As a kid I had a few Real Ghostbusters toys, including the ‘Busters themselves, but I didn’t love any of them as much as I did Slimer (originally called “The Green Ghost”) and the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (SPMM).
The original Kenner Stay-Puft figure was about 7″ tall and made from rotocast white vinyl with a smooth finish. He felt a lot like a dog toy, but I think that was part of his appeal.
In 2004, NECA released a titanic, 18″ SPMM. I was lucky enough to get one of these as a Christmas present just a couple years ago. It was rotocast but made from solid material, with a stucco-like texture, a far more pissed-off expression than the Kenner version, and mildly more articulation, though his arms were still stuck jutting out to either side.
(On a side note, one of the few things that’s always bothered me about Ghostbusters is this: shouldn’t J. Edgar Hoover have been the one to destroy New York? He was the first thing mentioned by Peter Venkman. I suppose maybe Ray thought of Stay-Puft before Peter said J. Edgar Hoover, but when I was a kid, there was a certain logic to the idea that it should have been Hoover. But I’ve digressed…)
Mattel now has the rights to make Ghostbusters action figures, and at SDCC they did say they hope to make a Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (let’s all pray it’s not a 30″ SDCC exclusive with a production run of five, though I’m afraid can’t put it past them). But Diamond Select found a way to sneak us a SPMM figure–basically, they removed the articulation and stuck a coin slot on his back, and called it a bank.
There was a limited edition SPMM Bank available at SDCC with an “angry” face, but it sold out on preview night. The regulat edition, like the Kenner one, has a happy face, and can be found at your local specialty shop or ordered through Entertainment Earth. It’s $18.99 at EE, whereas I saw it at a specialty store the other day for $19.99.
Packaging: I ordered my SPMM online and he arrived in a clear plastic bag, much like the vinyl Bandai Godzillas my father used to get me at Mr. Big’s Toyland. And just like those Godzillas, the only “packaging” is a cardboard tag around the neck. It’s a charming touch.
Design & Sculpt: This is the first SPMM “figure” I know of (aside from the Minimates) with arms that aren’t positioned straight out at his sides. That alone makes him special. Incidentally, you may notice his arms are in the exact same position as the photo at the top of the review–clearly the sculptor(s) used that as reference material.
As for the sculpt–well, it’s the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. There’s not a lot of detail in the first place, but what there is looks good. The coin slot is well-hidden on his upper back, where it blends into the dark blue of his collar.
Plastic & Paint: This is where the figure is a bit more interesting. Like the Kenner toy, it’s molded in smooth, soft vinyl, but there’s enough detail and shading that it doesn’t look like a dog toy.
The paint work isn’t quite as detailed as you’d expect on an action figure or statue. The paint on the collar, as well as the red on the tie, is a bit thick, which does make it feel more like a bank than a toy (which, to be fair, it is). But the blue wash looks a lot better than the one on the NECA figure, preventing SPMM from looking like a big white blob without turning him into Violet Beauregarde.
The only criticism I have is that the font used for “Stay Puft” isn’t accurate–it’s more of a standard sans serif, whereas the font in the movie looks puffier and more cartoonish.
Articulation: You can move the head very slightly, thanks to the fact that the head can be removed so that you can get the coins out, but that’s it.
Quality Control: No problems.
Because this isn’t an action figure, I’m not going to knock any points off for not having any articulation or accessories. At the same time, without those things–and with the fairly simple sculpt and so-so paints–I can’t really give it a four or five-star rating. Still, I like this “bank” a lot more than a three-star score might indicate, and I do recommend it to Ghostbusters fans, even if they already have the Kenner or NECA figures.
Really, this is a nice update for those who had (or always wanted but didn’t own) the Kenner SPMM. And it’s a great addition to any Ghostbusters Minimate display.
And you can take that to the financial institution of your choice.