There is a significant figurine for sale at the New York Toy Fair, currently in progress. The convention brings together toy and collectible enthusiasts from far and wide to gape in amazement at next season’s releases and peruse the wares of rows and rows of vendors. But as nerds and geeks alike eagerly picked through bins of rare Skeletors and Voltrons, one specific item proved more meaningful than anyone had anticipated. Among the shelves and shelves of Pokemon and Transformers, one toy outed the design for the main antagonist of the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot, a film on which buzz has been building for some time. And it’s, ah, not quite what any of us might’ve expected.
Unless, of course, you were expecting a weird-looking snowman-type-deal with a bowtie named Rowan, in which case, I implore you to use your gift of future-sight for the powers of good. Because that’s what’s going on here, a fancy man named Rowan who wears a jaunty little bowtie and almost otherwise looks exactly like the ghost from the Ghostbusters logo. A toy blogger operating under the moniker PixelDan posted the video embedded above on YouTube, getting a nice visual on the six-inch action figures of the quartet of main actresses as well as Rowan, for whom the Mattel representative skimps on detail. (If nothing else, it brings me deep satisfaction to live in a world where an American can own a Kristen Wiig action figure.)
So, who is Rowan? We know he’ll be played by actor Neil Casey, a former SNL and Inside Amy Schumer writer who came to director Paul Feig’s attention as a star of Feig’s short-lived Yahoo! series Other Space. As for who, or what, Rowan is, here’s how Feig described the character:
Our villain ghost is an executed murderer, a Ted Kazinski type…who has left behind a manifesto of how he wants to change and destroy the world. When his execution is hit by a supercharged electrical storm, he is turned into a powerful ghost able to rouse other villainous spirits from the ghost world to carry out the ever-expanding plans of his manifesto.
At the risk of stating the obvious, Rowan looks kind of dumb. But then, if audiences in the ‘80s had had access to the Internet and saw the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man prior to the film’s release, they’d have probably said the same thing after they finished marveling at man’s technological might. There’s no reason not to have faith in director Paul Feig, he hasn’t failed us before, but hopefully Rowan reads a little better on screen than in toy form.