Monday, July 5, 2010

Vintage Troublemaker - Toy Review: 6” Egon Spengler – SDCC “Slimed” Version

Welcome to Ghostbusters week! I'll be posting reviews of every Ghostbusters toy I've bought from Mattycollector throughout the week. I originally posted this review as part of my month-long Halloween celebration over on the MySpace blog last year.

First Glance: I wasn’t aware he was going to be “slimed” when I ordered him. I don’t know that this would have stopped me, necessarily; it just would have been good information to have. I am not a fan of “battle damage”-type variants, particularly in this instance when a “slimed” Peter Venkman would have been more appropriate. But whatever. I was really excited to see that the packaging was of the resealable variety. It’s not so much that I would want to repackage Egon, it’s just nice to not have to ruin nice packaging when I open a figure up. And this is some pretty nice packaging – but we’ll get to that later. At first glance, Egon looks great. I was excited to open him up and glad I ordered him.

Sculpt: The articulation is the same as the DC figures – excellent. Mattel has perfected the art of giving a figure a tremendous range of motion while maintaining realistic dimensions and eye-pleasing aesthetics. Egon’s coveralls look screen-accurate, right down to the tube coming out of the upper thigh that I can’t figure out what the hell it is. Mattel went with bare hands as opposed to gloves, which is fine. I’m pretty sure the Ghostbusters spent more time gloveless in the movies, anyway. The head sculpt is just okay. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no doubt that head belongs to a tiny Harold Ramis; it’s just not outstanding. Mattel has done better. I do like that the glasses are a separate piece that is securely affixed to his head, though. I hate it when glasses are just sculpted onto the head on anything larger than the 3 3/4 “ scale.

: The deco on everything is great. Granted, the Ghostbusters sport some pretty straight-forward clothing, but all the detailing is done very well. The built-on accessories are great, too. The belt is a separate piece permanently attached to the figure, with all of the little pieces of gadgetry from the movies attached. There is even a pair of gloves tucked into the belt, also a separate molding. Every aspect of this figure shows a lot of attention paid to references from the movies. All the little details really bring it together. The “slimed” effect looks pretty good. The only problem is not really a problem. I feel that the slime should have extended to Egon’s face and hands, too; but if Mattel had done that, I would have been REALLY pissed about this being a slimed version. You’ll have to excuse me for not making any sense about that one.

Accessories: We’ll start off with the bad so I can end on a positive note. I really very strongly believe that Egon should have come with a PKE meter and that each of the guys should come with a trap. You know what, I also think Mattel could have managed either attachable streams for the particle throwers or alternate versions with streams on them. How many times has Hasbro included force-lightning for the Emperor at no extra charge? Egon has none of these things. Meh. I’ll live. The accessories that did make it are great, though. The proton pack and attached particle thrower do look amazing. All of the little wires and dials and gauges have been sculpted in and painted. The pack and the thrower aren’t just solid chunks of plastic, either. If there are wires or parts that should stick out from the main assemblies, they do. Also packed in with Egon is that little green spud, Slimer. I probably would have included him with Venkman, but I understand Mattel’s strategy of getting the fan-favorite ghost out there while building anticipation for the fan-favorite Ghostbuster. I can’t quite explain it, but I get what they’re doing there. Slimer looks great. He is sculpted out of a translucent green plastic and is articulated at the shoulders, elbows and wrists (!). He looks just like he should look, but might be a little smaller than he was in the movie. I know they shrank him a bit for the cartoon, but these are movie figures. Slimer sits upon a clear stand that creates the best “floating” effect you could expect from a toy. I’m tempted to hang him from the ceiling with some fishing line, though.

: This is some of the best packaging I have seen from Mattel. The design is great, the “file card” on the back is a nice touch and it is resealable. Like I said before, I may not use this feature, but if the toy isn’t going to retail I see no reason for the packaging to be glued shut. Good work, Mattel.

Overall: I’m pretty happy with Dr. Spengler. If I had known for certain (and I still don’t) that Mattel was going to produce a non-slimed version, I would have waited. This Egon is cool enough for a con exclusive, but I would have liked a plain one. The twenty bucks is reasonable enough (again, for a con exclusive), but I’m not sure I’d pay more if I had to find him somewhere now. Therefore, this guy has earned

4 out of 5

I feel pretty sure a regular Egon Spengler will hit sometime in the future.

DVD Review:
The Real Ghostbusters: Season 1

I’m making this a quickie because I have already gone on for kind of a long time today and also because you probably already know if you need to own this. If you are on the fence, though, let me help.

I think The Real Ghostbusters has held up better than any of the 80’s cartoon series I have viewed in the past several years. The stories range from entertaining nonsense to compelling narratives. I haven’t skipped an episode. The animation is also superior to most of what was offered back then, with few inconsistencies and an awful lot of variety that you normally don’t see; such as numerous changes in attire (I think Janine was dressed differently in almost every episode) and a huge cast of supporting characters. This isn’t my favorite 80’s cartoon series, but it is probably the one with the highest quality.

I’ve also been very impressed with the music from The Real Ghostbusters. Well, maybe not so much impressed as surprised. Many episodes feature some sort of original song that to my ears sounds indistinguishable from most of the music that was popular in the mid-80’s. This is not to say that these songs are good, just that they are far beyond what you would expect from a cartoon.

The DVD set is packaged very nicely – it’s in a metal case with very solid trays inside for the discs. A booklet tells you which episodes are on what disc, and every square inch of packaging has some sort of art on it.

The episodes look pretty nice. They aren’t remastered as far as I can tell, but they look better than I remember them looking on TV. There is a reasonable supply of special features: lots of episode intros, many of them by J. Michael Strazcynyzzzcskciy (you try spelling it without looking it up); and some bonus segments that provide neat looks at the cartoon.

If you are a Ghostbusters fan, you should really own this. The production is top-notch and I can guarantee you’ll watch at least a few episodes every time you pull it out. I just hope Time-Life can get their shit together and start putting the other seasons out, especially since they have already produced them for inclusion in the complete series set (which I can’t recommend because I haven’t seen most of these cartoons in around twenty years, if at all; and I seem to remember the show kind of sucking in the lsat couple of seasons. As a matter of fact, I’m fairly certain only the first two were really good and that the Slimer solo cartoon was fairly stupid.). But Season 1 on its own gets a

5 out of 5

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