Oh, No, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, You Didn’t


Phoebe smiles and has her hair blown back by the power of her proton pack and neutrona wand.

Proton power!
Image: Sony Pictures

Ghostbusters: Afterlife finally premiered last Friday, raking in more than $44 million over its first weekend—far more than critics and its studio, Sony, had predicted. That doesn’t mean the movie’s better than critics are saying, of course, but that’s not why I’ve brought you here today. We need to talk about a certain set of toys… and most especially, their packaging.

This action figure two-pack contains a big spoiler for the end of Ghostbusters: Afterlife, so be warned. If you’re worried about being spoiled, however, these toys are already in stores, so either stay out of Target or see the movie ASAP.

Image for article titled Oh, No, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, You Didn't

If you’re not, let’s continue. Behold:

Image for article titled Oh, No, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, You Didn't

Image: Hasbro/Sony Pictures

The Family That Busts Together!

If you haven’t watched the movie and just didn’t care about being spoiled, the figure of Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) is indeed packaged next to the ghost of her grandfather Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis, recreated in CG) who arrives at the end of the film to give his undeceased fellow Ghostbusters a hand defeating… you can probably guess who. This raises all sorts of disturbing questions about the eschatology of the Ghostbusters universe, but the infinitely more disturbing idea is the suggestion that the Spengler family busts together, because the verb “bust” has many meanings and the first one on the Urban Dictionary is exceedingly inappropriate for a father-grandaughter duo.

Clearly, toymaker Hasbro means “the family that ghostbusts together,” but you don’t need to have your mind wedged firmly in the gutter to be taken aback after reading the line. Certainly, someone in the massive line of people who were needed to get this box of toys on store shelves would have mentioned, “Uh, you do know bust also means ‘to orgasm’, right?” There are the people who wrote the copy for the packaging, the designers who had to incorporate the text onto the packaging, the marketing people who had to look at both the copy and the final packaging design, and then whatever execs needed to approve the thing. It’s a lot of people, and you’re telling me no one thought, “This might be misinterpreted badly, given that half the porn on the internet seems to be about incest scenarios nowadays and also Ghostbusters has already canonically specified that bustin’ makes people feel good.” Apparently not.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is currently in theaters.


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