Finally! The new incarnation* of the 1984 movie is now in the cinemas! And while the new all-female team are currently hunting ghosts on the big 3D screen, their minifigure-sized versions have shown up at the Littleworlds HQ for a review!
(*if that’s the appropriate term in the ghost-busting branch!)
While I don’t want to make this review a contest between the old and the new set (what’s the point in doing so anyway?), it is very interesting to see what has changed since the introduction of the original in 2014.
How it all begins – Packaging and Instructions:
The design of the box is quite flashy with its green slime (luckily its just printed!) and quite distinctive from the more classical design of the original one from the Lego Ideas-line. The new one clearly identifies itself rather as a play-set, than a collectors item.
The instructions (bound, not tacked together) though are more cinematic and include pictures of the Minifigures and their human counterparts as well as some movie scenes on the first pages. Very nice. The actual instructions though are printed with a black background. That makes it look very stylish, but also harder to identify all pieces and the place where they belong to, as you make your way through the four main bags. But apart from that, things were as you can expect from Lego: clear instructions and the building was nicely straightforward with no bad surprises.
Some real Characters – The Minifigures:
The new set comes with six Minifigures: the four main characters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kirsten Wiig), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty (Leslie Jones), plus their slightly daft secretary Kevin (
the mighty Thor Chris Hemsworth) and a ghostly entity called “Mayhem”.
The first thing I noticed when putting them together was the amazing hairstyles they have. Together with the crisp and detailed printing (even with Ghostbusters logo on the sleeves), they make some very individual and easily identifiable characters. Especially Patty’s hair is just lovely. Holtzmann’s might have the most flashy (or lets say “mad”) one, but Patty’s hairdo is simply a beautiful piece of art with very detailed and crisp casting. Wonderful!
Mayhem – is a special case though. I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t tell if he is a major character and if his Minifigure is a correct representation, or not. Funny fact: on the actual movie-picture in the instructions he actually has a green head! This aside, he is a weird mixture of semi-transparent skeleton-torso and head demon wings, red limbs and a horned helmet (?) which looks suspiciously like something a certain Loki would wear. Anyway, he looks evil enough and features some nicely subtle and crisp printing, especially on his wings, which are some really cool pieces, that make my friend Lavaria a bit envious.
Compared to these new Minifigures, the original ones look a bit simple really. The torso printing is less elaborated and the legs are completely unprinted. Impressive, how much has changed in such a short time. Also the policy, that Lego does not designs new pieces for an Ideas-set, lead to rather odd choices for Peter Venkman’s and Winston Zeddemore’s hairs. They never looked really convincing to me.
Bits and Bops and Bikes – Accessories:
The accessories are pretty decent and rather plenty: We have four proton packs, two ghost-traps (one filled, one empty), a PKE-meter, a toolbox and two handheld devices which look suspiciously like guns to shoot at dead and undead things.
The proton packs are something I am not happy with. Just like in the original Ghostbusters-set, they are so heavy that a Minifig simply falls over when wearing one, unless you counterbalance it by equipping lots of items in its hands. They look pretty good though and are certainly as accurate as possible for their size. Especially thanks to the printing. I would be happy though, if Lego had decided to actually make casts for them, because the balancing issue takes a lot of pose-ability away. This clearly asks for some modding!
Also included is Kevin’s bike, Ecto-2:
It may be a bit on the large side, but has a nice and sporty look, so it is fine. And contrary to the proton packs, he doesn’t has to carry it.^^ The Ghostbusters logo on the front is actually a sticker and I am very proud that I was able to put it on perfectly. Sadly my luck didn’t last.
Lets take a Ride – The Car:
The car itself did remind me a lot on the original car when assembling it. No surprise really, since they share exactly the same dimensions (antennas not counting) and make extensive use of the snot-technique on their sides. There are some major departures though when it comes to constructing the interior: The 1984 version is a bit plain inside and fits only 2 minifigures. Ok, three when you squeeze a third behind the driver… ok all four, when you lay one into the boot, which isn’t very elegant, but pragmatic.
The new version though makes much more of the space available. It offers seats for all four main characters and has some leftover space in the boot for equipment, too. Very nice. You also get doors that can actually open – and even a (slightly odd looking) boot lid. The trade-off though is the lack of side windows. Fair enough. Let them have a nice breeze, it is summer after all!
The boot lid appears to me as not the ideal solution. It is obvious why it is constructed the way it is, but I wonder if that angle can’t be created in a more elegant way.
The racing stripes on the sides have been criticized before for being a bit wavy by other reviewers, but at least in this set they aligned nicely. And I am very happy they are not stickers!
Speaking of stickers: they are my nemesis and I often don’t get them right. I guess they had to cut costs somewhere after so cool printed Minifigures and pieces like the racing stripes and had to make extensive use of stickers. Even for parts I wouldn’t have expected them, like a radiation-warning sticker on a 1×1 tile – ugh! I had so much “fun” with getting that tiny one right. It took me a least 3 attempts of applying and removing it, until it was in the right spot. And then I wasn’t sure if it would stay on after all that. The “Caution – Parts may fall off!”-sign on the roof may actually apply to stickers too.^^
But enough of that (sticky) topic and back to the good things: the roof-greebling is done in a very inspired way: two prison-doors are used as frame where all technical gadgets are mounted on. Having the two models side-to-side at each other, I can’t really say on which one the designers made a better job. Both look very cool and literally radiate a perfect mad-scientist-feel!
Overall I think the new car is very well done. It looks very authentic (80s-cars blockiness clearly helps Lego here^^) and is clearly a step forward compared to its predecessor in regards of playability and use of space. The old one leans more towards being a display-model, that sacrifices a more sophisticated interior for a neat look on the outside.
All in all I am very happy with the new Ghostbusters Ecto-1. It offers a very well built, great looking set with charming Minifigures and a lot of playability and accessories. Apart from minor things like the chunky proton-packs and the stickers, there is not much to criticize.
- 6 very well printed and modelled Minifigures
- Nice range of accessories
- Authentic looking Ecto-1
- Offers seating space for all 4 Ghostbusters
- 2 doors and boot lid
- Chunky proton-packs
- Instructions are printed on black
All in All: 5/5