"Collaborative" Ghostbusters x Transformers Ectotron Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Collaborative, Fan Channel, Voyager

Transformers Collaborative Series

General Information:
Release Date: June 2019
Price Point: $49.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Hasbro Pulse and Gamestop
Accessories: Proton Pack, Proton Pack Blaster, Slimer figure

Ectotron

Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro Pulse:
Discover how these worlds collide in this Transformers-Ghostbusters mash-up pack! The iconic Ecto-1 Cadillac from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie is now a Transformers robot -- a converting Paranormal Investigator, called Ectotron! This Ectotron figure comes with his own Proton Pack accessory and a Slimer accessory, and converts between Ecto-1 and robot modes in 22 steps.

Includes: Ectotron figure, Slimer figure, 2 accessories, and instructions. Ages 8 and up. Manufactured under license from TOMY Company, Ltd. © 2018 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Cadillac and all related Emblems and vehicle body designs are General Motors Trademarks used under license to Hasbro Inc.

More about Transformers Generations Collaborative: Ghostbusters Mash-Up Ecto-1 Ectotron
Transformers robots have always been More the Meets the Eye, but now, through the Transformers Collaborative, fans can experience these larger than life characters as they team-up, mash-up, and meet up with other characters, teams, and people who share this same special quality. It is a world of constant change, where things are not what they seem. It is the world of the Transformers…and the Ghostbusters…a world of heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons…and ghosts!

Product Features
Commemorate 35 years of both Transformers and Ghostbusters with 1 awesome figure! Convert Ecto-1 Cadillac mode to Ectotron robot mode in 22 steps. Features classic Tech Specs showing the capabilities of Ectotron, including strength, speed, and ghostbustabilty. Includes Proton Pack accessory Figure scale: 7 inches.

In 1984, the Transformers debuted and changed the toy and media world forever. The same year, the Ghostbusters movie was released, changing the comedy/fantasy/scifi world forever. 2019 is the 35th Anniversary of both Transformers and Ghostbusters, making the two the perfect subjects to mash up in a crossover celebrating both brands. Hasbro is also using this to launch the new "Collaborative" line of Transformers figures. Ectotron won't be alone. A Ghostbusters themed Optimus Prime is due out at SDCC 2019 to go along with this figure.

Packaging:
If you're going to release a figure that celebrates the 80's, then the only packaging that is appropriate for such a figure is retro-Transformers packaging! Similar to the "Vintage G1" reissues currently at Walmart, this packaging uses graphics and even a box design right out of the 80's G1 toy line. The shape of the box is rectangular, with a window allowing you to see the figure inside (in vehicle mode to boot!). On the top is a large flap with the 80's Transformers logo printed on it. At the very end, the "S" has some slime on it (presumably from Slimer, who comes with the figure).

In terms of graphics, there is beautiful retro goodness here. There is artwork of the robot mode off to the right against a grid background with red and yellow colors. The bottom has a black and yellow bar with "Ectotron" and "Ecto-1" printed in them. To the left of that is the 8+ age recommendation and the classic 80's Hasbro logo. On the top of the box you see Ectotron changing from vehicle to robot mode in a (very generalized) 5 step transformation. Taking another cue from G1 packaging, there is text saying that the figure "Converts from Ecto-1 to robot and back!". Next to that is the "Collaborative" logo for the Ghostbusters/Transformers crossover. The sides of the box feature the figure in both modes along with the Ghostbusters logo. The trip down memory lane continues on the back of the box, featuring the beautiful package art from 1984. Ectotron also has a tech spec, styled after the G1 character files. However, instead of "Strength, Intelligence..." etc. statistics, there are icons used now (which gets around the problematic use of the term "firepower"). There are also two Ghostbusters specific icons. One shows a ghost trap and the other shows the Ghostbusters logo. Ectotron scores pretty high on both! Due to this packaging needing to pass muster in various countries, each bit of text is printed in 4 languages.

This packaging is absolutely beautiful. The graphics are crisp, the retro styling is a total nostalgia bomb and I love how a new figure has been given the 80's packaging treatment. It is a cool touch for an inspired release.

Accessories:
Ectotron is meant to be the Ghostbusters vehicle Ecto-1 given a robot form (and presumably sentience). So if he is going to bust ghosts in robot mode, he of course needs a Proton Pack! The top of the vehicle mode transforms into a Proton Pack, and this accessory is a thing of beauty. Like the devices seen in the Ghostbusters film, the pack looks like it has been cobbled together from parts purchased at a hardware store. Distinctive shapes such as tubes on the sides and a giant circular section on the bottom are all sculpted into this piece. On top of that, there are plenty of wires sculpted into the Proton Pack. The "blaster" end of the pack is actually a separate accessory, but you attach it to the pack using a rubbery blue cable.

