Geek Review: Hasbro Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand

Nostalgia never dies. Even with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the direct sequel to Ghostbusters, getting postponed to 2021, the love for the iconic film franchise hasn’t waned. Fans of the series have had Hasbro’s Plasma Series 6-inch scale figures, as well as Tubbz duck figurines by Numskull, to get into the ghost-busting hype in 2020, and now, we have another Hasbro replica that would look amazing in any toy display.

The upcoming Hasbro Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand is a 1:1 replica of the actual contraption used by Dr. Egon Spengler in the films, this bad boy is here to aid you in cleaning up any ectoplasmic mess in your area (well, in theory only, since it doesn’t actually have any actual utility to it). For S$160 (US$99.99), it is actually quite the steal given how other replicas in the market that don’t even possess the same utility cost much, much more.

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Right out of the box, the Neutrona Wand looks just as it should from the movies, which will no doubt please many fans. The rugged, DIY nature of the device, as built by Spengler in the Firehouse as a bandaged-up handle, various cables and wires, multiple switches, nuts, bolts, and even to the bolted-on shotgun forearm on the barrel, as well as the retractable nozzle. Right under it is a hook that lets you hang it on your belt. A display mount is also included in the box so it can sit pretty just about anywhere in your home.

The folks at Hasbro have really done their homework making the Neutrona Wand, and it shows. It even managed to get the weathered look down to a T, including the chipped paint on the edges, the “soldered”-down parts. Various markings etched onto the Wand are all present, including the various stages of intensity, as well as various indicators on the switches. Even the pneumatic valve from Clippard — an actual valve manufacturer in the US for the uninitiated — has been replicated here. We imagine even Spengler himself would be amazed by the superb build quality.

But it doesn’t just stop from there. Notice how the Neutrona Wand doesn’t come with a Proton Pack, as it rightfully should? We imagine Hasbro will be making one down the line, and though the PR folks aren’t saying anything explicitly, there are various elements that hint at such.

Firstly, there is a baseplate situated on the underside, near the hook. While this doesn’t inherently do anything for now, we imagine it will slot nicely onto a Proton Pack, which only makes sense, given how the Neutrona Wand fits seamlessly onto the side in the movies. Additionally, there is the presence of a removable attachment at the base of the handle, where three 1.5V AA batteries are housed (remember to replace them once they’re depleted!). This, we imagine, is how the hose that connects to the Proton Pack would be installed, hence it all the more makes sense for Hasbro to produce one. Fingers crossed!

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The Neutrona Wand also goes beyond just its superb build quality and looks. While diehard fans will be disappointed to know that it doesn’t actually shoot proton beams, it does come equipped with functioning switches, knobs, as well as a sound and light system that imitates what you see in the films. Flicking on the lower switch on the main panel turns the device on, complete with sound, while the lower switch activates the light on the panel itself. 

Flipping the lever to the side of the handle protracts the nozzle, while the “Activate” switch on the left side is the one that activates the proton beam itself, or in this case, the in-built motorised vibration. The knob above the control panel can be turned to adjust the intensity of the passive vibration.

But the best part is yet to come. Pressing “Intensify” “shoots” out the laser (read: sends the vibration into overdrive). If done so while the nozzle is protracted, this activates the “beam” of energy, or in this case a pulsating beam of light. Pressing on the orange button on the barrel changes the firing mode, up to a total of four modes, each with their respective light and sound effects: Proton Stream (steady orange-blue), Slime Blower (steady green), Stasis Stream (steady blue), and Meson Collider (pulsing orange-red). The neon colours are really intense and really add to the immersion of using it as a Ghostbuster. For best results, use it in a dark room or in the night (maybe it might even scare the ghosties away even).

We weren’t kidding when we said Hasbro really did their homework on the Neutrona Wand, and even got down to nailing the functionality of the actual device. Pressing and holding on to “Intensify” will eventually cause the Neutrona Wand to “overheat” (flashing white light), and then power off subsequently. To be able to use it once more, you’ll have to push back the nozzle, and flick all the switches down. Just like how the Ghostbusters used theirs in the films, you’ll have to ensure that the Neutrona Wand doesn’t overheat, so you’ll have to time your presses so you won’t have to end up in that state. It’s a fun little minigame, if you will, and adds that little bit more immersion when playing around with it. 

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While this feature is pretty cool, it does have one limitation in that you have to flick the switches in the exact order of Sound > Light > Activate > Intensify in order to fully activate the Neutrona Wand. Most fans will dismiss this as a screen-accurate rendition of the mechanics of Spengler’s actual device, but others might see it as a hindrance. What if one wants to activate the beam without the sound and not wake anyone else in the house up? There isn’t an option for that, which can be a shame given how noisy the Neutrona Wand can get (and trust us, it is quite a wailer). Perhaps Hasbro could consider adding a passthrough option to let folks play around with it on their own terms a little more.

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Another caveat we found is that, simply by merit of how it is built, it is strictly a right-handed prop weapon, and there is no option for a left-handed version. Sucks to be a left-hander here, as there is no way to configure the orientation of the Neutrona Wand. But of course, given we don’t actually have ghosts to physically hunt down, one could easily forgive this aspect as it is mainly used as a cosplay or display item.

In any case, the Hasbro Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand is a solid first foray into paying the ultimate homage to the iconic film franchise, without having to break your bank. As such, if you’re looking to get started, there is no better way to do so than get one of these bad boys.

The Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand will hit stores on 1 September 2020. For GB fans in Singapore, you’ll be able to grab it from The Falcon’s Hangar and Robo Robo while stocks last.

GEEK REVIEW SCORE

Summary

Hasbro is absolutely killing it with its Ghostbusters Plasma Series replica sets. There really isn’t much to gripe about the Neutrona Wand, other than the fact that we don’t have the replicas used by the rest of the OG Ghostbusters team. Otherwise, this is perfect cosplay or display material for any Ghostbusters fan. Now all we need is a 1:1 scale Proton Pack. Pretty please, Hasbro?

Overall
9.2/10
9.2/10
  • Aesthetics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Build Quality - 9/10
    9/10
  • Playability - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 9/10
    9/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 10/10
    10/10
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User Review
5 (1 vote)


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