Happy Halloween, folks! I know today should be Transformers Thursday, but I wanted to bump it for something at least vaguely Halloween-y, so we’ll do Transformers Thursday tomorrow instead. The best I could find for Halloween was a pair of Ghostbusters 2 figures that I came across a few weeks back at my not-so-local Comic Shop of all places. They just happened to have both Ray and Winston with their Slime Blowers and nobody there seemed to know where exactly they came from. It didn’t matter, because the price was right and they came home with me along with some Dan Slott Spider-Man hardcovers. I was going to look at the pair of them today, and then I thought that poor Winston doesn’t get enough love, so we’ll shine the spotlight on him alone and check out Ray sometime next week. Besides running with the whole ghost and Halloween theme, Winston here is slightly topical as Mattel has announced that in the wake of their failed Ecto-1 pre-order, they will still be releasing a new set of the Ghostbusters with removable Proton Packs.
Dang, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this packaging. It’s kind of cool to see it again, but it also reminds me of how badly Matty screwed up their handling of this license. I think we collectors would have been a lot more willing to pony up for the tsunami of variant Ghostbusters if we had gotten a Gozer or a couple of devil dogs tossed into the mix. At least I would have. Anyway, the figure comes in a big bubble with the Ghostbusters 2 logo embossed on top and fleshed out with a color insert. The dogs are on the front insert and you can see the Stay Puft Marshmallow man on the card, backing the bubble. This is great packaging if you’re a mint-on-card collector. It’s attractive, it stands up on its own, and it really shows the figure off beautifully. I, however, am an opener and there’s nothing collector friendly here, so it’s about to get shredded.
The back of the card shows Winston’s personnel file. All the cards had this, and while in theory it’s a good idea, in practice it comes across as rather hokey and corny. “Quotes the Bible?” I’m pretty sure Ray did more of that in the movies than Winston did. And “Master of Pantomime?” I don’t even know what that’s referencing. Anyway, let’s rip this baby open and see what we’ve got.
Straight away, I’m going to say that I’m impressed with how much extra tooling Matty did on this figure. They got a lot of shit for recycling parts in this line, and I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved. Hell, even this figure reuses a lot of parts. But there’s also a fair amount of new work here that makes this figure stand out well enough, even when he’s displayed next to his regular Proton Pack wearing initial release. For starters, we get a brand new head sculpt. I was pretty happy with the portrait on the first Winston figure. I’d go as far to say I think it was the best likeness of the team. This one shows him with a new haircut, sans mustache, and with a toothier grin. I like it a lot, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, I’m just not sure I like it as much as the original.
Moving on to the uniform, Winston is built on the same jumpsuit body as the rest of the team. The legs appear to be identical, complete with the hose coming out of the leg, which I always assumed was there to catch urine if they pissed themselves with fear. The arms feature a newly painted Ghostbusters 2 logo and newly sculpted gloved hands. The gloves that were sculpted onto the belt on the original figure are replaced with a yellow gizmo and the belt itself is sculpted and painted differently. The recycling of the torso is covered up (literally!) by the newly sculpted vest onto which the Slime Blower is permanently attached.
And then there’s the Slime Blower. I was not a big fan of this in the movie. The Proton Pack was so much cooler, but Mattel has done a very nice job recreating the device for the figure. There are lots of hoses coming off of it, a hazard stripe on the main tank and the grey paint shows some pretty realistic looking abrasions. There doesn’t appear to be any specific way to hang the wand on the tank like you can with the Proton Packs, but the hoses are stiff enough that it will stay in place beside the tank when not held.
Winston’s articulation is identical to all of the jump-suited Ghostbusters, but as I’ve only featured one of these figures on FFZ before, let’s recount the points. The head is ball jointed, but it is ball jointed in the torso, not at the end of the neck. You still get a get a good amount of movement out of it, it’s just a weird way to do it. The arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists and the lack of a bicep swivel is still disappointing to me. The legs have hip joints quite similar to Mattel’s own DCUC style, with hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs and boots. He can also swivel at the waist, but has no other torso articulation. What’s here isn’t bad, and he can hold his Slime Blower wand very nicely.
Traditionally, the Ghostbusters have come paired with ghosts. In this case, you get a piece of equipment. It’s the tripod trap seen very briefly in the montage where they are working in what I think was a jewelry or crystal shop. I’m all for getting more equipment and this is a fairly nice piece, complete with three independently balljointed doodads at the top.
I picked this guy up for ten bucks, which I seem to recall is about half the original retail, plus I escaped Matty’s extortionist shipping rates to boot. It was a nice little score, since I wasn’t willing to pay full price for the variants, and yet I’m often on the lookout to complete this collection at good prices. I have to confess that Winston a far better executed figure then I thought he would be. There’s plenty of new work invested in him and he looks really great on the shelf. I expect Ray to be the same figure with a different head, but I’m still rather eager to open him up next week and have a look.