R.I.P. Harold Ramis.

Today we lost a great. Thank you Mr. Ramis for all the laughs and inspiration.

I am so sad to share the news that Harold Ramis passed away today. You can read the full release and report from the Chicago Tribune HERE.

Like many of my generation I grew up on Mr. Ramis’ body of work. That’s actually an understatement. “Stripes”, “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” were the films that really grabbed me by the funny bone perhaps at too young an age for such fare but whatever, it was the 80’s. It’s from those movies that my own comedy chops began developing. And then there was “Ghostbusters”. And of course “Groundhogs Day”. That’s not even touching the brilliance that was SCTV.

I’ve got a plate full of stuff to do today so I will keep this short but I had to pay tribute and respect to a man that I cite as a true inspiration to myself and my generation. Thank you for such a wonderful legacy Mr. Ramis. You will most certainly be missed.

Jim 02/24/14


Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters aka The Gangs all here (well, almost)

I call this one, "Ghostbusters under glass". Er, I mean plastic. Whatever. I've got the set so there!


Once again I turn your attention to the guys who chase down the bumps in the night. Well actually, these Ghostbusters went to work all hours of the day and night, but primarily on Saturday mornings. And the fiends that struck terror were actually very brightly colored more reminiscent of a Rainbow Bright doll than say Pinhead from Hellraiser. Oh well, they’re still fun.

Having touched on Egon already… (http://jimstoybox.com/2011/05/24/mattel%E2%80%99s-retro-action-the-real-ghostbusters-egon-spengler-great-stuff/ ) I’m going to do my best to avoid any unnecessary redundancies in this review. The bodies are still greatly improved from earlier Retro Action Assortments and the Velcro fasteners on the back of the jumpsuits still please me more so than the snaps found on the Retro Action Super Heroes. With those two main commonalities pointed out let’s get down to the business of reviewing this terrific trio of tortured soul terminators. It’ll be fun!

Point #1. What it is.

Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters Ray, Winston, Peter and Egon

Point #2. Where they came from.

You've seen one RA Ghostbusters backer card, you've seen 'em all.

Again this line is a Toys R Us Exclusive however I acquired all of mine through ebay by way of my now good pals at Page 3’s Game Zone (http://www.page3sgamezone.com/toys/) and another fine e-tailer Kokomo Toys (http://kokomotoys.com/). I offer up both if them as very reputable dealers. And I also direct you to their personal websites versus their ebay listings so you can get what YOU want without these fine folks getting jacked on the latest round of ebay fee increases. I may be a great example of “a fool and his money” but I do know when enough is enough when it comes to sellers fees on ebay.

Point #3. The Good.

Along with the Standard Issue Proton Pack, Ray also comes with this... um.... super dooper turkey baster?

Nothing beats a complete set. Well the set as it stands so far (we’ll get to my gripe in a second). The cartoon accurate look along with the accessories really adds a great deal of value to these toys. And I would be remiss in not pointing out the fact that all but one of these figures have a really cool, cartoon accurate accessory outside of the standard issue Proton Pack. And while Dr. Venkman does not come with any extra special gadget, the fact that this one doesn’t suck body wise (as compared to the SDCC exclusive) is  good enough for me.

Mr. Zeddemore here is the only Ghostbuster to come with a trap so I hope he never takes a weekend off.

Another thing about the accessories is that they do fit well in the hands of these Real Ghostbusters. There is a slight drawback but I’ll get to those points in a moment. For now though I want to stress that it is really cool to see that Mattel has went the extra mile to offer up 8 inch scale accessories that really do augment this line greatly.

Venkman is so cool he needs no extra accessory. Unless of course you count his charm and smarmy attitude.

The head sculpts for Peter and Ray are also nice interpretations of the 2 D characters. Winston’s likeness is lacking but in all actuality I’m just glad he was made at all. Still I do have to admit that when I look at these guys lined up and compare them to the images from the cartoon, Winston here looks more like a guy playing Winston more so than the real deal. I’ll consider him Winston’s stunt double Carl. While they don’t really look alike, through the cameras lens during the fast action shots, he’s close enough.

Point #4. The Bad.

Of all the GB's Winston's sculpt is lacking in the likeness department.

