Vintage Ghostbusters Toys from the 80s that no Fan can Live Without!
For 30 years the Ghostbusters franchise captivated audiences across the world with quirky one-liners and comedic jump scares. Its wide variety of shows and spin-offs have launched memorable lines of off-beat merch since its premiere in the early ’80s. Venkman and his pals have been immortalized in plastic, video and board game form – and we’ve created a list of Ghostbusting toys that no fan can live without. Whether you’re looking to relive the glory days or just enjoy the best of the Ghostbusters toys that have been released, we’ve compiled one of the best lists of merch available on the market, no matter what kind of nostalgia you’re looking for.
The Real Ghostbusters Series One
Originally, Columbia did not expect Ghostbusters to be a hit, so they were entirely shocked by how well the film did at the box office. Because of this, there’s almost no merch associated with the original movie. Because of its shocking success, Columbia struggled to release a new toy – no merch was released until Christmas of 1986 with the four main characters, tying in with the cartoon version of the movie. They still have the same name as the original characters from the movie, but to avoid complaints, they weren’t made to look like the characters. The line saw instant success and sold out within days and the next wave of 10 lines was created.
In the early ’80s, toys consisted mostly of action figures and cars. Because of this, it’s no surprise that the Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 became a massive hit shortly after the release of the film. The car also featured several other features not keeping with the cartoon, including a ghost-claw in the rear window, and a swiveling blaster seat on top of the car. The Original Ecto-1 was one of the best of 80’s Ghostbuster toys, at least until it went yellow from too much play. As one of the coolest toys to come out of the Ghostbusters franchise, it’s no surprise that this car in mint condition can go for a pretty penny.
Fire House Headquarters
This unique toy was a hit as the homestead of the famous Ghostbusters. The Firehouse was equipped with a movable fire pole, a ghost containment unit, and two floors of gratings, complete with real slime. No surprise, a mint condition version of this Ghostbusters toys from the ’80s sold for six hundred dollars on eBay. It was one of the best-selling and unique toys of its time – it was considered high tech for a toy of its time and was one of the most requested toys amongst Ghostbusters fans that year.
A replica of the Ghostbuster fighting toy this one comes complete with a projector gun that rotates to make the villainous specter appear. The specter lights up your wall, and you press a button to initially make the specter light up. It came complete with zapping sounds loud and high-pitched enough to make every dog in the neighborhood bark at the moon for a few minutes and could generate six ghosts you could hunt down. 30 years on, it’s still a better shooter than Wet.
Granny Gross action figure
Chase down your specters with these human transforming action figures. Got the Ghost Zapper and need some extra spooks to take down? Try the Tombstone Tackle, an American footballer who transformed into a sort of tongue-lolling croc; X-Cop, whose face fell off to reveal its skeleton underneath; and this unforgettable octogenarian, who looked oddly enough like the Queen of England. But these toys aren’t for the faint of heart, the Haunted Human action figures are destined to give some people nightmares.
In 1979 Kenner launched the first line of Finger Pops that would eventually lead to the popular Ghostbusters Ghost Poppers of a similar effect. Kenner calls the ammunition ghostpops or pops. The ghostpops can be used to take out your favorite specters and even has additional tools such as the ECTO Popper to shoot the foam bullets with and the ECTO-Goggles to find the specters. This was Kenner’s answer to the nerf version of Ghostbusters that allowed kids to pretend to be their favorite ghostbusting character.
The Real Ghostbusters Play-Doh Set
This play-doh set made a hit with the glow in the dark slime colored play-doh pack that came with it. It came complete with a plastic Ecto 1, two half-molds, one extruder toy, one play mat, one plastic knife, one can of orange Play-Doh modeling compound, one can of purple Play-Doh, modeling compound, one can of (green) glow-in-the-dark Play-Doh modeling compound. The Real Ghostbusters Play-Doh Set was produced by Kenner in 1987 as a part of the original line, making this an ultimate must-have for vintage Ghostbusters toys for ultimate imagination and crafting skills.
Slimer Bubble Gum
The famous Slimer from the movie even had his unique brand of bubble gum for kids. Not necessarily a toy, but it was a fun look at Ghostbuster merch that made a huge success in its time. The gum, of course, was gloopy, green, and didn’t resemble more traditional candies. It came in a toothpaste-like tube that kept it moist and extra slimy for chewers. The gum sold out and has since been off the market, but it can still be found on websites like eBay and seems to be in good condition for chewing according to some reviews, though users should try at their discretion.
Real Ghostbusters Shrinky Dinks
Shrinky Dinks are the toys that every kid wanted in the ’80s. The line of Ghostbuster Shrinky Dinks even more so. You can still find them on store shelves today, but they aren’t as mass-produced as they were back in the ’80s when they were first released. However, they are still a must-have vintage Ghostbuster toy from the ’80s.
