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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, Louis Tully
Ghostbusters Action Figures

Diamond Select Toys
Date Published: 2016-03-04
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Ghostbusters Winston, Ray, Louis action figures by Diamond Select

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Introduction

The new Ghostbusters film is a lightening rod for argument amongst fans. Is it unnecessary? Was the all female cast just PC foolishness? Or are those against it simply unable to see their own bias? While it would be nice to believe that once it's released it will be judged on its own merits, I'm not naive enough to believe that.

I'm in the camp that's hopeful, but concerned. I like the entire line up of actors they've selected - Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are all hilarious comedic actresses - and I have faith in the director, Paul Feig. I think it's interesting that the original was heavily influenced by SNL alums, with two of the four male leads having their roots within the show, and now the new version, while all female, still has three of the four leads coming from the long running sketch comedy show. But they released the official trailer today, and I'm not sure I'm feeling it...there are two scenes I really like though. First comes when they apologize to each other for interrupting, and the second comes in the form of a strutting Chris Hemsworth with no lines. Touche! I also think Kate McKinnon is going to steal every scene she's in, and this will be her big break into film. If you haven't watched her many characters on SNL, you're missing out - check out the alien abduction bit for an example.

All this talk of the new film has renewed interest in the classic as well, and Diamond Select Toys is cranking out a series of 7" scale figures based on the old films.  The first wave includes Ray Stantz, Winston Zeddemore, and Louis Tully, with subsequent waves already announced.  The basic versions of these three hit Toys R Us back before Christmas, but the deluxe versions - which I'm reviewing tonight - have just started to ship. Expect to pay around $20 - $25 for these, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Ghostbusters Winston action figure by Diamond Select

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Packaging - ***
The large deluxe packaging allows for the large, diorama accessories, and it works in a bookshelf set up nicely. The graphics and text are good, with some personalization, and the figure and accessories are easy to see.  It's not collector friendly - you'll have to utterly destroy it to get the contents free - but that's not a surprise if you've been a regular buyer of Select figures over the years.

Ghostbusters Winston action figure by Diamond Select

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Sculpting - Louis **; Winston **1/2; Ray ***
These three are a pretty mixed bag when it comes to this category. There's a distinct difference from the neck down to the neck up, so let's start with the body work.

Ray and Winston have pretty much the same lower body and costume. And here is where both figures really shine. The work on the pack, as well as the various aspects of the belt and attached hoses, is excellent.  The small detail work brings out plenty of highlights on the pack, with wires, knobs, and textures all clearly visible. You can probably remove the packs if you really want to, although I wouldn't advise it. I do wish the pack had a way to attach the wand to the side, but I suspect most people will have them posed with the wands in hand anyway.

The belt has various extras, along with spots for the radio and trap. The rest of the costume has the proper wrinkling, folds, and layers, and the proportions are quite good.  One weird anomaly is the 'fingernails' on the gloved hands, but I assume that's because they added them to the mix fairly late and just painted regular hands black.

But then we get to the portraits, and none of the three are at the level I'd like to see. That's not to say they aren't superior to the Mattel releases a few years ago - they are. Just compare this Ray to the Mattel version and you'll realize at least he looks enough like Akryod to be recognizable. But Ray is clearly the best of the trio, and he's still a bit too cartoony.

Winston is decent as well, but without the outfit, I suspect you'd never guess this was Zeddemore. I think Ernie Hudson comes through in the eyes and the expression, and it's less of a caricature than the Ray sculpt, but it still falls short on accuracy. This is one where I believe the Mattel attempt is more accurate to the actor.

Louis is the worst of the three, and 'hot mess' is a nice way to put it.  This is Louis after his encounter with Vinz Clortho, when he's possessed, and he has the wild hair and wild eyes of a crazed Terror Dog. When I picked up this figure, my immediate thought was not of Tully, or of Rick Moranis, but Clint Howard. I think it's all in the nose, but the mouth isn't quite right either. I know what they were going for - this look right here. This highlights how hard it is to capture extreme expressions in any scale, but particularly in smaller scales like this.

His clothes also suffer a bit. I'll mention the lack of stripes on his shirt in the paint section, but it's worth noting that he was wearing a zippered velour shirt under the blue shirt. The zipper was pulled down as part of the struggle, but never really looked like we see here, at least that I remember. I don't remember any T-shirt, either, and the overall look is too neat, particularly around the collar...while none of this is an extreme issue, it does create an overall feeling of inaccuracy, something fanboys truly hate.

Winston standS about 7" tall, with Louis coming in at hair over 6 1/2".  Ray's puffy do pushes him up closer to 7 1/4". I had no trouble getting them to stand on their own, and the hands are properly designed to work with a variety of the accessories.

Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure by Diamond Select

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Paint - **1/2
DST seems to be taking a page from the NECA paint book with these, and from the neck down are going with the 'realism through intentional slop' approach. There's a heavy wash and lots of 'dirt', with even small details looking pretty rough. It does add some realism, and these outfits look far better than the super clean look we saw with the Mattel release. But some of the detailing should be cleaner, with less slop around the cut lines and edges.  Buttons are often not even properly aligned, and things like eyebrows and hair lines don't follow the sculpt accurately.

