The first Kenner Peter Venkman action figures was part of the first wave of The Real Ghostbusters toys from Kenner in late 1986 although they weren’t officially released or advertised until the end of January 1987.
The first production of the first wave didn’t include the Ghost Zapper or Plush toys and came on 4-back cards featuring the four main characters with their companion ghost, as well as the Marshmallow Man and Green Ghost.
Peter Venkman was the fast-talking natural leader of the Ghostbusters. When ghosts suddenly begin to invade the streets of New York, the Ghostbusters team up to stop them.
In all three movies he was played by Bill Murray, but in the TV animation series he was voiced by Lorenzo Music and Dave Coulier. In 2008 Empire magazine featured him in their list of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
Despite Venkman’s casual attitude he was a street-smart professor whose inventions helped to save the day. He is the more sociably member of the group, with the others being more like your stereotypical professors and nerds.
Their Ghostbusting careers began after they were fired and lost their funding at Columbia University and decided to go into the freelance business.
The Kenner Peter Venkman action figure came with three accessories, a proton pack, proton gun also known as a Neutrona Blaster (with a proton beam), and the Grabber ghost. The proton pack even had the Ghostbuster logo on top.
This figure was based on the cartoon character, rather than the movie character played by Bill Murray. As such the figure is a perfect reproduction of the cartoon.
He’s painted wearing a brown overall with a white undershirt. His shoes, belt and accessories however were a dark blue and he had the Ghostbusters logo on his left shoulder.
The proton pack had a peg to clip it onto Venkman’s back, and his proton gun hooked onto the side of the pack when it wasn’t in use. The proton pack was molded with solid blue plastic, and there was no paintwork on it. The hose, or cord, that connected the proton gun to the proton pack was made from nylon and the proton beam slotted into the end of the blaster and could be rotated to simulate it being fired from the gun.
The Grabber ghost was made from a translucent blue plastic similar to the proton pack. The detailing on the ghost was reasonable, but there was no paintwork or articulation on it.
The legs had a 90-degree forward action, but they could not be moved backwards. The arms, however, could be rotated a full 360-degrees, forward or backwards and his head could turn from left to right.
As a matter of note, the copyright on the back of these figures is 1984, rather than 1987, which is when they were released. This is because 1984 is the year when the movie was released despite the figures not being released until 1987.
The paintwork on the Kenner Peter Venkman figure was very clean and crisp, with little to no bleeding or overlapping. He even has the Ghostbusters logo on the top of his right-hand sleeve.
The detail on the sculpting, particularly on the head sculpt, was also very good and had an excellent resemblance to the cartoon character.
There are a few minor variations of this figure available depending on which pressing it came from.
On the first pressing figures the nylon hose or cord, was connected to the bottom of the Proton pack, whereas on the second and third pressings it was connected to the pack’s bumper. On the first, and second printings the text on the cards were white, whereas on the third pressing it was red. The design on the cards for the first pressing was also different to that on the second and third pressings.
MOC $450 (I could only find records on eBay of one being sold in the last year)