Rich Review: Matty Collector Ghost Trap


Intro: On October 17, 2011 Matty Collector brought ghostheads the second officially licensed Ghostbusters™ prop toy, the Ghost Trap. The first was the P.K.E Meter, which originally went on sale in December 2010. During that October Ghostbusters retail wise, Mattel had made a somewhat odd decision to sell expensive new Ghostbusters collectibles at the same time. I always felt they should have been spread out over a quarter. Personally I couldn’t afford what I wanted, which included a brand new sealed in box collectible Ghost Trap.

As the year the Earth was suppose to be destroyed by ancient culture’s beliefs began I was finally ready to buy a Matty Collector Ghost Trap from the source. I couldn’t because they were finally sold out. Not in a Mattel’s poor business practice way either. Fortunately their were some alternatives, I really didn’t want to pay a secondary or third party mark up.


I found a listing on a popular auction site with a buy it now option too. As luck would have it, the seller was in my state. I was able to buy a Matty Collector Ghost Trap for about what it would have originally cost with shipping. “Call it fate, call it karma…”  Continue reading


Matty Collector First Impression: Neutrino (Nutrona) Wand


Intro: The last time I owned a particle thrower that had lights and could vibrate was during the early 2000s. My prop Proton Pack replica and its accompanying wand didn’t have sound. During the 16th anniversary of Ghostbusters, that didn’t matter. I had a real Proton Pack and could become a Ghostbuster once again. Sometime during the early 2000s something went wrong and the pack has never worked correctly again. In recent years their has been a gradual process to repair and restore my pack. Their has been talk of rewiring, it could be costly.

When Mattel announced their latest prop toy would have lights, sounds, a motor, and vibrate at a reasonable price, I became intrigued. Because of how they control a collectors market, being “sold out” within days when we all know they aren’t, and the odd shipping company they use I didn’t know if I wanted to go through that again. While I could have budgeted better, with the tax and s/h, Matty Collector was the least expensive to buy the wand from. It’s unfortunate in a way ordering from them comes with risk.

Shipping: I know I wasn’t alone with my shipping experience, I appreciate the support group ghostheads have had. Almost always I’ll order a Matty Collector Ghostbusters toy on the first sale day. I waited until Tuesday, December 17, 2013. I didn’t need it for Christmas delivery and didn’t know I’d still be caught in the holiday rush. I chose UPS Ground over USPS because of the box size and  Cornerstone Logistics tracking system. I felt the extra $3 would be worth it. Overnight a UPS label had been created and within another 24 hours, + or – I thought I’d see some movement in their network. I would at least have an idea about when my package could be delivered. The tracking still hadn’t updated, even before the end of the last business day. I was beginning to think the package was still in California.

I called “Go Matty” on Saturday, December 21, 2013. At the time I felt the customer service person was about as helpful as he could be. He didn’t really know about the real time tracking, didn’t try to find out about it from anyone else, and I wasn’t issued a ticket number. I didn’t think about the ticket, with the 5-7 business day time frame, taking in account its the holidays, and there possibly had been bad weather along the route, to wait the window out. I was already understanding about that. Being it was Saturday, I really couldn’t do anything until Monday anyway. The wait wouldn’t end until after Christmas, that was me assuming my package definitely went out the previous Wednesday.

It was only after that and days before Christmas I found out that UPS and Fed-Ex had more deliveries this Christmas season and wouldn’t necessarily have them delivered in time for Christmas. Personally, I was fine with that. I didn’t blame any drivers, I wanted to have an idea about when my package could be here. On Thursday, December 26, 2013 I called “Go Matty” and spoke to a different customer service person. I don’t know if it’s the norm, I was on hold with epic battle like muzak while he spoke to technical support. In my previous experiences with other companies, I normally spoke to technical support myself. I was suppose to receive an email with real time tracking and the customer service representative provided a ticket number. Whatever the reason, in the 24 hour period from when I called, I never received another email from Digital River.


