In this section we will be taking a look at pre-production artwork for some of the various different role play weapons that Kenner produced as well as a few pieces of miscellaneous art that don’t quite fit elsewhere.
This is an original presentation board for the Grab-a-meter role play weapon which was released in 1990. As you can see the colours are quite different to the final product with the original yellow being changed to purple.
The level of detail in this particular piece of art is really quite amazing up close and many of the minor details on the weapon are present on the production toy. At some point a decision was made to add a foam dart launcher to the underside of the weapon resulting in the claw/gun combination that went into production.
Fun fact: The Grab-a-meter toy can be seen on the Ecto-1A packaging artwork in Venkman’s hand!
Unknown role play toy sketch drawn by the late Mike Brann.
Mike was part of the industrial design department at Kenner and widely regarded as a huge talent by his co-workers. Many of his fellow Kenner designers remarked on his ability to draw pretty much anything he was asked to, often utilising his skills to provide the concept artwork for both male and female characters as well as vehicles, playsets and accessories.
At present, it isn’t 100% clear what this drawing (which was rescued from the Kenner building at 615 Elsinore Place in Cincinatti) actually represents. It may well have been an early piece of concept artwork (it’s drawn on tracing paper which was commonly used for concepts at that time) or perhaps even a rough sketch to give the packaging team a visual aid and some idea of how to get the child to pose for the photo shoot.
Here are some close ups of the goggles, weapon and trap pedal.
It’s possible that it’s for the Ecto-goggles & Ecto-popper set which came out after the original proton pack. The gun design is obviously totally different to the finished product for that set but the Ecto-goggles are present and the weapon is close in overall size to the Ecto-popper (which has the word “change” underneath it).