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Ghostbusters Box Set Series One
Ghostbusters is having a richly deserved 25th anniversary-inspired product renaissance this year with a blockbuster video game, along with figures from Mattel. DST have jumped on the 'Busters bandwagon, starting out with this box set. A further 4-pack is due later in 2009, rounding out the Ghostbusters and their main enemies in the film. TRU are also supporting the line, with a wave of 2-packs available and more in the works.
This style of card has been used for most of the 4-pack sets. The Minimates are all visible inside the bubble. The Ghostbusters "no ghost" logo features twice on the front of the package. The back of the package has more shots of the Minimates included, plus some lines from the film and a Minimate'd version of the famous movie poster.
The package contains a leaflet showing one of the TRU 2-pack sets as well as other DST Ghostbusters merchandise, including the second box set.
Dr. Peter Venkman
The first figure in this set is "the mouth" of Ghostbusters, Doctor Peter Venkman. Played by Bill Murray, Venkman is "more game show host than scientist" - king of the sarcastic one-liners and an absolute riot in the film.
This Minimate looks spot on as a slightly cartoonish likeness of Murray as Venkman. His expression is more doe-eyed than anything, not really hinting at Venkman's acerbic wit. The hairpiece is very close to the source material, with the receding temples.
The Ghostbusters outfit is recreated very well. The logo is picked out on the shoulder and is a lovely detail. The name tag also references each specific Ghostbuster, but the red font used is so dark against the black background that it's almost impossible to see. I was initially worried about the use of the more bulky chest piece but it looks fine on Venkman as the suits always looked a tad big. The straps are sculpted on and painted over in a darker grey. A unique Ghostbusters piece has been created for the elbow pads, these add a lot to capturing the overall look from the film.
The proton pack is permanently attached to the back of the chest piece. It's superbly detailed, with lots of buttons and wires sculpted on. The neutron wand clips on to the side of the pack and the whole thing is connected by a thin piece of wire. The Ghostbusters look great holding the wands.
In addition, Venkman has a tiny walkie-talkie which clips to his belt. I bet I'll lose this pretty quickly! It's not particularly film-accurate as the one he uses in the film has an antenna. He also gets a "laser beam" to fit over the barrel of the neutron wand. This represents the stream when the wand is active. It's about 2" long and does tend to overbalance the Minimate when it's used. The translucent colours are slightly darker than those seen in the film but it still works nicely as a ghostbusting accessory.
In conclusion, this Minimate kicks off the Ghostbusters party in style. The attention to detail is amazing and he's a fun figure.
MMC Score - 8 out of 10
Dr. Egon Spengler
Egon is the brains of the Ghostbusters operation. The most scientific of the group, Egon is completely serious and ultra-nerdy. Egon was played in the film by its co-writer Harold Ramis. He gets some very funny one liners too.
The likeness to Ramis as Spengler is nowhere near as good here as the Murray/Venkman Minimate above. There is something slightly off about the expression, though I can't really pinpoint it. The glasses appear too large and too low on the face, presumably so they didn't clash with the eyebrow detailing. The area most responsible for the sub-par likeness is the hairpiece, which is too short and tidy to be Spengler. It needs to be more unruly with a bigger quiff.
The body is the same as Venkman, which is fine because the Ghostbusters wore matching suits. The name tag is still really hard to read on the figure. He gets the same proton pack and neutron wand as well, meaning he definitely looks the part as a key member of the Ghostbusters team.
Instead of a walkie-talkie, Spengler has his trusty PKE meter attached to his belt. This is a really nice addition as Spengler was always using this in the film. It's a simple sculpt but still very recognisable as being from the film. Spengler also gets a "stream" accessory to fit over his neutron wand.
In conclusion, Spengler has a lot of plus points but the likeness isn't as good.
MMC Score - 7 out of 10
Dana Barrett was the Ghostbusters first client, played by Sigorny Weaver in the film. Venkman is besotted with her and his attempts to woo her are some of the highlights of the film.
This is a very accurate depiction of Dana after she has been attacked by the Terror dogs and been possessed by Zuul, the Gatekeeper of Gozer. She has an alluring expression with very classy makeup. Obviously Zuul was happy to be in the body of someone who was a bit of a looker. The hairpiece is great. It's huge, 1980s-style windswept hair and looks just as it should.
The body features the orange dress Dana wore. It's been well represented here, with a much shinier paint used than usual to try to recreate the look in the film. The only issue with the paint is that the coverage doesn't quite match up with the detail lines sweeping down over the breast. It looks as though the paint mask followed the wrong detail line. The skirt has a big split in it to reveal Dana's legs. She does have an orange-coloured pelvis piece to protect her modesty.
Dana has no accessories, although I'm not sure what she would have been packaged with. Perhaps a clear stand to make her float above the covers.
In conclusion, this is a simple Minimate which does very well in capturing the look of a specific character.
MMC Score - 7 out of 10
The last figure in the set is Louis Tully. This bespeckled accountant and neighbour of Dana, played by Rick Moranis, was hunted down by a Terror Dog and possessed by Vinz Clortho, the Key Master to Zuul's Gate Keeper. When the two meet they herald the arrival of Gozer the Destructor to New York City. Gozer will be in the second box set.
As with Muffit in the Battlestar Galactica set, DST had to work out how to Minimate a 4-legged animal. They kept the same basic concepts as that figure whilst adding more pieces to better recreate the mass of the Terror Dog and also to allow Louis to be inside it. So effectively this is two figures in one. Bargain!
The Terror Dog has a very well sculpted head, with an open mouth filled with fangs, horns on his head and sinister red eyes. It's one of the most "sculpted" heads in Minimate history but it looks great. There's no way they could have done this with a normal head block, it wouldn't have looked anywhere near as good. The 4 legs are all articulated, although the range of movement has been limited to ensure the Terror Dog can stand properly at all times. The clawed feet are big and scary looking.
To turn the Terror Dog into Louis, the process is fairly simple; you have to take all the parts off, including the back legs which allows the tail section to be removed. The set comes with two Minimate feet, done as brown shoes, and two arms, which match the sooty blue of the chest block. Finally there is a hairpiece for Louis, which is all mussed up.
The Louis figure is a really great likeness to Rick Moranis, with a very cute expression on his face. The figure is covered in soot - as seen in the final scenes of the film - and he's a nice addition to the other 3 figures, so much so that some fans have put an unwanted Minimate from their collection inside the Terror Dog so they can have both that and Louis displayed. To do this you really need a Minimate with black legs as they form the hind legs of the Terror Dog. Everything else is covered by a specific Terror Dog piece..
In conclusion, this is a fantastic achievement as a Minimate, cleverly executed and film-accurate in both modes. The standout of the set.
MMC Score - 10 out of 10
Without doubt an awesome debut for the Ghostbusters, this is a very strong set with good character selection taken from the film. The execution of these figures has been excellent and my hopes are high for the second box set, containing Ray, Winston, Gozer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Review and pictures by Danny Mills
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