Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
First appearance Ghostbusters (1984)
Last appearance Ghostbusters: Infestation, issue #2 (comic (2011)[1]
Created by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Portrayed by Bill Bryan (Ghostbusters in body suit actor), John Stocker (Real Ghostbusters voice actor)
Frank Welker (Real Ghostbusters voice actor)
Nickname(s) Gozer, Mr. Stay Puft, Big Guy

The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is a fictional mascot from the Ghostbusters franchise of media, which sometimes appears as a giant, lumbering paranormal monster. It becomes the physical manifestation of the Sumerian demonic deity Gozer. It first appears in the 1984 film Ghostbusters as a picture logo on a prop package of marshmallows in Dana Barrett's apartment when she places the groceries on her kitchen counter, on a graffiti advertisement on the building next to the Ghostbuster's HQ when the ghosts are released from the containment grid after the power is shut down, then later in the climax of the film. Subsequently it has been incorporated into many other Ghostbuster media, including the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, a number of Ghostbusters-related comics, a stage show, and numerous video games. In Ghostbusters Universe, it is the mascot of the fictional Stay Puft Marshmallow Corporation (much like the Pillsbury Doughboy, Bertie Bassett and Michelin's Bibendum, which it resembles). Within the universe, it is also the subject of a Marshmallow Man cartoon series.[2] Along with the Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II logos, the image of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has become one of the most recognizable emblems of the franchise.


Appearance and character

Stay Puft is the large white obese human-shaped figure made of joined marshmallows. He wears a white sailor hat with a red ribbon attached on top, and a blue hatband. Around his neck is a blue traditional sailor's collar and a red neckerchief.

After images of him are seen on a billboard and a bag of the marshmallows earlier in the film, he is then seen in the climax of Ghostbusters as one of two physical bodies of Gozer, a god who is defeated when Stay Puft is destroyed. His exact to-scale height in the movie is 112.5 feet tall[3], while his height in the novelization of the movie is given at 100 feet.

He is then recreated and subsequently captured a number of different times by the Ghostbusters, although mean and destructive at first he later befriends Slimer and the Ghostbusters in the animated series The Real Ghostbusters, and helps them out with various problems.

Concept and first appearance in movie

Dan Aykroyd conceived of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for his initial script for Ghostbusters the movie. He created the character to show that if "You created this white monster to sell your products, and it seems harmless and puff and cute — but given the right circumstances, everything can be turned back and become evil."[4][5] He was only one of many large-scale monsters in this early draft of the script, but after working with co-writer Harold Ramis and director Ivan Reitman, the intended sequence was scaled back until only "Stay Puft" remained of the original large-scale monsters. The likeness of Stay Puft was inspired by Peter O'Boyle, a security guard at Columbia Pictures whom Reitman met filming his previous movie, Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone. According to Sam Delaney of The Guardian, "Stay Puft's familiar mascot combined elements of real life brand ambassadors the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Bibendum (a.k.a., the Michelin tire man)."[6]

Stay Puft is seen only briefly in the movie. He is "conjured up"[7] as a new form for the Sumerian god Gozer, who previously arrives atop an apartment building at 55 Central Park West in New York City in the form of a woman. After a quick battle with the Ghostbusters she vanishes, and then as a disembodied voice Gozer tells the Ghostbusters that the next thing they think of will be the form it will assume to destroy their world. Dan Aykroyd's character (Ray Stantz) inadvertently thinks of this marshmallow mascot when the Ghostbusters are given a choice as to which physical form Gozer will conquer the world in. As he explains, Mr. Stay Puft "just popped in there" as "something that could never possibly destroy us." Moments later a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is seen walking towards the apartment building. The Ghostbusters shoot at Stay Puft with their proton packs, setting him on fire, but do not succeed in stopping his advance. They then get the idea of shooting at the portal which the god came through, by crossing the streams of all four of their packs. The plan succeeds in an explosion which destroys the gate and the Stay Puft man, who turns into molten marshmallow cream that rains down onto the roof of the skyscraper and the street below.

