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Mattel Ghostbusters Stay
Puft Marshmallow Man Review

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…

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39 comments to Mattel Ghostbusters Stay
Puft Marshmallow Man Review

  • Shadow_Contact

    I wanted him so bad but after hearing about the damage and the yellowing I’m sorry to say I decided to skip a few months ago.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/quotes?qt=qt0475978

    • I’m glad I didn’t skip him, but I certainly can’t recommend him. It seems like every Stay-Puft has to have some drawback. The NECA one is the best but the head sculpt isn’t great. The DST Bank is excellent, but it’s a bank. :/

  • TheBloodyAwfulPoet

    I’m really not sorry I missed out on this one. And, if I were in matty’s shoes upon learning of the yellowing effect, I would not have said we were “looking into it”. That statement suggests that they can do something to rectify the situation which they cant. The only thing they could conceivably do is to refund people’s money which I do not see happening. They should have just released a statement of apology, explained that it was a qc foul-up and vow to work harder to ensure such an issue doesn’t occur again. “Handling” customers like they’re actually going to do something about this is just going to piss people off even more in the end.

    Your mention of the Kenner stay puft reminded me of my own. About a year ago, I sold off my Kenner GB collection in one lot on eBay (including stay puft, ecto 1′ etc). Allegedly, the buyer turned out to be a kid, because about a month after the auction, this ultra-religious woman contacted me to demand a refund. She said that she didn’t want her child playing with “filth” like this and claimed to have thrown the entire collection in the trash. There was a big dust up and eBay ended up refunding the buyer’s money and I kept my fee. One stipulation was that the woman had to send the items back. Guess which figure didn’t make the return journey. I couldn’t do anything about it since I did get paid for the auction. That still burns me up.

    • That sucks about your Kenner SP. Ebay & Paypal annoy me too sometimes. I had a guy break a figure DAYS after he received it and have left positive feedback. Then he wanted a refund and paypal gave it to him over my objection.

      And great point on the Mattel comments. I should just be able to return it to Mattycollector anyway, so I don’t really need Mattel to allow mass returns. I guess that’s what CPI does to an extent, determines the old Fight Club “cost of recall” formula.

  • orionpax636

    Based on your pic in the HML2 thread at the Fwoosh, Terrax is somewhere preparing to make s’mores.

    Given IAT’s trademark thankfully reasonable level-headedness when addressing Mattel’s pros and cons, this review is quite scathing, and deservedly so. The yellowing is really unfortunate, and I’ve always wondered if there’s a spray sealant that would protect safely against this kind of effect. The badly yellowed G1 Jetfire in my closet could have used it.

    • I finally got to Terrax today!

      I wanted to convey my annoyance without foaming at the mouth. A sealant might’ve worked, but I wonder how little it would take to disintegrate the foam… I recently saw a video of someone giving their yellowed stormtroopers a bath of some sort (Hydrogen Peroxide?) and it whitening them up. I wonder where I saw that…

  • Jon

    I’m not sure why, (I imagine as with most Mattel products it’s cheaper for them) Mattel continues to attempt to use soft material as a “non action feature, action feature.” It almost always ages terribly, and the audience for a $70 Stay Puft Marshmallow man is not some 5 year old who is going to forget about it in 2 months. Reminds me of Clayface and how such a great sculpt was wasted with those gooey arms that attracted all the dirt in my house and started to break down, I had to sell him off when demand was still high on ebay because he was breaking down in front of me.

    Makes me think it would almost be worth a DCIE sub spot for a Clayface with sculpted arms!

  • clark

    What’s the point of making him squishy if you can’t feel it? I mean, Mattel included the warning, so they know it will take the damage. So if you can’t dent in the foam body at all because it will just stay that way, then I really don’t even understand the decision to use this material.

    • dayraven

      that’d be the million dollar question, wouldn’t it?

      i just don’t get this figure… noisy being noisy, he’s calm and levelheaded about it. kudos to him. me, i react w/ outlandish emotion and to me, that’s just about the shittiest thing i’ve ever heard. they’re admitting they knew the product was defective when they released it. they included the note that basically says “hands off your new toy buddy!” they charged 70 dollars for a product that they never intended you to take out of the box! was the box a 70 dollar box?

      maybe that’s the thing, maybe we’re looking at this all wrong, maybe the box was what they were selling y’all and the figure is just glorified set dressing… makes more sense, really.

      for me, this is exactly why i’ve backed WAY off mattel product and am spending the bulk of my toy budget on NECA and hasbro products these days. thanks for making that decision easy mattel.