I'm not really digging the lipstick look on Ray or Louis either, and Louis has issues with both the color of his hair and the lack of stripes on his shirt. I will say that the eyes on all three are relatively clean and straight, and overall the heavy wash on Ray and Winston does create a more realistic look.

Ghostbusters Louis Tully action figure by Diamond Select

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Articulation - ***1/2
All three have highly articulated bodies that don't overtly harm the look of the sculpt.

These are very similar to other DST Select releases, with a good range of movement and solid construction.  The ball jointed necks and rocker ankles are particularly useful, but the ab-crunch and hip joints are critical as well.

Like my recent comments on the Star Wars Black 6" figures, it's the elbows here that let you down a bit.  The rotating hinge doesn't allow for a full 90 degree bend - not even close.  That can make two handed poses with the wand rather difficult.

The non-deluxe releases included small black display stands, but these do not include them. I didn't have any trouble getting these three to stand on their own, even with the large packs.

It's worth noting that the yellow tube is actually a wire, which allows you to easily position and pose it.

Ghostbusters Winston Zeddemore action figure by Diamond Select

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Accessories - Louis ***; Ray, Winston ****
All three figures do much better in this category, thanks to the BAD that's been included. That's "Build-A-Diorama", where pieces of a larger background and base are included with each figure.  DST has had great success with this in the past, especially with their Munsters line. The BAD here is a rooftop diorama, and it's huge. Here's a shot of it at last fall's NYCC. To complete the diorama, you have to buy 15 figures - yes, 15 figures! The beauty of this diorama is that it is simply so cool, you'll be willing to pick up a few characters that you otherwise would have had no interest in.

Louis only comes with his chunk of the base, which while large - one whole corner and post - is just a mirror image of the diorama piece that comes with Ray.  Had they included the 'helmet', this score would have jumped up for him as well.

Ray has the other corner but quite a few other extras as well. There are eight extra hands to go along with the pair he comes wearing - four ungloved, four gloved. The gloved hands are actually regular hands painted black, and the cuffs are separate soft rubber pieces. The hands swap easily, and while the joints were a little tight, I was able to free them up by applying some heat.

He also has a radio, which fits in a holster on his belt, and a energy beam that is *supposed* to attach to the end of the wand.  It does not.  No hole was drilled, so the beam is pretty useless. I have seen some people jury rig a set up to get it to work, and I have heard through the grapevine that Diamond will send you a clear tube to use to attach it (or include them with the next wave), but it's still an unfortunate mistake.

Winston also has these same set of accessories, although his hands are obviously darker in color.  Both Ghostbusters come with one unique extra on top of the common pile.  For Winston, it's a ghost trap, while Ray gets the Ecto Goggles. Both look terrific and scale seems about right - Ray can easily wear the goggles as well!  There are a few weird color choices on the trap, but overall both are nice additions.

Let's not forget Winston's BAD piece, the large block altar-like section that will eventually rest on the stairs.  I kinda bunched the three pieces together for the top shot of the review, but these three won't be touching once all 15 pieces are available.

Ghostbusters Winston, Ray, Louis action figures by Diamond Select

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Ghostbusters Winston, Ray, Louis action figures by Diamond Select

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Fun Factor - ***
While there might be some issues with the sculpting and paint, these are really fun figures. Take some care freeing up those joints, but once you do, you should be able to pose and re-pose with the diorama to your heart's content.

Ghostbusters Winston Zeddemore action figure by Diamond Select

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Value - ***
While a lot of the extras are re-used, there's still a lot of them. By getting them with more than one figure, you have more options in your display.  Add in the amount of detail work necessary for something like the packs and the inclusion of the diorama, and you have a solid value.

Ghostbusters Winston Zeddemore action figure by Diamond Select

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Things to Watch Out For -
While I didn't have any broken or damaged joints, many were quite tight. Take precautions when loosening things up - including using a bit of heat - especially with the wrists.

Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figures by Diamond Select

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Overall - Louis **1/2; Ray, Winston ***
Diamond Select Toys also has part of the license for the new film, and with a ton of product based on the older series already planned, that could mean a whole lot of Ghostbuster goodness on the shelf during 2016 and 2017. It looks like Mattel is the only one doing figures for the new film though, which is a bummer - I'd like both teams in the same scale and style.

The big selling point here, at least for me, is the exceptional diorama.  Someone like Louis might not trip your trigger, but because he comes with a critical piece of the larger display, you'll end up picking him up anyway. Convincing collectors to buy figures they otherwise wouldn't is the hallmark of a great BA(F)D. While it's a pity we will have to wait quite awhile to complete it, once we have all 15 figures it should be well worth it.

It's also worth noting that while I'm not sold on either the sculpt or paint yet, I do like these better than the Mattel releases. These are more realistic, and they will look better as a group on the shelf.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Louis **; Winston **1/2; Ray ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - Louis ***; Ray, Winston ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - ***
Overall - Louis **1/2; Ray, Winston ***

Ghostbusters Louis Tully action figure by Diamond Select

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set for $66.

- Entertainment Earth also has the set for $66.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Ghostbusters figures include the 12" Zeddemore, and the 12" Ray and Venkman. In the six inch scale, they have also released the SDCC exclusive Egon, Ray, Venkman, and Winston.

And I have reviews of some related merchandise, like the Neutrino Wand prop replica, the Trap, and the PKE Meter.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure by Diamond Select

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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