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The Fascinating Life of a Japanese Amazon Box Collector

When receiving an order from Amazon, most people throw way the packaging box immediately, but one Japanese man loves Amazon boxes so much that he has spent the last 9 years collecting them.

So what posses a man to start collecting Amazon cardboard boxes? In the case of Kosuke Saito, from Osaka, Japan, it was the discovery of a pattern of numbers. It all started one day, in 2008, when, while unpacking an Amazon product, he noticed the serial number “XM06” on the packaging and remembered seeing “XM08” on another Amazon box. That got him thinking that if there was an XM06 and an XM08, surely there must be an XM07 as well. He wanted to know what that box was like, but it was only the beginning, because he soon discovered that Amazon boxes come in all shapes and sizes, and he was curious about all of them.

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Slovakian Collector Opens Museum of Old Mobile Phones

Many people have one or two really old mobile phones from before the smartphone revolution happened, but 26-year old Stefan Polgari has a collection of over 3,500 of them, made up of 1,231 different models.

Polgari, from the small Slovakian town of Dobsina, has always been kind of a tech-head, and at 15-years-old, he started doing online reviews of new mobile phones. Before long, he had already amassed a small collection of Nokia, Alcatel, Sagem, Ericsson and other brands that were available in Slovakia at the time. But it was 2 years ago that Stefan’s collection really took off, after he bought someone’s collection of 1,000 old phones for a few thousands of euros. He has been hunting for missing models to add to his already impressive collection ever since, and today he is the proud owner of 3,500 “ancient” mobile phones, about half of which still work.

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Star Wars Fan Spends 20 Years and $248,000 Creating World’s Largest Darth Vader Memorabilia Collection

Bill McBride, from Washington DC, is the proud owner of the world’s largest collection of Darth Vader memorabilia. The 42-year-old Star Wars fan has been working on the massive collection for the past 20 years, spending over $280,000 on 60,000 items including figurines, artwork and replica lightsabers.

Bill’s obsession with the iconic Star Wars villain began when he was five years old. “The moment Darth Vader burst on screen in Star Wars, I was immediately a fan of the character,” he said. “When you have the imposing, powerful presence of David Prowse, the other-worldly voice of James Earl Jones, all wrapped up in one of the coolest, most amazing costumes in movie history, you can’t help but fall in love.”

Darth-Vader-collection

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This Guy Has Been Saving All His Nail Clippings Since 1978

58-year-old oil investor Richard Gibson has one of the weirdest collections in the world. For the past 36 years, he has been religiously saving all his toenail clippings in a glass jar.

Collecting toenails is a strange hobby, but Richard says that he didn’t exactly plan for it – it sort of happened as a result of his curiosity, and he just never stopped. He happened to be clipping his nails one day in February, 1978, and instead of throwing them out, he just put them in a manicure box. He then started doing it repeatedly, just to see how long it would take to fill up the box. That didn’t take too long – only two years – and by then he was pretty much hooked. So he moved his collection to a large glass jar, which is what now uses to put the clippings in.

“I have no idea how many nails are in the jar,” Gibson admitted. “It’s well into the thousands.”

nail-clippings-collection

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Chinese Man Spends $30,000 over 12 Years on Impressive Transformers Collection

Zhang Wei, a retired soldier from Qingdao city, China’s Shandong Province, is a huge fan of Transformers. The 38-year-old has been collecting Transformers models of varying sizes since 2002. And when he got married, his wife joined him with great enthusiasm. Today, the couple’s home is filled with a massive collection of 380 models worth a whopping US $32,000.

Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Red Spider, Metroplex and pretty much every other transformer feature in Zhang’s collection, neatly arranged on special shelves fitted on to his living room walls. His favorite pastime is to dismantle each model and assemble it again.

Transformers-collection

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This Guy Is on a Pointless Quest to Collect Every VHS Copy of the Movie “Speed” Ever Made

Ryan Beitz, from Moscow, Idaho, is a huge fan of the movie ‘Speed’. So huge, that he’s actually on a quest to collect every single VHS copy of the movie ever made. So far, he has over 500 VHS tapes and 26 laser discs. But it’s the tapes that he’s really after, the discs are just there to trade off for more VHS cassettes. Ryan also owns a 15-passenger that he plans to transform into the passenger bus featured in the 1994 film.

Ryan’s weird obsession started way back when he used to live in Seattle. He was super-broke and had to get Christmas presents for his family. At a pawn shop, he found six copies of Speed, so he thought it would be really funny to give them all the same gift. “I wanted to watch them open them one at a time and go, ‘Oh, Speed. Don’t we already have this?’ Somebody else would go, ‘Oh, Speed. Really funny, Ryan’. Then by the time you went around, everybody would have gotten the same gift from me. Then I could tell them that I love them all equally, you know? Just some bullshit,” he said.

