Updated: Oct 16, 2019
I take most of it back. For over a year, I thought the Ghostbusters Ecto Goggles from Spirit Halloween were junk. I even kinda-sorta slammed them in my Spirit Halloween PKE Meter review. I saw the goggles last year in the Spirit store and scoffed. From what I could see of them in the box, I thought they looked cheap.
But when the wiring on my homebrew Ecto Goggles (made from welding goggles) broke for the millionth time at New York Comic Con 2018, I'd had enough. For almost a year, I'd contemplated getting a pair of Spirit goggles on eBay. I figured they would have to be better than what I'd been using. More than once, I was close to hitting Buy It Now. The last such instance was a couple of weeks ago, when I realized the local Spirit store would probably be opening soon, and buying it there would save me the shipping costs. I would also have immediate recourse, should something be wrong with the goggles. Spirit isn't known for their rigorous quality control: It took me several weeks and two online attempts before I was lucky enough to find a properly-working PKE Meter from the local Spirit store. My desire to do any Spirit transactions online sat at zero on the gigameter.
Sure enough, I had a two-day wait before our local Spirit Halloween opened, and my "real" job made short work of the time. The Ecto Goggles set me back thirty bucks and tax. I also got these rad Stay-Puft Marsmallow Man socks! I'm featuring this image of my hairy calves for the ladies (if any).
Compared to the Spirit PKE Meter with its motorized parts, there's a lot less that can go wrong with the Ecto Goggles. You've got an on/off switch, a green LED, and that's it. I'd read reports on Amazon of wiring in the goggles going through the eyepieces, and that was my primary concern. My pair was fine from the get-go. But I'm saving my receipt until the store closes, because if I tossed it, the goggles would catch on fire.
Again, I'd never seen the Spirit Halloween Ecto Goggles in person outside of the box, which covers most of the prop. Take my word that they look a lot better in real life than they do in photos or videos. I had assumed the light wouldn't be visible when the goggles were being worn upwards, but it looks great. A little light leaks through the plastic; repainting the goggles would fix that. The green incandescence would make an onlooker eager to experience the googles firsthand. (They would be sorely disappointed, as the goggles limit you to tunnel vision. Sadly, life isn't always like the movies.)
I took the goggles out of the box immediately after leaving the store, just in case something was glaringly amiss. As soon as I had the Ecto Goggles in hand, I was impressed by the solid build. I was used to my flimsy modified welding goggles, and these are a refreshing upgrade. Most importantly, I can actually wear them! (My old goggles were basically a necklace, being too front-heavy to stay perched on my over-sized cranium.) The Spirit Ecto Goggles have a padded interior, so it's no big deal to wear them on your head for hours at a time. I've been rocking them around the house, just for fun. Who needs a life?
The main issue I have with the Spirit Halloween Ecto Goggles is with the painted-on patina: On most pairs, the silver brushstrokes go directly across the front, and it doesn't look like organic wear. However, I was able to find a pair that wasn't super obnoxious. I briefly thought about repainting them, as seen on multiple YouTube tutorials, but I decided that combined with the rest of my uniform, the effect will be fine. Once the included decals were applied, the look of the goggles went up several notches and the semi-sketchy paintjob was no longer plaguing to my OCD.
There's a small copyright notice on the battery compartment, which could be sanded off. If you didn't know it was there, you'd never notice it.
Sadly, our Ghostbusters gear is currently in Arizona (along with an entire arcade), awaiting our arrival from New York in an RV we have yet to purchase! The sale of the house is currently pending, which is a nice way of saying we're stuck in limbo. In the absence of a completed ensemble, I had to at least wear a shirt depicting series co-creator Dan Aykroyd.
The Ecto Goggles in Ghostbusters were built from military night vision goggles, and the Spirit goggles come very close to replicating the iconic equipment. No, they're not completely screen accurate. The "don't cross the streams" movie line on the operating instructions decal is a little lame, but anyone who notices that will totally be invading your bubble.
Looking to track those pesky specters? Need to safely look directly at the trap? Overall, I would strongly recommend the Spirit Halloween Ecto Goggles to any Ghostbuster who's not down with paying hundreds of dollars for Mattel's Matty Collector version. (Even that isn't perfect.) I can't wait to swagger around with my Ecto Goggles, used in conjunction with my trusty PKE Meter. It won't be a brisk stroll due to the limited visibility, but I'm fine with milking my fifteen minutes of fame.
There's no need to search for Slimer, because we already interviewed her. And be sure to check out Retro Injection's review of the Spirit Halloween PKE Meter, one of our most-read articles at over six views!
Finally, at the risk of sounding like I got a concussion, here's a striking headshot.