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Slimer

Ghostbusters
by yo go re

As much as I would have loved to build the complete rooftop diorama that Diamond Select Toys is releasing piecemeal with their Ghostbusters figures, I have neither the space nor the resources to get it. So I sadly haven't gotten any of the figures, but finally decided to dip my toe in with this GameStop exclusive.

One of the resident ghosts at the venerable Sedewick [sic] Hotel in New York City, this focused, non-terminal repeating phantasm (or class 5 full roaming vapor) haunted the 12th floor for years, and was known to most of the hotel staff. He was eventually trapped, becoming the Ghostbusters' first capture, but he was later released from the containment grid by Walter Peck, and proceeded to seek out the nearest hot dog cart and chow down.

Did you ever think about what that description means? "A focused, non-terminal repeating phantasm." "Focused" implies he's got at least some degree of physicality, explaining how it is he can pick up plates of food and put them in his mouth, rather than just ghosting through them; "non-terminal" is clear enough, meaning that he isn't just limited to manifesting in one spot; and "repeating" obviously means he's not a one-time appearance. There's a little bit of logic and science behind his name, which, considering that Dan Akroyd fervently believes in all this stuff, makes sense.

DST's Ghostbusters figures are done in the 7" scale, which means their Slimer is bigger than Mattel's and the same size as NECA's. His spudly little body is a little more than 2½" tall, but since he's basically just a head and gut with arms, that's enough. The sculpt is deliciously gross, with warts and folds and wrinkles plopping their way down his frame. Viewed from the side, he's shaped rather like a kidney, with his butt sticking out just as far from center mass as his head does - which is slightly weird, since the reason humans have butts is that they help us walk upright, while Slimer doesn't walk at all, but it does seem to confirm that when he pours piles of food down his gullet, well, what goes in must come out.

Slimer was sculpted by Gentle Giant, and features interchangeable faces. Of the three Slimer action figures released so far, this one is by far the most accurate. I mean, NECA's was great, but its head didn't look anything like the movie; and Mattel's was closer, but still had a big, cartoony mouth. This one retains the giant maw, but it's closer to the size it was on the puppet. And instead of a tall, pointed head, it's flat with wide cheeks. His lower jaw sticks out farther than his upper, and his teeth are large and crooked.

The two alternate heads are a mixed bag. One looks nearly identical to the standard head, just wth the eyes set slightly wider apart. Not really sure what that's about - we didn't need two so similar versions, when one or the other alone would have been fine. The second head is much more distinct, with its mouth crammed full of wieners. Er, "hot dogs." Don't want those weird keyword searches bringing us disappointed browsers, after all. At least 23 of the long meat tubes jut out between his chompers, and this head has the same wider eyes as the other. Swapping the heads is easy, since they plug in via huge, blocky pegs, and the seam is hidden by his jelly rolls.

There is one flaw with the sculpt, however: the arms. For some reason, Gentle Giant sculpted just massive arms on this toy. All you have to do is look at any image of Slimer and you'll see how wrong they are. DST did its best to spin the mistake, claiming that the arms were accurate, but come on, guys; we know you have to stand by your work, but those are what the Cryptkeeper's wife would call "alternative facts." There is no realm in which these arms are the proper size.

Yes, Slimer was puppeteered like the Swedish Chef, with real human arms poking through the suit to allow him to manipulate things, but the actual puppet was big, and they used overiszed props with it so he would appear smaller. Gentle Giant seems to have based the toy's arms on the arms of a 7" scale human, without understanding that they needed to be scaled down. The articulation is nice, with swivel/hinges in the shoulders, elbows and wrists, but there's no way you can pose them to hide their wrong size.

So that Slimer doesn't have to rest on the ground, DST included a really nice flight stand with him. Seriously, not since the days of Doop have we seen something this nice. It has a 3" round base, and a three-segment stand. Straight out, the stand is 8⅝" tall. There are short pegs at both ends, to plug into the base and into Slimer's back, and two joints in the middle. Rather than just having hinges, like ToyBiz's stands did, this one adds swivels both above and below each of the hinges. Holy moly, this is one dynamic stand! Obviously heavy-ass Slimer is going to pull the joints down, but you can still find a way to make him hover securely. Thanks for including this, DST!

While the standard Slimer figure comes with a piece of the rooftop diorama, this is an exclusive. So what makes him exclusive? He's molded from glow-in-the-dark plastic! Yes, the eyes and mouth(s) are painted, as are his black fingernails, but the rest of the toy is just glowy green plastic. The normal release has some highlights and shadows painted on, this time the body is plain. Since all the color is below the surface, it does make him feel slightly transparent, which makes sense for a ghost, no? He doesn't look bad in daylight, but the glow is excellent. Of course, this being a GameStop exclusive, it costs slightly more than it should, but them's the breaks.

Slimer is not a perfect toy. The paint on his teeth varies wildly, so you'll want to look at him in person to find the one that has the best selection of paint on all three faces (or at least, the best on the ones you like best and plan to display most often). Plus, the arms are just wrong. Really, the best possible Slimer would use this one's body and heads, with the forearms from the NECA release. Would that be possible to customize, I wonder? If you already have NECA's, you don't really need to upgrade, but this one is far more affordable and won't disappoint.

-- 03/26/17


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