I am way late getting on board the Minimates bandwagon, and from what I can tell it seems I’m not alone–the Ghostbusters Minimates seem to be selling very well, which suggests to me that it’s attracting casual collectors as well as Minimate diehards (no doubt to their chagrin–I was lucky enough to score a the Ray/Marshmallow Man 2-pack shown in yesterday’s It Figures, while longtime Minimate fan Rustin Parr has yet to find one).
In general, I’ve never been very interested in “non-realistic” action figure lines–block figures, vinyl figures, and so forth. It was only my resurgent interest in Ghostbusters, along with a strong recommendation from the aforementioned Mr. Parr, that got me to consider picking up a set.
Of the various block figure formats, Minimates is probably the one that had the best chance of appealing to me. They have more unique tooling, accessories, and articulation than Kubricks and run a lot cheaper.
To make a long story a bit shorter, I now own every Ghostbusters Minimate released so far, and I’ll be reviewing them in two separate reviews. This one focuses on the two-packs, which have been sold mostly through Toys ‘R Us. The later one will review the first box set and the video game ghosts pack.
Packaging: Each two-pack comes in a cardboard box with a viewing window. The graphics and colors on the packaging are great, but it would be better to see the entire figure. Fortunately, the sides of the packaging are folded, so once you cut the tape you can remove and replace the figures in the packaging as often as you want, so if you prefer to keep the packages, you’ve got options.
Design & Sculpt: Each Minimate uses a basic block body with varying degrees of extra parts overlaying it. The Ghostbusters themselves have a chest piece that fits over the torso, and believe it or not, they’re not all identical–Ray’s is a bit bigger to reflect Dan Aykroyd’s less-athletic physique. The ghosts, on the other hand, have many more sculpted bits– for instance, Slimer only has the torso piece (beneath the round body) and the arms.
The generic Ghostbuster torso has some great detailing, including all the equipment hanging from the belt and so forth. The proton packs are also excellently detailed. The only disappointment is the difficulty of putting the neutrona wand in a two-handed position–even if you manage it (see Egon, below) it doesn’t look quite right.
There are quite a few two-packs here, so I’ll discuss each one separately.
Slimer and Slimed Peter: This is easily one of my favorite sets of the group. The translucent green Slimer is great, and the slimed Peter has a priceless expression on his face.
Gooey Ray Stanz and Exploding Stay-Puft: I realize the extreme unlikelihood of getting a giant, in-scale Marshmallow Man Minimate, so these little versions are a decent alternative. The best part here is SPMM’s expression of rage and horror. I must say, though, looking at him makes me want a barley lollipop.
Courtroom Peter Venkman and the Washington Square Ghost: Do you remember the Washington Square Ghost? Me neither, until I read this page. He’s a Harryhausen beastie who appears in Ghostbusters II for about ten seconds. While his body is basically a yellow re-use of Slimer with a Terror Dog’s legs, it’s nice just to get another ghost. The Courtroom Peter (also from the second movie) has a great expression on his face, too. (Incidentally, I fully expect to see this body with a Walter Peck head in the third wave.)
Winston Zeddemore & Terror Dog: There’s some great work here on the Terror Dog, even if it’s a tad under-sized. Winston’s wearing his Ghostbusters II get-up, which is a nice variant from the more standard outfits, although I’d really like to see one with the Slime Gun. I’m not sure why his outfit isn’t as dark as the Ghostbusters II Peter, though (and frankly, I’m not sure which is more accurate).
Egon Spengler & Library Ghost: This is the “standard” Egon from the first movie, and he’s joined by the iconic library ghost–whose name is apparently Eleanor Twitty, a.k.a. “The Gray Lady”–from the beginning of Ghostbusters. I love the more opaque plastic used for her body, but it’s disappointing that there’s not a more human, non-monster face on the other side of her head, so you can swap looks.
Peter Venkman & Glow-in-the-Dark SPMM: Here’s Peter in his Ghostbusters II get-up, which makes the ‘Busters look less like exterminators and more like a S.W.A.T. team (personally I prefer the beige suits). We get another different expression for SPMM, and the more I think about it, it would make more sense for this expression and the one from the exploding SPMM to be swapped…this one is more of a “surprised” look.
Plastic & Paint: The detail on these is pretty amazing for the scale. Each Ghostbuster has his named etched in painfully tiny letters on the patch on his torso, and the tampo of the Ghostbuster symbol on the bicep is perfect.
Of all the figures, my only complaint might be the shade of green used for slimed Peter–it should be lighter to better match Slimer (although it might match the color used for the non-translucent Slimer, coming in series 2).
Articulation: It varies by character, but the basic Ghostbuster has ball joints at the head, shoulders, and hips, hinges at the knees and elbows, and swivels at the wrists, ankles, and waist. That’s great for a 2″ figure. Some of the ghosts, such as Slimer, obviously have significantly less.
Accessories: Again, it varies by the set. All the Ghostbusters come with proton packs, but since they’re not removable I’m not going to count them as an accessory; however, each ‘Buster also comes with a little blast of energy, which can be fitted on the nozzle of the neutrona wand. What’s even cooler is the blasts can be stacked (although you’ll have a hard time balancing the figure with more than two).
The Library Ghost comes with a book, and that’s it for accessories.
Quality Control: I didn’t have any problems with my figures. Not even a tampo significantly out-of-place.
Again, how much you agree with this review is going to depend a lot on your feelings toward Minimates, which seem to very much be a love-’em or hate-’em thing for most collectors. While I don’t see myself going out and buying any other of the current Minimates lines, I’m quite happy with these (particularly as they’re almost perfectly in scale with my 18″ NECA SPMM).
I’m looking forward to Series 2 and am curious to find out who’s in Series 3–I’m hoping for Walter Peck, Vigo the Carpathian and at least a couple Ghostbusters with the slime guns from the second movie.