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Ghostbusters Peter Venkman 6" action figure

Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel


If you're a Ghostbusters fan, can I get an AMEN! After decades of waiting, we finally have a complete set of original Ghostbusters in plastic form! Hallelujah! While it might not be up there with the Second Coming, even God is thinking FINALLY. And I have it on good faith that he's a big fan of the movie.

Matty Collector sold (and sold out) the fourth Ghostbuster this month - Peter Venkman. They gave us Egon, Ray and Winston over the course of the last year, and have completed the set with this latest release.

Purists may still complain, but then don't they always? You see, both Egon and Peter are 'slimed' versions. In Egon's case, this just meant a dirty uniform. In Peter's case, it means a dirty uniform plus a funky head sculpt, with a very slimed, wet appearance.

I thought that if we never got another Egon or Peter I'd be fine with this. They spent 90% of the film with filthy uniforms, so I have no issue with them looking that way on the shelf, or with half having dirty uniforms and half having clean. But I may have spoken too soon.

If you really want to hold out, we may eventually get clean versions of these characters. The line has certainly sold well enough so far to warrant it.

But you know what we REALLY need? I'd really love to see an Ecto-1 in this scale. Better yet, get the die cast whizzes from the Hot Wheels division working on it. The figures don't need to sit in it - just give me a great looking IN SCALE car to put behind them on the shelf. Oh, and don't forget Louis in a Ghostbusters outfit too - then I can die happy.
Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
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Packaging - ***
We get the same cardback/bubble design as the previous three figures, without the collector friendly nature of Egon's. There's a character profile on back, and you can clearly see the figure and accessories inside. I love the graphics and style, but it is a bit on the bulky side, and the weird shape of the bubble will make it tough for MOCers to store.

Sculpting - **
Bill Murray is one of those actors with a lot of personality in his face. No, he's not a pretty man, but all the slightly twisted features and odd beauty quirks give a sculptor something to sink their teeth into, something to jump up on top of and ride all the way in to Recognizable Town, if not So Realistic It's Spooky Ville.

That didn't happen here. While the 12" sculpt may have had some issues with getting scrunched in the package, it was easily fixable, and the final result at least looked like Murray, even if it was a slightly caricaturized version.

True, with just the right light and just the right angle, you can get it to look *slightly* like Peter Venkman. A six pack helps too. Unfortunately for Pete, I've stopped doing my reviews drunk. At least for today. As far as you know.

I have no idea why this head sculpt is so far off. Perhaps Mr. Murray sees himself as an attractive man, and this softened, smoothed, properly proportioned face is what he sees in the mirror every day, and therefore was the only thing he'd sign off on. Such delusion is not uncommon in Hollywood, or in my own bathroom for that matter.

It's certainly not because the Four Horsemen, who do the work for Mattel, are incapable of getting it right. Winston is the best of the four in terms of likeness, and he's extremely well done for this scale. Even Ray and Egon, which have their own issues, are superior to this result.

Whatever the case, the portrait is a major disappointment for me. What we saw at SDCC last summer (a smaller version of the 12" sculpt) may not have been perfect, but it was SO much better than what we ended up with. They also showed a slimed head sculpt (in sixth scale or two up) at SDCC, which had a similar hair style but overall looked nothing like what we've ended up with. Again, it was far superior, so it's pretty clear that Murray got lost in translation - again.

They did make a couple sculpt changes to the body as well. From the neck to the wrists and knees, we've got the same excellent costume. The work on the pack remains the best thing about this 6" scaled line.

Venkman has gloved hands, and is missing the gloves on his belt (of course). He also has new lower legs, with the pants out of the boots and covering the tops. This is more accurate to the film, but it greatly restricts the ankles, making him less posable than his bogeyman bashin' brethren. I'll get more into that in the Articulation section.

He does stand great on his own though in basic poses, and the sculpted gloved hands hold the wand perfectly. The wand can also be attached to the pack on the right side in the same manner as with the other earlier figures. 

Paint - **1/2
The basic work is solid, with clean lines around the eyes, neat eyebrows, and consistent skin tone. The skin tone is a little light, but it's consistent.

