelm von Homburg either. It looks like the sculptor worked off the painting and made some guesses about von Homburg face that just weren’t right in three dimensions. I can lament that the sculptor didn’t call me up and ask to borrow Diggstown or In the Mouth of Madness from me to get a more realistic depiction of Homburg, but I’m not really going to. It’s a clean sculpt and the figure is undeniably Vigo.
I’m mostly good with the piece except, if you remember the movie, Venkman made more than a couple comments about Vigo’s hair? You know, blonde jokes? I can forgive a sculptor for not quite being able to hit a likeness, but since when did Vigo have gray hair? Continue to Page 2…