SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


12" Ghostbusters Ray Stantz

Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel


Mattel made Ghostbusters fans happy this last summer when they showed off not just their 6" series of action figures based on the classic property, but also their 12" series. I've been waiting impatiently, but the wait is over. The first figure in the series is Ray Stantz, and just hit the doorstop this week.

He went on sale on the 15th of November at Matty Collector, along with a number of other new exclusives. He wasn't cheap at $60, which is probably why he's still available.

Mattel will be following him up with the December release of Egon, with Venkman and Winston coming next year. You won't have a full set of Ghostbusters til the middle of 2010, but you've already waited this long - what's a few more months? Of course there's always the danger that the first two won't sell well enough, and we won't get the last two - that would be very, very bad. Hopefully, these will sell so well that we'll see the full set of four, plus a few others. I'd love a Gozer!
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel

Packaging - ***
This figure is intended for 'collectors'. You know, us big kids that have never quite grown up, and have that pack rat gene. When you produce a figure for collectors, especially a sixth scale figure, you should produce packaging that works for them. Sadly, Mattel missed the boat on the collector friendly style.  You could probably find some way to not completely destroy this package, but I spent 15 minutes trying, and finally gave up. It's too bad too, because the package is extremely attractive.

They ghosts on the plastic window look terrific, and the background behind Ray has several more spirits on the prowl. Ray's pose in the package is quite good, and they've included a slide out locker to the left that holds his additional accessories and can be used as a display item as well. They even added a little cardboard portable containment unit to add to the packaged appearance.

The package works good for the MIBers, since you can keep him shut up and he still looks pretty good. But if you're an opener, you'll be disappointed that the packaging isn't re-usable.

Sculpting - **1/2
Mattel decided to go with a cartoony, caricaturish style with the head sculpts of the 12" line. I'm not excited.

This is a young Aykroyd of course, but it only has a passing resemblance. He reminds me of what Ray Stantz would have looked like if he had a guest spot on Scooby Doo.

The detailing on the hair is actually very good, but the detailing on the rest of the face is fairly soft.

The hands are sculpted to work with the accessories, and they do that quite well. The only downside is the very hard plastic they've used on the hands, making it a bit tricky to get the accessories in place. Once they are there however, they'll stay.

If you like the cartoon style, you'll probably be happier with this look than I. I love cartoons, but I really want a realistic version of these guys, not a Saturday morning reject. Thankfully, everything from the neck down is much, much better.

Ray stands about 12 1/4 inches tall, and should fit in pretty well with other standard sixth scale figures on your shelf.

Paint - ***
The paint does nothing to improve on the rather soft, simple cartoon sculpt. There's no serious quality issues, but there are only a handful of paint ops. There's nothing done for the lips to differentiate them from the rest of the skin tone, and the annoying catch lights ("doll dots") are very obvious on the eyes.

The paint work on the accessories is far better, but I'll cover that in a later category.

Articulation - ***
The body is an improvement over most of the mass market sixth scale figures we get from Mattel and Hasbro, but it's certainly not at the level of a TrueType or a Prometheus.

The first issue is with the ball jointed neck. It lacks the range of movement of better bodies, with very little tilt action.

I didn't strip him down, but all the expected joints appear to be there - ball jointed shoulders, double pin elbows and knees, cut waist, maybe an ab-crunch, ball hips, probably pin ankles. The gloved hands can only turn, but the regular hands are pin and post, so they have a greater pose potential.

The elbows were a bit loose on both arms, making some poses tough, and I found that while the body has enough joints, it fails the kinesiology test - it doesn't hang or flow quite as realistically as the higher end bodies. It's not awful by any means, but I bet this guy would look even better on a narrow shouldered TrueType. The only issue would be getting the head to work...I may have to give it a try soon.

Accessories - ****
This is where the figure really shines, and Mattel went all out with the particle accelerator, wand, goggles, walkie-talkie, extra hands, and portable trap.

Let's start with the particle accelerator. This is one of the nicest accessories I've ever seen Mattel produce, almost a Hot Toys quality. With a ton of little wires, doohickeys, and whatsits, it could easily be on a much more expensive figure. The wand is connected with a long rubber hose, and there's a small connector that you can use to attach the wand to the pack itself. The cloth straps and buckles work well, and it fits on his back perfectly. Every little warning label is printed up with excruciating detail, and the paint job is weathered just right. It really is an impressive piece of work, all the more from a mass market toy maker like Mattel.

