- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 3, 2018

Playmobil continues to expose youngsters to the fun possibilities of the “Ghostbusters” universe with a new Playmogram 3D collection of figures offering a high-tech twist.

For those unaware, last year the company delivered a line-up of themed figures and playsets that included the chance to build the famed Ecto-1 vehicle, firehouse headquarters and hot-dog stand featured in the 1984 film.

The sets included 3-inch-tall, cartoony versions of some of the popular characters loaded with accessories and plenty of role-playing potential for the specter-smitten 6-year-old in the family.

Playmobil now moves to the “Ghostbusters II” movie from 1989 with a release of new versions of four key characters ($10.99 each) that each includes a ghost trap tethered to a foot pedal that allow owners to actually see a holographic image of a ghoul being captured.

As you can guess, it first involves downloading the Playmogram 3D app to a smartphone (iOS and Google Play compatible) to appreciate the trick.

After assembling the trap, with working doors and rubber cord connected to a foot pedal, the owner connects a pyramid-shaped plastic bin (translucent on three sides) to the opening of the trap.

Next, open the app and choose from one of four famed ghosts including a fellow with a flaming red Mohawk, a fish apparition and the more familiar Slimer to capture.

Now, rest the trap on the smart device’s screen in the marked position.

The ghost three-dimensionally appears, also making some unhappy noises while floating within the bin area. Next, press a foot pedal icon on the screen and the ghost gets sucked into the trap with some colorful electrical bursts as he gets pulled down.

The effect works best with eyes looking parallel to the trap and in dark rooms or when using an included, black cardboard hood to cover the area.

Suffice it to report, it’s really an impressive special effect that will not disappoint younger children or fans of the franchise.

Almost equally impressive are the four figures starring in Playmobil’s latest collection.

Each is wearing the dark-grey flight suits from the film, sport mild articulation (head twisting, and arms and legs that move up and down), attachable black gloves and paint detail highlighting name patches, zippers and belts. As always, the noseless faces do not resemble the stars from the movie.

Here’s a short breakdown of each figure and what extra equipment they offer, besides the already mentioned ghost trap and pyramid bin.

• Egon Spengler (20 pieces): The tech genius of the group is easily spotted due to his wide-rimmed glasses and a massive hair wave and sideburns that Elvis would appreciate. His flight suit is cover in pink slime, and he gets a full Proton Pack to wear on his back. It connects with a soft rubber tube to a Neutrino Wand, and a multicolored proton-stream piece attaches to the wand to simulate the device in action. He also gets the ghost-detecting PK meter and a globule of sticky, pink silicone slime

• Winston Zeddemore (24 pieces) – The most impressive figure of the bunch and the last recruited member of the Ghostbuster’s team has a beige vest that attaches to an impressive slime-blower apparatus. The device has three tanks that are attached via rubber tubing to a metallic-colored sprayer to unleash an included stream of spray — positively charged, pinkish Psychomagnotheric slime. He also comes with a PK meter and a globule of sticky, pink silicone slime.

• Raymond Stantz (26 pieces) — The mechanical mastermind of the team, Stanz not only gets the full Proton Pack and Neutrino Wand package with proton stream but a pair of Ecto goggles that are worn on his indented head. The goggles use a soft rubber tube to attach to a handheld meter (never shown in the movie) that, in tandem, detects invisible ghosts. Also, he comes with four test tubes filled with pink slime and a tube rack.

• Peter Venkman (19 pieces) — The funniest of the group gets the least goodies, wielding only the full Proton Pack and Neutrino Wand set with proton stream, a PK meter and glob of sticky, pink silicone slime.

By the way, each figure also comes with stickers for the ghost trap and PK meter. Of course, they are small and sure to frustrate parents not armed with tweezers.

It’s also worth noting that Playmobil is gearing up for sets paying tribute to “The Real Ghostbusters” cartoon series that should be hitting toy shelves in April.

• Joseph Szadkowski can be reached at jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com.

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