DC Comics: Harley Quinn (New 52) Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

As promised, DC Friday is back after a couple weeks hiatus and today I’m digging in with a new(ish) Bishoujo statue from Kotobukiya. I actually passed on the last Harley Bishoujo and it’s bugged me for a while now that she isn’t represented on my ever expanding Bishoujo shelves, so I simply couldn’t let this one pass me by too.

If you’ve seen the packaging for any of the Marvel or DC Bishoujos then you should know what to expect. It’s a mostly white box with window panels on the top front and side. You also get some of the lovely art by Shunya Yamashita, which inspired the statue. The back of the box teases the Wonder Girl statue, which reminds me that I really need to pick her up, because she’s already out.

This statue is billed as the New 52 version, which really whored Harley up big time. It took her from mischievous looking jester to pole-dancer. It’s hard for me to tell if the shock value here has worn off for everybody else, but I’m so used to seeing her in this outfit now it hardly phases me. I’ve gone on record many times that I’m fine with this look, but I understand that it triggers a lot of fans who prefer her classic jester look. Anyway, the pose here features Harley with one hip thrust to the side, her hand resting on it, while the other cradles her trademark hammer, which in turn rests on her shoulder. It’s sassy, playful, mischievous and there’s a little bit of energy added with her pigtails and cape fluttering in the imaginary breeze.

The coloring on this piece consists of some beautiful red and blue, which looks all the more vibrant against the pale tone of Harley’s skin. There’s a lovely contrast between the matte finish on her stockings and cape with the glossy sheen on her corset and nearly non-existent shorts. This is a statue that really pops on the shelf, even when displayed among lots of other Bishoujos.

There is some excellent sculpted detail in the costume as well. Her knee socks have a knitted texture and the lacing on her corset is fully realized. I particularly love the detail in the belt. It features a squared silver buckle, cartridges stored in individual loops, and blue and red holsters for her twin sidearms.

And here’s a close up of what she’s packing. The guns are sculpted well enough that you’d swear they could be removed. Oh yeah… butt shot.

And that brings us to a great portrait, which includes sharply printed eyes and perfectly painted lips. She has a hint of a smirk. The ruffled collar fits her jester motif quite well, although I find the cape to be a bit of a strange inclusion.

The base is a disc with a checkered diamond pattern in red and blue to match her outfit. It’s simple, colorful, and suits the statue quite well.

One cool sidenote is that if you want an alternate display option, the hammer can also be positioned so that she appears to be leaning on it. Simply un-peg it from her arm and carefully place the end of the handle in her hand. I don’t think this was intentional, but I really do like the way it looks and it might be a welcome option for collectors with tight real estate on their shelves.

I’ve had this one on my want list for quite a while, but what finally got me to pull the trigger was when it went on sale for $35. There aren’t a lot of Bishoujo’s you can get at that price these days, so it was all the incentive I needed. I think the Bishoujo treatment works well for the character and everything from the pose to the sculpting and coloring hit all the right marks to make this one another excellent release.

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Transformers Titans Return: Convex and Perceptor by Hasbro

I’ve been on a third-party convertobot streak for the last four Transformers Thursdays, but I thought I would turn my attention back to the official stuff for a while. I’m also dog tired from a pretty brutal week at work, so hopefully I can make it through this review before I run out of steam. Just pardon me if I’m a little more brief than usual. Anyway, today I’m digging into the most recent wave of Titans Return Deluxe Class  figures and I thought I’d start things off with Perceptor.

I always liked Perceptor. He had a pretty unique personality in the Sunbow cartoon and was basically an Autobot nerd back when it wasn’t all that cool to be a nerd. Plus, his G1 toy was fantastic and featured a particularly good robot mode. I’d say it’s long past time he’s had a new figure, since it’s been six years since we got the last Perceptor as part of the Reveal The Shield line. There was a lot I liked about that figure, and a lot of things that came up short. It was a good try, but it eschewed Perceptor’s microscope mode for an SUV and that never sat right to me.

Well, clearly some of the thinking has changed at Hasbro because this new version is indeed a microscope and a pretty cool little one at that. I kind of get Hasbro thinking that kids would rather play with a truck than a microscope, but the Microman toys were such an integral part of Transformers history that it seems a shame to ignore them. Besides, how terrible is it to have a kid playing with a microscope? Back in my day, there were all sorts of toys that were designed to get kids curious about “the science!” Anyway, as if you needed any more indication of who this microscope is supposed to be, the the red, teal, black and silver deco is unmistakably Perceptor. The only thing missing is the big Autobot emblem on the front of his tube, and I can probably remedy that with one of the repro sticker sheets that I have lying around. I just can’t tell you how happy this little microscope makes me.

The scope itself is hinged so that it can look straight down on the tray or angle outward to examine something in front of him. What’s even cooler is that the knob on the microscope actually causes the tube to extend and retract. The tray is also specially designed to hold a Titan Master figure. I really dig that Hasbro tied Perceptor’s microscope mode into something specific to this line, like examining the little head robots. I love this mode so much, I’m not even going to acknowledge that there’s an “unofficial” tank mode, but there is as evidenced by the sculpted tank treads.

While he may be small, you don’t actually need a microscope to get a good look at Convex, Perceptor’s little Titan Master buddy. He’s cool enough, but he suffers from Hasbro’s continued reluctance to hit these little guys with some paint. As such, Convex is just red and black plastic. But while he isn’t anything special, I have to say I wholeheartedly approve of his name, Convex, which is such a great name for a head robot paired with Perceptor.

Perceptor’s transformation is super easy, but who’s complaining when the results looks this good! He features a very clean and well-proportioned robot mode, which hits all the right points of the G1 character. He wears his silver faux dials on his forearms, his translucent tray becomes a chest shield, and his microscope lens becomes an enormous shoulder cannon. In terms of pure homage, this figure is a winner.

He’s also pretty clean from the back and no hollow leg syndrome. Well, not completely hollow… just recessed. There are some lovely paint apps on the sides of his lower legs to replicate the stickers on the original toy. He also features a peg in the middle of his back, where he can store his rifle. I should also note that the right shoulder on my figure isn’t at all droopy, I was just a dope and neglected to straighten it out all that well for these photos. Any other day, I would have re-shot those, but I just don’t have it in me today. If nothing else, my carelessness demonstrates that you can pull the arms out a bit to get an even better range of motion. Yeah… that’s why I did it!

