Retro Action Ghostbusters
Samhain and Janine Melnitz with Slimer
8 Inch Scale
$50 (purchased for $15)
A bunch of websites got this set sent to them for review but even though I actually collect Mego style figures and none of them do, alas, I was not sent one. I really gotta get on Mattel’s better side. As a result, I had to purchase these figures at retail. However I knew going in that these guys weren’t worth $50. So I waited… And waited… And waited. Thankfully for me, aside from the few review sets that Mattel sent out, nobody bought these figures.
Why? Well the price tag was ridiculous for starters. Then there’s the whole “nobody likes Megos” thing, plus those who do like Megos didn’t like Mattel’s Retro-Action stuff… And last but not least, there’s the fact that Mattel canceled the line before this item came out so everyone knew it was the end. Some folks don’t continue to collect a line once it’s announced to be dead.
Which brings us back to a year later and Toys R Us has finally put this beast on sale. I’ve heard stories that some parts of the country have had this set on sale for $15 for months, but my local TRU only ran a $15 sale for a week. That was good enough for me to finally scoop one of these up and use ol’ Samhain in our 31 Days of Halloween celebration.
As a youngster, I loved the Real Ghostbusters and there’s pretty much no denying that Samhain is the coolest ghost villain in all of the Ghostbusters franchise. Sure Stay Puft is great and Gozer is more quotable, but Samhain was the spirit of Halloween and a total badass. He’s the main attraction with this set and the reason it’s being featured now.
Mattel sure does love fancy boxes. This one has a lot of high points, like the window that shows off all the accessories and the figures. It’s nicely designed.
It also has the advantage of looking big, but the box itself isn’t that wide. It’s adorned with snow along the top and around the edges, but I haven’t heard a single person mention it. It just blends in rather seamlessly, but the snow is supposed to help you know that this is a Christmas item. A Halloween character at Christmas? Whatever.
The back has some nice artwork of the characters and mentions how there’s a huge cardboard diorama piece of the Ghostbusters firehouse inside. I give Mattel credit for going out with a bang here. They basically gave you everything you need, sans Ecto-1.
I’ve reviewed quite a few Retro-Action figures in the past, so I’m not going to go into a huge breakdown on their construction or the bodies themselves. The concept is that these are Mattel’s “Megos” and they basically use the muscle structure of the old Big Jim toys, but with more articulation.
Samhain is the star of the show and he looks absolutely radiant in a translucent orange. I love pumpkin head characters, as I’m sure I’ve said hundreds of times on this site.
Still, Mattel probably missed the boat here by making his head a bit too round and his head far too translucent. I love translucent toys too, but there’s really no need for Samhain to be this way.
It does look a bit worse in pictures than to the naked eye, but Mattel probably should have painted Samhain. Even some slight wash or some detail lines, would have made this look much better. On the plus side, his costume is made of a silk-like fabric and has rips and tears designed into it. His collar even has a metal wire in it for posing.
Underneath he has a slightly less translucent body. It’s pretty neat because of the brightness of the orange, but the plastic does feel a bit cheap. I don’t know if that’s because it’s translucent, or Mattel was cheaping out at the end because they knew the line was dead.
Janine on the other hand, is quite nice. Perhaps the nicest of the Ghostbusters figures, really nailing the likeness down to a nearly perfect plastic representation of miss Melnitz. Aside from the fact that she’s wearing a Ghostbusters outfit.
Of course that idea did make it’s way into the cartoon and other mediums. I recall her wearing a brown suit like Peters and a pinkish one, but not an orange outfit. I’m sure she’s probably worn one like this somewhere, though.
Underneath she has a pretty spectacular body,(not like that you buncha pervs), with a lot more careful design than Mattel put into it’s male body. Aside from the upcoming Zica female, this is probably the single greatest female Mego body to date. Shame Mattel barely ever used it.
The best and probably worst part about Janine is her head. The sculpt is spot on. Easily the best of all the RGB Mattel toys, but her hair comes down her neck to a point that she’s sculpted looking down. She sort of ends up like a hunchback.
Finally, we have Slimer. His likeness is just okay at best. He’s WAAAAY too small for this line. On the plus side, he’s basically the perfect size for the classic Real Ghostbusters figures. All of which never had a very good Slimer figure. It’s a nice unintentional perk.
The articulation on the Retro Action guys is pretty good in concept, as they have balljoint/swinvel hinge style shoulders. This is much needed in figures like the Six Million Dollar Man but the overall body doesn’t work too good.
Because of the rubber band on the inside and the way the hips are constructed, these guys are loose as a goose from the waist down. Janine works a bit better than Samhain, who is virtually a rag doll in the leg department.
Slimer is relegated to just simple cuts at the arms. It would have been nice if he could have gotten ball joints, but it is what it is.
This pack comes absolutely LOADED with accessories. Reusing everything that’s been released to date in the line. It’s a great way to outfit your other Ghostbusters with equipment.
You get the removable proton pack and blaster as well as the ghost sniffer and a PKE meter. None too shabby.
The colors and quality are decent. I had some paint rubs on the PKE meter, but it seems like they could be rubbed right back off. The removable proton pack is a definite plus.
The only thing I don’t like is that a few of the weapons are hollow in the back.
Both figures have removable boots, while Janine has a removable outfit and belt. The outfit is different from the other Ghostbusters costumes, because it’s taken in at the hips. Try as I might, I couldn’t get Action Jackson into her clothes. Too bad, really.
While it’s nice that she gets all these weapons, Janine’s hands can’t hold a single one. The best you can do is sort of set them in her hands.
However, other figures can grab them, so you can gear out everyone else.
Finally you have a cardboard 22” tall fold out firehouse. I didn’t build this, but it seems decent for a paper accessory. I like the effort, even though again, it works better for smaller figures.
These guys were horribly overpriced at $50 and I even saw them in the $60 range at some point. They were a better value at $30, but I was glad to score them at $15. Unfortunately the likeness just isn’t as good as it could be on Samhain and the toys themselves are a bit flimsy and cheap. That makes them a nice grab at $15, but I wouldn’t pay more than $25 for this set.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 7
Paint – 7
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Firehouse Cardboard Building, Proton Pack, Ghost Sniffer, PKE Meter
Value – 7
Overall – 7 out of 10
It’s nice to get a new Samhain figure, after only ever having a sort of wonky Extreme Ghostbusters version. Unfortunately the lack of paint applications on the face and some slightly soft sculpting don’t make this a homerun by any stretch of the imagination. Still, if you’re a fan of Ghostbusters or just want a decent Samhaim, you can’t beat this on sale. At regular prices, it’s not worth it.