I haven’t written a single Mattel Ghostbusters toy write up before now. Personal events in my life prevented me from buying any of the Matty Collector figures until December 2010. Also, following how I like to organize site content and its updates I wanted to write about every Kenner toy I own first. As I don’t own the Kenner figures I’d like to write about currently, that’s on hold.
With Matty Collector’s next to last 6” Ghostbusters figure for 2012 I felt I needed to step up and give my first impression of Zuul: The Gatekeeper figure.
Shipping: Before I even get to the figure let’s talk about how this latest figure was shipped. I wasn’t originally thrilled when Mattel switched to Digital River to send out orders through USPS. By now I’m use to it, if Mattel has to send my package from California to New Jersey perhaps they could better protect the mailer box that’s suppose to prevent the figure from getting damaged. Should make sense, I bubble wrap my valuable items when selling through a “popular internet auction site.” Mattel’s distributor would rather scrunch up some brown packing paper in the box then secure a mailer box from sliding around for 2,747 miles. Which is why when I could finally open the mailer, (more on that to come) I was none to pleased to see the bottom corner of the blister card dented. I don’t think it left the warehouse that way. As the box wasn’t really secure it couldn’t possibly be handled properly coast-to-coast.
Cost: It might be coincidental this time, while Mattel’s warehouse ships the 6” figures the same way every time I’ve placed an order, none of which have ever arrived damaged, this is the first time the price was raised to $25.00. I was also charged sales tax for the first time.
Mailer: I’d like to say the mailer box didn’t disappoint, it did a little. It wasn’t even the Shandor Building/Temple artwork with creative licensing “Tron” face. Which was used previously with the 12” Ghostbusters. I liked that Mattel was taking a creative direction that made sense. As they made the decision to make The Gatekeeper a SDCC exclusive, it was probably done to make it more “special.” Hopefully this didn’t add to the cost. The problem is this mailer unlike the generic white ones was a little harder to open. All the mailers open by sliding/pulling out a cardboard tab. I struggled with it, having to be careful not to rip the cardboard near the top of the box.
Card: The rooftop design used on every 6” card works really well with Zuul/The Gatekeeper figure. Second to Vinz Clortho. It’s a shame other figures couldn’t have had a front card that fits the “personality” of the characters. I get its a cost saving measure. For display purposes fans aren’t thinking of Mattel’s bottom line.
Figure Impression: If not known by now I’m the type of toy collector who keeps my figures, vehicles, and other toys in their packaging/boxes. Their are exceptions, not too many.
I knew beforehand this figure wouldn’t exactly look like Sigourney Weaver. I was hoping a little more facial recognition would appear in the final figure. If Mattel didn’t have the correct likeness rights, they could have at least made sure not to have the hair paint bleed a little onto the forehead. It isn’t too extreme on my figure, it’s their. The color of Zuul’s outfit could be closer to the costume, considering it kinda has a color shifting fabric, the paint is close enough.
The Gatekeeper’s scale (as evident by the legs) is on par with Sigourney Weaver’s height, in particular to the scale/height of Peter Venkman and Vince Clortho.
Articulation: I’m not bothered that The Gatekeeper has very little articulation. The reason The Gatekeeper can’t move too much isn’t clear from Mattel. I get for sitting that is the figures purpose, to sit without really moving. Around the waist, that is understandable. Why couldn’t the arm or hand (not facing the front of the packaging) move. Did Mattel even watch the scenes in Ghostbusters this figure is based on? Even sitting The Gatekeeper’s legs should be bendable with articulation at the knees. The head can turn, it’s almost like why bother.
Not sure if this was an afterthought or Mattel wanted to give fans too the option of having The Gatekeeper stand. A second lower part of Gatekeeper is included. Easy to change positions as one would only have to twist/pop the upper half of sitting Gatekeeper. The problem again is standing Gatekeeper can’t bend the legs. Since the arms/hands don’t move, this figure can just stand. I’ve read it doesn’t quite stand without a little help.
Accessory: Mattel chose to provide one single large accessory (I don’t count the second, lower part of The Gatekeeper) instead of smaller ones. The large accessory is a “stone” bench seen on the rooftop in Ghostbusters. For the uninitiated its where The Gatekeeper and The Keymaster prepared for the coming of Gozer. Enough said.
Before I could see the figure or accessory in person I thought the stone looking bench was smaller. If Zuul/Gatekeeper could only stand I could take it or leave it. I know its plastic, a darker stone texture would have added to the look. This would have helped make a display better. The cost of a bench could have added to the cost of this next to last figure. I would have preferred medium to smaller accessories. ie: ice box, carton of eggs that open with some cooked eggs or a small bag of Stay-Puft marshmallows.
Overall: Mattel could have marketed this 6” figure as more of a display, small statue with lack of articulation. With only one accessory, the extra $3 might have been understood by fans. Even without exact likeness, I’m glad Mattel created a Dana/Zuul/Gatekeeper figure. It’s probably the only one we’ll ever see.