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Archives for: June 2016

Ghostbusters Collectables Book Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 15, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Books
This month sees the largest collection of Ghostbusters books ever released since...well, probably EVER! In addition to those we've already covered (or will cover soon) here on Spook Central, today (June 15th) you can get your hands on one more. Amberley Books is releasing Ghostbusters Collectables, written by Matt MacNabb (webmaster of the Ghostbusters Collector website), with brief foreword by Dan Aykroyd (maybe you heard of him). The 96-page paperback is a pictorial look at the various Ghostbusters merchandise released over the past 30+ years, including Filmation's. You can order/pre-order your copy at Amazon or where ever books are sold.

Fellow Spook Central staff member Matt Jordan is tackling review duties on this one. As the person responsible for the overwhelming majority of the Ghostbusters merchandise articles at the Ghostbusters Wiki, he's far more suitable for reviewing the book than I am. So, without further ado, here's Matt's review...

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Where to begin... This book seems to have a bit of a identity crisis. "Ghostbusters Collectables" sounds like it would be a collectors magazine type thing, or so I would have gathered. I was expecting average sales prices on the market for items and noted problems and variants. Well, none of that was found here. This book overall is more like a snapshot of a collection with some text explaining what things are. The book was promoted with the Dan Aykroyd foreword, which felt short and general in nature. Also, it took up less than half a page of the book, leaving half a page of blank white space.

If there is one positive to be noted, it is that the pictures are of decent size and quality in most parts of the book. However, text wise, get ready for three or four lines per picture noting only the most obvious things; trivia and facts are really far and few. Towards the end of a given section, the pictures begin to get a bit random and are placed in the book without much logic or thought.

Some item product lines feel ignored while others get a lot more focus. One clearly neglected line being Mattel/Matty Collector, which got two pages, with one page worth of the section being the Retro-Action Real Ghostbusters dolls. There was photo of two 6-inch toys, and only a summary of the line. Funko on the other hand, got two pages and noted pretty much all of the normal Funko toys and included promo images for each. To me as a reader, this suggests that Funko's line was more significant than the Matty Collector line. Also, the book doesn't mention the prop toys Matty made.

Ultimately, this book has some inconstancy, lacks organization, and feels thrown together. It would be okay for a new fan or someone that wanted a taste of what the Ghostbusters merchandise looks like. But this book is not really good for folks that are collecting.

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Since this book is more image-heavy than text-heavy, it seems only fitting to show you a small sampling of preview page images.

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Ghostbusters 2016 Mini Proton Pack Replica Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 13, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Reviews & Merch
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In addition to all of the books we've already mentioned, June 14th sees the release of the Ghostbusters Proton Pack and Wand Deluxe Mega Kit from Running Press, who has a whole line of "kits" (no assembly required) containing a miniaturized "figurine" and a related book. This kit, specifically, contain the following items:

• Mini Proton Pack Replica (with light and sound)
• Sticker Book
• Proton Pack Sticker Sheet
• Proton Pack History & Blueprints

Let's take a closer look at each item...

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Mini Proton Pack Replica
The main item in this kit, it's a 2"x4"x1" replica of the Proton Pack from the new movie. Those dimensions were taken with the wand sitting in the notches on the side of the pack, going to the right side and top end of the wand. The pack is made of plastic with a flat base so it can sit on a desk or shelf.

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The tip of the wand lights up and the pack makes "whooshing" firing sounds when you hold down the little red button on the wand. It comes pre-installed with three replaceable LR1133 disc batteries. The pack has elastic orange straps (see image above), which might make it of practical use with one of the Mattel figures.

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Proton Pack Sticker Sheet
A 2.5"x3" sheet of small stickers to put on the proton pack. All but two of these stickers can be found slightly larger in the sticker book. Only the red nuclear symbol and the caution striping are exclusive to this sheet.

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Sticker Book
A small 2.5"x3" book with 8 pages of stickers (the other sides of the pages are blank). The stickers, as you'll see in the images above, are warning decals and signs. There are no photo stickers of the cast, other than the silhouette of a female Ghostbuster. I look at the sticker book as a bonus. The mini pack is the main item here.

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Proton Pack History & Blueprints
Not mentioned on the box or shown in any of the official item photos, this is a 6"x5" dual-sided sheet of paper with the history of the new Proton Pack on one side and the blueprints on the other. The history text refers to Jillian Holtzmann simply by her last name. This is getting to be a pet peeve of mine, though it seems like it's in Sony's style guide for the new movie that she never be referred to solely by her first name, like everyone else. In this case, her first name is never given, so if you don't already know it, you won't know who she is. The blueprints are near-identical to those found on the Kenneth P. Higgins Institute of Science Paranormal Studies Lab website, though they include an item pointing to the "Liquid Helium Fill Value" not found on those.

Overall, not a bad little kit. The Proton Pack is well-made and has nifty light-up and sound features. The elastic straps were unexpected, and make it useful for use with the figures, such as Mattel's Real Ghostbusters Janine figure. The sticker book is a disappointment, as I was expecting stickers featuring images from the movie. The Ghostbusters Proton Pack and Wand Deluxe Mega Kit, which is available to buy now, carries a list price of $12.95, but you can always find it a little cheaper at Amazon.
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BBQ Films Ghostbusters Brooklyn Event Attendee Report #BBQGhostbusters

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 10, 2016 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Personal, Ghostbusters 1, Fans
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On Wednesday June 8, 2016, the United States and Belgium sent their best operatives to Brooklyn to save the world from impending paranormal phenomena. Actually, I think the word I'm looking for is "apocalypse". They came to kick ectoplasm and chew bubble gum...and they were all out of bubble gum. What follows is the report of their encounter.

