Sunday, July 17, 2016

Nostalgia Theater: Kenner's The Real Ghostbusters Action Figures

Wrapping up Ghostbusters week here at Zaki's Corner, with the reboot film finally in theaters after several torturous decades in development hell, I thought it might be helpful to take a look back at the reason Sony was so bound and determined to bring the Ghostbusters franchise roaring back: merchandising! From the mid-'80s into the early-'90s, you'd have had to look far and wide to find a store that wasn't stocking some manner of Ghostbusters-related merch, and the action figures from Kenner based on the Real Ghostbusters animated show did a lot of the heavy lifting thereto. There have been several toy revivals by different companies since, but the Kenner assortment was more expansive than any of them.

That original toyline lasted an impressive ten waves over five years, from 1986 to 1991, and managed to incorporate all manner of action features, vehicles, play sets, and role play accessories. In fact, when it went away in '91 it was less about dwindling sales than a corporate merger between Hasbro and Kenner. (That said, sales had definitely come down from their peak, especially in the wake of Playmates' Ninja Turtles-fueled success.) I bought my very first Real Ghostbusters figure in summer of '87, the Peter Venkman you can see to the right. Man, I wish I still had that toy. Anyway, watch the collection of commercials below to get swept away by the tides of nostalgia and realize how much bustin' makes you feel good:

(There's also some spots in there for the 1997 Extreme Ghostbusters line from Trendmasters, FYI.)


One Year Ago in Nostalgia Theater: What Was the Point of Pointman?

Two Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Captain N: The Game Master Explores the Nintendo Universe!

Three Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Doing the Bartman!

Four Years Ago in Nostalgia Theater: Star Wars: Droids -- "Trouble Again" on Saturday Mornings

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