Ghostbusters Retro-Action!

I am about to go down a road not often traveled here on VeggieMacabre. That road involves toys. But it’s okay because it also involves Ghostbusters, too!

Mattel’s The Real Ghostbusters Retro-Action figures were a 2011 release exclusively at Toys R Us stores and this flew well below my radar. Luckily for me, I was able to acquire this particular action set (?) for $25 from an incredibly weird toy vender who used a wheel chair but rolled it by shuffling her feet. She also haggled with me on the price which was clearly sticker-ed. This is what I get for shopping at flea market store that could be destroyed by a leaf blower.

There are few oddities which propelled me to purchase this item. Okay, there were a few oddities that made me buy this item.

The first is the “adult collection” classification. It seems a bit odd that they marketed this purely for the adults who were of the age to appreciate the old line of toys in the late 1980s and 90’s. I am not a betting man but my assumptions are there are plenty of Samhain decapitated heads rolling around toy rooms as we speak. So to limit the marketability to only adults with a cute Slimer and a sweet proton pack seems limiting, at best.

EDIT: Just looked up this set on eBay and it’s going for $79.00. So, goddamn it. Ignore my last.

Second, and most importantly, the “GIANT 22″” cardboard firehouse that I desperately needed for more ridiculous decor in the office. It was the thing that stood out the most, even surpassing one of the best villain in The Real Ghostbusters, Samhain. But I will tell you, it’s a huge bitch to put together.

Well, against better judgement, I devalued this action pack by 200% and pried it open to take a closer look at what we have. Not much of a mystery from the enclosed case but I will say these figures are pretty detailed! Right down to the boots.

Like I said earlier, I am not much on toy reviews. I like them and have been known to review a few from time to time but I mostly leave that type of article to the professionals like Matt from Dinosaurdracula.com or some YouTube celebrity with a trust fund to burn. Right now I am out for decor for my juvenile office and a chance to have Slimer, Samhain and a cardboard firehouse was too much of a temptation. Janine is no concern to me. I wish it was Rick Moranis.

I think we should start with the weapons…er…ghost-catching equipment. Let me make a stupid diagram real quick.

1. P.K.E. Meter: Psychokinetic Energy Meter that is used to detect the whereabouts of paranormal activity. I guess it measures ghost stuff and brackets it in a numbered value. Here are the parameters:

            200-300 = No Threat, small to no paranormal activity.

            301-450 = Trouble, you have a faint trace of a spook.

            451-550 = Biblical Proportions

Is it just me or is “faint trace of a spook” to “biblical proportions” quite a jump? That’s like picking up on a red-tailed shark and the next step is great white. You would think Egon would be concerned.

2. Proton Pack Mark 1: The most recognizable of the arsenal it consists of two parts: The Nuclear Accelerator Backpack (Proton Pack, Positron Collider, Cyclotron.) and Particle Thrower (Proton Gun, Ion Wand, Ion Cannon, Neutrona Wand.). It is nuclear  powered and I am sure it required a testicle shield but since ol’ Bug-Eyes was donning this, no nut-shield was needed.

3. Ghost Trap: I guest this can be described as a mini-containment unit. The Trap is an Electromagnetic Field Generator that is encased in an extremely strong and powerful Steel Grid and the EMF draws ghosts into the trap. The Trap is connected to a six to eight feet cable, which is connected to a “Stomp-on Pedal”. It requires at least 48 hours to charge ensuring if I was a Ghostbuster, I would be totally screwed all the time when it came to the final process of catching a ghost. I always have a 1/3 charge on my phone.

4. Barcharach Sniffer 300: So this will blow you frickin’ mind. It’s a real piece of equipment from a true company that specializes in equipment that detects gas and vapor. I really thought this was the most ridiculous of the bunch! And…now we learned something. It tests ionized traces left by P.K.E. activity, and can be used to date the occurrences of paranormal activity. It was created by Bacharach/United Technologies. “One of our little toys.”

