The Real Ghostbusters: Ecto-1 and Figures by Hasbro

Like a lot of kids in the 80’s, I was a big fan of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. In fact, we would often patrol the school yard at recess looking to take the fight to the kids who liked that Filmation Ghostbusters and kick the shit out of them. Nah. I’m just kidding. There weren’t any kids that liked Filmation Ghostbusters. LOL! That joke would be less hypocritical if I didn’t secretly covet those Filmation Ghostbusters toys. Indeed, if they weren’t so stupid expensive now, I’d probably own some. But I digress. as a kid, I only owned one Real Ghostbusters figure, and that was Egon. My Dad bought him for me when we were at the store and I was profoundly disappointed when I opened him in the back of the car and realized that the beam didn’t come out of the wand, and he had to walk around with it sticking straight up into the air. I really wanted Real Ghostbusters figures, but I never asked for any more of these. I think I regretted that decision, because in my mind I never really let these go.

Fast forward to now, and Hasbro has released some pretty damn good copies of those Kenner figures, along with the Ecto-1, and I decided that I needed to revisit these. The Ecto-1 comes in a fully enclosed and colorful box, which I presume is pretty close to the original packaging. But… before I open up this baby, I should probably take a look at the figures first. And I opened these up a while ago, so I don’t have any packaged shots.

And boy don’t these just ooze charm like slime off of a free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition! I love the way these were individually stylized with completely different bodies. From Egon’s long and lanky form to Ray’s stocky frame, each character is so distinctive from each other. Nowadays, they would just stamp them out on the same body. And of course, the jumpsuits were individually colored to distinguish them from each other even more. Nice details include the cinched elastic on their wrist and ankle cuffs, the elbow pads, and the Ghostbusters logos stamped on their right shoulders. Likewise, the head sculpts are pretty good likenesses for their cartoon counterparts. Each of these figures have the standard five-points of articulation, and I absolutely love them!

The proton packs are cool, but I still say they would be so much better if you could just remove the proton streams. I know they’re toys for kids, but apparently it was even annoying enough to me as a kid to not want them because of it. I think I was probably a little too uptight about that, because as an adult I can move past it and still appreciate what they did here. There’s a decent amount of detail in the sculpts, and they simply peg onto the figures’ backs. Yes, the straps are sculpted on the figure, so they’re present even when the pack isn’t worn. The wands clip to the sides of the packs and can be slid onto each figures’ arm and gripped by their hand. Spin the beam’s handle behind the thrower and it wiggles all over the place. It’s fun!

Each figure comes with its own ghost. These are cast in translucent colored plastic and they’re pretty fun. These aren’t going to replace Mattel’s retro-style Real Ghostbusters as my favorites, but I think I actually like these better than Diamond Select’s Real Ghostbusters, which disappointed me so much that I never bothered reviewing them all. But wait… we’ve got a call coming in and the boys are going to need their ride! So let’s get the Ecto-1 out and set up!

There’s really not too much to set up. The Ghostbusters‘ ride comes out of the box assembled and almost ready to go. There are some stickers that need to be applied, but nothing too difficult. The most pressure comes from getting those three Ghostbusters emblems on the doors straight. The toy itself is satisfyingly large, but it also feels a lot like a plastic shell on wheels. Keep in mind, I never owned the original, so I may have been expecting too much because of the price point. But more on that later. From the research I’ve done, this seems to be an excellent copy of the original toy, with some improvements to the plastic and some areas of the design. And it sure is nice to see one of these looking all fresh and minty with no yellowing or cracks, and bright stickers!

Like the figures, I love the way the toy recreates the stylized look of the cartoon, especially with the way it exaggerates the swell near the back, giving it a cool and cartoony profile. In keeping with the original, there’s not a lot of detail to the roof, just some vague sculpted shapes depicting the equipment and instrument rack. The two light bars have tinted blue plastic for the actual lights. It almost looks like electronics have been gutted for the remake, but the Kenner toy didn’t have any either. That’s a shame, because for fifty bucks, this thing should have flashing lights and a siren!

There are some subtle changes to the front grill, but the ECTO-1 license plate sticker remains the same. The sculpting on the wheels is very well done, and this thing rolls along the floor great.

Busting out the figures, I find that the front seat accommodates a driver and passenger quite well. The doors close securely with the windows perpetually down. I’m guessing the Ecto-1 doesn’t have working air conditioning. There’s a nice bit of detail in the steering wheel and dash, and there’s some texturing on the seats. The back area can fit the other two Ghostbusters, so everyone can ride!

That back area also features a Ghost-Capture-Claw, not doubt developed by Egon, to hook ghosts. By shifting the exhaust pipe left or right, the rope can either be locked, or it will retract as you push the Ecto-1 along. There’s also a hook inside to hang the claw from when it’s not in use. The orange ghost is included!