To show that I am a fair review and not always “Yay Mattel!” I’m going to do a bit more complaining than what your used to reading from me dear reader. The reason isn’t that I’m wanting to improve my “street cred” and show you that I really am an “old school thug that will slap you down when called for” it’s really just a matter of what I believe is poor planning / consideration Mattel took with this line.

To really make the collection complete we MUST HAVE Slimer. Janine would be nice but the Ghostbusters without Slimer is like peanut butter without jelly. Considering the kick that Mattel has been on with the whole “build-a-figure” concept I think they really missed a great opportunity here for a Do it yourself Slimer. One arm with Egon, one with Ray, The Lower body with Peter and the Upper Body and Head with Winston.

For those out of the toy loop real quick 411- “Build –a- Figure” refers to the way Mattel has included different body parts with different figures in a particular wave to create a complete figure. Great marketing concept considering you have to buy each figure in the Wave to complete this super exclusive figure or pay through the nose for the bits and pieces on ebay.

I also mentioned that the line is lacking Janine. Honestly this really isn’t that big of a deal to me. Sure she was an important character on the cartoon but not as important as Slimer. Considering she is pictured on the back of the card I would almost bet that she will be a Matty Collector Exclusive. That would make sense to me. The same think with Mr. Stay Puft. He really had no role in the cartoon series anyway.

Another thing that I have to comment about is the “retro” art style they have applied to this particular backer card. Why? This show is from the 80’s not the 70’s. The off center layouts really doesn’t work. If anything they wanted to stay true to the “Retro” feel they should have used photos of the toys instead of the animated images. That’s the way it was done in the 80’s. I’m just saying.

And finally my last gripes, The body improvements are nice, but posing is a bit limited. When taking some of the group shots I had an idea to actually have the guys zapping the CTVT Ghost but to pose them with their Proton Shooters was next to impossible. Also while the accessories are great to have the plastics used on the ghost trap and the super doper turkey baster/ thermometer is too stiff to adjust. Still not a “bring me their heads” foul but a bit of a n annoyance.

Point #5. Why I like it.

The likeness to the cartoon image is good but should be a bit chubbier in both face and body IMO.

After all of that how can I possibly say I like these figures? Simple. For me these figures are a great throwback to the final days of major network Saturday morning dominance. In 1986 the networks hadn’t lost their market share to Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, etc, etc, etc.

Exactly the same head sculpt as the SDCC exclusive.

And even though the cartoons were quickly and

cheaply made with numerous corners cut in the animation process, those once a week offerings were golden. “What are you talking about Jim?” It’s nostalgia, but not just for the show and characters but for an entire pop culture genre that really doesn’t exist anymore. For Pete’s sake you can even buy the complete series of the Real Ghostbusters cartoons fro back to back viewing versus once a week. I guess the affection I feel (and perhaps you too) for pre 90’s cartoons may be because they were rare so to speak. And the weekly wait between installments made the heart grow fonder. Pardon me while I wipe away my tears of nostalgia that are coupled with sighs of old age. And yes I meant “sighs” and not “signs”.  I guess Mattel’s marketing isn’t as lacking and misguided as I thought. Damn you Matty. Damn you.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Why you should:

I was wanting more of an action pose for this shot but honestly it was a bit tough to get the hands, arms and proton packs to cooperate.

These guys are a colorful assortment of fun. They also meet with every other reason as to “why you should” that I’ve mentioned with other reviews of the Retro Actions. The only thing that I can really had for these guys specifically is that they are a team and regardless of a personal favorite one without the other three just seems off balance and wrong.

Why you shouldn’t:

"Oh Crap!"

From a quality standpoint there is no reason whatsoever that I can really point out. The only concern might be that the line end here and no factory made Mattel Slimer gets made. That really would be a bummer.

In Conclusion

With my list of gripes I can’t honestly say that this complete line is a true out of the park homerun for Mattel. I will however say it is a pretty fair “bases loaded with Matty at the bat” offering. Now let’s just hope that Matty doesn’t strike out and leave us all hanging with no Slimer or Janine. Still though it is a fun looking line that for me fills up some of my Nostalgia cup. It’s just not quite enough to make it “runeth over”. Now – Go Play! – Jim 06/08/11

The RA Ghostbusters a re bright and welcome addition to the Toy Box crew and collection.


