The Toy Scavenger Monthly Interview: This Is Not A Store, Its a Home! See Bobbys Toy Chest

The Real Ghostbusters Collection
Have you ever walked in to a toy store and thought id love to own all of this? Well one person has gone that step further and bought all his childhood figures again and more. This month we take a look at the collection of Robert Barbieri from Florida and his amazing collection of Vintage Action Figures.

From just looking at the images you would be wrong thinking that they are from a toy store in the 80s or 90s, In fact they are from Roberts house! Its an amazing collection, and a very big one so we decided to ask if we could take a look at it. Warning! This collection will blow you away and give you one of the biggest hits of nostalgia you have ever had!.

Hey Robert could you give a bit of information about yourself?
Hi I am Robert Barbieri, 30, from Orlando Florida/

Taking a look at your images your collection is amazing, so would you class yourself as collector, dealer, or both? too be fare most dealers are collectors at heart!
I am a collector first and a dealer second. I generally sell spares of items in my collection. What normally happens is that I have a play set or vehicle that is missing parts I cannot find separately and I am forced to buy the toy all over again but complete this time. I generally rationalize this by telling myself I’ll get some money back when I sell the first incomplete spare. I’m sure a lot of collectors do the same. I would like to become a more hands on dealer but its about having the cash on hand and finding big truck loads that I can make a profit on and I’m just not there yet. You need a lot of money to make money in this business.

How long have you been collecting?
I collected in Middle School and it was strictly Star Wars: Power of the force and Vintage Star Wars at that time. I had just discovered Star Wars because of the special edition release in theatres and Kenner/Hasbro released a whole new line of toys. This collecting lasted from 1996-2001. I then had a lapse in collecting during High School/College but eventually got back into it and started collecting everything I use to have as a kid, and then things I wanted as a kid, and then things I would of wanted had I known their existence as a kid.
It’s a slippery slope isn’t it? I’m at the point I snag bits here and there of vintage pop culture that catches my eye along with the rare /pricey items I am missing from toy lines I collect. For example TMNT Scratch the cat, I’m just waiting for the right time and price.

Vintage Star Wars Figures Collection

Do you look at other people’s collections and try to better them or stick to your own style?
I like to get inspired by other people’s collections. Whether it’s a display style or items I want to add to my collection. But ultimately I have to work within my own budget and space left in my house.

And how do you display the your figures?
I like Detolf glass cabinet display cases from IKEA because they are affordable and there’s no obstruction like any frame its just glass. I also enjoy displaying more prized items in retail store glass counter top cases.

Vinatge Action Figure Display Unit

So you definitely have a lot of Vintage Action Figures now! but what was your favourite action figure growing up?
I don’t think I had a favourite action figure but one of my favourite toys growing up was Kenner’s Real Ghostbusters Ecto1 car. It took a huge beating over the years and I salvaged it when garage sales would pop up at home. I just couldn’t let it go.
So do you still have it?
I eventually restored it and bought back missing pieces online.

What do you like collecting, have you got a favourite brand?
Anything Kenner is my bread and butter or items based off stuff that has been quickly forgotten (ex: James Bond Jr., Socket Poppers, Bone Brigade, cowboys of moo mesa). I like rare stuff like that and anything else from my childhood like TMNT/Real Ghostbusters/Crash Dummies. If its based off a cartoon or movie in the late 80s early 90s I most likely have the whole set or close to it.

You certainly do have a lot of items now! So what made you decide to start collecting?
I am an only child, so I had a lot of toys growing up, but between me breaking open toys to see how they worked or my dad eventually throwing them out by the box loads as I gradually got older I eventually had almost nothing left. I eventually became nostalgic.

Vintage Power Rangers Collection

I would definitely say that is one of the same reasons I got into collecting, Being nostalgic. But is there a certain collection that you are trying to achieve or do you just go for anything?
I am honing in on Real Ghostbusters Toys and Memorabilia. Strictly USA items and anything else is gravy. Over time and money I have collected every regular USA Kenner figure MOC with a couple variants and all are sealed in Zolo World protective cases.
So you collect Mint on Card, do you also collect Loose?
I also have a complete loose collection of every single Kenner Real Ghostbuster toy (figures, vehicles, play sets, role toys and all possible accessories) and they are on display in glass cases. I do not have every single vehicle or role play toy sealed (some are) but I made it a point to at least collect all the empty boxes because I love the artwork and my OCD couldn’t handle a box or two missing from the collection. So I can honestly say I have every Kenner Real Ghostbuster toy, and now I snag anything that says Real Ghostbusters on it whether it’s a pencil case or a colorforms set or affordable vintage store displays.
Is it the same with all you items? that you have mix of Loose and MOC?
I do collect both but I am a big fan of opened/loose toys. I get more bang for my buck and they are easier/more fun to display and don’t take up as much room as a big sealed box.

