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.