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Hasbro 2020 Toy Fair - Attendee Report & Ghostbusters Product Line Details

 By Paul Rudoff on Feb. 25, 2020 at 9:15 PM , Categories: Personal, Ghostbusters 1, Real Ghostbusters, Reviews & Merch, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Filming Locations, 2016 Parody Remake
On the shelf below the Ecto-Plasm Ghost Gushers was the Ghostbusters Ecto-Plasm Lab.


Hasbro did not provide an official product description.

The item looks like the classic Kenner blue Ghost Trap. The back of the box gives the instructions as such: 1. Mix your Ecto-Plasm, 2. Fill your ghost, and 3. Squeeze! In other words, put in the Ecto-Plasm, add the included Muncher ghost, and proceed to make a mess.

On the shelf below the Lab were these little guys.

(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $4.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
What's cuter and cuddlier than a ghost? A PLUSH ghost, of course - the GHOSTBUSTERS Paranormal Plushies from Hasbro! This assortment of four plush toys includes ghosts from the original GHOSTBUSTERS movies, and the new GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife film. Two ghost plushies have a shiny outer material to simulate ecto-plasm, and one other ghost plush even has a special noise when hugged. All four characters come with a clip and are soft, huggable, and lovable. Available at most major retailers nationwide.
As can be seen in my photo, the set includes Muncher, Stay Puft, Slimer, and a Terror Dog. If I had to guess, Muncher and Slimer are the shiny ones, and the Terror Dog makes the "special noise" (a growl, I suspect). As can also be seen in my photo, these things are hella cute. I'm totally in love with these things.

On the same shelf as the plushies, to the immediate right were eight containers of Ecto-Plasm.

(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $4.99 / Available: Fall 2020)
You never know what ghastly surprise awaits with these vials of GHOSTBUSTERS Ecto-Plasm from Hasbro! Each tube of oozy slime contains a surprise figure, so when kids open the vial and press the top, a ghost will expel within a pool of slime. Each vial of GHOSTBUSTERS Ecto-Plasm includes green, blue, orange, or pink colored slime and one of four different ghost figures. It's time to get slimed! Available at most major retailers nationwide.
HOT DAMN! Ecto-Plasm is back! I do wish it were in the classic little fat containers, but these vials that look like they came out of Ghostbusters: The Video Game are cool, too. At least they still come with a ghost inside. I don't know if it will be a specific ghost for each slime color, or if it will all be totally random. I'm expecting for it to be random. I also don't know if these will be the same 12 mini-figures that come with the Ecto-Plasm Ghost Gushers, or if they'll be a completely different set. I'm hoping that they'll be the same, as it will make it just a tad easier to collect a random set of 12 figures.

Let's take a look at the right part of the booth's left wall. Yes, I'm still on the left side of the booth. I told you this will be very long.


I'm sure you noticed the movie-style ghost traps hanging from the very top. We all did, and we all asked about them. Sadly, they were for booth decoration only.


Hanging below the traps were the Fright Feature Ghosts.

(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $9.99 / Available: Fall 2020)
Fright Features are back and better than ever with the GHOSTBUSTERS Fright Features Ghosts from Hasbro! Once activated, these ghosts will stretch, spook, and cause a fright! Kids can imagine the spine-tingling frights faced by Ghostbusters old and new! Additional figures include Muncher, Slimer, and Stay Puft (each sold separately). Available at most major retailers nationwide.
In the orignal Kenner line, there were both human and ghost figures that had fright features, though only the humans were labelled as such. The "frightening" ghosts return, and Slimer pays tribute to the original series by having the same fright feature as X-Cop.

You may have noticed that I mentioned "Muncher" a few times so far, and are probably wondering who it is. Well, it's the multi-armed light grey/blue ghost we saw in the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer. Yes, we have a name for the thing. We may also have a movie spoiler as the packaging shows him spitting out a wad of trash that contains Ecto-1's license plate!


On the shelf below the Fright Feature Ghosts was an Ecto-1 and more figures. Let's first take a look at the Ecto.

(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $29.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
Inspired by the iconic Ecto-1 as seen in updated form in the new GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife movie, this GHOSTBUSTERS Ecto-1 Playset has multiple, movie-inspired features. This Ecto-1 vehicle is compatible with all 5-inch scale GHOSTBUSTERS Fright Feature Figures, so kids can imagine all their favorite Ghostbusters cruising down the streets, ready to bust some ghosts! (Fright Feature figures sold separately. Subject to availability). Available at most major retailers nationwide.
The Ecto-1 that was on display at the Toy Fair did not have all of the accoutrements on the top and left side, as seen in Hasbro's photo below.


The look and function harkens back to the classic Kenner vehicle we all played with as kids. It even has the gunner seat, only this time coming out of the side door (like in Afterlife) and not placed on top. Although this isn't a highly-detailed Ecto-1, it's far more detailed than the original Kenner model. If I had any real complaints about it, it's that with the square edges at the top, it has more of a 1980s "boxy" car look than the smooth curves of the classic 1959 car. Also, I hope they fix that crooked logo on the left door.

