Rustin's Spoils of the Week #231

With Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire about to open in theaters, it seems a ripe time to catch up on my annual(ish) tradition of Ghostbusters-themed October Spoils; which I had meant for last year before the ol' depression ghoulies pried me away. Fortunately, I had set these aside all together (then also dug out some Legos for content padding) so it's been a nice little visit down memory lane for yours truly. I did ultimately enjoy Ghostbusters: Afterlife (though it is an odd "bridge" of a flick with a lot of issues, but with some fairly successful fanservice & sentimentality), but now two years on I must confess I can only name these characters thanks to the packaging. But enough oratory - on to the toys!

Hasbro: Ghostbusters "Fright Features" - Lucky
I really dig the angular stylized aesthetic of the "Fright Features" line, so I was glad to see it continued for Afterlife (though my mind utterly boggles that they didn't do a second wave for series 1, repainted in Real Ghostbusters colors). We'll begin alphabetically, with a character I assume was mostly edited out of the movie. Unlike the first series based on the original movie, these four figures all have unique sculpts, and a genuine improvement over the first series - separate hair pieces, which are cast in color then glued on rather than just painted. No more wonky paint edges! Lucky looks great here, and comes with the same standard proton wand/pack as all the other figures in the line. Her unique ghost is a novel creature with a brainy head and tentacle-y bottom. Pressing the hard-to-do-with-one-hand button of the back jumps the head up and flips back the brainy top revealing some yellow innards and eyes. Fun stuff!

Hasbro: Ghostbusters "Fright Features" - Phoebe
Phoebe is another nice new sculpt, with separate hair and the reused proton accessory. I appreciate the red shoes for a splash of color here. Her eyes are a little odd in-hand, though, with the fleshtone around them being paint rather than the raw plastic like with the rest of the head. She comes with Muncher, basically the one new "proper" ghost in Afterlife, though does beg the question of why no Terror Sentry in this line. Muncher is a nice sculpt that starts off closed up, then pushing the hassle-of-a-button on his rump causes his top two arms and "tongue" to raise, the latter popping open the torso as it does. Annoyingly, those only stay up when the button is pushed, leading to an odd appearance on the shelf, particularly the "tongue" that's actually a stream of junk he's either eating or spewing. Also adding to the confusion is that the junk-tongue is paint the same off-peach color as the inside of the chest-jaw. It is a pretty hue, close to the orange of the open-torso, so why both bits of body don't have the same color and the junk something more discernibly different is beyond me.

Hasbro: Ghostbusters "Fright Features" - Podcast
Ray 2.0 is a good figure too, though not terribly exciting as he gets the blandest costume of this quartet. In addition to the standard proton gear, Podcast comes with Bug-Eye Ghost, an Afterlife-ified version of the old Kenner figure. It's a fun inclusion in both the movie and this line, though this is a frustrating toy because you have to non-intuitively push his arms (not his torso sides) in to "lock" him closed; and those are separate from the torso halves. Pushing the button on his back causes his two halves to spit apart,revealing a bright green skull underneath, and his eye to roll back revealing an eye-of-Sauron pupil. Apparently that's accurate to the movie, but odd since the original toy had the eye pop out, not change. Also frustratingly, the eye only stays turned when the button is pushed, and it appears to be weighted to there's no real way (outside Photoshop) to get the evil eye to stay up by itself.

Hasbro: Ghostbusters "Fright Features" - Trevor
Last and best is Trevor, which is a pretty good/recognizable caricature of Finn Wolfhard. He seems to reuse the Series 1 torso and Venkman legs, but gets all new arms with rolled up sleeves. All four of these humans also have their elbow-pads painted gray, which wasn't the case on Series 1, and truly make a lot of difference in both the sense of appearance and value. Trevor's ghost is a weird little caterpillar thing, whose head pops up, jaw flips down and bug-tongue pokes out when the button is pushed. This is the one good button in the line thanks to it being a down-push in the tail rather than an in-push on the back like on the other ghosts. The other style inevitably pushes the figure out of your hand or constricts the pop-out feature when trying to be done with one hand, which feels like a fundamental issue for a kid-focused toyline. But not a problem with this wee fella!