The Titans Return line has produced some great head sculpts, and Convex is no different. I really dig the depth to his “helmet” and the way it extends out on the sides of his face. The silver paint is beautiful, both on the face and all over the rest of the figure, and the yellow eyes are sharp and bright. The cannon does sit pretty close to Perceptor’s head, but it’s mounted on a hinged arm, so you can angle it upward to get it out of the way, or if you want you can actually stow it away on his back.

Perceptor comes with a sniper rifle, complete with a little molded biped stand. I seem to recall this being a thing with him in the IDW comics. I like the gun well enough, but I would have preferred something more akin to his G1 weapon. It has some pegs on the side so it can plug into any of the Titans Return vehicle modes and it also has the ubiquitous seating area for a Titan Master to operate it.

I’m beginning to believe that the Titans Return line can do no wrong by me, at least not in the Deluxes. These figures have all been great and Perceptor keeps that trend chugging along happily. He’s also all the more special for actually having a proper Microman alt mode. And with Hasbro now willing to give us boom boxes and microscopes, is it too much to hope that a trio of bots merging into a camera could be too far behind? Probably, but at least now I can have a solid foundation on which to build some hope. In any event, Perceptor sets this wave off to a very strong start and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next week when I open up Topspin!

Mythic Legions (Covenant of Shadows): Baron Volligar by The Four Horsemen

We still have a loooong while to wait until the “Advent of Decay” figures from the last Mythic Legions Kickstarter ship, but it looks like T4H are gearing up to offer some more figures for pre-order later this month. To celebrate, I decided to open up another one of the handful of “Covenant of Shadows” figures that I’m sitting on to hold me over until next April. So, come on… let’s check out Baron Volligar!

It’s the same old packaging I’ve shown here dozens of times: Attractive, serviceable, and ultimately collector friendly. As always, you get a little bio blurb on the side panel of the bubble insert. I didn’t care about these at all in the beginning, maybe because the figures were still so new to me, but I’ve come to really appreciate exploring the lore and backstory of this action figure line. The bio here describes Baron Volligar as ancient vampyric royalty, and basically tells us that he is a pretty bad hombre, even as far as vampires go.

And oh, boy does he look the part! Volligar sports a suit of armor, which is a hybrid of Sir Godfrey’s and many of the pieces common to the Orcs’ armor. Mating Templar and Orc designs may sound like an unlikely marriage, but fear not, T4H really know what they’re doing and the results are pretty spectacular. Digging deeper, we can see that Volligar features the knightly tabard torso, hip armor, and upper legs and arms of Sir Godfrey, all of which is given a rather sinister twist thanks to the lower legs, grieves, shoulder armor, and collar of the Orcs. It almost looks like Volligar might have had a respectable suit of hero armor and gradually tweaked it after succumbing to the vampire curse. Of course, none of that is spelled out here, but rather just my own little musings.

As always, the shoulders are removable, and actually come packaged separate from the figure. I definitely prefer him with them on, but taking the armor pieces off does improve the range of motion in the shoulders quite a bit. The jagged and primitive look of these pieces mates beautifully with the similarly designed boots and grieves. There are some wonderful little nicks and pitting sculpted in as well to make them look well worn.

We last saw this helmet on Sir Godfrey, although it’s popped up a few times before him as well. It’s a very classically styled Great Helm with reinforced strips forming a cruciform pattern. Yeah, I find that a little odd for a vampire, but I’m willing to let that go. The helm features sculpted bolts and breather holes, and the deep set eye slits reveal only mystery. The helm is further customized by the rather imposing dragon crest at the top. I really dig the way the helmet sits deep in the center of the collar. It just further adds to the darker nature of a helmet that has so far only been used on the good guys.

And speaking of darker, the deco on this figure is superb. Besides knowing all the right ways to mix and match their system of parts, T4H are also adept at putting together some truly amazing color combinations. OK, so this one in particular is kind of a no-brainer and for me it really evokes a lovely Decepticon deco that I love so much. Yup, it’s all about the black and purple on that tabard. It almost looks like a primitive ribcage or ideogram for the undead. Lovely! The armor itself features both matte black and a rich, charcoal gray with a brushed metal finish. You also get some metallic purple applications on some of the ornate panels on the armor, which look quite striking under the light.

For armaments, The Baron relies on his trusty sword and shield. The sword is the two-handed variety that we’ve seen many times before. This design always reminds me of Glamdring from Lord of the Rings, probably because I saw an illustration of Gandalf carrying a similar looking sword. It’s a nice mix of classic and fantasy and I really dig the shape of the crossguard and that skull-crushing pommel. It has a sculpted black grip and the blade and other fixtures are painted with a charcoal gray to match those parts of Volligar’s armor.  The shield is also the same standard sculpt with his black and purple coat of arms painted on the face. Wait? You mean that’s it? These guys usually come loaded for bear. He just has a sword and shield? Yeah, Volligar is a little light on the weapons, when compared to other Mythic Legions figures, but that’s probably because he comes with…

…this enormous battle standard. T4H did a bunch of these representing the different factions of Mythic Legions. I think they were all available in one pack, but every time pre-orders go up, I’ve been budgeting to get as many figures as possible, so this is actually the first time I’m getting one of these standards into my collection. It’s a very cool piece with a pole so long it comes in three separate pieces. The flag itself is painted with Volligar’s coat of arms and there’s a pretty rad set of wings angling off of the top. Unfortunately, it’s way too tall for me to display him holding it on the shelf, but I may yet find a way to display it somewhere.

And so, to the surprise of absolutely no one, here’s another Mythic Legions figure that I can’t stop gushing over. What can I tell ya? I adore this line and I don’t see that changing any time soon. It’s probably worth pointing out that when I pre-ordered Volligar, I didn’t bother to read his bio and I thought he was just an awesome evil knight. The fact that he’s a vampire pleases me greatly, because the decision to chop the vampire, Carpathias from my original Kickstarter Backer Rewards remains a sore spot for me. At least now I finally have a vampire to tide me over until “Advent of Decay” arrives.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Drax the Destroyer 1:6 Scale Figure by Hot Toys

Collecting Hot Toys is not a hobby for the impatient and this is not news to me. Figures can go up for pre-order eight months to a year before they’re expected to ship, and even then you can almost always expect delays. This can be frustrating when you’re buying figures that are tied to movies. It’s doubly so when you’re trying to complete a team from a movie. My first HT figures from the original Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord and Gamora) arrived more than two years ago. Rocket and Groot showed up a few months later. And ever since, I’ve been waiting for the arrival of Drax the Destroyer. Well, the Guardians sequel has come and gone and finally this cardboard shipper turned up on my doorstep, almost a year since I pre-ordered him.

