Before I got to announce the Ghostbusters Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at Comic-Con last year, The Coop sent me a 3-D printed protoype. Sadly they made me send it back - I loved that thing. Their sample - pictured below with a black background - was all extruded and painted by hand, with a blank tag. That's not how the final product is. Production samples include a flexible, silicone tag that helps stabilize the figure, with a barely-flexible plastic body. I know it looks like it's a sock, but the figure is actually plastic with tons of fabric textures.
Molded in white, you can see buttons, stitching, yarn, and other materials that don't actually exist. The exquisitely sculpted plastic figure has that knit pattern nailed down pretty well. It's possible there's something wrong about it, but I am not a knitter - to my eyes, it's perfect. I love the collar's stitching. The red tie pops nicely. Unlike Slimer's recessed mouth, Mr. Stay Puft's mouth is sculpted to look like an extra bit of stitching over the white knit body - it's all about the details. For all I know they 3-D scanned an actual plush toy, it sits just so perfectly that I have a hard time believing it was completely handmade by robots top to bottom.
The sculpting on the 4-inch figure will trick the eye as a person unwittingly lifts it. The limbs are frozen as you see them - they don't actually dangle as it isn't a real plush toy. The only floppy bit is that tag. Everything else is as stiff as your other toy figures, although the box clearly calls this one a "decoration." Whatever you call it, it's really cool and a good place to re-engage with Ghostbusters if you didn't score the Playmobil toys. Or even if you did. The stylized approach is definitely the way to go with these spooky characters.
My eyes say "soft" but my hands say "plastic." It's a weird one - but it's pretty fantastic. The format keeps the "cute" design of the movie character but brings it into a strangely timeless form factor that I hope continues cranking out new licensed figures for a while. There should be a lot more in store for Ghostbusters in 2020, but let it not be said there wasn't anything good in 2019. It's a gem, especially for the price.
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