Ghostbusters: Peter Venkman by Mattel

Its been a long time coming, but Matty Collector finally released the 6″ Peter Venkman figure this month. He went up for sale on the 15th and, unlike the previous figures in this line, Peter sold out quickly, although not as quickly as the MOTU Classics figures have. I’ll count myself among those disappointed that Matty decided to go with a slimed Peter rather than a clean one, especially since SDCC is right around the corner and they could have made the slimed one an exclusive. Nonetheless, I was pretty anxious to finish up my Ghostbusters team in this 6″ scale so I bit the bullet and ordered him anyway.

I don’t have a photo of the package, but if you’ve been collecting this line, you already know what it looks like. Its pretty big for figures of this size, but the presentation is top notch. Of course mine just gets shredded and tossed into the garbage can, but if your a MOC collector, you shouldn’t be disappointed.

Before I get into the sculpt, let me just point out that the slime on Peter is about on par with the SDCC Egon, and for me, that’s a very good thing. Production photos made the figure look like someone squirted day-glo shampoo all over it. The truth is that the slime is pretty subdued, although it shows up on the photos well thanks to the scrutiny of the flash. In the end, its not overly distracting and as with Egon, its not so noticeable that I would feel compelled to fork over another $20 for a clean one that will undoubtedly be released later on.

Peter is the first of the Ghostbusters to receive new sculpting below the neck and overall Matty did a nice job with the changes. I’ll start from the bottom and work my way up. First off, his pants legs are not tucked into his boots. The ankle pegs look a little more noticeable on this sculpt than the other figures, but apart from that, I like it. Unlike the other figures, Peter is wearing his goves, so instead of having them molded onto his belt, he has his walkie talkie in that position. The torso appears to be the same sculpt as the other figures, as is the Proton Pack, which is as incredible looking as ever.

So far so good, right? Well, unfortunately, I have big problems with the head sculpt used. Its not that I don’t like the sculpt itself. It does look like Bill Murray and while it doesn’t look quite as realistic as the other figures’ heads, it gets the job done. My problem is that it looks completely out of place when standing with his teammates because its so damn big compared to the other figures, particularly Ray and Egon. Either that or it makes Ray and Egon’s heads looked squished and deformed in comparison. I’m not sure, but I’m hoping it will grow on me. His hair is matted down, presumeably from the slime, so I’m guessing if/when Mattel does a clean version they will resculpt the head. As he stands now, I would give Venkman pretty high marks on his own, but he just doesn’t look right standing with the other guys.

Articulation is almost identical to the other Ghostbusters figures. You get ball jointed head, shoulders and elbows. Swivel cuts in the wrists, waist, and thighs, universal joints in the hips, and hinged joints in the knees and ankles. The one thing missing is the swivel cuts on his lower legs.

Peter comes with the Slimer ghost. For those of you who didn’t get last year’s SDCC Egon, I’m sure this accessory is a welcome treat. He uses the same clear green plastic as the previous Slimer, but instead of just having a huge open mouth, he’s got his tongue sticking out. Its a nice pack-in, although I do like the SDCC version a bit more. Slimer also comes with the same clear stand we got with SDCC Slimer and the logo ghost that came with Ray.

Peter is not a bad figure. I do like him, I just wish the head looked more in line with the other figures (or vice versa). I’m particularly glad to finally get him and complete my Ghostbusters team so that I can get closure on this line. I’ll cetainly consider any other figures that come down the line, but I’m pretty sure I’m done with these. I’m not interested in variants of the guys in labcoats or anything like that, although if Matty made some decent ghosts, particularly Gozer or the demon dogs, I would probably be willing to pick those up.

MOTU Classics: Optikk by Mattel

Well, its a month late, but seeing as how I got shut out of She-Ra and Keldor this month, I decided to get around to looking at last month’s figure, Optikk. I missed him on Matty as well (seems like I can never get to the computer at Zero Hour these days), but after waiting a few weeks, I was able to pick him up on Ebay for just a few dollars more than his Matty sale price.

I have very little interest or knowledge about the New Adventures series of He-Man toys. I’ve seen some of the figures and playsets online and at some toy shows, but I don’t know anything about the characters unique to this toyline. And seeing as how I’m not a completist when it comes to the MOTU Classics figures, it should go to show you how great a figure Optikk is to make me pick him up.

Optikk comes in a white mailer box and carded on the standard packaging for the Classics line. The only thing new here is the Space Mutants sticker on the front. As is sometimes the case, the logo at the top of the bubble obscures Optikk’s “head” a bit. I know this really bums out mint on card collectors, but it doesn’t phase me since I rip these babies open as soon as I get them. On the other hand, his spare eye is mounted so that it is perfectly visible in the bubble.

The most amazing thing about Optikk is how much of him is a new sculpt. In a line of figures that prides itself on reusing parts over and over again, Optikk looks both fresh and brand new. I absolutely love the detail in his armor, particularly the wires and all the tiny bolts, giving him a smidge of steampunk. I also love the way the top portion forms the cradle to hold his giant eyeball of a head. The armor sculpt even includes a mock thumb wheel on the back that was part of the original figure’s gimmick to turn the eye. In terms of color, Optikk is pretty subdued as the overwhelming bulk of his armor is gold with some black showing from beneath and a little purple. The wires are blue and red and the aforementioned bolts are neatly painted silver.

Since Optikk’s head is a giant eyeball, there isn’t a lot to the sculpt, but it still looks amazing. The translucent part is painted over with veins making for a nice effect. The two eyeballs are identical save for the color of the translucent part, which are either green or orange. I actually haven’t swapped the eyes out on my figure because its difficult to do, impossible to tell what’s going on at the neck, and I’m afraid I’m going to bust the post. Besides, I like the green one better anyway.