Granted, Drax’s road to release has a more troubled history than most, and I can’t say as I know any of the details. I’ve heard rumors that point to Hot Toys having issues with the likeness approval and for a while it looked like we might never get a Drax at all. Fortunately, all parties were eventually satisfied enough to ink a deal and the figure was produced, allowing us to finally complete our original MCU Guardians team.

Despite the long delay between figures, the presentation here is identical to the rest of the HT Guardians. I love the package art design on this series and they all look great when lined up on the shelf. Unfortunately, HT has really been skimping on some of their packages lately, and that trend hit the Guardians series big time. What we have here is basically a pretty flimsy window box with an illustrated sleeve around it. Granted, I just use the packaging to store the extra accessories, but it upsets me when Hot Toys takes away premium packaging while continuing to raise prices. It’s extra annoying when the figure in question is rather light on the accessories, but I’m getting ahead of myself. The tray inside the box is exactly what we’ve been getting all along. The figure is surrounded by his extra hands and weapons, and there’s a figure stand nested between his legs.

For the most part, Drax almost looks like he jumped right off the screen… almost. There’s something about the upper body that just doesn’t click with me. I’ve spent some time comparing him to screen caps (something I almost never have to bother doing with Hot Toys figures) and while some look pretty close, others look far off. In the end, I’m still undecided on the torso. From head on it looks fine, but if turned to profile it looks too thin. Either way, I’m certain that the arms needed to be beefier.

On the other hand, I think they did an amazing job on his raised “tattoos” Normally, there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity for detail on a shirt-less figure, but they really did a nice job here. Coupled with this raised detail, the speckled skin looks pretty close to the body paint used by Bautista in the film. Realistic skin tones has never been a problem for Hot Toys, even when it’s an alien color. Of course, the bare arms mean exposed joints, and that’s always a downer on these figures. The rotating hinges in the elbows really make this feel more like a run-of-the-mill action figure. Hot Toys did a beautiful job with the seamless elbows on their Hulk figure, but it probably wasn’t an option here because of the sculpted tatts. On the plus side, there’s virtually no restriction on Drax’s articulation, which makes him a lot more fun to play around with than most Hot Toys.

The portrait is excellent. If they really did invest all that extra lead time in the likeness, I think it paid off in spades. Once again the skin tone is spot on and the sculpted tatts look great. His eyes feature that eerie spark of life that I’m used to seeing in my Hot Toys figures. Alas, I think this is a character that really needed an extra portrait showing some emotion. If this were a Guardians Vol.2 version, I’d say a laughing portrait, but in this case, rage would have done nicely. Still, for someone like me, who tends to pose these figures in fairly subdued stances, this neutral portrait works fine in context with the rest of the team.

Drax’s outfit is pretty simple, as it amounts to just a pair of trousers and some boots, but HT packed a lot of detail into them. The trousers include all the detailed belts and straps and fixtures that really look fantastic. The boots are also very intricately designed right down to the sculpted treads on the soles. You also get a second pair of red trousers, which I was not expecting. I’m not sure that I’ll ever bother to change them out, but I love that they were included as a bonus.

Besides the change of pants, Drax comes up really light on the accessories. You do get the usual assortment of hands, in this case there are three pairs (fists, relaxed, knife-holding) and one specialized right hand. His knives look amazing. The hilts are beautifully sculpted and the blades feature some red inscriptions. These have a nice weight to them and the silver finish is quite striking. The boots have molded sheathes for his knives, but these are a real tight fit. Plus, for reasons I cannot explain, the blades are designed to detach from the grips, so when trying to remove the knives from his sheathes the handles often just pop off.

Drax also comes with the bazooka he had on the Kree Warship, The Dark Astor. They did a particularly nice job with the rusted finish on the tube, and even the areas that are black have a little wear and tear painted on, as well as a blue lens over the scope. Overall, this is a pretty nice sculpt, but it has no moving parts and it feels really light. The specialized right hand that I mentioned earlier is designed to hold this weapon and it does that quite well. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough range of motion in the elbow to get the shoulder rest onto his shoulder. He can still hold it very convincingly and even line up his eye with the scope.

The final stop on any of my Hot Toys reviews is always the stand. In this case it’s the exact same design we saw with the rest of the Guardians team with an illustrated base that looks like the deck plating of a space ship. My OCD give thanks to the Supreme Intelligence that they did change this up, because I like my bases to match.

So, here’s the thing: Drax is an excellent figure… by anyone else’s standards. But, I collect Hot Toys to be blown away and Drax here doesn’t quiiiiite make it to that “blow me away” level. I still can’t say I’m disappointed in him. I needed to complete my MCU Guardians and I’m very happy that I no longer have a Drax-shaped hole on my shelf. And to be fair, he looks fantastic with the rest of the team. I just feel that there are several opportunities for improvement here. If he were a one-off standalone figure, I might come down a lot harder on him in the end. I will, however, unequivocally declare that at $220, the value just isn’t here. Sure, Hot Toys releases at or under $200 are getting almost non-existent these days, but here’s one that should have been.

On an administrative note, I am now officially FOUR waves behind in Marvel Legends. I have the Warlock and Mantis waves stacked in the corner, I’m piecing together the Sandman wave, and the Spider-Man: Homecoming wave is hitting stores now. I don’t know what I’ll be jumping into next Marvel Monday, but I’ve got to start coming up with a plan to get all caught up! 

Playmobil Ghostbusters Firehouse (#9219)

Once again, folks, DC Friday is being preempted so that I can get to some Playmobil Ghostbusters goodness. Sorry about that, but rest assured, it will return next week when I get back into checking out some DC statues. And now… on with today’s content…

There’s something about getting a playset in a big box that still feels like something special. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the magic of being a little kid at Christmas, or maybe it’s because so few of these things are made anymore that it’s become a rare occurrence. Either way, I knew after only a few moments after getting Playmobil’s Ecto-1 set up that I would need to get the Firehouse to house it in. Well, it arrived earlier this week and I’ve had some time to play around with it. If this set had come out anywhere near December, I probably would have held off opening it until Christmas, but that’s still a ways off, so I’m diving in right away!

In typical Playmobil fashion, the illustrations and photos on the box let’s the product do the talking. Sure there are some digital effects, but for the most part what you see on the box is what you’re actually getting inside. Also, the box is huge, although it’s not terribly deep, so right off the bat you just know there’s going to be a lot of assembly here. You can also tell that from rattling the box or by looking at where it proclaims that there are 228 pieces inside!

