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Monday, July 8, 2013

Building a set: 1989 Topps Ghostbusters 2 - Pack 1

I've done this on the Twitters a few times so I thought I'd try it out here. @Project1962 sent me 15 packs of 1989 Topps Ghostbusters 2 cards in exchange for a half a box worth of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves cards. There are 88 cards and 11 stickers in the set. There are 120 cards and 15 stickers in the packs. Can I complete the set out of the packs???

Probably not. Collation is not a virtue in these old non-sport packs. But I'll make a valiant effort and you can play along. Leave a guess on how many cards you think I'll be short in the comments. I'mma say I complete this bish because inveterate optimist.

If you want a set dedicated to Ghostbusters this is it unless Rittenhouse did something in the past decade I don't know about. The original Ghostbusters actually have a few cards in 1988's Fright Flicks set, but it's not the same. (even though I'd LOVE to find some packs of that stuff) Ghostbusters 2 made the cut since it was a SMASH MOVIE! as the wrapper helpfully reminds us. The only real smash was the sound the movie made when it completely failed to live up to its predecessor in just about every way. Not to say it's a bad movie... well, yeah it is pretty awful. But I really like awful movies and it's the Friggin GHOSTBUSTERS so it holds a special place in my heart. A really stupid place but a special stupid place.

The original Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies of all time. It's a perfect combination of comedy, sci-fi and horror and features some of the funniest people on the planet. Ghostbusters 2 has everything the original Ghostbusters has so why doesn't it work? I think the tone is just off a bit. OG Ghostbusters had a gritty, rebellious feel to it. It even got sleazy at times what with Venkman trying to schtupp his students and Stantz getting a boo job. Ghostbusters 2 seemed like the producers saw dollar signs and tried to lure in more families and kids by cutesying it up. Obviously by the time this came out there was a Ghostbusters cartoon, which was fine, but they cartooned the movie up a little too much as far as I'm concerned. Slimer fanservice, pink happy slime, Statue of Liberty wandering around and that damn baby. Ugh, baby everywhere. There's a whole lot more mugging for the camera and cringeworthy moments too. Of course, it's a sequel. Actors knew it wass just a money grab back then so why not mug it up a bit. It's a bad movie but it's an entertaining bad movie and that's what it's all about now, isn't it?

I'll rip on the movie in detail as we look at each card. First, have some gum.

Whole gum is somewhat rare in these old packs. Maybe I should start a grading service for vintage gum. First card:

card #1

... is appropriately enough the first card. Gotta love a title card. I hope you like that goofy-ass ghost logo flashing the peace sign because you're going to see it a couple hundred more times. Also hope you like that baby blue border as much as I do. This card got the gum treatment so the back is slightly horrible. Most of the cards in these packs are slightly warped as well, resuling in some wonky scans when they decided to rotate when I set the lid down on the scanner. Think about that the next time someone advertises "pack fresh" cards.

card #83
 So here's the card design. Baby blue borders with a hand-drawn yellow zap design surrounding the picture, Peace Ghost in the bottom left corner and the card title in white along the bottom. I've seen worse. Deviating from the normal plot summary you see in vintage Topps non-sport sets this card shows a 'behind the scenes' shot of admittedly one of the coolest things about this film. Faceless Lady Liberty is kinda creepy though.

card #62
 And here's that friggin baby. It irks me how much oxygen this baby sucks out of the room every time he's in the shot. I want to see Bill Murray acting childish, not an actual child. Of course the entire plot revolves around the kid so what are ya gonna do. This scene particularly irritates me since it ruins the make-out session between Louis and Janine. Nerds don't get enough action as it is, they don't need a damn wandering baby cock-blocking them.

card #51
 YEAAAAAH SLIMER FANSERVICE. Lookit that Slimer actin' all craaaazy! He's eatin hotdogs and don't even give an single ufck! Yeah I know. Slimer is popular. He's basically the mascot of the cartoon if not the entire franchise. That's what I mean about tone though. It's like Ghostbusters is Kermit the Frog, playing it cool, being the straight man while still getting chances to be extremely silly and throw out some good jokes. Ghostbusters 2 is Fozzie. Waka waka waka! Lookit the craaaaAAAAAZY Ghost!

card #12
Harold Ramis plays a great Vulcan. I wonder if there is any slash fiction out there between Egon Spengler and Spock. Actually, wait, no. Why do I think of such things. Dammit brain, why do you do this to me. Egon Spengler and Sheldon Cooper slashfic would be much better.Anyway, here's Egon doing Science. Yay science.

sticker #7
So here's the sticker. Basic sticker setup, 11 stickers with images mostly ganked from the main set and a puzzle on the back. This here is an artist's rendition of one of the ghost brothers that menaces the boys in the court scene. Topps got a lot of milage out of the illustrations as I've seen them on several stickers and at least one card so far.

card #15
 quit upstaging me ya little brat, and go watch the Real Ghostbusters cartoon while I bang your mom

card #42
If there wasn't a tie-in deal with this movie and Pizza Hut to sell Ghost Catcher Supreme pizzas with a free order of slime dipping sauce then someone really dropped the ball. Akroyd will always be my favorite Ghostbuster and I love the pic of him tracking down ghosts while chomping on a big ol' stogie.

card #23
The pack finishes up with the court scene. Here Ray's slime starts acting up because everyone's yelling at each other. Every set has at least one card were there's a wide shot that looks cool on the screen but doesn't work well on a 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 piece of cardboard. I tried holding the card up an inch in front of my face to reproduce the theater experience but my eyes are too old and feeble for that crap anymore.

After one pack, here's the stats:

Set completion: 8/88 9.1%
Sticker set completion: 1/11 9.1%
Doubles: 0
Sticker doubles: 0
Cards needed in the pack: 9
Number of cards left for the base set: 80
Number of cards left in the packs: 112

I've got three of these posts queued, let's see how long it takes for me to finish this off.


P-town Tom said...

I think the ghost is showing you how many cards you'll come up short of a complete set: 2.

Robin said...

Great Cards :D

i would like to build one of these 80s movie sets too. Like Gremlins or ALF :D ... but the most expensive part of collecting junk wax for me is the shipping of a box to europe. But great set .. good luck completing ist ;-)

Captain Canuck said...

most non sport sets make you open the whole box, so I'm going to say 8 cards short. And they'll be all in one pack.

That you don't have.

CaptKirk42 said...

I'll say 13 cards and a sticker short and one of the stickers you'll have triplicates of.