In case you are impressed with my extensive knowledge of Ghostbuster gear, don’t. I got it all from here. I really want to hug the people or person who made this.

Before we jump to the characters I want to look at the absolute pain the fire house was to assemble. It was like constructing one of those elaborate paper airplanes made to look like a F-15. It has too many pieces that hated one another so you had to force them together like telling brothers hug. (Two Two Two analogies in one!)

You have to admit it’s a pretty cool idea they had to include a Ghostbuster HQ in the packaging. I hope this catches on with other “adult” collections like He-Man comes with a Grey Skull castle front. I see great things in paper-cutouts for the future.

This gif isn’t spectacular but it’s a brief glimpse of my frustration as I tried over and over to stand the damn thing up. Finally, I had it pieced together but if anyone looked close, there’s no way this building is to code. As Egon said, “I think it should be condemned…”. Thank goodness for Ray.

Now that the main reason for buying this action set is built and displayed I guess it’s time to move on to the characters themselves. I think I will start off with my favorite and one Hell of a villain, Samhain. He was the super boss if there was one in the series, The Real Ghostbusters, and probably peaked a 700 on the ol’ P.K.E. meter. Though I don’t think he’s quite as cool as the Sandman because he lacked a theme song, I do think when it comes to Halloween inspired bad dudes, you can’t beat him.

This is a pretty cool likeness to the cartoon from the glowing eyes to the tiny teeth to the magic cape which apparently is the source of powers to the…black boots? I didn’t know the demon of Halloween had feet? Makes you wonder what else this guy has for accessories? Does he have a utility belt? Perhaps a satchel full of candy corn?

Holy shit! Apparently Samhain is a fan of palates. That dude is ripped and if it wasn’t for his bulbous head full pumpkin guts, I would say he is a chick magnet.

This keeps getting more uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Not only is Samhain a palates guru but likes black underwear. (Des Webb) There is something to be said for a villain who wears a magical robe with only black underwear and boots underneath.

If I elaborate any further on Samhain’s physique and black undies, people might get the wrong idea about this blog so I will continue on with…

COME ON!!!

I think I am going to skip Janine. I am not being misogynistic but as far as the character goes, I was never a fan. I loved her in the first Ghostbusters but after that, no. I will say, Samhain isn’t doing Xtreme Fitness Tap Out Douche training for nothing. He may be looking to infiltrate the Ghostbusters, if you know what I mean. Heh.

And while he is busy doing that, I think Slimer may take this opportunity to work Samhain’s magic robe for his own cause.

Not knowing the true power of the cape from the Netherworld, he sputters Slimer-like sentence fragments and toots,  wishing to the dark forces for an eternal supply of candy. Only this disgusting spud can have unlimited and unchecked power and use it for junk food.

Janine and the Prince of Halloween were already in the Showbiz hot tub that Louis Tully had won several years ago in a skeetball contest south of Cape Cod. Too distracted by lust, they had no idea Slimer had summoned Satan himself to deliver Earth crushing loads of candy. Black underwear has powers that Janine could not break away from.

But Slimer forgot one thing about black Halloween magic; you don’t quite get what you think.

The Dark One delivered on the request but much to Slimer’s chagrin, it was a lifetime supply of pina colada jellybeans.

All-in-all, not a bad set. I guess it wasn’t made to be played with because the characters can stand about as well as Larry Flint. The legs are way too loose. Everything else was pretty spot on including the giant firehouse which was the highlight of the whole set. Aside from the construction, of course. B grade.

That concludes the dumbest shit I have ever written. I have been writing so much in reference to the Halloween countdown which is starting just around the corner, I sometimes forget no one will come if they forget you are here so…I am here! Please don’t forget me.

Oh! And here is the addition to the office. The giant Ghostbuster Firehouse. Meh.

 

It’s A Mad Mad Mad Monster Party: Part 2

Hello there! I am back with the second part to the Mad Monster recap. Sorry it has taken a little while longer to get this up but stupid work was being, well, stupid. Gotta pay the bills, ya know? Anyway, let us jump right back to where I left off.

