Well, what a thing the last two years have been. Really hoped I could get more "back in the saddle" with Spoils this year, and while they clearly hasn't panned out I certainly can't risk missing ye olde annual Ghostbuster Spoils! Of course, I missed the usual Halloween week timing, but this should be out just ahead of the release of the third canonical film - Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters - "Fright Features" Egon Spengler
I'm usually not that into the cheap/"kiddie" lines but the sort of animated aesthetic of these figures, plus the dayglo colors of the ghosts, really won me over. All four Ghostbusters share the same sculpt from the neck down along with the same proton-pack-and-wand accessory. Egon's head is particularly fun thanks to the tall hair and glasses, which help make him immediately identifiable. He comes with a goopy little fat boy ghost, cast in neon orange with blue interior guts. There is a button on the back that causes the head to pop up and the chest to pop open. It's a pretty fun gag but of all the ghosts this is the one whose function works the least for me, and I find I have manually pry the chest open in lieu of the button actually working. The button is really inconveniently placed on this ghost, too, because you want to sort of pinch him at the feet and head to have enough pressure to depress the button but this prevents the function from working. Most of the ghosts have similar issues, where it's tough to be able to trigger the effect with a single hand.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters - "Fright Features" Peter Venkman
Peter's head also captures '80s Murray pretty well for this style. When I found this guy at Target, he came with a neon blue ghost that sort of looks like a Slimer with little tentacles. But THEN I was perusing the Hasbro Pulse site and saw that there are variants of Peter and Winston that come with ghosts from the movie! So, I ordered those too! That version of Pete gets a Terror Dog in navy blue that looks pretty rad in this sculptural style. His titular "fright feature" causes his lower jaw/chest to go down and a separate yellow tongue to hang out - pretty fun!
Hasbro: Ghostbusters - "Fright Features" Ray Stantz
The body sculpt on these figures is nice, but definitely gets old fast with only four figures in the line and no variation – kind of amazing there is no proper/full-size ghost in this line (maybe with a pop-open ghost trap as its accessory). It's also kind of annoying that the figures can't really hold the wands with their arms up. Kinda wish they'd done one hand in a "Kenner lightsaber" hand pose or with a bent elbow for some variation. I've also got to say the Akroyd-curse remains intact even here, with Ray having the weakest caricature/likeness in the set. He comes with the same tentacled ghost that Peter has, but here in neon pink. Push the button on his back and his head splits open revealing a neon green and blue interior, plus a little tongue on a disk that spins around - super fun! Weirdly, though, this version doesn't have a paint outside-mouth like the version with Venkman does.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters - "Fright Features" Winston Zeddemore
The proton packs are pretty nice, and have a semi-circle plug that fits into a plug hole on the back. In a pretty cool touch, the back side of the pack is also fully sculpted/detailed with a sort of "internal workings" kind of view. The plastic is a bit softer than the Plasma Series which makes the hose to the wand a bit more manipulate-able, which is nice, and allows the wand to plug on to a tab on the pack as well. Winston comes with a yellow and pink version of the fatboy ghost Egon has, and while I was going to skip... the more I looked at I liked the yellow version more than the orange... so here we are. The real star, though, is the "variant" comes with Slimer – which insanely is the only in-scale version of ol' Onionhead that Hasbro has released! So that alone sort of makes it a must-have. He's a fun little sculpt in nice bright colors. Push the button on his back and his tongue sticks forward splitting open his face! Fun and grim! And, as an added treat, he gets swivel joints at his shoulders, making the only articulated ghost.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Lucky
I don't think I'd even seen this character until the figure was revealed, but I'm sure she is in the trailer/s. As such I can't speak to the quality of the likeness, but it feels pretty good, or at least looks like a human (unlike Peter and Ray below). She's got an all-new, unique body sculpt, which also looks great (and just highlights how under-served the original Ghostbusters have been by Hasbro). I'm pretty intrigued by the lack of "hose from belt to the leg" on these new kids, and wonder if/how that'll be addressed in the film (what IS that hose for anyway). She comes with a proton pack, a proton stream (but now with purple "electricity" rather than blue... intriguing!), and the remote-control ghost trap featured in the trailers. I LOVE the idea of an RC ghost trap (almost as much as the "gunner seat" for Ecto-1); it feels like a very good, proper in-universe concept! Sadly, though, the trap is a solid sculpt that the axles go through. I'd really expected it to be tooled as a "carrier" for the trap from Series 1. Still though, pretty fun and an exciting inclusion.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Podcast
