Review > Ray Stantz (Ghostbusters Classics)

Just in time to be too late for Halloween, here’s my review of the 6″ Ray Stantz from Mattel’s Ghostbusters Classics line. Ray is only available via Mattycollector.com for $20 plus shipping. But is he worth a Jackson (or two Hamiltons, or one-fifth of a Benjamin, if you prefer)?

Ray Stantz is the heart of the Ghostbusters–a brilliant scientist who’s nonetheless quick to jump to the more outlandish or supernatural-based explanation for anything peculiar. His unbridled enthusiasm for the job often overrides fellow Ghostbusters Peter Venkman’s cynicism or Egon Spengler’s cool logic, sometimes getting them into trouble, but just as often getting them out of a tough spot with his creativity and quick thinking.

Packaging: The packaging looks the same as Egon’s, with the large blister bubble, Ghostbusters logo on top, and some basic bio information on the back. But unlike Egon’s package, the blister is glued to the card and the figure cannot be easily removed and returned to the package. I suppose this was a cost-saving measure, but for anyone wh0 liked the feature–well, it’s a bummer. You’re flat-out getting less for the same price.

Design & Sculpt: As anyone acquainted with this line knows, it appears that all four Ghostbusters are going to reuse the majority of the same sculpt, except for the head. The relatively normal-sized torso worked fine for Egon and will probably work for Peter and Winston, but it’s really not quite right for Ray. Dan Aykroyd wasn’t fat at the time he made Ghostbusters, but he wasn’t a slender man, either; he deserved a tubbier torso. It should be kept in mind that it’s very likely it’s Mattel, and not sculptors the Four Horsemen, that’s to blame for that torso re-use.

However, the head sculpt also leaves a bit to be desired. Judging from the look of the 12″ figure, it may be that Dan Aykroyd just has one of those hard-to-sculpt faces (like William Shatner or Bruce Campbell). Even the prototype photos of Ray didn’t look quite spot-on, and once the figures had gone through the production process they looked worse. However, while I have no doubt the photos in this review won’t look any better, when you’re holding the figure in your hand it’s not as bad. I’m not sure if it’s the stereoscopic effect of seeing the sculpt from two slightly different angles (i.e., your eyes) or what, but the likeness looks nicer in person.

That said, the head does have another problem: compared to Egon’s, it’s a bit too small. I’m sure part of it is the effect of Egon’s hair, but the head does seem to be a little undersized for the body.

As with Egon, the rest of the body sculpt is very good, especially the equipment. The detail on the backpack is phenomenal, and nearly as good as you’d see on a NECA figure at this scale.

Plastic & Paint: Most of the figure is molded in the gray/beige color of the uniform. It has a slight glossy texture to it, which unfortunately makes it more like a toy than you look for on a collector’s figure like this. Getting a more matte texture to the outfit would go a long way toward improving the look of these figures.

The paint applications are adequate, if nothing particularly special. I do appreciate that the “Stantz” of the pocket is spelled correctly and stenciled nicely, and the Ghostbusters patch is sharp. There’s a bit of paint missing around the green shoulder straps; annoying, but if this figure hadn’t cost me $20 I wouldn’t think anything of it.

The neutrona wand (“gun”) and cable that came with Egon were very rubbery. They’re a bit sturdier here, particularly the cable.

Articulation: Ray has a ball jointed neck, ball and hinge shoulders, elbows and wrists, H-hinge hips, hinges at the knees and ankles, and swivels at the waist, lower thighs, and the top of the boots. Something about the H-hinge hips on these figures makes them looks slightly unnatural in bent poses, as if the hips were a bit lower on the body than they should be.

Accessories: Ray comes with the famous Ghostbusters logo ghost. His head and right arm can be popped off so you can remove the ghost and have it float free on its stand–and yes, the ghost glows in the dark.

The Logo ghost is a neat idea and is executed well, but ultimately I find it disappointing. I would much rather have had a “realistic” ghost of some sort, or some equipment (maybe a PKE meter and a pair of removable goggles?). The ghost would have made for a perfect pack-in for Walter Peck, who doesn’t have an obvious accessory, but the reason they didn’t do that is clearly because with the containment unit they’ll sell a lot more Walter Pecks than they would if he just had the logo.

Quality Control: No problems (that I noticed) aside from the aforementioned paint issues.

Overall: Look, I’m on the hook for the four main Ghostbusters, and the very idea of a Walter Peck action figure makes him irresistible. The fact that the Four Horsemen sculpted these figures automatically puts them a step above similar figures at the same scale, and the equipment looks great.