In the end it didn’t matter, what I did receive on Friday, December 27, 2013 was my Neutrino Wand. As I commented on in the Neutrino Wand Poll post as I was coming home from running my errands, I had just slightly missed my regular USPS mail carrier actually delivering a big, sorta long package. I was somewhat surprised and definitely thanked my mailman. It wasn’t until last night I found out the truth about the Christmas journey my Neutrino wand actually took. Most likely because of the volume of packages, UPS worked with USPS to have them deliver it from almost start to finish. It shipped out on December 19, looks like it possibly went to Los Angeles and flew to the east coast. It would have been nice to have known, I’m not sure with the heavy volume who could have provided me with the USPS tracking which appeared to update the entire time.

If you read this far, thank you.

Cost: The Neutrino Wand costs $130 USD before applicable taxes and s/h. I always felt this price was reasonable for how it functions. Not even counting materials to build a replica particle thrower, light and sound kits can be costly. More so when one gets into building a Proton Pack. Of course because of how Mattel controls their base collector’s market, I didn’t want to wait until it was “sold out” or pay secondary/eBay prices. Owning mine for barely a day and going over/through it, the price is fair. Personally it would cost me far more to build one with help or buy one, as I once did.


Mailer: Like the previous Matty Collector prop toys, the Neutrino Wand comes in a white mailer with a cardboard tab to open the box. It also has that clear circular tape that can easily be cut. I don’t remember if the Ecto-Goggles mailer had tape too.


Box: Mattel continues the “crate box” tradition with fun “warning labels.” They either read my Ecto-Goggles review or just got the styrofoam mix right. After I opened the lid, I was easily able to remove the styrofoam without it crumbling. I’ve taken it out and put it back a number of times since. I still haven’t had any problems.



Once the Neutrino Wand is removed from its protective plastic bag, you can see the plastic “mold” that holds the wand in place. I wonder if this imprint came from the press that helped to make the Neutrino Wand in the first place.


Prop Toy First Impression: I know the replicas Mattel makes are more toys then prop reproductions. I really started seeing them that way with their Ecto-Goggles. For how the Neutrino Wand (which was approved by Sony) looks and what it can do, its between a toy and a prop reproduction. As a stand alone Ghostbusters prop I really like it. When I stopped having fun with it to take pictures and go through it, I began to see what might be imperfections with the molded plastic. Of course if one looks close enough, faults can be found. I don’t want to be nit picky, honest for the product as a fan and to help others who are undecided about buying the Neutrino Wand.

 neutrinowandgreenwire neutrinowandclippard

I like that the Mattel listened to ghostheads and used the correct color for the wiring. The “wiring” is a flexible, rubbery kind. Which seems to be the best way to have made it since the barrel tip extends and the wiring shouldn’t break. I’m glad Clippard worked with Sony and Mattel to license one of their modular valves. It isn’t exact, the smaller size may fit this particular style. Unlike with the Ecto-Goggles, I’m good with the company applying the different size decals. Less likely to peel off that way.

The Neutrino Wand isn’t 100% screen accurate, that may be from certain real parts or having to comply with electronic toy “codes” in Europe. The other inaccuracies ie: different “hat” color don’t bother me. Who doesn’t like fake welds?


One of the features when it came to lighting I had been looking forward to is the moving proton indicator. When the Nutrona Wand is powered on and is in use, it moves up and down. Matty Collector/Epic Creations Neutrino Wand doesn’t continue to go up and down like the screen used version.


If the stream dial is manually adjusted the indicator will go up or back down. When a ghosthead has stopped firing, the proton indicator “powers down” to almost nothing. I was also looking forward to the vent light. As it makes me think of when Dan as Ray was thinking about total protonic reversal. Unfortunately my particle thrower replica didn’t have lighting in the proton indicator or vent area.

How Does It Work?


Their are many screws throughout the wand for the look. On the track, are the two screws that need to be removed for the battery compartment. Use a correct screw driver (the non powered kind) to loosen them enough to remove the track. Be careful with the nice looking, thankfully not made of plastic v hook.

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The Neutrino Wand takes 3 AA batteries. I think my old Nutrona Wand did too. I continue using Quantum batteries, a bit of added detail that may last 10 years. You can also see where the speaker is located. Replace the track, tighten screws, and we’re about to be in business with a Neutrino Wand.

