A few hours ago, I heard a too-gentle knock on the front door. It was the FedEx guy, looking to make a delivery without any pesky conversation. That’s my kind of FedEx guy.
Yes. It has arrived. ECTO COOLER.
Last week, someone from Coca-Cola’s PR firm blessed me with the email to end all emails. I was on THE LIST. A number of Ecto Cooler press packages were being sent out, to encourage everyone from big celebrities (not me) to low-level bloggers (definitely me) to help spread the word.
So here I am, helping to spread the word:
ECTO. COOLER. IS. BACK.
Actually, as of this writing, it’s still on its way back. It’s supposed to hit stores on May 30th, but given the unlikelihood that every store will play by Coca-Cola’s rules, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of them have it out already. Either way, don’t worry: You won’t have to wait long.
This ghost trap-themed promo box — which even came with a barrel of slime — is all kinds of awesome. I’ve already called some contractors to get quotes on the airtight, temperature-controlled vault that is so clearly necessary to house a box of this magnitude. I wish I could tell you that the same box will be available in stores, but no, it was apparently made as an exclusive for people who wear Tuesday’s clothes on Thursday afternoon.
If it’s any consolation, you’ll be drinking motherfuckin’ ECTO COOLER in about a week. Get hype, stay hype, make ice.
It feels almost redundant to tell you what this means to me. After all, I’ve been writing about Ecto Cooler for close to fifteen years, dating back to that “Ecto Cooler Bible” from the halcyon days of X-Entertainment. Ecto Cooler has been the totem animal — well, totem citrus drink — of my entire internet existence.
Instead, I’ll just summarize: After my first sip, I made the sign of the cross, but I shaped the cross like the Ghostbusters logo.
Many of us predicted an Ecto Cooler revival as part of the GB reboot’s promotional push, and it had nothing to do with clairvoyance. It was just so obviously gonna succeed. That the timing was so utterly perfect only made us that much surer. To not bring Ecto Cooler back now wouldn’t have simply been a missed opportunity, but actually literally stupid.
As illustrated by these samples, Ecto Cooler is returning in boxed and canned forms. (The latter may sound like a departure, but Ecto Cooler actually was sold that way during the ‘90s.) The cans are a bigger production, but people like you and me are gonna be all about those juice boxes.
Compared to the Ecto boxes of old, these are taller and thinner, and more notably lack any signs of Slimer. I’ve seen some fans complain about the no-Slimer thing, which to me is like winning the lotto and then being upset because nobody was blowing you when you found out.
I mean, come on… they even used the old school version of the Hi-C logo!
In any event, Coca-Cola had a valid reason for Slimer’s exclusion: They no longer incorporate characters on Hi-C packaging, because children may construe such appearances as endorsements. If you think that sounds like bullshit, it isn’t. I worked in kid-targeted promotions for several years, and the list of shit you can’t do is like 500,000 times longer than the list of shit you can.
As for the cans, they’re attractive and slick, and even have a neat feature where the Hi-C logo magically turns from yellow to green after they’ve been chilled. Ghostly!
The beverage is exactly the same no matter the package, but the cans will likely be more useful for those who’ve waited TWENTY GODDAMNED YEARS to finally mix Ecto Cooler with vodka. You know you’re gonna. Email me after you’re four glasses in.
The Ecto Cooler is as GREEN as it’s ever been. Maybe even greener. It’s like the food from Troll 2 mixed with Little Dracula’s forehead. It’s exactly as green as we all needed it to be.
What a nostalgic trip. When we grow older, we don’t normally get to put stuff that’s THIS UNBELIEVABLY GREEN into our bodies. We usually save that for our cars. Drinking this made me feel so young, like I was a skyscraper-sized Ponce de León attacking an algae-drenched Fountain of Youth. And hey, Coca-Cola? You can quote me on that.
Now here’s the extra great news: It tastes just like the Ecto Cooler of old! Trust me on this. There will be fans who’ll swear it’s a different formula that falls short of the original, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s 100% on-point. (And it’s no big leap to think so, either. Remember, Hi-C was still using the original Ecto Cooler formula well into the 2000s, but under different flavor titles. It’s not like they lost Grandma’s recipe book.)
If you’ve never experienced Ecto Cooler, picture Orange Hi-C, but with just enough mysterious nuances to make it decidedly Not Just Orange Hi-C. It tastes like lunch boxes and playgrounds and untied sneakers.
God. Ecto Cooler.
So, one thing. I went on and on about this during the Ghostbusters episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, but in light of the huge green news, I think it’s worth repeating.
There are people who are 100% against the GB reboot. That’s no secret. Some are standing on principle and aren’t going to change their minds no matter how good the movie is. I think that’s a shortsighted approach, but they’re just as entitled to dislike something as I am to like it. So on the whole, no big.
But I’ve seen some folks run with those feelings to the point where they’re now actively boycotting — or at least publicly blasting — anything and everything with even the most tangential tie to the film. Up to and including Ecto Cooler. To me, that’s crazy.
Why absolve yourself of ALL FUN when you can take something you’re tentative about and try to squeeze as much fun from it as possible? Don’t get me wrong — I know shitting on stuff can be amusing, sometimes, but it’s nowhere near as amusing as Ecto Cooler and action figures that double as nite-lites.
The new film — which for the record, looks A-OK to me — will mean so many great things for the Ghostbusters universe. All of it, I mean. There’s a trickle down effect. If you’re a purist, okay, but don’t think for a second that you would be able buy an 8” Peter Venkman at Walmart right now if that reboot wasn’t on the way.
It’s all connected. If you can’t get on the new movie’s bandwagon, take pleasure in the fact that it’s puking sunlight on the parts of the GB universe that you actually do enjoy.
Tl; dr: We got Ecto Cooler back. Be happy. At least, be a little happy. (Be a lot happy.)
For me, Ecto Cooler’s return was the best possible finale. All of those years spent collecting Ecto Cooler, writing about Ecto Cooler, and even dressing like a zombie to drink extremely expired Ecto Cooler… it’s all led to this. I feel like Inigo after he killed the six-fingered man. What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life?
I’ll figure out something. There are always TMNT Pudding Pies.
Want to learn more about Ecto Cooler before it hits stores? Try these other Dino Drac features: