Who Ya Gonna Find on Toy Shelves? The New Ghostbusters
Unless you stockpiled up on Real Ghostbusters toys back in the '80s when the cartoon first ran, it's been a challenge to lock down Ghostbuster toys. Mattel's efforts to celebrate the 30th anniversary with a new line was a great idea in theory, but the execution was supremely lacking. It was almost impossible to find most of the figures made available, and Mattel's subscription service to get the figures out wasn't exactly met with open arms by the masses. Other companies have jumped in to the fill the void for the classic film, but there was reason to be concerned about Mattel's plans for the all-female Ghostbusters reboot/remake arriving later this year.
That's why it came as such a surprise when director Paul Feig intimated there would indeed be action figures coming. It was even more of a surprise when he dropped the first picture of the four leading ladies rocking proton packs this week on Twitter. At a time when there's a bit of unease between consumers and manufacturers over the way female figures are made available and sold at retail, seeing this kind of support for Ghostbusters months in advance of the film's release bodes well. That is, if Mattel can actually deliver consistently this time around.
With Toy Fair right around the corner, it's likely we would have learned a great deal about Mattel's Ghostbuster plans, but Feig capitalizing on the current #WheresRey hubbub was a smart way to generate plenty of interest ahead of the closed door convention. It's actually pretty rare to get a complete line of female figures for a female-led feature film, though I'm not sure which industry that's speaking more ill of. To be fair to Mattel though, its recently released Batman V Superman action figure line has had a pretty fair split of Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman figures. At least as far as I've seen locally.
The sculpts, while not easy to get a good handle on, look decent for mass market figures. When you're dealing with figures produced for a feature film like this from a larger company like Mattel, getting a super-close likeness is usually not something that happens all that often. I think the full costumes look pretty good, though I don't know why anyone would want the proton pack cable connected to the blaster attached to the top of the backpack. It just doesn't make much logistical sense when you want the cable itself to come from the hip area. There's more mobility there than if it was running over the shoulder. It also doesn't look like there's any hip articulation, which leads me to believe maybe those backpacks are molded on. Could be wrong though.
Anyway, this is supposedly just the tip of the Ghostbusters iceberg according to Feig. We'll likely learn more in just a few weeks at Toy Fair, where I'm hoping to see a new Ecto-1 to display along with these figures. Sure, we still have to hope the movie is actually good and does the lineage proper service, but that's a concern I have for just about every movie and figure license. I'm already eyeing up some display space though, so let's keep those fingers crossed.