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Truetorial: Has Mattel
Crossed the Streams?

Normally, I get to express my opinions on toys in the form of reviews. If I have thoughts about a particular line or the job a certain company is doing, I usually work them in there. But I can only do that if I’m buying the toys and in the case of Mattel’s Ghostbusters line, I’ve stopped doing just that.

Somewhere between how the line’s been handled and how the figures turned out, I’ve grown really bored with the line.

Sharp-eyed viewers no doubt noticed the lack of an IAT feature on Walter Peck this past month. A couple fans e-mailed in asking when we’d be getting to him. As I told them, we couldn’t. Not only did I pass on Gozer’s unwitting accomplice, so too did everyone here at IAT. Similarly, none of us picked up slimed Peter this week either.

As a Ghostbusters fan, it feels odd to pass on the figures. I love Ghostbusters. Like many other fans, I watched the first film as a kid and I’ve carried an appreciation for the franchise to today. I like both movies. I like the cartoon. I loved the old toys. I wanted to buy Neca’s offerings a few years ago, and did buy their giant Marshmallow Man, but not being able to get the guys left me cold. When Mattel announced their acquisition of the license, I was excited. Finally, I thought, finally.

But it hasn’t been what I expected. First, there are the delays and gaps in the schedule. Mattel announced the Ghostbusters line back in February 2009. And in the last sixteen months, there have been five figures total, two of which were released in the last four weeks. Sixteen months after the announcement of DC Classics fives waves had been released. Sixteen months after the announcement of MOTU Classics is a little more complicated, we were teased with the He-Man at SDCC 2007, but the official announcement was made the following spring and sixteen months after that, there were a dozen figures in the line. To be fair, these delays have likely been something that Mattel could do little about, but it has hurt my interest in the line. Between Winston in December and Peck in April, the line was basically on the shelf collecting dust.

What’s really bothered me, though, is that the toys just aren’t as good as they could be. I’m a fan of the “buck system”. Sometimes, it can be a letdown like with Evil Lyn and her blue Teela dress or the upcoming pinhead Sinestro in the GL 5pk, but when done right – with the appropriate add-on pieces – it can create a great line that looks great together. I definitely feel that way about both MOTUC and DCUC on my shelves.

But it hasn’t worked as well for Ghostbusters. If you’ve laid down $100 plus shipping for that line, this is what you’ve received: three figures with entirely the same body and only new heads, a fourth figure with a new head and lower arms and legs, and one non-jumpsuit figure in the form of Walter Peck. Now, Peck getting the suit treatment gives me hope that the line has more life to it than just slimed versions and dark repaints of the uniforms, but the suit body is also an early warning for the eventual Lab Coat trio, and possibly suited versions of the figures. Casual Winston anyone?

Honestly, I’d probably buy that Winston. Winston is my favorite Ghostbuster. I loved his toy most as a kid and I like Mattel’s version too. I think it’s a good figure. That’s what bugs me about the toys. They’re good, they’re just not good enough. And while Walter Peck’s new buck may offer some relief, Mattel still made that jumpsuit buck for Egon, and then finished off the team with only twelve new pieces – nine of them are on Venkman. That’s not that impressive.

Now, there were pack-ins too. Two Slimers, a Logo ghost, a trap w/ effects, and the wall unit. If I picture it all together, it looks good. But was it worth $100 plus shipping? Even with today’s prices in my mind, I have to say no.

Now, I’m not saying that Mattel is fleecing Ghostbusters collectors. We don’t know the arrangement between Mattel and Sony. We don’t know production numbers and the associated costs. There doesn’t seem to be a huge outcry after the items sell out, so they seem to be meeting demand too. That’s good for the health of the line, but it also means that Mattel might not feel the need to do more. But they need to do more. The line needs more diversity in the bucks. It needs more non-Ghostbusters. It needs more ghosts. It needs extra accessories instead of using one new accessory to help push a mostly reused figure.

My feeling letdown began with Ray. I liked the figure, even with his peanut head, but I didn’t like that he was $20 when he was only a new head on the Egon body and a new ghost. And that ghost was a sign of problems to come. There are a lot of ghosts in the movie and right out of the gate, Mattel was essentially making one up. There are likely some fans out there who wanted Buster and I didn’t mind getting him either, but then Winston came with a trap instead of a ghost. That seemed cheap. The Containment Wall was nice, some might even see that Walter Peck came with it instead of the other way around. Slimed Venkman included a second version of Slimer. If I’d bought everything, I’d only have two legitimate movie ghosts. And they’d be two versions of the same one.

