Ghostbusters: Plasma Series (Part 1) by Hasbro

It seems like everyone’s had a run at making Ghostbusters figures. Mattel had a pretty successful line on Matty Collector with their roughly 5-inch Movie Masters line and some 12-inch figures. Mezco’s done some, Diamond Select has done a bunch, Blitzway has done some higher end ones. Even LEGO and Playmobil had their turns at the ecto trough. Well, with a new movie on the way, Hasbro has snapped up the rights, but before the new film hits, we’ve got a wave of six 6-inch figures from the original film and with a Build-A-Figure too! Now, because the Ghostbusters themselves are rather similar, I’m going to tackle all four of them in today’s review, and then I’ll be back on Friday to have a look at Gozer, Dana, and the Terror Dog Build-A-Figure!

The packaging is fairly reminiscent of Hasbro’s Star Wars Black Series in that there’s a cardboard box with a clear plastic tray and a cover that forms the bubble. The deco is rather creative, and the collector friendly box shows off the figure inside quite well. The back has a single line about the character inside and lots of multi-lingual stuff. It also shows the six figures in the wave and that each one comes with a part to build the Terror Dog, Vince. There’s even a bit of stylish art on the spines that’s strangely quirky and feels totally out of place. I’m going to use Peter Venkman to look at the basics on these figures, and then I’ll check out the different particulars of the other three Ghostbusters.

Peter comes donning the familiar pale gray Ghostbusters jumpsuit, showing off all sorts of sculpted wrinkles and rumples. The various pockets and zippers are there too, but the jumpsuit sculpt strikes me as being rather soft. And as we’ll soon see, Peter also happens to be the only Ghostbuster with his pants not tucked into his boots, which I thought was a pretty nice detail. The boots and gloves are painted with a black high gloss finish, and I can just make out a bit of his black t-shirt peaking up under the jumpsuit’s collar. Peter’s suit features the Ghostbusters logo on his right shoulder and a sculpted name badge on his chest to the right. His utility belt features a non-removable walkie-talkie, some other bits and bobs, and he’s got that weird yellow tube that comes out the back of the belt and into the front of his left pants leg. I subscribe to the running gag that these are in some way related to catching urine if the Ghostbusters piss themselves with fear. From the back we can see that he has sculpted elbow pads, and a hole in the back to help secure the Proton Pack. Yup, Hasbro heeded one of Mattel’s early mistakes and decided to make the packs removable, which I am extremely happy about.

I really dig the articulation on these guys, which happens to be very similar to Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have double-hinges in the knees, swivels in the thighs, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, double-hinges in the elbows (Woo-Hoo!!!), and swivels in the biceps. There’s a ball joint in the waist and the necks are ball jointed and hinged. The jointing on these figures feel great, and they are tons of fun to play around with! Everything I said about Peter applies to the other three guys, except for the pants legs being tucked into the boots.

The head sculpts here are all very well done and they’re each instilled with some personality. Peter’s is an excellent Bill Murray likeness right down to his goofy smirk. The hair sculpt is particularly well done, and this figure uses Hasbro’s relatively new method of printing the facial details on instead of painting them. There’s a little mold flashing on my figure’s face, which I’ll need to shave off, but otherwise I couldn’t be happier with how this portrait turned out.

Next up is Winston and here we have another solid likeness, in this case to Ernie Hudson. The facial features are all very well defined, the printing looks good, especially his mustache, and his hairline is sharp. And as I understand it, if there’s a steady paycheck involved he’ll believe anything you want.

The heart of the Ghostbusters, Ray Stantz is a dead ringer for young Dan Ackroyd. You know, from before he lost his mind and started hawking skull vodka and gassing on about aliens and nine-eleven. I don’t think Ackroyd’s likeness is particularly easy to get down, so I have to give Hasbro some major props here for succeeding at it so well. Plus he has a great, almost blank expression as if he’s complimenting the third mortgage he just took out on his parent’s house. This is just great work for this scale.

And finally we have Egon, modeling the likeness of the late, great Harold Ramis. I think if I were to rank these likenesses from strongest on down, Egon might be at the bottom. But that’s not to say I think it’s a bad portrait at all. Hand me this head and I’ll know exactly who it’s supposed to be. I just think that Hasbro managed to capture the other three just a tiny bit better. To be fair, though, I don’t think there’s a bad noggin in the bunch. Sculpting the glasses as part of the head was definitely the way to go here, and I love how they sculpted his poufy hair.

With the jumpsuit bodies so similar to each other, Hasbro had to really nail the portraits on these guys and I’m so happy to say that they did it. The figures look great together and I’m excited to have a look at their equipment. As I mentioned earlier, I’m very pleased Hasbro decided to make the Proton Packs as separate accessories. If you collected Mattel’s line then you no doubt remember that the first releases had the packs permanently attached and only later did they release new versions of the team with detachable packs. Permanent packs became a problem when Mattel started eyeing up an Ecto-1 release for the figures to sit in. Could it be that Hasbro is planning something like that? I do hope so!

While the peg holes in the back could have been used as a cheap and lazy way to attach the packs, I’m happy to say that the pegs are just to secure the packs on the figure. They do each have shoulder straps and a waist strap all cast in soft green plastic. The straps can be unhooked on the lower left side to help get them onto the figure and pressing it into the back makes certain that it isn’t going anywhere. As a result, the packs fit so well it actually looks like they might be permanently attached. The sculpts for each pack appear to be identical to me, with all the crazy tubes and wires coming off of it. There’s some solid paintwork on these as well, there’s even a bit of variation on the red lights on the lower part of the pack. The only gripe I have is they didn’t get the warning stickers on them, but at this scale I guess that would be tough. Surprisingly, the packs don’t make the figures all that back-heavy and I was able to stand them just fine without having to lean them forward hardly at all.