But the re-use of the same torso for the more generously proportioned Aykroyd, coupled with the close-but-not-quite-there head sculpt and the cute but a bit disappointing ghost accessory, bring Ray down to an average rating. I would love to rate him higher, but he just doesn’t offer the value I expect for a $20 collector-oriented action figure.

111/200

24 Comments »

Comments now closed (24)

  • I'm still of the mindset that Walter Peck is the pack-in for the Containment Unit!

    Ray was a but of a letdown. I hope Winston is better cone December.

  • Be warned, the thicker cable plastic will stress and tear if you leave the gun on the pack, or fiddle with it a lot. Mine hasn't torn off, but I've had to crazy glue up 2 tears that started near the base of the gun.

  • I think Ray's likeness does look pretty good. Its one of those oddity figures that just don't photograph well. The logo ghost is a good idea in theory, but its just "meh". Overall I'm happy with him though.

  • No need to be so apologetic about not loving a figure from the 4H/Mattel/Ghostbusters.

  • @Poe:

    Once again Poe I thank you and hate you for doing this review, I thank you because like always you do the best reviews;but then I hate you well because I HAD NO interest in this line and now I'm really tempted to order him. As oppose to everyone who is hating on that little guy, I think the logo accessory makes me want it twice as bad, the ghoul is "cute" like my girlfriend said. ;)

  • I like Ray a lot. He could be tubbier, and Winston looks like he could be a little bit beefier, but the jump suit is sort of an equalizer and I don't hate the reuse yet. We'll see what I think when I have all four on a shelf.

    I don't like that there is an indentation in the logo ghost from the symbol. It doesn't look right standing alone.

    Great review Poe

  • @Poe:It's the tone. The implications:

    Maybe it's not the 4H fault for a less than stellar sculpt, Dan Akroyd is just hard to capture.

    Look, I love Ghostbusters, and I'm going to get all the figures, really I am, but….

    I'd love to rate this figure higher…

  • @George

    The logo is sweet. Sure I want more accessories, but not instead of the logo ghost. Were paying $20 plus shipping for a $13 dollar toy. Accessories should just be there.

  • @Dead Man Walking Also, I do consider the Horsemen friends, and I never like having to give a figure they made a less-than-stellar grade. So maybe there's a little bit of an apology because of that. But better that than an undeserved grade.

  • Some people seem to want to hate figures. I'm not speaking about Ray, but some people just pick figures apart. There's nothing wrong with being discriminating, but some people just seem to lack objectivity. All they do is point out the flaws and slam it.

  • Um, Poe, we of the "more generously proportioned" variety prefer other synonyms than "tubby". Please consider "heroically girthed", "masculinely-boned", "classical", "blue-collar butt", or my personal favorite, "powerful". You may also choose "gentleman of confirmed leisure". Thank you.

  • Why are nearly all companies nowadays package figures in poses. It is so stupid….yes it displays their articulation, but they could do that just as well on the back of the box with a picture….it also losens the joints and is annoying when re-packaging the figure.

    They could save a lot of money packing them correctly.

  • @misterbigbo: you are a man after my own heart!

    Pre-posing figures stinkeths. Plus all those stoopid ruber bands make them hard to get out. I usually just cut 'em, but sometimes I like to try and save 'em for who knows what.

  • I think winstom looks the best as far as likeness. but I will have to wait and see for venkman.

  • @Mark:

    especially for figures on matty where collectors are the ones buying so we dont need that "action pose" to help sell us.

    sure there ar eMOC collectors but most of them like normal uniform poses.

    sigh…i am waiting till all four are released and will buy them then preferably when they are re-released, tweaked and maybe in their GB2 uniforms. you KNOW they are gonna do it.

  • Meh… I'm fine the way they are. I don't think I'll be going complete on this line with the slimed, non-slimed, GBII, variants, etc. I'd def. have to see them first. I would kill for a Vigo figure though! ;-)

  • Personally, I could live with the body reuse and the rather disappointing face sculpts. I just can't afford collecting another overpriced Matty line right now.

    I'm kinda weary about how much of a chance this line does have to survive for more than a year. I get a feeling that Mattel had higher expectations for it.

  • I honestly don't think the line will do great. Not enough interest online…if they were in shops it would be different.

    Considering the overall quality and price of the figures I doubt they will do much more as soon as the main cast come out.

  • @Poe: LOL. Don't get me wrong, just an opinion.

    I love Ghostbusters, if I had the cash I would probably get the figures but….

    Poe I was 'Gloomy' last night. For all you in the USA over here in the UK like you have American Idol we have X Factor….two idiots from Ireland that can't sing (I know why are they on the show etc etc) did a cover of Ghostbusters last night (it was songs from movies week)..it was so bad…shudder.

    Here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKiW2W1Yt8s