Back off, man. I’m a scientist.
While the original movie was aimed at adults and was rated PG, it wasn’t long before the studio caught on to the legions of children “playing Ghostbusters” in school yards around the world. In 1986 they returned in the The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. The “real” prefix was added to the title due to a pre-existing 1970’s TV show called “The Ghostbusters” which owned the name. Columbia Pictures had originally paid a licensing fee for the title for the 1984 film but added various additions to titles since then to try and distinguish their products from that show.
The animated series continued the adventures of a team redesigned to be more easily distinguishable from each other and adding Slimer as more of a pet. The redesign also made Egon a blond for some reason!
Where there’s a cartoon there’s almost inevitably a toy line and fans had little to complain about. All four of the main cast, Janine Melnitz and Ecto-1 (and Ecto-2!) were represented. To replicate the look of the proton streams, the toys featured rounded wiggly lengths of plastic that extruding from their proton packs. The pièce de résistance of the entire line had to be a bone fide, wearable proton pack! Any kid with this on their back was sure to be the envy of their peers, I know, I envied a few from afar.
I myself was once again swept up in this as I had Bad to the Bone, Stay Puft and Venkman toys.
The series ran for 7 seasons, right up until until 1991, although it became a lot more kid friendly and embraced Slimer more as it progressed. It even spawned a series of comic books that, like The Transformers franchise was split into separate US and UK comics, with their own unconnected story-lines and writers, with each reprinting material from it’s sister publication when they ran into production delays. Before it came to an end however live action counterparts returned to the screen once more in Ghostbusters II.