There's a few spots of slop, including the hairline and the Venkman badge, but if these were the only issues he'd get another half star here.

My issue is with the slime - unlike my Egon, the coverage is very heavy. I suppose that would make sense considering the "I've been slimed" scene...except there's almost none on the face and hair! There's a smattering on the sides, and a smidge on the top, but nothing like the scene they are supposedly trying to recreate. And yet the costume is lathered in it. Yep, we need an unslimed version, no doubt about it.

Articulation - ***
While Pete has the same number of joints as his teammates, he gets a lower score here. A couple key joints have a reduced range of movement, and it makes a huge difference. Don't believe me? Just look at either of the shots of the group together, and you'll see he looks stiff and uncomfortable next to his more posable pals.

The pin/disc ball shoulders and elbows, cut wrists, waist, and thighs, single pins knees and hinge hips all work as you'd expect and as they have on Egon, Ray and Winston. 

But the ball jointed neck and pin ankles are a completely different story. The neck has far less tilt potential - look at the first photo to see the rest of the team looking up at Gozer, while Pete is looking at something in front of him.

The sculpted pants on the lower leg make the single pin ankles a moot point, and that has a huge effect on crouching or deep stances. Again, look at the last photo of the four together to see the marked difference in the type of stances the other figures can do versus what you have with Pete.The articulation isn't terrible, but the poses will be stiffer and less natural.

Accessories - **1/2
Each of the figures has come with one main accessory. With Egon, it was Slimer. With Ray, the logo ghost. And with Winston, the trap, complete with ecto electricity.

With Pete, they dip back into the well, giving us a slightly reworked Slimer. He makes more sense here than he did with Egon, and this version has his sloppy tongue out, as though he just licked poor Venkman.

The ghost is cute, but I really don't need two Slimers. At this price point, we should have been given another unique accessory, especially with a character as key as this.

The paint work on the tongue is fairly weak as well, and the black added to some of the wrinkles in his skin looks odd and out of place. He does have the articulated arms like the original, which was a key addition then and now.

Slimer has his clear stand again, which allows him to 'float', or he can be removed and simply plopped on his flat green heiny.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
He may look more like a beardless Captain Toy than he does Bill Murray, but he's still a fun figure. 

Value - **
With the weak sculpt, reduced articulation, and reused accessory, he's not a particularly great value at $20. Necessary to complete the set - for now - but still not a great value.

Things to Watch Out For -
He's sturdy enough to handle standard play, and you should have no trouble displaying and posing him for years. If Mattel doesn't give us another Venkman in this scale, you're going to have to.

Overall - **1/2
This is what we waited almost a year for? The long delay does indicate to me that there may have been issues with Murray agreeing to the likeness, which may be why the sixth scale ended up a bit too cartoony, and why this one looks like Tom Cruise doing a Bill Murray impersonation. And poorly at that.

Winston is the best portrait we've gotten in this set in this scale, with Peter coming in last. While I like the 12" Peter sculpt the best in that scale so far (ahead of both Egon and Ray), I have my suspicions that when we finally get the Winston they showed us last year at SDCC, it will take the lead there as well.

As I said in the intro, I originally believed that once I had this Peter, I'd be fine if they never gave us the un-slimed version. That was based on last years Con, of course, and was clearly wishful thinking. Mattel needs to revisit this figure, and they need to do it soon.

And give us an Ecto-1 in scale too - don't forget that.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - **
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet was to buy this earlier in the month when Matty Collector had it on sale. Now you can search ebay or what for the inevitable (hopefully) non-slimed release.

Related Links -
There's been more Ghostbusters in recent days than you'd think:

- Mattel did do another Venkman, but in sixth scale. There's also the 12" version of Ray.

- in the six inch scale, they have also released the SDCC exclusive Egon, Ray, and Winston.

- I've covered the NECA releases in the past, including Gozer, Slimer, Vinz and Zuul, as well as their large Staypuft Marshmallow Man.

Discussion:
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Peter Venkman Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel


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

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