Open her up and you’re presented with more than ten bags of pieces, plus a bunch of loose bigger pieces, and a bag with instructions, some rubbery splotches of green slime, and a sticker sheet. I knew right away it was time to brew up a pot of coffee and tuck in for a fairly lengthy build. Granted, a fair number of those 228 pieces include the figures, equipment, and furnishings, but even putting together the structure itself was more involved than I was expecting, and I’m no stranger to Playmobil! I should throw out a warning, that while it’s probably possible to disassemble the Firehouse and get it back in the box, it’s not something I’m willing to risk, which means somehow I’m going to have to find the shelf space for this beast!

The instructions are pretty good, although the bags aren’t numbered like LEGO sets, so while you may be finding most of the pieces in a step in one bag, some might be in another. As a result, I played it fast and loose with the steps, and I still did OK. A lot of putting together the actual building involved these red square joining pieces and this Playmobil tool. I’ve had Playmobil sets ever since I was a kid, and I’ve never even seen one of these before! The worst thing about the entire build was putting together the two staircases. Each step had to be individually inserted (something like sixteen in all!) and it took a ridiculous amount of force to get them together. Also, the tool didn’t help with it and my thumbs were almost destroyed by the time I was done. Let’s start with a look at the figures that are included, then a look at the Firehouse itself, and then I’ll go floor-by-floor to look at the furnishings and accessories.

The set comes with a whopping five figures! These include Ray Stantz in a clean uniform, Janine Melnitz in her civvies, Louis Tulley with the brain scanner/kitchen colander on his head, Egon Spengler in his “doing science” outfit and forehead spotlight, and the Library Ghost from the beginning of the movie. I’d say all of these are excellent, except the Library Ghost just doesn’t do much for me. It’s neat to have another ghost, but this was probably a tough design to translate to the Playmobil aesthetic. The clean suited Ray comes with a Proton Pack, Ghost Trap, PKE Meter, and a weird looking device that I don’t recognize. The inclusion of this figure also means that Playmobil has to release at least one more set with a clean suited Peter Venkman… THEY HAVE TO!!! As for Janine, Louis, and Egon, they’re all very Firehouse specific, so it’s great that Playmobil included them here. Seeing as how the figure two-packs can range up to $10 at retail, I think these figures add a lot of value to this package.

Here’s the exterior of the Firehouse and I think it’s a damn fine approximation of the building from the film. All of those windows and all of the brickwork are part of the assembly process. I think the only thing here that’s a bit of a letdown is the door on the side is just a sticker and it’s scaled a little too small. Then again, this is a Playmobil set designed for kids, so I’m probably being way too critical! There’s a fire hydrant beside the building and you get the iconic Ghostbusters logo on the sign above the garage door.

The garage door opens and building those tracks for it to do that is fairly involved. Moving inside, you can see that there are three levels, each accessible by those damn stairs! Seriously, my poor thumbs are still hurting from snapping all of those together! I’m going to start at the top and work down. Keep in mind, you really are free to deck this thing out any way you want, I just followed (more or less) the suggestions on the box.

So the top floor is Janine’s office. She’s got a desk with a computer and keyboard, a second piece of furniture with a phone and a lamp, an office chair and a stool. The drawers on that other piece of furniture actually open and you can put little Playmobil stuff in them. The monitor shows a map of the city with a Ghostbusters emblem indicating ghost activity. She also comes with an issue of Playmobil Today featuring stories about the Ghostbusters and their equipment. You can also see the fire alarm just to the side of the banister. “WE GOT ONE!!!”

You also get a pizza in a box! What? No Chinese Take Out???

There’s a fire poll that connects all the floors and a sliding hand grip for the figures to slide down on.

The middle section is the lab area, which houses all the scientific equipment. You get the device that they hooked Louis up to with a screen that shows an image of a Terror Dog, indicating that he’s possessed. The equipment itself has all sorts of buttons and gauges and it’s even branded with the Ghostbusters logo. It includes a chair and the monitor sits on a cabinet with three opening drawers. Here you can also see a floor lamp, and a video camera on a tripod.

A closer look at the bookcase in the background shows it contains a couple of cooking pans, a test tube rack with three test tubes, a jar of green slime, and a copy of Tobin’s Spirit Guide!

You also get this rolling cart with a few scientific flasks, a microscope, and a stray test tube. SCIENCE!

And there’s a coffee decanter for Louis to hold. “YES HAVE SOME!” I’m really impressed with all the great stuff they packed into the science area and I’m already on the hunt for some other Playmobil sets that might allow me to expand it even more.

Moving into the garage level, there isn’t a whole lot going on down here, but you do get the containment system, which opens up and you can put a trap in there. If you’re like me and you have most of these sets then you’ve got a lot of Ghost Traps by now, which gives me a spare to keep in the unit. The detail on this thing is mostly stickers, but it looks great. It has a couple of handles, one to open the door and one to flush the machine. I really dig the hoses coming up out of the top.

Of course, the reason there isn’t a whole lot else going on in the garage is because they had to leave room for the Ecto-1 to fit, and it does indeed fit… granted just barely, but I’m not complaining, because it looks great in there and it’s one of the biggest selling points about this whole set.

Now, obviously all this playset don’t come cheap. I was able to get mine for regular retail price off of Amazon for $69.99. Right now it’s selling for a little more than that and without the free Prime shipping. When you break down everything that comes in this box, I think the asking price is fair, especially since it’s the exact same price that Playmobil charges for their largest Pirate Ship sets, which are obviously not licensed. My point is, you aren’t getting soaked just because it’s an official Ghostbusters product, and you get a lot of goodies in the box for your money. I’ll be honest, I probably would have ponied up more money if I had to, because I never in a million years would have guessed that we’d get an actual Ghostbusters Firehouse playset like this ever again. The fact that it’s from Playmobil is both bizarre and fantastic at the same time. I have only one set left to pick up, the Hot Dog Stand with Slimer, and I’m going to nab it as soon as I find it. I’m still going to hope we see some more sets out of the Playmobil-Ghostbusters fusion, but my gut tells me this may be it, and if that’s the case, well… Playmobil certainly gave it their all and did a fantastisc job.

Splinter: I’m A Hero! by DX9

Yes, it’s still Transformers Thursday. No, this is not a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles review. I’m checking in with yet another Third Party Convertobot and this time it’s DX9’s Not-Wreck-Gar, who is most definitely not a Junkion, was never voiced by Eric Idle, and did not appear in any films in 1986 also starring Orson Welles and Judd Nelson. With this being the fourth week in a row of 3P Transformers love, you might think that I’m diving head first into these guys again. The truth is, I’ve just found some good deals and I’m taking care of unfinished business before I try to pull out from Imitation Transformers collecting altogether. And with that having been said, let’s check out Splinter!

