80s, 90s, Cartoons, Quick Lists, Toys — February 20, 2012 12:02 am

7 Baffling Real Ghostbusters Figures

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In the late 1980s, the Kenner toy company had to think outside the box to aggressively market a toy line based on a series featuring only four characters. The first line of figures released only featured the four Ghostbusters and Slimer. Realizing that they needed to sell more than five toys per kid, Kenner took the initiative to invent new ghosts and ghouls. Beyond that, they re-packaged the four main characters a dozen times over.

Let’s take a look at some of the most baffling Real Ghostbusters figures to roll off the Kenner line.

7 – Monsters: The Quasimodo Monster

Sad Frog is not amused.

The Ghostbusters rarely battled monsters in the show. Typically, their encounters featured ghosts or possessed citizens. Series cannon didn’t stop Kenner from pushing a line of classic monsters, such as Dracula and the Wolfman. Somehow a request to exterminate a hunchback doesn’t seem like a call the Ghostbusters were likely to receive.

6 – ECTO-Glow Hero: Louis

“Anybody see a… wienie?”

We all saw Louis strap on a proton pack for five minutes in the second film. That’s the only criteria for getting a role in the main line of figures, apparently. The ECTO-Glow Hero series is the third time Louis made an appearance. This series recycled the original Ghostbusters molds with a different paint job. It was also the final line of Real Ghostbusters toys, making them very rare and expensive. What’s baffling about Louis, in particular? The included glow-in-the-dark Meanie Wienie Ghost accessory makes him stand aside from the other four men in the series.

5 – Haunted Humans: Granny Gross

The cool play sets in the commercial were never sold in stores.

Let’s face it: grandmas can be scary. They pinch your cheek, they smell funny, and they sleep a lot. What you might not know is that haunted grandmas have the ability to drop their jaw lower than a a Tex Avery cartoon character. This one provided frequent nightmares throughout my childhood.

4 – Super Fright Features: Janine

Ghost Lobster?

Every major toy line is destined to have a space variation. It happened with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, X-Men, and, of course, Real Ghostbusters. Super Fright Features Janine was fitted with a fishbowl helmet which, ironically enough, was filled with fish. Kenner must have used Kate Pierson of B-52s fame as inspiration for Janine’s design because she has a new mystery hairdo. Perhaps haunted rock lobsters would have been more appropriate than a fish theme. This release was at least better than the previous Janine figure whose skirt could be removed to reveal tighty-whities.

3 – Haunted Humans: Terror Trash

Terror Trash demonstrates the importance of recycling.

It was a Tuesday morning when a Kenner employee was struggling for a design for a new monster toy. Hearing a metal banging sound, he looked out the window to see a garbage truck and had an epiphany: a trash man.

Terror Trash lifts a trash can over his head and transforms into a grotesque bug. What mutating ooze are people throwing away in those cans?

2 – Power Pack Heroes: Peter Venkman

What is this accessory?

The Power Pack Heroes were yet another re-hash of the original line with new paint jobs. For latecomers to the franchise, the first release of figures was incredibly difficult to find. This was a great way to get non-gimmick versions of the original Ghostbusters. Unfortunately, they were not accessorized with proton packs. In this case, Peter came with a pogo stick… or maybe it was a vacuum cleaner. I never could figure it out.

1 – Classic Ghosts: Fearsome Flush

Later used as the inspiration for the famous potty scene in Look Who’s Talking Too.

It’s a haunted toilet. Need I say more?

Honorable Mention: Green Ghost

Green Ghost and the Real Ghostbusters doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Before the Ghostbusters marketing department shoved Slimer down our throats, he wasn’t considered popular at all. The Slimer toys were simply branded as Green Ghost. In small print, there is an explanation as to why you should care about this character: Known as “SLIMER” in the TV series “The Real Ghostbusters”. If only Kenner had included similar descriptions for The Quasimodo Monster and Granny Gross, there would be fewer baffling toys in the line.

 Did we miss some of your favorite baffling Real Ghostbusters figures?  Tell us about it in the comments below!


  • I had some of these lame toys- I was late to the Real GB toy line, being distracted by the Ninja Turtles.

    I forgot about how creepy the trash man toy was. What exactly is the spiked piece coming from his stomach? A mouth? I could never wrap my mind around that one.

    I also had the toilet, a stupid guy who changed into an alligator(?), a couple of the scared-face Busters, and the Wolf man, which was actually a really cool toy.

  • Fearsome Flush is awesome. YOU TAKE IT BACK! Take it back sir!

    • NewtonGimmick Awesome, definitely.  It’s just as equally baffling, though!  Can’t recall an episode with a haunted toilet.  Perhaps, it was inspired by the haunted bathtub in Ghostbusters II.
      Fun fact:  I used Fearesome Flush with every action figure craze that followed Ghostbusters.  Both Donatello and Wolverine graced that throne.

  • I feel like most of these were all rejected toys from some other franchise that they tried to re-release as Ghostbuster toys. And that toilet is gonna give me nightmares tonight. Geez…..

    • Just having a stab in the dark hoping you may be able to help , I collect 1980s toys and recently purchased a Janine meltiz fright features all boxed as new because on one site it claimed it was a rare one at so worth a coupla quid , do you have any idea my friend ?

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