* Extra note slash plug… If you are by chance interested in picking up one of the CTVT Gruesome Ghosts for your Ghostbusters to kick the crap out of may I recommend my pal Vini in OKC. He’s a very upstanding seller and a very nice guy too. The figure is what it is and not his or my fault. But Vini does have the best price around on all of the CTVT stuff that he has in stock. Check him out… http://cgi.ebay.com/Gruesome-Ghost-Loose-Mego-Reissue-Action-Figure-/360304339416?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e3cfe9d8 Tell him Jim sent ya!


Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com


All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

When 5 Stars isn’t enough: Page 3’s Game Zone on Ebay

Hey everybody in cyber, blog reading land! I couldn’t help myself but to take the time and do this special write up for the guys and gals at Page 3 Comics (http://www.page3sgamezone.com/toys/). I’ve just concluded my second transaction with these guys and I gotta say that my level of impressments continues to grow! Here’s the skinny:

Originally I scored a Matty Shazam and Darkseid from them a little while back… you can read those reviews via these links http://jimstoybox.com/2011/05/13/mattel-toys-dc-retro-action-super-heroes-%E2%80%93-shazam/


But enough about my own cross promotion, back to Page 3’s Game Zone….

After being very pleased with the packaging and price I knew that the majority of my Re-Mego purchases would be through these guys. So the next item up is a Winston Zeddemore from the Real Ghostbusters Retro Action line from Mattel. Again the turn around time was excellent and even more impressive was seeing again the super care taken in packing this figure. I’ll let the pictorial do the talking… Please note that I had to ‘recreate’ the steps because I had to open when I got him because I’m just that kinda dork.

We begin with a Priority Mail Box. Notice that it is a much larger box than the figure requires, with reason... you'll see!



AS you can see here what I'm calling Layer 2 is a whole bunch of packing paper to keep Winston from sliding around. But wait! There's MORE!


LAyers 3 and 4 consist of not only bubble wrap but also butcher paper wrapped like a present. And it is. I call it, "A gift to me from me".


Layer 5 is a padded envelope! That's right baby! MOre protection for the "Z" man!


Layer 6 is the real show stopper! These pads used to ensure that the bubble wasn't crushed made me literally say "Holy wowza! These guys are good!"


And finally here is Winston (Review coming soon btw) Ironically afterall of that I dropped him and dinged the corner. Yep, I don't call my self a dork for no reason.

As I’ve said from the outset of this blog I’m not in this to personally sell you anything. However I will be a sounding board for my friends out there in the world that I’ve dealt with successfully. For the record I will let you know about crappy ones too, but thankfully that hasn’t happened yet. Anyway. Again I strongly, highly, emphatically recommend Page 3’s Game Zone (http://stores.ebay.com/page3sgamezone). Great customer service is a true rarity these days and I for one applaud them tremendously for their efforts in keeping that dying art form alive even in the cold and empty world that is void of the Internet. Now – Go Play (and shop Page 3!) – Jim 06/03/11

Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters Egon Spengler… Great Stuff!

Mattel Toys Sucks. Period. They cancel lines blaming lack of fan base support while they themselves offer the products o market in the most piss poor manner possible. I went out on a limb with these reviews as a fan trying to push the product. In the end Mattel showed that they are not worthy of mine or your accolades or MONEY. I’m not editing the reviews however. At the time of their writing I meant what I said and in regards to the figures themselves I feel the same way, however the emotional connection is gone – Signed, Jim 01/14/12


Is that a giant, fat "orb" on your chest or is your Proton Pack happy to see me?

“Who ya gonna call?” That was rhetorical. We already know. This latest addition to the Toy Box is one that I was very reluctant to pick up. Not because it was to be a purchase for the sake of it being another new “Re-Mego” but because of a bad experience from an earlier Ghostbuster run in. My first experience with this particular property came in the form of a San Diego Comic Con exclusive Peter Venkman. Frankly, he sucked. Lot’s of reason for that vague statement but let me direct you to an earlier review I did of that figure via the Mego Museum’s EMCE toys forum thread… (http://megomuseum.com/community/showthread.php?t=47379) I am glad to say however that I didn’t just judge a book by its preceding cover. Egon here makes up for all of those shortcomings. I feel I can lurk in the shadows now with absolutely no fear of the things that go bump in the night with this Ghostbuster in the house!

Point #1. What it is.

Mattel’s Retro Action: The Real Ghostbusters Egon Spengler

Point #2. Where it came from.

