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Peter Venkman

by Shocka

It's kind of tired to harp on at Mattel's bad decisions; at this point, they're a tried-and-true source of collector frustration, with frequently baffling choices successfully ruining any goodwill they accidentally build up with their target consumer. There's no better example of this than Peter Venkmen, who finally come out last year after previously having an unfathomably idiotic "slimed" variant and a Slimer-redo that made no sense and no one wanted, which Matty hinted might be the only Venkman to be released - just months before the actual non-spooged version came out.

Good thing this is the first and only Ghostbusters figure to come with a proton stream - you know what could happen if two streams were crossed! Fully articulated and unslimed, this highly sought-after 6" Peter Venkman figure holds steady against any ghoul when perched on the first-ever official Ghostbusters logo stand included.

Is there anybody left who doesn't know who Peter Venkman is? Honestly? Everybody is familiar with him, so we haven't bothered putting a character summary above - just the text from the Matty ordering site where one could initially (and only) buy him from. If anyone is wondering why Matty is so universally despised by collectors, all of the answers are right there. But we'll get to that in a moment. There's no actual bio on the packaging anyway, just "cute" little blurbs.

Venkman shares the same body as the other Ghostbusters, which we've come to accept and not really mind. Sure, they all had different bodytypes and are all different heights, but in a loose and baggy set of overalls (which these aren't) everyone becomes the same shape and size. Yep. To borrow again from our Ray review, Venkman is awesomely articulated, with a balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists, H-hips, hinges at the knees and ankles, and swivels at the waist, lower thighs, and the top of the boot. The movement of all of the Ghostbusters is great, allowing for plenty of posability with their Proton Pack and any other accessories you want to give them. I can't fault it.

The facial sculpt is... okay. It looks like Bill Murray, but a soft, more caricaturish version of Bill Murray than you might have liked. He looks a lot younger than he was in the film, but you'll still recognise who he is - he's one of the better Ghostbusters sculpts, really. The expression on his face is perfect - he looks charming, funny and friendly, unlike, for example, Ray, who looks like a jerk. There's really not much to complain about when it comes to the figure itself.

But when it comes to accessories, Venkman stinks. The idea for this line seemed to be that each figure would come with some kind of ghost or notable accessory, like Slimer or the neat glow-in-the-dark Ghostbusters logo, or the recent awesome Library Ghost. What Peter gets is the proton stream, which is actually pretty great.

It's about 9" long and fits on the end of any of the Ghostbusters' proton packs, allowing them to fire at the oncoming ghosts, and is nicely sculpted from soft blue and orange transluscent plastic. What sucks about it is that this is the accessory for Venkman, and is only available with Venkman. Want multiple proton streams so all of your Ghostbusters can be blasting Mr. Stay Puft? Time for multiple Venkmans!

It sucks. There's no reason why these can't be easily available in an accessory pack, and Peter got a proper accessory, like another ghost with articulation and a real sculpt. There's no reason why we shouldn't have several of these, and the smarmy "you know what could happen if two streams were crossed!" explanation for why we can't from Matty just screams "WE'RE FARMING ASSHOLES!" Not to mention drawing attention to the "unslimed" aspect of this figure - y'know, the one everyone actually wanted instead of the one that was offered like it was the only Peter to be made? And that "first-ever official logo stand"? It's a tiny, round red-and-white piece of crap no one would ever want to use to display their figures with. There's a reason popular stands are black or clear - they don't draw attention away from the figure, they just help them stand. That's all they're supposed to do!!

So, while the figure and accessory are actually pretty good, there's lots to be really negative about when it comes to this toy. The same can be said of nearly everything Matty does, and as one of the most prominent action figure companies making product today, that sucks.

-- 10/09/11

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