The wands tab into the sides of the packs very securely and the hoses seem to be pretty durable. They can be pulled out of the bottom of the pack and pegged back in again, which is a nice alternative to having them tear out if stressed too much. The wands look good, but it’s worth noting that they lack a little detail that Mattel had on there’s, most notably the red wire loop on the end. The figure’s hands are pretty well designed to grab the wand in the back with the right hand and cradle it in the left and they look damn good with the wands at the ready. In addition to the Proton Packs, each figure came with one accessory, and here’s where Hasbro lost me just a little bit. But I’d better not get ahead of myself.

Venkman comes with a Ghost Trap and overall I think it’s a nice piece. There’s plenty of detail and the paint is very well done. On the downside, it doesn’t come with the foot pedal and cord like Mattel’s did. Also, Mattel’s was a solid chunk of plastic and Hasbro’s is hollow. Granted, that’s not a big deal, but still worth mentioning. Luckily with the scale being similar, I can swap out Mattel’s in place of Hasbro’s.

Ray comes with his Ecto Goggles, which can be worn up on his forehead or down over his eyes. This is a pretty simple accessory but it fits well and looks good on the figure. There’s a hook on Ray’s belt where you can hang these, but they don’t stay put very well.

Egon comes with his PKE Meter and I think Mattel did a much better job with this accessory than we got here. It had more detail and you even got a few different ones with the arms at different positions. I do, however, like that it can be pegged onto Egon’s belt when he’s not using it, even if it’s always on and detecting ghosts. Still, this is another case where I may swap in Mattel’s accessory for this one. And since it’s so damn small, I think Egon should have been bundled with as econd Ghost Trap. Hell, maybe all of them should have been.

And finally, we have the biggest slap to the face Hasbro could have done. Winston comes with a proton stream. And he’s the only one that comes with a proton stream. So you get four Ghostbusters and only one freaking stream. What the hell, Hasbro? How could you possibly have made such a terrible and disappointing decision? I realize Mattel didn’t include any with there’s in the beginning but they did eventually. It’s a real shame because the stream attaches to the wand perfectly and it looks great! My God… What a pisser! OK, let’s move on to some comparison shots with the old Mattel figures…

I think the sculpted details in the Mattel bodies hold up fairly well. Some of the details are even crisper, and I like some of the differences, like the folded gloves tucked into the belt. But boy those head sculpts have not aged well at all. I mean, they weren’t all that great to begin with, more like caricatures than actual likenesses. The Mattel Proton Packs have some sharp details, but they look skinny and demure compared to Hasbro’s big and beefy Packs.

I’m sure we will eventually get Slimer in the new line, and possibly even some of the more iconic ghosts, but until then the Mattel ghosts work great with the new figures. I pulled all of mine out of storage and I’ll be displaying them with Hasbro’s figures for sure.

And if you bought Mattel’s Walter Peck then you have a Containment Unit that displays great with these guys. It even works with the new Hasbro traps.

And finally, here are the boys with Diamond Select’s Mr. Stay-Puft bank.

And so, in the end we have some absolutely terrific figures, with some very good and some other ho-hum accessories. With the exception of the Proton Packs, nearly every accessory included with these guys feels in some way like a step down from the ones that came with Mattel’s line. And when I come down to it, it just makes Hasbro look kind of cheap. Could you really not afford to give each figure a proton stream? Could you not have tossed in an extra PKE Meter with the arms down? Maybe give us one opened trap with the closed one? Are you planning on selling an accessory set later on down the road? Or maybe there’s a plan to pack a proton stream in with ghosts? I can just imagine how many Winston figures I’m going to see on the pegs with the proton stream missing. ARGGGGHHH!!! But with all that having been said, I don’t want to end this review on a sour note. I really do dig these figures, and while I’ll concede that my older Mattel figures are now obsolete, I can at least repurpose some of their gear and their ghosts. Join me back here on Friday and I’ll have a look at Gozer, Dana, and the Build-A-Figure!

8 comments on “Ghostbusters: Plasma Series (Part 1) by Hasbro

  1. Fantastic review of these! Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies but it’s been years since I’ve collected anything Ghostbusters other than the minimates, which I love. Hasbro’s figures do look really nice, though, and you did an excellent job of showing off the differences between these figures and Mattel’s. I’m still on the fence about buying these (I’m planning to try to complete the Retro Kenner series) but I imagine the fnal decision will happen in person when I run across them in the store.

    • Thanks for checking it out!

      I have the first couple of Kenner Retro figures coming today. I wasn’t sure whether to open them or leave them carded, but I imagine that decision will be made by how poor a packing job they did.

      • The packaging is really lovely and definitely struck a nostalgic chord as I remember picking those up as a very young child. I’ve only found three so far, 1 Winston, Slimer, and Stay-Puft. The packaging on Slimer and Stay Puft was destroyed! If I ever found a full set at once in good shape, at least of the busters, I’d be tempted to actually have a carded set.

      • Yeah me too! My Slimer and Stay-Puft arrived. Slimer card is perfect, Stay-Puft has some creases, but not too bad. I’ll see how the Ghostbusters look. If they’re in decent shape I will probably keep them carded.

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