As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got quite the review backlog going and some of the figures have been waiting for awhile. Rather than get further behind by trying to still fit them into the regular schedule, I’m going to do some occasional weekend reviews. I’m starting with Mattel’s Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
I intend for these weekend spotlights to be briefer than the average IAT fare, but this one ran long and ended up at normal review length. Hopefully that won’t happen every time (and hopefully I’ll get these posted on Saturday mornings). The items featured here will mostly be from the last year, but stuff that never made it into the regular rotation for one reason or another. For Stay Puft, that was mostly due to his massive size. He’s bigger than I could photograph with my normal setup. So, in advance, let me apologize that the pics aren’t as bright and sharp as I usually like to feature here at IAT.
Now I don’t have to give any background on Stay Puft, right? This guy’s somewhat iconic, right? Like Superman or Oprah? Okay, well… maybe not Oprah, but close. Anyway, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is one of my favorite things. Ever. Sitting at my desk, there are stickers and buttons of Stay Puft looking down at me from my wall. In my desk is a notepad – that’s never going to get used – in the shape of Stay Puft. I didn’t have time to go pull it out of the toy cellar, but there’s a box in there with pencil sharpeners, erasers, mugs, etc. If you put Stay Puft on it, chances are that I’m going to want it. So, when Mattel announced they were going to include Stay Puft in their Ghostbuster line, I had to have it. But like a lot of Mattel’s Ghostbusters line, every silver lining seems to have a storm cloud.
There have been a handful of toy representations of Stay Puft over the years. I still have my old, scuffed-up, flood-surviving Kenner version. I snagged the NECA version before it became super rare. I’ve picked up or still intend to pick up most of the DST offerings, particularly the Minimates (I’m missing the first Stay Puft ‘mate. It completely slays me, but his second-hand prices are too crazy for me, even for a Stay Puft). Clocking in around 22″, Mattel’s Stay Puft is by far the largest. Since bigger is better in his case, he should be my favorite, but the reason I stopped to point out all the prior versions just now is that Mattel’s Stay Puft is my least favorite.
While I was originally stoked to pick this guy up (and I can’t be completely cold, I still enjoy having him despite some issues), I can’t help but feel like Mattel really over-thought their version and pulled a defeat from the jaws of victory. I give Mattel the benefit of the doubt because I think the idea to make him squishy was interesting, but poorly executed. I also hope that the soft foam used to make Stay Puft was cheaper for Mattel (and for us) because if it cost more to make him this way… well, that’s just depressing.
First, the soft foam just ends up being too much of a drawback because it takes damage really, really easily. Mattel knew this too – an insert was included in the package that reminded buyers to be extra careful with him and there was a thin layer of cushion placed on the inside of the packaging to keep his belly from touching the outer box (which didn’t work in my case, the ribbing in the cardboard is visible in relief on his tummy). Even though he came a little roughed up, some creases in addition to the spot on his belly, I did my best to be extra careful like the insert (and common sense) advised. But my Stay Puft is still covered in dents and dings. It doesn’t take much pressure, from a thumb, another nearby figure, or even a wall. My Stay Puft ended up pushed back against the wall behind my shelf. The paint is textured and now that ‘pattern’ is permanently etched in a section on my Stay Puft’s backside. I’ve got some pics of the various damaged areas in the Page Two Gallery. Continue to Page Two…