      • I took two pictures of the warning label before I packed it Puft back up, but they were blurry. I prolly should go pull him back out and get the shot. It’s written to be cute instead of matter of fact.

    • Great point, Clark! I hadn’t really thought about, but it’s the truth of the matter for sure. In that regard, this is a total failure.

  • Yet Nerf balls can be squishy for, like, forever and not be imprinted by casual contact.

    And for those that only think of the old style Nerf Ball and say “but it’s the wrong texture!” don’t forget they can ‘skin’ the foam, see also Nerf Football.

    I think the reason they didn’t go with poured vinyl is because then it would have been a $20 toy and we can’t have THAT now, can we? 🙂

    Say, if this thing is so delicate, how the heck was it assembled and painted, let alone put in its box?

    • Clay

      That’s the kicker – it’s clearly not impossible to create a Stay Puft that is both squishy and long lasting. I have one of those executive stress toy things on my desk, it’s a squishy pig – that thing has taken daily beatings for years and hardly looks used. Just like it shouldn’t be impossible to make Snout Spout’s trunk flexible and stable, or to make a fully-articulated 12″ MOTUC figure, or to give MOTUC women removable heads that don’t bobble…

      • dayraven

        nicely said clay… nicely said… not impossible, and i’ll add, not wallet-raping expensive either… what do those stress dolls cost, a 10 spot? for a big one?

      • Also, I’ll point out that Clay says he’s been using that stress toy for years, and here’s the telling part, It hasn’t fallen apart!

        years of being touched and handled with deadly human skin oils and no decay.

        What magic material is that made of? How can such a thing be? 🙂

      • The pig is magic!! 😀

    • All those stress marks along the seams would be how it was assembled and put in the box! I didn’t do any of that.

  • even barring the dmage and stuff on this guy…those ugly seems kind of ruin the figure too dont they?

  • JamesLynch

    Knowing Mattel, yeah, this figure probably did cost more to produce. They have a real tendency to spend more money to make weird creative decisions that end up being much worse figures than if they’d just made them the standard way (see also: DCUC Swamp Thing, a figure that had to be made oversized and under-articulated because Mattel just got it in their heads to do that soft rubber over an endoskeleton thing with him, and reports starting coming in almost immediately of the rubber skin starting to tear with minimal posing).

    • Brainlock

      That’s why I passed on Swampy. I still have my DCD w1 to display, I don’t need something that’s going to deteriorate in a year’s time.

      altho, my Clayface is still fine…?

      • My Clayface is doing okay too. Though I have the first one, I wonder if the later cheap TRU 2pks one are made as well? The other figures weren’t.

    • I’m guessing the same is probably true, but that just makes him a little worse. The Swamp Thing skin has been fine so far, but I really don’t appreciate that figure.

  • 3B

    I passed on this figure because of the price tag, but after all the reports of yellowing and denting I feel like we all missed out on having a great Stay Puft figure. You can pretty much bank on this being the last Marshmallow Man figure Mattel will ever release.

    Truth be told, I can’t wait for their Ghostbusters license to expire. They’ve released nothing but mediocre to crappy figures from the beginning and that was made painfully obvious to me last Summer. This was just another nail in the coffin for Mattel’s GB line.

    • I think, ironically, that Mattel has gotten more character depth than we’d get from too many other companies (but no ‘receptionist’ in the cards it seems), but the tradeoff was less than stellar figures.

      For some folks, these less than stellar figures are better than no figure at all. I don’t know where I fall on that line, but the GB line tortures me. I have to make sure I don’t buy Dana until she’s eventually on sale later this year. That figure is not worth the money.

  • Tribsaint

    This maybe the one time I’m on mattels side the discoloration sucks, but so what? This is a toy , not a museum piece. How long should it stay white, what is the right length of time? There is no good answer, I mean to me 6 months to a year is the amount of time a toy should hold up under reasonable play/display conditions (sure I hope for more). I mean should mattel sit a demo on the self for 5 years to see what happens? Yes they could have made better choices (who need soft) , but I doubt that whoever just said effit who cares. They took a shot, thought it would work, but like most mattel decisions they were wrong. I mean, I’m not the smartest guy (far from the dumbest) and I could tell that stay puft was going to be a big bag of expensive problems. First off whenever they try something “new or different”, you stay away, same way you never but the first model year of a car. So, I really think this is something buyers should have known was likely to happen, and Mattel did a good job with the figure but how long should they test a toy (remember I’m talking about yellowing not the damage foam)? Now should they offer refunds, yeah but I’m opinion that refunds should be the order of the day for ANY reason the customer wants one, within a reasonable time frame. Mattel doesn’t help on this front since the are outrageously pricing their “collectors” toys, people expect more the more they pay.