Like all other Mattel Retro Action’ this fellow is a Toys R Us exclusive. Still with no local TRU to browse I again purchased him on ebay.

Point #3. The Good.

 This is going to be a fun review considering that it gets to be a positive one. For the sake of formatting problems I’ve been experiencing I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves with the cutlines handling the text that should be in magazine format. Anyway there is a whole lot of good going on here.

With the accessories and the detailed costume these Ghostbusters really give a little bit more to the perceived value.
Cartoon faithful colors and design make this Proton pack an excellent accessory.
The PKE meter is also another perfect accessory. But it could be easily lost.
To be able to hold his Proton Shooter proper is also another nice aspect of the body design.
The glasses are also a wonderful accent piece. Beign that you could remove them with a little effort versus them being a part of the sculpt goes a long way in my quality book.
While some may say the torso being black plastic versus being an actual under garment, I say BAH! The move keeps the cost down. And if you MUST have the black under clothing go buy and extra Black Manta and strip him down and use his body suit to complete your perfect vision.
The velcro is a very nice change from the snaps found on the Super Heroes. Makes for a much more streamlined look when fastened.
In the Mego tradition: Re purposed boots ala Black Manta. They work. 'Nuff said.

Point #4. The Bad.

 The only negative I can throw at Egon is that there is nowhere to put his PKE meter when he is holding his proton rifle. That of course leads to the possibility of it being easily lost. Always a bummer. Plus I’m a little worried with the longevity you can expect out of the Ghostbusters logo.

While I can't be 100% certain I'll bet the logo could have cracking issues over time. I didn't work him over that hard though.

Point #5. Why I like it.

Standing tall and proud on the fixed Mattel Retro Action body!

The Real Ghostbusters cartoon came out just on the teetering point when I was supposed to stop watching cartoons (late sixth grade if I remember correctly). I still did secretly though. Anyway with that little skeleton out of the closet I really liked the cartoon. Especially since the Filmation Ghostbusters had been out for a while and I simply thought they were too silly. Mind you I had no historical connection with the original live action show from the 70’s. Now that I understand the context of that show I appreciate it more now. Still the REAL Ghostbusters are still tops in my book. Sorry Mr. Scheimer, but you did have me with He-Man and Bravestarr.

Back to another of the many reasons why I like this figure; He looks just like the cartoon! That is a giant thumbs up in my book. For the creators of this Egon to have put the effort into perfectly capturing and rendering this guy in 3 dimensions from his original 2 dimensional existence I must tip my hat to you. That really is no easy task. Certainly not for me. I really do appreciate the fact that no matter which angle you observe this fellow you never loose the fact that this is indeed Egon from the cartoon. Add to that the colors! I love that the colors pop! Just like a fun toy should.

Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

Such a colorful and fun egghead. But if you were a ghost you'd be scared out of your mind if you saw him coming. You would, seriously.

Why you should:

As an 8 inch action figure collector you owe it to yourself to add this guy and his pals (I’m working on that by the way, thank you page3auc http://shop.ebay.com/page3auc/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25 ) even if your not a particular fan of the show. Standing along side the Retro Action Heroes the overall scope of the line and its possibilities really takes shape. With all of these truly compatible figures you can see the world that was Mego playtime coming back into existence. And of course with all the other super sweet figures on the market now from EMCE, Bif Bang Pow, Castaway and of course ZICA, your 8 inch world of collectibles can become a wonderfully diverse display that still takes up less room then 12 inchers and look a lot more fun than the super articulated and detailed 6 and 7 inch figures.

Why you shouldn’t:

After all of the good I honestly can’t come up with a reason for you not to. Actually considering the normal pattern of the nostalgia train I would bet that these figures will increase in popularity more so than their Super Hero counterparts as more late 80’s kids become aware of them.

In Conclusion

 Egon Spengler is an excellent action figure and toy thanks to the efforts of Mattel. Period. They’ve corrected and improved this line every step of the way and do truly appear to be listening to the fans (aka consumers) and doing right by the same. Egon here really does giv me hope and makes me anxious to see what else Mattel has in store for us fanboys and girls of all ages. Now Go Play! – Jim 05/24/11

Dear Reader, Egon. Egon, Dear Reader. Ya'll should get to know one another better. I'm glad I know both of you.

Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com


All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

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