Another character I'm not even sure is in the trailers, but clearly becomes part of the team. It seems like he might be the tag-along-kid of the group, just given the hints'n'clues from his jumpsuit and lack of a proton pack. He's also an all-new, all-unique sculpt that looks pretty darn good. He's the only figure in this wave without a proton pack but he does have a bunch of marshmallow stuff. There's a tiny Staypuft man, a ring of goop for around his arm and bandolier of goop for across his chest. Not the most exciting stuff but certainly more interesting than just splashes of white paint, or whatnot. He also comes with a remote control, presumably for the ghost trap with Lucky, that's pretty nice. It has a detailed sculpt with multiple hits of paint, and he can even convincingly hold it with two hands! Lastly, he's got some ecto-goggles that may or may not be Ray's old ones; these have a third strap for over the head (unlike the accessory with series 1 Ray). They, too, look pretty good, but the straps are narrower than Podcast's poofy hair and I haven't been able to get them on him so far. I'll wait to see the movie before really putting serious effort into it. Oh - how could I forget!? He also comes with a little brown shrunken-head skull that can plug into his belt! It looks pretty cool and I dig the idea of more occulty artifacts being used the GB-verse. All of the kids have conspicuous peg holes in their belts, so not sure if this gets shared around or what, but it certainly is an option we now have.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Trevor
The last of the new generation here is everybody's favoritely real-life-named Stranger Thing - Finn Wolfhard. It's a solid likeness, but not quite as good as Lucky and Podcast (but maybe that's just because I don't recognize those actors enough to really gauge their likenesses). Young Trevor here sports a whole unique sculpt as well, with a too-cool-for-school unzipped jumpsuit. He's got a proton pack (interestingly with unique extra line paint on the white band of wires) and wand, and while the wand and cord are separate from the pack, the plastic is still too firm and is a bit of a hassle to work with. Man, if only they just used actual rope like the retro Kenner ones...! He comes with a paper map of occult-ish nature and a bit of mini Staypuft men all a'handholdin'. I couldn't figure out how or where they were meant to go, so I had to check the product photos on Pulse to learn they are uniquely sculpted to hang on to the back of the proton pack... which they do tenuously at best.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Peter Venkman
When these three figures were first revealed they felt like HUGE spoilers, and of course still do. It's such a major disappointment that Hasbro chose to lead with these because seeing the original gang suit up again is something I didn't imagine and seems like it would have been an amazing, if not emotional, reveal when watching the new movie. I really, REALLY, wish they'd held them back, but suppose I can understand having these on shelf to cash in on the hype as the movie is released, not to mention the overwhelming cost savings of lowering the tooling bill with these re-releases. In fact, between the "just new heads" of these releases, I'm now wondering if these may just be "what if" placeholders. We will see, though... Peter's head is the only new thing here (and some cardboard versions of his old telepathy Flashcards) and it is... okay. Definitely too round, at least for this body. Unlike the other two guys, he does once again come with untucked pant legs.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Ray Stantz
Curse-of-the-Akroyd. Once again, the weakest likeness of the series and proportionally way off from fitting with the body. It's really a shame they didn't make a new torso to better match Dan's current bodytype. All three of their heads also seem slightly too large, which makes me wonder they were tooled for 6" scale, rather than the weird 5.75" scale of this line. He comes with the only worthwhile new accessory - Tobin's Book of Spirits! The back cover is flat but the front is richly detailed with surprisingly good gold paint on the title. It's pretty rad.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Winston Zeddemore
Winston works fine on the "young" Ray body, like Pete. The only new tooling here is his head, which is probably the strongest likeness of the three. His afterthought of a paper goods accessory is a cardboard newspaper of the classified ads from the first film (which weren't shown onscreen, if I recall correctly). Like the other two guys, he comes with a build-a-ghost part, proton-pack-and-wand, and a proton stream. At least all three of these old dudes get a stream this time, so now there are four across the two series'. It's really, really hard to like this line, I must say. It's almost overwhelming how much of a B-Team effort this whole brand is being given.
Hasbro: Ghostbusters Afterlife - "Plasma Series" Build-A-Figure Sentinel Terror Dog
And, man, talk about B-effort... this Sentinel feels like it's from an entirely different line that the rest of the figures. The articulation is so limited and the sculpt is so soft! The pose is "dynamic" which I suppose helps compensate for his lack of pose-ability, but it's so specific and deep/wide that ends up taking up a lot of space. He has six points of articulation – well eight, technically, since the thigh connectors can swivel – balljoints at the shoulders, swivels at the wrists, a ball-in-socket at the neck and a hinged jaw. Paint is pretty minimal too, similar to the GB1 Terror Dogs from series 1 with mostly a glossy dark gray and a silver spray on the back/neck. The legs and lower torso are paint-less, favoring translucent lavender plastic. It looks cheap, and feels like a moment-specific or changed-in-post-production gag that will further make this an odd thing for the shelf. I'm not crazy about the design, and how "'member the Terror Dogs" it is, but having him assembled and in hand, it does seem like this could have been a fun hulk-ish villain for the Busters to battle... if only they'd given the figure the same level of care as the three kids.