I was too young to see the first Ghostbusters when it came out, but once I was able watch the movie without running out of the room screaming as soon as the Library Ghost showed up, I was a fan. Not a crazed die-hard fan, but a fan nonetheless. How could I not be when it had a giant marshmallow monster?
I never did get any of the toys, minus some stickers and maybe a Slimer eraser top or a tub of slime. There was so much slime in my childhood. Anyway, I guess it was considered more of a boy thing. I was perfectly content having my Barbies fight ghosts and vampires instead of nabbing a tiny Dan Aykroyd to do so.
But Ecto Cooler was something that everyone had access to. There’s no gender-specific aisles at the grocery store, and Slimer was mine for the taking in the form of a Hi-C juice box. It was like taking a friend with me to school. The only friend I ever had at lunch.
But if you’re younger than I am, which is looking more and more like a probability as I continue to stare mortality in the eye, you probably don’t give a shit about any of this. Blah blah blah 80s nostalgia, blah blah there’s no Slimer on the can.
Oh yeah, that’s a real thing that real people are upset about. “Thanks for the Ecto Cooler but WHERE’S SLIMER???” Y’all need to calm the hell down. Besides, these cans do something that I’m sure your 1980s-loving self will surely appreciate:
COLOR-CHANGING CANS WOOOOO! Hypercolor t-shirts! The Great Bluedini! Are you satisfied yet, adult-children? If not, there’s slime dripping down from the top of the can. TAKE IT.
All of the yellow on the can changes to green – even the little accent lines on the slime. Not huge, I know, but trust me – 9-year-old you would freak out at this concept. Never mind that it’s the same technology Coors uses to let you know their beer has cooled down sufficiently enough that you won’t notice how shitty it is.
We are being blessed with all these snack foods (don’t get me started on the Twinkies – because I will later) because of the new Ghostbusters movie. Have you heard of it? It’s a little indie flick. Also, it has girls in it instead of boys! You can call that stupid if you want, and the Internet has, but if it had been an all-girl squad back when I was younger, I sure as hell would have had all the toys.
Oh, here I go with the nostalgia again. Let’s get to the drink itself.
What a beautiful, neon, ectoplasmic shade of green. If your parents are unwilling to buy you a tub of slime, you can always pour this over your toys and pretend they’re being slimed on your parents’ carpet. I’m pretty sure the staining effect will be similarly disastrous. (Seriously, parents, what did you think was going to happen when you bought your child a tub of slime?)
I gotta square up with ya: I don’t really remember what Ecto Cooler tasted like. I mean, when this Hi-C first hit my tongue, it went, “Hey that tastes familiar from my childhood,” but my tongue could be totally lying. But why wouldn’t the recipe be the same? Ecto Cooler lost Slimer and became Shoutin’ Orange Tangergreen and then Crazy Citrus Cooler, which was finally discontinued in 2007. It’s not like they lost the ingredients list.
So what does Ecto Cooler taste like to me today? Well, like many things that originate from a juice box, insanely sweet, with a little tart citrus kick and a lot of artificial tangerine, which is really just more like orange.
It tastes like a shitty kids’ drink. And it’s neon green. I shouldn’t be drinking this. But I am, and I’m loving it, even as I realize how crappy it tastes.
It was a little weird drinking the juice out of a can, because I associate cans with soda, so I had to re-adjust my palate to nullify the expectation of carbonation. I feel like these belong in their original format, the juice box. Which, lucky for us and kids alike, are also available! Just not anywhere I could find. But I’ll take my color-changing can over a juice box anyways. It makes me look so much more mature.
Summing up all this rambling, Hi-C Ecto Cooler is a gimmicky return of a drink that us old people think is the greatest thing in the goddamn world, but it’s really just a very sugary orange drink with no nutritional value. But it does come in a very cool can and a heavy dose of nostalgia. If that’s a flavor that’s up your alley, then go for it. Happy hunting!
Hi-C Ecto Cooler (2016)
- Score: 2.5 out of 5 slime carpet stains
- Price: $7.75 (for a case of 12)
- Size: 11.5 oz. can
- Purchased at: amazon.com (Prime Pantry)
- Nutritional Quirk: No surprise, a whopping 41 grams of sugar in one can. (For comparison, a 12 oz. can of Coke has 39 grams.) I take it back about lacking any nutritional value, though: it does have 100% of your daily recommended value of Vitamin C!