I should warn you that it is image-intensive, and for the sake of simplicity, it will be posted as one long page, instead of as a multi-page article. The images seen here are only a fraction of what was taken. Check out the supplemental page elsewhere on Spook Central for the full gallery of 100+ images. All photos in this article were taken by me, Paul Rudoff, exclusively for Spook Central (except where otherwise noted). Please do not repost them elsewhere without permission. Thanks.

FYI: The event runs from June 8th through the 11th, so you still have two shows on the 11th you could attend if tickets are still available.

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Who You Gonna Call Ghostbusters 2016 Movie Book Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 6, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Books, 2016 Parody Remake
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The movie comes out on July 15th, but all of Simon Spotlight's books based on it are due for release on June 14th, a full month earlier. I opted to read and review the books now, even though that, obviously, spoils the movie for me. I have tried my best to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. If you're interested in buying this book, I would suggest either buying it now and filing it away until after you see the movie, or wait until July and buy it after seeing the movie. The point being: See the movie first, THEN read the book! (Also, images were quickly scanned in by me and any crookedness is not meant to reflect the actual product.)

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June 14th sees the release of Who You Gonna Call? by David Lewman, a children's book based on the new Ghostbusters movie. It's part of the Ready-to-Read series (just like Proud To Be A Ghostbuster), classified at Level Three/Megastar Reader, which indicates that it features a "larger, more complex story plot and character development; challenging vocabulary words, and a more difficult sentence structure". The 6"x9" paperback tome is printed with a large font on plain paper stock and is suitable for the 6-8 year old age range (school grades 1-3), so that made for a light and fun breeze through the 40 pages. Released by the Simon and Schuster imprint, Simon Spotlight, this book carries a list price of $3.99, but you can always find it a little cheaper at Amazon, where an eBook version is also available.

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Over six chapters, Who You Gonna Call? profiles the Ghostbusters, their equipment, and their history. The prose is written from the perspective of a sales brochure, meant to sell you, the reader, on using the Ghostbusters' services for all of your supernatural needs. The events of the new film have already happened.

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One thing I've noticed about the book is that Jillian Holtzmann is never referred to solely by her first name as the other three Busters are. For example, on the profile pages, every one has their first name as the header except for Jillian, who only has her last name. Another example is found on the back cover synopsis (see image above). Kinda weird. Speaking of names, Kevin's last name is never given. not even in his profile. Until we recently spotted a promo photo of him holding up his headshots, we never knew it was "Beckman" because it was never included in any of the press materials so far. Since the last names of all of the ladies are given in the book, I would have expected for his to be, too.

Overall, a nice little book that could be considered the junior version of the Ghostbusters Handbook (to be reviewed here soon). I would surmise this to be the least spoilerific of all of the books based on the new movie. In fact, other than one sentence about Kevin and his possession (which was spoiled in the first trailer), this book is COMPLETELY SPOILER-FREE. For "little kids", this book would be suggestible, but those who want a little more "meat" would be better served by the Handbook.
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Proud To Be A Ghostbuster 2016 Movie Book Review

PermalinkBy Paul Rudoff on Jun. 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM , Categories: Books, 2016 Parody Remake
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The movie comes out on July 15th, but all of Simon Spotlight's books based on it are due for release on June 14th, a full month earlier. I opted to read and review the books now, even though that, obviously, spoils the movie for me. I have tried my best to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. If you're interested in buying this book, I would suggest either buying it now and filing it away until after you see the movie, or wait until July and buy it after seeing the movie. The point being: See the movie first, THEN read the book! (Also, images were quickly scanned in by me and any crookedness is not meant to reflect the actual product.)

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June 14th sees the release of Proud To Be A Ghostbuster by David Lewman, a children's book based on the new Ghostbusters movie. It's part of the Ready-to-Read series, classified at Level Three/Megastar Reader, which indicates that it features a "larger, more complex story plot and character development; challenging vocabulary words, and a more difficult sentence structure". The 6"x9" paperback tome is printed with a large font on plain paper stock and is suitable for the 6-8 year old age range (school grades 1-3), so that made for a light and fun breeze through the 40 pages. Released by the Simon and Schuster imprint, Simon Spotlight, this book carries a list price of $3.99, but you can always find it a little cheaper at Amazon, where an eBook version is also available.

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Over six chapters, Proud To Be A Ghostbuster encapsulates the story of the movie in words and pictures more suitable for younger kids than the junior and adult novelizations from Simon or Tor. Rather than recall the movie in detail, this adaptation focuses more on the friendship between Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) and Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), and how it plays out through the course of the Ghostbusters' story. As expected, a lot of story elements and characters are left out, such as the mayor and mayor's aide. There is a positive portrayal of friendship and of being there for each other.

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One thing I've noticed about the book is that Jillian Holtzmann is never referred to solely by her first name as the other three Busters are. For example, "Abby, Erin, and Holtzmann were amazed!" Another example is found on the back cover synopsis (see image above). Kinda weird. Speaking of names, Kevin's last name is never given. Until we recently spotted a promo photo of him holding up his headshots, we never knew it was "Beckman" because it was never included in any of the press materials so far. Since the last names of all of the ladies are given in the book, I would have expected for his to be, too.

Overall, a nice little book that could be considered the junior junior novelization. I would recommend Proud To Be A Ghostbuster for little kids who are not ready to read the movie novelizations by Stacia Deutsch (Simon) and Nancy Holder (Tor). Adults would, likely, be better served by the Tor book.
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