My first memories of Ghostbusters were that of sheer terror. I was four years old and my parents had taken us to the movie theater to see the original 1984 film. It was like nothing I'd seen before, and while most don't consider it a scary movie, I certainly did. I was stricken with fear by everything from Slimer, the green ghost, to the twin terror dogs. The film left me with nightmares and awful feelings, at least for a time.

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Matt MacNabb - Age 8 -

By the time that The Real Ghostbusters cartoon debuted on television I was far more receptive to the adventures of the ghost-hunting quartet. I was seven years old when the show debuted and quickly became a rabid Ghostbusters fan. I began collecting the toys and started dressing up like a Ghostbuster on an almost daily basis.

I can still remember buying my first Ghostbusters toy. My mother took me to our local Target store (they weren't Super yet back then) and I headed to the back of the store, in search of new toys. I had gotten birthday money from my grandma and it was burning a hole in my pocket, as usual. That day I purchased the first wave Kenner The Real Ghostbusters Peter Venkman action figure... and I was hooked. The other Ghostbusters, ghosts and the Ecto-1 vehicle would soon follow at Christmas time and for the next four years my obsession didn't wane.

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The Real Ghostbusters Kid's Uniform (Ghostbusters Collectables)

If it was Halloween I was a Ghostbuster. If I was going anywhere, I had my trusty plastic PKE meter with me, just in case. I started my own Jr. Ghostbusters business, complete with business cards, so that I could offer my services to the local neighborhood. My grandmother sewed me a very authentic looking Ghostbusters costume (and another when Ghostbusters II was released!), and I would don that daily, complete with full proton pack and other gear, to do patrols of the local streets, assuring that no ghost would go unnoticed. You can imagine that I was wildly unpopular...and you'd be correct. I am what you would qualify as an obsessive weirdo.

You will see fans enjoying cosplay nowadays at comic book conventions, where they're adored, revered and fawned over. If you see people dressing up like Ghostbusters you may even want to take a picture with them. That was certainly not the case when I was growing up. The other kids were far past the fad and into crushes and sports, but I stood strong, against ridicule and mockery. It wasn’t trendy and it wasn't cool, but that never deterred me one bit.

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The Real Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Vehicle (Ghostbusters Collectables)

When my wife and I began collecting toys on a full-time basis in 1997 it also wasn't cool. In fact, when someone would see our house and our collections they would leave wide-eyed and confused. It just wasn't something your average person understood or participated in. There were certainly Hot Wheels and Barbie collectors in those days, but what we did was a rarity. Now if I show pictures of our extensive toy collections we get praise, adoration and expressions of envy.

Oh, how the world has changed. One thing that hasn't changed over the years is my love and passion not just for the Ghostbusters franchise, but for the toys and merchandise, as well. I wrote Ghostbusters Collectables as an expression of that passion and I hope above all that comes through in the pages. Dan Aykroyd, who needs no introduction, was generous and kind enough to provide a foreword and even answer a few collections about the Ghostbusters toys that he himself owns, which I have incorporated into the book, as well.


Matt MacNabb's new book Ghostbusters Collectables is available for purchase now.