Real Ghostbusters Mini Shooter!

As it relates to Kenner’s Real Ghostbusters toys, I was always much more into the monsters than the Ghostbusters themselves. Egon and friends were neat, but the ghosts were where the line shined brightest. They had no “template” mold or style, and each was vastly different from the last.

The Slimer and Stay Puft figures will always be my favorites, but once you got past them, Kenner came up with many incredibly creative ghouls. Some were based on the cartoon series and others were exclusive to the toy line, but all were just too delightfully weird to, as they say, “not want.”

Here’s one example. A big wormy ghost who treats smaller ghosts like cannonballs!

The Mini Shooter debuted in 1986. Admittedly, the name kind of sucks. “Mini Shooter.” Sounds like some terribly overpriced Applebee’s thing. Fuck that.

If we can get technical, it was actually a three-figure set, not to mention a toy that came with an open invitation for kids to beat the hell out of it.

It was my final find from last month’s horror convention. The dealer wanted $15, but it’s amazing what $10 can buy when you put on the doe eyes and pretend that it’s all you have left.

The key figure is “Boo-Zooka,” a pink, wormy demon with hippo feet and a piggy tail. His eyes look like the bra of a hula dancer from an island where all of the coconuts are bright green. Let’s assume that this island is an evolutionary anomaly.

I can’t say that any of my descriptors were repeated in Kenner’s promo materials, but that doesn’t make them untrue.

Next is a pair of “Boo-Lets,” in that neat, semi-opaque rubber that the RGB line loved so much.

The blue one is my favorite. Both Boo-Lets were molded to look like they were celebrating their ghostliness, but the blue one is pretty half-hearted about it. Acting excited was a contractual obligation and nothing more.

As you’ve likely surmised, you’re supposed to stuff the Boo-Lets into Boo-Zooka’s mouth, and karate chop the thing until he spits them out. That’s all well and good, but there’s an even better use for the Boo-Lets:

Finger puppetry!

Blue George: Did you hear the one about the rabbi and the bhikkhuni?

Orange Henry: No.

Blue George: I didn’t either.

Blue George: Am I invading your personal space?

Orange Henry: Yes.

Blue George: Doesn’t my elbow remind you of Bejeweled?

Ray Stantz picked a terrible day to go for a mindless stroll without his proton pack.

The “action feature” of the Mini Shooter involves stuffing one of the Boo-Lets into Boo-Zooka’s mouth, and then smacking Boo-Zooka’s gross body until the little guy flies out. It sounds better in theory than it works in practice, but if you hit the thing just right, those Boo-Lets really do act as missiles!

I didn’t mean for this “post-attack” photo to come out so provocative. I’m tempted to do a reshoot, lest anyone suggest that I was intentionally implying something between Ray Stantz and Blue George. On the other hand, if your brain lives in the gutter, that’s on you.

This was well worth ten bucks. The next time I want to change the channel but can’t find the remote, I will convince myself that the Boo-Lets really can shoot that far. It won’t conclude in any satisfactory way, but the thrill will be in finding that out.

Course, the package is even more fun than the toy. Now I can play the “HAD THAT, HAD THAT, WANTED THAT” game! It’s even better when you apply a cockney accent.

The back of the package highlights many Real Ghostbusters toys, including one of the only figures that I’ve managed to hold onto since the mid ‘80s. Meet Bug-Eye Ghost:

This wasn’t some recent eBay pickup. I got him for Christmas a kid, and while I’ve lost nearly everything else that I got for Christmas as a kid, Bug-Eye Ghost somehow survived.

Unfortunately, he’s not in great shape. A mint condition figure would have a complete third eyeball. Mine broke in half, and of course, the half I lost had the eye painted on it. You can still see my lame attempt to draw a new third eye with crayons. Now Bug-Eye looks like he’s almost done with a bowl of Trix.


38 Responses to Real Ghostbusters Mini Shooter!

  1. At first I thought the yellow square on the package was some sort of ectoplasmic launch pad. I’m sad to realize it is not.

  2. The Real Ghostbusters had some of the most creative monsters and ghost imaginable. For me, it’s what adds to the disappointment that is Ghostbuters 2. Between the first movie and it’s sequel, we had about four years of awesome creatures that were on the cartoon and in the toy line. What do we get in the movie sequel? The all too brief Scoleri brothers, some floating crystal ware, a jogger and a tall blonde guy. The stuff during the “montage of ghost” in the third act barely rates, as none were ghosts that were fought by any Ghostbuster.

