With less than 100 days to go until Halloween, I’m happy to report that officially licensed merchandise tied to the all-female "Ghostbusters" reboot has appeared on massive holiday goods purveyor HalloweenCostumes.com.
Halloween costumes and the new "Ghostbusters" movie are two swirling hurricanes of gender politics colliding to form a pop culture superstorm. I took a close look at these costumes to see what they can teach us about the way fans (of different ages, sexes, races, and sizes) relate to this movie—and how the movie's marketers perceive its fans, in turn.
HalloweenCostumes.com's sizable collection of "Ghostbusters" merch, new and old, includes T-shirts, aprons, sweatshirts, what I initially thought was a Slimer drone (don't get your hopes up), and a "Ghostbusters"-themed ugly Christmas sweater (accompanied by the following ad copy: "Man, just think how different A Christmas Carol would be if Scrooge had has [sic] this thing!" Just think!).
All of the products specifically tied to the new movie are listed as "out of stock" on HalloweenCostumes.com, but a representative for the site confirmed that that's not because they're sold out, but because they're not yet available for purchase.
What's in store for fans of 2016's "Ghostbusters?" Behold, the main attractions: the Women's Ghostbusters Movie Costume ($39.99) and a Women's Deluxe Ghostbusters Movie Costume ($49.99). You can also buy girls' and plus-size women's versions of the latter costume, for $39.99 and $59.99, respectively.
The non-deluxe version is shiny and less detailed, the Ghostbusters Halloween costume equivalent of a tuxedo T-shirt. These are cute and fine and I like them!
There's just the one thing.
Though Ghost Fighting Boots are available for $34.99, this model is inexplicably wearing what—for lack of a better fashion vocabulary—I would call pilgrim buckle heels, as if she were just posing in a witch costume as part of a marathon Halloween costume photoshoot and forgot to finish getting changed for this Ghostbusters look. To each her own, but if you're a professional staging a movie-accurate ensemble, why not complete the costume with some busting-appropriate practical footwear?
Then there are the wigs. (For what it's worth, you will probably not be surprised to learn that wigs modeled after the original male Ghostbusters are not for sale.)
The wigs are… well, see for yourself.
Holtzmann's wig looks like it belongs on a mother of the bride or a '60s pageant queen, not a latter-day pansexual animated Egon. Abby wig's appears to be eating this innocent woman's forehead. But Patty's wig is what really gives me pause, especially in the context of the racist abuse that actress Leslie Jones has already endured on Twitter. My stomach is already turning over the possibility that a handful of idiot white kids will get the bright idea to make their traditional Halloween blackface Ghostbusters-themed this year.
Also, purely from an aesthetic perspective, the Patty wig is almost insultingly inaccurate. To review:
If you are going to give Patty's wig colorful braids, why not make those colorful braids the same colors as Patty's actual colorful braids in the movie? In what world are pink and purple interchangeable with light brown and maroon? Also, did someone crochet this?
Interestingly, if you're a man who's a fan of the new movie, your costume options are sorely limited. Unless you'd like to dress as the Ghostbusters' charmingly stupid receptionist Kevin, in which case, you're in luck. (Chris Hemsworth, sadly, not included).
But while these jumpsuits are about as unisex as a garment can be, all of the other new "Ghostbusters" costumes, with their distinctive horizontal orange stripes, are specifically listed—and presumably sized as—costumes for women and girls (gotta love an arbitrary gender binary!). To the contrary, the copy for the original "Ghostbusters" costumes labels them as general "adult" costumes (more on those in a second). Is the idea of a boy or a man wanting to dress as a female Ghostbuster really that unthinkable?
In terms of original "Ghostbusters" merch, which has been available for some time, your primary options are the Adult Ghostbusters Costume ($39.99) and Adult Deluxe Ghostbusters Costume ($49.99). The only apparent difference between these costumes—other than price—is the exact ratios of their polyester-cotton blends.
Meanwhile, female fans of the original "Ghostbusters" are invited to choose between two explicitly "Sexy" costumes. Up first, the Secret Sexy Wishes Ghostbusters Costume.
I will defend to my death a woman's right to wear a sexy Halloween costume, regardless of how unseasonably cold a given October might be, but I would be remiss not to point out that this proton pack is upsettingly small. This is the proton pack you choose only if you are attempting to bust the ghost of Paris Hilton's late, purse-inhabiting Chihuahua (RIP Tinkerbell). Also, in case you were wondering—as I certainly was—I can confirm that "Secret Wishes" is the name of an entire line of provocative costumes, not an arcane "Ghostbusters" reference.
Lest you embarrass yourself at a Halloween party, please note that the Sexy Secret Wishes Ghostbuster Costume should not be confused with the Women's Sexy Ghostbuster Costume, which ditches the sexy dress concept for a far more practical sexy romper. (There's also a skirted Ghostbusters costume available for girls, although that version mercifully omits the word "Sexy" from its title.)
Speaking of rompers! The Womens [sic] Ghostbusters Peter Venkman Romper—which must have been engineered by scientists in a laboratory to be universally unflattering on very body type—abruptly cuts off at the knee. Finally, you can let those calves breathe.
For big-spending fans of the franchise, the Adult Grand Heritage Ghostbusters Costume and Women's Grand Heritage Ghostbusters Movie Costume will set you back $299.99 each, raising the question: Why don't you just go see the new "Ghostbusters" movie 30 times instead?
For those with smaller budgets, consider this, the $29.99 Slimer Headpiece.
I appreciate this man's enthusiasm for Slimer, but I do not think this happens in the movies. As for things that happen in both the movies and your nightmares, meet the Adult Stay Puft Costume.
This costume—available in adult and kid sizes!—is scarier than anything seen in any "Ghostbusters" movie, past, present, or future. Counterpoint:
I would gladly travel back in time however many months necessary to get pregnant and have a baby just in time to force it to wear this costume on Halloween. See also:
If you'll excuse me, I have to write some expanded-universe "Ghostbusters" fan-fiction about the Stay Puft Marshmallow Pug.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.