Enjoy this sample chapter from Ghostbusters Collectables
by Matt MacNabb
Published by Amberley Books July 2016
Chapter One: Ghostbusters: The 1984 Feature Film
The landscape of American cinema and pop culture both changed drastically on one fateful day, June 8, 1984. The day that Ghostbusters exploded into theaters had a profound impact. Its been over 30 years and fans are still celebrating this now classic supernatural comedy film that continues to resonate so very strongly.
It feels like a given now, but back in 1984 there were no movies about ghost hunters and certainly none that took the topic even remotely seriously. Filmation had produced a live action series in the 1970s with the same title, featuring two goofy Ghosthunters and their gorilla friend. Fans would later see that concept turned into a competing cartoon in 1986.
The beauty of Ghostbusters was the mixture of horror and comedy that almost felt legitmate in some way. The concept for Ghostbusters was developed originally by the comedic and creative genius of Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the actors that portrayed Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler in the film. The film was masterfully produced and directed by Ivan Reitman, who had worked previously with Bill Murray and Harold Ramis on the cult comedy hit Stripes. The film was intended to consist of a mixture of Saturday Night Live alumni, such as John Belushi and Eddie Murphy, and other great comedic actors, like John Candy. Belushi passed away before he could fulfill the role of Peter Venkman and John Candy wouldn't commit to portraying Louis Tully. Eddie Murphy went the route of Beverly Hills Cop, a film that would spawn a franchise for him and make him a huge star of cinema. It all worked out for the best, because in the end fans got what is now a beloved cast of characters portrayed by just the right mixture of actors.
The Ghostbusters merchandise train really took off in 1986 with the inception of the Kenner toy line based on The Real Ghostbusters, an animated series based on the 1984 feature film. There was a fair amount of merchandise produced for the first film, but a good majority of it was practical items like t-shirts, stickers, buttons, posters and books. This was during an era when iron-on t-shirt shops were still a huge trend, so a lot of licensed shirts from the era can be found on a variety of shirt colors. Ghostbusters movie shirts of the era can be seen on everything from back to purple to red t-shirts. The best selling collectible from the original film would no doubt be the single of the theme song by Ray Parker Jr. It was released on both record and cassette tape.
In the modern era toy companies have done their best to make-up the gap that we always had with the first film, by producing a variety of classic film themed items. We will cover those in later chapters of the book. In the meantime, please enjoy this sampling of collectibles from the very first Ghostbusters film.