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Gooey Ray Stantz and Exploding Stay Puft
Ghostbusters Minimates! When the announcement was first made, I couldn’t believe it. This has been a dream license of mine from day 1 of collecting Minimates, with Ghostbusters being one of my favorite films of all time. But do these figures do the movie characters justice? Are they worth buying? Well, yes and a resounding yes, but read the full reviews anyway!
This set comes from the first Toys R Us exclusive wave of Ghostbusters Minimates 2-packs (at least one other wave has been announced as of this writing, and I would not be surprised if another wave or two were announced at some point, given the popularity of these figures). The packaging follows the convention set by other recent Toys R Us Minimates - the curved front of the package, control art of the figures on the front, action photos on either side, and a group shot of all releases in this wave on the back (with a green glow behind them). The window box on the front is different from other releases in that it has green slime covering each little window, dripping down onto the control art pictures. The Ghostbusters logo on the front of the package is the iconic logo from the film, but in the top left corner there is a Minimate "no ghost" logo (so far, this particular logo/character has not been announced as a Minimate figure, but I hope we get him!).
The background on the front of the package is black, with gray/green splotches near the edges. This front of this pack also has a Toys R Us exclusive logo on it. On the back of the pack is a "Twenty Five Years of Paranormal Activity" logo, showing the iconic ghost holding up two and five figures on his hands. Also on the back are little descriptions of each character.
Gooey Ray Stantz
The first Ray Stanz figure that we are getting in Minimate form is "Gooey Ray". This is Ray at the very end of Ghostbusters, following the defeat of Gozer and the StayPuft Marshmallow Man. Mr. Stay Puft exploded, and his marshmallowy goo ended up covering all of the Ghostbusters except Venkman for some reason. Ray - who caused Stay Puft to be created - seemed to get the worst of it, and this is reflected in this figure.
Every part of this figure except the proton stream is sculpted in white plastic. Thus, any color that you see on him was painted on. Regarding his face, there isn’t much here to peg him as actor Dan Aykroyd. As with many other "real human" Minimates, the lack of a nose might be an issue here, since Aykroyd has such a distinctive nose. However, Aykroyd does have a fairly plain face (as this figure has) and this with the hairpiece is enough to distinguish him from the other plain-looking white guy - Peter Venkman. That is to say, if you were to line up all 4 Ghostbusters, you could tell who this is supposed to be, anyway. His hairpiece suggests a slightly receding hairline, and is brown with long, white portions of goo throughout. Ray has a quizzical expression, which is pretty distinctive among Minimates. Aykroyd always had an emotive face, using his eyebrows and mouth to convey his mood, and I think that this comes through in this figure and gives him a bit of personality, even though the likeness isn’t great.
Ray’s torso is a sculpted piece, with the Proton Pack attached on the back. At first, I thought this made the Ghosbusters look a tad too bulky, and perhaps it does, but it works well enough to get the job done without being too distracting. The chest piece itself has sculpted pockets, name tag, proton pack straps, belt, and belt accessories. There are splashes of gray representing his jumpsuit showing through the white goo, and you can see his straps for the most part. His belt has a walkie-talkie, some pockets, belt loops/latches, and a tab on his left side that can be used to store something that will probably come with his four pack release, possibly his goggles (his sculpted chest piece is different from the other Ghostbusters released thus far in this respect, as none of the others come with this tab). He also has sculpted elbow pads that are completely white. In an ideal world, this Ray would actually have sculpted goo, but given the costs involved, this was probably the only way we were going to get this figure at all, and it works pretty well. Ray’s chest block is completely white.
Ray’s arms and legs are white, with small splotches of gray or black where appropriate (this figure is wearing his black gloves and black shoes under the goo). This design almost resembles a kind of cold climate camouflage. His crotch piece is also completely white.
The main accessory for Ray is his Proton Pack. As noted earlier, the Proton Pack is glued to his chest piece, and can be removed if you pry hard enough, or warm it up a bit. The amount of detail on the pack is very impressive given its size (less than an inch from top to bottom, with unattached Neutrona Wand). Unfortunately, some of the details are a bit obscured on this particular figure, because it is white with colored splotches here or there. However, you can still make out the various wires and parts that help to make this such an iconic movie weapon. The Neutrona Wand connects on the side of the pack via a small peg, and is connected to the bottom of the pack with a little rubber tube. In the film, the wand actually slides down into its holster, instead of pointing upward, as is its default state out in the package. You can switch it around so that it is more movie accurate (as in the pictures here). However, the rubber tubing representing the black cable connected to the Neutrona Wand is pretty short and weak, and so it bends a good bit when you position it this way. As such, you may want to leave the wand in its upside down state, for the purpose of minimizing wear on the tube. The wand also has a fair amount of detail, and is a good, recognizable representation of its big-screen counterpart. A translucent orange proton stream is included, which can be attached to the end of the Neutrona Wand. It has gray lines painted on it so that it looks kinetic. The proton stream is simple, but works very well, and again is instantly recognizable for what it is. Ray can hold the Neutrona Wand with a little handle below the wand. Though not movie accurate, this was a necessary concession for the Minimates, and works fine.