There’s also a Gunner Seat that can be secured all the way inside the back or positioned so it’s facing out the back to fire at those pesky pursuing poltergeists.

The Gunner Seat can also be plugged into the top and swivel 360-degrees.

I was absolutely beside myself when the Ecto-1 arrived at my door. It was a Walmart Exclusive and I knew I had no hopes of finding it in the stores, so I dropped a pre-order with them online, crossed my fingers, and hoped that it wouldn’t get cancelled. Now, I’ll concede that when I first got it out of the box, I might have been hit with a wee bit of sticker shock. This was $50? Yes, it’s a nice, sizeable toy and it looks great, but Great Gozer is this thing over priced! Just compare this thing to the Ecto-1 from the Playmobil Ghostbusters line, which is admittedly smaller, but features a ton more detail and electronic lights and sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets. Getting these toys has filled in that Ghostbusters-shaped hole in my childhood, and I’m happy to have these displayed on the shelf. Hasbro has also released some of those gimmicky ghost figures in this revival, but I think I’m going to rest easy with what I’ve got.

ReAction Figures: Universal Monsters, Series 2 by Funko

I’ve certainly given my share of grief to Funko’s ReAction line of action figures and that’s despite only having featured one of them here on FFZ. I’m not against the concept. Hell, my unending praise of Warpo’s Legends of Cthulhu line alone should prove that. But Funko’s scatter shot approach to the whole retro-vintage thing makes it seem more like a shameless cash grab than actually doing something interesting with the concept. This entire faux-vintage idea grew out of Super-7 bringing the un-produced Kenner Alien figures to market based on original prototypes. It was a pretty big success for something as niche as it was and so ReAction was born giving us “what if” imaginings of lines that were never produced. I think it’s a noble gesture where actual 70’s and 80’s properties are concerned, but when you extend it to stuff like Firefly or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, everything starts to break down. Of course, by casting a wide, wide, WIDE net over all sorts of properties it means that they do have a chance to get it right sometimes and today we’re looking at one of those instances with Series 2 of their Universal Monsters. (I know, “what happened to Series 1?” I’ll get to it eventually.) Keep in mind, these figures aren’t a case of paying tribute to what could have been, but rather what was, as the company REMCO* put out a line of six 3 3/4” Universal Monsters figures back in 1979 and I have a lot of fond memories of those figures and the playsets.


Series 2 consists of Dracula, The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera and The Wolfman. While Series 1 actually contains my favorite monster, The Gillman, I went with this Series first because I thought it was a little better fleshed out and all of the figures were ones featured in the vintage REMCO line. I like the fact that the cards are all original and the front of each one is branded solely based on the character’s movie. You actually have to turn the card over to see anything tying it in with a larger series. The figures each come just rattling around in their coffin-style bubbles, just like the good old days, although my Dracula came with the bubble completely detached from the card. That sort of thing would have really pissed me off if I was keeping them carded, but who am I kidding? There was never any chance of that!



It would be impossible to pick my favorite card in this set as they all feature great B&W shots from the original films. I will say that I get a chuckle out of The Phantom’s every time I look at it. It looks like Lon Chaney is looking down in horror at his little action figure! Everyone’s a critic! As good as these cards are, I really wasn’t sad about opening them up. It’s probably because the appeal here is the figures themselves as replacements for my beloved REMCO monsters. Let’s start out with Dracula and The Phantom of the Opera.



These guys look splendid, although as might be expected there’s some parts sharing and resculpting here. You wouldn’t think that would be a factor in cheap ten dollar figures, but it’s done well so I don’t have any issues with it. These are, afterall, a couple of dudes in black suits and capes so the arms and legs are shared. The torso’s appear to be remolds as there are obvious differences, like Dracula’s very nicely sculpted and painted medallion and The Phantom’s tie. They both have waistcoats, but Dracula’s hangs down over his pants, whereas Phantom’s does not. And of course, they both sport the same basic black vinyl cape, which should have old school Kenner fans mighty happy.


The head sculpts are also quite good and not overly proportioned like on some of the other ReAction figures. Dracula isn’t really the spitting image of Bela Lagosi, but it’s a good generic vampire. Phantom on the other hand, I think they did a pretty nice job on making him look like Chaney in the makeup.


Next, we have The Wolfman and The Mummy and again, Funko did some nice work on this pair. I’d say Wolfman is probably the best sculpt of this wave just because of all the detail they put into his furry hands and feet, the little rumples in his shirt and the creases in his trousers. The head sculpt is pretty damn nice too and all the paint is sharp and clean.



