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:
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.