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I will admit, even though this was a horror convention, I am always amazed by people who think up and create stuff like this. It’s one thing to dress up as your favorite character or even just a random zombie, it’s a whole other bag of beans to strap a quadriplegic zombie girl to your back and walk around in jeans and a button-down shirt just because. It didn’t make any sense. I can’t think of a time I walked around with a mannikin strapped to my back and passed it off as a costume. Well, there was that Halloween when I did the whole “Weekend at Bernie’s” thing. But that was different!

And there was more than one of these weirdos too! It seemed these five guys all over the age of 38 got together and thought this was a brilliant idea. I sure hope these guys are writers or producers of “The Walking Dead” or something because if it’s random, C minus. It just doesn’t make any sense. But this next thing does!!!

What the shit is this? I kind of love it. Really can’t tell how this…thing…got to the top of the stairs and into the convention center but much success to this guy for pulling off such an impressive costume. If it wasn’t for the huge claws and steak knife I would swear that the inspiration came from the old cartoon The Real Ghostbusters. It just seems that crazy. But what do I know?

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The main reason I was at The Mad Monster Party was to see and support my boys, Brockton and Bo, from Lost Story Studios. They are brilliant artists and can zombie-fy any character you can think of. Not only are they great artists, they are fantastic people and their wives, Amy and Holly are equally as cool. I wish we lived closer but for my liver’s sake, perhaps it’s better that we don’t. Thank you Amy (long time friend) for expanding my buddy pool.

Just look at their work. I love it oh so much. Also, their comic Death Curse is crazy good. This will be huge so remember folks, you saw it here first.

Later in the evening we all party pretty heavy into the night. I have no idea how these guys can get up the next day draw and be creative. My mind was mush and for once, I understood Busey.

Speaking of Busey…

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My good pal Josh C asked me if he could get a personalized hello from Gary Busey and I said sure thing. I knew I could figure something out but honestly, I had no idea the level of insanity that guy has achieved. From the second I met him I knew this needed to be a fast transaction. Here’s how it went:

Me: Hello Mr. Busey, I’m a big fan but my buddy Josh can’t be here. Could I get a picture of you holding this saying hello to him?

Busy: What? Speak up!

Me: HELLO MR. BUSEY, I AM A BIG FAN BUT MY BUDDY JOSH CAN’T BE HERE. COULD I GET A PICTURE OF YOU HOLDING THIS SAYING HELLO TO HIM?

Busey: You have a shirt on you…what?

Me: What?

Busey’s publicist: He just wants you to hold this sign for a friend while he takes a picture.

Busey: So no one is going to sit next to me?

Me: *thinking to myself* Please for the love of Christ, let the camera work.

After that exchange I gave him $20 and he quite literally ripped it from my hand like a money stealing a tourist’s ice cream. I felt like I somehow annoyed him so I bought an autograph as well. It was a headshot from Lethal Weapon. I told him the special forces tattoo line was our favorite when I was in the military. He said of all the movies he has done, that role was his favorite.

Then, out of nowhere, he stood up and saluted me and screamed, “I SALUTE YOU SIR!!!” spitting wildly. I just smiled and backed away like the woman in Elf. You know the scene. The “IT’S SANTA!” scene? Pay attention to the old woman in the background after the Santa shouting. That was me.

Well, Gary didn’t disappoint and he was everywhere all weekend. In fact he acquired a guitar somehow and I barely caught this little ditty.

It’s kind of funny to think that guy could have been murdered by Meatloaf.  Loaf. I hate that word.

After that experience I moved over one spot to my right and there was his son, Jake Busey. Not nearly the line that his father had but he seemed to be in good spirits. We actually shot the shit for a while about the first episode of Tales From the Crypt and how that show evolved since the first season. He seemed surprised that someone would recognize him for that rather than Frighteners or Starship Troopers. I didn’t have the balls to say what I really think of those movies anyway. He was even pretty patient when my friend couldn’t work the camera while making “aw shit” faces. Jake casually said, “That’s not a good face”.

