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Toys of Yesterday: Real Ghostbusters

12:00 PM on 02.17.2010 // Joshua Hayes

I know most people in their mid twenties and early thirties liked the two movies and the cartoon. If you're like me, the Ghostbusters mean something to you. I don't know what exactly, but something! I really enjoyed the two films and many of the games. But one thing I really enjoyed were the toys based on the "real" cartoon series. It seemed like such a silly thing to call the cartoon "REAL" Ghostbusters. Some of the most hilarious toys you'll ever find came from this series.

 Go ahead, read what I wrote and reminisce with me about old toys!

I'll begin with my story from kindergarten. My first real memory of formal education was noticing that they had the Ghostbusters firehouse. Not some jokey cardboard cut out or a box that says "GHOSTBUSTERS HQ" with letters backwards, the actual play set of the Firehouse. Being less than five years old, my mind exploded with joy. Now I could not only imagine the adventures of the Ghostbusters, but team them up with all the Ninja Turtles and fight those dreaded He-Man villains. It's the sort of dream crossovers that never happened officially.

They also had two vehicles from the Ghostbusters. The Ecto-1 and another ghost-possessed car. One day, playing with these Ghostbusters toys, I broke the ghost possessed car. I felt so ashamed. I quickly stuck the pieces that broke back on, and put it near the firehouse. Imagine a poor four year old sitting there looking at this firehouse. Like that guy in "The Tell Tale Heart," hearing the heart beat constantly of this broken toy, knowing some other poor kid was going to pick it up, just throw his hands up and say "What the ... our beloved Haunted Highwayman is broken! It was him, he did it!" And then the whole class would point and laugh and yell and I would get the death penalty.

To my knowledge and memory, no one cared. No other kids commented. The teachers never got upset. I never told anyone about it. I don't know if I've emphasized just how anxious and afraid I was. I expect nothing short of castration for this horrible offense. I'd broken it. Nobody probably had a second thought except for one warped individual who carries that with him twenty years after.

 But hey this isn't about toy stories — it's about toys! I want to share some with you. Let's take a look!


Here are the four main Ghostbusters from the cartoon. Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston. But let's take a closer look at Peter, since he's my favorite. Notice anything strange? I didn't see it at first either. But look close at his face. He doesn't have eyes, so much as green blobs. Looking at it feels odd, not because of the awful jpeg compression due to making it gigantic. Just the general look isn't right. The smile, the eyebrows, the eyes, even his hair. This is not cartoon Bill Murray. 


How about the gun?


The king of all Ghostbusters toys was the proton pack. The pack that I had was broken and secondhand, of course. Mine didn't have the cord to attach the gun and didn't have any of the other stuff. But, my cousin Josh had all the extras. Many evenings were spent yelling "Throw the trap!" at each other and then waiting for one of us to put the ghosts or He-Man villains into the trap. Yes, there were a lot of He-Man villain toys laying around. We had to fight something.

I found a few other equipment toys, maybe a dozen or more actually. I won't post them all, but I wanted to post the really goofy ones.

This is for fighting bean pods.

A ghost spooker. You remember it from the TV show, right?


It's one of those voice changers that makes you sound like a robot. Hardly something more amazing that simply covering your mouth with your hands.  But the name alone is worth posting.

Back to the figures, I post not solely for the face. Take a look at his left hand — it's a hole with a finger pointing.  What does that even mean?

Next up is Winston, everyone's favorite. This green suit looks like he's ready for space travel. Which means he could potentially fight Space Ghost. Which is potentially interesting.

Ray's equipment looks worst of all. If you can figure that orange thing out, please let me know. That red thing, I'm guessing that's a club for beating ghosts. I guess he's going to beat off all his demons?


In my research, I found something really off. Instead of Rick Moranis toys, there are a ton of Janines out there, one worse than the next. I found more than this actually. It's sad. I guess you have to have a female character, but my goodness, does it have to be her? And in such outfits (the legs one being the highlight of the set). If you can look up from those legs, look at her face. It's like those sex robots.