The Mummy also has a lot of detail packed into his sculpt. All the bandages are defined and thre’s little tatters and tears in them to make them look old. There’s not a lot of paintwork on this guy, but then he doesn’t need it. This head sculpt is equally as impressive as Wolfman’s and I’d say if we’re talking likenesses, this one comes pretty damn close to a Boris Karloff in makeup.


As expected, these figures all have the standard old school five points of articulation. The joints are all nice and tight and the plastic quality feels great. The only drawback might be the total lack of accessories, but then I can’t think of anything to include with these characters anyway.


I’ve been really choosey about which ReAction figures I’m buying and so far I’ve made some fairly good choices. Sure, The Rocketeer was a little disappointing, but I was perfectly happy with my 80’s Slashers and these Universal Monsters are absolutely fantastic. They hit the right nostalgia buttons by letting me relive the fun memories of my REMCO figures and these actually look like Funko put a lot of love in them, rather than just crank them out. These guys are proof positive that you can do genuine retro-style figures and not have them look like trash. I’ve already got Series 1 on order so I should be able to swing back and check them out in a week or so.

*If you want to read a great little article on the original REMCO toys, check out

ReAction Figures: The Rocketeer by Funko!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or have no interest in toys, then you probably know that Funko is putting out a ridiculous number of retro-style 3 ¾” figures based on a whole slew of licensed properties. While I think this line would have been more interesting if they focused first on actual retro-properties, at least initially, I can’t help be drawn in to some of these figures and I wound up pre-ordering a ton of them, despite the fact that a lot of them don’t really look that good. What’s wrong with me? I don’t have enough time to get into that now. Anyway, the first release is a stand-alone figure drawn from Disney’s 1991 sleeper hit, The Rocketeer, and this figure should give us a good idea of what to expect when the flood of figures rolls in toward the end of the Summer.


If there’s one thing about these ReAction figures that is going to drive me crazy is whether or not to open them. In keeping with true vintage style, the figure comes on a card and bubble and it is most definitely not collector friendly. I get that they were going for authentic vintage packaging here, and I’m sure keeping costs down played into it too, but these figures are aimed at collectors so I’m thinking they could have come up with something a bit more versatile. On the other hand, the figures are cheap enough that openers can buy two without breaking the bank.


The presentation here is very nearly a homerun. You get the simple Kenner-inspired card with some very nice art deco style artwork inspired by the film. I think the black box with the figure’s name is a little bland and the outline for the bubble doesn’t line up with the actual bubble, but those are really the only blemishes on an otherwise attractive looking card. The figure is encased in a coffin style bubble with the accessories similarly sealed beside him. There’s no tray to support the figure and so he is rather askew in the bubble, but that’s all part of the retro charm. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m going to rip this baby open so we can check him out.



So, one of the things I’m going to grouse about is the fact that the ReAction line seems to be overdoing the retro thing just a bit. If you take some of the old Star Wars figures, you can see that there’s actually a lot of sculpted detail on many of them. The sculpt on the actual figure feels like it’s dumbed down a bit to emphasize its faux retro heritage. There’s also a little inconsistency where the sculpting on the jetpack looks a lot more detailed than the figure. I’ll also point out that I’m not a fan of the plastic used for the head. It looks super cheap and doesn’t really jibe with the rest of the figure. It’s also a bitch to photograph properly. Now, with all that having been said, I still dig what Funko did here. It’s a solid looking figure within the stylistic confines that they set out to emulate.


The paintwork and quality control on the figure has a few hiccups. There is a large mess of something on poor Cliff’s groin area and there are a few other stray paint marks here and there. Still, I’m rather impressed with the individually painted buttons on his tunic and sleeve buckles as well as the paint apps for his eyes and eyebrows. Naturally, the figure features only the classic vintage 5-points of articulation. The joints are all nice and tight, although now is as good a time as any to point out that one of my figure’s legs is slightly longer than the other so he’s always going to be leaning a bit.



As for the accessories, what would The Rocketeer be without his helmet and jetpack? The jetpack, as mentioned, is quite highly detailed and pegs right onto the figure’s back and holds on snugly. The silver paint looks really nice on this piece and they even sculpted and painted the piece of bubblegum used to for the makeshift repair in the film. The helmet fits over the figure’s head quite well. Yeah, it’s a little big, but I’m going to write that off to retro charm.


It may sound like I had a lot of beefs with this figure, but I actually do like it a lot. It’s important to note that while the figure is definitely a niche collector item, we are still talking about a $10 figure here, so expectations should be tempered. My only standing complaint would be that I really wish they would either use a less cheap looking plastic for the head, or paint the face, because as it is I think it detracts from the figure. Ultimately, however, I think Funko succeeded in what they set out to do here and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the other releases, particularly the 80’s Slashers and the Universal Monsters.