I love this packaging. Nothing about it takes itself seriously, but man does it feature some great and colorful artwork! I only own one other product from DX9, and that’s their upgrade kit for Combiner Wars Megatron. It’s a great kit, but it came in bland and boring packaging. This, on the other hand, well like the copy says, it’s just beyond my imagination! Besides being a hoot, the box is completely collector friendly. The figure comes in a plastic tray in his robot mode with his weapons and wheels laid out beside him, but let’s go ahead and get started with his alt mode.

As expected, Splinter is a motorcycle and I think this is a really solid alt mode, but it does fall short in a few areas. There are clearly some robot parts showing through, particularly under the seat, and I think that keeps Splinter from hitting that high Masterpiece quality pedigree. I also think the handlebar area could have used some more polishing. The handlebars themselves are kind of floppy and the headlamp is quite obviously on a hinge, and I’m not sure why they opted to make it out of translucent red plastic. I also really wish he had a proper transparent windshield.

Now, that’s a lot of nitpicking, but considering that this is a 3P figure aimed at the Masterpiece market in both cost and scope, I think they’re all fair points. And to be fair there’s also plenty of good stuff going on here too. The coloring is very much on point. That orange-brown plastic they used for most of the body certainly suits the homage and the chromed out engine and exhaust system looks really sharp and elevates the look of the toy to that premium level. The black flames on the gas tank are a nice touch, as are the rubber tires. And while I don’t know squat about motorcycles, I do really enjoy the style they went with here. It looks to me like an older bike, and while it’s obviously not as squared off as the original G1 toy, there are just enough boxy bits here and there to drive that homage home without compromising the look of the alt mode. I’m also very pleased with how well the bike mode stays together and the fold down kickstand is certainly welcome. Again, it’s a solid alt mode, but it’s the lack of fine tuning that keeps it from truly running with the official Masterpiece bots.

As far as scale goes, Splinter’s bike mode is pretty close to being suited for 6-inch scale figures and I tossed out a shot of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends Ghost Rider mounting him to give you an idea of what that looks like. Of course, that means he’s nowhere near in scale with the Masterpiece alt modes, as evidenced by the above comparison shot of him with Masterpiece Ironhide. He’s enormous by comparison. Now, I’m not going to hold that against Splinter, because until the toy companies work out a way to employ actual mass shifting in their products, you’re going to have to sacrifice the scale of a motorcycle alt mode to make the robot mode work. And in the end, it’s the robot mode’s scale that I really care about. So let’s get this guy transformed and see how that robot mode fares!

Transforming Splinter is not an overly complex undertaking, but I found that there are a few steps that are more difficult then they should be. The clearance on the arms, for example, is way too tight and you really have to have them in a very precise position to get them to fold in and out of  for the bike mode. It’s also worth mentioning that Splinter requires a fair amount of parts removal and this initial above shot is him without those bits re-attached yet. Both wheels and both exhaust pipes come off and there are additional spiked plates for the wheels that don’t fit into the motorcycle mode at all. Some fans are likely to cry, Partsformer! Me? I think it would have been cool to work those wheel plates in as saddlebags or something, but overall I think it’s fine and, as we’ll soon, see it does give you a number of options on how you want to display Splinter in his robot mode.

One option is to put the wheels on the shoulders, which looks good, but it’s not really how I picture Wreck-Gar. It’s also a dead giveaway that this mold was also used by DX9 as their Not-Cy-Kill from the Go-Bots. That’s right, kids… Third-Party Go-Bots! Anyway, let’s try again…

Ahh, that’s more like it. This is how I’m used to seeing Wreck-Gar. Actually, it’s usually with one tire on his leg and the other worn as a shield, and that’s possible here as well and I’ll demonstrate it when I get to the weapons. Looking beyond the position of the tires, I think this is a really solid robot mode. I kind of miss G1 Wreck-Gar’s nipple guns, but I still like the design and sculpt of the chest. There’s a fair amount of detail in it and the gray and silver paint hits make it pop, as does the yellow plastic in his hips and forearms and the extra hits of red paint. I’m usually not a fan of asymmetry in my robot designs, but Wreck-Gar is a Junkion, so I’m cool with the fact that his lower legs are mismatched. The shocks from the bike mode look really good as pistons in his legs and the feet, formed by the seat and the front of the bike, give him a stable stance. The overall aesthetic forms a nice compromise between the boxy G1 look with just the right amount of sleek curves in the lower legs. Not bad at all!

From the back, things are a little rougher, but there’s nothing back here that really wrecks the figure for me. They did a fair job tidying things up, particularly with the engine parts folding in to fill the void in his torso.

The head sculpt is OK. It definitely looks like Wreck-Gar, but I think the head may be a little too small. And I’m not judging that by the fact that the G1 figure’s head was enormous. Part of my issue here might be that the neck post is so small that it kind of looks like the head is just floating there. The chrome pieces on his shoulders are probably the biggest departure from the original design, but I actually kind  of dig them. What I don’t like is that the hinges that the shoulders are on do not lock into place and will swing away from the body pretty much every time I articulate his arms.

The spiky wheel covers peg right into the wheels and I have to say I really dig them a lot. Granted, they present more of a general Junkion aesthetic then Wreck-Gar himself, but I just really like the way they look, especially when pegging one of the tires to his forearm as a shield. They do add quite a bit of bulk to his lower body, but I’m willing to accept that for the added dose of bad ass that these pieces bestow upon him. Plus, he can wield the exhaust pipes like clubs, which makes for quite a striking display when coupled with the shield.

The exhaust pipes can also be converted into rifles, which have a pretty cool retro design to them and they even have scopes. The chrome on all of these parts look fantastic and really adds a lot to the figure.

In terms of scale, the robot mode succeeds at Masterpiece scale where the bike does not. I included a shot of him with MP Ironhide, which in retrospect was probably not the best choice since Ironhide is a lot bigger than the rank-and-file Autobot cars, but hopefully you get the idea.

I realize I wound up being a lot more critical of Splinter than I have been with other recent 3P offerings. In the end, I like this figure a lot… I really do! In fact, after playing with him for a couple of days, I went ahead and ordered Salmoore and Cocomone, DX9’s versions of the Go-Bots’ Cy-Kill and Crasher. So even with all the nit-picking, that should be taken as an endorsement. But here’s the thing… I bought all of these at half price and so I’m willing to be a lot more forgiving of some of the criticisms I had with this guy, then if I had paid the original $75 for him. I don’t feel as if this is anywhere near a $75 figure, even by the usually inflated 3P standards.

