12″ Peter Venkman

12_venkman_29I have to really pick and choose which figures I buy on, this was one I decided I needed, and after having it a few days, I know I made the right decision. Check out my pics and review.

Like most of you, I was pretty excited Mattel snagged the Ghostbusters license. We were pretty excited with what NECA brought to the table a few years ago, but we were left a little high and dry that we didn’t get the actual Ghostbusters themselves. So when Mattel started off with the famous foursome, we wondered if they’d really make Venkman. Bill Murray is well known for being restrictive with his likeness. But there he was at Toy Fair… Venkman in 12″ form.
12_venkman_09I figured I couldn’t afford all of the 12″ figures and all of the 6″ figures. So I decided to get the complete 6″ figures and just Venkman in 12″ form. I have a hard time dropping $74 on an action figure. I had previously stretched the budget for General Zod, and now it was time to grab my favorite Ghostbuster. I was very surprised when I popped onto around 3pm the day of the sale and was able to put a Venkman in my cart. Usually if you’re not logged in the minute before the clock hits 12:00, you have no chance. Even then, there’s only about a 40% chance you’ll get through all the way to check out. So how was Venkman not sold out hours later? Shortly after I popped onto Raving Toy Maniac‘s message board to express my shock in snagging a 12″ Peter (haha, you knew I’d have to say it once. THERE it is) I saw a photo comparing the prototype head seen at Toy Fair, and the actual head that was received. My God, what have I done? I had buyer’s remorse that made me nauseated… I have a 2 and a half year old, I can not spend $74 on something that I’m embarrassed to own. This looked like a sad impression of the animated Peter from The Real Ghostbusters. It appeared that there was a last minute protest from Bill Murray about his likeness, so the production run altered his head a little. We’ve seen this happen before with the Terminator 2 action figures. We saw pics on the packaging that looked just like Arnold, but the actual figure’s sculpt would put an amusement park caricaturist to shame. So here I was, furious that I had spent so much on something that looked so terrible. Not only did it look terrible, it looked so terrible that I thought there’d be no way to sell it later on eBay. This is why it wasn’t selling out.

Then within a day or two, the same sites that got the early review samples were reporting that with some hot water, or a hairdryer you could soften the hard vinyl head and squish it down. That actually made a world of difference. It wasn’t quite as striking as the prototype head, but that’s to be expected.
12_venkman_02It seems that the walkie talkie was positioned in front of his face in the packaging intentionally, because Mattel knew that the MIB collectors would not like looking at that plastic abomination everyday. I personally believe this squished head was on purpose, most likely due to likeness issues from the Murray camp. I believe Mattel simply squished the final sculpt, and hoped that we’d figure out how to get it back. I’m curious what’s going to happen with the un-meltable hard plastic head that will be on the 6″ figure that comes out later this year. I’m now mentally preparing for something that doesn’t look a thing like Bill Murray. Couldn’t they do sunglasses version?

Within a week or so I had my very own Venkman in my hands and I anxiously bust him out of the package. Yup, that head looked terrible. Very quickly I put my wife’s hairdryer on him, and within several minutes, I was pretty satisfied with my Peter’s head. That’s what she said. (There’s number 2!)

12_venkman_18So, now that my deformed head situation was fixed, I’m ready to give you my opinion on the rest of figure. If you picked up the previously reviewed Egon or Ray, you’re pretty familiar with the body and awesome proton pack. The proton pack is amazing. The microscopic text on the safety labels looks great. There’s a wash on the black areas that gives it some weathering, and the lights on the back blink in sequence. Simply press the button on the base and it’ll blink for about 20 seconds and turn off itself.

12_venkman_25The trap is like the one from the other releases. The foot pedal can be depressed and it springs back, and the trap doors spring open with the press of a button. I’m impressed with the level of detail and functionality that they put into this accessory. It took me awhile to figure out how to attach the trap (it goes on the ring hanging from his belt), but every detail is present. The particle wand fits in his hands pretty snugly. There’s tons of articulation, and the joints are pretty tight. I have a generic display stand that I picked up a toy store a few years ago that assists a bit with keeping him upright. Though the proton pack isn’t that heavy, it does affect his center of balance. My General Zod came with a display stand, why didn’t the Ghostbusters? Does the amount of plastic in the proton pack add up to the amount of plastic in Zod’s stand?

12_venkman_33Ok, those are my initial thoughts. Now that I have him, I’m pretty happy. However I typically buy collectibles because they make me feel great. Theses are some of the most negative feelings I’ve had in spending this kind of money, in a long time. When I bought General Zod I went from excited to getting him through to check-out, to anxiously waiting for him to arrive, to elated with putting that much plastic awesome on my desk. I took him to the White House and got a load of pictures, and I love when visitors to my cubicle recognize who he is. (Other coworkers call him a Barbie doll. Little do they know what Zod would do to their Barbies if given 3 minutes in the Malibu Beach House.) Basically what I’m getting at, is the next time I spend any money at MattyCollector, I want to be blown away. It was worth it in the end, but we’ll see where the next few months take us.

Check out my pics below, and be sure to check out all of our Ghostbuster coverage, including the free display backdrops and accessories you can download, print and assemble for the Ghostbuster Minimates.

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