Fujishoji releases pachinko machine in Japan – Ghostabustas!

Big Shiny Robot has posted a short video of a Ghostbusters pachinko machine in action, but it was a little unclear. But, don’t fret, I’ve got Fuji promotional video, which is ten minutes of Japanabusters magic! And oh, there’s more! Check out the game’s launch website here! There’s also a second website that covers the specific features and levels of the game, with Flash video clips – many of them are seen in the bigger video seen here. My favourite is “God Gate Fight” (meaning the battle on the temple rooftop from the first movie!)

For those unfamiliar with Pachinko, it’s a kind of pinball/slot machine hybrid often found in Japan. Where we once had arcades, they still have Pachinko halls packed with nothing but Pachinko machines – players plug in their money and get bunch of small ballbearings, which they then flip up into the game cabinet. The balls then randomly fall through the game as they bounce off a web of pins. Don’t worry, the video will show you a bit of this.

Anyhow, where the balls end up scores the player points, which earns them more balls, which they continue to play with or can cash in for money – if you manage to get more than you invented in initially, you’ve made some money, hence the slot machine part.

Modern machine feature video screens in the middle, which react to special scores and even offer the player special mini-games (similar to the way the last generation of pin-ball machines used to.)

Fuji’s Ghostbusters game (which is fully licensed by Sony) features clips from the film, but mostly features the three original Ghostbusters (Pee-tah, Raymondo, and Egonah, of course) in ridiculously cute form, duking it out in computer generated versions of famous busts from both movies. Terror dogs, Zuul, Gozer, and even the Scolari brothers make an appearance, as does Slimer. There is even a quick glimpse of a female protagonist, which one would assume is Dana, only she looks more like Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, from the Ghostbusters video game.

Here are some pictures from the official launch of the game which give you a nice sense of the game cabinet’s size – I really wish I could read more Japanese. There are more pictures on the Fuji game website.



12" Venkman defect mystery solved – Mattel offers refund

While most people managed to correct the issue of the squished head on the 12″ Peter Venkman figure, Mattel issued a statement on the matter last week.

Ghostbusters™ Fans,

The mystery surrounding the face sculpt of our 12” Peter Venkman™ figure has been completely investigated and, from our friends at Corporate Headquarters, here’s the result:

“For the Peter Venkman™ figure, there is a vacuum seal on the head that in this case happened to pull it together to create the unfortunate “squished” look. To remedy it, customers must remove the figure from the package and pull the head back slightly (but DO NOT pull it off) to let some air in. They may have to press on the head to re-shape it. If the product is still defective, or if fans were planning on keeping the figure in-package, we will give a refund. We have already talked to the plant to ensure that this does not happen on future products.”

We know that many of you figured this fix out for yourselves and hopefully you now have the figure you were expecting. If you would like a refund, please call Customer Service at 1-877-GO-MATTY or send an email with your name and order number (if available) to MattyCollectorCS@digitalriver.com. On behalf of the MattyCollector.com team, we apologize to our loyal Ghostbusters™ fans and want you to know we’re doing everything we can to minimize these kinds of issues in the future.

I prefer to think of us at Ghostheads™, but that’s just me.

It is always nice to hear that a company is working to correct their mistakes, even though it will not help those who do not wish to open the box – they are offering refunds, not replacements. Why this is important, even after most people have solved the problem on their own, is because those who used a hairdryer to heat and gently re-squish the head might still have the problem – the hairdryer may have only temporarily expanded what air was inside the sealed head, and may in time contract back. May not, but it may… so, if you haven’t addressed the problem yet, or if it re-occurs, you now know you have to crack the neck seal a bit. And if you’re still unable to fix the issue, you can always seek a refund.

Photos surface of cut GB2 ending!

Red Bubble user, DilettantO, lucked out (from what I can tell) – the same day in 1988 he was visiting Liberty Island, Ghostbusters 2 production was shooting the final scene of the film, in which the team is honored by the city, finally. The scene was quite elaborate initially, only to be cut down to a quick glimpse at the end of the film as it fades to black and the main credits roll. Given how little we’re able to see in the final film, getting to see these amazing, crisp, 35mm slides is a revelation!

In Dec ‘88 I got to go to NYC for the first time, courtesy of Random House, as I was doing the Thomas The Tank Engine book illustrations for them at the time. On this trip, not only was Gorbachev in town meeting with Ronnie Raygun (sic) but Ghostbusters II was being filmed in the city. I took myself out to Liberty Island and was lucky enough to go up inside the statue (which isn’t allowed anymore). I have some great shots of that which I will post sometime. Coincidentally, they were shooting the final scenes of the movie on Liberty Island when I was out there, so while all this was happening, I got myself into a good position on the ‘plinth’ overlooking the set and slapped on my long lens. I got a few great shots like this one showing Sigourney Weaver, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. I especially like this one as Ackroyd seems to be looking straight at me. After the shoot, I collared both Murray and Ackroyd for autographs ( not sure where Weaver and Ramis were) . Ackroyd obliged, but Murray demurred, say he was ‘hungry’. Sadly I lost the Ackroyd autograph, but at least I still have the memories and a few pix, plus I know I’m in the aerial shot behind the closing credits in Ghostbusters II, even though only I know I’m there.

The scene had at least one piece of physical comedy, as Louis and Janine make-out on stage… I’m actually kind of glad they cut that bit. Kind of an anti-climax to the film.

Thanks to Glen Yard for spotting the pics!

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Click for full size
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Click for full size

1up.com podcast re-images Ghostbusters

Sure to entertain or enrage, depending on your disposition (and dorsal stick accommodation) the lugnuts at the 1up.com podcast have chosen Ghostbusters to be this week’s Movie Pitch, a regular feature where they cast movies, old and new, real and imaginary, with a mixed level of seriousness.

You can check out the podcast in question, at1UP Podcast for 5/25, here.