Marvel Comics: Lady Deadpool Bishoujo Statue by Kotobukiya

That’s right… Marvel Monday was yesterday, but I’ve got so much Marvel stuff to look at, I’m extending it out to today. That means you get an extra helping of Marvel Monday without the Monday! Besides, I’m also falling behind on my Bishoujos. Case in point, this one dates back to last Summer and it is indeed Lady Deadpool! I was originally going to take a pass on this release, but I was pretty disappointed by Diamond Select’s Marvel Gallery Lady Deadpool and decided that I’d try my luck with the Bishoujo version. But I really didn’t need luck, because with Kotobukiya, it’s never a gamble.

Now, I know what you’re thinking… Take a pass? But it’s Bishoujo and it’s Deadpool and it’s Bishoujo Deadpool? It’s the self-proclaimed Chickee of Chimichangas appearing in your most favoritest statue line of them all! Are you feeling alright? Yes, but for some reason the whole Bishoujo Lady Deadpool thing didn’t click with me, and I’ll get into one of the reasons why in a bit. Anyway, Wanda Wilson comes in a typical Marvel Bishoujo box, white with windows on the front, top, and one side panel to let in plenty of light and see the goods inside. There’s also some wonderful character art by the great Shunya Yamashita, on which this statue is based. Everything is collector friendly, so let’s get Ms. ‘Pool out of the package and check her out!

So, now things are clicking, and it’s hard to deny that this is a very attractive statue. Leave it to Koto to take an idea that I’m lukewarm on and still win me over at first sight. Wanda stands with her left knee bent and her heel off the ground, striking her sexiest of poses. She gestures to herself with her left thumb and proffers a trademarked grenade in her other. Because even if she does hail from Earth-3010 and is packing lady parts, she’s still a Deadpool and she’s still gonna blow some shit up. There is absolutely nothing groundbreaking about this pose. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say it feels like they played it safe, but it’s executed quite beautifully and it just works for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the sheer kineticism of her snaking pony tail. Even if most of the composition here is pedestrian, that hair is pure poetry. I’ll also concede that this statue has several sweet spots to view her from.

I suppose a lot of the appeal here also has to do with Koto’s unswerving dedication to craftsmanship. The coloring on this piece is gorgeous. It eschews this line’s frequent love affair with high gloss finishes and serves up a combination of sassy matte reds and blues for Ms ‘Pool’s costume. It may not pop quite like a lot of the other Bishoujos on my shelf, but the red is deep and rich and I love it. And if you’re looking for something shiny, you get it in her wrist and ankle cuffs, as well as her bicep bands and collar. The quality of the paint application is quite nearly flawless too. I also appreciate that all the details on this costume are part of the sculpt, so you get raised piping on the borders between black and red. You also get some tantalizing rumples in between both bosoms and buttocks!

This Deadpool may not be packing a bulge in the nether regions, but you do get a belt with plenty of pouches and a kick ass belt buckle with a brushed silver finish. I find it a little odd that the buttons on the pouches aren’t painted, because Koto is not one to ever skimp on the paint. That leads me to believe it was a deliberate decision, they did after all paint the fixtures on the shoulder rig, so I guess I’m OK with that.

Her back is decked out with her sword rig and twin katanas, again all cast in brown. The grips feature sculpted brown wraps with some gold paint showing through. Again, it’s kind of a dull coloring for her swords, but here it’s clearly intentional because the paint hits are there and the effort was made.

And that brings us to the portrait, which is replete with Deadpooliness and certainly befitting of Lady Sassy Pants of the House of ‘Pool. Wanda has one eye popped and one eye squinting and you can clearly make out her dainty little nose jutting out from the middle of the mask. It looks fantastic. But, is it really a Bishoujo statue if the figure is masked? Of course not, and that’s why Koto always gives us a second, unmasked portrait. In this case, the alternate look not only involves a pop-and-swap for the head, but also the left arm, which includes the mask.

So, depending on what you’re reading, Wanda either is or isn’t as scarred up as her Earth-616 Dudeoppleganger, but either way, this feels more like a chick in Deadpoolette cosplay than the real McDeal. Maybe it’s because she’s too cute, maybe it’s because the unmasked hair doesn’t match, or maybe it’s because the first time I actually saw this statue it was the SDCC 2016 Exclusive that had her holding a bunch of Comic Con swag. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic portrait. She’s adorable and the coloring is beautifully done. I don’t want to take anything away from the workmanship here. It’s just that this one reminds me of those Freddy, Jason, and Chucky Bishoujos, which are also akin to chicks in cosplay. You may have noticed that I passed on each of those.

Our last stop is the base, which is a simple disc with the Deadpool logo on it. Could it ever have been anything else? Nope. It’s perfect!

I absolutely do not want to sound overly critical of this statue, because it really is an exceptionally nice piece. I’ve never experienced anything even remotely akin to Buyer’s Remorse with any of Koto’s figures and this one is certainly no different. She’s beautiful and she’s going to look great on my Bishoujo shelves. I just feel that this particular character was a bit of a reach for the line. But then maybe I’m overthinking this piece way too much and maybe I should just try to enjoy it for what it is. Wanda slipped in just under the recent Bishoujo price hikes, which means she hit most retailers at around $60, but I don’t think she’s been selling as well as others, because here we are a year later and she’s readily available from a number of sellers for considerably less.

Marvel Gallery: Jessica Jones (as Jewel) by Diamond Select

As much as it pains me to take time away from the piles of backlogged Marvel Legends in my closet, I’m taking a brief hiatus this week (and next week) to look at some other things Marvel. I may even go ahead and do a Legends theme week soon, just so I can get a whole wave out of the way. We’ll see. But, today I’m returning to my favorite line of budget statues from Diamond Select. These started life as the Femme Fatales line of indie comic figures and have since been re-branded as the DC and Marvel Galleries. Let’s have a look at Jewel… aka Jessica Jones. See what I did there!

The style of boxes hasn’t changed much since the Femme Fatales days. You still get window panels on the front, top, and both sides. This lets plenty of light in and allows for a good look at the statue before opening it. It also helps, as right now I have these all displayed in their packages. The decos on the boxes are usually designed to suit the character, although in this case we just get a pleasing star-scape with a big Diamond Gallery logo and the character’s name on the front. The figure comes suspended between two clear plastic trays and there’s no assembly required. One of the things I love about this line is Diamond’s willingness to take some risks with the character selection now and then. Sure, Jessica Jones is a big name now what with her excellent Netflix series and all, but instead of doing something that newcomers would find familiar, they released her as Jewel. That’s awesome.