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We figured it out finally. Looking back, he’s a pretty tall dude! I am right at 6 feet so he’s, what, 6.4? He must have been pretty annoyed to be stuck between Gary and the Halloween mood table that played Halloween 3’s Silver Shamrock commercial over and over. That’s his penance for The Hitcher 2. And yes, that is also the autograph I chose.

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Good ol’ Kirk Hammett, the meekest member of Metallica, stopped by to sign his new book. It’s no secret that Kirk has always been into the retro monster flicks and masks so it seemed right for him to be there. He’s definitely the coolest and after that dump-in-a-jar documentary, Some Kind of Monster, he out shined the two women, Lars and James. If Metallica has lost many of its original fans, Kirk has been the bridge to keep the others.

You couldn’t approach him. In order to talk with him you needed to sign up for another $100, weeks ahead of time. I get that but it’s still a little disappointing. The cool thing is they put him in plain site of the public and we could at least get a quick snapshot of him.

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Of all the people at this event, meeting  actor Jeffery Kramer was one of my favorite experiences. He was the nicest of people and out of the whole Jaws panel, he was the one I geeked out over the most. Sure Chrissy, the first shark victim, was cool but as a kid, I remember Deputy Hendricks the most. He went on for a long while about shooting Jaws one and two and how nuts Robert Shaw was to work with and what it was like to work on Halloween two. He’s just an over all nice person and he couldn’t believe I could recite all his lines in both of the Jaws movies. I, myself, couldn’t believe I actually let anyone know that. Especially him.

He was so flattered he signed the wrong character to the Halloween 2 picture and gave me another. I said it was more than okay because that just makes it a little cooler. He insisted so now I have two. This photo always makes me feel bad for poor Ben Tramer. Of all nights to go out on Halloween dressed in a pale William Shatner mask and mechanic overalls. Who knew Michael Meyers had that same costume idea too?

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May have gotten him to sign my Jaws 2 shirt as well. “The Beaches Are Closed”. Love it! He’s never signed a shirt before. Looking back I hope I didn’t creep him out. I was powered by bud light all weekend.

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Hey it’s Lea Thomson from Back to the Future, Red Dawn, Jaws 3-D and Howard the Duck! She was also sweet and still a pretty good lookin’ lady. My buddy DJ D is in love with her. He said something about me creating a diversion, a trunk and rope. I am not sure I was paying attention close enough. Maybe that’s for the better.

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This was the time when the show was wrapping up for the second day and all my friends had finally arrived. It was party time. I will admit you have never fully partied until you are at a Monster Party karaoke bar with my friends. It was called “Scareoke” but I kept saying “Spookeoke” by accident. I like “Spookeoke” better.

The whole night is a bit of a blur so that’s why I took a ton of pictures and put them into a slide show for your viewing pleasure. I made so many great friends on top of spending quality time with my buddies. It was horror. It was my best pals. Its was heavy metal. It was my movie and music idles. I was in heaven. Where else can you drink beer with Tyler Mane and Salacious Crumb? No where, that’s where!

Like I said, it’s all kind of blurry but I know it was a great time. Also, when I finally had enough, I decided to head up to the room and when the elevator opened and I got on I found myself between Michael Meyers and Leatherface.

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I asked if this was the murder elevator. They had a good laugh and I asked if I could get their picture because tomorrow it will just be another “no shit, there I was story” and they more than obliged. Tyler Mane is such a great guy. I remember that ride but looking through my pictures I never noticed…

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Ace Frehley was on it too! And should I know the girl in the middle?

I know my chronological order is a bit skewed but let’s pretend it’s not. The last day was one of buying all the stuff I didn’t feel like dragging around. And holy shit I bought a lot. In fact my home office looks like a fanboy’s spank room. I thought we were just going to kick around for a few hours before going back to the real world but when it comes to fun and horror, the party didn’t stop. I stayed another day just to take it all in again.

