Here in the UK there is a chain of discount stores called Home Bargains that sometimes sell really interesting things at pretty good prices. When I say ‘interesting’, I mean toys. There’s always a buzz in groups on Facebook when a particularly desirable ‘thing’ arrives in, and reports on what stores are selling the certain ‘thing’.
A month or so back, someone uploaded this picture to Facebook:
I was confused at the excitement over window vacuum cleaners until I saw the shelf underneath. Just to go off on that tangent, why are window vacuum cleaners a thing? I have cleaned a fair few windows in my time but never have I thought “Well, this bucket and sponge is doing an okay job, but if only there was a vacuum cleaner I could use for this instead…” Just weird.
Anyway, the thing that caused excitement was the shelf of Ghostbusters figures. The only Ghostbuster toys I owned was the ones based on the Real Ghostbusters animated series (some of which I looked at a couple of days back. I would have loved to have gone and found some in my local Home Bargains store, but as I type this, my local Home Bargains is still getting built, with no other stores for miles. Knowing that my Auntie (who has contributed so damn much to this site mainly in the form of barely edible foods) was a frequenter of Home Bargains, I asked her if she could keep an eye out for a set for me. Lo and behold, she delivered!
I have said before that I don’t really buy modern toys (apart from Star Wars where it’s kind of an obligation now, I’ve been doing for so damn long it seems rude to stop now), as I just can’t justify the price, and everything feels cheaper and crappier than stuff when I was a kid. But £3.99 each seemed a good buy for some modern figures based on a cult classic film like Ghostbusters.
Obviously being me, I couldn’t just appreciate them from their cardboard prisons, so they were swiftly liberated.
You know what? They’re actually pretty good. There are a few tiny issues I have, but I can deal with ’em for four quid a figure. The first being is the Proton Pack handsets feel very rubbery, and bend in the figures hand (I had to just go and Google if there was a specific term for the thing they hold in their hands that shoots the beams, but Google let me down. As such I am refering to these things as handsets!). The second issue is the cables that attach the Proton Pack handset to the backpack do not feel very rubbery and feel like they could break if pushed a little too hard.
Nonetheless I felt I had to try and see if it was possible to clip the handset to the backpack like they do in the movies. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was possible but I still don’t trust the cable to not snap, so I don’t plan on keeping it on there for long.
So that was the Proton Packs, but what are the figures like?
The sculpt of Peter Venkman isn’t too bad. It looks like a more cartoonish version of Bill Murray, not super detailed but enough like him for it to work. His expression is smug or bemused which suits the character perfectly. Good going Mattel!
Like Peter Venkman, this Winston Zeddemore figure is pretty accurate sculpt-wise. The main issue here is the paint application which makes it look like this figure has a big mole on his forehead, which actor Ernie Hudson never did to my knowledge. Aside from that though, I’m pretty happy with him.
Oh god. The paint application of this one makes it look like Rays head is squished!
It isn’t of course, it’s just that part of his hair hasn’t been painted, so it looks like his head is squished. If I had more free time/wasn’t so lazy, I might have gave it a bit of a paint over to make it look better, but to be honest I’m probably only going to have these figures out on display at Halloween as I don’t have the space for them all the time, so it’s not like I’m going to be looking at him all the time thinking “Oh god, that face!”. Perhaps his head got too close to a proton beam. Who knows!
Out of the four Ghostbusters, I think this one looks the best. He looks like the late Harold Ramis, and is wearing a stern expression. He also looks a bit like Ross from Friends I think, though I don’t think Harold Ramis looked like Ross from Friends. Maybe he doesn’t look like Ross from Friends, I dunno, I think I’ve thought about it a bit too much now.
So yeah, overall these are some nice figures. They might have some deformities and moles where they shouldn’t have moles, but for four quid, I think they’re a steal. Oh, and the really neat thing is that they each come with ‘build-a-figure’ parts to make the Ghosbusters logo.
Pretty cool huh? Well it’s even cooler in the dark!
If you are going to go after a set of these figures, you might want to have a look at them in the shop to ensure that you have ones with decent paint application. With the exception of Ray, these are all pretty good though, and for the price were a steal. I think there probably are better versions of the Ghostbusters out there (like Diamond Select’s versions), but if you just wanna pick up four, basic Ghostbuster figures for a low price, these are spot on.
I’m really shitty at reviewing modern toys, but there are probably three million YouTube videos reviewing these figures, so I don’t feel too bad about that. You should just view this post as an incentive to go and have a poke about in Home Bargains (if you live in the UK) as you can sometimes find some decent things amongst the window vacuum cleaners and the plastic flower crowns.
That wraps up another Halloween Countdown post. It’s almost sad that there are only four more left! Come back tomorrow for more!