    Of course it easy to take this position cause I didn’t buy one.

    • dayraven

      more than a year… that’s the right answer.

      • Shadow_Contact

        Agreed, a toy which even states out of the box “Not to be played with” had better last more that 6 months.

        • Normally, Trib, I’d agree with you (except for the timetable, a year+ minimum), but Stay Puft isn’t a toy. Ignoring the silly adult collector label on the box, that little slip of paper inside indicate he’s not to be played with – so they are essentially a movie replica, a collectible, or a museum piece and didn’t make a quality product that matched what they were selling.

          They may have treated it like a toy, that’s what they do and surely the failed attempt to make him squishy would indicate that, but they got their signals crossed and made Stay Puft a poor QC collectible that would be even more awful if considered a toy.

  • P-Rex

    REALLY glad I didn’t pick this one up.

  • JSayonara

    Ah, Staypuft…

    This thing has been nothing but trouble (it’s what I get for letting a representation of an ancient Sumerian God into my home).

    If you remember he came out at the same time as Swamp Thing.

    Sooo, Digital River.

    I added Staypuft and Swamp Thing to my basket.
    Being that I’m in the U.K, I was a little wary about the shipping costs for this monster.

    Of course being Digital River, there’s no way of finding the cost without going through all the stages of ordering to find out.
    Foolishly, I did this, found that the shipping was going to be £60 and regretfully declined.

    Except DR DIDN’T.

    I tried to cancel the order pre-purchase screen and the White Screen of Death arrived.

    Thus meaning that even though I hadn’t clicked confirm, DR decided it was a sale anyway.

    On top of this, by me not knowing whether I had my items or not, I had to order ANOTHER Swamp Thing, just in case..

    £170 later…

    But still, I love me some GB’s and when this monster arrived, I was mollified.
    The money was spent (no way was I paying another £60 JUST to return him for a refund) and he looked bad-ass.

    Except I had nowhere to display him, so into storage he went.

    Flash forward a few months to the “Yellow” incident.

    Now my StayPuft has been in the box since day one, in a dark cupboard awaiting his time to shine.

    Having heard of the yellowing issue, I dug him out and….Yellow abides.

    Yeah…even though he’s in the original packaging, in the original box, in the actual shipping carton.

    ……………..

    For the money I spent, I could’ve bought the damn NECA version.

    And Mattel wonder why we hate them.

    No doubt vinyl was the way to go (and don’t even get me started on slimy, cracked rubber Swamp Thing).

    • That sucks! My Puft has been out, but he takes up too much space with my current housing arrangements so he went back into the box after the photo shoot.

      A 22″ vinyl Stay Puft would surely be kick ass…

  • Nik

    Kinda feeling okay this is the one Matty GB product I don’t have. Won’t fit on my shelves anyway.

    • He is impressively huge. Which is the only thing he’s got going for him and it is kinda of drawback at the same time. Mine ended up back in his pretty box after the shoot.

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  • I knew this would happen but I was still stupid enough to buy one. *Sigh* I keep trusting Mattel and they keep kicking me in the guts. Why Mattel, why?!

    Anyway, just thought I’d post to say the whitening thing is called Retr0bright. I’ve used it a couple of times myself: once on a Kenner Ecto-1, once on a Kenner Stay Puft and once on the Trendmaster’s Ecto-1. Worked well on the two Kenner’s but not so well on the Trendmaster’s. Mind you, I did do them in what’s laughingly referred to as the “British Summer” so I suspect better results can be achieved in sunnier climbs or by using a UV lamp. 😀

    Hope that helps!
    Ex.

  • Twice I was going to buy Stay Puft… I had him in my basket once during the initial Matty Collector sale date, and again when he was put up for sale. I couldn’t pull the trigger either time. Luckily fortune had smiled upon me when a friend decided to sell his off, which I was happily took off his hands. I didn’t even have to pay for shipping!

    Thus far mine has held up fairly well, though living in the Northeast I don’t have to contend with very hot or humid weather, so that may be a factor.