The upcoming Lab coat Ray finally gives collectors a second movie spirit, the subway ghost. I do kinda want it. I felt the same way about the containment unit. But another $20 for a figure with only two or three new pieces (the coat, torso, and accessory)? I don’t think so.

And what’s beyond him? The speculation is that we’ll soon see a clean Egon with a PKE meter. And a clean Peter is probably a lock for this year. Toy Guru mentioned the possibility of a “Sedgewick Hotel” Ray that could presumably be achieved with Slimed Peter’s arms and one new piece – the Ecto-Goggles. Those three figures will hopefully all get engaging pack-in ghosts, but that’s another $60 with very few new pieces on Mattel’s part. After that? Lab coat Peter? Egon? Mattel has said they’ll have at least the head of one non-Ghostbuster at SDCC. But if just the head is sculpted, then how long will it be until we see the final product? We saw Slimed Peter’s head at SDCC last year and he just went on sale this week.

Basically, I think we’re the one’s getting slimed.

I don’t know what Mattel wants out of Ghostbusters. Do they simply have the license in anticipation of the third film? Is this line just a bonus to build some excitement towards the movie release in 2012 and make some money while they’re at it? It really seems to be. The new tooling is sparse and crucial accessories are treated as incentives to buy new figures. The trap shouldn’t have been a pack-in. It should’ve been with every Ghostbuster. I mean, if they expect us to buy Casual Winston someday, he’ll need a bundle of traps to hold, right? Or will that be his incentive accessory like clean Egon will come with the PKE meter or the proposed hotel Ray with goggles? And what of clip-on proton streams? That was a big missed opportunity.

This line, as it is, may be all Mattel wants out of the license right now, but it’s not all I want. The figures they’re offering right now just don’t interest me. And I don’t think I’m the only one.

Having not bought a Walter Peck, I turned to my favorite review sites. All of them had reviewed at least two of three previous Ghostbusters releases and yet I couldn’t find a Walter Peck Review on any of them. Their reasons might be different than mine and it could just be that he’s Walter Peck. But it’s not a good sign that he wasn’t covered on so many of the sites that had covered the first three figures. After a Google search, I did find a nice review at Tomopop and I’ll be adding an offsite review link to it on our Ghostbusters Resource. For now, we’ve moved the link for the Ghostbusters guide to its new home in the dropdown menu for the Checklist Index. We’ll let you know when we add an offsite review link for slimed Venkman and we’ll continue to keep it updated as new announcements rollout.

Overall, I wouldn’t say I’m totally out of the line. I did sell Egon and Ray and didn’t buy Peck or Peter, but Winston is still here. He’s my favorite Ghostbuster after all. And if an exciting figure comes along, I wouldn’t be opposed to buying it. If the Ghostbuster 4pk turns out to be the dark grey uniforms, my resolve would be tested. But the days of expecting a nice set of movie characters to come out of this line are over. This isn’t the Ghostbusters line that I thought Mattel was going to make. It’s very far from being the definitive line the way that MOTUC and DCUC are for their properties.

Nothing about the line asks collectors to be completists. They’re pricey, heavy on reuse, and light on accessories or sensible pack-ins. I don’t know what San Diego will reveal for the future of Mattel’s Ghostbusters, but I’ll be looking on as an observer and not a potential buyer.

66 comments to Truetorial: Has Mattel
Crossed the Streams?

  • Lovable-Bill

    I completely agree with a lot of what you are saying. I pretty much picked up Ray, Egon, and Winston, and I am waiting to see what else is coming down the line. I know I will get the 12″ Winston when he is released, because he is also my favorite. Mattel needs to get it together and give us more than alternate releases of the main 4, why not a Louis Tully?

  • Sam Hain

    I’m loving the line. I do agree they need to come out sooner, but this is exactly the line I’ve wanted since I watched the original films as a kid. Yeah, it sucks that relatively unneeded variants are being given choice accessories, but that’s so you will BUY THEM. The line would die if everyone just bought the main four and were out.