  3. @Mike: Yes, but we did get to hear Judge Wexler say “it’s the Scoleri Brothers” two hundred times in three minutes — a delight that forgives every other trespass.

  4. Holy hell….I was 5 years old when this came out, but somehow I remember it vividly.

  5. I love the karate chop demonstrations on the back of the box. Is that the proper way to shoot a ghost?

  6. I was having a kinda lousy day but this really cheered me up. I had all these RGB toys too, Third Eyeball guy included. For some reason I used to pretend the Firehouse was my desk.

  7. I love the package artwork, or cardback, or whatever snooty collector’s call it. There’s a level of craft and creativity sadly lacking in today’s toy aisles on display there.

  8. I love the little ghost that comes with Ecto- 1.

  9. Loved this line as a kid, still love it as an adult. Have a whole shelf dedicated to tracking down old RGB toys. Sadly, none of the toys where you squeezed them to shoot something out of them at someone else (with the exception of the water squirting ghosts) are currently a part of my collection.

  10. > from an island where all of the coconuts are bright green

    All coconuts are green ;) At least they start ou that way

  11. Had: Stay-Puft, Bad To The Bone, the original non-gimmick GB figures. Wanted: EVERYTHING ELSE, but a special intensity of want for Ecto-1, never got :C

  12. @yusef: For the sake of the joke I’m going to pretend that you’re a big liar.

  13. Does this thing fire with the same ridiculous velocity as Count Heave-A-Heart?

  14. Haaaa. Not even close.

  15. man, just remembering the insane number of ghostbusters toys i had makes me kind of misty-eyed. though i did get in hecka trouble because i turned the firehouse pole into a sword and whacked my brothers with it.

  16. This is one of the best toylines ever. Unfortuately all I had was the normal Ray Stantz, the purple can of slime, H2 Ghost and…oh yeah…ECTO-1 baby! I still have it! That thing was made to last.

    Why is Slimer called “The Green Ghost” on the package? That’s a little strange.

  17. The back of the backing card brings back so many memories. My little brother and sister had the figures (their Egon and Venkman figures were the Fright Feature figures), Slimer, and the firehouse. I remember playing around with the little ghouls that came with the figures. They were interesting looking to say the least.

  18. I didn’t have all that many Real Ghostbusters toys when I was a kid; just vanilla Ray, I think. But man, I wanted more, like the Proton Pack and Ghost Trap… and Firehouse and Ecto-1.

    Unfortunately, for my (read: my parents’) budget, it often came down to either Ghostbusters or the hot new Transformers/TMNT figure of the time. I loved Ghostbusters, and do even more now (Real are still the “real” ones to me), but enjoyed them more as a show than a toyline. Maybe because I wasn’t funny enough to bring it all together by myself.

  19. I still have one of the Mini Goopers around,from back in the day. The yellow one. It´s clear, airtight capsule like body is very useful to store small screws and such! Also, I liked the blue one, Brain Matter, more. No wonder it was the one which got lost. I will never forget the awful, dizzying, otherworldish stench of the dried up Ectoplazm that came with the pair, though…

  20. Thinking back, I’m surprised we didn’t have more “Real Ghostbusters” toys in the 80s. After all, we lived in a Jersey Shore town with, if the “ghost tours” in the fall and numerous locally-published volumes were to be believed, more spectral residents than living ones. I don’t know if we couldn’t afford them, they weren’t to be found in South Jersey, or if my sisters and I were more into “My Little Pony” at the time.

  21. I didn’t have a lot of Ghostbusters stuff as a kid, but I had the Mini Gooper Ghosts and they were so awesome. Brain Matter especially, blue brain spiders with botox lips always win.

  22. I had all of the things on the back of that card except the ghosts that came with slime. This was an awesome toyline.

  23. the ambulance looks like a re painted MASK vehicle …it was a teal 57 chevy with flames and a spare tire that shot out the back

  24. it’s weird. i loved ghostbusters… a lot. but i didn’t have any toys. i think my mother thought they to “occultish” or something.

  25. Matt if you get the chance, please write up some Barnyard Commandos toys. For all I know you may have already done this at some point on X-E so I apologize if that’s the case. Those figures were such a big deal to me as a kid. I’m still considering rebuying all of them at some point just to remind myself that such a high concept actually made it through to a finished product.

