Review > Winston Zeddemore (Retro Action Real Ghostbusters, Mattel)

We’re having an unofficial Review Week here at PGPoA (I don’t know why it has to be unofficial since it’s my own website…look, never mind), so let’s move on to the next one: Retro Action Real Ghostbusters (RARG) Winston Zeddemore!

I’m not going to go into my spiel about my general feelings on Mego-style figures–you can read that in my Flash/Captain Cold review from yesterday.

Instead, let’s talk about Mattel’s handling of the Ghostbusters line. Mattel recently stated they would not be making any 6″ Real Ghostbusters figures in their Ghostbusters Classics line, so for RGB fans, the Retro Action line is the only game in town (well, not really).

This Winston is the last item from that big box of freebies Mattel sent me. He’ll run you $21 at Toys R Us, or you can get the whole set for $80 from Entertainment Earth.

Packaging: Like the RADCSH figures, Mattel has given these toys a nice retro feel, even employing a purple card like the original Kenner RGB toys. The front and back of the card has some fitting ’80s-looking art, although the obvious question is: will we get RARG Stay-Puft, Janine and Slimer? We’d better.

Design & Sculpt: I discussed the Mattel Retro Action bodies at length in my Flash/Captain Cold review, but to briefly reiterate, they differ from the usual 8″ Mego body in have solid-constructed arms and better-articulated feet. They still have the rubber-banded torsos that I just will never, ever like. Their heads are also anchored via a plastic disc inside the neck, so there’s no way to get the head off without destroying the torso.

The only real new sculpt here is the head, and it just seems off. That seems strange for such a cartoonish version of the character, but Winston had a distinct look on the show that isn’t quite represented here. The face is too long and slender, and the expression’s a bit too bland.

Outfit & Paint: On the other hand, the outfit is top-notch. There’s a lot of stitching and separate parts. There are a few loose threads here and there, but overall I think it came out great.

The Ghostbusters emblems on the shoulders appear to be iron-ons (not sure what the technical term would be–feel free to enlighten me), but they hold up to basic handling. The only iffy part of the costume are the elbow pads, which look more like legwarmers. Something made of faux-leather would have been nicer, but it’s a minor point.

Articulation: Both figures feature what seems to be the standard RADCSH articulation: ball jointed shoulders, a ball joint at the torso and hips (all controlled through a rubber band), swivel-hinges at the wrists and ankles for a ball-joint-like range of motion, and hinges at the elbows and knees. The foot articulation is mostly useless due to the thick boots.

Accessories: This is where this figure is almost worth the high price point. Unlike most of the Retro Action DC Super Heroes figures, all the Real Ghostbusters come with some great accessories. Winston comes with his proton pack and a ghost trap.

The proton pack straps on easily, but it’s a bit difficult to get Winston to hold the neutrona wand in the standard Retro Action hands; they should have created some unique hands for these figures. But maybe that would have hurt their nostalgic appeal? The neutrona wand can be stored on the back of the pack.

Finally, there’s the ghost trap. Overall, it’s a lot more than you get with most RADCSH figures.

Quality Control: While I haven’t had any problems with them, I’d be careful with the Ghostbusters emblems on the upper arms–they might start to peel if you handle them too much, or try to take off the outfit.

Overall: I still think Mattel’s Retro Action figures are overly expensive, though they’ve said (in regards to fabric on the DCUC or MOTUC lines) that stitched fabric is more expensive to produce than plastic. But in comparison to Mattel’s other Retro Action figures, Winston is a better value, thanks to his fairly complex outfit and great accessories.

[raven 3.5]


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  1. Mark

    I think the head is to large and none of the face sculpts really look like the cartoon.

    Sorry Mattel,like most other things, you are terrible at making good Ghostbusters toys.

    For Ghostbuster toys I'm sticking with the old Kenner and Trendmasters Extreme Ghostusters figures.