  • I passed on this line when I saw the first figure of the line. Feh, they could have done so much to make this line great, but as you’ve pointed out, they are barely coasting along with this line and settling for mediocre. I don’t want mediocre, I want great stuff. I want a glow in the dark Stay Puff Marshmellowman! I want the ladies of the line, not just the ghostbusters. I want to have the vehicles and playset, not just a fascade. It’s disappointing.

    • Heli

      I have to agree. I really wanted to be excited about the line, but it’s just been “meh” right from the start.

      Luckily, the Minimates line was there to fill the need. Sure, they’re not 6″ realistic figures, but they give you a lot more bang for your buck. (Heck, I got the main four guys along with Dana, Louis, Gozer, and Stay-Puft for about what I’d pay for one Matty figure plus shipping.)

      • Venkman's Ghost

        The minimates are fantastic. The only thing Mattel has on them is the scale and articulation. They’ve been outclassed in every other way.

        And even that line has been full of the guys. First movie, second movie, marshmallow covered, and they’re branching into the slime cannons now! And they’ve already got Peck, Louis, Janine, a couple Danas, the Mayor, Janosh, the Statue of Liberty! Yeah, Mattel’s just outclassed on that front.

      • I wish I could love minimates as much as I love full action figures. The minimates line never ceases to amaze me. The packed-in marshmallow hair for Peter (to complete that foursome) was awesome.

    • I still have high hopes for a retail line. It just depends on how kiddy they take a smaller scale.

  • John F.

    I’m a HUGE Ghostbusters fan and I bought Winston, Ray, Peck and the slimed Peter. Yet I agree with what you’re saying. The lack of proton streams and pack-ins….is unfortunate. But to get screen accurate figures finally is too much to pass up. I did draw the line at slimed Egon though. Egon does not get slimed. Why would I want that? Slimed Peter I got simply because I’m afraid of the line dying before a clean one comes out. I’ll probably get hosed on a double-dip w/ him. But I refuse to get hosed on anyone else. As a HUGE fan they’ve got me to some extent, but I’m not going to be a complete sucker.

    • I really do understand that drive. I still kinda want the dark uniforms (which I’ve always preferred) and if they offer it in a 4pk, that’d be convenient and I might just go for it.

  • Quinn

    ‘Nothing about the line asks collectors to be completists’

    That’s a good thing isn’t it?

    • Heli

      Not if you’re Mattel…

      • I like to be a completist, so I think it’s bad for the line. Each figure included a drawback of some kind. The odd slime on Egon, the back pack-ins for the other two, etc. The uniformity that helps DCUC and MOTUC is hurting GBC in my eyes.

  • Andrew

    I echo a lot of these same thoughts. I’ve still bought everyone though, but I regret Peck a little and I’ll probably regret Venkman if the clean one squeaks out.

    One thing I would add though is the crappy elbows. I like the socket joints, but the pad keeping the arms from being straight is annoying.

    • I knew I’d regret them if I bought them, so I display unusual (for me) forethought and able to move on.

      I do agree on the elbows totally. I like the joints, but I wish the range was better.

  • Trudeau

    The movie tie-ins will prove to be the bread-and-butter of the licensing deal. The movie masters line will surely continue into stores when the time comes and all this will be prologue.

    I may be taking a gamble, but I haven’t bought any of the figures based on that expectation. I don’t think it’s much of a risk since Mattel intends to mainly produce the four main characters who would all undoubtedly be in a retail movie line.

    • I think you might be making a good decision. If the line gets into stores, even in a new scale or style, I think it will be superior to this. I really do.

  • Same here, Noisy–I passed on both Peck and Slimed Peter. The next and possibly final Ghostbusters figure I’ll buy is unslimed Peter, just to finish out the four guys, but like you, I hate the buck re-use on this line. It makes no sense and ruins the effect. Ghostbusters is definitely the black sheep of the Mattycollector family.

    • Black sheep is a great characterization for it. I don’t hate the line, I just want it to let me love it more. 😀

      • Scotty

        Black sheep? More like the Black Sheep’s adopted retarded redheaded stepchild.

        This line is such a blatant afterthought, even with its significantly lower production runs. So far the only thing I’ve gotten is 12″ Venkman, and even it is a bad figure. Horrible paint mask on the hair (HOW did they screw this up?!?) not to mention the face paint/sculpt being so different from what was shown for it. Mainly b/c they had painted the face instead of cheaping out for fleshtone rubber.

