Review : Ray Stantz
Ghostbusters Select (Diamond Select)
Wave/Series : Series 1
Released : February 2016
Price : £19.95
I am possibly too excited to be finally reviewing these 7" scale Ghostbuster figures from Diamond. As a collector who's focus is on Movie & TV figures and who grew up in the 1980's then Ghostbusters has always been a big miss on my shelves. I know we had some figures from NECA and a 6" range from Mattel, but it now feels like Diamond will be giving us the Ghostbuster range we deserve and have waited over 30 years for.
The plan with the GB range is for Diamond to release 15 figures in total across 5 series/waves. This is an increase from the original 12. With each figure you get a part of the rooftop from the epic climax to the 1984 movie, so only buy picking up each figure will you build the diorama.
Series 1 starts with Ray, Winston and Louis Tully and in this review we are looking at the first of these Ray Stantz.
The Ghostbusters Select packaging is a continuation of the Select oversized blister that we have seen on Marvel for many years, and more recently that has transferred to other licences like Gotham. The box is gorgeous, with a green and black theme and of course the iconic Ghostbusters logo emblazoned across the wrap around left hand panel. Beneath this, on the corner flash, is the character name and an image of the character from the movie.
Like all other Select packs if you spin the pack round to the left, the left hand spine is a full colour panel representing the character, and in the Ghostbuster line these are actual shots of the actors from the movie and the graphical Ghostbusters symbol stamped on top in red & white.
Round the back and the card is headed with the GB title logo again, with the Select stamp underneath. There is then a quite in-depth write up about the character Ray, not just a generic plot overview. Aside this write up is a full figure image and beneath this, and obviously now out of date, is the wording "collect all 12 figures to build the rooftop scene". In a panel edged in yellow & black hazard chevrons is the Also Available figures of Winston and Louis. All of this is set on a background of the silhouetted Ghostbusters firing their proton streams up to the top of the packaging - and yes they are crossing the streams!
Out of the box and Ray is presented in an outer perspex tray. Behind this is a second tray containing the roof top pieces. There is no doubt this is a true Select release when you look at the first tray to find Ray is supplied with 4 alternative pairs of hands, a walkie talkie, proton emitter, goggles and a proton stream.
Once you have fought through the wire twist-ties that Diamond are still using Ray comes out of the pack already strapped into his Proton pack which is then linked to the Proton Emitter with a relatively thin tube - be careful to release both of these or you will snap the tube as you extract Ray.
Ray stands a good 7 and 1/2 inches high and just looks stunning. I really like the head-sculpt, an area that has let down some Select releases in the Marvel range. The likeness is clearly that of Dan Aykroyd, and it's not just a neutral look but rather captures that look that I can only describe as a mix of amusement & fear that Ray has in periods of the film. The uniform, rather than being plain, is sculpted with various folds and creases as well as a multitude of zips and fasteners. On the chest is the name plate which is perfectly legible despite the scale. On top of the jumpsuit are a utility belt, elbow pads and of course the proton pack.
Paint application is neat on the face and right across the figure, and rather than a plain colour to the jumpsuit it has a décor applied that dirties it up and makes is pop. Each piece of equipment on top of the jumpsuit is neatly coloured from the grey of the belt and elbow pads, to the silver of the fasteners and belt straps. The Ghostbusters logo is then applied, obviously as a decal, on Ray's right shoulder.
Round the back and the Proton Pack is a very detailed sculpt but I would criticise that it is a cast black plastic with no wash or detail applied. Despite this you can't argue with the other details with coloured wiring and panels and four tiny warning stickers with actual legible writing applied in various parts of the pack. The pack is a separate piece, but doesn't look to be removable and this is possibly a good call considering how fiddly and prone to damage removable backpacks can be.
Attached to the backpack is the actual proton emitter, this feels a bit small but I think this is my mind remembering these wrong. Diamond have been ambitious in trying to make this clip to the pack when not in use, and instead of an unsightly plug and hole they have gone with a triangular slot in device - and sadly it fails on all levels and after a good 20mins of trying with Ray (and with Winston) I have not been able to lock the emitter into the pack.
The other equipment that comes with Ray includes a walkie talkie and the goggles. The walkie talkie is a plain black plastic piece, and it can fit into one of the open gripping hands and also sits in a working holster on the belt. The goggles are on a rubber strap and go over Ray's head quite tightly and then sit either over the eyes, or propped up on his forehead. I love these goggles and it works really well compared to the other option which would have been a swap out head.
I am not overly sure why we have so many hands. There are 3 pairs of flesh hands, and then 2 pairs of black gloved hands. The gloves can be applied with or without a rubber cuff. You will need the gripping hands for the proton emitter, but after that the other hands don't really need to hold or do anything - it's a similar situation to last years Ant-man.
It is a shame there is no Ghost Trap or PKE meter included as standard with Ray. It looks like Diamond are approaching the range with a different equipment piece in each pack, so it looks like if you collect all four you will still only have one trap between the four main characters.
The final accessory is the proton beam, and if any readers out there know what to do with this then please let me know. It looks OK, but nothing spectacular in terms of an orange strip wrapped in some blue. Translucent plastic may have been a better choice as the flat orange and blue don't pop enough. But enough about that, my big question is how does this fit to the proton emitter? It looks like it should slot into a whole a the the barrel of the beam emitter, but there is no such hole. In fact the only shot I got of the beam being used has it jammed into Ray's hand rather than the gun. This feels like a big miss and you almost wish Diamond had just left the beam out of the box completely.
Articulation is good, standard fare for a Select figure. The head is ball jointed, as are the shoulders which then move into a jointed elbow with a swivel and those pegged hands which can be swapped in and out very easily. The arm articulation will allow you to get Ray holding his Proton Emitter with both hands, although not naturally in an action firing position.
There is a torso joint which gives the top half some additional movement to the sides and with a lean back or forward. Hips are the two way joint that Select are known for, and yes they are a tad loose although not as bad as I have seen recently. The thigh is cut with a swivel and the knees are then double jointed. The ankles are jointed with a rocker built into the boot. Despite this leg articulation, Ray is difficult to stand as the Proton Pack naturally pulls him backward. You may need to put Ray on a stand to keep him upright.
The diorama piece is an ambitious project and is also a very good piece of marketing to ensure fans must collect all 15 figures to finish their diorama. This means Select don't just have to make the four Ghostbusters, like Mattel, but have a vehicle for giving us more minority figures like Dana and Louis Tully - brilliant for hardcore fans. I was worried ahead of handling the diorama about the quality - particularly after the bendy plastic we had with the recent Gotham interconnecting scene. I needn't have worried as the piece is solid and really well made.
Ray' has one side of the rooftop so there is triangular base, into which slots one of the monolith pieces. This single piece is 8 inches across and 10 inches deep, so you can imagine what the full roof is going to look like. The plastic is textured and patterned like a granite and I just hope that Diamond can keep the consistency of finish in future waves or we may end up having varying finishes on pieces of the same diorama - an issue we saw with the balconies that came with the Avengers figures of Hawkeye and Chitauri.
So how do we score Ray? For a £20 figure he is stacked full of detail and that diorama piece alone adds real value over say the Mattel 6 inch equivalent. The sculpt is great, the paint is great and the added details like those safety stickers just blew me away. Yes there are faults... the proton emitter clip hasn't worked, and the proton beam is a mistake. But I for one can overlook these and am really pleased with Ray and score him a 4 out of 5, and he misses out on the perfect score by the thinnest of margins and in the hope that Diamond can fix the niggles before wave 2 or 3.