Review > Egon Spengler & Slimer SDCC Exclusive

egonWhen I came across NECA’s Slimer a few years back, I was excited–here at last was a Movie Maniacs-style Ghostbusters figure. The Ghostbusters themselves had been requested for ages by fans of McFarlane’s Movie Maniacs line, which by then (2004 or so) was more or less defunct, but NECA was already picking up the slack with their Cult Classics.

While NECA produced excellent versions of Slimer, Gozer, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Gozer (I own Slimer and the SPMM, but man, do I wish I had a Terror Dog), they were unable to secure the likeness rights to the four main actors.

Enter Mattel, who–five years later–are finally offering the realistic, movie-based Ghostbusters action figures fans had been clamoring for since the days of the cartoon-styled Real Ghostbusters. Thankfully, Mattel appears to have thrown the weight of the largest toy company in the world behind getting Bill Murray to sign off on his likeness.

The figures will be sold exclusively through Mattycollector.com at a price of $20 per figure. On first glance that appears to be quite steep, considering that the significantly larger MOTUC figures cost the same, but keep in mind that MOTU is an in-house brand owned by Mattel, while both the Ghostbusters license and the actor’s likeness rights had to be purchased. That’s why most licensed toy lines always seem so expensive compared to similarly-scaled in-house lines.

This is a “slimed” variant of Egon, available at the San Diego Comic Con and online at Mattycollector (though it’s currently sold out). A non-slimed version of Egon with a PKE meter will be released eventually, as will a painted version of Slimer. The next figure will be Ray Stanz in October.

egon_bio

Packaging: Egon & Slimer come in a pretty elaborate package. Mattel seems to have learned to showcase the entire figure better, allowing a good view of both Egon and Slimer (although there’s a lot more packaging plastic–a.k.a. “trash” for an opener like me–than I’d like to see). The Terror Dog graphics bookending the figures are a nice effect (and hopefully signify that a Terror Dog figure will be part of the line eventually), and I love the big Ghostbusters logo on top of the blister.

The package is very collector-friendly. The blister is glued to the card only by a flap on the bottom–the rest of the blister is attached with reuseable plastic tabs and a little tape. You’ll have to cut the tape to open the toy, but once you do you can easily replace him just by snapping the tabs back in.

Design & Sculpt: The biggest issue here is the head sculpt. The prototype was very good, so this is clearly a case where the likeness was softened by the production process. Egon now looks as much like Dustin Hoffman or John Turturro as he does Harold Ramis. Seriously–when looking at that head I can see all three likenesses revolving from one to the next to the next, like the T-1000’s death scene in T2 where he goes through all the people he mimicked. I should say, the raised right eyebrow saves the Ramis likeness, and it does look quite a bit like him from the side.

Then there are the big, ugly glasses. Honestly, I just don’t know how much can be done to improve glasses in the 6″ scale on a mass market-style figure like this (DCSH Clark Kent’s weren’t much better–and even NECA has a hard time with them).

From the neck down, though, the sculpt is superb. The excellent detailing of the equipment and clothing, as well as the scale, reminds me of Plan-B’s Special Forces figures. Speaking of which, Egon is definitely on the small side of the 6″ scale, in line with Movie Masters but too small to look good alongside DCUC.

The wires are all strong and not likely to break without some effort. They might even survive a little child’s play.

Plastic & Paint: Egon’s torso, arms and legs are molded in beige plastic, while his hands and head are molded in flesh color. The proton pack and “neutrona wand” (i.e., the gun) are made from a rather soft rubber that bends very easily, but fortunately Egon’s hands are articulated well enough that you can keep it straight. Still, a stiffer neutrona wand (quit snickering, children) would have been nicer–perhaps we’ll see it on future ‘Busters.

The gloves and other devices hanging from his belt are also made from soft rubber, so his ability to bend at the hips isn’t significantly hindered.

For the most part, the paint work is quite good too, similar to the better work on the Dark Knight Movie Masters. The “slimed” effect here is really rather subtle; Egon looks more as if he’s just had a tough day in the field than a close encounter with the Ugly Little Spud.

The tampos used for the name tag and Ghostbusters symbol are flawlessly applied, which I think should be noted given Mattel’s previous issues with tampo applications in DCUC.

Articulation: Egon’s articulation is a tad different than we’ve seen with DCUC or MOTUC. He has a ball jointed neck, but the joint is actually where the torso meets the neck, not where the neck meets the head. He has ball jointed shoulders and swivel-and-hinge elbows; usually I don’t like that sort of joint, but here it works because a.) swivel biceps don’t work well on characters with loose clothing, and b.) the joint is largely hidden by the elbow pad.

He also has a swivel-hinge at the hands, which allows him to hold his neutrona wand in a nice variety of poses.

He has swivels at the waist, lower thighs, and the top of his boots, hinges at the knees and ankles (along with “rocker” side-to-side motion for a wider stance), and the H-hinge at the hips as seen on DCUC and Movie Masters.