        Sorry but for $20 apiece, what they offer just isn’t worth it, especially not if they’re trying to pass these off as collector-grade figures.

  • Nik

    I agree with everything, but I can’t not buy these. Toys are my number one #1 thing, and I’ve hoped for movie ghostbusters since I was little so they could hang out with my RGBs. So even “good/passable” figures that are at a “amazing” figure’s pricepoint… I just can’t not buy them. I enjoy them when I have them, and just try to forget about the $$$. I hope this line gets better, and makes money even when/if GB3 fails to get made (please don’t make it, at BEST i think wed get indy 4 -_-).

    • Venkman's Ghost

      It’s the third one, it has to be good! Odd numbered indy movies are good. Though odd number star treks are bad.

    • I think your stance is the biggest sentiment I’ve seen. That we all want it to be better, but how can we pass up on the lifelong dream?

      I fell off the boat I guess, but I’m still trailing along on a dingy. LOL

  • Venkman's Ghost

    I’ve had a lot of these same feelings, but it’s GHOSTBUSTERS, man!

    The figures are 4H sculpts, decently articulated, and yeah the price is high, but if you’re a GB fan you’ve had collectible money burning a hole in your pocket for decades.

    Peck is an okay figure, but the real gem was the wall unit. Mattel hasn’t shipped my Venkman yet, but I can’t wait for him to arrive!

    • “It’s GHOSTBUSTERS, man!”

      I know. I wish I could tell myself that. But buying MOTUC and DCUC is a lot of money and figures. What other lines are you collecting?

  • Gildeft

    I agree with you NoisyDvL5 we need more ghosts but Im tired of that same buster sculpt thing like everyone else.Actually I bought this tuesday when Venkman did went on sell.He is my FIRST Ghostbusters toy ever and trust me I am really excinting about that.Im sure that on SDCC Mattel shows Ghostbusters in different outfits and new ghosts.Matty collector have to sell GB toys every other month that would be cool.

    • SDCC could be really cool, I may have ended the article strong, but I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t want to be wowed.

      I always wanted to be wowed.

  • 3B

    I have a comic going up on my blog this Monday addressing the lack of accessories issue. It’s kind of similar to your last pic there, Noisy, but it’s much more sinister… Hahaha!

    I have Ray & Winston and while I skipped Peck, I did pick up Venkman. He’s my favorite and I can’t resist! I do share the belief that this line has become very touch and go, at least it feels that way. I guess that attributed to me buying the slimed Pete and not waiting for an unslimed release. If they do release a clean Venkman, I’ll buy him, that’s for sure. As far as double-dipping on Ray & Winston, it would have to be GB2 versions of them and include the slime blowers.

    • I’ll be sure to check it out!

      GB2 versions would be cool. Sadly, I do like the idea of getting the slime blowers, but they can’t be on my beloved dark uniforms. 🙁

  • Brainlock

    Doesn’t Peck use the same suit buck as TDK Harvey Dent?
    I came across him the other week and set him in my DCUC display only to find this supposed 6″ scale is about an inch shorter than the DC gang.

    eh, I only wanted Ray from here, anyway.
    btw, when does “lab Ray” go up on MC?

    • I don’t know about the reuse. I thought that it was, but I looked at online pics of Peck and I thought the folds in the fabric looked different.

      For the article, I chose to treat Peck like a new buck to this line because he is that even if he’s a transplant.

      Last I heard, LC Ray is slated for August.

  • Adrian

    All Movie Masters line are full of fail. Odd character selection, bad scale, and crap for accessories.

  • As a person who loves toys and can’t afford to buy any of this stuff now, I say screw it. I’m all for the ‘buck’ system (altho I believe there’s some misunderstanding on how it actually works, but that’s another discussion) for MOTUC as so many figures in the original line tended to be mix ‘n match of previous figures (“Let’s take Beast-man and put flocking on him, and call him…Chia-man!” “no, no, but almost there…” ) but with something like Ghostbusters? With the different body types of all the actors? It just doesn’t make any sense!

    Oh, I understand that a lot of the delays had to do with actor approval of the sculpts, and there was one in particular that was just… well, it’s not hard to guess who.

