Hasbro were confirmed as the new licensee for Ghostbusters in 2019, and would be the fourth major figure company to cover the line after NECA, Mattel and Diamond Select. The first wave of the Plasma Series was announced as the four Ghostbusters and figures of Dana Barrett and Gozer.
The Hasbro Ghostbusters are presented in a square box format with a spine down the left and the base of the window and the window then wrapping the top of the box and the right hand side. The design is that of the Ghostbusters uniform, both in colour but also with details like a zip visible and the name of the figure in the same style as the name tags of the Ghostbusters uniform.
The left hand spine uses a generic, stylised, image of our four Ghostbusters against a red backdrop. There is no specific art for the figure in the box as we have seen on other lines like Marvel & Star Wars. The back of the box moves to a black finish with some hatching around the top. We have a short piece of background text under the character name.
"The man with the mouth: Peter can convince (almost) anybody of (almost) anything."
Beneath this is a checklist of the figures in the wave and a picture of the Build-A-Ghost, Vinz Clortho, and confirmation of what parts come with which figure.
It is noticeable that the window for the figure is quite loose and not tight fitting to the box. You can almost push your fingers in the sides and round the back. The reason for this is apparent when you open the figure and find the figure tray and the window are not attached to the box and slide out as one piece. Behind them is a very nice red and black card back featuring blue prints of the Ghostbusters Proton Packs and ECTO-1.
Like all of the Hasbro Ghostbusters, the likeness for Peter Venkman is acceptable, but not a nailed on recreation of Bill Murray. A few years ago this would have been impressive as it stands, but looking at what Hasbro are doing in the same scale with Star Wars and Marvel does make it feel like Ghostbusters have been a little short changed on head sculpt. The head includes some expression rather than a flat neutral look and captures that cheeky smile and slightly raised eyebrows that Murray presents in the films.
Beyond the head, and the uniform (body) is a direct re-use for all four Ghostbusters - ignoring build or stature. Although it is worth noting that the lower legs on Venkman are different with his boots under the trouser legs rather than the trousers being tucked into the boots as seen on Rey, Winston and Egon.
The outfit is detailed enough with pockets and zips, but is left in the base plastic with no application to bring out the details or to weather the costume. The only décor is the name place that is legible as 'Venkman' and the decal Ghostbusters logo on the right shoulder. Colour is applied around the belt and the hosing and we also get black décor on the gloves, boots and the elbow pads.
The main accessory is the Proton pack. Again this is identical for all four Ghostbusters with the exception of the lower circular panels which see the red panel painted in different locations depending on the Ghostbuster. For Peter the red panel is the upper right circle.
The pack is cast in black with blue, red and silver details picked out. It then sits on a green soft plastic strap that uncouples at one side to allow it to be added to the figure - a plug in the centre lines up and connects to the hole in Ray's back to keep it secure. Once in place the look of the figure is significantly enhanced and the proportions and where it sits are all spot on.
The proton beam emitter is connected to the pack by another flexible tube and this is robust and there is no danger of it snapping like the Diamond releases. The emitter can be held in Peter's hand - one or two handed - or slung on the backpack by means of a peg and slot fitting. This is not overly tight and the emitter can pop off, but it's certainly better again than the Diamond engineering and it sits straight unlike the Mattel solution.
Peter is the sole figure in the line to come with the Ghost trap accessory. This is included without the writing or the foot pedal - as was included by Diamond - and while this does drop some accuracy points, it is easier to handle and display.
The trap is cast in black with silver side pieces and the hazard chevrons in yellow and black on the top doors. These are fixed, so unlike the McFarlane Stranger Things Ghostbusters trap you can open the doors.
I initially went to see if I could hang the Trap on the belt, knowing from the other GB's that there was a hook in place to do this. It was therefore odd to find no hook on Peter, just a hole. And this is not a quality issue by the looks of it - every picture I've checked online is also missing the hook piece. In the end the missing hook was irrelevant as there is nothing on the trap to allow it to be hung anyway. It does however fit nicely in the hands of Peter for posing, or can simply stand on the floor on its own.
The accessory score for me is more driven by what is not included with Peter. We have a brilliantly designed proton stream piece in the line, and yet that only comes with Winston. So you have four Ghostbusters and one Proton Stream among them.
Peter has a total of 20 points of articulation, mirroring more or less the joints we get on Marvel Legends, and the newer Star Wars Black Series figures.
Head : ball joint neck
Body : ball joint waist
Arms : ball joint shoulder, butterfly shoulder, bicep swivel, double joint elbows, wrist pivot
Legs : ball joint hips, thigh swivel, double joint knees, ankle rocker
The inclusion of the butterfly shoulder while subtle, adds a wider range of movement for posing with the equipment - supported by double joint elbows. The bicep swivel does have to be engaged with some poses and that will throw the cut of the sleeve.
The waist ball joint is not as mobile a it could be, but allows you to lean Peter's torso back or forth as the pose requires. The legs will kneel, just about, and crouch and can also take wider stances for firing and action posing. All the joints are secure and tightly ratcheted and Peter stands fine on his own.
I think it says a lot about a line in how popular it seems to be in stores and how quick fans are to pick up the figures. In the case of the Hasbro Ghostbusters, it is sad to say that not only are these peg-warming and being discounted - but even as a hard-core Ghostbusters fan, I have meandered my way in buying these over the past 6-months rather than being eager to get them all at once.
The issues with Peter Venkman are pretty much the same as the other 3 main characters in that the head sculpt is acceptable, and not blow away like we see on other lines. And that the body - a re-use on all of the main characters - is missing a paint app or two to really bring it to life.
Hasbro have also short-changed fans on the key accessory, the proton stream. So much so that I cant even display the one I do have with Winston as it just looks odd that the other 3 don't have them. I think if this line is going to survive it needs to be better supported with accessories like the proton stream and more generosity with things like the PKE meter's and Ghost Traps.
I score Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters a score of 3.0
About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...
action figures, reviews, review, articulation, hasbro, ghostbusters, plasma series, peter venkman, slimer, marshmallow man