Life has a funny way of throwing stuff at you in a curveball. I’ve had a trying couple of weeks, not super bad or anything but mentally taxing ones. As a result I was headed out to Toys R Us today to pick up a few 6th Doctor figures for my fellow collectors out there (Don’t say I never did nothing for ya) and I was fully prepared to spend a few bucks on something for myself. Mostly just to “feel better” and I had pretty much determined what I was going to buy in my head.

Then I walked into TRU and right next to the Doctor Who figures was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I sort of felt like Ray Stantz at the end of the original Ghostbusters. Here was something from my childhood that I loved and it totally caught me off guard. I’ve wrote at some length before here at Infinite Hollywood about Childhood Memories and over at Poe Ghostal’s about how when I was really young my brother and I used to have “Monster Wrestling” where our two favorite gladiators of the time, Wampa and Stay Puft, would battle it out.

When my parents got divorced a decade or so ago I had to give up most of my childhood toys as I moved away. They no longer were going to keep my junk at there separate houses and I had to essentially watch as tons of my toys were sold off or thrown away. I did get to go in and have my own personal version of Schindler’s List where I saved a certain few figures and despite being one of the oldest and most beat up toys there, I saved the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I just loved that toy as a kid, even if it was basically a dog chew toy. So when I saw this figure in TRU today, he called out to me.

EVEN THOUGH, way back on August 10th when Poe Ghostal reviewed this figure I said I wouldn’t get it because it wasn’t articulated enough. Despite all that was working against this figure, it had a lot going for it too and as a result I’m the proud owner of a brand new Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and it’s glorious.

The package here is pretty simple, akin to the Bandai large scale Godzilla figures. I also have no idea what you call this package. It’s not a clamshell, it’s not a bubble card, it’s not a box. Since I lack the vast knowledge of terminology I’m going to call it a Puft-a-Back. I even cheated a bit and tried to find out what Poe Ghostal called this figure back when he reviewed it and guess what… HIS DIDN’T COME PACKAGED LIKE THIS! So it’s a Puft-a-Back. It’s official, everyone call this that from now on.

Apparently this wasn’t something that Diamond had originally intended for stores. Since they decided to get it into stores they’ve added this full package and it’s nice. Like I said, it’s a little plain but the back of the box literally has every other Ghostbusters product from Diamond on it. They did a nice job here cross-selling. You might also notice that the word “bank” is absent from the package. It does say it in a few places but it’s pretty carefully hidden. This is a lot more toy than bank.

I really like the bio on the back. Not just because it mentions a lot of stuff specific to Stay Puft and has the text from the Ghostbusters commercial, but it specifically makes reference to Stay Puft becoming a good guy and helping the Ghostbusters. Something he did indeed do during the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.

The Marshmallow Puft Man has three simple twist ties holding him in. My cat Roscoe loves to play with these things and since Puft Daddy is so big, the twist ties are large enough to give my kitty without fear of him thinking it’s cat sized spaghetti and pulling a Garfield.

So technically this is a “bank”. However if TAO from Articulated Discussion doesn’t include this on his weekly action figure roundup I’m going to seek him out and do bad things to him. Why? Because this IS an action figure. He has ONE full point of articulation and despite what I said back on 8.10.09 that’s OKAY!

Stay Puft has a cut neck, that techically is removeable so he can do his “bank” action. By action I mean nothing, he’s hollow. At first I was certain that Puft needed articulated arms. I think if I did a little heating with a blowdryer I could probably crack the arms loose and move them, but it’s a moot point… WHY?

I own the Kenner Stay Puft and his arms are articulated. Do you know what pose they’ve been in for 20 years? The same damned pose they’re in now. Swivel arms do nothing on the Puft man. Even NECA’s slightly larger Puft man has swivel arms that do NOTHING because the sculpt just doesn’t allow for articulation to be of any use. In fact I’d say this figure is BETTER than those other figures because of the lack of articulation in the arms. This Stay Puft has his arms out in the front as opposed to stupidly waving at the sides.

For a while I thought the NECA gigantic Stay Puft was the end all and be all of Marshmallow Puft Men. Not enough to pay the 7 bajillion dollars he goes for on Ebay, but enough to call him the real deal. Oddly enough I passed on that NECA one because when I saw him in stores way back when, he didn’t feel “right”. I can officially confirm to you this one feels more than right.

Two banks not in need of a bail-out.

For starters, he’s gigantic. When Poe reviewed him, he included some scale shots but I just didn’t get it. This guy stands just a hair under 12 inches. That’s nearly a full foot of Stay Puft freshness! I think that was one of the things that blew me away about this figure. I thought he was 9 maybe 10 inches and paltry. He’s really quite big. He’s not to scale with the Mattel Ghostbusters, but he’s more to scale with the Mattel GBs than the old Kenner Stay Puft was to the Kenner GBs… So if that makes sense, GET HIM!