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It may have been possible, to save battery life and the nice prop toy that was paid for in advance I think Matty/Epic (not intentionally) complicated part of the start up process. Flipping the power switch makes that bright for a photo red L.E.D come on and activates the sound effects.

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When you flip the proton indicator switch on, the indicator powers up, and the orange/white L.E.Ds light up.

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If you didn’t know the Neutrino Wand has a generator process, you do now. Turning the generator (Activate) switch on powers sound effects, all L.E.D lights light up, and the white L.E.D light flashes. Similar to the screen used Nutrona Wands pulling the green barrel extension lever extends the wand barrel. Pulling it again retracts it. The Neutrino Wand is now ready to bust those gghhhoooosssssttttttsssss!


This is a minor complaint, in order to actually “fire” the Neutrino Wand, the trigger is the intensify button. Like real and fictional weapons along with the predecessor to the Neutrino Wand, it would feel more natural if the trigger/intensify button was near the underside of the grip handle. Seems like their would be room. I know my Nutrona Wand prop replica is similar to Matty/Epic Creations. If this is how screen used ones were built, then its accurate. It’s easy enough to get use to.

 neutrinowandstreams neutrinowandfullstream

At “half power” the streams are a more purple and white. Its a little hard to get pictures of, you’d also see the blue “electric” arcs which are of course no way comparable to practical effects in a 30 year old movie. The Neutrino Wand will also shake. At “full power” the motor seems to really shake. I don’t know if Matty tested this, I feel like continuous use for long period of time will damage it in some way. I could also just be over cautious. “Going full stream” changes the main barrel lighting to a bright white. Again, hard to see the inside particle stream.


Most people probably wouldn’t do this and I don’t think Mattel warns too curious ghostheads, when you are pressing and holding the intensify button, DON’T look into the end of the wand barrel. I accidentally did it for you, so your eyes don’t have to hurt for 11 seconds.

“Cross The Streams…”


One of the features a certain Matty Collector guru was a little too excited over was the ultimate feature of the Neutrino Wand. When its “paired” (like Bluetooth) with another Neutrino Wand, both wands can “cross the streams.” It has a built in sensor (which is a lot better then the echo locator from the Ecto-Goggles) to accomplish this. I don’t have a way to currently test this, when two ghostheads are holding $260 worth of memorabilia streams turn white, their is heavy shaking, and general mass hysteria occurs.

“You Have A Lovely Singing Voice.”

I don’t have an exact picture for it, as Matty/Epic Creations at least has had a thought a pack could be in the future, they left a line input jack (where the split loom hose connects from the Nutrona Wand to the Proton Pack) that can play audio. It’s possible that somehow they plan to or a ghosthead prop builder can modify it for their own pack build.

Complaints or For Looks?


Like with their P.K.E Meter, Matty Collector/Epic Creations weathered and distressed the Neutrino Wand. Because of this, some of the imperfections may have been done on purpose. I don’t know if it can be seen with the handle grip, their appeared to be a slight dent and scratches. Even if the mark happened by accident, no one is really going to see it. I’m not bothered by it. The grips are probably hollow enough. I’m sure enough pressure could cause damage to the grips.


Anyone else notice what I called a blemish in the underside of the Neutrino Wand barrel? “A couple of wavy lines.” Their’s this one area where basically it looks scuffed, they do appear like wavy lines. Again, this could have been done for normal use going into 30 years as a Ghostbuster.



If you’re a collector or may need a reasonably priced Nutrona Wand with most of the necessary functions for a Proton Pack build this makes for a good starter kit. If you feel differently about these kinds of prop toys and already have or are planning to build a Nutrona Wand, then that is a better option. Either way kids, teens, and most ghostheads will really enjoy the Neutrino Wand from Matty Collector/Epic Creations.

Admittedly holding this Neutrino Wand and enjoying it feels somewhat incomplete without a Proton Pack. Which ghostheads have known and enjoyed for most of our lives. It’s good Mattel may be considering one. Hopefully with the 30th Anniversary in 2014, fans will see that kind of major announcement.

Matty Collector First Impression: Ecto Goggles


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.

Matty Collector First Impression: The Gatekeeper


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.