“Funny us going out like this—killed by a 400-foot Marshmallow Man!” Of my favorite movies (and there are many), Ghostbusters has always been on my short list. It has action, ghosts, special effects and best of all, a near constant barrage of quotable one-liners from the top-notch cast. (“Tell ’em about the twinkie.”) And while marshmallow-flinging toys are not new, the Marshmallow Fun Company’s Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Series Marshmallow Blaster combines the marshmallow plot device from the film with a pump-action marshmallow launcher. Gadget on!
As stated above, one of my favorite movies as a kid was Ghostbusters. I can still remember when my mom took my friend Brian and I to see it. When Julie offered the Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Series Marshmallow Blaster to review, I couldn’t resist, and I knew my son would love to help out. He’d earned a marshmallow-shooting toy gun in a Cub Scouts fundraising activity several years ago, but it was less than powerful, flimsy and didn’t last long. This Ghostbusters Marshmallow Blaster from Marshmallow Fun Company (yes, that is a real company’s name!) looked like a big step up.
Included in the review sample shipping box was both the Marshmallow Blaster itself as well as a package of official-looking marshmallows. These are the approximately 1-inch long sized marshmallows, not the mini- or micro-sized ones.
Also included was an info sheet on “Marshmallow Tips and Tricks.” Aha, we are getting serious here!
The packaging of the Marshmallow Blaster itself was a fairly standard store shelf type package with a decently-sized window on front to view the actual item. Also included were gratuitous eye-catching graphics including the official Ghostbusters logo as well as an image of the infamous Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man that attacked our heroes from the film. Also included in the package was a set of instructions.
The rear of the package included more graphics with a “schematic” of the Marshmallow Blaster itself, a quick tutorial of how to use the Blaster and cutout targets of both the “disgusting blob” Slimer ghost as described by Dr. Ray Stantz, as well as another image of the lumbering Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man that terrified Dr. Egon Spengler “beyond the capacity for rational thought.” Hey, we gotta get some mileage out of this marshmallow theme, right?
I have to say that the Marshmallow Blaster itself looks pretty fun just sitting there, with bright colors and Ghostbusters-themed decals conspicuously placed throughout. My son took one look at it and exclaimed, “Cool!” before it was even out of the box. It is a single shot, pump-action design.
This toy marshmallow weapon is so dangerous that it warrants a circular cardboard insert in the barrel that warns the user of all of its hazards, up to and including, you guessed it, death (in this case by choking). While I would never scoff at accidental death due to misuse of a toy or any other object, I do have to wonder at how much of this is the company trying to protect their less common-sensically endowed customers and how much is corporate lawyers and the “CYA” factor. In any event, please do exercise caution with any projectile-based toys, whether they fire marshmallow rounds or otherwise. Just because they are toys doesn’t mean accidents can’t happen.
The Marshmallow Blaster is loaded by rotating the forward section of the barrel 90 degrees to the left, then sliding it forward about an inch and half. This allows access to the chamber (see photo above), into which a marshmallow is loaded. Note that, in the photo above, you can see from the marshmallow residue that my son had already fired a few rounds before I’d even had a chance to snap the pic! Also, note the series of holes in a circular pattern. These are the ports through which the air blast propels the marshmallow round through the air at supersonic speed! Well, maybe a bit more like subsonic. More on this later.
I asked my son to assist with demonstrating the Marshmallow Blaster’s loading—and of course firing—and he readily agreed (notice that he even wore his stealth Stay-Puft jacket). He put on his eye and ear protection (OK, they are his sunglasses and earphones) and was ready to go. Above, he has rotated the barrel, slid it forward and placed a marshmallow in the chamber. Note that the Blaster’s instructions indicate that either a single marshmallow can be used (as depicted here), or several of the smaller marshmallows. We didn’t have any of the smaller ones to test this out, but we nearly salivated at the thought of going from a single-shot rifle style gun to a “scattergun” type shotgun style Blaster by changing the ammo. Maybe in a future addition to this review!
And in the image above, he has pulled the forward portion of the barrel back and is in the process of rotating the front handle downward to place the Blaster in the “locked and loaded” position. Easy peasy.
Above, a marshmallow round has been loaded into the chamber and is ready for action. I would not advise looking down into the barrel of the Blaster unless you are sure that it has not been pumped with air and your finger is away from the trigger. Safety first, whether the firearm is real or a toy!
The Blaster is powered by air pressure, so the next step is pressurizing the air chamber. In the image above, my son is pumping air into the chamber by holding the shoulder stock like a handle and pushing it forward towards the rest of the Blaster.
Doing so forces air into the chamber and this pressurized air will be used to propel the marshmallow from the Blaster. Several pumps (12-15 is recommended in the instructions) and it is ready. I would note that the pressurizing step seemed a bit hit or miss. Sometimes when we pumped it, it sounded like air was escaping past a seal, preventing it from entering the pressuring chamber, requiring more pumps. We could actually feel a lack of resistance on these pumps as well. I realize that it’s a toy after all, and the chamber seals are probably not intended to be industrial grade, but just something of which to be aware.
Above, my son has the Marshmallow Blaster ready for firing. There are no sighting mechanisms on the Blaster, so he had to eyeball the aiming.
Before firing, we took one more look at the package and noticed yet another warning label. Apparently there is lots of risk of bodily harm and liability with toys, especially ones that fire things. Also, don’t eat the marshmallows after shooting? What?! Well, we found out after firing them around the yard and picking them up from the driveway and lawn that this is indeed good advice. They quickly became quite grimy and dirty. Less than appetizing.
Pop! Above, my son demonstrates firing the Marshmallow Blaster. Honestly, we had a blast with this thing—pun completely intended. My son’s first test, right out of the package, was to see if he could fire a marshmallow over our 1.5 story house. At first, he pumped it up about 5-8 times, but it just wasn’t powerful enough with that many pumps. He then immediately went off the reservation and pumped it up about 18 times and it easily cleared the peak of our house. He loved this. We also tested it by firing it for distance across our yard, and with about 12-15 pumps it easily flung a marshmallow at least 40 feet. He also fired a few into my chest from about 15 feet away (the things I do to test products for you people), and it packed quite a whallop for an air-powered marshmallow gun. We laughed that it left a circular indentation in my shirt! But it really didn’t hurt. We also played “catch” and fired marshmallows back and forth at each other. However, while the Blaster can fire mallows an impressive distance, it is not the most accurate “weapon” ever—it routinely launched rounds fairly off-center.
When using marshmallows as ammunition, the chamber and barrel can get a bit sticky. Like any good toy design company, the folks at Marshmallow Fun Company (I love that company name) thought of this. The Blaster’s barrel separates for cleaning by simultaneously depressing the two black buttons on either side of the barrel and sliding the barrel off, which also allows easily re-assembly.
The Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Series Marshmallow Blaster is pretty darn fun. My son and I had a blast trying it out (see what I did there?)! It is easy to load, to pump up with air and to fire and it is capable of launching marshmallows at least 40 feet. Fun factor is high on this one. As Dr. Ray Stantz would say—“Throw it!” (marshmallows that is).
A+ on fun! My son still has great fun with this blaster!
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Marshmallow Fun Company. For more information, please visit their site at http://marshmallowville.com.