Lined up next to the Ecto were the Fright Feature figures.

(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $9.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
Fright Features are back and better than ever with the GHOSTBUSTERS Fright Feature Figures from Hasbro! These 5-inch scale figures are accompanied by ghosts with fright features. Once activated, ghosts stretch, spook, and cause a fright! Kids can imagine the spine-tingling frights faced by Ghostbusters old and new!

Wave 1 includes the four original Ghostbusters. Wave 2 includes four human characters from the 2020 Ghostbusters movie, GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife (each sold separately). Available at most major retailers nationwide.
Yes, there's a second line of "Fright Feature" figures, though neither says "Fright Feature" on the packaging shown. Maybe that will change by the time of release. Rather confusing to have two same-named lines. Even more perplexing is why the mini-companion ghosts have the fright features, instead of the humans, since Hasbro already has another line of ghost figures with fright features (as we previously discussed). We don't need two. My favorite figures in the original Kenner series were the Fright Feature humans, and that's what I would have liked to have seen here.

If you look carefully at the photo, you'll see that the human figures do not have any articulation in the knees, just like Kenner's figures. Another Toy Fair attendee and I agreed that Hasbro should have made them bend at the knees because nobody sits with their legs straight out. It just looks stupid. It looked stupid back in the Kenner days, and it'll still look stupid now. Hasbro still has time to correct this, but I doubt that they will.

Notice that the product description mentions that there will be a second wave of figures, consisting of four human characters from Afterlife. No date is given as to when to expect that wave, nor who the humans will be. I suspect that it will be the two kids, their mom, and their teacher.

Now, let's take a look at some of the ghosts. Do note that two of the ghosts are differently-colored in Hasbro's photos than they were on display at the Toy Fair. For those ghosts, I'm using my photos. For Slimer and the Terror Dog, I'm using Hasbro's photos.


Sitting alone on the bottom shelf was the Man-E-Faces Stay Puft.

(Ages 3 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 / Available: Fall 2020)
Inspired by the Ghostbusters entertainment franchise, this GHOSTBUSTERS MEGA MIGHTIES Stay Puft Marshmallow Man figure brings mega fun to exciting adventures! Sized right for small hands, this bulky 10.7-inch figure features articulation and multiple preschool-perfect facial expressions. Kids can press the button on Stay Puft's head to change his expression and imagine fun stories! Available at most major retailers nationwide.
According to the back of the box, this guy is part of the Playskool Heroes line for preschoolers. It's nice that Hasbro is spreading the property across all demographics. There's something for the little kids, the older kids, and the MUCH older kids (the adults). While the figure looks a little strange with a face that is separate from his head, that's the only way to get the multi-face feature to work, since Stay Puft doesn't wear a helmet like the He-Man figure that this concept was borrowed from. I can easily see little kids having tons of fun playing with this, switching back and forth between happy and angry Stay Puft; terrorizing the human Ghostbusters figures.

In the middle of the booth was a display case designed to look like the back of the Ecto-1. I wonder which lucky person gets to take this baby home when Hasbro no longer needs it.


Inside the car are all of the roleplaying items for the kiddies, starting with the Ghost Whistle.

(Ages 5 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
Who you gonna scare off? All the ghosts around, with the new GHOSTBUSTERS Ghost Whistle roleplay item, inspired by the new GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife movie! Featuring over 20 spooky and hilarious sounds, kids will have ghosts flying for the hills. By using the dial to select the classification of ghost to scare off, kids can blow into the accessory to activate the ghost-repelling call! Available at most major retailers nationwide.
This is one of the new pieces of equipment in Afterlife, if the description is accurate. I don't have anything to say about it at this time.

Sitting to the right of the Ghost Whistle was another boxed copy of the Proton Blaster M.O.D. I've already discussed it, so let's move on to what's sitting to its right: the P.K.E. Meter.

(Ages 5 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
Inspired by the new GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife movie, this GHOSTBUSTERS PKE roleplay item from Hasbro is an essential part of the Ghostbuster arsenal! Featuring movie-inspired deco, light, and electronic sound effects, kids can press a button to activate features to find ghosts. Available at most major retailers nationwide.
Oh, excuse me. It's not a "P.K.E. Meter", it's a "PKE". Yes, that's Hasbro's word-for-word description copy-and-pasted up there. I do hope Hasbro gets the name right on the final product...but that's the least of their concerns. What HASBRO REALLY NEEDS TO FIX is the color. Was the person who designed this thing color-blind, or did they run out of black dye? It looks FREAKIN' STUPID with a black face surrounded by a blue casing.

Thanks to the image manipulation skills of Matthew Jordan, who re-colored Hasbro's promotional image at my request, I am able to show all of you - and more importantly, show Hasbro - what the P.K.E Meter should look like:

(click to enlarge, opens in a new window/tab)


On a positive note, at least it looks like the movie P.K.E. Meter and not the cartoonish one we got in the Kenner line. Also an improvement is that it has lights and sounds, which the Kenner one didn't have. We were left to use our imaginations back in the 1980s. You kids today have it too easy.

