Whatever's cool with me...

Whatever's cool with me...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

LEGO Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set



LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

Yea I know, I’m pretty late into the game. Most LEGO/Ghostbusters fans have probably snagged the humongous LEGO Firehouse set by now with their Ecto-1s safely in their collection eons ago. The Ecto-1 set, which was originally released way back in June ’14, was a constant favorite of them ruthless scalpers. In Malaysia, we get to sporadically see the set popping out every now and then at LEGO stores where they literally enjoy a shelf life of mere minutes if not seconds. That was the game for (almost) the past two years. Knowing that the Ecto-1 set was a must-get for most true fans of the Ghosbusters franchise, scalpers took advantage and cleaned LEGO stores nationwide.

Until recently I realized that the LEGO stores over here were starting to bring in the set in droves together with the equally high-demanded The Big Bang Theory LEGO set. So I said to myself…..this is the chance I’ve been waiting for! The set is still being pushed through our local eBay at premium prices so I wouldn’t want to miss buying it at retail price now, would I?

Why so much hype over the LEGO Ecto-1 set you ask?

You see, a couple of years ago Matty Collector ran an online survey on how many Ghostbusters fans were actually willing to buy a 6” scale Ecto-1 (they had that stupid meter that supposedly tells them whether it is economically feasible for their company to go ahead and produce the iconic vehicle for collectors). When the survey yielded a less than favorable result, Matty decided to scrap the idea despite already having sold multiple versions of the main characters off the movie(s) to us collectors. Giving us a 6” scale Ecto-1 made perfect sense since we already have the four boys to fill it in with but apparently it wasn’t in the cards for Matty. Major bummer.

And oh yeah, did I ever tell any of you guys that I’m a huge Ghostbusters fan? Both movies and the whole Real Ghostbusters thing. So getting an Ecto-1 for my collection in my man-cave is a no-brainer. Since Matty never gave us one in 6” scale and the Hot Wheels version was way out of my budget I guess the next best thing is the LEGO version!

Let us start with some background of the set. The Ecto-1 set is actually part of the LEGO Ideas sets, formally known as Cuusoo, a Japanese LEGO affiliate company who worked on getting community-produced LEGO sets to be produced officially as a LEGO endorsed sets. Apparently if your submitted ideas garner 10,000 (formerly 1,000) supporters or approvals, then LEGO will consider it to be released as an official LEGO product. This Ecto-1 set, which was an original set, built by a Mr Brent Waller was submitted to cuusoo’s website and garnered 10,000 supporters in mere couple months. There you go, you just have to somehow thank this man for making our dreams come true.


LEGO Ghostbusters

LEGO Ghostbusters

All of these community submitted sets will have the “LEGO Ideas” imprinted at the front of the box. The box design and the manual inside are mostly in black to differentiate it from other LEGO sets.


LEGO Ghostbusters

This set originally came out in June 2014 but like I said much earlier, many collectors still couldn’t get theirs way back then unless they proceed to deal with devils themselves (those unscrupulous scalpers) and pay premium prices. Glad that LEGO Malaysia somehow re-stocked the set.

The minifigures


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

The four guys are given crazy details on their uniforms and you can’t help but be impressed by the design of their proton packs. Unfortunately due to the weight of the packs, the minifigures can’t stand on their own so you kinda rely on the hose that connects the neutrino wand to the proton packs to enable them to properly stand (or you can just use a stand!).
Reportedly the original set produced by Mr Waller had a hairpiece that totally resembled Bill Murray’s (already) receding hairline at the time but unfortunately it didn’t end up in production.  I like it that you can clearly see the surnames of our heroes imprinted on their uniforms just like it was in the movies.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

I would’ve loved it if LEGO had included the Slime Blower tanks and ..err…guns as alternatives to Winston’s and Ray’s proton packs. I’m guessing LEGO is keeping that option should they ever decide to produce Ecto-1A sometime in the future.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

My grouse? Where the heck is Slimer? One would have thought that our favorite green slimy friend could’ve somehow be squeezed into this set. You can, however, get Slimer if you purchase the GB Firehouse set.

Ecto-1


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

There is a LOT of parts to build this iconic vehicle. And I mean a lot. This ain’t your regular Creator set so you might want to assemble this yourself rather than letting you kids you do it (my son gave up the moment he saw the thick instruction manual!). To be frank, my wife built the Ecto-1 while did something else at that point of time and she can vouch on how strenuous it was building all of the parts together before you end up with the finished product.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

Waller’s Ecto-1 is also slightly bigger than what LEGO had given us. Minor nit-picks aside, I think LEGO had done a fantastic job in getting this iconic pop-culture vehicle into our hands.
What I like about this set is that it does not come with tones of stickers. In fact it came with none! We got printed tiles instead and they are far better in terms of surviving the test of time. Stickers get peeled off after a while especially after enduring heavy play but printed tiles may survive longer with proper care.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

The roof of the car is connected loosely so that you can remove it anytime you want to place whoever you like inside it (remember that you can only place 3 at a time so it’s your pick on who gets to sit on the roof!). Remember to remove the minifigures’ neck bracket before you do so or else they won’t fit.


LEGO Ideas - Ghostbusters Ecto-1 set

I love the random greeblies that stick out from the roof of Ecto-1 (I’m sure they have some sort of ‘real’ functions in real life) including that bright blue pneumatic tubing that sticks out at the left side of the vehicle.

I wish that the doors can be opened instead of us having to remove the roof to place or remove the GB boys. The upcoming LEGO Ecto-1 from the new Ghostbusters (2016) movie will have fully functional doors. Now why can’t they do that for the classic set?


The Rebel’s verdict

This is still a very popular set despite being released almost two years ago. Kids of today might not relate as much to the franchise as much as those who lived through the 80s like yours truly. My son is one of those lucky few who got exposed to the beauty of pop-culture of the 80s & 90s so he’s pretty excited about this set too. If you’re a Ghostbusters fan, then you need to have this on your display shelf. If you see it the next time you stop by a LEGO store, get it!  

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