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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz
Mattel

Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure by Mattel


October was Stantz month over at Matty Collector with the release of not one but TWO action figures based on the classic character from the Ghostbusters franchise. I've already checked out the 12" version, which was the first in Mattel's sixth scale figures for the property, and tonight I'm looking at their second 6" action figure.

Their first release in this series was the SDCC exclusive 'slimed' version of Egon, which I reviewed back in the summer. They have Winston Zeddemore planned for a December 15th release (at Matty Collector, naturally), Walter Peck in March, and finally, Peter Venkman in May. Yes, you'll have to wait another 6 months to have a full set of Ghostbusters in this scale, and even then, both Peter and Egon will be slimed versions. Unslimed versions of both have been discussed but not yet scheduled as far as I know.

These figures run the usual $20 at Matty Collector, and certainly don't have the sell out appeal of something like the Masters of the Universe Classics. In fact, you can still pick up Ray at their site, almost three weeks after his debut.
Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure
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Packaging - ***
Sadly, we lost the collector friendly nature of the SDCC Egon packaging. That was a big draw with the first figure, and I'm sorry to see them cut back on the regular (but still collector exclusive) Matty releases.

My two favorite aspects of this new, sealed bubble version is the Stay Puft graphic on the front of the cardback, and the personalization on the back. It's always nice to see specific details included about the character.

My least favorite aspect, and the situation that keeps the score low, is the ugly, small, plain Ghostbusters font. However, keen observers will note that even with this remaining an issue AND with the loss of the collector friendly packaging, I'm still giving this guy a slightly better rating than the Egon package. The reason is simple: I think I was being a bit too harsh on them first time around, and have found that the overall design has grown on me with time.

Sculpting - **1/2
I'm assuming this is supposed to be Dan Akyroyd as Ray Stantz, and not his stunt double. When you spend the money to get likeness rights, you really should take advantage of it. Sadly, that's not really the case here.

I can see some of the character in there, but I think that's mostly due to the shape of the head and the hair, both of which are fairly accurate. The rest of the features not so much, and as much as I disliked the caricaturish style of the 12" figure, I think I prefer that version from a pure likeness perspective.

However, that's not all there is to the sculpt. From the neck down he's every bit as good as Egon, which makes sense since it's the identical body and proton pack.

The detail work on the pack, various goodies on the belt, and even the wrinkling of the costume is excellent. Thank God, since we'll see this same body at least two more times and hopefully more.

Some folks may think these are too small, but they do stand a full six inches tall. I think people are just getting accustomed to supposed 1/12th figures that are actually 6 1/2 or even 7 inches tall, making these seem a bit puny by comparison.

Paint - ***1/2
The great sculpting work on the pack wouldn't stand out if it weren't for an excellent paint job. Small details - wires, knobs, buttons, dials - are intricately painted to set them apart from the basic black box.

This paint detailing extends to the items on his belt, as well as the wand itself. There's a little slop here and there, and the occasional bad cut line, but the majority of the paint ops are very well done.

Even the face is quite clean, and I find it surprising that the paint work is better here than it is on the much larger scale 12" version. They could do properly colored lips here, but couldn't manage it on the big guy?

Articulation - ***1/2
Since this is the same body we saw with Egon, it should be no surprise that the articulation is the same - ball jointed neck, hinge ball shoulders, pin/post ball elbows (so the arm can move inward and outward as well), pin/post wrists, cut waist, thighs and calves, pin ankles and knees, and the same cool hinge hips that we've seen with DCUC.

The overall posability is very good, with a nice, natural flow to stances. The posts and pins are all very sturdy, and there were no loose or weak joints to be found.

One good addition would be rocker ankles like we saw with the recent Masters of the Universe Classics Teela, but that's a wish list item, not a must have.

Accessories - ***
As with Egon, there's only one accessory here, but it's another figure entirely - the ghost from the Ghostbusters symbol. He is supported on the same clear plastic stand as Slimer, and is about the same size.

The sculpt and paint are decent, and he's been done up in glow in the dark (GITD) plastic. The effect works pretty well, and it's pretty nifty having a three dimensional version of the logo. There's no articulation, however.

I do wish that the red symbol was removable from his overall body. You probably could force it if you heated things up with some hot water or a blow dryer, but it's not really designed for it.

EDIT: An astute reader let me know that the ghost IS designed for the head and arm to pop off, allowing the symbol to be removed. I went back and tried again with mine with no luck (mine's not budging), but you may have better luck.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Mattel can make wonderful action figures. Sadly, they tend to only do it for collectors. Any kids that love the movies or cartoon would have a great time with these, but the one caveat is the soft wand. Kids tend to be impatient, even more so than me, upping the risk of damaging this critical piece.

Value - **
I'm still not thrilled spending $20 a pop on these figures, particularly with the heavy re-use of just about everything from the neck down. I'm sure getting the likeness rights wasn't cheap, but it still is a hefty price tag on a per figure basis.

Things to Watch Out For -
The want is soft, and felt like it could tear when putting it in and taking it out of the hands. Otherwise, there's no risks to be wary of.

Overall - ***
I'm generally pleased with the Ghostbusters line so far, but I'm not thrilled with it like either the Masters of the Universe Classics or DC Universe Classics. Certain aspects are exceptional - they've really done a great job on the body and pack, as well as high quality paint ops so far - but the issues with likeness seem to be present in both the 1/6th and 1/12th scale figures.

I'm also concerned that we'll never get Peter, especially with Winston and Peck coming first. The reality is that if they haven't sold out of Ray yet, how long will it take for second tier characters like those to sell through? And if they sell poorly, that increases the odds that Peter will get shelved. How sad would it be to have only three of the four, and be missing Venkman, arguably the most important of the set?

By selling Peter so late in the cycle, Mattel creates a self fulfilling prophecy situation. They increase the perception of risk in the minds of the collectors buying this line. That perception causes fewer collectors to buy these figures up front, instead opting to wait to see if the full set is available before becoming invested. That waiting means fewer sales, increasing the actual risk that Peter won't get made. It's not a strict Catch 22, but it's about as close as you get in the action figure world.

Mattel should have scheduled Peter for December, at least the slimed variant. I suspect they believe that by holding him til later, it will actually drive sales of Winston and Peck, but in reality the opposite is true. Let's hope that this Ghostbusters line - and the fans - can weather a bad decision by Mattel.

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

Where to Buy -
This guy is available through Matty Collector right now, with Winston 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:

- as I mentioned earlier, I already covered the 12" version of Ray.

- in this six inch scale, they have also released the SDCC exclusive Egon.

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

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Ghostbusters Ray Stantz action figure


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

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