If a hit movie, mountains of toys, and a Saturday morning cartoon weren’t enough ways to get your Ghostbusters fix as a kid, then grab a Hi-C Ecto cooler, take a seat at the kitchen table, and pour yourself a big bowl of Ghostbusters cereal. It was all part of a nutritionally balanced 80s breakfast.
Introduced by Ralston in 1985, at the height of Ghostbusters mania, the cereal featured yellow, orange and red oat puffs haunted by scary ghost-shaped marshmallows. A cool idea, but it didn’t really catch on with the younger set at first, most of whom hadn’t even seen the slightly scary movie.
Thankfully, a Saturday Morning cartoon called The Real Ghostbusters soon followed the film and became an instant success. All that was needed was a little re-imagining to get these young fans to beg their parents for a box of the breakfast cereal.
Hands down, the most popular character in the cartoon was a mischievous ghost named Slimer. Ralston put his grinning mug on the front of every box and gave him his own ghoulish green marshmallow representation. These wise marketing choices started moving lots of boxes of cereal from shelf to shopping cart, but the best was yet to come.
Ghostbusters Cereal soon set itself completely apart from the competition by introducing the first-ever glow-in-the-dark-box. Duly impressed, more than a few kids spent time standing in the nearest closet or pantry, just so they could see the container in all its glowing green glory. Glow-in-the-dark toys were also regularly included, and for a limited time, the company even placed a series of holographic images on the front.
At the same time Ghostbusters cereal peaked, Hi-C’s radioactive-hued Ecto-Cooler was also flying off store shelves. It seemed that in the late 80s, all that glowed green turned to gold. By 1990 though, we’d all had our Ghostbusters fill. The cartoon series was cancelled and the cereal soon made its way to the extinct foods graveyard. We will likely never see its return, but the memories shall haunt us forever.