And this is pretty awesome statue! Jewel is depicted in her simple, but sexy, white body suit with some gorgeous metallic blue paint on her gloves, belt, and bordering around her chest. These areas are also part of the sculpt, as is the rather large jewel that hangs off her belt. The suit itself features a very pretty pearlescent white finish that catches the light beautifully. The blue and white just compliment each other so well! Jewel’s muscle tone is also sculpted around her abs, and you get some subtle little touches like the hints of flex wrinkles around the backs of her knees and her toes. It’s obviously meant to be a pretty snugly fit costume and it shows off all her curves perfectly. There’s no doubt about it, the sculpting wizards at Diamond know their way around the female form.

The pose is playful and a more than a little seductive. Jewel has one leg in front of the other, her left hand is resting on her hip, and she’s blowing a kiss with her right hand, which manifests in the form of translucent purple shooting stars. Now, I’m not entirely sure what they were going for with the star effect, as I’m not aware of that ever being even remotely expressed as one of her powers, but it’s cute and fun, and I think that’s certainly the vibe they were going for in this piece. I like it, because the noir nature of Jessica Jones’ character packs a lot more punch when seen in the context of what she was like before Zebediah Killgrave messed her up. At least, that certainly holds true for this comic version of the character.

The portrait works on the same level too, although you could argue that she’s even a little more reserved than some of her panel art. The purple paint work for her eyebrows, eyes, and lips, is all crisp and clean, and the skin tone is warm and smooth. The only issue I have here is that I wish they used a matte purple paint for her hair, instead of the gloss they went with. I think it would have looked a little less plastic and more convincing. But truth be told, I’m just looking for things to nitpick.

The base is the same transparent plastic used for her shooting star kiss, and it has something of a crystalline look to it. Like the kiss, I think the base is a bit of a reach in terms of tying it thematically in with the character, but in the end it looks good and it presents the figure well, so I’m not complaining.

Once again, these are budget statues, with an average retail of about $45. I picked up Jewel for a little less than that and as is usually the case with this series, I’m so very glad I did. At roughly 9-inch scale, you’re getting a decent sized display piece, and I have to say the quality of the paint here is quite remarkable. I can usually find something about the paint on these to pick at, be it an uneven line or rubbing on the finish, but that’s simply not the case here. I’d easily compare the paint work on this statue to any number of ones from DC Collectibles, or even Diamond’s own Premier Collection, at more than twice the price. And besides, in market flooded with Marvel’s A-listers, how cool is to see characters like Jewel get their own statue? It’s just another reason why I’m happy to support this line.

Pop! Vinyls (Cowboy Bebop): Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed by Funko

I was all ready to open up another Kantai Collection Figma for this week’s Anime Saturday, but then I thought, “why not serve up a little variety and do something else.” How about some Pop! Vinyls! Yes, folks, while I don’t buy a whole lot of these, the truth is I’m still part of the problem, even if just marginally so. But at least I can still say I’m very choosy about the ones I buy, and those purchases are often targeted at franchises that haven’t been properly exploited in plastic. Apart from a couple Play Arts Kai figures, there’s a bewildering lack of merchandising around Cowboy Bebop. I don’t get this. I mean, seriously? Still no Figmas or Figuarts for the Bebop crew? I get that the love affair with this series has waned in recent years. As always, the more the Internet adores something, the more they will turn on it later on, and I feel that’s set in vis-a-vis Bebop. But to me, Cowboy Bebop belongs among the classic anime that it steals borrows from. And, as usual, Funko has stepped in to fill the plastic void with some of their goddamn Pop!s.

Today I’m looking at all four of the current BePop! offerings, numbers 145 to #148 in the Pop! Animation Series if you’re keeping track. They originally showed off some concept art for Ein a while back, but I haven’t seen him actually make it to vinyl yet. As for the packaging, these all come in standard Pop! window boxes. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. There’s a pyramid of these things at the local Barnes & Noble. I think they have more Pop!s than books now. Anyway, let’s run through these, starting with Spike Spiegal.

This is a great likeness for a Pop!, and there’s no doubt about who he’s supposed to be. I love the way the head cocks to the side ever so slightly and they really nailed his Dylan-esque mop of hair. The body is not as lanky as it should be, but let’s face it, one doesn’t buy Pop!s looking for accurate proportions. They did a great job on his blue futuristic leisure suit, complete with yellow shirt and loose tie. He’s even got a cigarette burning in his right hand. The paint quality on this one is excellent, with pretty clean lines and not much slop to speak about. While he doesn’t really need it, Spike comes with a clear disc stand to help keep him from toppling over. Five out of five Woolongs.

Jet Black is also unmistakable to me in this Pop! form. Of course, his portrait is a lot more distinctive than Spike’s, thanks to his cyborg implant and unique choice of facial hair. They even sculpted in the scar that runs down the right side of his face. Unfortunately, they didn’t line up the break in his eyebrow paint to match it, but it doesn’t bother me that much. The rest of the paint is really good, especially the emblem printed on the back of his jacket. Jet is the only one in the lineup that doesn’t come with a stand, nor does he have peg holes in his feet, but he stands just fine on his own. Even if I take a little something away for the botched scar paint, he still gets four out of five servings of Bell Peppers and Beef. Tasty!

Faye Valentine is another very distinctive looking character that translates really well to Pop! form. With her purple hair and yellow hairband, I think I would probably know who this was even if you just handed me her head. The outfit is also created down to the last details of her mid-riff crossing suspenders and thigh-high stockings. I even like the way she’s standing with her hands on her hips and her weight shifted slightly to one side. The paint here is pretty damn good too! The yellow sure is flashy, and I like the mix of gloss and matte finishes. No complaints here, five out of five regurgitated poker chips.

And that brings us to Edward, and another direct hit for this series. Funko had a lot to work with here when it comes to the portrait. The blush on her cheeks is well executed, the hair is great, and the goggles that she wears up on her head actually feature translucent tinted green lenses. She has the simplest outfit among all of them, but it still hits all the right points. The plastic used for her skin tone is a little too shiny for my taste, but I’m not even going to take any points off for that. Five out of Five super-intelligent corgi pups. Arf!!!

