My Ghostbusters fandom has been kind of strange. I was nine when the original Ghostbusters hit theaters in 1984 and, like everyone at the time, I absolutely loved it. Other than E.T. and Return of the Jedi, Ghostbusters was one of the first films I saw in theaters multiple times (my record is still Pulp Fiction, which I saw on the big screen a total of 14 times).
My love carried over to The Real Ghostbusters, too. I didn’t see every episode, but I know I saw quite a few of the fan favorites from those first two seasons. However, I never owned any of the tie-in toys until I found the re-release figures from a couple of years ago on the clearance rack at Walmart for $1 each. Unfortunately, they only had Ray and Winston left by then, but they proudly hang out on a shelf in my office now. Oddly, by the time Ghostbusters 2 rolled around in 1989, I didn’t even bother seeing it in the theater. I don’t know if it was GB burnout or just a simple 14-year-old’s “Whatever” attitude, but I didn’t see it until it came out on VHS some time later.
So, by looking at my collection of stuff, you’d barely think I was a Ghostbusters fan at all. But if you dig into my record collection, there are a few GB gems.
I’m all for Record Store Day as a concept – a few times a year, record stores open early and have a line-up of exclusive records for sale. That being said, it’s not really something I normally take part in. Honestly, the main reason is price. I’m so stingy that spending more than $20 on a record (and sometimes, even that $20) just isn’t something I can justify. So, asking me to drop $40 for an RSD edition of anything – let along buying multiple albums and spending hundreds of dollars like a lot of collectors do – is just impossible for me. I wish I could do it, but I just can’t.
However, when I first started collecting records in 2014, my first Record Store Day had an album I was excited about – a Ghostbusters single that glowed in the dark! A friend of mine works at a record store, so he set a copy aside for me. I didn’t even have to go into the store to buy it; he dropped it by my house later that day.
The album is cool with some good remixes of the theme song, but it’s something I think I’ve listened to once, ya know? The real draw is that it glows in the dark, so it’s a fun conversation piece.
Now, like I said, I wasn’t a huge Ghostbusters 2 fan. It’s definitely a solid, fun flick, but it didn’t hit me like the original did. But when a friend of mine dropped off a stack of records for me to look through that her mom was getting rid of, I wasn’t about to pass up this flexi disc from Ghostbusters 2 that I found stuck between a Johnny Mathis album and the Raiders of the Lost Ark soundtrack.
Flexi discs are a piece of thin, flexible vinyl molded with record grooves. They were first introduced in 1962 as the Eva-tone Soundsheet and were commonly found in magazines, cereal boxes, or sent through the mail during the vinyl record golden age.
The Beatles famously sent their fan club members flexi discs with a special Christmas message for many years. National Geographic had flexi discs of bird songs. MAD Magazine included flexi discs of parody songs. They were a great, inexpensive way to send audio to the masses.
In 1989, to promote the release of GB2, Ralston Purina introduced Ghostbusters 2 cereal. On the front of the box it said you could win a chance to meet a real Ghostbuster! The details to enter the contest could be found inside on a “movie mystery record”.
On the GB2 flexi disc, kids would hear Egon (Maurice LaMarche, the voice of Egon on The Real Ghostbusters) ask three questions about the new movie. The answers needed to be written on a 3×5 note card and sent to a PO box in Hollywood. If their card was drawn, they’d win a trip to Hollywood to meet a real Ghostbuster and get cool GB merchandise. I’m sure that meant a hat, a t-shirt, and some out-of-work actor in a Ghostbusters uniform who would shake your hand, but it still would have been cool to a 9-year-old.
There were two versions of the flexi disc – one with white printing (that I have) and another with gold printing – that are exactly the same except for different trivia questions.
Here are both versions of the record on YouTube:
Either version of the record is pretty readily available on Discogs or eBay if you want to grab a copy for yourself.
Of course, I also have the original soundtrack. Nothing special there. I’ve honestly only listened to this once, but I couldn’t look myself in the mirror if I didn’t have a copy in my record collection.
There is one Ghostbusters record that has alluded me thus far, and that’s the read-along record book, The Ghostbusters Meet the Laser Ghost. Released in 1984 by Peter Pan Records, this thing is pretty hard to find. Don’t get me wrong – the voice acting is pretty terrible, but the original music and the artwork is a lot of fun – so it would be great to have it in my collection. You can check it out here on YouTube: