Toy Fair 2016: Mattel’s Ghostbusters Are Ready to Believe You
With a new Ghostbusters film on the horizon, the fearless foursome will once again return to the mass market courtesy of Mattel. Though Mattel previously tried to resurrect the Ghostbusters franchise as action figures back in 2009, the line was fraught with issues. Other companies, like Diamond Select, have stepped up in recent years to fill the void for figures based on the 1984 classic, but outside of specialty shops, Ghostbusters toys have been few and far between since the Real Ghostbusters line ended all those years ago.
Depending on how invested you were in the Matty Collector Ghostbusters line, even bringing it up might recall a particularly sour taste for fans who were burned the last time this license was making the rounds. After seeing the new figures in person for the first time this weekend at Toy Fair, I hope this wave can find the audience and success the previous batch just couldn’t maintain. Given all the excitement for the female-led film, that doesn’t seem like it should be a problem. Even if the figures aren’t all that great.
Getting actor likenesses exactly right for mass market figures has been a challenge for most of the major players in the arena, but some of Mattel’s recent DC figures have had relatively decent captures of big stars. The best thing I can say about the head sculpts for these new figures is that they indeed do look like human beings. It pains me a bit because the fans and these actors deserve good Ghostbusters figures, but the toys just don’t look like the leads.
Will that stop people from buying them? Probably not. You’ve got to seize the opportunity when it arises, and who knows if a chance like this will ever come again. The proton packs look fine and the body/uniform sculpts aren’t bad. You’ve got to remember, mass market figures aren’t going to get quite the same attention to detail as toys found in specialty shops. That’s why so much of DC Collectibles‘ stuff looks miles above what Mattel is doing with the DC Comics license. The figures at your local comic shop are much more limited in supply, though they tend to have a higher price tag, and can get more development time. These need to be out and ready for the film, but also produced in quantities to fulfill orders for big box stores across the globe.
While I did expect to see the four Ghostbusters at Toy Fair, it’s the other three figures included in the line that came as a bit of a surprise. I’m assuming (based on the Lego set) the sparkling, winged beast is a Daemon. I don’t know if that’s what the new Ghostbusters are fighting throughout the film, or if it’s a bigger bad waiting for them at the end like Gozer, but it’s definitely a unique design. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man making an appearance is curious, and I wonder if he’s a straight throwback or if he’ll actually be in the updated version when it hits theaters. It’s a nice nod to the 1984 film either way. There’s also that weird ghost that looks like he might be the “living” incarnation of the logo. I don’t know what his deal is.
The Ghostbusters figures will be available later this year, and hopefully we’ll get some answers as to what these non-human figures mean before the movie hits in July. Hopefully we also get a clearer indication as to when these will arrive in stores. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice toys hit a few weeks ago, and that movie is still more than a month away, but there’s no concrete date for when the second batch of those Multiverse figures will hit stores. Fingers crossed that doesn’t lead to a delay in Ghostbusters shipping out due to fear of crowding the peg space.