Diamond Select is on a hot streak in 2016. Like a pitcher throwing a perfect game, I am somewhat reluctant to contact Zach at DST asking when street release dates are, thus not wanting to upset the rhythm his company is in for 2016. Almost coming one on top of the other was the first two waves of the long-awaited and highly anticipated Ghostbusters line from the 1984 film classic. The movie created a genre in the "sci-fi comedy" and although there are those that have tried, it is a rare thing to achieve. Hence the backlash for this summer's lady Ghostbusters movie which is now the most poorly received trailer in YouTube history. But there is no need to compare the original to the reboot because after 32 years (God I feel old), the Ghostbusters are still a powerful brand with followers all over the world. I defy you to go to even the smallest Con's in a motel lobby and not find some weekend warrior with a homemade Proton Pack on his back mugging for photos.
Ghostbusters was not just a worldwide phenomenon, it was a seismic shift in special effects for the 80's making Slimer, Gozer & the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man identifiable to fans of all ages. While there has been hardcore figure collector Ghostbusters merchandise for over a decade, most notably with MATTEL's ill-fated Club Ecto-1, DST thunders in with the second wave of an already brilliant line. The figures are dynamite, the ones that Junkies have patiently waited for, each with a piece of what is going to be the Mac Daddy, most pimped out backdrop in action figure history! A bold move on DST President Chuck Terceira's part but this has been his baby. Zach chimed in our AFJ/MIDTOWN COMICS blog saying, "The diorama is a real game changer. The fans who want it and have the room for it, are in for the whole line, and we've tried to craft a 15-figure line that has everyone they could possibly want from that first movie." Well so far, they are six for six in my book and we still have nine figures to go! Here is a complete AFJ breakdown of Wave 2, available in stores and online now. You can also buy the non-diorama piece figures for a mere $12.99 exclusively at Toys R Us if you are lucky enough to find them.
Bill Murray as Peter Venkman, the leader of the Ghostbusters, is perhaps one of the greatest casting jobs in movie history after the late John Belushi had to bow out for obvious reasons. I don't think that it would have been the same movie, to be honest. There simply is no substitute for what some call "the world's finest actor" (see Robert Schnakenberg's new book). Venkman is the alpha dog of the crew and his comedic hi-jinks, that of a game show host, would tell you that it is all too technical for us to understand. One thing is for sure, don't cross the streams.
The figure is everything that you have been hoping for and more. Right down to the creases on his jumpsuit to that trademark Murray grin, you can almost hear him saying the line from that urban legend about the comic actor where he takes a fry off a random patron's tray at McDonald's and says, "No one will believe you." The utility belt is loaded with plenty of room for his walkie-talkie or even an extra spot to hold the Neutrino Wand. Personally, I like the black gloves and cuffs the best of the three sets that come with the figure. I should have mentioned this in the Wave 1 review but the Proton Packs are removable but it does take a little clever maneuvering. It's a great way to have a "quittin' time" Venkman. The ornate detail of the Proton Pack is really something to see and I examined it in for a half hour. It even has the metal grate piece that is the framework to handle the weighty Pack. Fantastic from top to bottom and the Venkman that is 32 years in the making.
The cellist whose apartment just happens to a portal to the realm of Gozer is in full on vamp mode. Sigourney Weaver became a household name after her portrayal of NYC resident Dana Barrett. The sizable change in her character in the film from reserved musician to a sex goddess "gatekeeper" Zuul, just shows the complete range of the famous actress. While Club Ecto-1 did have a Zuul figure near the end of its run, this new DST figure usurps the old MATTEL one with ease.
The action figure is able to nail the lanky frame of the actress standing an impressive 7-inches. The paint apps and coloring on her dress are a perfect match from the onscreen Dana. Even the skin tone which was kind of "glittery" towards the finale is captured effortlessly. I like on these figures that the articulation is not overwhelming and serves its purpose well while not going overboard. Make no mistake, these are highly pose-able figures. They really nailed the windswept hair of Dana and her mane is full on display in this new iteration. I think that Weaver's likeness is a very difficult one to capture (see AVATAR for her in bright blue) but if my mom guesses who the character is, then its a fair shot that even the novice fan or GB newb will know who it is. Not many extras with this one save for the diorama piece but I believe in not having overkill. The sculpt is just fantastic and I really like that we have the altar pretty much set up for her to lay on.
Harold Ramis was a huge loss to the movie industry when he passed suddenly in 2014 just shy of his 70th birthday. The iconic writer, director & actor was a tour de force of comedic talent. I mean, the man wrote Animal House, Stripes, Meatballs & Caddyshack which he also directed along with National Lampoon's Vacation. Plus he wrote Ghostbusters along with Dan Aykroyd--now that is a resume that will never be matched.
As Egon Spengler, the bookworm scientist who is all about the science and numbers (and Twinkies) is the most centered of the Ghostbusters and seems at home in the world of the paranormal. Yes, he collects spores, molds & fungus but he is the soul of the gang. The figure is light years ahead of anything that we have had before. Outside of the pricey 12-inch figure from Club Ecto-1, this is a better and more malleable version that can really be posed and moved exactly the way the collector wants. The PKE Meter that Egon comes with makes it an absolute home run. That smirk that Ramis had mastered in Stripes is on display and you can even store the PKE Meter in his Batman-style utility belt. The pompadour and spectacles make Egon instantly recognizable as the late comedy icon. I really could not get enough of this Egon figure even though Venkman is my favorite Ghostbuster!
THE FINAL WORD
I just love how it turned out and you can tell that this was a real passion project for Chuck Terceira at Diamond Select. Those years of having the license and teasing what was to come is most certainly worth the wait. The minutiae that are attended to in these figures is mind-blowing and meticulous. This does not feel mass produced whatsoever and in today's market, that is really saying something. I think that Wave 2 is going to be on the secondary market for beaucoups bucks in the near future so do yourself a favor Junkies, pick Wave 2 up today!