The star-studded supernatural comedy Ghostbusters first came out in 1984, featuring Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis.
This hilarious romp, set in New York City, spawned a hugely popular animated TV series, two sequels, a reboot and over 20 video games – which in turn produced a wide array of toys and merchandise. Here are some of the most valuable vintage items that were manufactured in the 80s.
Command Center Playset – $2,500
Only 250 of these haunted mansion playsets were reportedly made, and they were sold very briefly in the 80s. In January 2023, this toy sold for the astonishing sum of $2,500 in a single bid. “Overall the house and pieces are in mint condition,” the seller wrote. “The only thing that did not fare too well where the sticker sheets. I would say 90% of the stickers are fine.” It includes the Skelevision Television, the Skelevator, the Skelephone, trapdoors and a grandfather clock.
If some of this sounds unfamiliar, that’s because this set isn’t based on the Ghostbusters franchise we know and love, but rather the unrelated Filmation animated Ghostbusters series released in 1986, whose existence forced the movie’s animated TV offshoot to be renamed The Real Ghostbusters.
Firehouse HQ – $1,000
Filmed at the real-life firehouse at 14 N Moore St, New York, which dates to 1903, the Ghostbusters Firehouse is one of the franchise’s most iconic institutions. It was reportedly chosen because the filmmakers wanted to suggest the Ghostbusters were just another public emergency service.
This never-opened Firehouse playset, manufactured in 1986, sold for $999.99 in February 2023. “I peeked inside to make sure all pieces are present,” the seller advised. “The slime container is unsealed, but full (dried out). Firehouse is unassembled, stickers are still on the sheet unapplied, but they have shrunk and curled due to age.”
Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man – $785
Behind his soft appearance, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man is in fact the earthly form of the eldritch deity Gozer the Gozerian. He’s one of the most common action figures to have emerged from the franchise.
$785.31 was the final selling point for one such Marshmallow Man figurine in March 2023. This particular item was first sold in 1986 and manufactured by the brand Kenner Products.
Slimer ‘Gooper Ghost’ – $720
Previously known as ‘Onionhead’ and ‘the Mean Green Ghost’, Slimer debuted in the 1984 Ghostbusters movie and has become a staple of the franchise. He was originally voiced by Ivan Reitman and partly inspired by Aykroyd’s recently deceased friend, the comedian John Belushi.
A Slimer action figure that oozed ectoplasm was manufactured in 1984, and sold for $720 in February 2023.”[It has] some bent corners and creases,” warned the seller. “See pictures, ask questions before bidding.”
Ray Stantz – $711
The loveable Ray Stantz is a fanatic for all things supernatural, but he also shows expert knowledge about religion and science. It is Stantz who leases the famous Firehouse and buys the Ghostbuster’s official vehicle, a Cadillac Miller-Meteor Sentinel named Ecto-1.
A figure of Ray Stantz, paired with a Gulper Ghost, sold for $710.99 earlier this year. “Card: It is beautiful for its age, but it has corners, wrinkles, warpage, fading due to aging, and stains,” the seller wrote. “Blister: There is no noticeable crush, but there is a light yellowing.”
Egon Spengler – $700
Egon Spengler is perhaps the most eccentric Ghostbuster, with a penchant for trepanning and a childhood that consisted of playing with a single, straightened-out Slinky. He was portrayed by Harold Ramis in the movies of 1984 and 1989.
In the animated TV show, Spengler’s hair colour was changed from brown to blond, and it is this version of the character that inspired the action figure above. This 1986 toy, which paired Spengler with a Gulper Ghost, sold for $700 in February 2023.
Peter Venkman – $689
Considered one of the greatest movie characters of all time, Peter Venkman is a professor of parapsychology who goes rogue to hunt down ghouls across New York City. He is the de facto leader of the Ghostbusters, portrayed Bill Murray.
A model of Peter Venkman, alongside a Spider Ghost, sold for $688.88 in an online auction of January 2023. This figure was based on the TV show iteration rather than Bill Murray’s likeness.
Winston Zeddmore – $600
Winston, the final addition to the Ghostbusters team, is a Strategic Air Command veteran. Paired with a Wrapper Ghost, one figurine of based on the animated series sold for $599.99 in February 2023. Postage cost an additional $24, and the toy came from a seller based in Buffalo, New York.
Unfortunately, this toy’s packaging further demonstrates what an undervalued character Winston was: his surname, Zeddemore, is misspelled as Zeddmore.
Ghost Buggy – $475
According to the Real Ghostbusters episode Father Knows Beast, the Ghost Buggy is a souped-up version of the original Ecto-1 – with a fresh coat of paint. It can convert to a boat or plane and can even travel through time.
A seller in Lawton, Oklahoma listed this item on eBay, where it sold for $745 in January 2023. The seller chose to repaint and modify parts of the toy to make it appear more complete.
Ecto Cooler – $450
In 1987, the Ghostbusters franchise struck a deal with Coca Cola division Hi-C, who then rebranded their Citrus Cooler drink into ‘Ecto Cooler’. This massively popular drink was produced for over a decade, with an image of Slimer on the bottles.
A never-opened, 1989 bottle of Ecto Cooler sold for the impressive sum of $450 on eBay.com in January 2023, from a home in New Orleans.
Ecto-bomber – $420
In the 1986 cartoon show, the Ecto-Bomber wreaked havoc on paranormal ghouls, as the team used it to carry out raids and capture monsters. It was a 20th century bomber aircraft, newly fitted with a mounted proton cannon and grabber claw.
One Ecto-Bomber toy, which came out in the same year as the first Real Ghostbusters episode, sold for $420 on eBay in February 2023.
Proton Pack – $400
“Wearing the official Proton Pack TM lets you become one of the Real Ghostbusters TM Team!” the packaging bragged. Like many of these Ghostbuster toys, the set included stickers and decals to apply to the plastic surfaces.
One seller listed a Proton Pack on eBay and noted: “The decals were never put on the proton pack, [it] has the directions as well. This is very rare in a hard-to-find piece.” It sold for £399.99 in January 2023.
Ecto-Plazm – $300
Branded as ‘Ecto-Plazm’, this play gel was first released in a pink-purple shade and was produced by Kenner. It belonged to the Real Ghostbusters Toy Line. Later releases of this slimy toy were featured in red, yellow and blue.
The above pot of Ecto-Plazm sold for a total of $299.98 when it was listed on eBay in February 2023. It was unopened ever since its manufacture in 1986.
Ecto-1A – $265
You can spot the Ecto-1A, an updated model of the Ecto-1 of the original movie, in Ghostbusters II, the TV show and the ongoing IDW comic book series.
One Ecto-1A set sold for $265 in January 2023. “Tape has dried up on one side, still in tact on the other,” the seller specified. “Unopened. Please message with any questions.”
Gobblin’ Goblins Terror Tongue – $130
“Change little creature into giant tongue monster!” the packaging declared. The Gobblin’ Goblins Terror Tongue action toy was based on the TV show, and its packaging shows Egon Spengler entangled in the beast’s trailing tongue.
This toy remains popular with collectors and most recently sold for $130 on eBay.com. The toy’s packaging was opened only to check that the contents were intact.