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Hasbro Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ecto-1 Playset Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 8, 2021 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Toys

One of Hasbro's latest Ghostbusters offerings is the Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ecto-1 Playset. Read on to find out more about it...

The official description for this product is:
(Ages 4 and Up / Approx. Retail Price: $29.99 / Available: Fall 2021)
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).
I had my first chance to see the Ecto-1 Playset back in February 2020 at Hasbro's Toy Fair event.


The toy that was on display at the Toy Fair had Fright Feature Ray sitting in the gunner seat, since the figures of the Afterlife cast were yet to be announced. Although no figures come with the car, Phoebe (the character portrayed by Mckenna Grace in the film) is used in promotional materials in conjunction with the vehicle. She appears sitting in the seat of honor in the box cover artwork, as you can see in the image at the top of this review. That box art may look different than what you find in Target or other retailers. That's because, thanks to the movie's delayed release, Hasbro was forced to create a variant depicting Phoebe in blue overalls instead of the beige jumpsuit, in order to minimize movie spoilers.


The back of the overalls box has been altered to remove the Fright Features Phoebe figure from two of the photos. More box photos can be found at the Ghostbusters Wiki. You can also check out this Ghostbusters News video detailing the box differences.


Hasbro sent me the version in the original jumpsuit box, which bears a 2020 copyright date. I assume that the overalls box has a 2021 copyright date on it, but I don't have one on hand to confirm that. I have personally seen the overalls box in a Target here on Long Island a few weeks ago. The store had three of them, but none of the jumpsuit box. I do not know if the jumpsuit box will be distributed to retail outlets, or if Hasbro sent them out only to members of the press, following the recall of some leaked boxes in Summer 2020. It's possible that the jumpsuit box will become a rarity, and it's possible that it won't. I can't say one way or the other because I have not been able to find much of the Hasbro Ghostbusters product in the few different Target and Walmart stores that I've visited here on Long Island over the past few weeks. All I've found are a few of the Wave 1 Fright Feature figures (Peter, Winston, Ray, and Egon), several Proton Blaster M.O.D. roleplay toys, a sole Plasma Series Afterlife Venkman figure (in two different Target stores!), and a near-complete case of Mini-Puft Surprise canisters. Everything else in the line has been missing in action.

No matter which box you get, the contents are 100% the same. When you open that 15.5"x10"x3.5" box, this is what you will see:


As you can see, it needs to be assembled. Don't worry, there is an instructions sheet to help you out. There are also some decals/stickers to affix. The large white area on the right (decals #1-#4) are for the tires. More on that in a bit.


When fully assembled and stickered up, it looks like this:


The look and function hearkens 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. The two doors on the right side open up, but the driver's side door on the left does not. There are only two seats inside (driver and gunner), but you can easily just lay another figure or two inside on the floor.


The gunner seat has a peg on it which is designed to fit comfortably into the hole that's in the back of all of Hasbro's Fright Feature figures (which normally is used to attach the Proton Pack to their backs), be they classic Ghostbusters or Afterlife. Molded onto the back of the gunner seat is a "Proton Pack". As you can see in these photos, that "ghost cannon" that now sits atop the Ecto-1 (where Kenner's gunner seat was) can be re-placed on the side of the gunner seat. You push the button on the back to shoot the projectile.


Although it does not come with a figure as shown, it DOES come with a Remote Trap Vehicle (RTV). You can even plug that "ghost cannon" onto the RTV as well!


The car even has a nice little compartment to store the RTV in the back door, which opens up to drop the RTV out.


Although this isn't as highly-detailed as the Plasma Series Afterlife Ecto-1, it's far more detailed than the original Kenner model. It's an officially-licensed General Motors product, so the Cadillac emblems are there on the hood and the front grill is more detailed, as well. It has the appropriate white-wall tires, although the "white" part is a decal you have to affix yourself, as previously mentioned. 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.

The Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ecto-1 Playset carries a MSRP of $29.99 and is available from a wide variety of retailers. The links provided here are for Amazon, from which Spook Central will earn a small commission.

Images scanned and/or photographed by me or provided by Hasbro. This item has been provided by Hasbro for review on this site. For addition information, check out the Ghostbusters News review.

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