Ecto Cooler was a citrus-themed Hi-C "juice" drink launched as a promotion for The Real Ghostbusters cartoon in 1987, but whose popularity outlived the franchise by more than two decades, continuing production until 2001 before being renamed "Shoutin' Orange Tangerine," which Ecto Cooler aficionados continued to seek out until it was once again renamed "Crazy Citrus Cooler" in 2006 and then retired completely in 2007. For lovers of the sugary, neon green beverage, it was a devastating loss, one which left a Slimer-shaped hole in the hearts of our childhoods.
Recreating the unique taste of Ecto Cooler is a feat attempted by many, with recipes posted in various locations on the web. Unfortunately, one of the primary ingredients of the copycat recipe is the Kool-Aid flavor Manderino Tangerine, and that too has gone out of production, though packets can still be purchased at a premium from online retailers. It seemed that the Coca Cola beverage company held the fate of our tastebuds in its hands, and the beverage giant had no interest in producing any more, despite an obvious seasonal market in October.
But then came 2016's Ghostbusters revival, Ghostbusters: Answer The Call. And with it, a glorious revival of the delicious citrus beverage. While locating Ecto Cooler in stores was no easy task – we personally used our status as a well known comics journalist to harass local grocery chain Giant Eagle into ordering them for our local store – we did personally manage to acquire more than 500 juice boxes and several cases of Ecto Cooler cans as well. But Coca Cola produced just one batch, and at the end of the year, they shut down all the Ecto Cooler websites, and Ecto Cooler disappeared from store shelves forever… again! Though our stock will have all reached its expiration date by this Summer, we still have enough to drink one box per day for the next year, and could stretch it out for several years if we stick to two or three boxes per week, FDA regulations be damned.
But after that? It will be like the dark days again, 2007-2016, with Ecto Cooler available only for exorbitant prices on the black market.
Thankfully, there's a possible light at the end of the tunnel (yes, there is actually a point to this article). In an interview with iO9, Ghostbusters co-creator Ivan Reitman says we could see a new Ghostbusters film in theaters by as early as 2019 or 2020, and though he doesn't mention it specifically, we have to assume this has a good chance of coming with another batch of Ecto Cooler from Coca Cola, as the recent relaunch was such a rousing success.
"We jumped into an animated film [after the last movie] and we are developing live-action films," Reitman told the website. "I want to bring all these stories together as a universe that makes sense within itself. Part of my job right now is to do that."
He went on to name 2019 or 2020 as potential release dates. "It depends on on how fast we can get it all together. It's hard to make an animated film."
We don't care how hard it is, Reitman. We want our Ecto Cooler. We need our Ecto Cooler. And we will do anything to get it. Anything.