  26. Hey Matt, on the topic of obscure 90s Kenner toys, do you have any Shadow Strikers? They were in the very early 90s Kenner catalog that came with the Dark Knight Collection Batcopter. I never actually had any Shadow Strikers, mostly because I could never find them. I think I remember seeing the (failed) pilot movie on VHS at a Woolworth’s once.

    I used to obsess over that catalog, and the other object of my affections was the Turbojet Batwing, a.k.a. the greatest vehicle ever created for a Batman line. It costs hundreds of dollars whenever it shows up on eBay, and I’ve spent years planning how to make one out of Legos.

  27. Hey, Matt, I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear, but the comments on this article aren’t showing up for me. They WERE, but after I read the first page of comments and clicked to go to the next page, *poof* no more comments. It SAYS there are 25 responses, but I’ll be damned if I see them. I’ve tried refreshing a couple of times and no dice.

    Anyway, I don’t remember this particular toy, but it’s pretty sweet. I’d love to see a video of this thing in action. As for the RGB toys on the back of the card, I had all four “vanilla” Ghostbusters and, for some reason, the Fright Features Janine figure (not pictured), which came with a ghost called “Tickler Ghost,” which just sounds dirty to me now. I always wanted the firehouse and Ecto-1, but I never got them.

  28. Nevermind, Matt, the comments are back. Sorry for crying “wolf.”

  29. DOUG-
    Those were the ones went “stealth” when you dipped them into cold water, and lost all their color and became white, right? I remember seeing them in one of those awesome Kenner catalogues that came with all of the vehicles and playsets… I vaguely remember finding one of the small vehicles as a kid, but otherwise never saw elsewhere.

    MATT- You’ve just compelled me to make an expedition to my parents house and bravely raid their basement for old toys. My mom saved EVERYTHING. It’s just a matter of finding it.

  30. Best toyline ever! I had everything on the back of the box except the slime trio and the two you wrote about here. I used to save the backs of these and Ninjas Tittle toys to use as a checklist for the toys I didn’t yet have. For the Turtles, I also always kept the little bio card dugouts from the back.

    Regarding the after shot of Ray up there, if you remember the montage from the first movie, it wouldn’t be the first time Dr. Stantz has received head from a ghost.

  31. I definitely have that purple guy, complete with eyeball. Also, the Ray Stantz figure is one of my favorites, if only because I can remember the day I bought him, from a store called Monkey Business in Calumet, Michigan… Or was it Ben Franklin’s?

  32. LOL at the Bejeweled joke.

  33. Christ, this post certainly brought back some long-forgotten memories for me.

    I actually had those two “Boo-Lets” at some point when I was a kid, but I cannot for the life of me recall ever having the accompanying “Boo-Zooka”, nor any of it having any connection to TRGB. For me, they were just inexplicable finger-puppets. Just seeing the crenelations at the base of the translucent figures gave me a weird feeling in my gut, although it’s entirely possible that had more to do with me currently recovering from the flu.

    While you were able to release at least some of the unbelievable amounts of unsaid erotic energy that Boo-Zooka creates by comparing his eyes to tropical bosoms, I must commend your strength in not pointing out the overt sexual imagery that it is laden with. Jesus Christ. Just look at that fucker. Whoever designed it had an absolute Freudian field day. Not only does it have this semi-tumescent flesh-colored penile body, but I’ve seen less-obvious vaginas on actual sex toys.
    From now on, “Boo-Zooka’s Nose” is my go-to clitoral euphemism.

    Or my Spock’s Beard cover band. Maybe both.

  34. Man, some of the best figures in the RGB line were the ghosts.

  35. I’m not sure how long Slimer was “the Green Ghost”? Weird, it’s kinda like knowing a celebrity before they became so self involved and got paid so much!

  36. We have a RGB toy called the “Fearsome Flusher”. It looks like an ordinary toilet until it rolls along a hard surface and ghoulish eyeballs pops out of the tank and a nasty tongue poke out from under the lid. It is awesome. It’s still around here someplace.

  37. oh awesome. I had this same exact toy as well. I also had the slimer, too bad my mom made me give these away when I was too old to play with toys. I bought a Ecto 1 in the box a few years back this one in better condition than the one I had.

  38. I had both of those as a kid. I remember thinking that the pink shooty thing looked like ice cream.

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