    Still and all, this could be an evergreen toy line. Repaints, new accessories, blending the cartoon with the live movies, and of course GB3, but no, it’s just…it’s Kenner and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves all over again, kinda sorta, only pimping it to the scalpers.

    I don’t need a slimed Venkman. I need the guys, the car and maybe a firehouse play environment.

    Grrrrrrrrr.

    (is my all-encompassing frustration and rage at Mattel coming through? I think I may not be making my point. 🙂 )

    • Hi, Steve, I’d like to talk more about the buck system if you’re interested. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

      The four actors are roughly the same height, but the body types aren’t the same, so I can see the temptation to go this route and a reason not to right there.

      Kenner and Robin Hood? LOL. And those were the good ‘ol days!

  • Zappy

    I agree with you. I wanted to LOVE this line. I wanted these to be for Mattel what the Ninja Turtles were for NECA.

    These are just not very exciting. They’re just really bland for some reason. Yeah, the buck re-use is the wrong way to go, and the head sculpts look a bit rushed with not enough personality put into them. And things like Egon’s glasses… Could they just be sculpted on or something? Glasses as separate pieces almost always look stupid on figures at this scale. The lack of proton streams is almost inexcusable to me.

    And really, how many people really asked for a figure of Walter Peck? And I’m not very interested at all in ‘lab coat’ or civilian versions of the Ghostbusters. Who is? Okay MAYBE I’d get Bill Murray… All these stupid variant and ‘slimed’ versions are really taking the momentum out of the line.

    • I’m curious to see how the lines goes forward. Mattel has sales data that we’ll never be privy to, but we know that Peck took a couple weeks and Peter only a day, so what does that signal to Mattel? It’ll be interesting to see the sales of Lab Coat Ray – which causes a conflict, if they’re going to do him then they need to do all three – and how that affects future figures.

      What I worry about most is that with the figures selling out, Mattel has no incentive to make any improvements. We speak with our dollars and our dollars are signaling “keep up the good work”.

  • Russ

    I’m sure we’ll see something good at SDCC; just remember that between the announcement of a toyline, and coverage of what will actually start it off, not only does anticipation change, but in many cases people change their minds on product.

    Need proof? Look at the constant change in reactions regarding the MOTUC line; people said they’d happily buy everything, then they said that they were gonna be pissed off they could only get figures they’d already bought, then when new characters were revealed they complained because they’re afraid not all the vintage toys will get made.

    The reality is there are only so many characters that can be done for a Ghostbusters movie line…but they have a 3 year contract with Sony, and I’m sure we’ll see some great stuff soon enough; ToyGuru has even said they space stuff out specifically to show all the really good stuff at Comic Con…I’m sure we’ll see plenty of good stuff at that time.

    A year ago, everyone was afraid the line would die cause “they’ll never get to Peter”.

    Well, they got to Peter–the one feat no one ever thought they’d accomplish, and now everyone is STILL complaining that they’re not getting the ghosts.

    Be patient guys; they know what they’re doing..they’ll space ’em out properly.

    As long as I get my Vigo, they can throw our way whatever they want to 🙂

    • I do agree with you in general, Russ, but you can flip back through IAT and you’ll see that I’m not particularly prone to such changes in outlook. 😀

      I was never afraid the line wouldn’t go on. Like MOTU the MSRP and sell-through were decided before we knew the line existed, so as long as the sell-outs are consistent the line will exist, right up until the movie interferes with or expands it. So, I don’t know if the “no one thought we’d get Peter” criticism particularly applies! 😉

      And I’ve lamented about the ghosts since the inclusion of Buster back in October and I do have to admit they’re starting to get the ghosts now, I just wish they’d done it along.

      Anyway, I hope my article didn’t come across as a sky is falling article. I’m more concerned that everything is fine. But since the product could be better, I think that the line will continue on as it is might be a bad thing.

  • Snowglare

    I’m glad to hear you aren’t buying something you don’t want. In a way, I’m glad there are completists around, as it makes cherrypickers like me less dangerous to a given line’s future. I’d rather see everyone limit themselves to the figures they want, though, without worrying about potential future product they might genuinely enjoy.

    Zappy nailed it: This should’ve been as good as NECA’s TMNT. Extraordinary poseability, loads of accessories, and a base body so good you didn’t mind seeing it four times. Ideally, they’d all have unique bodies, but I think Mattel could get away with reuse if the buck popped more. They could still spread the main four out, too, so long as each release represented a good value.

