Ghostbusters: 1:6 Scale Peter Venkman by Mattel

Back when Matty first revealed the 12″ Ghostbusters, I spent a great deal of time vascilating over whether or not to get them. I knew from the get-go that I was going to invest in the 5″ figures, that much was a no brainer. I had initially told myself that would be the affordable way to go here, but then I saw the prototypes of the larger figures and had to change my pants. Of course, the actual production pieces didn’t quite live up to the prototypes (as they rarely do) but the figures still looked pretty good and their equipment looked incredible. In the end, I contented myself with knowing that they would be sold out before I could get the money together to buy one.

Of course, they didn’t sell out, and that surprised me a lot. At $60 each, these are not exactly high-priced for 1:6 scale figures. Ask anyone who collects figures from Hot Toys or Sideshow or Triad and you’ll see that the price tag could be much worse. These days finding decent 1:6 scale figures under $100 is getting to be a rarity. On the other hand, while these are limited pieces, and the quality of their proton packs are worthy of higher end products, the figures themselves are about on par with what you would expect from a mass market release. I guess what I’m saying is that considering we’ve been waiting 25 years for proper Ghostbusters figures, I just thought these would sell better. Ray and Egon each hung around for over a month and a half when I finally decided to use some Christmas money to get them. Pete Venkman didn’t last nearly as long, but by the time he was put up for sale, I was already commited to get all three of the original Ghostbusters.

I’m not one to go ga-ga over packaging. Its usually something I just throw away, but I do tend to hang on to my 12″ figure packaging so that I can return them to the boxes for storage or display. But, its hard not to get excited about these packages, as they’re both really nicely designed and fairly collector friendly, so long as you’re patient when first opening your figures. The window package shows off the figure really nicely, and they’re secured very well via a molded tray and lots of twisties and rubber bands. In fact, Pete is secured a little too well as the packaging squished his head. Thankfully, after just about two days out of the package, his head puffed out to normal, but if you plan on keeping these sealed, you’ll have to live with it. The back of the package has some silly stats about Pete lifted from the movie and the side panel has part of a scene that can be completed by placing all four Ghostbusters boxes next to each other, or at least that will be the case once Winston is released.

Like Egon and Ray, I was able to excise Pete from his box without inflicting much damage. It took a lot of work, but it was worth it to preserve the fantastic packaging. Besides the fact that the figure looks great displayed in it, it also features a pull out cardboard locker to store the extra equipment.

Before I get into the figure itself, let’s talk head sculpt. There have been a lot of mixed emotions about these figures’ heads. They are clearly mass market quality sculpts and definitely lean more toward stylized, animated looks than realism. I don’t mean they look like the characters from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon, but rather that they look more like cartoonified versions of the actors. Now, compared to Ray and Egon, I think Pete looks most like his real life counterpart. It definitely seems as if the sculpts are getting slightly better with subsequent releases. Pete does suffer from some serious bobblehead. You can get his head to hold most positions, but if you bump it or shake it, the head is going to bob all over the place. Its interesting since both Ray and Egon suffered from almost the opposite problem. Still, all said and done, I’m fairly happy with Venkman’s head sculpt.

As with their 5″ cousins, these 12″ figures share the exact same body, jumpsuit, utility belt and proton pack. Everything from the neck down is identical, apart from their personalized name tag on their left breast. So if you have Ray and/or Egon, you basically know 90 percent of what you’re getting with Venkman. I don’t think this is as offensive a cop out as it is with the smaller figures, mainly because the cloth suits and adjustable equipment offer some inevitable cosmetic differences between the three figures. The jumpsuits are pretty good and fit fairly well, and they have all the right zippers and pockets. The Ghostbusters emblem on the shoulders is crisp and clear.

Naturally, Venkman has a fully removable proton pack. It belts on around the arms and waist, is fully adjustable, and can be made to fit very securely. The pack is easily the most amazing thing about the figure. I won’t go so far as to say its like buying a scale model of the pack and they throw in a figure for you to display it on, but its close. The amount of detail on this thing is absolutely incredible, as everything is detailed with excellent paint apps and even stickers with readible text and lots of wires and hoses running about. There’s also some good weathering on the black paint making it look a bit scuffed and worn. The pack runs off batteries and a push of a conealed button on the bottom causes red LED lights to cycle for about a minute. A sound chip of the pack warming up would have been cool too, but alas, its just lights. The wand is made of sturdy plastic with a flexible hose and it easily clips on to the side of the pack for storage.

Just like Ray and Egon, Peter comes with a walkie talkie with a holster that clips onto the belt, two pairs of extra non-gloved hands, and a ghost trap. I think its really cool that Mattel has thrown in a ghost trap with each of the 12″ figures. The trap is excellently detailed and the doors are spring-loaded to flip open with the push of a button. The foot pedal is articulated, but it doesn’t trigger the trap to open. As you may recall, both Ray and Egon also came with a piece of personalized equipment. Ray had his infrared goggles and Egon had his PKE Meter. What’s Pete’s special item? Just a pair of molded folded gloves that can be tucked into his belt. Disappointing? You bet! These should have come with all three figures, and even so, it doesn’t come close to equaling the goggles or the PKE. What’s more, there’s not a lot of space on the belt to hang them, unless you take the walkie talkie off.

Just like with Ray and Egon, there’s one thing about Pete that really irks me. You know that tube that comes out of the pants leg of his jumpsuit? It doesn’t go anywhere. Its just tucked in between his back and the proton packs. Now, I read somewhere that this is exactly how the real thing was situated in the film. That’s all fine and dandy, but would it have killed Mattel to secure it to something? Sure, you really have to look to notice, but let’s face it, these are supposed to be figures of fictional characters, not figures of the actors in their costume. The tubes are secured in the smaller scale figures, I wish they had done the same with the larger ones. Still, this is the worst complaint I can come up with… not too shabby, I guess.

So all in all, there aren’t many surprises to be had with Pete. If he’s not your first Ghostbusters 12-incher, you already know what you’re getting. The head sculpt is decent enough, and really only his lack of a cool personalized accessory ranked as severely disappointing. I was certainly very surprised at how quickly he sold out, and I’m very glad I was able to get one and complete my three, but I’m pretty sure this is where I’m calling it quits with the 12″ line. Maybe if Winston comes out on a slow month and I’ve got the money kicking around, I’ll splurge on him, but unless Matty releases a 12″ Gozer, I’ll be sticking with the 5″ figures from now on.

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