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My Two Spenglers - Playmobil Ghostbusters 1 & 2 Egon Spengler Reviews

 By Paul Rudoff on May. 21, 2018 at 6:39 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters 2, Toys , Tags:
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One of the benefits to the Toys R Us Going out of Business sale is that the Playmobil Ghostbusters toys are starting to come into a more affordable price range for me. I have picked up a few of them so far, and will be covering them in a series of reviews here on Spook Central. Today's figures were purchased on April 28th for the 20% off prices of $9.19 (GB1) and $11.19 (GB2). Original prices were $11.49 (GB1) and $13.99 (GB2).

A year ago, Playmobil released their first series of Ghostbusters toys, all of which were based on the original movie. That was followed up with a second series in February 2018 based on Ghostbusters II. Last month saw a third series, this time based on The Real Ghostbusters animated series. I will review as many of these as I can get my hands on, either through the Toys R Us sale, or if Playmobil sends some my way.

The two figures that I will review today seem like they came out of an '80s sitcom... When Janine Melnitz dies, she leaves her teenage daughter Kylie in the custody of a father she has never met; or rather, two fathers - Egon, a straight-laced and formal man; and Elon, a wild artist. It's head-spinning hilarity this Tuesday on NBC in My Two Spenglers!


This is a simple little set consisting of a mere 18 pieces plus decals/stickers. It includes a 3-inch Egon in his original movie uniform with Proton Pack and two ghosts that may or may not glow in the dark. (They're not advertised as such, but the rumor is that they do.) The main ghost is a 3-inch dapper gentleman decked out in a long coat and top hat carrying a cane. The other is a spirit that is being sucked into the provided ghost trap. In addition to the Proton Pack (with an attachable light stream), Egon also has his trademark PKE Meter and a walkie talkie.

This Playmobil set doesn't have the complexity of a Lego set, but it's not supposed to. It's meant to be simple and easy for a small child to play with, so there are no tiny pieces to build, thankfully. The most "complex" thing about it is putting the tiny little decals on the pieces.

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The only "building" you will do is putting the doors on the ghost trap and attaching it to the cord and pedal; and putting the Proton Pack onto the Alice pack and attaching the wand and cord onto it. That's it! Snap the pack onto Egon's back, put the spirit onto the trap, and put the hand and cane onto the other ghost and you're done! The only "issue" is what to do with the PKE Meter and walkie talkie. Egon only has two hands, but he needs one for his proton wand, so he can't hold both of those accessories at the same time. I ended up giving the walkie talkie to the ghost, so he can call in reinforcements :-)

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Both figures can bend at the waist, their arms swing from the shoulder, and their heads can turn from side to side. So, there's a little bit of poseability there for you to set up a scene like the one above, such as where I have Egon zapping Dapper Dan in the face. It should be noted that the spirit ghost does not have a backside, so he's best viewed only from the front.

If I had to draw any negatives, it's that neither ghost actually appeared in the movie. The other Series 1 sets all feature movie ghosts, which makes this one stand out like a sore thumb. Did Playmobil think that the zombie cab driver was too scary for kids? Was the subway ghost too obscure? Also, I'm a little confused as to the relation of the spirit ghost to the dapper one. Is there one, or are they meant to be two separate ghosts? Finally, while I applaud the inclusion of more accessories, did Playmobil forget that Egon only has two hands? He can't hold the PKE Meter, walkie talkie, and the proton wand all at the same time.

Anyway, by itself you get a nice amount of stuff, even though it feels like there should be more. Gotta buy those other sets, kids. If you just want this one, you can get it at Amazon or check your local Toys R Us if its still in business.

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If I wanted to, I could just copy and paste most of what I wrote about the Ghostbusters 1 Spengler set here, because the Ghostbusters II Spengler is exactly the same thing, but with a different paint job, no ghosts, and with less accessories - though official count is 20 pieces (two more than the other set). Egon is wearing his charcoal grey uniform, with pink slime stain, but is the same sculpt as the Ghostbusters 1 figure. The only addition are two small black pieces that go over one side of his hands as (half) "gloves". Proton Pack is the same, with the same cord and wand, and Alice pack (only it's now olive instead of black). PKE Meter is the same, though the walkie talkie is no longer included. Maybe Playmobil realized that he can't hold three things with two hands.

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The ghost trap is 100% the same, with the same attachable doors (my set included a extra third door), cord, and pedal. Even the decal/sticker sheet is 100% the same. There is a small rubber pink slime puddle that doesn't attach to anything; it's just meant to sit on the ground in your "play scene".

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In lieu of a ghost to fight, you get an inverted pyramid ("hologram cone") that attaches to the ghost trap (and a new rubberized bottom piece to go underneath the trap to protect your smartphone/tablet screen). A black paperboard "darkening cover" is provided to better see the hologram projection.

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Yeah, instead of a physical ghost, you get a hologram one - but only if you have a smartphone or tablet and download the Playmobil Playmogram app (available for Android and Apple devices). This app is usable for all of the Ghostbusters figures (all four individually-sold guys come with the same trap and cone), as well as some kind of ice princess line that I can't find.

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The app and trap is very simple to use. First, load up the app on your mobile device, and choose either Ghostbusters or Princesses. Obviously, the form of our destructor that we will choose is Ghostbusters, but feel free to trap the Princesses' animals if you choose.