To use this toy, all you have to do is color the plastic characters and then pop them in the oven to watch them magically shrink in a matter of minutes. The best part? If you can find the 1988 ghostbuster’s version, they still work as good as they did back then, making them an easy toy to enjoy any year.
46-Ounce Can of Hi-C Ecto Cooler
Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler, a Ghostbusters-themed beverage, is a blend of orange and tangerine juices, enhanced by a green food dye for that extra slime feel that made kids swoon in the ’80s at the height of Ghostbusters popularity. Of its time, liquid merch was unusual for movies, making this a cool new feature for kids.
Hi-C brought Ecto Cooler back as part of the promotion for the newest film and a reminder of the original Ghostbusters toys from the ’80s due to high demand from the older fans of the franchise, but many collectors are still hunting for the original version of the drink no longer on store shelves. Despite the new release, older cans are more popular than the modern version because the newer version lacks the green slime color and original taste.
The original drink came in many different forms, but the 46-ounce cans are still the most popular among old school fans and collectors because it still sealed unlike other versions of the drink. It may have been green in its heyday but imagine how green it looks after almost 25 years of fermenting.
Ecto-Plazm Play Gel
One of the most popular toys of its decade and still incredibly popular with the most recent release of the movie, Kenner’s Ecto-Plazm puts gobs of neon goop in little cans and lets you choose how to use it much like a more moldable set of play-doh, but in gel form for more mobile movement. Drench your action figures with supernatural sludge, or spread it out on a thousand bucks worth of carpets? (Kids did both!) Mattel took up production with a new line of gel slime with the recent release, but traditional Ghostbuster toys fans still prefer the original Kenner set.
Slimer Candy Store Display
The 1980s saw popular movie characters immortalized as plastic characters filled with less lovable candies packed inside. Apparently, the weird tasting candies didn’t matter as much to kids than whose face was plastered on the front. In the past, it was the only way childhood actors could be sure that they’d made Hollywood fame status among their fans. It’s no surprise that Slimer came with his brand of wild displays and unoriginal candy flavors. In fact, Slimer had 24 candy containers perfect for holding all of your favorites. However, what made the plastic toy sale was not the candy inside, but the wild art on the cover that looked like a combination of Ghostbuster’s hot rod and something from Back to the Future.
Real Ghostbusters Arcade Game
Arcades were reaching their pinnacle in the early 1980s. It’s no shock that Ghostbusters came with a Pacman like a version that let you shoot up the spooks and specters that rose from the dust of New York City. It came complete with a 3 8-way joystick that users turned into a ghostbusting tool. The more ghosts you shot, the more likely you were to gain an extra life or you could insert an extra two coins in the slot. It isn’t a typical Ghostbusters toys from the ’80s, but it is something that collectors still search after today and still warms the heart of many ghost busting fans. The arcade game can still be experienced in vintage arcade shops or by purchasing your machine from eBay or online retailers for a steep price.
The Real Ghostbusters Proton Pack
The most popular toy in the Real Ghostbusters line was a miniature Proton Pack that kids could put on and use to scare away ghosts so they felt like the real Ghostbusters team patrolling the streets of their hometown instead of the New York setting of the movie. The Proton Pack was a huge hit, but it came with many little bits to keep track of and added bonus toys that made the Proton Pack a must-have for kids of the 1980s. Most of the toys were lost as children destroyed the spooks and specters haunting their home. Perhaps stolen by a runaway phantom they failed to catch. If you can find a package in mint condition, you can expect to pay high-quality prices for the limited edition.
The Real Ghostbusters: Fright Feature Action Figure
Fright features were unique action figures that could be bent and squeezed until the eyes popped out. They were instant kids’ favorites for the 1980s, so whenever Ghostbuster’s created their lines, it’s no surprise that they were a major hit. Today, they are no longer sold but they are a favorite among collectors of the day. What is even more shocking is that the most expensive of the version of these popular 80’s Ghostbuster toys is Peter Venkman’s action figure that can sell for almost $1,000 on eBay.
Nostalgia and Golden Years
There was a time when the old saying, One man’s trash is another man’s treasure defined the world of toy collecting. Instead of tossing old toys in the trash, parents became aware of the monetary value of older toys as they age. So instead they’d throw them into the back of a closet and wait a few years for the price value to increase before plopping them on their favorite sale site or tossing them into a yard sale to help make a few extra dollars for the house payment or enough to put gas into the car, if not a little bit more. While many toys and memorabilia found fame in the 1980s, none were more popular than the comedic, paranormal take of the Ghostbusters that found a surprising overnight hit. Any of the toys on this list can be considered a high priced fan favorite of Ghostbusters toys from the ’80s, but it is by no means the end of the list of merch that fans grappled for in the early ’80s.
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