30th Anniversary: Hardee’s Ghostbusters II Banner
Note: Originally appeared at my personal site, iRich.
This past weekend a ghosthead I know of in England was showing off his latest Ghostbusters collectible, Kenner’s Ecto-Plazm. While talking about it, someone thought it was a “tub” of ice cream. I didn’t make the immediate Ghostbusters related connection. It wasn’t long before I was remembering that in a way there was a time people could buy ‘Slimer Sundaes’ from American fast food chain, Hardee’s.
Before everyone knew Ghostbusters II wasn’t going to be as good as Ghostbusters (“Oh, that’s harsh Rich.” – Everyone born between 1984 to 1989) Columbia Pictures, Coca~Cola, and Hardee’s put major bank into cross promotional tie ins. This isn’t a slight against Hardee’s as the restaurant chain wasn’t and isn’t close to where I live. If I’ve ever eaten at one, its been about 17 years. I have no idea why the Coca~Cola/Columbia Pictures consortium chose Hardee’s over perhaps fast food chains that sold over a billion burgers or makes burgers your way. I can’t imagine Hardee’s had more franchises then the clown king. See what I did their?😀
I didn’t have a clue about the movie/food cross promotion until my twenties. I don’t remember how I first heard about it. I do remember that a ghosthead (whose fortunate enough to own just about every ghostbusters dot extension) was showing off a Hardee’s Ghostbusters II banner. I knew if it was ever possible I wanted to own one.
I was still years away from running Ghostbusters International (presently Ghostbusters Incorporated) and I didn’t need a banner to let everyone know this is the official Ghostbusters HQ. I just wanted a licensed Ghostbusters banner that declared we’re the “Official Ghostbusters Headquarters.” And we have Coca~Cola. I didn’t go out of my way searching a popular internet auction site for one. One day around 1998 their it was. If I’m ever in court I won’t be able to recall exact details, I’m sure I watched the auction pretty closely until the final bids. Waiting for the auction to end was one thing, it was entirely another waiting for this banner to arrive. See kids, back then PayPal (not owned by eBay yet) was new and I wasn’t on board with wireless funds. I had to get an insurable money order and physically mail it. In those days you hope the seller received their payment and was going to send your item. It was like we were living in the wild west.
This banner (truly one of its kind) is pretty long, even without a second picture to show off licensed logos. Most people don’t have or want the wall space to permanently hang it. My educated guess is the banner hung from below Hardee’s counter tops or across the ceiling, probably over a condiments area, by the fake plants. It has ringlets (uh, that may not be what they’re called) so it can be tied by strong wires. Which I once used to hang this for a time in my apt/bedroom. “5 Years Later” I took it out of storage to get the above photos. I tried a couple different methods, including entering a ladder match. Unfortunately I didn’t choose a room with enough space to maybe get one single picture with my fruit phone. Perhaps some day.
Eating at Hardee’s in June 1989
Typing the above sentence fired a neuron about Batman. Yes, kids or if you’re around my age one of Ghostbusters II movie “competitors” was the original blockbuster Batman. To put it in 2014 perspective, that’s like if Captain America was in theaters along with a Superman movie.
Since northeast New Jersey was deprived of both Ghostbusters II and its food cross promotion, I can only give you a sense of what it might have been like to have a Ghostbusters II themed meal. If you have actual memories of eating at a Hardee’s during this time for Ghostbusters II, please leave a comment. For example I have no idea if their were Ghostbusters II themed combo meals.
Kids were served their meals in a white, plastic “lunch box” type container. It had a Hardee’s and a Ghostbusters II logo on it. Inside was some kind of kids meal “molds” that were based on Ecto-1, a piece of ghostbusting equipment, and two different types of slime. Slime? Mood Slime? Each mold came with stickers. Were these molds so kids could literally play with their food? Or were they meant more as a type of toy? I’m guessing the meals included a Hardee’s Ghostbusters II drink. I know adults could buy a Hardee’s “collectible” Ghostbusters II drink.
If meal molds were toys, parents got double, maybe triple (alright, let’s not push it) their value. As the kids meals came with a Ghost Blaster. Was that trademarked? A type of noise maker that came in 4 different colors (“collect them all”) and had a Ghostbusters II “no ghost” logo sticker on them. Unfortunately for Hardee’s, Columbia, and Coca~Cola the noise makers represented a choking hazard because of small parts and were recalled.
Before parents knew about that Hardee’s gave out a collectible poster which had coupons for future restaurant visits. With no thought their very young children could be put in danger kids and adults alike were enjoying ‘Slimer Sundaes.’ I tried to win one of these in store ads about two years ago. Even though I was outbid, it was by another ghosthead who is part of the on-line community. If I have a chance to bid/buy one, I’d like to own one.
Their were other times before and since I wanted to collect other Ghostbusters fast food promotional items. Whatever the reason I haven’t yet. They could also include golden Archie’s The Real Ghostbusters happy meals (sans the actual food) to international king of burgers Ghostbusters items.
I could definitely revisit just that for its own post on iRichard Roy. For now I’ll say check out those official Hardee’s Ghostbusters II employee shirts. If I wasn’t 12 back then, I know where I would have worked.
Slimer Sundae Photo Credit: Red Proton