    Imagine how much more fans would look forward to a new ‘Buster if he looked like the best of the 4H’s work and came loaded down with traps, streams, meters, scene-specific tchotchkes and maybe a ghost. The “incentive” for variants could be a ghost or two in place of accessories, which would make the standard versions that much more desireable. Win-win. They could even *gasp* raise the price, if only for the standard four. What wouldn’t people pay for the ultimate end-all, be-all of Ghostbuster toys, the first and last we’ll ever need to buy?

    If NECA had made these guys back when they had the license, they’d have been low on poseability and arguably out of scale for those of us who like to have crossovers with Gentleman Ghost and whatnot, but they’d have been close enough to these that Mattel’s line would be a sales disaster.

    • It’s nice not feeling like a completist. I don’t really mind being one nine out of ten times, though the all-in or nothing MOTU sub makes me annoyed.

      I’m not usually for measuring things against an ideal, that’s a bad philosophy, but I just feel GB is so far below ideal that I had to hop off the train.

  • Tsarivan

    Well, after reading that..
    I guess i made the right decision about quitting the line and start collecting MOTUC..

    Nice article..

  • Nik

    Got Peter today and he is awesome. I will gladly double dip for other guys with the gloves sculpt. It really brings it together for me. Mine has bad face paint, where brown hair paint is everywhere, and I can’t get it off because its sealed in by the slime coat. I’m just gonna chalk it up to dirty slime, and try to forget about it. Not worth sending it back and risking a refund instead of a replacement. Id rather have a bad toy than no toy.

    • That stinks about the paint! Are the gloves a nice touch? It looked like they sculpted the cuffs on the forearms.

      I’ve never wanted to brave the replacement program myself. Eek.

      • Nik

        The gloves are sweet. I wish they were all like that to start. Brings the uniform together and adds more contrast.

  • JediJones

    These complaints mostly feel like nitpicks to me. I don’t see how anyone who’s a big Ghostbusters movie fan could be dissatisfied enough with these figures to not want them in their collection. But then I don’t see how that person could have passed on the NECA monsters either just because the humans weren’t available yet. The happy Ghostbusters fan is the one who already bought the Terror Dogs and Stay Puft and now gets to add Mattel’s ‘busters to the display.

    The pros of Mattel’s Ghostbusters line are that we have them, they look good, they’re poseable, they have movie-accurate accessories, execution of the line is improving and Mattel is willing to do minor characters like Walter Peck. True, these are not going to break out as award-winning figures that transcend their source material like NECA’s TMNT line. But not many figures do and that doesn’t make it a bad line, especially for Ghostbusters movie fans. A serious Ghostbusters movie fan wouldn’t have passed on Walter Peck and I’m not sure this line needs to appeal to anyone besides serious Ghostbusters fans. The hardcore fans are the only ones who can keep this line going beyond the four main classic-costumed ‘busters because few other characters are appealing enough to casual fans.

    A critic should be able to point to something similar that was attempted and done better. I can’t really think of another 6″ live-action based figure line that I can point to and say Ghostbusters pales in comparison. Any comparison to comic or cartoon-based lines is largely invalid. I do think the 12″ Ghostbusters line is pretty weak and can readily point to Hot Toys movie-based figures to show how that line could be executed better. On the other hand, Hot Toys figures cost a lot more. As for 6″ lines, NECA has just recently managed to produce some outstanding likenesses in this scale for their Terminator line, but all their lines continue to be more mini-statue than action figure. And I think the Ghostbusters likenesses are recognizably the actors, which means they’re good enough.

    One has to go into this line knowing the demand isn’t going to be anywhere near that of MOTU, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Transformers, TMNT, DC or Marvel lines. This is not a line that can be compared to lines that went on for years and years with hundreds of characters. The only way The Real Ghostbusters line pulled that off was by being extremely kiddified. Yet it was so disconnected from any kind of source material that it’s doubtful most adult collectors would want to see anything from that line remade other than the 3% of products that actually appeared in the cartoon. But this modern Ghostbusters line, like most toy lines based on non-toy-friendly action or sci-fi movies of the past, starts off with the handicap of a relatively limited customer base that normally a big toy company like Hasbro or Mattel wouldn’t go near. So, again, Mattel gets major props just for being willing to do this line and especially for using their corporate muscle to get the elusive likeness rights nailed down.

