When you become obsessed with something new you do a series of things: you watch everything that has ever been associated with it, you read everything that has ever been associated with it, and you collect every single thing that is associated with it. That’s what we’re focusing on this month — the world of collecting and the craziness that is often involved.
So what will we be doing this month? We’re talking to one of my favorite people below who has a house that people like me can only dream of, chatting with a couple who is hardcore about Disney pins, discussing what it’s like to be called a hoarder, and then doing the usual — a top ten to cap it off. Let the collecting begin!
Collecting Facts & Stats
- “Rancho Obi-Wan” is the home of the world’s largest Star Wars collection in Northern California.
- Baseball cards are high on the list of collections and the most valuable card comes from over 100 years ago. It’s of Honus Wagner and is worth a whopping $2.1 million.
- It’s been a few years, but as of 2011 Asako Kanda of Japan had the most Hello Kitty items, a stunning 4,519 different pieces.
- Not to outdo her, but Germany’s Bettina Dorfmann has her collection beat — granted, it’s a different kind. She has 15,000 Barbie dolls and only started collecting them a little over two decades ago.
- Superheroes may own the box office, but it’s G.I. Joe action figures that are deemed the most valuable.
Fan Focus: The Fandom Fanatic
Writing has brought me many great opportunities, but one of the best parts is the people you meet. If I’d never been a part of Fandomania (the site you just happen to be on) I never would’ve come into contact with Lauren Taylor. When she came on board I wasn’t big on reading much online besides Buzzfeed GIF filled lists, but her “Characterized by Nostalgia” on here were absolutely stunning. It was from those that I was introduced into her insane collection of everything from Gremlins to Scott Pilgrim to Buffy — all of which are great tales to check out by the way.
Anyways, today Lauren isn’t just some chick whose articles I enjoy — she’s my real friend beyond the confines of the Internet. Besides being a virtual shoulder to cry on and an ear for my rants, she’s a fabulous baker and obviously the owner of a vast collection that made her my prime point of interest when it came time to write this, so let’s get to it.
Kendra: Have you always been into taking your collecting above and beyond?
Lauren Taylor: I’ve never been in the mindset that I’m a “collector” — It’s more that I have fascinations with certain fandoms or objects, and I just tend to hoard those things. In the case of, say, my snow globes, I know when to stop. You don’t have to have a snow globe for EVERY trip you took to the same city. Just each time you hit a NEW place. I also got a bit out of hand with my Muppets collection in regard to my Great Muppet Caper glasses. “Wait, do I have this one? Hmm, better grab it…” I would get home and yeah… I already have four… okay.
Kendra: Do you get a bit of a high when you stumble upon something you don’t have yet?
Lauren: I had a HUGE rush when I found my Kermit the Frog doll. I do get highs when I find things I have never seen, things that are totally rare, or those things I remember vaguely having in childhood. Totally amazing. I’m not a total goober, but yep, I do get giddy.
Kendra: What do you say to those who may toss the word “hoarder” your way?
Lauren: OK, yeah, I have a tendency to pile up some things. But I own my home and I’m able to pay for my collectibles and my house both with ease — so call me what ye will! I may think you’re a boring poo head.
Kendra: Is there a fandom you may’ve grown out of but still have things from?
Lauren: I will never outgrow my fandoms. Are you kidding me? I think anyone who says “I liked that when I was a kid” has something severely wrong with them. What went wrong in their life that they lost that passion??
Kendra: When you bring something new in the house, do you take something out and put it in storage or just make room?
Lauren: I usually try to make room. And I do have plenty of room. But there ARE some things that don’t need to be around that can be moved or replaced and rotated. One day things will be sorted, I always think, but then if things were to be sorted one day — then what fun would that be?
Kendra: Do you think your collections will ever be complete?
Lauren: Again, what fun would that be if the hunt were over? I hope to always be finding something new and exciting!
Kendra: Looking around your house, what would newcomers assume is the biggest chunk of your home dedicated to?
Lauren: Sheesh! There is SO much there. Toys everywhere! The house is FULL of toys. But I try to keep collections together. The main eye level in my “office” is Labyrinth and Muppets with a second level of Frankenstein’s Monster & his Bride, then Doctor Who, Phantom of the Opera, Star Wars Lego… oh… I give up… there is no central dedication.
Kendra: What are your top three pieces you own from that fandom?
Lauren: If we go with Frankenstein’s Monster, my favorite pieces I own are: My 1:2 scale bust, my Universal Monster lunchbox, and my absolutely gorgeous amazing irreplaceable painting done by James Hance. (See above picture for Lauren’s awesomeness)
Collecting Icon: Beanie Babies
Be mindful that I grew up in the ‘90s and that during that time the hype around Beanie Babies was real. It was intense and it was not a game to get into if you were not ready for a smack down in the toy store. I didn’t get that deep into it and only bought the ones I thought were cute, but my little brother (he’s going to kill me for saying this) was way too into it. He even had those collector’s books that broke down prices and whatnot. Oh, do you remember that plastic covers that had to protect the precious TY tags? Well, I wanted to just note the greatness of Beanie Babies to celebrate not only a crazy time in pop culture but show that sometimes collecting just ends up being a fad. While things like Star Wars, Barbies, and baseball cards will never fade — they all can’t be as lucky, as Beanie Babies, POGs, and pet rocks will attest.
Next time around we’ll talk to a couple who is deep in the Disney pin game.