I remember the today too well. It was a brutally cold winter and I had awoken to my usual routine of checking my phone, clicking on IMDb to see what movie and TV news transpired over the night while I was sleeping. It was 2/24/14 and I rubbed my eyes. Nothing came to mind like a celebrities birthday or anything like that and then I read it..."Writer/Director Harold Ramis Dead at 69." My heart sank. This was my equivalent of a BEATLE dying. This was a shove from God telling me that we are here for a minute; that's it. This was the first time I shed a tear over someone I never knew or never met but instead someone who inspired me to be the very best at what I could be. That I could do it all and did not have to limit myself to one field. You could write, perform, direct, produce. We had just lost a Babe Ruth of entertainment, of comedy. To some he might just have been "EGON" the flat-topped GHOSTBUSTER, but not me.
It was hard to think anything about toys that day except that I knew I had to write some sort of story and had some kind of deadline that my heart was just not into. You don't just lose someone involved in 6 of your Top 10 films of all time in one fell swoop. The odds are something out of Tobin's Spirit Guide. But I pressed on and waited and did the best I could to cope. I called my best friend from Chicago and he said that a cloud had pretty much wafted over the city for the days that followed. And rightfully so since Chicago was where Ramis was born and bred, where he worked at the world-famous Second City, wrote jokes for The Playboy Club when they still had a Chicago branch. His pals had last names like Murray and Belushi and Candy. A God had fallen in my world and even if there was a brand new Very Hard To Find Exclusive out that day, I doubt I could have mustered even getting to my car and firing up my own ECTO-1.
As it always does, life goes on and as it always seems to be, MATTEL will somehow figure out to drop the ball. After close to a year and a half since his passing, MATTEL released their "In Memory of Harold Ramis" edition of the GHOSTBUSTERS II "Courtroom Battle Egon Spengler" at last month's SDCC '15. The aforementioned tiny note on the white mailer box and next to impossible to find on the back of the figure is practically a slap in the face. But we move on to the figure which to me looks no different than the last four or five Egon's that have been produced. This one just happens to have the "Courtroom Battle" label stuck on it. There is no sign that some proceeds from buying the figure would be donated to autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis that would have been a classy move on MATTEL's part.
Courtroom Battle Egon which let's just call a "Variant" and certainly not specifically made specifically for Ramis' death. The figure uses the exact same suit, tie, and pants as other Courtroom figures. It is a reused non-removable Proton Pack (shocker) with the same old Egon head. The suit is painted grey, with a polka dot blackish tie, same white shirt and black shoes and enormous glasses clearly identifying who the character is.
The only real coups for this special figure is that it comes with a truckload of accessories that until now had not been made or used. But here we get the mother lode. We get stuff from both films including Dana Barrett's toaster, hot beverage thermal mug, gigameter, Jackie Wilson Radio, Egon's magnifying glass, a giant slime ladle, a Sherlock Holmes sized magnifying glasses well. I should say that not ALL of these accessories are just for Egon. Some, just by looking at them, I recognized them but could not tell you which film or which character used them.
In my summation, besides the cool bonus accessories, this was a fail of a tribute to the brainy Buster. I do not want to say anything else that would tarnish Mr. Ramis' legacy except to say that I genuinely hope that Diamond Select does Egon right when they release him late this year or early 2016. Thanks for the memories, Mr. Ramis.