Special effects

Stay Puft the character as seen in the movie was an outfit created by Bill Bryan using miniatures, optical compositing, and Bryan himself in a latex suit.[8] The suit was made of two layers, an outer flammable layer and inner fire-proof layer.[9] Some of the finished movie's most noticeable errors appear in the Stay Puft scenes. He is seen with and without his bowtie, while in other scenes the optical rendering was so poor that he passes through a church rather than crushing it.[10]

Reinterpretation of movie events

In the Ghostbusters Spooktacular stage show in Universal Studios, Florida, the ending battle with Stay Puft is fought to a finish with the Ghostbusters destroying him directly, rather than firing at the portal to close the dimensional gateway.[11]

In the 1984 Activision game designed by David Crane, small ghosts terrorize the city and gather together in front of the "Zuul Building" and occasionally other locations, where after enough of them have collected they would form the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and he could destroy some of the nearby buildings. After enough ghosts have entered the Zuul Building, the player could then go to it and would find Stay Puft moving back and forth blocking the entrance. If the player could pass him without being squished the player would then climb the stairs and either win the game or find the final boss Gozer at the top of the building, in the form of a woman. On the NES version he is seen again from the roof on a screen just below the final boss. He is climbing the building and acts as a counter: if he reaches the top of the building the game ends.[12]

In the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, "Stay Puft" appears outside a high rise building punching inward as the player progresses through the level and then appears as a boss at the top of the building, but is not related to Gozer. Here he claims to have eaten too many marshmallows and then realized he had become the Marshmallow Man. In addition to trying to punch the player from the left and right sides of the screen, he also uses special powers such as breathing fire and shooting laser bolts from his eyes.[13]

Post-movie appearances

Following the original film, the television series The Real Ghostbusters brought Stay Puft back; in fact Joe Medjuck, the executive producer of the show states that Stay Puft was in the first script they received from Dan Aykroyd on the series.[14] In the episode called "Mr. Sandman, Dream Me a Dream", a spectral Sandman creates versions of anything which a person is dreaming of — in this way a new version of Stay Puft is created — however whatever is created disappears when the person wakes.In the episode "Dedcon 1" Stay Puft appears as a guest of honor at a ghost convention. After another episode, "Cry Uncle", he is accidentally freed from the Ghostbusters' containment system, and later recaptured. He reappears in episode 65, "The Revenge of Murray the Mantis", where he is "released" from the Ghostbusters' containment unit to help defeat a giant mantis too powerful for the Ghostbusters to fight on their own. Stay Puft is controlled with the help of Slimer (a green blob-like creature). After defeating the Mantis, Stay Puft floats behind the Ghostbusters in a parade. He later helps them again in the episode "Sticky Business" number 85, when the president of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Company comes to the Ghostbusters and wishes to use their large'Stay Puft in a television commercial. Once again Slimer goes into the containment unit to bring him out. An episode explains that Egon took a sample of the marshmallow ectoplasm and made it positively charged, thus creating a friendly version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that would assist the Ghostbusters when needed. When questioned by a policeman in the series about the abrupt personality change, Peter stated that he was "all better now". The character was voiced by John Stocker, and later by Frank Welker in this series.

Placed two years after the events in Ghostbusters II, the game Ghostbusters: The Video Game by Atari brings back the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to ravage Times Square while searching for Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn. Stay-Puft has the ability to spawn tiny marshmallow monsters which do his bidding. Peter, Ray, and a new rookie escort Dr. Selwyn to the roof of a tall building. In pursuit, Stay Puft climbs the side of the building while Egon at street level repairs a large trap. However, the rookie burns Stay Puft's face with the upgraded proton pack's "Boson Darts" and causes Stay Puft to fall to street level, causing him to explode upon impact, scattering his marshmallow body all over Times Square. His hat can be seen hanging from one of the neighboring buildings. Towards the climax of the game, they realize that Gozer assumed the form of Stay Puft again because he can only have one destructor form for each dimension he enters; he was locked into the form of the Marshmallow Man when he was summoned back to the Earthly plane. This causes Ray to admit he didn't pick such a bad destructor after all.[15]. He also appears as collectibles in Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime downloadable video game.