This piece is cast in black plastic. There are yellow, gold and grey details painted on to it. It could have used a few more paint details on the wires to help break out those details a bit more, but overall I just love the fact that Ectotron has an accessory that is so iconic.

Slimer

Slimer is one of the most iconic characters coming out of the Ghostbusters movie. The character had a significant scene in the first Ghostbusters film when he "slimed" Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray), leading to one of the film's most iconic lines: "He slimed me!". The character would later go on to become a significant character in The Real Ghostbusters animated series and even get his own mini-series of shorts. It made perfect sense for him to be included as an accessory with this set.

This version of Slimer is based on his appearance in the movie (as opposed to his more "cartoony" appearance in The Real Ghostbusters). He looks like a pudgy floating head with part of a chest. His arms are outstretched and his mouth is wide open. It is likely this was intended to simulate the moment he flies at Peter Venkman before "sliming" him. The sculpt is fantastic, with details like his teeth sculpted into the mouth.

This piece is cast in a translucent green rubbery plastic. There are no paint details on the figure. This makes some of the sculpted detail a bit hard to see, but it gives him an other-worldly appearance that is appropriate for a ghost.

Ectotron

Vehicle Mode:
In the Ghostbusters film the team winds up converting a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance into their iconic vehicle. This involved a distinctive paint job and a ton of electronic equipment attached to the top. We never really saw that equipment in action, but it looked like there were probably devices for detecting or helping to bust some unruly spirits!

To create this figure, the designers decided to start with an existing set of tools and then build the figure up from there. The Ecto-1 vehicle is a rather long one, so the natural choice for this scale was the base design used for "Combiner Wars" Hot Spot (and several subsequent redecos/retools such as Pyra Magna). That said, there is nothing in this form that gives away that origin. The entire vehicle mode has been given new parts to create the Ecto-1. On top of that, this is technically a licensed GM Cadillac, which means it has to conform to the manufacturer's standards in terms of appearance. All this works together to create a vehicle mode with a lot of the on-screen vehicle's iconic design elements. These include:

  • The shape of the vehicle includes the distinctive front grille and the 50's Cadillac symbol on the hood and the "fins" on the sides towards the back.
  • The wheels are 50's style, complete with distinctive rims in the center.
  • There are three, round lights in the front and two in the back.
  • The side view mirrors are tube shaped.
  • There are light bars located towards the front and back, mounted on top.
  • There is a pile of equipment mounted on top of the car. This piece includes some of the more distinctive details including a tube on the right side, two tubes connected together and a round, pill shaped section towards the back.
  • There is a wire running from the equipment on top to the right side of the vehicle towards the front.
  • The left side has a ladder-like rack towards the back.
  • The rear lights are distinctive cone shaped lights.
  • The rear wheel wells cover half the wheels.

Overall this sculpt is fantastic. It rivals some of the die-cast versions of Ecto-1 that do not transform, but the fact that this vehicle has to turn into a robot makes it even more impressive.

The deco in this mode is awesome. The figure is mostly white, black and translucent plastic. Silver is used liberally to paint in details from the front to the back. Other colors include red, white and grey. Among my favorite details are translucent red plastic used on the rear lights and metallic blue paint on the round lights on top of the car. Of course, the details that really make the vehicle are the Ghostbusters logos, one on each door. I'd say the colors on this vehicle are just as iconic as the design elements like the fins, and Hasbro did a fantastic job with the deco.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the "blaster" on the left side of the vehicle and set it aside for now.
  2. Lift the top part of the "ladder" section up, separating it from the equipment on top of the car.
  3. On the other side, detach the blue cable from the side.
  4. Separate the gold cable from the front of the car.
  5. Lift up the equipment on the top of the vehicle.
  6. Rotate the "ladder" piece back.
  7. Swing the side panels of the vehicle up.
  8. Flip the vehicle over and swing the black robot foot pieces down.
  9. Swing the panels in the front of each lower leg forward.
  10. Swing the lower legs down.
  11. Swing the front panels back up.
  12. Swing the heel pieces out.
  13. Split the front of the car and swing the halves out to the sides.
  14. Rotate the arms forward so the halves of the car's front end face upward.
  15. Swing each robot arm down.
  16. Swing each robot hand out from the forearms.
  17. Push the panels right next to the shoulders down.
  18. Swivel the halves of the vehicle's front end forward.
  19. Swing the chest panel forward.
  20. Swing the robot head up.
  21. Swing the panel back into place.
  22. Take the equipment from the vehicle mode and swing the piece with the two barrels on it to the side.
  23. Swing the bottom panel up and connect the gold cable to it, then push it down.
  24. Connect the "blaster" to the blue cable.
  25. Attach the Proton Pack to Ectotron's back.
  26. The "blaster" end of the Proton Pack can fit into either hand.

