The Boo Blasters were the longest-lasting competition to come out of the 1980s “supernatural exterminator” boom, successafully competing with Ghostbusters franchises for over five years until the Paranormal Extermination Act of 1990 outlawed the practice of franchised ghost-hunting.

Since the patents related to the original mechanism–trapping and containment in magnetic fields–remained in force, the Boo Blasters were forced to scramble to find equivalent technology. They wound up purchasing the patent rights to a mechanism designed by Soviet dissident and exile Yuri Makarov while he was incarcerated at a maximum-security sanitarium. Rather than trapping spiritual entities, Makarov’s technology–the ectoplasmic disruptor–broke apart the bonds holding an apparition together, reducing it to the level of paranormal background radiation. While not as permanent as removal–the entities would eventually reform after a period of years or decades–it was far cheaper.

Better still, the equipment to do so was much easier to make and maintain, being modified from off-the-shelf laser diodes and operable without a nuclear fuel source. This led Boo Blasters to seriously undercut its competitors’ prices. In most other aspects, it resembled the other paranormal exterminators in uniforms, advertising, and the like. Until a lawsuit forced them to stop, the Boo Blasters also handed out small toys for promotional purposes, which have since become sought-after collectibles.

While the Paranormal Extermination Act of 1990 technically allowed the original location to continue operation, the entire company had been set up with franchising in mind, and its in-name-only original location was a storage unit in Delaware.

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