Like a lot of kids in the 80’s, I was a big fan of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. In fact, we would often patrol the school yard at recess looking to take the fight to the kids who liked that Filmation Ghostbusters and kick the shit out of them. Nah. I’m just kidding. There weren’t any kids that liked Filmation Ghostbusters. LOL! That joke would be less hypocritical if I didn’t secretly covet those Filmation Ghostbusters toys. Indeed, if they weren’t so stupid expensive now, I’d probably own some. But I digress. as a kid, I only owned one Real Ghostbusters figure, and that was Egon. My Dad bought him for me when we were at the store and I was profoundly disappointed when I opened him in the back of the car and realized that the beam didn’t come out of the wand, and he had to walk around with it sticking straight up into the air. I really wanted Real Ghostbusters figures, but I never asked for any more of these. I think I regretted that decision, because in my mind I never really let these go.
Fast forward to now, and Hasbro has released some pretty damn good copies of those Kenner figures, along with the Ecto-1, and I decided that I needed to revisit these. The Ecto-1 comes in a fully enclosed and colorful box, which I presume is pretty close to the original packaging. But… before I open up this baby, I should probably take a look at the figures first. And I opened these up a while ago, so I don’t have any packaged shots.
And boy don’t these just ooze charm like slime off of a free-floating, full-torso, vaporous apparition! I love the way these were individually stylized with completely different bodies. From Egon’s long and lanky form to Ray’s stocky frame, each character is so distinctive from each other. Nowadays, they would just stamp them out on the same body. And of course, the jumpsuits were individually colored to distinguish them from each other even more. Nice details include the cinched elastic on their wrist and ankle cuffs, the elbow pads, and the Ghostbusters logos stamped on their right shoulders. Likewise, the head sculpts are pretty good likenesses for their cartoon counterparts. Each of these figures have the standard five-points of articulation, and I absolutely love them!
The proton packs are cool, but I still say they would be so much better if you could just remove the proton streams. I know they’re toys for kids, but apparently it was even annoying enough to me as a kid to not want them because of it. I think I was probably a little too uptight about that, because as an adult I can move past it and still appreciate what they did here. There’s a decent amount of detail in the sculpts, and they simply peg onto the figures’ backs. Yes, the straps are sculpted on the figure, so they’re present even when the pack isn’t worn. The wands clip to the sides of the packs and can be slid onto each figures’ arm and gripped by their hand. Spin the beam’s handle behind the thrower and it wiggles all over the place. It’s fun!
Each figure comes with its own ghost. These are cast in translucent colored plastic and they’re pretty fun. These aren’t going to replace Mattel’s retro-style Real Ghostbusters as my favorites, but I think I actually like these better than Diamond Select’s Real Ghostbusters, which disappointed me so much that I never bothered reviewing them all. But wait… we’ve got a call coming in and the boys are going to need their ride! So let’s get the Ecto-1 out and set up!
There’s really not too much to set up. The Ghostbusters‘ ride comes out of the box assembled and almost ready to go. There are some stickers that need to be applied, but nothing too difficult. The most pressure comes from getting those three Ghostbusters emblems on the doors straight. The toy itself is satisfyingly large, but it also feels a lot like a plastic shell on wheels. Keep in mind, I never owned the original, so I may have been expecting too much because of the price point. But more on that later. From the research I’ve done, this seems to be an excellent copy of the original toy, with some improvements to the plastic and some areas of the design. And it sure is nice to see one of these looking all fresh and minty with no yellowing or cracks, and bright stickers!
Like the figures, I love the way the toy recreates the stylized look of the cartoon, especially with the way it exaggerates the swell near the back, giving it a cool and cartoony profile. In keeping with the original, there’s not a lot of detail to the roof, just some vague sculpted shapes depicting the equipment and instrument rack. The two light bars have tinted blue plastic for the actual lights. It almost looks like electronics have been gutted for the remake, but the Kenner toy didn’t have any either. That’s a shame, because for fifty bucks, this thing should have flashing lights and a siren!
There are some subtle changes to the front grill, but the ECTO-1 license plate sticker remains the same. The sculpting on the wheels is very well done, and this thing rolls along the floor great.
Busting out the figures, I find that the front seat accommodates a driver and passenger quite well. The doors close securely with the windows perpetually down. I’m guessing the Ecto-1 doesn’t have working air conditioning. There’s a nice bit of detail in the steering wheel and dash, and there’s some texturing on the seats. The back area can fit the other two Ghostbusters, so everyone can ride!
That back area also features a Ghost-Capture-Claw, not doubt developed by Egon, to hook ghosts. By shifting the exhaust pipe left or right, the rope can either be locked, or it will retract as you push the Ecto-1 along. There’s also a hook inside to hang the claw from when it’s not in use. The orange ghost is included!
There’s also a Gunner Seat that can be secured all the way inside the back or positioned so it’s facing out the back to fire at those pesky pursuing poltergeists.
The Gunner Seat can also be plugged into the top and swivel 360-degrees.
I was absolutely beside myself when the Ecto-1 arrived at my door. It was a Walmart Exclusive and I knew I had no hopes of finding it in the stores, so I dropped a pre-order with them online, crossed my fingers, and hoped that it wouldn’t get cancelled. Now, I’ll concede that when I first got it out of the box, I might have been hit with a wee bit of sticker shock. This was $50? Yes, it’s a nice, sizeable toy and it looks great, but Great Gozer is this thing over priced! Just compare this thing to the Ecto-1 from the Playmobil Ghostbusters line, which is admittedly smaller, but features a ton more detail and electronic lights and sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I have no regrets. Getting these toys has filled in that Ghostbusters-shaped hole in my childhood, and I’m happy to have these displayed on the shelf. Hasbro has also released some of those gimmicky ghost figures in this revival, but I think I’m going to rest easy with what I’ve got.