Although Kenner had it’s own internal studio which was frequently used for photographing toys, the company often hired local professional photographers to shoot the images used for catalogues and packaging.
For the duration of The Real Ghostbusters toy line, Kenner relied on the talents of one single Ohio based product photographer for images used on the boxes and cardbacks. Between both studios, quite a bit of photography was done of the toys so it’s perhaps no surprise that a decent amount of photo prints, polaroids and 35mm slides have surfaced over the years.
Below are a combination of images shot both in-house at Kenner and also by the product photographer mentioned above.
Behind the scenes
Here are the original packaging photographs shot for both Air Sickness & Wicked Wheelie from the Haunted Vehicles series.
You can see how the floating effect was originally achieved using wire to suspend the figures next to the vehicles:
The wire visible in the photography was then edited out when the images were added to the toys packaging.
Both of these images appear on production cardbacks although the image of Frankenstein was flipped.
Interesting to note that the earliest piece of photography depicting the Dracula figure shows that he originally had a red cape and a red cape holder/necklace:
Later, a black cape was added and the following image taken before they finally switched both accessories to black.
Internal product photography
As mentioned earlier, Kenner had their own studio which was used to photograph everything from 2D design artwork to 3D models and prototypes. Sometimes thiis was done just for reference or personal purposes but the internal studio was also used to shoot images of the toys for use in marketing meetings (by way of a projector and slides) and for early advertising material. Quite a few internal photographs went on to be printed in things like the Kenner press kits and other promotional material.
Below are some examples from my collection. All photographs have a dated label affixed to the backs displaying the product name and code.