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Dr. Egon Spengler/Library Ghost

Ghostbusters Minimates
by yo go re

You like unusual reviews? This is one for the books!

Former Paranormal Studies teacher Dr. Egon Spengler helped create the Ghostbusters team by inventing the powerful proton packs used to capture ghosts and even the storage facility to contain them!

Just for the record, he wasn't a teacher - he worked at a university, so he was a professor. The difference may not mean much to you or me, but you can be damn sure it mattered to Egon. Teachers Professors get uptight about that. Anyway, yes, he was the technological genius behind the GB gear - if "genius" is the right word for someone who designs an unlicensed nuclear accelerator and straps it to his back. To say nothing of building a containment system with the explosive power of a bomb under the heart of Manhattan.

Dr. Spengler is available in the Series 1 four-pack, and that figure is identical to this one. That's fine, though, since the four-pack isn't exactly easy to find, and this set is available at Toys Я Us. Although it is a fast seller, so it's not much more plentiful than the other release. Egon is wearing the tan uniform from the first film, done mostly as a single piece that fits over the standard Minimate torso. The "shirt" and proton pack are a single piece, so don't plan on making any of your other figures honorary Ghostbusters. The paint apps for the Ghostbusters logo, Egon's nametag and even the bootlaces are wonderfully crisp.

As mentioned, the proton pack is permanently attached to the figure's back, and the gun part (which Poe informs us is a "neutrona wand") is attached to that by a black plastic cord. That just seems like a failure point, to me - string would have been better. The uniform's elbow pads are separate pieces slid onto the arms, and Egon, being the "sciency" one of the group, gets a PKE meter that attaches to his belt. Of course, the set includes a proton stream that can be attached to the gun.

Egon was played by co-writer Harold Raimis, but that wasn't always the plan. Micheal Keaton, Christopher Walken, John Lithgow, Christopher Lloyd and Jeff Goldblum were all considered, but none of them really got the character. Thus, after months of reading for Egon in other auditions, Raimis decided to just bite the bullet and play the role himself. The standard Minimate head makes it a bit difficult to duplicate Ramis' head (for the intended look, see here) but he has the advantage of wearing glasses, which helps nail it down.

The first ghost encountered by the Ghostbusters, former librarian Eleanor Twitty haunts the New York Public Library and spends most of her time creating huge stacks of library books.

When you're going to introduce your first ghost to the movie, you could do worse than going with a sexy librarian. Of course, she's not really sexy. Either before or after revealing her truly horrifying form. Man, how weird would it be if someone found her "after" form sexy? Still, it could have been worse: the Library Ghost seen in the film was actually the second pass at designing the character; the first was deemed too scary for a PG film, so it got shuffled off to appear in Fright Night.

The Library Ghost got an origin story in the new Ghostbusters videogame, where she was seduced by a worshiper of Gozer in order to gain access to rare books, then killed when she refused to help him any further. The lesson is clear: ladies, let your man take advantage of you however he likes. The figure is molded in translucent purple plastic, capturing her look in the film. Her face is in its fully frightening form, and it's kind of sad that she doesn't have a "plain" face on the back of the head.

The hair, pulled back in a bun, seems to be new, so we'll probably be seeing some Aunt May customs soon. To simulate her tattered dress, she has the "flame" shoulders seen on so many Human Torches. She's got a skirt that reaches the ground, and even trails a bit behind her. The toes of one foot poke out, but this still limits the articulation quite a bit. Since she's a librarian, she comes with a book accessory - and if you think it seems familiar, that's because it came with one of the first exclusive Minimates ever.

The Minimates Ghostbusters four-packs are nice, since they deliver all the main characters. But if you want a true horde of ghosts, the TRU exclusives are your answer. Yes, you may end up with some overlap, but in some cases, that's worth it.

-- 08/29/09

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