The eyes are totally for the win. If you can find a goofier toy, please show it to me. From the Alfalfa hair cut to whatever that weapon is ... Anyway, this is amongst the best I've seen ever.


And a basic one. She has pupils strangely.

BJ- get it, basic Janine

I'm assuming these are more recent Lego Mini Mate Kubrick type ones. Which we covered previously. And over here as well. I enjoy the style of Lego toys of things. Their so cute and adorable. Especially Lord Vigo.


 How do you go from this ... 


... to this, and somehow keep all his forehead? 


Here's a piece of memorabilia I want to buy — the board game.  I even found instructions. Holy smokes! What complicated instructions, too. I doubt the Freddy Krueger game was less obstructive or hard to play. Look at all this. What little kid into Ghostbusters has time to read all this?


I can't post about Ghostbusters without mentioning Slimer. Of all the characters in Ghostbusting history, Slimer has to be the most memorable. If only for the lines Pete Venkman says about him upon being attacked: "He slimed me."

I especially enjoy this one. If you put his slime in him, he pukes it out!


Of course Slimer comes with what else: slime. But it was never enough. They sold at least four different slime colors separately. For some reason, it evaporated quickly. I don't know why or where it went.  Luckily, I had GAK. Remember GAK? I loved placing some on the edge of the table and watching it slime its way down onto action figures. I would also use shampoo, much to my parents chagrin, for sliming purposes if I had all my toys in the tub, which is something I often did. I mean the Spiderman I had was scuba gear ready, so why not take Ghostbusting under water too?


And besides Slimer, there's one other major ghost that always stands out for me: Stay Puft. The lovable fluffy monster who could destroy us all! This particular toy is hard plastic. You could throw it at someone and hurt them. If I recall correctly, that happened a time or two in my youth.

In case that's too hard for you, I found a hilarious plush doll.


Here's a skeleton ghost!  The eyes bug out and his chest opens! Now that's a useful power. If only he could walk over to attack someone. 



Now this little guy, I like a lot. I enjoy him and what he does greatly. He's the Brain Blaster, who (surprise) blasts brains from his head.


I didn't see this guy coming. He might have seen me. 


 This particularly gross toy might be my favorite. You stick a figure inside his mouth and it can cover the character inside with the slime. I think what grosses me out is his nose with the slime dripping out. Snotty noses aren't something to joke about. Very serious.


If I had to pick one to say "That's my favorite!", it's this guy. My fixation on bathroom use now has a new fear. Besides the thought of some sort of carnivorous Lovecraftian manifestation, I now have this thing to fear, tongue and all. One interesting point is his bloodshot eyes. I'm assuming someone left the classic "Upper Decker" and that's the cause of that. In pranks, that's when instead of going like a regular person, you insanely go in the back of the toilet so that it gets everywhere. I've learned this from a life of watching movies that want to be like Porky's — the Animal House type of humor.

I have to own this toilet monster. It's too funny not to buy. I had to quickly look up how much it cost and to my surprise, it's listed on eBay with a hilarious price of $299. Listen, I think its funny to have a toilet ghost hanging beside Captain America and all my Street Sharks, but I'm not paying three hundred bucks for that. No way. I wonder if anyone else would? There aren't any bids on it and I saw another one listed at eighty bucks as well as a European post for twenty nine pounds. I really want this thing. Maybe I'll luck up at a yard sale.

This looks like a normal football player, right? His eyes might be closed, but that's because he's trying to think and nothing's happening. Just like Curly! 


Well, you're wrong. He erupts into this thing. So if you happen to sneak up on him as he notices a bobby pin, watch out!

A sweet, lovable old lady. Yeah, sure.


To finish us out I wanted something that was actually cool. And here are some really nice toys, which Tomopop has mentioned before, to make up for all these goofy ones. If I had to buy one set of figures to put on the shelf, I'm calling Mattel and buying these. They come in both 6" and 12" deluxe models and are a definite purchase for me. 


Did you guys have Ghostbusters toys, too?  

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Joshua Hayes,
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