Optikk has the same basic articulation as past Classics figures. The main difference is that the ball joint in his “head” doesn’t give a lot of up down leeway, which is a bit disappointing, but it goes from side to side just fine. He has universal ball joints in his shoulders and hips, hinged joints in his elbows, knees and ankles, and swivels in his biceps and wrists. My only quibble here is that the ankle joints on mine are a bit on the loose side.

Optikk comes with two accessories (not counting the spare eye), a laser rifle and a shield. The shield is cool, but not much to talk about. It clips onto his wrists like all the other shields we’ve gotten in this line. The laser gun is a really cool design and sculpt, I just wish they hadn’t stamped CHINA on it in such an obvious place as it kind of detracts from the aesthetics.

So it just goes to show you that The Four Horsemen can take a character that I don’t know or care about and still make a figure that I had to have in my collection. Everything about Optikk is just so cool. He’s the most unqiue looking figure we’ve got in the line so far and yet he blends in just fine with Skeletor’s mob of baddies. Great stuff!

Danger Girl: 1:6 Scale Sidney Savage by Dragon

Yeah, its been a while. Sorry. What can I say? In the last three weeks I’ve been horribly ill and dealing with a lot of shit at work. There’s been precious little time for me and toys. In fact, since my last entry I’ve only picked up two new figures and Sidney here is one of them. I’ll be back shortly with a look at MOTU Classics Optikk figure. The clouds are parting so hopefully I can get back on track.

Not long ago I took a look at Dragon’s 1:6 scale Abbey Chase figure, based on the J. Scott Campbell comic, Danger Girl. I mentioned then that Dragon also took a stab at making fellow Danger Girl, and Aussie whip-cracking hottie, Sidney Savage. I put off getting this figure for a long while because I was never quite happy with the photos of the figure. Nonetheless, at some point along the way I broke down and ordered one, if for no other reason just to complete my set. In the end, Sidney proved to be one of those figures that are just better in person, but she’s still not up to par with the Abbey Chase figure.The packaging here is very close to the one Dragon used for Abbey. You get a simple box with a velcro latching front flap that opens to reveal a window displaying the figure and all her gear. The colors are a little brighter and redder, but if features the same conceptual style sketches with full color artwork of Sidney on the front. If you have Abbey and have kept her in the package, you should be pretty happy keeping these two boxes on the shelf together. As with Abbey, Sidney rests in a clear plastic tray with her gear laid out to her right and a simple stand placed behind the tray.

Sidney’s head sculpt looks so much better in person than it does in the photos I’ve seen. I can’t explain why, but even in the official product images, she looks like a goblin. In hand, her head looks much closer to a 3D representation of her comic book self. Its pretty good, but ultimately I don’t think her design translates well to 3D. I still defend Dragon’s use of molded hair with these figures as I think it holds the intended style of an illustrated character better than rooted hair would. Unfortunately, Sidney’s long hair takes away a lot of useable neck articulation, which wasn’t the case with Abbey’s shorter hair.

The body type is supposed to be the same as Abbey’s, but Sidney’s arms seem longer and slightly out of proportion. Apart from that, I have no complaints. The articulation here is excellent, although as I’ve said before, I am not a diehard collector of figures in this scale, so I am probably a lot more forgiving of articulation than those of you who buy a lot of 1:6 scale figures. Still, its important to keep in mind the price point and age of the figure.

Sidney’s outfit is based off her Outback garb. She has brown “leather” pants with nice decorative stitching and a purple cloth blouse, brown boots and a belt. The blouse had a ton of stray threads coming off of it (some you’ll see in the photos), but were easily clipped off. The boots on my figure appear to be the same used on Abbey, which is a departure from the original product images that showed her with brown cowboy style boots. I don’t know if they changed this during production, or the dealer who sold me mine got up to some creative swapping. Either way, her pants cover most of her boots so it isn’t a big deal. Her belt, unfortunately doesn’t latch well to the buckle. Sidney also comes with a soft rubber cowboy hat that fits her really well.

Overall, the outfit is ok. It looks really good, but it is much simpler than Abbey’s. I sort of wish Dragon had gone with the black catsuit that McFarlane used for their smaller Sidney Savage figure, but then I think this one is considered more identifiable for the character and her background.

Sidney’s equipment and accessories are much better than the ones that came with Abbey, mainly because they’re pretty much all weapons and almost all useable. Abbey came with way too many pointless tiny trinkets that served no purpose. The only thing in Sidney’s gear that cannot really be used are her sunglasses. Sidney doesn’t use the same separate molded hair as Abbey, so there’s no way to get the arms of the glasses behind her ears and under her hair. The whip falls into the slightly unseable category too because its difficult to get her to hold it and the tiny little hook to hang it from her belt snapped apart the instant I touched it. If you have a 1:6 scale Indiana Jones, you may want to let Sidney borrow his whip instead.

The rest of Sidney’s gear, however, is excellent. She has a sniper rifle, a silenced automatic pistol and a magnum revolver. The two automatic weapons have removable clips and the magnum’s wheel actually flips out. The rifle has a folding front grip and the action is actually spring loaded, and the silencer The detailing on everything is great, too. Its a nice arsenal compared to Abbey’s paltry automatic pistol.

For a while Sidney Savage was harder to find than Abbey, probably because Dragon gave her a more limited distribution. Or perhaps dealers disappointed with the sales of Abbey Chase chose not to carry her. I grabbed mine off of Ebay for under $35 and while there are a lot of things that I would have done differently here, I’m not totally disappointed in her. She does make a nice companion figure for Abbey, so there’s no buyer’s remorse here.