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Official Article

Weirdest Ghostbusters 2 Merchandise

The 30th anniversary of Ghostbusters 2 flew under the radar this year, overshadowed once again by the hype over Tim Burton’s Batman, in a case of history repeating itself. While I love the original Ghostbusters deeply, over these past 3 decades I have come to enjoy the 1989 sequel slightly more. In addition to fun new gags from the core cast, I just can’t deny the entertainment factor of Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha, not to mention the hilariously awkward romance between Rick Moranis as Louis Tully and Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz.

As a result, I have amassed quite a collection of Ghostbusters 2 merchandise over the years. Items like the hot thermal beverage mug, a lunchbox gifted to me by fellow RetroDazer, NLogan and even the View-Master gift set purchased from the RetroDaze Points Store are all great, but pretty standard by promotional tie-in standards. If you can believe it, there are stranger things I have yet to add to my display shelf. So here are the Weirdest Ghostbusters 2 Merchandise items I don’t own…yet.

Ghostbusters 2 Coca-Cola Poncho

This is a promotional idea that initially seems to fail on many levels, yet manages pull out a win by the end. First of all, as a film being released in June, what need would a moviegoer have for a rain poncho in the heat of summer? Unless there was a 4-D experience in the theater where they were actually dumping pink slime on the audience, it seems a bit strange. But there is an obvious second use for the poncho if you’ve got an imagination.

You see the little ghost face printed on the hood? It’s obviously meant to evoke the No Ghosts logo which means this poncho could easily be used as a Halloween costume come October. Just wear a white sweatshirt/sweatpants combo underneath and for the overachiever, cut out a red circle with a line through it from cardboard throw up a peace sign and you’re a walking Ghostbusters 2 logo who is sure to fill up your pillow case with treats. Weird? Yes. Pointless? No way!

Coca-Cola Ghost In A Can

Sticking with the Coca-Cola promotions, a concept that was resurrected from 1984 when the original film debuted was the idea of a Ghost In A Can. This appears to have been an Australian promotional item tied into a sweepstakes where you could win a trip to the USA. How does one end up with a Ghost In A Can you ask? Upon buying a 6-pack of Coke you were gifted this empty can featuring Slimer, who really had become the signature character if the Ghostbusters franchise by 1989. Still, getting an empty soda can is by it's very concept, weird.

Interestingly enough, stateside Coca-Cola was also running a contest where soda drinkers could enter to win a replica Ectomobile aka Ecto-1A as featured in the film. Now the question is, once someone wins a full-sized car prop, what is the next step? Nowadays every car show seems to be visited by the local Ghostbusters club with an Ecto-1 in tow, but did this trend begin when someone found themselves the owner of the Ghostbusters’ ride and decided to take their prize to the streets? You want to know something else? This wasn’t the only way to win a full-size Ecto-1 in 1989!

Ghostbusters Fuji Film Die Cast Ectomobile

Now this takes you back, doesn’t it? Buying actual rolls of film to load into your camera to snap some shots of your Ghostbusters 2 birthday party, then drop off the film at the photo store and waiting several days to pick them up. An experience lost to the ages, especially when you consider this 3 pack of film came packaged with a die-cast Ectomobile! And while that in and of itself was reason enough to bug your parents to pull this thing off the peg, but there was more fun to be had.

Yes, on the back was an entry for a Fuji film sweepstakes where you could win a full sized replica of the Ecto 1-A from Ghostbusters 2 valued at $40,000! Seriously, how many of these things were they building and why didn’t I see them driving down the freeway every weekend? 

Even if you didn’t win the car you could still find yourself awarded a trip to Columbia Pictures studios (somehow I doubt it was not as fun as Universal Studios), a Fuji Zoom camera or a Ghostbusters 2 mug, which of all the items offered would have thrilled me the most as a kid.

Ecto-Cooler Power Glove Giveaway

Now check this out. Can you imagine the excitement as a child seeing the fun of Hi-C Ecto-Cooler being combined with the purported awesomeness of the Power Glove on grocery store shelves? Now the reason I picked this as a weird item is that in the film it was the Nintendo Advantage game controller that Ray uses to “drive” the Statue of Liberty through the streets of New York, not the Power Glove. So in actuality it’s not a great bit of video game to movie synergy, but the prizes offered still get my heart racing even today!

There were 500 Power Gloves up for grabs in this contest in a prize pack that included a Nintendo Control Deck with Rad Racer game cartridge and a Master The Power instructional VHS tape, which was by all accounts awesome. Yet, to be one of the 1,600 kids who got a Hi-C Power Glove Hologram shirt was nothing to scoff at either. Nothing was cooler than a hologram to elementary school kids in the 80's, now apply that to a shirt you could wear to class to impress your friends and it’s a total win!

Scented Car Litter Bags

Well, I think I’ve saved the best for last here because nobody saw these things coming. Yep, Ghostbusters 2 was used to promoted “litter bags”. Not just any litter bag mind you, these things were meant solely for use in a car. But wait, there’s more…they’re actually scented! 

As my wife pointed out, they really missed the boat in not making the scent “Marshmallow” to give a nod to ol’ Stay-Puft, but I like to imagine they tried to keep it focused on the sequel by trying out bubblegum scent in honor of the pink mood slime and ultimately settled on “Clean Fresh Scent” in homage to the scene where Dana cleans up Peter’s apartment.

So there you have it folks, 5 of the weirdest Ghostbusters 2 merchandise items I don’t yet own. I have to say that of all the goodies featured, those litter bags really speak to me based solely on the ridiculousness of that concept coming to fruition. How about you?

If you’re ready to continue the Ghostbusters 2 celebration, why not head on over to the RetroDaze YouTube channel where the latest episode of RD’s Retro Detention is our biggest production yet and features a very special piece of memorabilia from the era…

…yes, that is a genuine, 100% original box of Hi-C Ecto Cooler from 1989! Just gorgeous, isn’t it? This tasty piece of Ghostbusters history plays a major role in the adventure as RD takes on Vigo The Carpathian and some other gooey, ghostly entities, so watch the video now and get in on the fun!

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SockofFleagulls Posted on Aug 30, 2019 at 11:42 PM

I want that freaking poncho.

jkatz Posted on Jul 31, 2019 at 06:49 AM

That mug looks neat. I'll have to try searching for one on ebay.

Benjanime Posted on Jul 28, 2019 at 01:23 AM

my super mario land article was a way of celebrating the game boy's 30th anniversary, another 1989 event that also kinda went under the radar. despite the oddities, i think this stuff is actually pretty interesting, the "ghost in a can" idea got a couple of laughs out of me.

Vaporman87 Posted on Jul 28, 2019 at 12:52 AM

I've often wondered, why hasn't there ever been a Ghostbusters II car litter bag. Turns out... there was!

Like you said, with as many ways as there were to win an Ecto-1, every other vehicle on the road should have been one. So where were they all?

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