When the wand is attached to the side, you have a very long hose to contend with. I found that wrapping it under and around the pack worked best.

Also very nice is the portable trap. A push of the red button on top pops open both lids. The spring action on mine works great, although I've heard some folks have had trouble with it.

It's attached to the foot pedal with another hose, and I can't help but think they had bigger things planned for this as well. The pedal moves down and pushes on a small button, and the bottom of the pedal looks like it was made to house batteries. I'm surprised that the small clear topper on the pedal assembly doesn't light up, and I have my suspicions that it was considered at one point, but dropped due to cost.

The walkie-talkie is pretty standard stuff, and includes a case that can fit on his belt.

The goggles don't fit as well on Ray's huge melon as I'd hoped, but the rubber straps across the back can be detached on either side. They are a little stretchy, so it's possible to get the goggles on and in place with a little work. I'm just worried that the strap won't last through too many attaching/detaching exercises.

Finally, there's the extra flesh colored hands. These are sculpted in different poses than the black gloved hands, designed for specific accessories. The right hand holds the handle of the trap perfectly! Swapping hands is quite easy, and I didn't fear breaking any pins.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit consists of the black undershirt, jumpsuit, belt and boots. Overall, the quality is top notch.

The boots have a fake sculpted zipper on the inner side, but it looks quite realistic and at least it's in proper scale. The boots fit well, but I did find that they didn't allow for posing as well as I'd hoped. They are very stiff, and don't always sit flat enough on the ground.

The jumpsuit looks amazing, with excellent stitching and high quality materials. The zippers aren't real here either, but instead they used small zipper ends at the appropriate spots to simulate in scale closures. The effect works well, especially in person.

The various patches look terrific too, especially the Ghostbusters logo. Who ya gonna call!

The belt has a number of attachments, loops, and connectors. It fits great, with a buckle that works easily, and really adds to the look of the figure. This is far more detail and quality than I had expected from Mattel, even for one of their collector lines.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the nifty elbow pads, held in place with Velcro, and the green hose that attaches to the left leg. The other end of the hose doesn't attach to anything, and I don't think it did in the film either. You can tuck it out of the way behind the pack though, and nobody will be the wiser. I suspect that was the same theory in the film.

Light up Feature - ***
As I mentioned, it looks like the trap was supposed to feature a light up function, but does not. However, after a kind reader pointed it out, I realized the pack DOES light up! There's a button on the very bottom. Press is and the four lights around the lower circle light up in a flashing pattern. It works well, and is a very nice extra.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While most kids will never get a chance to play with this figure, they certainly could. He doesn't have the fragile nature of a Hot Toys or Sideshow release, and has enough cool details and features to make any kid (or adult) take notice.

Value - **1/2
This figure is sixty bucks, no small potatoes. However, the outfit and accessories are easily worth that kind of price tag, and while I'm not a fan of the cartoony head sculpt style, there's nothing wrong from a quality perspective. I not jumping up and down about the price, but I certainly don't feel bad about spending $60 on it, especially considering how hard it is to find ANY sixth scale figure for that price these days. 

Things to Watch Out For -
The hands are very hard plastic, so take some care when putting the accessories within.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm going to be honest - I wasn't holding out much hope for this series. While big companies like Hasbro and Mattel can do a great job with small scale figures when they get the desire, they rarely produce decent sixth scale items. I'm happy to report that I'm very impressed by the work here, and I'll be snagging all the others Mattel produces in this series.

I do have a major quibble with the sculpt, since the cartoony look really doesn't do it for me. I wish we had a great Hot Toys head sculpt here, but I suppose you can't get everything you want. 

But everything from the neck down is outstanding, and much better than the usual Mattel sixth scale work. This bodes well for future releases, and I'm hopeful that even the cartoony likenesses of Egon etc will bear a greater resemblance to their real counterparts.

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

Where to Buy -
This guy is available through Matty Collector right now, with Egon coming in this scale on December 15th. To keep up with the entire Matty release schedule, check out the list at ItsAllTrue.net.

Related Links -
Other Ghostbuster reviews include:

- Matty also has a 6" scale line of Ghostbusters, starting with Egon.

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

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR LOTS MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
  Digg it!    StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!      Reddit

Ray Stantz Ghostbusters action figure by Mattel


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

This page copyright 2000 - 2009, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com