Review : Dana Barrett
Ghostbusters Select (Diamond Select)
Wave/Series : Series 2
Released : July 2016
Price : £19.95 - £22.95
Dana Barrett, or Zuul The Gatekeeper her her official title, is the 3rd figure of the 2nd wave of Ghostbusters Select figures from Diamond Select Toys. She was released in July 2016 alongside Egon Spengler and Peter Venkman in the 3 figure series.
You have to applaud Diamond for taking the Ghostbusters licence and going really deep with the figures rather than sticking to the four key characters. Dana follows Louis Tully (The Key Master) into the series, and further down the line we will also be getting the likes of Walter Peck and Janine.
Dana arrives in the bumper size Select packaging, designed with a deep green ethereal background which fades to black at the bottom of the card back. Down the familiar side panel on the front is the Ghostbusters logo as well as Diamond's own Select monogram. Off this is the triangular character panel which uses a head shot of Sigourney Weaver from the film. Overlaid onto this is the character name of Dana Barrett.
The same image of weaver is blown up and adorns the full side panel on the left hand side of the packaging and this is only broken by the Ghost logo at the base of this panel. Round the back we find the GB logo again at the top, surrounded by some electrical lightning effects. Under this to the right is an image of the figure itself and to the left of this is a couple of paragraphs about Dana and her role in the 1984 classic. Under the text is the "also available" box with images of Venkman and Egon. The bottom of the card back finishes with a silhouetted image of the four Ghostbusters firing their proton streams. There is also the ongoing advertising stamp that if you "collect all 15 figures to complete the rooftop". This wording has of course been corrected after the initial series 1 figure quoted the original plan of 12 figures.
Out of the pack and Dana is clipped into the inner perspex tray, with two spare right hands and forearms clipped to her right. The facial sculpt is nothing more than a passing resemblance to Sigourney Weaver, and goes nowhere close to what NECA have been throwing out on their Aliens wave using the same likeness from a similar era (mid 1980's). The sculpt is not helped by some pretty heavy handed paint applications with thick black lines around the eyes. There is also an odd effect applied to the cheeks and forehead to almost make them look dirty. Both the eyes and this skin application is an attempt to replicate the very heavy makeup Weaver wore in her scenes possessed as Zuul, but it fails to emulate this sunken possessed look from the film by quite a distance.
The hair on the other hand is well done sculpturaly, swept back from the face and with plenty of volume as was the case in the 80's. It then flows nicely down the neck and over the shoulders. Paint apps here are also not great as the hair has simply been painted a general brown tone and then washed in an almost black wash to add some depth. It would have benefited from a dry-brush here and there to add some highlights.
The dress that the figure wears is a very soft sculpt and lacks a lot of detail, it is also quite a way off in terms of missing the big floating sleeves and the opalescent sparking look of the original prop. Granted a lot of it couldn't have been carried over to a figure while maintaining articulation, but here it feels lazy and hasn't really pushed on any boundaries. The folds in the cloth are all soft and gooey, as though it is some kind of Playdoh rather than material. The paint job is then a single metallic copper tone across the whole dress with only a darker bronze trim used round the belt and the base of the dress - and this darker colour should have really continued in the inner lining of the dress to match the film.
The skin tones outside of the head are flat and one tone. The legs in particular are very one dimensional down to the bare feet, and here again the sculpt is soft and lacking definition. The hands only swap out on the right arm, and only give you three different hand positions and to be fair don't add anything to the figure.
Articulation starts with a ball jointed head, and there is a surprising amount of movement despite that bouffant 80's hair style. Both arms are ball jointed shoulders with a further 90 degree elbow bend and wrist rotation. There is a torso joint but no waist movement and the legs are pretty much held static by the skirt, although Dimaond have still chosen to go with a double joint knee that can't do much bending of any description. The ankles are on rockers but are no help in the stability of the figure which is practically zero and you will likely have to go with some form of stand to keep Dana upright on your display.
And upright is actually the wrong way for this figure as the two iconic poses you would want Dana in would be the levitation pose from her apartment, or her sitting on the stone slab on the rooftop. Now the levitation pose, as you can see from some of our images, is do-able with a flight stand of some kind although the hair and dress don't completely follow the rules of gravity. Without a waist joint or the ability to bend the hip joints there is no way to sit Dana on the stone slab on the rooftop and sadly because she has been sculpted standing up she looks stiff and awkward when laid down. I would have much preferred to see Diamond go down a route they've used before on older Marvel Select and Star Trek Select figures by packing Dana with two lower halves - one standing and one laying. Opportunity missed sadly.
Dana comes with another two parts of the rooftop. These are still thankfully cast in the same colour plastic as the other releases to date. We will take a look at the full rooftop when we hit Series 5 in Summer 2017.
Now, before I render a score on Dana Barrett let's go back to the opening statement and bear in mind that Diamond could have taken the Ghostbusters licence and churned out a number of the main 4 characters and called it a day. Instead they have committed to doing at least 15 figures from the 1984 movie and will give us secondary characters like Dana for our display as well as some ghosts to liven things up. It is obvious that the budget has gone heavily on the 4 key characters, with Dana suffering the same as Louis Tully in that it is a soft sculpt with a low level paint job and no accessories to bolster the release. I do applaud Diamond for even tackling this figure, but would also then state that I think I would rather have had a Dana done right that could enhance my display than one that feels a bit halfhearted. I score Dana Barrett a 2 out of 5.