What I really enjoy about this set of Pop! Vinyls is that it not only fills the Cowboy Bebop shaped void in my collection, but it’s an easy in and out. Funko may make more of these, we may eventually get that Ein or maybe a Vicious or a Julia, but I don’t need them, because the core of the show’s cast is right here and ready to go up on my shelf. And the beautiful thing about Pop!s is that I rarely ever have to pay full price for them. Someone is almost always doing some kind of deal to chip away at the piles of these on retail shelves. In this case, I got in on a BOGO, so these basically only set me back a fiver each. Not bad at all. And that’s it for today’s Anime Saturday. I think it’s time I blow this scene. Get everybody and the stuff together. Ok. 3. 2. 1. Let’s jam. dundundundundundundundun duuuuuuuuuuuun …

More Playmobil Ghostbusters Sets! (#9221, 9223, and 9224) 

What? No DC Friday? Nope, not this week. I’m actually caught up on reviews for my DC collection right now and I haven’t had time to go into storage and pull out some old stuff. And so I’m re-purposing the next two Fridays for other things. Never fear, DC Friday will return in two weeks! In the meantime…

Yup, I got some more Ghostbusters sets from Playmobil and today I’m going to knock out three of them! While each of these come in enclosed boxes, the two smaller ones are pretty much just figure packs, and even the larger Stay-Puft set just features the one larger and one regular figure. Of course, I’m not complaining, as these sets all do their part to build up the Playmobil Ghostbusters Universe and they compliment each other nicely. They also provide the rest of the team to go with my Ecto-1. If you have any experience with Playmobil sets the packaging should be familiar to you. While the deco has been branded for the license, everything else is the same. You get photos of everything that comes inside on the backs of the boxes and there is some minor assembly required and stickers to apply, mostly for the Proton Packs and Ghost Traps. Let’s start big and work our way down…

Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Ray Stantz: The name is pretty self-explanatory, as this set includes Mr. Stay-Puft and Ray Stantz, the heart of the Ghostbusters! I really love the look of Stay-Puft and I’m happy they didn’t redesign him to look like a giant Playmobil figure. He’s cast in a great looking white pearlescent plastic and features some bright blue and red paint.

Indeed, even if you’re in the market for a Stay-Puft and don’t care anything about Playmobil, this figure would still probably scratch your itch. It’s not as big or impressive as the Diamond Select Stay-Puft Bank that I display with my Mattel Ghostbusters, but to be fair this is supposed to be a smaller scale anyhow. Really, my only complaint here is in the articulation. Sure, I expected a big hollow figure and I didn’t expect any articulation in the legs, but I was a little disappointed that the head doesn’t turn. At least the arms will rotate at the shoulders and the hands swivel at the wrists. All in all, he’s a great looking figure and still fun to play with.

The other half of this set, Ray, features a marshmallow-soiled uniform, which may irk some collectors, who are looking for a set of the guys all in clean uniforms. I find that I don’t mind it so much. It definitely adds a little personality to the figure, especially since Ray otherwise just looks like a standard Playmobil guy. Luckily, he has his name on his shirt and he also comes with his Ecto-Goggles to help further distinguish him. The Proton Pack is an amazing piece, and identical to what we saw in the Ecto-1 set. The wand can peg to the side for storage and it also comes with a particle stream effect piece. Moving on to…

Peter Venkman, Dana, and The Terror Dogs: This is a really well-rounded set of four figures, as it gives you not only Peter and Dana, but also the pair of Terror Dogs, another Ghost Trap, and another PKE Meter. We’ve seen the equipment before, so let’s just take a quick look at the figures…

Like Ray, Peter features a soiled shirt, this time with green slime. Once again, if you’re looking for a clean set of Ghostbusters, this is likely to irritate you, but I’m still happy with it since it gives a little more personality to the figure and further helps to identify him, along with the name on the uniform. Peter wasn’t really known for carrying around the PKE Meter, but it’s cool that Playmobil is throwing us extra equipment. Hell, I’ve got plenty of PKE Meters and Ghost Traps just from the four sets I own.

Dana features her possessed look from just before she turned into one of the dogs. I think it’s a pretty good attempt at the character while still sticking to the Playmobil aesthetic. They also managed to keep the hip articulation while doing her sculpted gown. I love her demon eyes! Who the hell would have ever imagined that cute and innocent Playmobil would ever do ladies possessed by demons!

Not to mention, the The Terror Dogs! These are fantastic little sculpts that manage to be both adorable and still easily recognizable from the film. They feature articulation in all four legs, the neck, and their jaws will even open! My only complaint here is that I wish Playmobil had made this a bigger set that included a rooftop playset. I would have gladly paid an extra $15 for the altar with a Gozer figure and a place to put the dogs. I think that would have been amazing. And that brings me to the smallest set…

Egon Spengler and Ghost: The last set completes the Ghostbusters team with Egon Spengler, as well as including two actual ghosts!

Playmobil did a find job recreating Egon with printed glasses and a crazy pompadour! He comes with a Proton Pack with proton stream, a PKE Meter, and a Walkie-Talkie. It feels like Peter should have come with the Walkie, but I’m not complaining. I can just give it to him, anyway.

The Ghost Trap comes with a ghost that you can plug into it. Oh, so that’s what that hole is for! He’s a pretty jolly wisp of Ectoplasm, as he’s smiling even though he’s about to get sucked into the torture-dimension that I like to think comprises the inside of those Ghost Traps. Playmobil really needs to release a variety of these ghosts to plug into the different traps. Hell, go ahead and blind bag ’em, I’ll buy tons! It’s a simple plastic shell, but if you put an LED behind it, it makes for a pretty cool effect.

The other ghost is a regular figure and I call him Dapper Ghost, because he looks like a proper 19th Century gentlemen. The figure itself is partially translucent and has some skeletal paint apps on him. The overcoat and hat are both regular opaque plastic. I really dig his mutton chops and his little mustache. As much as I love this guy and all his personality, I wish Playmobil would have given us one of the ghosts from the film. This should have been Library Ghost or Taxi Driver Ghost. Still, he’s cool.

That’s four sets down and two to go. I’m still hunting the Hot Dog Stand with Slimer and the Firehouse is on its way to me as I write this article. Right now, I’m just basking in how great it is to have the whole team with my Ecto-1. As with most Playmobil sets, the fun is getting them all together and that’s certainly the case here. These adorable little spook hunters are all ready to go on adventures. These sets were $20, 15, and 10 respectively, which seems a bit high when I compare it to the same $45 I spent on the Ecto-1. Sure, it’s a lot of figures and accessories, but Stay-Puft was the only really substantial piece and he’s nowhere near as complex a toy as the Ecto-1. That’s OK. I’m still fine with the value here and I’m hoping that Playmobil isn’t done with this line yet.