    What is the point in ding Ghostbusters in the Mego style? DC super heroes work but no GB. 4-5" figures are all thats needed to go with the old figures. Also at this sizewe could get an ECTO-1 which is one thing all GB would fans want.

  2. 3B

    I saw these at my local TRUs today and contemplated buying at least Venkman (my favorite), but $20 is too high. I can't do it.

    I did find a RA Two-Face at TJ Maxx for $10. That's a much better price point! 🙂

  3. I ran into TRU last nite partly to see if I could find these, and I did. I was a fan of the cartoon, but I don't know if I need to go ahead and start collecting these at $20 a pop. I could pick up one, but thats just a tease!

  4. Mecha-Shiva

    Head sculpt is like a happy Tony Todd.

  5. Swapping these onto bodies with bicep swivels makes all the difference in the world! They can hold their particle thrower and it makes them a lot more fun to play with.

  6. Darren

    I have to have a little fun with this one: “Dolls are for girls! Boo Mego style figures”.

  7. Nik

    I have a few issues with this line, be prepared for a Mattel rant…

    1) It’s obvious that this line exists because Mattel can’t afford or is too cheap to pay for unique 6″ sculpts. This is the only way to use the same body for all 4 guys. I don’t like MEGOs or the MEGO style at all. DC is fine, because its literally a retro throwback. People who had them as kids may get some nostalgia back, and its not that the form isn’t cute, just not my thing. But RGB isn’t that retro of a line. They were never MEGOs and they have no business being them, other than Mattel not wanting to spend the money properly executing the expensive license they obtained.

    2) If Mattel is going to do them this way at least do it right. They obviously don’t pay their in-house designers enough to put in the reference research that the 4H put into the movie toys. The pack is close but not show accurate. The gun is just a movie thrower, looks nothing like the cartoon thrower. The trap is fine. The PKE that comes with Egon is the roleplay PKE toy, not the cartoon design. It just frustrating. If your gonna cop out on proper toys and cheap it out, at least do it right. Its not like inaccurate designs saves them any money, its just lazy.

    *** upon closer inspection and research many of the designs more closely resemble the toy line or RP toys than the show. I guess this is a design decision, though I would prefer show accuracy as that was something most of the original toy line lacked.

  8. misterbigbo

    Didn't like the cartoon as a kid, and not enough of a GB fan to collect any of the toys beyond Minimates. I'm just commenting here because I hope this Mego/retro kick dies soon. I really hate these dolls. In any flavor. I question the motive behind them.

    Wouldn't the Mego fans/target demo out there be in their mid-40s by now? Why would that age group gravitate to the Ghost Busters cartoon?

    That demographic might be the one with the greatest spending potential, but don't they spend it on their kids? What dad wants to get his son a doll?

    I thought by now we'd see the retro toys movement head into the 90s with the Power Rangers, Captain Planet, and Furbies. Not that I'd want to see that.

  9. I had to laugh at Mattel for how they packed the cases of these.

    1 Winston to a case. They doubled up on Peter instead of packing two complete sets of Ghostbusters in the box. Der.

    Anyway, good review on this guy, Poe. I agree on the head sculpt – Winston is my favorite of the quartet and they just didn't get his head sculpt as right as they got some of the others.

  10. The Real Ghostbusters isn't really at the top of the list when I think of '80s toy lines, usually that’s reserved for Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Go-Bots, etc. Its still very much "retro" at this point I think. However I'm not sure I could go out and plop down $80 for the figures, if I was going to do that I might as well plop down the buck thirty or whatever it was that I saw the entire RGB series selling for at Newbury Comics. Of course if I bought the series I'd almost surely then have to go out and pick all these up. It’s a paradox.

    As far as the mego-style… I’d prefer these to be included with the 6” line, but c'est la vie. I think it works better with animated characters than it does with real-life people.

  11. I saw these at TRU… I like the idea and the accessories. That said, Winston is my favorite GB and I feel like the head sculpt is really soft here.

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