Getting back on the topic of products Hasbro needs to fix before release, let's look at the two other roleplay items on the display.

(Ages 5 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
With the GHOSTBUSTERS Proton Blaster from Hasbro, kids can now imagine joining the team with the one piece of gear any would-be Ghostbuster cannot be without! The GHOSTBUSTERS Proton Blaster features a mechanism that lets kids imagine the ever-changing wavelengths of a proton stream, allowing them to play out the fantasy of catching ghosts in the proton blast! Available at most major retailers nationwide.
The "Proton Blaster", not to be confused with the customizable "M.O.D." version, is the kiddie Neutrona Wand. They gave it a different name, so as to not be confused with the adult version. (More on that later in the article.) They should have done the same with other items in the line, such as the aforementioned Fright Figures.

Well, it looks WAY better than the old Kenner Proton Pack wand, with actual proton streams coming out of the tip instead of a long hunk of foam.

You may have noticed that it is not attached to anything. This is where we get to the OTHER major issue that HASBRO REALLY NEEDS TO FIX.

(Ages 5 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $14.99 / Available: Summer 2020)
Strap on the GHOSTBUSTERS Proton Pack toy from Hasbro for fun, ghostbusting roleplay. With design and deco inspired by the new GHOSTBUSTERS: Afterlife movie, kids can imagine gearing up for ghostbustin' adventures! The Proton Pack can store other ghostbusting role-play accessories (Sold separately. Subject to availability) and features two straps for an adjustable fit. Available at most major retailers nationwide.
For reasons that no one can possibly comprehend, Hasbro decided to BREAK UP THE PROTON PACK INTO TWO SEPARATE ITEMS!!! Let me rephrase that: HASBRO BROKE THE PROTON PACK. You see, the Proton Blaster (Neutrona Wand) and the Proton Pack are meant to be connected together via a hose. The way the technology is supposed to work, if this were all real, is that the components in the pack generate the protons that come out from the wand as a stream, which is then fired at the ghost. They are not wireless. The Proton Pack is not Bluetooth-enabled.

If you've never seen either of the Ghostbusters movies, take a look at the photo below from the first movie, and notice that the wand and pack are connected by a hose.


Kenner got it right. In one big box, they gave you the Proton Pack with connected "Neutrona Blaster", the P.K.E. Meter, an Armband, and an I.D. Card.


I should also point out that Kenner's Proton Pack had a flat plastic back (though the item was hollow inside), which is more than can be said for Hasbro's pack:


I didn't notice it while I was at the Fair, as my focus was on taking a photo of the packaging card - yeah, the Proton Pack comes hanging on a small card/tag - but I see now that there IS NO BACK ON HASBRO'S PROTON PACK. It's a completely one-sided facade. Lest you think that this was a quickie display item for the Toy Fair, look at the bottom of my photo above and you'll see that there are straps there for a kid to use to put it on his/her back. I'm pretty sure that this is how Hasbro intends for the final product to look like. Even Spirit Halloween's Proton Pack, which is essentially an "adult roleplay toy", has a foam backing on it. Yes, it also has lights and sounds, which I don't expect for Hasbro to put on the kid's version, but surely the production costs are not that much greater for Hasbro to add a foam backing to their pack (or even a flat piece of plastic, like Kenner).

Like I said with the P.K.E. Meter... Please, please, PLEASE Hasbro... FIX THIS WHILE YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO DO IT. IF YOU RELEASE THE PRODUCT LOOKING LIKE THIS, YOU ARE GOING TO GET A LOT OF NEGATIVE REVIEWS. Trust me, Ghostheads can be a fickle bunch. There are some who will bitch and complain if a sticker isn't correct. Not me, of course, but they are out there.

I'll give you a nice, neat list of the major issues you need to fix while there's still time.
  1. The P.K.E. Meter's blue casing needs to be changed to black to match the face (and the real movie prop).
  2. The Proton Pack and "Proton Blaster" (kid's Neutron Wand) MUST be attached to each other with a hose. They should NOT be sold separately. Sell them together for $30, instead of separately for $15 each.
  3. The Proton Pack needs a backing, even if it's a plain flat piece of plastic or cheap foam.
The Ghostbusters booth had a mannequin decked out in the full set of roleplaying toys: Proton Pack, Proton Blaster, and Ghost Whistle. I can't explain how stupid it looks for the pack and blaster to not be connected, so maybe this photo will do the job.


Okay, let's get back to looking at the Ghostbusters booth itself. The back wall of the booth had "Ghostbusters: Afterlife - Summer 2020" in large letters, under the No Ghost Logo and caution-striping, and above a photo of the Afterlife wheat field. In a nice touch, there was a small tuft of physical wheat (not sure if it was real or fake) sitting on the floor of the booth between the Ecto-1 display case and the right side wall. They also had a roving Slimer light shining around the booth, and I just so happened to perfectly capture it as it hit the wall above the tuft of wheat. (There may have been other lights, such as the No Ghost Logo or Stay Puft, but I can't be too sure about that.)


The right side of the booth had figures on the left and a vintage work area display on the right, plus a television at the top playing the Afterlife trailer on a loop.


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