I was too young unfortunately to remember hearing or seeing anything about Ghostbusters having a fan club in 1984. In 1985 my parents bought me a copy of The Official Ghostbusters Training Manual. Where it may have been advertised. I wouldn’t have remembered even the manual in detail until adulthood. Because they were closer in age I knew all about The Real Ghostbusters comics from NOW c o m i c s and The Real Ghostbusters Magazine(s).
As Ghostbusters grew older with me in an age before the internet an official fan club wasn’t in my Ghostbusters memory files. Unless it was just in the Official Training Manual I saw the fan club advertised in the role playing game books from West End Games in my 20s. I remember when I came across an ad and saw Ghostbusters magazine I was thinking why hasn’t any ghosthead seen these on-line?
The Official Ghostbusters Fan Club was founded by Mark Lister and Jim Garvey. They paid then Columbia Pictures a cool (estimated) $10K USD for licensing. Life imitating art, imitating life? One sentence in USA Today and a fan club TV commercial had thousands upon thousands of fans calling within 4 days. By August 1985 the Ghostbusters Fan Club had more then 40,000 members internationally.
Unlike today where ghostheads pay for their ISP and visit websites (where we save ghostheads a lot of dough) membership into The Official Ghostbusters Fan Club cost $8.95 USD. A $20.59 USD value today!
Real original ghostheads (who were fortunate to be part of the club) would receive the following:
- Personal membership card
- A metal (yes metal) badge
- Certificate of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency
- Not 1, but 4 color “This property protected by Ghostbusters” stickers.
- Ectomobile sticker
- Ghostbusters Logo patch
- The Official Trade Journal of Certified Ghostbusters
How did my parents miss this? Why wasn’t I a member? 😥
At least I had subscriptions to Nintendo Power and Ranger Rick. I didn’t need to subscribe to The Real Ghostbusters comics or magazine because I’d buy them in stores near my childhood apartment.
It seems unbelievable copies of The Official Trade Journal of Certified Ghostbusters has never been shared. Maybe in part most of those fans either didn’t save them or transition into the Ghostbusters internet community. I share in Paul’s thinking about sharing them as part of the eBook Preservation Project.
As part of the fun in being a member you couldn’t just join The Official Ghostbusters Fan Club. You applied for a job, similar to Winston. If this existed today one would probably apply to become a rookie.
Once your application was processed and your check cleared, those original ghostheads received all their membership materials, including that certificate of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency, which if you’re in a franchise we know you want.
Famous ghosthead Peter Mosen (Facebook) has shared his certificate with Paul Rudoff, whose cleaned it up to share with all ghostheads!
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