For years, a staple of the cosplay world has been the iconic Proton Pack from the Ghostbusters franchise. The portable particle accelerator is ladened with details and electronics, and while it’s relatively simple to throw together a Ghosbusters jumpsuit, it’s that piece of equipment that really makes the costume stand out.
Cosplayers have been building their own proton packs for years: sites like GBfans.com and the Replica Props Forum have long guided builders in constructing their own replicas from the franchise, while platforms like Etsy host plenty of prop maker who sell their own versions.
Now, Hasbro is getting in on the game. Back in 2018, the toymaker launched Haslab, a crowdfunding platform designed for high-end toy projects that the company will only put into production once each project reaches a certain threshold of orders. Think Kickstarter, but just for one company’s products. After successfully funding toys such as a Vintage Collection Jabba’s Sail Barge and Razor Crest, X-Men Legends Sentinel and Galactus and others, the company has announced a wearable version of Egon Spengler’s Proton Pack from the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
The project was scheduled to run between October 27th through December 12th, and has already surpassed its goal of 7,000 backers, each of whom plunked down $400 for the backpack. After going into production, it’ll begin shipping in the Spring of 2023.
According to Hasbro, its designers were able to scan the Hero prop used in the film, and that it’ll include some features like light, sounds (from both the 1984 and 2021 films) and a motor to replicate the look and feel of the device. It’ll also be compatible with another prop replica that the company offers, its Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Neutrona Wand, which will be released in June 2022. The company says that it’s also compatible with and includes connection hardware for the ALICE (All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment) system, which the original costumes were designed on. Stretch goals with additional backers will unlock other extra components like a connection hose for the Neutrona wand, goo attachments, and decals.
For much of its history, cosplayers have had to resort to making their own props or costumes, basing their costumes off of painstaking research from the pictures, behind-the-scenes looks, and sometimes, measurements or observations of the original garments used in a film. It hasn’t been until more recently, with the launch of companies like ANOVOS and specific, high-end products from Hasbro and other toy makers that companies have begun offering higher-quality props and costumes to cosplayers.
Back the #Ghostbusters Plasma Series Spengler’s Proton Pack HasLab project for $399.99 on #HasbroPulse. This project will run until 11:59 PM ET 12/12/21. See https://t.co/Pay36ALEPf for more info! 7K backers needed to officially fund the project! pic.twitter.com/e2ht2yEJQ1— Hasbro Pulse (@HasbroPulse) October 27, 2021
It’s hard to say exactly how good this proton pack will ultimately turn out for fans: Hasbro has released some images that look quite good, but until the final product comes out of the factory, we won’t know for sure.
It’ll be a while before Hasbro releases the product. If you don’t want to wait that long, there are plenty of resources floating around out there to construct your own. Another prop company, Mack’s Factory, has picked up the license to make and sell their own replica Proton Packs “painstakingly captured from the original hero props straight from the Sony Pictures Entertainment Archives.”