Note: Originally appeared at my personal site, iRich
If you’re a ghosthead and read the comments in my blog post about Universal considering bringing back (GBI) the Ghostbusters Spooktacular this year you would have learned for the first time about my fascination with Japan.
If you’re Japanese or from Japan I mean no disrespect. Yeah, I’m an American. I grew up in a suburb of a small New Jersey city, (compared to nearby cities, such as New York City) which has its own rich history. Something maybe I’ll talk about eventually. Nothing like a country or city on another continent.
I learned a lot in school about US and world history, their never could be enough time to study more of a countries history and culture. Its something I really couldn’t appreciate until after graduating.
This is where no disrespect is intended from an American with Italian, Irish, German, and maybe French (still haven’t proven it) heritage. From a kid who grew up in Jersey, the distance to Japan to how their culture seems to me without really understanding it, Japan may as well be an alien world.
The internet (then later documentary shows) has allowed me to read and view about countries and cultures in a way I couldn’t have growing up. Unfortunately I’ve never visited any country besides America. I still have plenty of states I still could visit.
Their’s two things (more then that, perhaps some other time) where I’d fit in quite well with Japanese people. Our shared interests in GHOSTBUSTERS and Back To The Future.
I’ve known for a couple of decades about early Japanese Ghostbusters merchandise. They were models from Tsukuda Hobby. A Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and a Terror Dog. I’m not really a model guy and didn’t have a lot of interest in finding these rare (and possibly expensive) models.
Earlier this month I came across an auction for Hobby Japan 1 from March 1985, which besides featuring Godzilla on the cover has photos of produced and possibly un-produced Ghostbusters models. I was watching the auction with the intent of scanning the material to share. As I didn’t win, I could still share the pictures (GBI) the seller used.
This issue of Hobby Japan set off an unofficial Japanese Ghostbusters month (it was suppose to be a week) between GBI and iRich. Two additional blog posts were written to show off Tsukuda’s Terror Dog (GBI) and Stay-Puft (GBI) models.
What I was to write next wasn’t personally in order of how I collected. Chronologically speaking it probably was. A few years ago I bought a Ghostbusters Japanese movie program. I think I knew a copy was on-line, not in the way I like to share out of print material. With me showing Ghostbusters Japanese love it was the right time to scan the program, kinda review it, (GBI) and share the PDF file. Which I knew would be followed up by looking at the Ghostbusters Japanese merchandise that could have been bought in the early ’80s from the program.
After those 5 blog posts (and this unnecessarily long post for explanation) it finally brought me back to iRich to show off a Ghostbusters Japanese collectible rarely seen.
In 1998 (at the earliest) I came across a eBay auction for Ghostbusters Japanese ashtrays. I’m pretty sure I hardly ever saw Japanese Ghostbusters merchandise for sale on American retail sites. I was interested because its Ghostbusters, it originally came from Japan, and its functional for multiple uses. I suppose it didn’t hurt that three out of the four Ghostbusters once smoked.
The seller sold these as a collection or set of five. These Japanese ashtrays came in two sizes and geometric shapes. As a smaller circular product and a larger square product. I sold one almost immediately and years later gave one to one of my Ghostbusters friends.
I don’t know if its because it was the 1980s, (not that I know the glass ashtray “market” well) these Japanese glasses are made with a heavy glass. The “no ghost” logo used is the international version.
This larger Japanese glass was freshly unboxed. As these may not have been exclusively made for Japan, both “Ghostbusters” and copyright information is in English.
I’m not proud that this was my first piece of Ghostbusters merchandise from Japan, its part of my past. A decade + later I bought the program and could see buying additional early Ghostbusters Japanese merchandise depending on the cost. If I still have my sites, I’ll probably talk and show those off as well.
Photo Source: City On Fire