Source: Hasbro Pulse/the Pop Insider

Two years ago, I took my family down to Tribeca to pay a visit to a very familiar fire station: Hook and Ladder No. 8. To generations of moviegoers, that fire station is better-known as Ghostbusters HQ, a location immortalized in Ghostbusters (1984), Ghostbusters II (1989), and The Real Ghostbusters animated series (1986-1991). While we were there, I did a quick photoshoot with Ectotron, Hasbro’s first-ever Transformers Collaborative release, which kicked off a new series of mashup toys in celebration of both brands’ 35th anniversaries.

Hasbro Transformers SONY ghostbusters mashup

2019 Ghostbusters x Transformers Collaborative Ectotron Ecto-1 | Source: Hasbro

The Ghostbusters x Transformers Collaborative Ectotron was an immediate hit and one that was quickly followed by a second spooktacular mashup, the Transformers x Ghostbusters MP-10G Optimus Prime Ecto-35 Edition that was released at Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC). By the end of summer, both of those toys had become sought-after and very hard to find just as production of a new film — Ghostbusters: Afterlife — was getting underway.

Fast-forward to 2021, and while Afterlife still hasn’t hit theaters (thanks, pandemic!), new toys and collectibles tied into the film are starting to hit stores. One of the hottest offerings right now is the Transformers Generations – Transformers Collaborative: Ghostbusters: Afterlife Ecto-1 Ectotron. Its name is a mouthful, but the TL:DR is that it’s an update to the original Ectotron that’s been “aged” with a new deco to reflect the rusty, beat-up Ecto-1 as it’s seen in Jason Reitman‘s new film. It also comes with an additional ghost, Muncher.

2021 Ghostbusters: Afterlife x Transformers Collaborative Ectotron Ecto-1 | Source: Hasbro/the Pop Insider

For the most part, this is the exact same figure that I reviewed at the Toy Insider back in 2019. Aside from the deco and the bonus ghost (Slimer is still included), this version of the Autobot Ectotron — full name: Ectronymous Diamatron, according to the lore — has a new head sculpt and comes with a copy of IDW’s Transformers/Ghostbusters No. 1 comic book. He also comes in new packaging which is one spot I wouldn’t call better, but that might just be personal preference.

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The 2019 Ectotron came in a vintage-style Transformers G1 window box that showed the Autobot in Ecto-1 mode. The 2021 Ectotron comes in robot mode on a large blister pack. While it looks cool and is definitely eye-catching while hanging on the pegs, the plastic blister — made from plant-based bio-polyethylene terephthalate (PET) — is a bit counteractive to Hasbro’s long-touted plan to eliminate plastic packaging, especially when some of the latest Transformers figures are in nearly 100% corrugated boxes.

The best news here is that Ectotron is finally available to pretty much anyone who wants one. While the figure is a Target exclusive, thus far it appears that distribution is pretty solid, which means it’s pretty easy to find.