• Robert O'Connor Ghostbusters Collector
  • Robert O'Connor Ghostbusters Collection
  • Robert O'Connor Ghostbusters Collector
  • Robert O'Connor Ghostbusters Collection
  • Robert O'Connor Ghostbusters Collectables
  • Guinness World Records Ghostbusters Collection
  • Robert O'Connor Guinness World Records Ghostbusters Collection

Robert O’Connor, Ghostbusters

Robert O’Connor collects Ghostbusters memorabilia. In this edition of Collector Spotlight, Robert shares some of the resources he relies on for documenting his collection and explains how his enthusiasm for Ghostbusters brings joy to those around him.

How do you describe your collection?

I’ve been thinking about that. I think “a toy store” is the best way to describe my collection. It’s just all-around fun, and there’s a little bit in here for everybody.

The original Ghostbusters movie came out in 1984, then we had the sequel in 1989, and other television and movie releases have followed. The newest of which — Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire — comes out on March 22. My collection is geared towards the original Ghostbusters releases — the two movies, The Real Ghostbusters and Extreme Ghostbusters cartoons. I don’t usually travel outside that.

In 2020, I set the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Ghostbusters memorabilia with 1221 items. I probably have five times that number now.

When and why did you start your collection?

I received a Stay Puft Marshmallow Man plush in Christmas 1989 from my grandparents. I was four years old.

My childhood wasn’t the greatest. We had a lot of hard times and a lot of things going on as I was growing up. Ghostbusters — the movies and the cartoons — was big in the 1980s. It took me away from my everyday life and the things that were going on. It let me escape the reality that I was in. I liked it because you didn’t need superpowers or millions of dollars. You could just be a normal person and fight the unfightable. You just needed bravery.

How do you display and store your collection?

My collection is in one room of my house and very seldomly finds its way outside of the collection room.

I try to rotate things and move them around to keep it organized and fresh. The items are generally organized by movie and series. While I try to keep everything on display, the collection has become so big that I’ve had to condense a lot of it and I’m not able to display everything.

Guinness has a lot of requirements when it comes to going for a world record. You need a tally of everything you have down to the UPC code of the items. When I first started the journey of applying for the Guinness record, it took me every bit of six months just to compile the information for the 1221 items that they require. I’ve tried to keep up with that and manage the collection a little bit better. I use Excel to track the collection but also a couple of apps — Key Collector for my comics and priceCharting for video games. I take photos of everything. It’s good information for insurance purposes, too.

What do you consider to be the Holy Grail of your collection?

I have quite a few Grails that I’ve acquired over my 30-plus years of collecting.

One of them is the Ecto-Glow figures that Kenner made. It was one of the last Ghostbusters toy lines to be released by Kenner. At the time, they were not very sought after. The figures didn’t hit a lot of places and were exclusive to the United States. They are very sought-after now and quite expensive.

I have been lucky enough to meet some of the stars from the movies over the years so I have some autographed items like LaserDiscs and LP covers. I’ve met Dan Aykroyd and Ernie Hudson a couple of times — they are my favourite Ghostbusters and are heroes of mine. I’ve met Logan Kim who played Podcast in the Afterlife and Frozen Empire.

I would love to own the Ecto-1, which is a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor. Unfortunately, those cars are very rare and very expensive to restore if you do happen to find one. Getting one of those is probably not going to happen.

I’d also love to have something that was used as a major prop on one of the four movies, something screen-used. I do own a piece of the Titanic that was used in a scene in Ghostbusters 2 — that’ really cool. But, I would love a prop of some kind. One of Dan Aykroyd’s flight suits came up for auction — I put a couple of bids on it but missed out.

Sometimes the price on that stuff is just ridiculous. I have a budget and I like to stay within that. My wife likes it when I do that, too.

What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a Ghostbusters collection?

My biggest piece of advice is to collect what you enjoy, what you love, and what makes you happy. Don’t collect because it’s valuable or because you want to break a record or anything like that. I think that you collect for yourself.

I am lucky — my wife is very supportive of me and the collection. If I’m ever feeling down, I visit the collection room for a little bit. My nieces and nephews love to come here and play with the toys, as do some of our friends’ kids. My collection isn’t strictly just for show.

I built a life-sized Ghostbusters logo like the one from the firehouse and I put it on the front of my garage at Halloween. The neighbourhood kids absolutely love it. Every year I try to do something special for Halloween with a Ghostbusters theme. And, any of the kids that come along for trick-or-treating dressed as a Ghostbuster get some extra stuff that I’ve collected over the years. They refer to our house the the “Ghostbusters house”.

See more of Robert’s collection on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

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