Monday, September 19, 2011

Ghostbusters: Ray Stantz (Marshmallow Mess) Figure Review

Flavor Text:

"Damn bird!"
"PERSONNEL FILE

Name: Ray Stantz

Profession:
  • Doctor of Parapsychology
Ghostbuster Status:
  • Overly excited, nostalgic member of the group
  • Duly designated representative of the state, country, and city of New York
Quotable Quotes:

"I couldn't help it.  It just popped in there!"

(Page 1)

Habits & Hobbies:
  • Enjoys the company of female ghosts
  • Fondly recalls memories of Camp Wakonda
  • Casual smoker
Accomplishments:
  • Witnessed an undersea, unexplained mass sponge migration
  • Caused a rampaging, homicidal Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to appear in New York
Notes:

Office Supplies -
guide to nearby parallel dimensions
marshmallows, chocolate bar, stick

(Page 2)"



Sculpt:


I'm 99.9% positive that this "exclusive" figure is the same exact Ray Stantz that was released much earlier on sans "marshmallow mess" paint application and gloved hands.  Unfortunately, as Mattel clearly stated online, they have no intention of resculpting the (uncharacteristically) serious-looking/squished Ray Stantz head.  It's an interesting choice though to have the "bubbliest" personality of the Ghostbusters to have such a dead-serious face, while the rest of the Ghostbusters crew have more "softer" (and smiling) faces.  I just don't get it.

Since Mattel reuses the same bodies for each Ghostbuster (even though each individual is of different height and weight), there's really nothing new to write or discuss about regarding the sculpt of these figures.  I would like to point out, however, that I think the gloved hands should be sculpted to be a bit thicker since the sculpt looks exactly the same size of their bare hands.

Stantz's reaction when told of how much Ghostbusters figures would cost.
At this point, I'm convinced this figure could've made a great "Sedgewick Hotel" exclusive figure.  The gloved hands, Ecto goggles, and walkie talkie; everything about this literally screams out "potential!" which was ignored due to lack of creativity/budget/care.  If they resculpted Ray's face with the right amount of "chubbiness" and included a cigarette in his mouth, Mattel would've had me in their pockets for quite some time.  Too bad Mattel lost their chance.



Articulation:


Stantz has approximately 18 points of articulation: ball-jointed head, ball-jointed shoulders, ball-jointed elbows, ball-jointed wrists, swivel waist, swivel-hinged legs, swivel upper thighs, hinged knees, swivel boots, and swivel-hinged ankles.  Due to the sculpt of the elbow guards, Stantz can't relax his arms down to his sides like normal people (or in this case, figures) and is forever cursed to his "perpetual bent-arm" syndrome.



Paint Application:


There's a tiny bit of Ray's "uniform" paint on the bottom right side of his cheek as well as some stains on his left collar.  Oh wait, there's also a smear of black paint on top of the "marshmallow mess" on the front of his uniform (that pig!).  What else is new?

"Why did Mattel even bother sculpting me?"
What really irks me about this particular figure is the lack of creativity and care on Mattel's part.  What they essentially did was to take the already produced (and released) Ray Stantz figure, attach Peter Venkman's gloved arms, and apply some white paint here and there.  From a paying customer's point of view, this just isn't right.  Does Mattel think they can run a business if they dish out figures of this [low] caliber?  If anyone at Mattel were serious, they would sculpt actual pieces of leftover Stay Puft on top of the already produced mold of Ray Stantz.  But wait, that would make things more expensive for them.  Screw that, just reuse the same figure and drop some white paint here and there to cover up the sloppy paint applications and call it "Marshmallow Mess" Ray.  I hope whoever came up with this idea was demoted or reassigned because this is unacceptable.




Accessories:

Mattel goes all-out with the accessories
"Marshmallow Mess" Stantz comes with a few more accessories than your typical Ghostbusters figure: "glow-in-the-dark" Ghostbusters logo stand, "glow-in-the-dark" proton stream, removable Ecto goggles, and walkie-talkie.  However, we finally get Ray's Ecto goggles that collector's have been demanding for a year or two.  Unfortunately, Mattel's execution leaves something more to be desired.  So, we also finally get a walkie-talkie, but (to me) it looks like a chocolate ice-cream sandwich.  It doesn't even have a working holster for it, so that's another easily-lost accessory.  I sometimes wonder if Mattel's toy designers (sorry, sculptors) think things through before creating something.

As you know, the Ghostbusters logo stand made its debut with the gloved Peter Venkman figure as did the "glow-in-the-dark" proton stream.  I suspect that Mattel ran out of ideas and wanted to save money without appearing to look cheap so they decided to include those two items with the "Club Ecto-1 Exclusive" figure.  Sheesh, and I thought I was cheap.  The inclusion of the Ghostbusters logo stand is a nice but utterly useless gesture.  First off, it's a bit too small for any Ghostbuster figure to stand in any sort of dynamic pose.  Secondly, it's "glow-in-the-dark".  Really?  I was under the impression that these figures were catering to the "adult" collector.  Hmmm... my mistake.  Oh wait, it says so on the packaging.


Now, the proton stream is a great accessory to have but it has one major problem.  Let me explain.  The "tip" (or insertion point) of the proton stream is molded to fit the tip of the neutrino wand (right by where the red wire is bent in a "U" shape).  Due to the length and weight of the proton stream, it ends up tilting (or bending) the tip of the neutrino wand out of shape.



We finally get the Ecto goggles!  How cool is that?  Well, the idea is cool, but the execution leaves something more to be desired.  It took me a long time to figure out what was bothering me about it; it turns out that the goggles are a bit too small.  At least in the movie, the Ecto goggles not only covered Stantz's eyes but also the sides of his head.  The plastic version is a miniature rectangular brightly green-colored box only manages to cover Ray's eyes.  I guess the problem is that the Ecto goggles looks more like a handheld camera with straps attached to it from three side.


While the inclusion of the walkie-talkie accessory is great, it would've been a whole lot better if Ray had a working holster to keep the walkie-talkie from being lost so easily.  PRO-TIP: It looks quite stupid to have a non-functioning holster sculpted on the figure when you include an accessory that clearly has to go in there.



Packaging:


It's the same "Ghostbusters" packaging with the angry Stay-Puft Marshmallow in the background with the figure behind a large "window-like" display.  I have to give props to Mattel for displaying their figures in really cool poses inside their respective packaging.  It definitely looks like Ray is blasting some paranormal ass back to the stone age.  It's a shame that the "coolness" factor is lost once the figure is removed from its packaging.



Price:

Kicking Necromorph butt... errr... wrong series.
It goes without saying the price paid for this figure is just absolutely ridiculous (that goes for the rest of Mattel's "Ghostbusters" line).  I've seen far more articulated and better sculpted figures with better material that go for cheaper than what Mattel is charging for each individual Ghostbusters figure.  If you've subscribed to Mattel's "Club Ecto-1," you'll be locked in until the end up this year.  Care to guess who didn't subscribe for next year's Ghostbusters line?



The Good:

* Proton stream accessory included!
* Ecto goggles are also included!




The Bad:

* Reused the same flawed Ray Stantz figure (*surprise*).
* "Marshmallow Mess," really?
* Still visible sloppy paint applications and stray marks.



The Ugly:

* Uncreative and unsuccessful implementation of the "marshmallow mess".
* Overly expensive price for a previously released figure with white paint all over it.



Score:

Not spending extra time scoring this dud.

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