Hasbro: Ghostbusters "Plasma Series" - The Family That Busts Together
This set was a bit of an annoyance when it came out. Since it was the big spoiler for the film (predictable though it is) it wasn't revealed until after the movie's opening weekend and it showed up on shelves pretty soon. Unfortunately, it sold fast, at least in my neck of the woods, and I missed out. Fortunately, several months later and I managed to snag the last restocked one from a store 15 miles away -phew! This is a very logical two-pack but in terms of "supply & demand" it is a very odd place for the only Phoebe figure since Afterlife is her movie. Moreover, this set was a Target exclusive, so... basically line-planning aimed solely at dedicated fans rather than causal shoppers (though arguably the film is the same). At any rate, considering the... nature of this line this is a pretty good set. Like the rest of the Afterlife teens'n'tweens, Phoebe is a fully unique sculpt, and a pretty good one. The likeness is passable and the hair is a separate piece glued on, rather than painted. Her jumpsuit also seems to be cast in a slightly browner shade of khaki than all the other figures, which manages to look equally slightly less "cheap." Egon is the same chubby body as the other old Ghostbusters but now cast in translucent purple to recreate his apparitional appearance. His face, beard and front-hair are painted to make him more recognizable; though not screen-accurate it's fine for a toy. I do wish the paint was a bit bluer or that they had done some more interesting translucency, but sparing expense seems to be the name of the Plasma Series game. Conversely, though, we do get quite a few accessories here! The star is the Afterlife proton pack with the shotgun-handled wand and removable cyclotron-cover. Hasbro seemed to hit that feature hard between this and the HasLab, though I don't recall seeing it in the actual movie. We also get a jar of "molds and fungus" (whose weak paint and giant seam really make it feel, again, "spare most expenses") plus a tiny (begging-to-be-lost) chess piece, a PKE meter with the arms vertical (which I had no recollection of until the new HasLab reminded that there is a wholly illogical "taser mode" now), and lastly a proton stream that weirdly has purple lightning instead of blue. Not only does it not look good (especially next to the purple Egon) it isn't accurate at all; but I suppose I'll give Hasbro the benefit of the doubt and assume it was changed in post too late to fix the toy. All (trademarked) complaining and snark-ery aside, this is a pretty good set and a welcome "cherry" on top of the Afterlife collection to complete both the Old and Young teams. Ultimately my only really "wish" here was that they'd used new "more open" hands on Egon that could have gone over Phoebe's to recreate that significant moment that, I must confess, did bring a genuine tear to this sentimental old fanboy's eye.

Lego: Lego Dimensions - Slimer Fun Pack
Hey, remember Lego Dimensions!? Me neither. Well, I wouldn't if I didn't have a big stack of unopened sets in my closet (curse my love of character variety) as a ghost of "toy fads past." Oh, toys-to-life... what a bubble ye were. Snark aside, this was something I was relatively looking quite forward to since Slimer was a conspicuous absence from the "Ideas" Ecto-1 set. I was genuinely kind of shocked when I opened this by just how dark the little spud is. He is translucent plastic is a very rich/dark shade of green versus a more bright "lime" green which is more accurate and is shown on the box art and instructions. Still though, it's Lego so it's good quality translucent plastic. Slimer is a nice, unique sculpt with the face printed on and two poseable arms. He comes with the standard Dimensions translucent blue game disc, here with some yellow prints featuring green slime and the famous no-ghosts logo. He comes with bricks for three different builds: Slime Shooter, Slime Exploder, and Slime Streamer. The line famously did not include build-instructions but fortunately Lego still has them up on their site. I must confess, these are some of the least interesting builds in the whole line; in no way helped by the reliance on a ton of light gray bricks. It feels like this is a lost opportunity for, like, the containment unit or other ghosts or something. I ended building the Streamer since it seemed a little more interesting to me, though I'll just probably use the trans-green bricks to make a slime-stand for Slimer, then chuck the rest in the parts box. Ultimately this is a must-have for those of us with the Ecto-1 but not the Firehouse, so I'm pleased to have a Lego Slimer, despite the dark hue.

Lego: Lego Dimensions - Stay Puft Fun Pack
Marshmallow Man is another welcome addition to the Lego GB family, though I must confess the size/scale is a bummer. Honestly, it's quite surprising they never did a proper build of a "mega" sized MMM, but maybe this was before that sort of thing became more common for Lego. From the neck down this is just your standard minifig, with just a print of the red scarf on the front torso. The head, hat, and blue collar are all a single new sculpt that is quite good indeed. He comes with a buildable Terror Dog, which is pretty good all things considered -it even has balljointed neck and tail. The alternate builds are a "terror dog destroyer" and a "soaring terror dog,"but that's just "filler" for the main
attraction here in set 71233. I'm half tempted to source parts to build a second Terror Dog and give the smaller horns, too. But maybe Lego will one day revisit Ghostbusters with a rooftop set that has the boys, Gozer, two terror dogs and a giant Marshmallow Man -ah, perchance to dream! In the meantime, I should make a micro-scale city diorama for this minifig, I think.

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2 Responses to Rustin's Spoils of the Week #231

  1. Black Arbor says:

    It's weird that Egon's body is sprectral, but not his head...

  2. ham says:

    I bought far too many Dimensions sets as well, especially considering that I never owned or played the game. But how could I resist Adventure Time Lego!

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