I was reading through Kal-El's cool post about our favorite marsh-mellow character and I could help remembering all the old days when my cousin and I use to play Ghostbusters around his house. And I also got to wonder what exactly made the Ghostbusters so cool. Some might say it's the whole comedy behind the story that makes 'em cool, or maybe it's the fact that they're upside-down heroes that combat the forces of evil and still have fun at the same time.
I say, it's the proton packs. Come on, you have to remember the proton packs. No? I'm going to tell you anyway.
A proton pack was probably the coolest movie prop-made-into-toy ever. It was supposed to be a nuclear accelerative device and was the Ghostbusters' primary tool for busting ghosts. The pack consisted of a a hand-held particle thrower, connected to a backpack-sized particle accelerator.
In practical terms, the proton gun fires a stream of energy that allows you to snare a ghost and holding it in place so it can be moved above a trap for capture. Dr. Egon Spengler designed and built the packs.
The beam from a proton pack tends to curve really wildly and is quite destructive most physical stuff and can cause a lot of property damage. Remember the court room scene?
According to Egon, each pack has an energy cell of 5000 years. Certain Knobs on the main body of the proton pack can perform various functions to customize the proton stream, including changing stream intensity, length, and degrees of polarization.
According to the cartoon, the maximum power setting for the proton packs is 500,000 megahertz and they also have a self-destruct mechanism capable of destroying at least a half-mile radius.
But don't you dare try cross the energy streams, because you know what happens when you cross the streams;
"Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light." said Egon Spengler.
However, in an effort to stop the powerful Gozer the Gozerian, the Ghostbusters performed a 4-beam crossing. When the Ghostbusters crossed their four streams, they aimed directly into the inter-dimensional portal, which then exploded every molecule of Gozer (including his psychic power) and forced it back through the dimension window from where it came. The portal itself collapsed and exploded when Gozer was destroyed.
But I still say, you shouldn't try crossing the streams. Nevermind.
In 1984, Kenner toys actually manufactured, for kids, their very own proton packs. And I'm telling you, these things bring the whole Ghostbusters franchise to life. The proton packs were technically made of plastic, but almost accurately represented the proton packs of the movie (except for the stickers and the light blue shade coloring).
You had your own back-strap pack, with a rubber hose, which attached to your particle throwers. Another cool thing was that the set also came with a four-foot long foam yellow pole, that represented your energy stream. Too cool. And not only that, it even came with your very own PKE meter (aka ghost locater).
Can you imagine how cool that was? How awesome were play accessories back then? Well, if you're not content with not having a proton pack now, build one. I give you the knowledge, you, dear readers, wreak havoc. But remember, as soon as you start building your own, you know you've lost your mind.
Squidoo: Building Your Own Proton Pack?