Review : Terror Dog Ghostbusters Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Series 5 Released : June 2017
Pros : lots of articulation, including an opening jaw Cons : poor choice of packaging layout
Forget Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, for me one of the best monster designs from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie was the Terror Dogs. Granted they ended up doing very little after capturing Louis and Dana - but there look was certainly ahead of its time, even if the stop motion animation now looks a little dated.
While the choice was there for Diamond Select to produce two of these in their Ghostbusters Series - they stuck to just one in the 5th and final Series of the Rooftop Diorama Build series of figures. We will review it here.
While the packaging remains the same for the Terror Dog and carries the same logos and eerie green backdrop, the blister layout and the positioning of the figure is about the strangest I've seen in any figure line. The Dog itself is pointed at a 45 degree angle and is wrapped around a giant green tube down the middle of the packaging. Not only does this not show off the figure at all in the pack, it also makes it look as though the dog is doing something else!!
The triangular name card goes with "Terror Dog" and from the image it is unclear if they have used an image of Zuul or Vinz Clortho.
To the side of the pack we get a larger image of the Terror Dog and it appears now to be Vinz Clortho (The Keymaster) who is pictured here.
Round the back we get an interesting bio that talks about how Gozer was banished by Tiamat and how Gozer now travels from world to world with his two servants, Zuul the Gatekeeper and Vinz Clortho the Keymaster. To the side of this we have an image of the figure. In the also available we see the other two figures in Series 5 - The Taxi Driver Zombie and Library Ghost.
Once the blister is open there is a singular tray into which is tied the Terror Dog with the twisty-ties. Between the four legs sits this giant green box/tube. When you are unpacking make sure you don't discard the alternative horns that sit at the very top left of the tray.
If you need it, there is an instructon leaflet on building the Rooftop Diorama and promotional brochure behind the figure.
Sculpturally, the Gentle Giant team had done a superb job of getting the proportion and look of a Terror Dog. There is some sacrificing of looks to include a full suite of articulation. The head is impressive and has bright red eyes along with that curved jowl and the mouth full of vicious looking teeth.
The paint job is mainly a grey tone with a hint of brown, and onto this there are touches of lighter dry-brushing. It gives the Terror Dog's skin a texture and tone similar to an Elephant or a Rhino.
Other painted details include the bone horns - both the larger front set and then the smaller horns that surround the head. These bonus have a brown wash over the top to darken them. Sadly, some of the smaller horns have too much brown wash applied and they look more dirty than like bone.
The same effect is used on the claws on each of the four feet, and thankfully these have been less robustly washed. The same goes for the teeth which sit inside a pink fleshy mouth which is then also washed in a darker red.
Articulation has not been spared on the Terror Dog and he comes with 18 points of articulation. We start with the mouth which is hinged at the jaw allowing the mouth to open in a roar or remain closed - or anywhere in between. Opening the mouth does reveal the joint which some collectors may find unsightly.
The body is then articulated at the head, this means the Terror Dog can look up and down and rotate and tilt to either side. There is then a neck joint which also rotates as well as being able to slide up and down the body. This means that the head can also be bowed or point up to howl at the sky.
There is a third body joint about midway down between the fore and hind legs. This is a ball joint so it rotates and can move up and down to allow the dog to stand taller at the back end if required.
The rear legs themselves have ankle rockers, a joint midway up the calf, a knee joint and a hip joint. The front legs have the ankle, knee and hip versions. All of this makes the Dog easy to stand and with a variety of posing.
As I stated when we began - Diamond could have followed the same route taken by NECA a few years ago and released two Terror Dogs one for Vinz Clortho and one for Zuul. This would have been a cost saver for them and removed the need for one of the other figures in the 15 figure series.
Instead Diamond have gone for swap out horns. This will allow you to have your Terror Dog represent either version we see in the movie.
The longer horns, that come assembled on the figure in the pack, are for Vinz Clortho the keymaster. These pop out easily and can be replaced by the shorter versions that represent Zuul, the Gatekeeper.Now while I am pleased Diamond resisted the temptation to produce two versions - it does add another issue.
With these packed three separate figures per case it will off-balance the Series. If people do start picking up two versions then we will have leftover Ghosts/Zombies OR a shortage in Terror Dogs.
Remember that green box tube thing that was sat so prominently in the packaging. This contains a rolled up vinyl sheet onto which is a lenticular image of the Gozerian Temple. There are holes down either side of this and when you build your diorama you will use the clips that came with the Zombie Taxi Driver to clip this backdrop to the overall diorama.
Arguably, this figure could the one figure you don't actually need to get out of the whole series as the backdrop can be excluded with no detriment to the overall physical build.
As a big fan of the Terror Dog I may be a touch bias in this review. The figure is well sculpted and well painted, with the sole issue of having the smaller horns washed too heavy handedly. Articulation is good, and almost too much and it takes a while to align all the legs into a good pose. I love the mouth articulation and the swap out horns - and this means one figure can be changed to differing looks on the same display.
For in box collectors, then I offer my condolences at such an odd placement of the diorama backdrop. I score the Terror Dog a 4 out of 5.
Checkout the Diamond Select figures available at Toys in the Attic