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Kane Hodder, ladies and gentlemen, the legend who played Jason in the Friday the 13th and Hatchet I and II. And that’s a real chokehold! Keep in mind, he plays Jason and is about three inches taller than me. Here it looks like we are the same height. I will admit, I was a bit surprised by that grip.

Again, what a cool guy and he checked my knowledge about Friday the 13th and the scene of the photo he signed. He specifically asked what scene it was and what happened. Thank God I knew the answer! I had him sign it to my pal who runs one of my favorite sites ever and NO SHIT Kane Hodder knew what it was. I feel a bit proud. I was shocked that a 58-year-old horror icon knew my buddy’s site and even said, “yeah, it’s a funny one. Last time I was there he was talking about Easter eggs and shit.” He must have gotten there by word of mouth or the numerous F13 posts. Who knows, but I got him an autograph as proof. Good for you, Mathew!

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Some $500 later in mech, I saw Jake the Snake Roberts at the buffet looking…sore. I feel for these wrestlers from my childhood. There’s no way their bodies and hearts can be fully functional. But it’s fun to know Jake and I have the same shirt! Speaking of wrestlers, you know I had to get this…

Ever been in the “Cobra Commander Chokehold” by Sgt. Slaughter himself? I have. It’s pretty surreal to think about but I had no intentions to even get a photo with the guy. I wanted this amazing poster but before I knew it, he came around the table and said, “hold still”. Ooooookay?

You have to admit that’s pretty badass. I appreciate the “At Ease, Will” addition. This has pretty much my 1987 loves wrapped into one poster. The only reservation I have is…

…the weird smiley dick. I think that would give most people the heebs.

The day kept getting better. Since the night before I had the pleasure  to hangout and befriend one of the best musicians to grace metal, Brent Hinds from Mastodon.

Brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta hug! It’s weird to talk with one of the greatest guitarists and musicians in the world. I saw him in Spokane in ’09 and got caught in a moshpit so tough, I lost both shoes. It was even cooler that he hung out with my friends the entire night and shot the shit. Great guy and so very humble.

I am getting tired of writing this so I will hurry up. Just a couple more neat-o events.

As the show started to wrap up, you could tell the celebrities were winding down too. I only had one person I had to see left that was on my list, Amelia Kinkade from Demons 1,2 and 3. She was another adolescent crush that I had to tell. Something happened though, and I got sidetracked and when I came back to the showroom, she was gone. I was really bummed out. Until…

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I went to a restaurant down the street to get dinner and there she was by herself, trying to order. Usually I would just leave it be but this was destiny. I sat down, ordered a beer and quietly said I was a big fan as I pretended to watch the basketball game. She scooted over a seat and we talked for a good hour. So so so cool. I bought her dinner and she gave me a couple of her books. She’s a huge animal activist and..(ahem)…animal psychic. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend. But just when I thought it was over as I went back to the hotel, two mega horror movie stars most anyone would know were sitting at the hotel bar and asked if there was anything to get into on a Sunday in Charlotte. Just so happens I am buddy’s with Bill the owner at the Tremont Lounge and gave him a call. Wouldn’t you know it? There just happened to be a freak show there that night. And I gave them a ride there.

I so want to say who they are but I feel that by doing so it could harm them. I know no one reads this but if some bullshit were to happen, I would feel like total dog shit. Anyway, I had to leave them early because I just couldn’t do it anymore. The batteries were severely low at that point. I did get a call at 4am wondering where I was and how to get back to the hotel. Of course I picked them up. I’m a nice guy and these guys caused me nightmares for years.

So that was that! It was a great time all the way around. I am very thankful for my friends who made it all the more special. If you can, next year come to the Mad Monster Party in Charlotte. Do the whole thing. Live it up and experience everything. I absolutely had one of the best times of my life. Us horror fans have a weird bond. I guess that’s why there are no drama or comedy movie conventions. The weird people need a place to be themselves.

BONUS! Wanna see DJ D sing “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap “by AC/DC?

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