Man, it’s about time. After years of fan demand, Hi-C’s Ecto Cooler is finally back with a vengeance.
Originally released in 1987 to tie in with the Real Ghostbusters cartoon series, Ecto Cooler’s origins actually go all the way back to 1965. It was originally called Citrus Cooler, and yes, even back then it was green… however, all it took was slapping Slimer on the package to make us give a shit. Ecto Cooler was a hit, long outlasting the cartoon series that spawned it. It retained the ‘Ecto Cooler’ branding until the late 90’s, then continued to be sold under various other names before quietly being discontinued in 2007.
Since then, fans have been clamoring for a comeback, perhaps moreso than any other “retro” food item. This isn’t just due to the Ghostbusters branding, either; the stuff was just plain delicious. Fans created recipes to approximate the flavor, Ecto Cooler-scented candles, petitions… the thirst was real. Alas, there was no sign of a return for our beloved beverage.
The upcoming Ghostbusters reboot has been a… controversial topic, to say the least. And whether your opinion of it is positive or negative, there’s one undeniable silver lining to it all: ECTO COOLER. Yes, with the new movie on the way, it was high time for Hi-C to get back on the saddle. And as you can tell from the official site, they know their audience… not kids of today, but kids of the 90’s. Ecto Cooler’s not just here… it’s BACK.
Ecto Cooler is available both in oldschool juice boxes and color-changing cans. The cans are clearly the standout choice, but regardless of your preference, both are nigh-impossible to get your hands on. You’d assume they’d just be sold everywhere, but nope… the juice boxes are only available in smaller grocery stores such as Shop N Save, and the cans are only available online (and at Cinemark movie theaters). The cans sell out pretty much as soon as they’re available, so your best bet is just to keep checking. (As you can see, I lucked out).
But let’s talk about the drink itself. Is Ecto Cooler worth all the effort it takes to find it?
The taste is exactly as I remember it. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never had it before… an orange/tangerine blend. It’s a bit like orange juice, but less tart and more sweet. It’s delicious. And for many people, nostalgic. It tastes like childhood.
The color is brilliant as well. One of the problems with the fan-made recipes was that no matter how close the flavor, they always had an unpleasant murky green color. Ecto Cooler, however, looks downright radioactive. Radioactive in an appealing way, I mean. Again, it looks exactly like it used to.
If there’s one thing to criticize, it’s the branding. Namely, the lack of Slimer. Apparently this is due to Coca-Cola’s marketing policy not allowing the use of celebrities or characters that are appealing to children. As to why you wouldn’t want to use characters appealing to children to promote a beverage ostensibly intended for children, I have no idea. Still, this is all a minor wrinkle.
So if you’ve been trying to get your hand on some of that sweet, sweet Ecto Cooler, all I can say is keep looking. I got mine on Amazon after checking back repeatedly. Of course, you can find them on ebay for a hugely inflated price, so if that’s reasonable for you then knock yourselves out.