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When you have a movie that oozes neon green ectoplasm and paranormal weirdness, you know the merch is going to be just as bizarre. Things like 'Slimer ooze' really do exist.
And if it exists, you can find it on eBay.
I am a child of the '80s and '90s. Anything Ghostbusters makes me nostalgic for the summers before everything was plugged into the internet, when we'd run around with our plastic proton packs and traps looking for ghosts in the bushes and gulp down Ecto Cooler in a neighborhood kid's basement. The Real Ghostbusters was on every Saturday morning. What I wanted more than anything was a real Stay-Puft marshmallow man to explode into a charred, gooey mess that I could just eat.
Some vestiges of those times remain on... the internet. Ebay is crawling with creatures, and this is proof that some of the strangest vintage Ghostbusters merch will jumpscare you if you scroll long enough.
This Slimer flip watch
This is one of those watches that you might have worn as a kid — if you actually cared about finding out how late you are. The 3D plastic character flips up to reveal a digital watch screen. These were made by Hope Industries as merch for the The Real Ghostbusters animated series, which had more merch than ghosts in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. A variant with a goblin-green wristband is also floating around out there.
Whether or not you were going to be on time to school may have depended on if you actually had the stomach to look at those bug eyes and gaping mouth right after breakfast, but when isn’t Slimer’s tongue hanging out?
This No Ghost logo locker bag
Whoever thought you absolutely needed the ‘busters’ help to keep the ghosts of your gym socks in the dark was onto something. It’s one of those miscellaneous merch things that you think makes no sense until it does. Kenner, which also put out a swarm of The Real Ghostbusters toys including some really rad ones that never saw the light of day, also released this into the wild in a venture beyond action figures.
While phys ed is probably not the first thing Ghostbusters makes you think of, ghosts may be scary, but sweat socks are scarier.
This official lunch bag
When brown-bagging it wasn’t cool enough, but you didn't have one of those plastic Ghostbusters lunch boxes with the thermos, you could step up your game if you were lucky enough to snag one of these. They were actually a 1987 promo for Hi-C’s mysterious green fruit concoction otherwise known as Ecto Cooler, which you probably also stashed in there after begging your parents to get you some.
Ecto Cooler itself was only supposed to be a promo for The Real Ghostbusters, but so many kids (and adults) were clamoring for it that it lingered around like a ghost for more than a decade after it was supposed to vanish.
This (now inedible) Slimer candy
The ‘80s had a way of taking as many characters as possible and turning them into barely recognizable plastic candy containers. These things were filled with candy that was little more than pure sugar with just about no other flavor. Slimer looks like even more of an amorphous blob than usual here, but what kid who grew up back then cared that his guts could rot your teeth?
You can’t eat the candy now, but the Ghostbusters stamping on each one (which is small enough to need a ghost detector to find it) is still pretty cool.
This really gnarly logo plaque
So many questions. What exactly is it? Who made it? Is it even official? Why does it have no facial features? Who thought it was a good idea to make the ghost out of really lumpy plaster? With his empty sockets and gaping mouth, he looks like he’s forever silently screaming to either be set free or finally have some eyes painted on.
This (now undrinkable) juice box of Ecto Cooler
Ecto Cooler was the Slimer-ized flavor of Hi-C responsible for turning the tongues of every Ghostbusters fan under 12 a ghastly green. It tasted like some sort of indeterminate citrus fruit, so if that’s what Slimer’s ectoplasm was supposed to taste like, it was awesome (and the vitamin C kept your parents from screaming). It stuck around much longer than The Real Ghostbusters, which it was supposed to promote. Slimer disappeared from the label around 1997 even though the drink survived as Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen until 2001. It reappeared as Ecto Cooler again just in time for the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.
This original juice box is obviously way past its expiration date, but it have an afterlife sitting on top of your fridge.
This Ghostbusters phone that basically makes you Janine
Who ya gonna call? You know you want this just to pick up and answer "Hello, Ghostbusters" in Janine's voice (tacky earrings optional). You actually could if you wanted to because, like it says, it's a real phone. You probably still can if you don't mind ditching your smartphone for a more retro model.
Remco made this phone, the ultimate piece of The Real Ghostbusters merch, in the shape of the No Ghost logo. It had pulse/tone switch, re-dial memory, an on-off switch in case you wanted to silence the ring, a privacy mute button. Oh, and the cord. Don't forget the compulsory '80s cord. Too bad it doesn't have an official Ghostbusters ringtone.
This creepy Slimer bike horn
If you weren't into rainbow streamers, Slimer was the ghost you needed most to scare off anyone in your way when you were gunning your brand-new two-wheeler down the asphalt. This was part of the original onslaught of Ghostbusters movie merch that emerged in 1984. Because kids could honk it on repeat, it might have been the one Slimer item that was actually as annoying as the Green Ghost himself.
This thing supposedly still works. You might not want to test that out if you live in an apartment with thin walls, though.
This totally gross Squisher Gooper Ghost figure
Squisher is nightmare fuel as is. He already looks like Slimer meets Jabba the Hutt. However, the thing that might really make you shriek in terror besides those neon eyes and disturbingly huge tongue is that he was supposed to ooze Ecto-Plazm (that spelling is trademarked) from his nose and mouth. So were the other The Real Ghostbusters Gooper Ghost figures made by Kenner. Sludge Bucket, Banshee Bomber and (of course) Slimer all vomited slime.
Where did those cans of slime that were included with them go? Because this is eBay there is also…
This surviving container of Ecto-Plazm
Just when you thought that the slime which was supposed to come oozing out of the Gooper Ghosts' mouths had long since dried up after some kid played with them a few times 30-something years ago, some of it is still creeping around the internet. This "proof of a ghostly encounter" that Kenner first sold on its own as just Slime but rebranded for The Real Ghostbusters came with the Gooper Ghost figures. But a $50 plastic container of slime? If it's on eBay, that means someone is probably looking for it.
By the way, that is the same kind of stuff that the later Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys called Retromutagen Ooze.
This green bubblegum-flavored Slimer toothpaste
How this was even a thing blows my mind. If The Real Ghostbusters could spawn toys that belched slime, then it could also spawn its own toothpaste. The tube says there’s fluoride in it, but it’s also green as Slimer’s bodily fluids and supposed to taste like bubblegum (there was also a grape one that was violently purple). It was made by Perio and supposed to be like brushing your teeth with ectoplasm.
Don’t bother trying to find out whether it actually prevents cavities, because there is no way you should ever be brushing your teeth with anything sitting around since the Reagan era.
This Ecto-1 soap dish that even floats
Venkman would probably be thrilled to have a tchotchke like this in the office he basically lives in. DuCair Bioessence, which also made The Real Ghostbusters ectoplasmic bubble bath, foam soap and even a play shaving kit, dreamed this up in 1989. It comes with three soaps (no word on what those smell like). The soap goes in a compartment that makes it look like it’s driving the vehicle.
Any hardcore Ghostbusters fan would want their soap riding the Ecto-1, and while there are no flashing lights or other special effects, it does float if you knock it into the tub. We won't judge if you take a bath with it just for that reason.
…and this Slimer hand puppet that just needs no words.
Slimer is already the stuff of nightmares, but whoever designed this puppet just had to take that even further. Is it the warped head? The froglike eyes? The mouth with enormous teeth that is even more terrifying when it’s wide open as if he's ready to stuff his face?
Maybe it looks better with your hand in it, but finding that out means you'd actually have to buy this thing.