    Therefore the limited customer base meant this is a line that had to start out at a higher price point and with a lot of mold reuse. No one argues that the mold reuse is less than ideal. But nevertheless it is effective enough to portray the basic look of the characters. And in a couple years if not a couple months I’m not going to remember nor care that I paid $5 more than I would have otherwise preferred to pay for these figures. We can see with Venkman that they have been willing to use less mold reuse when required which is a great sign for the health of the line and Mattel’s commitment to it. Hopefully we see more mold changes on any Egon or Ray redos in the future.

    In addition, the lower demand means new releases have to be more spaced out. The line needs to hang onto the fans who can’t afford $30 every month. MOTUC can get by if fans skip a figure now and then, but not this line. It must be remembered that toy collecting is not a sport that benefits from a short attention span. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to getting the toys you want at the prices you want. Those of us with patience have a complete collection of the NECA and Mattel lines. I just don’t see how a real Ghostbusters movie fan would get bored with the movie merchandise after a 4-month wait relating to a movie they’ve supposedly been a fan of for 25 years. I don’t understand that any more than I understand someone who sells off something like an entire Marvel Legends collection just because the company stops making new figures. I don’t understand an addiction to instant gratification over an attitude that appreciates that good things come to those who wait and one that respects and remembers history as opposed to tossing it aside when something newer and shinier comes along.

    As far as the comments about the ghosts, the Ghostbusters movie isn’t about ghosts as much as it’s about the quirky personalities of the human characters. All the major ghosts that I care about have been made by NECA or Mattel already. Anything else would be very minor icing on the cake, including anything from Ghostbusters 2, a movie that does deserve to be forgotten and one where “minor” is the most generous word I can think of to describe it. As far as the logo ghost, I would take a toy version of that iconic symbol any day over made-up ghosts like the ones that populated the Real Ghostbusters line.

    As far as accessories are concerned, I can’t think of any important scenes that had more than one trap or PKE meter. So, again, those can fall under “nice to have” but hardly essential. A Ghostbusters accessory pack down the way might be a nice thing to have. Attachable proton beams might be a nice thing to have but I’m not convinced that could be done in an effective, realistic way given the complex shaping and coloring of the beams in the movie.

    When it comes to character selection and variants, I would be somewhat disappointed but hardly devastated if we didn’t get a Zuul Dana and some kind of Janine or Louis before the line ends (I’ll pass on casual Dana), but the fact that we got Walter Peck makes me feel those have a chance. I’m confident we’ll see unslimed versions of Egon and Peter and the hotel Ray sounds like a good idea for a rerelease too. I look forward to each new release in the line and the fact that there are so few “must-have” characters makes me feel the timing of releases is just about adequate the way it is.

    I’m not even going to get into Minimates comparisons other than to say comparing a tiny-scaled, cartoonified toy line to a realistic, 6″-scale one is wrong on so many levels. You might as well compare the 6″ line to the quality of the Ghostbusters breakfast cereal. That’s how different the purpose, structure and format of the two are. After all, aren’t most of the Minimates repaints of the same mold, the same thing people complain about in the Mattel line? And somehow I doubt fans would cheer the arrival of a Marshmallow Man that’s just as tall as the human Ghostbusters in Mattel’s line. I’m not saying the standard people have for Minimates is lower, but those are just two among a multitude of examples of how the standards for these two kinds of toy lines are about as different as can be.

    Ultimately Mattel’s 6″ line is one that is not just “nice to have,” but absolutely essential to the Ghostbusters movie fan. It is a good, solid line that serves its purpose, maybe not cutting-edge in terms of design but still up to or beyond the quality we could have expected from any company several years ago. If the ultimate, groundbreaking, award-winning Ghostbusters line with swappable heads, super-posability, 10 accessories and 3 movie-accurate ghosts per figure (which can’t really exists) ever comes out, I’ll happily rebuy the characters. Star Wars fans have certainly done that enough times over the years. But until that happens I’ll continue to feel very satisfied and grateful for the line Mattel has given us. This is the line I have been waiting for, nay, begged for, for so many years and it is enormously pleasing to finally hold it in my hands.

    • Wow, Jedi, you might need your own blog. 😀 I think your response is as long as my article!

