Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : "We're Back" Ray Stantz Ghostbusters Select (Diamond Select Toys) Wave/Series : Series 6 (Ghostbusters II) Released : February 2018
Pros : Plenty of accessories including a PKE Meter and a Ghost Trap Cons : The head sculpt is odd with a huge forehead. Quality issues included scratched diorama piece and flimsy and breaking parts on the Proton Pack
Series 6 of Diamond Selects Ghostbusters line see's the releases switch from the 1984 original movie to that of the 1989 sequel. Ghostbusters II will run for Series 6 to 8 and give us 9 figures from the film.
In this first of the GB2 waves we get our hands on Vigo the Carpathian, a new figure of Louis Tully in his Ghostbusters uniform and the figure we are reviewing here, the "We're Back" Ray Stantz.
While the packaging remains reasonably consistent with the first 5 series of figures, you will see some subtle updates on the front such as the change to the GB2 logo and the addition of a yellow & black hazard line round the base. The triangular flash which used to show an image of the character has now moved to be an extension of the card back and wrap and carries a silhouette of the New York cityscape along with the character name. And as Diamond are celebrating their 15th year of Select figures we get a blue celebratory badge too.
The biggest change to the card is the artwork on the side spine. Up to now this has been a movie image, but now it has switched to a picture of the figure.
Round the back and there is a redesign to the card reverse with a more dynamic layout on a black background with hazard tape trim. We have a larger image of the figure included (Rey) with the two others in the line to the side. Above this is a bit of background text which sets up where we find the Ghostbusters at the start of the sequel. The final image on the card back is that of the build-a-diorama, the Firehouse facade which you will build once you collect all 9 parts from the Ghostbusters 2 waves, and 6 more parts from the final two series which will be Real Ghostbusters based.
Once the pack is opened we find Ray tied into the inner tray with the usual array of bands and twisty ties. He is surrounded by a plethora of equipment, a real contrast to Vigo who came with nothing . Behind the main tray is the diorama piece which we will look at later.
When I reviewed Walter Peck and Slimed Peter from the earlier releases I applauded Diamond for moving away from a neutral head sculpt and going a little way towards what NECA do on a lot of figures in that they sculpt them with an expression that is consistent with the character and the movie (or part of it). This approach seems to have been taken again with the "We're Back" Ray, but unlike Peck and Slimed Peter this one fails miserably.
The likeness to Dan Akyroyd is passable, but it is the very weird expression that ruins the head. My son describes it as creepy, and that is not a bad description when you look at it. The whole thing is very forced and almost a caricature and an exaggeration of how we see Ray in the movie - for example, look how large that forehead is?
Face and hair are painted basically with one paint tone for each, and the skin colour is also very glossy.
Everything below the head is a complete re-use of the original Ray figure. While the "We're Back" title will go on all these figures, it just means a repaint to a darker grey as we see in a few of the montage scenes midway through the movie.
There is nothing wrong with re-use, and in fact I do like the dark grey. We also have some nice updates like the GB2 logo on the shoulder and the removal of the pipe work that used to go from the left leg round to the back pack. Everything about the costume is painted well, with the suit having some subtle weathering.
Articulation on any GB figures to date has been slim. 16 points of articulation is standard for a Select release, so there is nothing unexpected in how and where Ray can be posed.
Stances (excuse the pun) will be limited. While the legs are jointed at the hips, thigh swivel, double jointed knees and ankle rockers there is not a great deal you can do beyond some wider stances. The ankle rockers are flimsy and floppy and Ray doesn't stand well. In contrast the knees are stiff and feel stuck and I had to heat them to open them up.
Arms are made up of a joint at the shoulder, a single elbow joint and what should be a pegged pivot hand. For me this is not enough for the poses I want out of my GHostbusters and I'd have swapped the knee and elbow joints round to make the arms double jointed to help Ray fire his Proton Beam more naturally.
There are a multitude of hands for you to chose from - both uncovered skin tone and black gloved. As with the earlier figures, the glove hands also have a clever rubber sleeve which can be taken off to make the gloves look longer or shorter.
Final joints are the ball joints in the head and chest.
Ray is not short on equipment this time round, and gets pretty much one of everything - where as earlier releases seemed to spread out things like Traps and PKE meters too scarecly. The only PKE meter we've had to date was with Egon so it is nice to give Ray one. This is cast in black plastic with painted silver antenna and a painted green screen with a couple of coloured buttons.
It fits neatly in Ray's hands and if needed can slot into the belt (although this is designed for the Walkie Talkie).
The Walkie Talkie is back, and like all those before it is cast in plain black plastic with just a few sculpted details visible.
When you have Ray holding the Walkie Talkie and the PKE meter you start to see the limitation in that elbow bend, and a more natural look would be to have these closer to the face either to check the readings or speak into the Walkie Talkie. When not in use the Walkie Talkie goes into the belt slot.
The Proton Pack and Thrower are identical to previous releases. Being a different run there are some minor paint variances with the colouring changing on some of the bundled wiring. There is also quality issue that the pipe connecting to the Proton Pack is extremely fragile. This has broken on my Louis figure, and is already snapping on Ray as you can see in the image - and yet was never an issue on the other earlier figures?
The thrower will clip onto the back pack, the triangular clip design seeming to be working a lot better than earlier releases.
We have the FX proton streams back in this release, and these clip into the end of the thrower with ease. My criticism remains the same on these that they are too matt and solid in colour. Make them glossy with some transparency (checkout the ones Playmobil did) and they'd look loads better.
Another inclusion is the Ghost Trap. To date we'd only had one of these with Winston - and now we have two more in the mix with one included here, and another with Louis Tully.
The trap is well done up to the coiled wire. The wiring fails to unwind in any way and springs back into a coil. That makes it great for clipping on Ray's belt using the socket and peg build into both, but not so great for having it slung out and ready to trap a ghost. Once again the Playmobil solution is superior to what Diamond have given us.
When clipped on the belt you do have to be a bit creative with the foot pedal and coil which I just sort of stuff down between the back of the figure and the proton pack.
The final accessory is actually a saving grace for that creepy head sculpt. Each of the "We're Back" figures will come with a Santa hat to recreate the Christmas scene during the montage. The hat is cast in hard plastic and is shaped to Ray's head and will only go on one way. Once in place it is slightly oversized as the fur is very thick. It does however soften that huge forehead and softens Ray's expression to something more palatable.
The hat is cast in the red plastic by the looks of it, with the white then added. This means the coverage is not brilliant and red is showing through the white - particularly round the back of the hat.
Through Series 6 to 10, collectors can gather 15 parts with their Ghostbusters figures that will combine together to build the front fascia of the Ghostbusters firehouse. Ray comes with a single piece, one of the panels of the main doors with a smaller door set in. The piece is cast in hard plastic that is crisp, but quite light. It is coloured a dark grey with a painted keyhole and handle in gold paint. The inner door actually opens, which is a nice touch and this works pretty well - clipping back to a closed position tightly.
The only issue is that of quality again, with my diorama piece from Ray having a scratch on the door - I had the exact same problem with the opposing piece that came with Louis Tully. This means unless I can source replacements (reached out to Diamond but as yet no luck) my diorama will have to big gouges on the front and I wonder how many further pieces will arrive with issues?
In summing up there are sadly more negatives with "We're Back" Ray than positives. The face and head is odd and disproportionate, but that can be addressed by having him wear the included Santa Hat. There are quality issues with the proton pack piping and the diorama piece and that is a shame. On the plus side the figure has a wealth of accessories and parts and looks much better value for money than say Vigo who doesn't have a single extra piece.
am going to give Ray a below average 2 out of 5.