Intro: Three days ago I had a chance after about half a day to un-box my new Matty Collector Ecto Goggles. I got to experience what Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Ray Stantz did during the Hotel Sedgewick scenes. I was going to give a first and second impression. I felt my impressions might be a little out of place with the un-boxing. I decided to write my own review.
Shipping: This is the second Matty Collector prop toy I’ve bought straight from Mattel. The first was during the original P.K.E Meter run. At the end of 2010 Mattel had a more normal shipping method. In what I can only imagine had to be a cost cutting measure (this was also before shipping rates went up) Mattel began using an unheard of shipping company to most of us. To this day Mattel is the only company I’ve done business with which uses Cornerstone Logistics. Since buying the P.K.E Meter, I’ve bought just about every Matty Collector Ghostbusters figure from Mattel. Cornerstone Logistics in Ontario, CA would send my figure to three shipping hubs before USPS would deliver to my doorstep. Although I don’t prefer Cornerstone Logistics, their tracking system gave basic information and I could reasonably see when I’d have my items.
For the first and hopefully last time Cornerstone Logistics failed not only me, enough ghostheads. Maybe it was really bad timing, except for one update that the electronic information had been received, there tracking system (Newgistics) never updated afterwards. Even after delivery. I know the hubs, still I and others who were checking everyday shouldn’t have to wonder if our packages are in limbo. You can’t even check with them as their website tells you to call the retailer. I didn’t call Mattel, I wasn’t under the impression that a customer service rep (hopefully in the US) could access the Newgistics system. If you’ve experienced buying from Matty Collector, you understand this isn’t continued good business strategy. Nine out of ten times Mattel has these different fan bases over a barrel. They’re not going back to how other global companies ship, there is almost no point in sharing my opinion. Because of my experience it has me second guessing if I’ll buy the Nutrona Wand from them, if I buy it at all.
Cost: Originally Mattel priced the Ecto Goggles at $110 USD. Then for a brief period (either misinformation or greed) they were priced at $130 USD. A response came from Matty Collector after fan backlash. The price was confirmed around San Diego Comic Con at $110 USD before shipping and applicable taxes. I’m sure there was a bottom line as to why the Ecto Goggles cost $110. The P.K.E Meter was $60 USD, the Ghost Trap originally cost $130 USD. The Ecto Goggles fall between the two different kind of prop toys. Even the 22” Mr. Stay-Puft was around $80 USD. Let’s be honest, I know Mattel doesn’t think this way, in terms of the equipment pecking order and what this does, it should have been around $85 USD. Of course $84 USD should have been the magic number.
Mailer: Like the previous Matty Collector prop toys, the Ecto Goggles comes in a white mailer with a cardboard tab to open the box.
Box: Mattel continues the “crate box” tradition with fun “warning labels.” And after opening the lid is the standard thick styrofoam to protect the inside contents. Usually this stuff is strong, almost unbreakable. For some reason (could it be the single piece of brown paper?) as I was beginning to lift the styrofoam, it began breaking and crumbling in spots. This has never happened with the Ghost Trap. I can still protect the Ecto Goggles with or without it. As I usually don’t transport the box or item, storing these Ecto Goggles would be fine either way.
Prop Toy First Impression: Even before purchasing Mattel’s version of the goggles, ghostheads knew they weren’t screen accurate. It only marginally bothered me. I think it was built that way because of how it “projects” the animated ghosts. Could be a cross between both movie versions. Wearing the Ecto Goggles for the first time I could really only see out of the left lens with “stereo” vision. This is partially because of the distance with the lenses. Safe bet Dan couldn’t see that well out of them either. It’s also because of my eye sight. I don’t currently wear glasses, probably should again. I use to because of normal vision issues. The one lens I can see through has a curved piece of “glass.” This may be to help the wearer see better and also reflect how the animated images are projected. You can turn the oculars to “adjust” and play with them. I took my pictures before adjusting them for the “look.”
The Ecto Goggles have an attached rubbery adjustable head strap with a “sewn” in nylon material where needed. Mine without adjustment fit well enough. I’d rather the Ecto Goggles be a little loose then tight and “suction cupped” to my face like a pair of swim goggles. Tip: Make sure your face isn’t oily as you’ll see your skin on the hard inside plastic.
There is a dummy knob that should be flush to the side of the goggles. Mine was loose, not by much. Perhaps without a tool it couldn’t be tighten. The bottom and side of the Ecto Goggles has two battery compartments for the 3 AAA batteries. I personally chose Duracell Quantum batteries because who wouldn’t want quantum batteries running their fictional ghost detecting equipment? Plus you can check the battery life for up to 10 years. To access the bottom battery compartment, twist off the circular knob.
Accessories: The Ecto Goggles includes this other knob which is I believe is a receiver. Without recently looking at the prop Ecto Goggles it looks odd. Trying to attach (if its even necessary) the circular knob to it is awkward. It doesn’t look right at all, which is why I didn’t keep it attached for more then 11 seconds.
The main accessory is the “echo locator” which looks like a piece of junk. If you saw this just laying around your house and didn’t know what it was you would want to throw it out. It doesn’t look like one, it’s either an external drive of sorts or its a tiny microphone one plugs into a Matty Collector PKE Meter. When the two are used together you can see/hear the library ghost and confinement streams. The PKE Meter doesn’t need to be on, just near by for the library ghost and confinement streams.
The Projections: Its great to have a pair of Ecto Goggles where you can actually see ghosts in it. I understand if one or the other would have had to go if it was even considered. I would have liked to have been able to see the visual workings of the Ecto Goggles, like in Ghostbusters. Mattel lead us to believe that they couldn’t show us the animations before the Ecto Goggles went on sale. I like others used our cell phones (it isn’t the early 2000s) to record the animations from the phone through the inside of the goggles. They could have filmed there computers with the 3D images. It would have been a lot better.
That’s why when I actually saw Slimer appear three different ways I was pleasantly surprised. The images seem “high def” and remind me of images you might see on electronic signs, say high up in Times Square. I know this isn’t Kenner’s GhostZapper, unless it would have raised the cost, why just Slimer and the library ghost for the ghostly images? The confinement streams are fine, how great would it have been to see and hear the Scoleri brothers or a jogging ghost? I would have paid at least $5 more for another “memory card” for either of these prop toys to see and hear these other ghosts from both Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II. That’s what our imaginations are for.
Manual/Decals: Prior to taking my pictures the broken styrofoam crushed/crinkled my manual and decals. That’s why mine look a little abused. Matty Collector chose to leave the stickers off the Ecto Goggles so ghostheads could individually choose whether they wanted to apply them or not. Unless I wear them much with the costume I probably won’t apply mine.
Overall: I really like how Mattel creatively designed and made the Ecto Goggles. Sure they could have been a little more screen accurate. For the price the Ecto Goggles seem like they should do more. If you like/love Mattel’s previous Ghostbusters prop toys you should enjoy this too.