Robot Mode:
I mentioned earlier this figure is a significant retool of the "Combiner Wars" Hot Spot sculpt. This is the mode where you can see it, but even then it is not immediately obvious. Take a closer look however and the shared engineering and parts become clear. These include:

  • The elbow and forearm joints are the same pieces used on previous versions of the figure.
  • The thighs are made up of the same pieces as figures like Hot Spot.
  • The engineering on the chest panel is the same, with a hinge that swings forward to reveal the robot head.
  • The way the legs transform and move are also similar in design to the base Hot Spot sculpt.

If the list of carry over elements does not seem like a lot, that's because the designers really went above and beyond to sculpt all new parts for the figure. This includes a new head sculpt, new forearms, new hands, a new torso and new lower legs. Even the construction of his shoulder armor is different than say, Hot Spot. Whereas Hot Spot used parts of the forearms to form one end of his vehicle mode, here the front end of the vehicle mode "shell" winds up on the shoulders, allowing the forearms to be standalone pieces.

Perhaps the two most "Ghostbuster-inspired" elements of this design are the head and torso. The head is a very robotic looking intepretation of a human face complete with two eyes, a broad nose and a mouth that looks like it is set in a frown (this winds up making the lower part of the face look more like a mouthplate). Over the forehead area is a pair of goggles. These are based on the goggles worn by Ghostbuster Ray Stantz (played by Dan Akroyd). Unfortunately the goggles are stuck in place, so they cannot slide over the eyes. Meanwhile, the chest panel has two "fins" sticking out in front that resemble the collars from the Ghosbuster jumpsuits. He also has a name patch on the left side of his chest just like the Ghostbusters had in the film. Towards the lower part of the torso section there are details that look like belt straps, another feature borrowed from the jumpsuits worn by the Ghostbusters. Overall, I really dig the sculpt on this figure. It is still recognizable as a Transformers figure, but retains enough Ghostbusters elements to make it distinctive.

This mode introduces the color beige into the mix. While white still makes up most of the figure, beige can be found on the chest, arms and thighs. Why beige? Because that was the main color of the Ghostbusters jumpsuits! I do think a tad more beige could have been painted onto the lower body or maybe on the shoulders, but to be fair the designers would have then run the risk of making him look too dull. Perhaps my favorite detail is the patch on his chest having his name written in red letters, just like the Ghostbusters themselves!

If you want to be generous about it, this figure has twenty four points of articulation in this mode. Subtract bits like the hands and feet and that number goes down to eighteen, but it is still quite a few. For the most part the joints are tight, with the exception of the knee hinges which are a tad more loose than I would like. The figure can stand and pose just fine, but you may need to work a bit to get him into certain poses. The Proton Pack is perhaps one of my favorite Transformers accessories ever, but it does not hold onto the back as securely as I would like. It displays just fine, but start fiddling with the figure and it pops off easily. Also, the blue tubes that connect the pack to the "blaster" at the end can pop out relatively easily.

Final Thoughts:
Ectotron is an inspired figure. He looks awesome in both modes and there is a lot of love being paid to the Ghostbusters movie in this figure. I am also impressed that the designers started with a "Combiner Wars" Voyager Class figure and retooled it so much that it looks like a whole different toy. The figure has some flaws for sure, but I do recommend it for fans looking for a fun figure with a dose of 80's nostalgia from two franchises worked into the mix!

Pros:

  • Amazing amount of retooling.
  • Excellent vehicle mode that reflects the on-screen vehicle beautifully.
  • Good deco in both modes.
  • Wonderful nods to the Ecto-1 and the Ghostbusters themselves.
  • Gorgeous packaging.

Cons:

  • The Proton Pack does not stay attached as firmly as I would like.
  • The knee joints are a bit loose compared to other joints on the figure.
  • Fans would have definitely preferred the goggles being able to move up and down on the head.
  • The cable connecting the Proton Pack to the Blaster end disconnects easily.