The sculpt is really the best part though. Unlike the NECA version that honestly looked nothing like Stay Puft, this guy is smooth and crisp all over. He looks just like the KENNER version but all grown up. If you had the Kenner Stay Puft as a kid, you need this one. Mattel is supposedly making one, but do we really trust them to do him right? They can’t repaint Egon’s body white and call him Stay Puft.

Even if Mattel makes the most awesome Stay Puft of all time, this one will still be worth it. He just looks that damned good, even if he ends up as a kid brother to the 10 foot tall one I hope Mattel is planning. His girth, his proportions, everything just seems right. The more I look at this one and the NECA one, the more I realize that NECA one was a big giant turd.

The paint here is pretty basic but it’s nicely done. He’s got a fair amount of blue wash to give him some shadowy depth. I do think mine has a tad bit of an issue with the wash around the eye brows but only when I really focus in on it does it look slightly uneven. The rest of the paint work is crisp (though to be fair there isn’t a lot to paint) and the sculpt is very basic but beautiful in it’s simplicity.

Still not everything is perfect. The sculpt does have a slot in the back to put in coins. This is technically a bank. That’s the nature of the beast. It doesn’t look terrible though all things considered.

Stay Puft doesn’t come with anything unless you count twist ties for my cat, but he does give me that warm fuzzy feeling inside that I haven’t gotten from an action figure purchase in YEARS and that’s certainly worth more than any accessory would be.

If you’re looking for a good accessory to this guy though, buy Mattel’s Ray Stantz figure that I reviewed earlier this week.

Additional Notes:
One of the things I just love about this figure is an intangible element. See, when I was a kid, my Kenner Stay Puft felt pretty huge in my hands. Not like “tall as me” huge, but like he was a really big figure. As I grew up and got older, he’s really not very big. The NECA figure felt too big, it didn’t remind me of the old Kenner figure at all. This one, it’s grown to the same proportions I have. So now my hands fit around this figure the same way they did around the Kenner figure when my hands were half the size they are now. I’m not sure if that makes any sense to a lot of you, but if you’ve ever felt like the toys you had as a kid are now too small, then you know the feeling. Well in this case it’s like they’ve just enlarged one of my favorite childhood toys to my current proportions. I know Diamond Select didn’t tailor this figure to me, but they might have well had and God bless em’ for it.

I bought this guy at Toys R Us for $19.99! That’s not the cheapest thing out there on the market but in today’s market it’s not a terrible value either. Remember that Ray cost me nearly $30 with shipping. This guy is a lot cheaper in that regard. Even if he doesn’t have a lot of articulation, accessories or paint aps he does what he does very well. Plus you can use him to save up for when Mattel rapes you for the next Buster.

I ain’t afraid of no bank!

I really want to give Toys R Us a lot of credit. This store used to be complete garbage and now they’ve got a great selection of toys for kids, an entire section for collectors where I’m finding DOCTOR WHO and formerly online exclusives like this and the Back to the Future Delorean. I can honestly say that had I not seen this in person at TRU, I would have never bought it in a million years. Now that I’ve bought it, I love it.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 6
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 5
Accessories – My Love and Admiration
Value – 8
Overall – 9 out of 10

Assuming you have no attachment to the Kenner Stay Puft or Stay Puft at all, then this guy is probably a 7 out of 10. When Poe reviewed this guy he said that he could only give the figure three stars (or Ravens as it were) but that he liked him a lot more than that. Here at Infinite Hollywood I’ve been known to tilt the scale if the figure is better than the sum of it’s parts. In this instance this is a toy I’ve went on record saying I wouldn’t buy and didn’t like, only to be absolutely blown away by it in person. This is a toy that gives me one of those Chris Matthews’ thrills down my leg, so I’m bumping him up. He didn’t score a 9 in any of the categories but I’m giving him a 9 overall. This guy is nearly perfect in my mind, even if he’s nowhere near my general criteria for perfection.

Marshmallow Awesomeness.

Finally I want to add that my Toys R Us only got a few of these in and I snagged the last one. So if you’re on the lookout for him you might be diligent. I assume you can find the ones online at some locations still as well, but be careful some folks are jacking the price up. If I’d paid $30 or more for him I’d dropped the score dramatically as even childhood enthusiasm can be beaten into old man crankery with inflation. Also be sure to check back later for more of the 31 Days of Halloween.

PS – Mattel this does not give you permission to release a even larger Stay Puft with little to no articulation and claim it as superior. This one works for a very key few reasons, you’ve promised us bigger and better and you’ll need to deliver that to wow me.

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