#265429
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With the announcement of Mattel's Ghostbusters PKE Meter made back at San Diego Comic Con, Ghostbusters Fans' thought it would be a great idea to sit down with the designer at Mattel, Carl Kamph. We got the inside scoop about the new PKE Meter, the features and what it was like to recreate this iconic prop.

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GBFans: Carl, thanks for taking a few moments to talk to us about Mattel’s new Ghostbusters PKE Meter. What got Mattel interested in doing handheld props? We understand this is the first prop Mattel has done?

Carl: First let me give my thanks to you and all the GB Fans for their continued interest and dedication to the Ghostbusters products and for giving me the time to explain some of Mattel’s thoughts on the development of the PKE Meter.

That is correct. The GB PKE Meter is the first “prop” that Mattel has produced. However, the fans, collectors and casual buyers are the ones providing us with some of the real inspiration as to what types of products they are looking for to fulfill their complete collection. Besides being one of my own personal wants, the PKE Meter was also one of those most sought after by GB Fans. Ask and sometimes you’ll even receive!


GBFans: What type of research went into developing this PKE Meter? Were you able to utilize one of the original PKE Meter props?

Carl: Most of us would think it would be an easy task to reconstruct the original PKE Meter by searching the internet and tracking down the “blue prints” to replicate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. As most GB Fans know, the original PKE Meter is “missing” and is a highly complex device. In order to recreate this prop, I gladly volunteered to watch COUNTLESS hours of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II frames, stills and even disassembled several fan made PKE Meters.

GBFans: Was the Mattel PKE Meter based off of an Iona shoe polisher, or was it a custom sculpt?

Carl: With the help of eBay and the Iona shoe polisher, it was my goal as a designer to offer the most authentic and affordable prop to the GB Fans. I was able to pull the original patent application to make certain that the correct wall thicknesses, draft angles, length and width were as close to the original as possible. In the end some details had to be adjusted to pass manufacturing and safety concerns, but it is important to know that each decision was made with all Ghostbuster Fans in mind.

GBFans: When designing the Mattel PKE Meter what was more important? Recreating the functionality of the original prop, or making it easier to use and play with?

Carl: That’s a great question. In many of today’s props in other venues, designs are done to make them contemporary with today’s expected electronics and functionality. However, as both designer and fan, I felt it important that we not “reinvent the wheel” but preserve the iconic appearance and function of the original PKE Meter. That being said, we came to the understanding that by adding “play” features in the PKE Meter would only increase cost, compromise size and add unnecessary details causing the PKE Meter to lose its charm.

GBFans: Can you give us a rundown of the special features the Mattel PKE Meter has?

Carl: There are two basic modes built inside the PKE Meter – Ghostbusters I and Ghostbusters II. The difference being the lighting sequence of the LED animation on the wings allowing screen accuracy between both movies. In order to control both the speed of the wings and display animation, the user simply turns the dial, located on the back of the handle, to the right to move the wings and display animation faster or to the left for a slower movement. While the LEDs are illuminated, you will hear a “beep” that will be in sync. If your “someone special” gets a bit annoyed with the sound, we built in a mute feature just for them. The LED display has three screens for the user to select: arc, off and diagonal. Just like the movies, the wings can be positioned either full, half or closed. All of the features are still active in these positions giving the user an authentic / customizable PKE Meter experience.

GBFans: How compact are the electronics inside of the PKE Meter? Will we need to open it up in order to replace the batteries?

Carl: The electronics inside the PKE Meter are tight and the cylindrical LEDs in the wings are even tighter. In order to maintain “true to original” design, you will need to remove the four Phillips screws on the back of the PKE Meter and replace the 3 AAA batteries. Our owner’s manual strongly discourages any modifications.

GBFans: How has designing the Mattel PKE Meter changed the way you watch at Ghostbusters?

Carl: I don’t think that designing the PKE Meter changed my views in any way. If anything, it opened up my eyes to a multitude of other possibilities which I would be excited to bring to fans. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see!

GBFans: What else could we look forward to in the future, should the PKE Meter do well? Could we hope for some more props in the future?

Carl: While nothing has been announced, we continue to closely follow the Fan Forums. We are anxious to see how the PKE Meter is received and where the Fans might want to go from here.

GBFans: Is there a date set for the release of the PKE Meter yet? We are wondering how hard it will be to purchase one on MattyCollector.com.