      Your opinions of my fandom are irrelevant because you’re making a classic mistake in your approach to my comments. What’s important to you is not univerally important to everyone. I like things that can move and NECA couldn’t make theirs move, so I passed. You should presume simply that I place a higher value on the things NECA didn’t/couldn’t do instead of taking a shot at my level of fandom in regards to Ghostbusters.

      As for your actual responses, of course everything I’m saying is a nitpick. The point of is article is simply “we’re not covering this anymore, here’s why”. But as you point out in most sections, the nitpicks are more or less valid, if overblown in your eyes. All together, they’re too many for me, but that doesn’t mean they’re too many for everyone. I’m most dismayed at the fact that Mattel has little incentive to improve, though that may change depending on Lab Coat Ray. I’m curious to see the sales results for him.

      As for the responses to my column from the other Ghostbusters fans. I see most folks wishing the line were better but sticking with it. I wish them well, but I know I made the right decision because of those comments. I’m past the point of buying every little ghostbusters thing simply because it exists. These figures aren’t on par with MOTUC/DCUC and that’s not good enough for me.

      I’m glad that you’re happy with it. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be, but it has nothing do with yours or anyones level of fandom. It’s simply where you place your priorities. My priorities dictate that simply loving the original property isn’t enough to pay $20 for these overpriced little totems.

  • Adrian

    Well, Noisy ol’ Jedi thinks your just not a big enough Ghostbusters fan. Since the comments section is mostly in agreement with you, I guess we’re all not that big of GB fans either!

    • lol

      His opinion of my fandom doesn’t offend me. Ultimately, I think I’m on a track where I only want to buy cool stuff instead of buying little totems of properties that I like.

      I love MOTU because the toys are fun. I don’t always care about the characters. I’ve never been a big Beast Man fan, but he has a damn cool toy. I’m struggling with this philosophy in regards to the DC toy line right now. I have everything from 1-12, but I don’t really care about Trigon, for example. I still feel that hankering to have them all because I’m a DC fan, but I’m starting to think my collecting dollar should go to stuff that’s cool and not little totems of other stuff I find cool.

  • Nik

    One of my biggest problems with the line comes from my criticisms of being a toy fan, not a ghostbusters fan. If these toys were $15 at toys r us, I would not complain. And I am a huge GB fan, and because of that, I am buying these and am happy with them. But I own hundreds of toys. Ive spent thousands of dollars. through all this toy nerd experience, I have developed a sense of value per dollar almost. For $30, such long time between single releases, heavy mold re-use, online exclusivity, the hassel to get them, the character selection so far, and then receiving what is (when compared to various other toys, from mattel and others, and their associated costs, production run, retail availability, QC, etc etc) at best a mediocre toy… it gets frustrating. The GB love keeps me buying, and happy to have them. But for the situations, we should get better QC, and at least a few more accessories, and more lifelike production head-sculpts from a better factory. All i know, is TRU carries the smaller run NECA figures from every video game, plus all the GB stuff from diamond… if mattel asked them to carry GB movie masters, i’m sure they would. Then I wouldn’t be complaining (except when I couldn’t find them :P)

    I am really tired i hope that makes sense.

  • toyman2581

    It seems like they want to drown us in ‘Busters and all the variations they can come up with before they even think about ghosts or secondary characters. This makes no sense to me considering that Mattel has said that both DCUC and MOTUC will have second-stringers throughout and a popular character here and there to keep the lines going. Why aren’t they doing this with Ghostbusters? Just from their sales standpoint we should be getting all kinds of ghosts and supporting cast members with the main 4 only every so often to keep interest.

    • Nik

      They’re not doing it with ghostbusters because there’s no reusable tooling possibilies for anyone but the ghostbusters. Hence, 2 slimers already.

      • toyman2581

        That’s certainly true but I don’t see what difference to them it would make whether they reuse tooling now and get all the Ghostbusters out of the way and then create new tooling for other characters or if they space it out. It’ll be the same amount of work either way.

  • Scotty

    Ok so one guy thinks this is the greatest toy line ever if you liked the Ghostbusters movie. That’s great that she got the NECA toys. But guess who doesn’t make money off that? Mattel.

    MOTUC fans aren’t skipping figures yet, but they will be. If Ghostbusters put out good figures each month, people would buy them. It’s doable, but Mattel isn’t willing to do it.