With our Round 2 finalists chosen, it’s time to start anew. Who leads off our final dozen? I’ll give you a hint: He was poisoned, stabbed, shot, hung, stretched, disemboweled, drawn and quartered. His last words were “Death is but a door. Time is but a window. I’ll be back.” So where the heck is Vigo the Carpathian?
Back in June, I wrote what ended up being a popular ‘Truetorial’ about the state of Mattel’s Ghostbusters line, Has Mattel Crossed the Streams? In it, I summed up my frustrations with the direction the line had taken in its first year. We didn’t have a full set of the guys. We had next to no pack-in ghosts. Tooling was at a bare minimum and the figures didn’t feel worth $20+ a pop. The enthusiasm I had when the line was announced had been reduced to a shadow of its former self. It was better than no Ghostbusters toys at all, but after the first few I simply felt no need to keep collecting. It just didn’t seem worth it.
I wanted to revisit that Truetorial after the SDCC Ghostbusters announcements, but it’s been a busy few weeks updating our checklists while keeping on the latest news and articles. I figure this request for the “Sorrow of Moldavia” can serve both its intended purpose as a request and a bit of updated commentary after what we saw at SDCC.
Mattel debuted six figures at the con and the part of my brain that gets excited over seeing Ghostbusters toy rejoiced. But the part that controls spending saw very little it wanted to buy. Of the six figures, five were Ghostbuster repaints with little to no new tooling. Only one of the six included a pack-in ghost. And even though it’s a good one, it didn’t make up for the fact that the other figures only included things like a PKE Meter and a stack of books, Ecto-Goggles and a walkie-talkie, or a GITD Stand and a proton stream. In fact, if you look at Courtroom Peter and Nunzio Scoleri as worth the $20 price, you might start to feel a little cheated by clean Peter only having a proton stream and a stand.
Ghostbusters II Winston was somewhat of a highlight. The new headsculpt looked great (pity that it can’t be included in time to make the upcoming TRU four pack screen accurate). The slimeblower did seem small, but it was visually unappealing. What did bother me was the missing chest harness. Details are important in a line like this and that was a big omission in my eyes. To Mattel’s credit, Toy Guru has since said that they’re at least looking into fixing it, but the early answers weren’t as promising.
Understandably, Ghostbusters has a limited tooling budget. It doesn’t move the units that MOTUC does and, overall, the GB line seems a lot more low-key. For 2011, TG said “they spent a lot of [the limited budget] on the fully tool’d Vince Clortho figure.” Now, I’m happy about Vinz/Louis. Even unpainted, that figure looked great with some excellent accessories. He was easily the showstopper of the Ghostbusters program at SDCC, but it begs the question…
How many Ghostbusters repaints will Ghostbusters collectors need to get through to get another unique sculpt? All the Courtroom figures? All the ‘Ready to Believe You’ figures and a jobseeking Winston to boot? I’m not sure, but since I’m not buying any of those, it’s up to you guys to snap up the low-budget figures until we get to the nicer selections.
It could be an interesting year for Ghostbusters collectors no doubt. Louis does give me hope that the line won’t be as boring as it has been so far. And it’s with that hope that I nominate the Scourge of Carpathia in an attempt to foster his inclusion. Getting Louis as Vinz is nice, and we can get some mileage out of the Subway Ghost and Nunzio Scoleri, but this line needs a big badass villain and it needs it soon. And while I’d be excited to hear about Gozer, I’m ready to jump directly to Ghostbusters 2 and see Vigo on Mattycollector sooner rather than later. And while we’re waiting, let’s cross our fingers that it won’t take too many cheap repaints of the guys to make room for Vigo in the budget.