Hey TGIFF, am I right? Thank God It’s Figure Friday!
Now that I’ve alienated almost all of the readers and earned myself some kind of BBP demerit for that spectacular display of bad writing, let’s talk toys and toy-related things.
Since we’re right at the beginning of 31 Days of Horror 2019 here, I wanted to write about Ghostbusters and all of the wonderful merchandise the franchise spawned. As a kid, the horror-comedy mash-up instantly connected with me. It was funny enough to overshadow how truly terrifying the various ghosts were (please see the library and cabbie ghosts, specifically), yet still scary enough to infuse the movie with a real sense of danger.
Of course, like any good 80’s movie not quite meant for kids (RoboCop, Rambo, The Toxic Avenger, etc.) it spawned an after school/Saturday morning cartoon and action figure line. The arrival of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon was such an event during my childhood, I remember that I attended a sleepover structured around its premiere.
The Real Ghostbusters figures were the order of the day for the Christmas that followed a few short months later and, when the dust had cleared, I was the proud owner of Winston, Egon, Slimer, and Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (along with a few figures from Filmation’s “we own the copyright” Ghostbusters line). I never managed to secure Peter and Ray to complete the full set of Ghostbusters, so Winston and Egon just had to manage on their own and hope that Gozer didn’t come back while the other two guys were out to lunch.
The line was also famous for the role-play weapons. It’s safe to say my life’s goal at that point was to own a proton pack and ghost trap. Hell, it’s probably still safe to say it’s my life’s goal to own a proton pack and ghost trap. Ecto-1 would be nice too.
While I’ve drifted away from collecting Ghostbusters toys in my later years, I’ve kept an eye on what’s currently being produced. Diamond Select has been making some great figures of late, even though I’m not sure the world is ready for a Bill Murray action figure.
Available for pre-order NOW with an estimated shipping date of Q1 2020 is the Ghostbusters Firehouse Sign Limited Edition Replica. Coming in at the low, low price of $999.99 this 32 x 30 inch sign is a screen accurate replica of the sign that hung outside the Ghostbusters’ super-cool New York firehouse HQ…and it’s limited to only 500 pieces.
I have to admit that I’m completely fascinated by this sign and, next to building your own Ecto-1 from the ground up, this has got to be the ultimate in proving your OG Ghostbusters fan status. Also, I have to imagine that this thing will sell out quickly…there have to be that many superfans out there that would pony up the cash for one of these, right?
Generally, I don’t go out for the premium format action figures but the fine folks at Warp 9 Comics & Collectibles were kind enough to give me access to some recent offerings from Mezco’s One:12 line. I may have to rethink some of my life choices…about collectible figures. I’m reasonably okay with where I am in life at the moment.
This figure is amazing and a must for any fan of The Joker. It’s more of a crime boss take on the character with a tailored vest, pants, and combat boots that are made for stomping Robins. It comes with seven interchangeable hands, two interchangeable heads, a cane, a sub-machine gun (with removable clip and muzzle flash effect) AND MORE. It’s an excellent display piece and I could easily see having a whole display case of these things in my home.
I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention that today is Triple Force Friday, as decreed by our lords and masters at Disney. What that means for the uninformed is that today is the day that all the new Star Wars merch for The Rise of Skywalker, The Mandalorian, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is hitting the shelves. Unless you live near a Target or Walmart that was careless enough to break the street date, that is.
My household will not be observing Triple Force Friday this year, mostly because there’s not much that I’m interested in picking up. I mentioned in my last Figure Friday entry that I’ve long since given up collecting the Star Wars Black Series line of figures in favor of the more detailed (and more expensive) S.H. Figuarts series of figures which means I’ll probably be waiting until next summer before they have their Rise of Skywalker figures ready for sale.
Back when the prequel trilogy was in full swing, midnight releases for Star Wars merchandise were BIG DEALS. Like, stand in line for hours and take the next day off work level big deals. I recall that they were also somewhat of a mixed bag. Sure, it was a chance to commune with your people, but it also brought out some of the worst aspects of the fandom.
The midnight release for the Revenge of the Sith figures was memorable for me because it really made me want to take a step back from the Star Wars fandom. I had gone out to a Walmart with a group of friends only to discover that the store we selected 1) wasn’t a 24-hour store and 2) it wasn’t staying open until midnight to sell toys. Back in 2005, the internet wasn’t as ubiquitous as it is now. Without access to a smartphone, we were left with no choice but to set out to another store that maybe was going to be open and maybe was going to be selling toys.
When we arrived at the store, it was pandemonium. It was just a few minutes past midnight and a throng of nerds at least 50 deep had descended on the toy department and were actively tearing into cases of toys. The worst part about the whole affair was that one enterprising soul had climbed up on top of the bicycle display (a good three meters off the ground) and was shouting directions on which short packed figures to grab to his cronies working the crowd. They were grabbing full cases of figures and then, to top it all off, their leader yelled to the crowd that he would be selling them all on his website tomorrow.
The crowd rightfully turned on them as they ran to the checkouts, hoping to get out with their ill-gotten toys. It was fairly disgusting to see someone trying to exploit a fandom for personal financial gain. I’m not ignorant and I know it goes on all the time but seeing it in action was pretty gross.
Since then, I’ve maintained a comfortable distance from any kind of fan events that inspire that kind of mania and I feel I’m a bit better off for it.