There’s a noticeable lack of an abdomen hinge, and I can’t decide how much I miss it. It really helps in posing, but clearly it would hurt the sculpt a lot here, so it’s probably best they skipped it.

Accessories: Egon comes with a translucent Slimer. Judging from prototype images, it’s very likely Slimer was designed to be painted, and that this translucent one is technically the variant.

It’s inevitable that this Slimer will be compared to the NECA one, and it’s really no contest–NECA’s Slimer is more accurate to the film and features a much more detailed sculpt, as well as an awesome “slime trail” stand (as opposed to the clear base we get here). To be honest, I don’t think we’ll get a fair comparison until we see the painted Mattel Slimer.

The Mattel Slimer does have some advantages on his NECA counterpart. Obviously he’s more in scale with Egon than the NECA version. He has an extra point of articulation with the elbow hinges, and he more closely resembles the Slimer of the cartoons, which is likely a plus for many GB fans. Also, I like the translucent plastic used for his sculpt, which really does add a certain ghostly quality to the figure.

Quality Control: No problems at all.

Overall:

1111/20

The only thing that really bothers me about it is the head and glasses, and those–and the price–knock this figure down a point and a half.

We’ll have to see how the rest of the line turns out. It’s already known that they’ll be using the same body for all the Ghostbusters, and while this fairly slender body looks great with Egon and will probably be fine for Peter and even the somewhat-beefy Winston, Dan Aykroyd was simply not this svelte in his Ghostbusters days. Even the Minimates Ray is a little fatter than the other ‘Busters.

But ultimately, I’m a Ghostbusters fan, and having a realistic figure from the movie like this is a dream come true.

Comments now closed (16)

  • I'm looking forward to getting this figure. I really wish the Dustin Hoffman aspect hadn't become so apparent though. That's almost all I see now when I look at him. I really want the Slimer though.

    Even though the NECA one is more movie accurate, I guess the Mattel one is more how I always picture Slimer.

  • I wish Mattel would ship mine! Ordered it at 11:30 after they went up! Oh well.

    As far as Slimer's accuracy, I think Mattel's is a bit closer to the movie. NECA's is great, and the detail and paint and personality make it look awesome. But I think the upper face and head is a better match on Mattel's.

    http://nodders.net/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/sli

    http://www.afoodcoma.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/

    NECA's has a tall forehead and the cheeks aren't pronounced as much as the movie Slimer. If Mattel's painted version looks as good as the prototype after production, I think it will be the winner.

    Neither is perfect, and an amalgamation of the two would be best, but I prefer the face sculpt on Mattel's I think.

  • @Nik: Try this. Take your order number, go to the UPS website and choose "Track by Reference." Punch in the order number.

  • Thanks for the review, Poe.

    I wish these weren't so "small". I'm not shocked, I knew their size. I just wish they were more compatible.

  • I have a feeling I will be watching Ghostbusters again sometime very soon! 😉

  • i am holding off on this for a non slimed egon with PKE meter. it is gonna be REALLY hard though.

    i wish they came with proton streams though. i think that'd be a nice bonus.

    i also wish the pack came off but seeing as how they'll prob NEVER make an ecto-1 in this scale i guess it doesnt matter much.

  • I'm looking forward to getting him in the mail. The head sculpt isn't great, but not horrible. And as you say in your review it is almost impossible to find figures 6" and smaller with decent glasses. Glasses are one of those things that really only start to look decent when the figure is 12"+.

  • i really wish they'd have done sculpted glasses.

    however i think the sculpt looks fine.

  • I remember reading a DIY guide to creating an electric/lightning effect with some GI Joes using tin foil and a glue gun. I wonder if the same would work to make some bootleg proton streams. You'd have to somehow mould it or at least make it look like its the energy streams, and get it to stick on to the end of the neutrona wand. Maybe it could be done using some of those annoying twisty ties, I have a ton hanging around from my Transformers… maybe use those to give it a little bit of backbone. Then just paint 'em up. It'll prolly look bad, but its something worth trying at least.

  • [quote]Honestly, I just don’t know how much can be done to improve glasses in the 6″ scale on a mass market-style figure like this (DCSH Clark Kent’s weren’t much better–and even NECA has a hard time with them).[/quote]

    What a facking shame that you're getting a mass-market style figure for $20 + shipping.

  • As far as glasses go, while it may not work on a mass market item, for a collector only market, I would try thin metal or wire frames, and just omit the lenses. I think it would be acceptable to omit them at such a small scale.

  • Excellent review, as always – just have a slightly special request, do you have the NECA Stay Puft handy? Would love to see how Egon looks alongside that guy in one of your amazing photos…

  • The Fwoosh has you covered, Ryan: Egon w/ Stay Puft

    The only combination of Ghostbusters toys I have that more or less work in scale is the Minimates with the NECA Stay-Puft.