30th Anniversary: Lego Ghostbusters ECTO-1
Note: Originally appeared at my personal site, iRich.
The idea and physical creation of Ghostbusters Legos is by no means new. Talented people with far more technical skill then I have been creating custom Ghostbusters toys for years. They’ve included Ghostbusters mini figures, equipment, ECTO-1s, Firehouses, (exterior and interior) Stay-Puft, and not for the faint of the heart, Gozer’s roof top temple or “55 Central Park West.”
I grew up during a different era, the ’80s. While it makes perfect sense to make Lego sets from a popular cartoon or movie franchise in this era, it would have been unheard of in 1984. Ghostbusterswasn’t made to be a children’s movie. For its humor about the supernatural and two years later a spin off cartoon, The Real Ghostbusters. Kids loved Ghostbusters. I was one of them. It would have ruled along with my Lego City sets if Danes had come out with fun The Real Ghostbusters Lego sets.
About thirty years later time, generations, the internet, pop culture, and nostalgia made GHOSTBUSTERS “a legitimate phenomenon.” Without Ghostbusters LEGO communities would still have thrived, including Lego Ideas. Formerly Lego Cuusoo.
Two separate custom Lego fans/builders and ghostheads had ideas to propose and create possible Ghostbusters Lego sets. If I remember, one wasn’t necessarily for the upcoming 30th Anniversary. The second one, from Brent Waller was. Eventually the projects merged to see if 10,000 LEGO and ghostheads would support and eventually buy a Lego ECTO-1 set with 4 Ghostbusters mini-figures.
Not only did (over) 10,000 people, including myself support official Ghostbusters Lego sets, the Lego Council (which should meet at LegoLand) approved the first official Ghostbusters Lego set, an ECTO-1. With Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary coming for June 2014, the timing couldn’t have been better.
It wasn’t originally clear that the collectible Lego set wasn’t going to be sold in non Lego stores. I pretty much assumed I’d order one from an on-line retailer at retail price, not “gouging the consumer prices” because its rare or hot from third party retailers and eBay sellers.
If they’re in stock, the physical Lego stores are carrying them. Globally they can be ordered from Lego’s web sites, Amazon, (which last I checked was sold out) in the US Target‘s web site, and Ghostbusters Fans shop. I would think at least for a time these will be sold in physical stores that sell Lego sets, such as Toys ‘R Us. That information hasn’t been confirmed.
The release date was June 1, 2014. Ghostheads were reporting they were in Lego stores sometime Saturday and were available (in high demand) from Lego’s on-line store. I would have preferred to have driven to a Lego store, it wasn’t really practical.
If I had known on Sunday Amazon was definitely going to be selling Lego Ghostbusters set 21108, I would have just bought from them. Its LEGO, its one of their products, they’ll have quantity, at the same retail price (excluding shipping) I’d have it before June 8, 2014. Which is Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. This was the first time I’ve ordered directly from Lego. Ordering was pretty similar to other on-line retailers. I didn’t want to wait up to 8 days, I paid a little extra for 2-3 business day shipping.
With a form of “express saver” shipping, FedEx would be shipping this Lego set from about the middle of the county, somewhere where Canada isn’t as far as Jersey. Unlike another Ghostbusters licensee I’ve written about previously their didn’t appear to be a problem with communicating or tracking my package.
A day before the final estimated delivery date my package arrives at a FedEx facility around 2 PM. I figured, it’ll be on the truck the next day, which would be fine. About a half hour later I updated the tracking and see my package is out for delivery. That part was great, what happened when it arrived wasn’t.
The risk over reward effect similar to gambling occurred. I can’t imagine LEGO shipped the package with the intent to damage not only the packaging box, but part of the product box. That was the disappointing part. I’m not kidding, the packaging box looked like either someone dropped it from a second floor window or ran into it.
You can’t quite tell from my Lego Ghostbusters set. The upper left hand corner was squeezed Accordion style. It’s worse on the side top. The way it looks now is the best I could get it after pushingthe dents out. In a way no matter how many packages were on a FedEx plane, in the warehouse, or on the trucks, Lego is partially to blame too. The item wasn’t protected properly for flying half way across country. Lego had some plastic air bags for cushioning, really should have used bubble wrap.
LEGO Ghostbusters Set 21108
Before seeing ghostheads with their sets and receiving mine, I thought it was going to be a bigger box. This box is probably more environmentally friendly then Lego sets from when I grew up. Its Lego, they have the science down for the smallest of details.
The artwork for the packaging is amazing, creating a combination of multiple scenes from Ghostbusters. The background scenery is the exterior of the Ghostbusters Firehouse at night. With the brightness emitting from inside, it could be an imaginative scene from when the Ecto-Containment Unit was shut down. Or is it a mist that has arms or legs? Their’s also a green to blue “ectoplasm” effect. No need to call (I had to work that in at least once) because the Lego Ghostbusters are on the scene. The same art was carried over to the instructions manual. On one of my other two sites I said Lego should include a poster of it with the set. And because its the first Lego Ideas set, it features their fancy logo on the packaging.
Opening Set 21108 is like uncovering a treasure chest. I don’t own many 21st Century Lego sets, including the Lego Ideas BTTF DeLorean yet. The necessary 508 Lego pieces are grouped together in individual bags. Hidden among the gold is the glossy (uh, I think its glossy) nice, thick instructions manual. Its thick because this set was made for Ghostbusters fans whether they live in Anytown, USA or France. It also saves Lego money, in an ironic kind of way passing the savings onto us. Depending on what your country’s currency is worth at the moment.
This is page 2, look at how Lego chose to continue the “something strange in the neighborhood” theme where applicable. In case someone didn’t know what and who the Ghostbusters are, the first two pages cover this. Ghostbusters premiered in 1984 in about 30 countries. Since then its been bootlegged (hey, it was for freedom) in once oppressed countries, and plenty of new countries have been able to see it since. I can’t imagine if someone bought a Ghostbusters Lego set either for themselves or another fan, they wouldn’t know about Ghostbusters.
Not pictured in this post, the instruction manual also gives us Ghostbusters facts which may or may not been known. I believe even Brent Waller who designed the Lego Ideas ECTO-1 didn’t know a fact about the real vehicle(s). At the end of the instructions, their’s information about the set straight from Brent Waller, (3D Artist) Marcos Bessa, (a Senior Lego Designer) and Adam Corbally (Lego Graphic Designer).
The back of the LEGO Ghostbusters packaging. Which unfortunately shows an Accordion corner and oh yeah better details of a completed ECTO-1, (exterior and interior) the mini figures saving the (Lego) world, 30th Anniversary Ghostbusters logo, and conscious choice or not Lego Egon (no more need to substitute Harry Potter for Egon) to let everyone know who to call. Maybe that’s why Egon wasn’t crossing the streams. Or he got a Lego Ghost Trap, because Egon is smarter then most of the human race.
Not An Excuse
I’ve been running two sites with 30th Anniversary news and site updates. I haven’t had time to even try to build Ghostbusters mini figs. It may not even be this weekend, when I put together set 21108 I’ll take pictures and talk more about it.
Nicer Front Packaging Photo Credit: LegoGenre
Coincidentally this Lego Genre page has past and current information about this 30th Anniversary Ghostbusters Lego set.
If you’d like to see a real review from Brent Waller and Adam Corbally, its below.