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You can choose one of four ghosts. You are not limited to the ghost shown on the box for your figure. Egon's box shows him trapping Slimer. The first ghost is one of the original Real Ghostbusters promo/concept art ghosts, which we at the Ghostbusters Wiki call "Big Mohawk Ghost". The second and fourth ghosts seem to be original Playmobil creations. The third ghost is Slimer, of course.

[UPDATE - 12/16/2019]
Unbeknownst to me, Playmobil released v2.0 of the app on January 28, 2019, as noted at APK Pure. v2.0 adds two new ghosts in honor of the Ghostbusters 35th anniversary. One is the theater ghost from Ghostbusters II, the other seems to be an original Playmobil creation. These two new ghosts are listed first and have the 35th anniversary logo in the upper right corner of their box on the ghost selection screen.

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Next, you click through three message screens telling you to "set your screen brightness to the maximum level in the settings of your device", "please darken the room for best visibility", and to "place the holo-pyramid on the marked spot". You will have to click through these three screens every single time you pick a ghost. There is no option to turn them off for future app usage. Then there's a brief loading screen, and you get this:

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You place the trap with the "holo-pyramid" onto top of the Ghostbusters II logo/trap as it is displayed on your mobile device. Doing that creates the optical illusion of the ghost being inside the trap cone. It's really just the three images of the ghost reflected on the sides of the clear plastic "holo-pyramid".

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You'll notice that there's a trap pedal in the lower right corner of the app screen. If you touch that part of the screen, the ghost will be sucked into the trap.

The whole experience with the app and trap, with all four ghosts, can be seen in the video below. Apologies for the poor quality, but it was hard to capture the illusion with a camera. If you want to see it a little better, check out the official Playmogram app trailer.

Play Video

The app and trap illusion is fun for a few minutes, and it's certainly a novel idea, but it didn't hold my attention for very long. I can't imagine a kid sticking with it, either. It was certainly more fun to have a physical ghost to play with, as with the first Spengler package, than an illusion. Besides that, long term, the whole gimmick is dependant on the availability of the app and the devices to run it. That's not an issue now, but it will be 10 years from now. Sure, if you know what you're doing, you could download the Android .apk file and sideload it onto your device, but most people won't know how to do that. For them, once the Playmogram app is removed from the app stores, half this toy will be obsolete.

[UPDATE - 5/20/2019]
Back in 2016, in connection with Ghostbusters (2016), Walmart Family Mobile held a "Catch More Data" promotion. In addition to a special mobile phone deal, there was also a Slimer "take-home holographic experience". The gimmick worked exactly like it does in the Playmobil figures, only the hologram video is up on YouTube, instead of as an app. Embedded below is Walmart's Slimer hologram video. Play it on your mobile device, in full screen, and put the Playmobil holographic cone over it on top of your device, and you'll have another ghost to trap with your Playmobil figure. (Thanks to Matthew Jordan for finding this.)


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Honestly, I find the Ghostbusters II Spengler to be a big let down. I have a feeling it will be the same with Venkman and Stantz when I review them, too, since (looking at the photos of them) they bring nothing new to the table - but I will still review them in the future. Zeddemore wasn't in the first wave of figures, and he comes with a Slime Blower, so he's the most desirable of all Ghostbusters II figures. With all of that in mind, unless you have a huge desire to build a Ghostbusters II set, I'd advise sticking with the Ghostbusters 1 Spengler (and Venkman and Stantz).

LIMITED TIME OFFER - GET FOUR FREE EPISODES OF THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS WITH ANY PLAYMOBIL GHOSTBUSTERS PURCHASE!

You won't find this mentioned on the packaging. It wasn't mentioned in the TV ads. Hidden away in the small print on the Amazon website is an offer for "FOUR FREE EPISODES of The Real Ghostbusters with any PLAYMOBIL Ghostbusters purchase!" You'd think that you'd have to make your purchase through them, but you don't. The offer is good for a purchase made anywhere! You start by going to GhostbustersCode.Playmobil.com and verifying your age. Once that's submitted, you're presented with a form that asks for your title (Mr./Ms./Mrs.), first name, last name, email, zip code, date of purchase, and name of store where purchased (chosen from a dropdown list). You are also asked to upload a photo/scan of your receipt (in jpg or pdf format). The code was provided in about 37 seconds and, to be completely honest, their system doesn't actually check what you submit. The first time, I did it legit. The second time, I submitted fake information and uploaded the screenshot seen below, and it still provided me with a unique code. So, yeah, you could "scam" the system for a free code.

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You use your special code on Sony's Movie-Promo.com website. If you don't already have an account on that site, you will need to create one. Once entered, you will be taken to the special "The Real Ghostbusters - The Animated Series, Volume 1" page with these four episodes:

The Real Ghostbusters V1, E1 ("Ghosts-R-Us!")
The Real Ghostbusters V1, E2 ("Killerwatt") (WITH TITLE CARD)
The Real Ghostbusters V1, E3 ("Mrs. Rogers Neighborhood")
The Real Ghostbusters V1, E4 ("Slimer Come Home")

I think these were the same free episodes given away with the Walmart-exclusive metal supply box back in 2016. It's the first four episodes of the series, so if you already own the TimeLife DVD box set or the TimeLife Volume 1 DVD or even Sony's Volume 1 DVD, you will already have these episodes - though "Killerwatt" retains its title card (missing from all three of the aforementioned releases). Of course, since these are streaming, and not for download, that doesn't make any difference. That said, I can't really fault a freebie, even if it's not something that I need or would make use of.

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