In conclusion, this Minimate is a cool variant from a memorable scene in the film. The main drawback to him is that the cool goo variation obscures some of the cooler features of his Proton Pack, but this is not a huge issue. If you are a fan of Ghostbusters, you should definitely seek him out, but if you want to own a single Ray, the forthcoming 4 pack (or Toys R Us wave 2) version is probably the way to go since he will be more iconic, and since you can better see the details that make these Ghostbusters figures really shine.
MMC Score - 7 out of 10
Exploding Stay Puft
Ray comes packed with the first Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Minimate that we will see (we are getting at least 3 other versions - a regular, smiley-faced version coming with the 2nd wave of Toys R Us Minimates; an angry-faced version coming with the 2nd box set; and a glow-in-the-dark version that comes with the SDCC exclusive 2-pack). The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man was created by Gozer as Ray’s choice to destroy the earth. He was a marshmallow company mascot who Ray loved as a kid, and typically has a huge, smiling face. This version of Stay Puft is the angry, "exploding" version from the end of the film, when the Ghostbusters cross the streams in order to stop him. It is appropriate that he is packed with Ray because: 1) Ray wished him into existence in the first place, and 2) the Ray he comes with is covered with Stay Puft goo.
This figure comes with a lot of extra, sculpted pieces. Personally, I believe this is necessary for inhuman figures like Stay Puft or Slimer, who would just look strange as regular block figures. First, he comes with a sculpted head piece that slips over the regular, translucent red head block hidden underneath. Sculpted onto his head is Stay Puft’s little sailor’s hat, which sits at an angle and has the words "STAY PUFT" printed on it. The entire head piece is sculpted in the same semi-transparent red as the rest of Stay Puft, with some hat parts painted in blue, white, and red, and the face painted in black. Additionally, this particular version of Stay Puft has a subtle white paint application on his head and other parts of his body, which looks like a kind of glow. I guess this reflects him bursting with energy prior to exploding. The expression on Stay Puft’s face, as mentioned above, is one of anger. He has furrowed eye brows, squinty eyes, and a screaming mouth that effectively captures that moment in the film right before he explodes into mashmallowy goop. The expression is much more screen-accurate than the giant NECA Stay Puft Marshmallow man of a few years ago, who looked much more evil and disturbing than the Stay Puft from the film, who just looked mad.
Stay Puft also has a sculpted chest piece that slips over the translucent red chest block, which has sculpted shoulders, chest/stomach, and the top of his legs. Stay Puft was pretty chubby, and this sculpted piece effectively conveys that. A sailor’s bib and tie are also sculpted onto this piece. Blue, white, and red paint apps are also applied to the body on the bib, tie, and glowing areas. This is the one problem area of my Stay Puft regarding paint - the white paint is peeling away on part of his stomach. It is pretty distracting, and if I can find myself an extra, I will probably replace this one with it. However, I have seen pictures of several other Stay Pufts that have not had this problem, so it may just be an isolated case. In addition to the chest piece, Stay Puft has sculpted forearms/hands and lower legs/feet. As with the chest piece, these were really necessary for bulking Mr. Stay Puft up appropriately, and make him look quite a bit like his movie incarnation. In addition to all this is a small piece that fits in between the crotch piece and chest block (it slips over the crotch peg) that lifts Stay Puft’s torso a bit higher. This makes him a little bit higher than the average 2 inch Minimate, and may have been necessary to allow Stay Puft to maintain proper bodily proportions (if it were not there, his chest piece would go lower down his legs, and either the chest or leg piece would have to be shortened as a result).
In conclusion, Stay Puft is slightly out of scale with other Minimates, but there are other options out there that collectors can turn to for larger versions of this great screen villain (including a great looking bank from Diamond Select Toys that is out as I write this review). Despite my issues with paint, this is a very cool figure. As mentioned earlier, there will ultimately be several Stay Puft figures to choose from, and of the 4 released, this would probably be 3rd on my list to own. However, this does not take away from what a great figure he is.
MMC Score - 8 out of 10
Review and pictures by karamazov80
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