Monday, September 7, 2009

Toy Review: SDCC Ghostbusters Classics Egon with Slimer (Mattel) by Dean René Middleton

SDCC Ghostbusters Classics Slimed Egon Spengler with Translucent Slimer

So, the Ghostbusters classics line is off to a start with the release of the SDCC Slimed Egon Spengler with Slimer figure. And much like any self respecting Ghostbusters fan I was eager to see what the figure would be like. And to be fair, it is actually pretty good.

First of all the packaging is great. The art work is spectacular, with both Zuul and Vinz Clotho looking menacing on the box art, with the spectre of the Staypuft Marshmallow man looming on the horizon. This was great because anyone who remembers the poster that used to be included in some o f the 1980’s Real Ghostbusters toys will remember a very similar pose was adopted by Mr Staypuft which really helps to hammer home that nostalgia factor.

The box can also be resealed which is nice. Some Mint on card collectors may be unhappy about this, but I think it is great because although I am primarily a loose collector, I do retain packages for particular figures. And yes, I am actually one of the crazy few who still has the packages for all his 80’s Ghostbusters toys even though I opened and played with them at the time. So, personally I feel it’s great to be able to tuck the figure away back inside the box when it is not in use.

Now, a lot of people have mentioned that the Egon figure actually looks lot more a bit more like Dustin Hoffman, than it does Harold Ramis. And after examining the figure, I think I can see why such comparisons may be drawn. And personally, I think that is down to a simple issue, and it’s to do with the Neck.

While I think that the head sculpt is an exceptionally good likeness of Harold Ramis, it seems that the neck is rather short. The result of this makes it look as though his head is slightly sunken into his shoulders, hence the "Dustin Hoffman effect" [no offence Dustin]. And one of the distinctive attributes about Harold Ramis Egon Spengler portrayal and the subsequent stylizations in the Real Ghostbusters media was his tall, and long features. Unfortunately those attributes seem to be a little bit lost on this figure, due to the short neck.

The actual slime that is on Egons uniform is not too overwhelming. I must admit, I had some big reservations about investing in this particular figure once I heard that there would be an unslimed version of Egon at some point in the future. However, no solid release date has been set for that variant, and I decided to take my chances with this version.

And I was not disappointed. The slime is very subtle, and in many ways I think that it actually helps to give points of visual to detail to the costume, which may perhaps have looked a little lack lustre without it.

Egons glasses also look better in person than the pre release photos that I saw of the figure. And they also contain little lenses which is great. They appear to be permanently fixed to his head, which is good, since there is no danger of them falling off and being lost, which is usually the case with characters who wear glasses.

The Proton Pack itself is very solid, and has a lot of sculptural detail. The good thing is that it really is very solid, and doesn’t seem to have any small detailed parts that would chip off or break off easily. It is really well painted, and looks very authentic, much like the version shown in the film.

The downside to the proton pack is that it cannot be removed from the figure, and this has raised doubts in many collectors minds about the future possibilities of an Ecto-1 vehicle being made to support the figures, because if you can’t remove the proton packs, how would they be able to sit in the vehicle?

Although with that being said, it is actually possible to sit Egon in the 1980’s version of the Real Ghostbusters Ecto 1, if you gently remove the Black seats. It’s a tight fit, but he looks pretty good inside it, and again, it makes me hope that Mattel does indeed produce an updated and in scale Ecto-1, because it really is such an iconic movie vehicle.

Sadly the Nutrona Wand is not sculpted out of the same solid plastic as the Proton Pack, and often ends up looking very limp since it bends far too easily. I also feel that it should have been slightly longer, because the tip of the nozzle seems to sit very close to the edge of Egons hand.

Now, perhaps I have a little bit too much of an overactive imagination, but looking at the Neutrona Wand in his hand, it’s difficult not to think that he would burn his hand off when using it. So perhaps an extra few millimetres in length could have helped a bit in this area.

Other features that I think would have been nice perhaps would have been a set of interchangeable gloved hands. Now, perhaps I’m a stickler for detail, but I don’t ever remember seeing Egon use his Neutrona Wand without having gloved hands in the first movie. In fact, I think the only time he ever used it without gloves was during the courtroom scene in Ghostbusters 2. But the point is that, to me he feels a little incomplete without the the gloves on. I suspect that others may feel differently, but he just doesn’t strike me as being fully suited up and ready for business.

The Slimer figure also turned out much better than I had expected. The translucent plastic effect works really well, and from a side view he looks very much like the way he look in the Sedgwick hotel scene in the first film. He is articulated in the same way as the NECA version from 2004, but is slightly smaller in scale, and some fans may actually prefer this aspect.

The Slimer figure really turned out well, and is actually one of the highlights of the SDCC Egon figure. The only things that I felt were perhaps a little weak on the Slimer were the dark black lines around the eyes and mouth. The actual painted parts eye and mouth are great, but the additional dark comic book looking lines do not look very subtle, and kind detract from the figure slightly.

Egon stands at around 5 ½ Inches and features all of the standard articulation seen in other Movie Masters figures, which includes approximately 24 points of articulation. This is great because it opens up avenues for interesting and varied poses.

But for $20 figure SDCC Egon also falls slightly short in the accessories department, which has always been a problem for Movie Masters figures. To be fair Egon doesn’t really have any real accessories of his own, because the stand belongs to Slimer.

So Egon is left with nothing to make him more interesting when removed from the package, since the proton pack is a permanent fixture. Again, this is where I really feel that either the inclusion alternate gloved hands, a P.K.E meter, a detachable trap or an attachable proton stream would have significantly increased the lasting appeal of this figure. As it is, he is pretty much just standing quietly in a corner waiting for the reinforcements to arrive.

Although, with that being said, I have had a considerable amount of fun positioning my Egon figure alongside my existing NECA Ghostbusters toy collection, and he fits in exceptionally well with those figures. To be honest, that was my primary reason for wanting these Ghostbusters classics figures, because the NECA line from 2004 had such a promising start, but unfortunately was cancelled before the 4 Ghostbusters themselves were released. And its great to see that Mattel have effectively picked up the slack, and are producing such highly detailed and realistic looking versions of the Ghostbusters after all this time.

So as a result it is actually a bit difficult to fully formulate an objective opinion on this figure at this present point, because there is no real context or frame of reference in which to properly judge him. When the Ray figure is released on October 15th it will be a good opportunity to see exactly where this line is going, and how the figures fit together as a collection.

So all in all, this is a very good first attempt and certainly an item that Ghostbusters fans, both young and old will be very pleased to invest in.

The figures are usually available through for $20. Unfortunately Egon is now sold out but if you act quickly he can still be found for reasonable price on eBay. The next figure in the line will be Ray and he goes on sale on October 15th at

Review and photographs by:
Dean René Middleton
Staff Reviewer


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