Crazy col­lec­tors

IT’S time to ex­plore some of the most im­pres­sive and bizarre col­lec­tions ever as­sem­bled.

People (South Africa) - - Contents - BY ROBERT CLUNIE

MYNAHS, corvids, jays, jack­daws, mag­pies – Planet Earth’s finest klep­topar­a­sites, hoard­ers and glean­ers th­ese are. Th­ese lit­tle crit­ters are wired to go af­ter a shim­mer­ing peb­ble or an ex­cit­ing trin­ket, and though their pools of loot can be might­ily im­pres­sive, there is one species not be out­done. Man well and truly is the king of the col­lec­tors.


HE’S in­grained within the Bri­tish pop­u­lar cul­ture psy­che at only 60 years old and com­mands a se­ri­ous amount of love among kids and grown-ups alike. For it he’s even starred in two re­cent big fea­ture films. Yes, Padding­ton Bear is cer­tainly an adored char­ac­ter – but no fan can claim to be able to truly match Emma Bend­ing’s love of him. Emma has spent R187 000 col­lect­ing any­thing Padding­ton she can find. So im­pres­sive is her col­lec­tion that Marks & Spencer pho­tographed her in her home with her Padding­ton bears for an up­com­ing Christ­mas ad­ver­tise­ment.

Thank You, Walt

WALT DIS­NEY may very well be one of the most in­flu­en­tial peo­ple ever to have walked the Earth.

His imag­i­na­tion and the sub­se­quent fab­ri­ca­tion of char­ac­ters, tales and songs have put smiles on the faces of adults and chil­dren for decades. But Amanda and Adam Len­nard from the UK firmly have the brag­ging rights to Europe’s big­gest col­lec­tion of Dis­neyre­lated odds and ends. The cou­ple has spent over

R560 000 over the last five years to sup­ple­ment a col­lec­tion so large that only their bath­room is free of any­thing Dis­ney... for now.

Plas­tic Fan­tas­tic

GROW up, not old, they say. Men will re­main chil­dren for the rest of their lives it seems and Sam Peña is no dif­fer­ent. The 45-year-old from Sacra­mento, like his peers, loves his lit­tle trin­kets; un­like them, how­ever, he steers away from ships, planes, cars and mil­i­tary para­pher­na­lia. In­stead, the Cal­i­for­nia na­tive has a col­lec­tion of over 5 000 Bar­bie dolls and their ac­com­pa­ni­ments. This had him com­mit and en­tire room in his house to house them, and it took him 20 years to col­lect all his gen­uine mem­o­ra­bilia.

Crack Open A Cold One

BEER is nice. In fact, it’s great. So great that Nick West has ded­i­cated 42 years to col­lect the empty tins af­ter he has fin­ished his am­ber de­light. His wife, Deb­o­rah, may be sick of his an­tics, but Nicks keeps on crack­ing open and col­lect­ing. He has over 9 000 cans stashed in his home, some which can cost hun­dreds of rands. Iron­i­cally, it was Deb­o­rah who sparked his in­ter­est in this hobby af­ter she bought him a book on beer back in 1975.

Get Stuffed

A CA­REER path is carved. Most of us aren’t sure, by the time our stud­ies roll about, what we’d like to do with our lives, but nine-year-old An­gus La­timer doesn’t have that prob­lem and if all goes well he might end up like his hero, David At­ten­bor­ough. You see, An­gus ar­guably is the youngest taxi­der­mist in the UK – a pas­sion he de­vel­oped af­ter see­ing his mother, Kate stuff an an­i­mal be­fore his eyes. Ar­chaeo-palaeon­tol­ogy looks to be a good fit for him given his as­sort­ment of stuffed an­i­mals and an affin­ity to col­lect rocks, shells and fos­sils. He has an in­born love for an­i­mals too and he owns a pet frog called Slip­pery.

Never Let There Be No Beano

HE is a char­ac­ter so many chil­dren as­pired to be like, but few know about the pub­li­ca­tion that brought Den­nis the Men­ace (the English one, not the Amer­i­can) to life. Phil Shrimp­ton, 37, from Hert­ford­shire is the world’s fore­most col­lec­tor of Beano comic books. His love for it be­gan as a nine-year-old who bought his first is­sue at a lo­cal comic book store. Since then he has gath­ered ev­ery Beano-re­lated book imag­in­able and is even in posses­sion of a R468 000 Edi­tion 1 – only 30 are known to have sur­vived. He has quit his job re­cently and plans to sell comics full-time.

In A Base­ment Far, Far Away

KEITH GUPPY con­sid­ers him­self one lucky man. He gets to spend each day with the love of his life, but, like any other re­la­tion­ship, it has cost him a pretty penny – R1.5-mil­lion to be ex­act. His col­lec­tion is a rather cool one at that as he is the proud owner of the big­gest Star Wars col­lec­tion in the UK. Vec­tis Auc­tions Ltd val­ued his col­lec­tion of fig­urines, space­ships and play­sets for him so that mighty fig­ure is not one he made up. In cel­e­bra­tion of the re­lease of Solo: A Star Wars Story Keith and the Vue West End ar­ranged to host an ex­hi­bi­tion, cu­rated by Keith from his 3 000-plus col­lec­tion, for the view­ing pub­lic to mar­vel at.

This Hobby Sucks

ALERT Good House­keep­ing! There is an ex­pert on all things clean and tidy present. James Brown, not to be con­fused with the late soul mu­si­cian, has a thing for vac­uum clean­ers (good for suck­ing out souls, ac­cord­ing to some TV scripts). The 38-year-old from Not­ting­hamshire is un­matched in Bri­tain and he can safely say that his col­lec­tion of over 300 ma­chines is the largest on the isle. He has been la­belled ‘Mr Vac­uum’ by oth­ers and a large por­tion of his col­lec­tion con­sists of the ef­fec­tive yet ex­pen­sive Kirby brand. This prob­a­bly ex­plains the R930 000 price tag that dan­gles from his lot.

Hip Hip­poHooray

THEY are nice to look at from afar – not so nice when in close prox­im­ity, since they’re one of the wa­ter’s more dan­ger­ous an­i­mals. They also make for a fun board game. But what­ever their na­ture Sue Shef­man is ob­sessed with them and has spent 30 years trav­el­ling the world to col­lect hip­popota­mus doo­dads. She’s spent thou­sands on or­na­ments, toys and cloth­ing that are hippo-re­lated, and even has a hippo-shaped car, as well as a se­cu­rity cam­era that watches over her pre­cious col­lec­tion. It all started with a wed­ding gift and it just grew from there. She is even part of the Hip­poloto­fus So­ci­ety, which talks trades and col­lects all things hippo.

Col­lec­tor Emma Bend­ing with her Padding­ton Bear col­lec­tion

Amanda’s leg tat­toos show­ing Dis­ney char­ac­ters

Sam Peña: Bar­bie girl in a Bar­bie world?

Phil Shrimp­ton

Keith’s col­lec­tion com­prises over 3 000 items

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