Nostalgia is a helluva thing. Thanks to fans rabid love of all things “Ghostbusters”, Mattel (who has been making the quintessential line of G.B. action figures) decided to release a full-size “working” prop-replica of the Ghostbusters’ PKE Meter! It will be available on their Matty Collector website on December 1st, during a special sale, and we here at MTV Geek were lucky enough to snag one early. After a couple weeks with the Meter, we’ve yet to stumble upon any full-bodied apparitions; but, we’re not ruling it out. For now, let’s take a closer look at this fancy-schmancy ghost tracker!
For those of you reading this who don’t have a clue what a PKE Meter is, allow us to elaborate. However, know in your hearts that you’re lack of Ghostbusters knowledge is a weakness that could one day seal your fate. How? That’s not important; just trust us on this one. Anyway, The PKE Meter was invented (and used) by Dr. Egon Spangler to measure Psycho Kinetic Energy, which effectively allows him to track ghosts. Yep, this sucker led Egon, Ray Stanz, and Peter Venkman right into the “Gray Lady” on their first big-time investigation at the New York City Public Library. Soon after, the Ghostbusters were formed and the PKE Meter was one of their main tools of the trade.
The design team have done a terrific job on the sculpt for the PKE Meter. When compared to the film’s version, it is really spot-on. The original prop was crafted mainly from the body of a shoe-polisher, so in many ways this replica might actually be of a higher quality. From the position of the screen, to the small silver buttons, and even the actuating arms, everything about the PKE Meter looks just as it did on the big screen all those years ago. The only real deviations from the original are the addition of a small knob placed beneath the Meter at the top of the handle, and the on/off switch located at the base. It looks so accurate, that if you roam around a local department store and mutter to yourself while staring intently at the screen, people WILL take notice. They might become uneasy, and eye you suspiciously; but, they’ll respect the depths of your psychosis when they see this sweet prop. How do we know? Don’t you worry about! Moving on…
The paintwork is minimal since most of the components are molded in the correct color. Being a full-size prop instead of an action figure, the need to show off sculptural details is non-existent. The only requirement is making it match the PKE Meter from the films. Does it? Yes indeed. There ARE some paint apps that run along the outside edges of the Meter to make it appear as if it is metal and the paint has been worn off due to use. They achieve this by simply painting metallic silver along the corners of the body. It’s a simple effect, but a nice one. The viewscreen also features a light-green grid tampographed over the face. The lines are all extremely clean and there are no fuzzy or blurred lines.
The features are where the PKE Meter really comes to life. Immediately turning the PKE Meter on, you get the sweet audible beeping. The viewscreen starts to cascade an LED trail while the indicators above the buttons light up in reds and greens. Go ahead, press a button—any button! Bam! The arms on each side of the Meter actuate up as the lights blink on and off in the familiar pattern. The feeling you get when first doing this is probably the exact same feeling you had as a kid when playing with The Real Ghostbusters toys… since tragically, no toys came from the original movies until just recently. As for making the PKE Meter “detect” ghosts, all you have to do is run your index finger along the round, in-laid knob located on the grip. It will speed up the beeping and light patterns significantly, giving the impression that you’re getting ever closer to finding Slimer ravaging your kitchen pantry. The best part of the hidden knob is that, if done carefully, your friends won’t be any wiser about it and you can successfully freak them the hell out. The metal buttons, located below the viewscreen, control the arms. With a push you can make the arms extend fully, retract fully, or stop in the middle. The servos are quiet, but make just enough noise to give the Meter the feeling of a real piece of machinery. The volume is set at a constant level, which might be a little too loud for some circumstances. Weddings, funerals, and (ironically) libraries, might not be the best place to whip this puppy out. When you’re finished showing off your visible geek-cred to your pals, simply turn the PKE Meter off and the arms will automatically fold back down into the body.
All in all, we were/are excited to play around with the PKE Meter. It’s one of those pieces for your collection that people will love regardless of their geek- level, and will always be a conversation starter. We highly, HIGHLY recommend picking up the Ghostbusters PKE Meter Prop Replica when it goes on sale Wednesday, December 1st at noon EST, only on www.mattycollector.com.