Merchandise, models and toys

While being a part of the original 1986[16] Kenner toy line of Ghostbusters merchandise, and others such as the McDonald's Happy Meals,[17] he has also appeared in specialized monster kits such as those by Tsukuda, who made models of both Stay Puft and the Terror Dog from the first movie. He was not present in Mattel's 2009 Ghostbusters toy line,[18] however in 2011 Mattel released him as an exclusive collectable for San Diego Comic-Con 2011 and on after the show. This was the biggest version of Stay Puft to date 20 inches tall, and covered in a soft foam covering.[19] Also in July 2011, Diamond Select Toys (DST) released a 7 inch light-up statue version of Stay Puft, followed in October by a Statue of Liberty based on the Ghostbusters II movie, in height Stay Puft will be as tall as the raised torch of Liberty.[20] In 2010, a Stay Puft Quality brand of gourmet marshmallows was released as official Ghostbusters merchandise. The packaging prominently featured the title character.[21] In 2011, Rubie's Costume Co. released an inflatable Stay-Puft Halloween costume as a companion piece for the Ghostbusters jumpsuit costumes they had previously created.[22]

Further reading

  • The Making of Ghostbusters, edited by Don Shay
  • Return of Mr. Staypuft, by John Carnell
  • The Encyclopedia of Monsters, by Jeff Rovin


  1. ^ Publication details from Grand Comics Database. Various (Various). "Ghostbusters: Infestation". Grand Comics Database. Retrieved 05 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Interview with the Ghostbusters: The Video Game's Executive producer Brendon Goss, where he talks about the game and the "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" cartoon within the Ghostbusters Universe on's podcast, episode 90.
  3. ^ - In the 15th Anniversary EditionGhostbusters DVD interview with the SFX team, Mark Stetson (the model shop supervisor for the film) states that the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is exactly one hundred and twelve and a half feet tall.
  4. ^ Jonah Goldberg of the National Review when mentioning a Dan Aykroyd interview quoting him. Jonah Goldberg (2003-02-03). "Incredible, Unstoppable Titan of Terror!". National Review. Retrieved 13 August 2007. 
  5. ^ Aykroyd later mentions this again on the Ghostbusters: Special Edition DVD commentary
  6. ^ Delaney, Sam (2007-07-26). "Brand designs". The Guardian (London).,,2135108,00.html. Retrieved 13 August 2007. 
  7. ^ Richard Mueller, author of "Ghostbusters, The Supernatural; Spectacular, page 240, Tor Edition
  8. ^ Vince Lambolito (2003-02-03). "Our Top 20 FX Suits!". Cardboard Monocle. Archived from the original on 16 July 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2007. 
  9. ^ Starlog, October 1984 issue 87, The Haunting Special Effects of Ghostbusters by David Hutchison
  10. ^ Commentary in the 15th Anniversary Edition of Ghostbusters DVD
  11. ^ Video archive footage of "Ghostbusters Spooktacular" stage show.
  12. ^ Ultimate Unauthorized Nintendo Strategies, Volume 2, by Corey Sandler and Tom Badgett, "Chapter 5: NES Golden Oldies", Ghostbusters section
  13. ^ Sega Genesis Secrets, Volume 2, by Rusel DeMaria and Zach Meston, chapter 5, 'Ghostbusters', "High-Rise Building" section
  14. ^ (Interview) The Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection. Fairfax, Virginia: Direct Holdings Americas, CPT Holdings. 2008. 
  15. ^ Ghostbusters The Video Game Official guide book by Prima Games, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC version
  16. ^ History of Kenner toys in a year by year description of toy series
  17. ^ McDonald's Happy Meal Toys in the U.S.A. by Terry and Joyce Losonsky
  18. ^
  19. ^ Joe Moore (2011-07-18). "Full List Of All Mattel San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Exclusives". Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  20. ^ Julius Marx (2011-07-18). "Ghostbusters Stay-Puft Statue Coming in July; Statue of Liberty in October". Action Figure Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  21. ^ "Stay Puft Marshmallows Website" "[1]"
  22. ^ "Rubie's Costume Co. Page for SPMM Costume". Retrieved 2 November 2011. 

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