The Real Ghostbusters: Retro-Style Figures by Mattel

A lot of collectors were saddened to hear that Mattel opted out of doing regular figures based on The Real Ghostbusters cartoon in line with their movie based figures. I’ll admit, I was bummed out about it at first. But then I saw the early production shots of their Mego-style figures and I wasn’t sad anymore. We already had a whole line of regular Real Ghostbusters figures back in the day, and with how Mattel’s regular line of Ghostbusters figures has plummeted after such a little while, I was glad that Mattel went with this other venue. So glad, that I pre-ordered these things back in August of last year. My set finally came in earlier in the week, and I am thrilled with them.

When I ordered these guys, I was seriously considering keeping them on the cards and just hanging them on my wall. They really do look that awesome in the package, but my willpower wasn’t strong enough and pretty soon I had them all torn open. The cards feature artwork from the cartoon with portraits of all four Ghostbusters on the front, plus Mr. Staypuft himself. The back panel shows all four boys with their names along with Slimer and Janine and it says, “Collect Them All.” Does that mean we’re getting a Janine figure? I doubt it, but if you’re listening, Mattel, I vote for her in the Ghostbusters jumpsuit as seen in the Season 1 episode Janine’s Genie. She wore the same jumpsuit as Peter, so you’d just have to do the headsculpt and slap it on one of teh female bodies. Just saying is all! Anyway, the cards are all identical and the only thing distinguishing the packages from each other is the personalized splatter sticker on the bubbles with each of the Ghostbuster’s name on it. The figures and their equipment are also left loose to rattle around inside the bubble.

Before getting into the actual figures, let me preface things by saying that two issues worried me as the final production versions of these figures began turning up. First off, the proton packs were blue, as opposed to the black one that came with the SDCC Venkman figure. The blue is show accurate, but I was worried that my Venkman figure would be the odd man out with a black proton pack. Luckily, all the figures shipped with the blue ones. If you want a matching set and you already have an SDCC Venkman, you may want to consider ordering the regular version for the blue proton pack. Next, early reports had some of the figures showing up without the Ghostbusters emblem on their shoulders. Again, it all worked out fine as all of my figures have the logo present.

As in the traditional Mego style, each of The Real Ghostbusters figures features the exact same body sculpt. It works pretty well, except for Ray who was pretty portly in the cartoon. I may try to stuff some foam into his uniform to bulk him up. The articulation is serviceable, but still below what we get in many action figures these days and it’s kind of tough to get them to hold their particle throwers in a very dynamic position. The headsculpts on these figures are what give them all the distinctive character and I’ve got to say that Matty did a fine job bringing the cartoonish caricatures of the Ghostbusters to life in plastic. I don’t have any issues with any of the head sculpts, although I’ll give the special nod to Egon, with his glasses and crazy hair, they really nailed him right out of the park.  The uniform patterns are identical on all four figures and they are each colored to match the uniform each character wore in the cartoon. They fit the figures very well and really round out the package nicely and there’s no sloppy stitching or anything like that. As mentioned earlier, each one has a Ghostbusters patch on their right shoulder. The figures also have their chests painted black to simulate the t-shirt worn under the uniforms in the cartoon. They all have the same pair of black boots and the same belt.

Each Ghostbuster comes with an identical proton pack and all but Venkman come with an extra piece of equipment. The proton packs look appropriately like cartoonified versions of the ones on the movie figures, although there are far from cartoon accurate. The biggest differences are in the particle thrower, as the plastic versions look a lot closer to the movie ones than the ones seen in the cartoon. Nevertheless, the proton packs are removable and you can peg the wand onto the pack for storage, just like they do in the cartoon. The packs are easy to get on and off the figure and fit on them very well.

As for the rest of the equipment… Egon comes with a PKE Meter, which looks a lot different then it does on the episodes of the cartoon that I’ve seen recently, but it might have been redesigned at some point during the show’s long run. Ray comes with a cartoon version of the ghost sniffer that Peter used in Dana’s apartment in the movie. I don’t remember it ever being seen in the cartoon, but it’s a cool movie-cartoon tie-in. This accessory shows off the only quality control issue I have with the whole set, as there’s some serious yellow paint slop all over the sniffer want. Winston comes with a ghost trap, which does not open, but you can actually attach it to the side of the proton packs, which is how the Ghostbusters carried them in the cartoon.

I was still pretty young when Mego figures were ruling the toy shelves, but my brother and I got a bunch of Mego’s Star Trek, DC, and Planet of the Apes figures handed down to us from our Uncle. We played with them a lot, but for whatever reason I didn’t retain a lot of nostalgia for the style and that’s probably why these Real Ghostbusters were the first Mego style figures I’ve picked up since the whole retro-style revival began. I’m still not sold on the style in general, but I can’t deny that they work perfectly for these figures, and I highly recommend you fans of the cartoon give them a look, even if the Mego style ain’t usually your bag. The figures retail for around $20 each, which is pretty standard for this type of thing and I’m really glad to have them in my collection.

2 comments on “The Real Ghostbusters: Retro-Style Figures by Mattel

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