Carl: I’m not able to provide you with an exact Holiday 2010 date but, I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!

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Thanks to Carl for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. Look for the PKE Meter to be available from MattyCollector.com during the Holidays 2010.
#265434
AJ Quick wrote:I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!
Can't wait to see how this pans out. I still see it selling out in record time.
#265435
GBFans: What else could we look forward to in the future, should the PKE Meter do well? Could we hope for some more props in the future?

Carl: While nothing has been announced, we continue to closely follow the Fan Forums. We are anxious to see how the PKE Meter is received and where the Fans might want to go from here.
Here's to a ghost trap that's accurate and cheap! Just not a pack... all of us here have spent way to much money making our own to have every Tom Dick and Harry running around with one on Halloween. :sigh:
#265439
dtblack wrote:
AJ Quick wrote:I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!
Can't wait to see how this pans out. I still see it selling out in record time.
This... I think a good question would of been asking about: how many they plan to produce. I know a lot of us are concerened with how fast MOTU figures sell out and are concerned that they won't get one. Not to mention, I think another good question was to see if they are gonna lower the max you are able to buy.

None the less, that was some good detail in how they went about making it. I will be anxiously waiting on the Matty Collector High Traffic Page!
#265443
AJ Quick wrote:Image

GBFans: What type of research went into developing this PKE Meter? Were you able to utilize one of the original PKE Meter props?

Carl: Most of us would think it would be an easy task to reconstruct the original PKE Meter by searching the internet and tracking down the “blue prints” to replicate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. As most GB Fans know, the original PKE Meter is “missing” and is a highly complex device. In order to recreate this prop, I gladly volunteered to watch COUNTLESS hours of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II frames, stills and even disassembled several fan made PKE Meters.

GBFans: Was the Mattel PKE Meter based off of an Iona shoe polisher, or was it a custom sculpt?

Carl: With the help of E-Bay and the Iona shoe polisher, it was my goal as a designer to offer the most authentic and affordable prop to the GB Fans. I was able to pull the original patent application to make certain that the correct wall thicknesses, draft angles, length and width were as close to the original as possible. In the end some details had to be adjusted to pass manufacturing and safety concerns, but it is important to know that each decision was made with all Ghostbuster Fans in mind.
Although the PKE meter was based on the Iona Shoe polisher some of the angles are different and if the patent data is anything like the others I've seen, the artist's redendering is cool to look at but is typically not a true representation of the piece.
#265446
Gotya, I am just concerned on getting one, as I am sure we all are.
#265454
Neolarthytep wrote: Here's to a ghost trap that's accurate and cheap! Just not a pack... all of us here have spent way to much money making our own to have every Tom Dick and Harry running around with one on Halloween. :sigh:
I spent a nice chunk of money on my pack, but I wouldn't be opposed to a Matty pack. It would likely be lightweight and more sturdy than resin. Overall it'd be easier to take out in public and you wouldn't have to be as paranoid about people damaging it. And let's be honest, few people other than those of us who are hardcore fans would even know they made such a thing.
#265481
Carl: I’m not able to provide you with an exact Holiday 2010 date but, I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!
This is particularly interesting. Before reading this I was pretty much convinced that I wouldn't be able to get one... It's nice to get a little glimmer of hope. :D
#265488
Filandrius wrote:
Carl: I’m not able to provide you with an exact Holiday 2010 date but, I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!
This is particularly interesting. Before reading this I was pretty much convinced that I wouldn't be able to get one... It's nice to get a little glimmer of hope. :D
I was thinking that myself. I hope this holds true! The site is such a trainwreck on sale/release days, it's nearly impossible to get through to buy anything before it's gone.
#265490
Nice interview, but should have flat out asked it they think a 1:1 proton pack would be released! I'm tired of the over prided & crappy made packs on eBay!
#265495
Rockerrob69 wrote:Nice interview, but should have flat out asked it they think a 1:1 proton pack would be released! I'm tired of the over prided & crappy made packs on eBay!
Why? They can't say what they are gonna do or not do in the next 2 years... they answer the question.. if things go well, they might do something different, next.
#265499
Carl: I’m not able to provide you with an exact Holiday 2010 date but, I am confident to say that we have taken proper measures to make this offer easier for collectors, GB Fans and casual buyers alike!
What does this mean? Proper measures, like having a site that can actually handle all the traffic on a sale day? :sigh:

Mine is received, thank you.

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