“Who Did Mattel Call?”

April 16, 2010

Before I begin this week's entry, allow me to explain where a good portion of my dedication for The Real Ghostbusters comes from.  Being born in 1984, The Real Ghostbusters was my first real introduction to the franchise in 1986.  It was the cartoon that got me hooked and made me become obsessed with Ghostbusters.  One of my favorite childhood memories comes from a birthday when I got all four Real Ghostbusters figures, the Ecto-1, Stay Puft and Slimer figures.  And then for the duration of the series, my parents continued to buy me the toys.  While the Kenner products were never 100 percent accurate, they were still great for a child such as myself.

Now being a totally obsessive fan of The Real Ghostbusters, I pride myself in knowing the details of the suits, equipment, Ecto-1, and even the firehouse itself.  This obsessive behavior came in handy last October when my father and I made a show Proton Pack for my Halloween costume.  I spent countless hours staring at the Production Art sheets showing how the artists were to draw the pack.  Finally after hours upon hours of work, the pack was finished.  While what we made was not perfect, I would still say it is dang good. 

So when I learned that Mattel would be making some Real Ghostbusters collectible figures, I was very excited to have a chance at owning figures made with the adult collector in mind.  From all that Mattel has all ready released, I had high hopes.  Mattel said earlier this year that their San Deigo Comic Con Ghostbusters exclusive toy would, and I quote, "knock your socks off.". Then last week we learned that Mattel would unveil their GB exclusive on G4's Attack of the Show.  On the commercial for Attack of the Show, we saw our first glimpse of the exclusive; a Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman figure in a beige uniform.

So while we waited for the official unveiling to arrive, the speculation started.  Then I saw the figure, and the air went out of the excitement balloon.  First off Peter is in his movie suit because this figure is meant to be Peter from the episode "Citizen Ghost", but future figures should be released in their normal suits.  While the figure is stated to have a talking feature, this was not displayed.  The packaging, front and back, showed Peter, Ray, Winston, Egon, Janine, Slimer, and even Stay Puft.  This gives us hope that all these key characters will get figures made.  The head sculpt itself is a pretty good likeness of Dr. Venkman's cartoon form.  Also, the toy is done like the 12 inch GB figures, in that his suit is actual cloth, not molded on plastic.  But then came the big mistake of Mattel.

Yep, they took the lazy route for the Proton Pack and Proton Gun.  From the pictures and video I have looked at and watched, it basically looks like Mattel just took one of the movie packs, changed a few small details, repainted it in the RGB color scheme, and packaged it with this Peter figure.  Bottom line, they got it wrong.

Some might say that since "Citizen Ghost" has the guys in their movie suits, this is why Mattel used the movie pack.  Well as you can see above, I have added a screen shot from said episode that shows the guys in their movie suits, but still having the normal show packs.  No matter how much I try and makes sense of this, I just keep coming back to the same idea, Mattel got lazy.

Now I am sure there are some of you out there saying, "Hey Linear, you are never this hard on Bandai with Power Rangers toys.". That is true, for the following reason.  Bandai does not make toys with collectors in mind, they make them for children to have and play with and enjoy.  Mattel however is specifically releasing this figure under the "Matty Collector" brand.  If you are going to make a product for collectors, then I expect you to make sure you try your best to get the details correct.  This does not seem to be the case here.

I am not saying the figure itself is bad, nor am I saying that I won't purchase the toy, because I will when it is likely listed on MattyCollector.com.  What I am saying is that given all the hard work Mattel has put into the movie style figures, I am sorely disappointed in the seemingly lack of attention given to this figure's accessory.  So no Mattel, my socks are not "knocked off".  I only hope that when the normal releases of these figures start, that they will then be packaged with show accurate Proton Packs.

I feel that Ghostbusters fan James Eatcock said it best on his Twitter account, "would love for Mattel to work WITH the fans."

Have a Nice Day


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