The Real Ghostbusters Complete CollectionThe Real Ghostbusters Complete Collection

The Real Ghostbusters Collection Loose

A lot of people are making Custom figures nowadays, there is definitely a big market for them, What do you feel about custom made figures and the destruction of old figures to make them?
I honestly am all for it, especially if the toy is broken already. I do it a lot myself to make characters I wish they made for a certain line.
On a side note: I am not a fan however, when collectors open sealed vintage toys that are worth hundreds and just kill the value of the item. This item didn’t wait 30years just so some guy can open it. It makes no sense to me, just sell the toy for 200-400 bucks and buy the complete loose version 60-80 bucks and use the profits for something else. I get that its their toy and their choice but money wise it makes no sense to me. It makes me wish there was child protective services but for toys. I am a culprit of opening sealed vintage toys but I justify those because the tape is already broken from age or the toy is worth the same sealed as it is loose.

James Bond Jr Prototype Action FigureWe all have that one find that is your favourite, but what was your best find that you are most proud of?
There are 2 moments and they both take place in a vintage toyshop. In one, I was allowed to look in the back room before they had a chance to sort out certain boxes. I found myself a green TMNT Shogun Triceraton for $2. In the other store I found in a loose figure bin where they had a deal buy 4 figures for $12. And one of those figures was a test shot (multi-plastic coloured) James Bond Jr. figure. I eventually sold the Triceraton for a profit obviously but I still have the James Bond Jr. figure.

That's a great find! So from your collection which item made you think “YES! Iv got it!”
The biggest YES in my collection is the super duper rare Filmations Ghostbusters Ghost Command play set. I was able to grab 2 in my hunt and I paid $600 and $375. I kept the complete one that has everything, the box and manual and even used the sticker sheet. I sold my near complete spare for $1200. That’s how rare it is.

That's a great profit! you don't really find them over here in the UK, what was the other?
Well its whenever I get very rare main characters MOC. Like my 12back small head Han Solo 1977 MOC. All 4 Real Ghostbusters original 1st waves MOC and all original 10 Back TMNT softheads MOC.
Then generically its when I get that final piece to complete a toy line or set that has eluded me for a decent amount of time. And also anytime recently when I could afford unproduced prototype figures. Napoleon from Bill n Ted Kenner line is the most current “YES” moment!

Do you have an item that no amount of money could let you part with it?
It’s too darn hard to narrow it down. I spent so much time and money to collect everything I own. I would never ever sell my TMNT, Ghostbusters or Crash Dummy collections. The rest of the more obscure lines would be negotiable but it would be totally hypothetical because the money would have to be astronomical.

So which item took the longest to find?
I have the entire TYCO Crash Dummy Toy line. But, I had the chance to buy 3 unproduced racing crash dummy prototypes on eBay many years back. Three new dummies were featured on the packaging of toys in 1994 but the line got cancelled before they could be produced. I got outbid and couldn’t continue past $500. Later on, I got lucky and found one somehow mixed into a France eBay auction, but that still left 2 to go.
It took a good 4-5yrs before I tracked down an owner through social media that had the 2 I needed. I paid $725 and was so pleased because I regretted not fighting harder years before. I have since found another prototype, a 1993 protek suit baby dummy that was also an unproduced figure from the crash dummy line from TYCO.

Crash Test Dummies Collection

It seems like you have been moving on to Prototypes now, but do you also collect anything else apart from action figures?
I collect the occasional original 1 sheet 27X41 movie poster and I’m a big fan of collecting vintage video store cardboard displays. My prized ones are never used until I bought them, Back to the future, Ghostbusters and Robocop. They all came in their original shipping boxes.

The Toy Scavenger - Bobbys Toy ChestThe Toy Scavenger - Bobbys Toy Chest
VHS Stand

Ok Robert, a massive Thank You for sharing your amazing collection with us, and taking the time to answer our questions. Its been a real pleasure. Personally I'm still in shock of how many you have, its been a real hit of nostalgia! Take care and good luck with future collecting!

If you would like to find out more about this amazing collection
Follow @Bobby_80s on twitter
Facebook find it on Bobbys Toy Chest
Instagram @Bobby_80s

Bobbys Toy Chest

All images are subject to copyright and the property of Bobbys Toy Chest.

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