But when he ended up buying all six tapes, he realized that it was ‘way too good’. “I realized it was really fascinating to have that many, like, copies of a thing,” said Ryan. “What really cemented it was when I went down to another pawn shop, and they had, like, 30 copies. I said, ‘I’ll take them all’. They sold them to me for 11 cents a copy.” Ryan hasn’t looked back since. He said that he has about 550 now, but he hasn’t really counted them because, ‘who really cares’?

Speed-collector

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Chinese Man Collects 5,000 Bras in 20 Years, Wants to Open Bra Museum

Chen Qingzu, a 56-year-old health worker from South China’s Hainan province, has a very bizarre hobby – he collects brassieres. In the past 20 years, he has amassed over 5,000 bras of various colors, shapes and sizes. Chen now wants to start a museum to display his entire bra collection.

Now, before you write-off Chen’s hobby as a fetish, you might want to hear his version of the story: “It’s my job to educate the public about the importance of health checkups, but my special interest is as an advocate for female health relating to their breasts and this was a good way of going about it,” he said. “Many women wear tight or smaller-size bras to show off their figures, which would do harm to their breasts.”

Chen said that most of his bras were donated to him by college girls after he visited their campuses to talk about breast health. He told the girls about the dangers of wearing ill-fitting bras and asked them to give him theirs. “Many girls thought I was a bra fetishist,” he said. But when he explained that he was only trying to promote well-fitting bras, the students were convinced and handed over their ill-fitting ones to him.

bra-collector

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Singaporean Man is Crazy About Dolls, Has 9,000 of Them

Jian Yang, a 33-year-old man from Singapore, has enough dolls to open a museum or at least a super awesome girls’ playhouse. The “toy nerd”, as Yang describes himself, has no less than 9,ooo dolls: 6000 of them are Barbie dolls, and the 0ther 3,000 are other types of girly dolls, such as Bratz Girls and Monster High. His huge collection is valued at about $500,000.

Yang’s passion for dolls began in his childhood days, when he wanted a doll but wasn’t allowed to have one. As he recalls, “before I knew anything about social norms, I was a boy that watched this on TV, liked it and wasn’t allowed to have one. As I grew older, got my own allowance, that’s where I started getting the freedom to buy whatever I wanted”. Step by step, a simple wish became a “crazy obsession”. His friends support him, his family have understood and learned to accept his passion, but his love life is affected, since his girlfriends see the the doll collection as the competition. As Yang confesses, “I’ve also got the ex-girlfriends who get insecure about this kind of stuff … They look at dolls and go ‘OK, that’s the competition’, which is quite troubling but it’s a reality”.

Jian-Yang-Barbie2

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Hamburger Harry – The World’s Biggest Burger Fan

For 57-year-old Harry Sperl of Daytona Beach, Florida, burgers are not only a tasty fast-food treat, but also representations of American popular culture that deserve a shrine. “They taste good, they look good and the hamburger is an icon of the United States of America”, explains Sperl. This is the reason why for the last 23 years, this burger enthusiast has been adding hundreds of items to the “Burgerbilia”, the world’s first (and, so far, only) burger museum, located in Sperl’s own home.

Sperl has been using burger memorabilia to decorate his house: he has a hamburger phone, a cheeseburger lamp and even a custom-made hamburger bed with little hamburger pillows. He also has custom carpets with hamburger designs, hamburger-shaped music boxes, erasers, clocks, trays and lots of magnets. Sperl’s passion began when he purchased some hamburger items from a toy store. From that moment on, not only did he start collecting items for the Burgerbilia from flea markets and garage sales, but he also designed his pride and joy – the Hamburger Harley, a unique hamburger-shaped tricycle, with onion wheels and pickle handles. He originally thought of using a Volkswagen Beetle, but he decided he didn’t like the sound of the air cooled flat 4 engines. Sperl then considered a hamburger dragster or a cheap go-cart, but in the end his love for Harley Davidson got the best of him.

Harry-Sperl-burgers

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Loving Husband Buys His Wife 55,000 Dresses in 56 Years

If love was measured in dresses, Paul Brockman would probably be the most loving husband in the world. Over the past 56 years, the German-born contractor from Lomita, California, has gifted his wife Margot with 55,000 dresses, all of which he picked out himself.

The first 10 dresses in Paul Brockman’s impressive collection were free. He got them while working at a seaport in Bremen, Germany, where workers could pick out anything they wanted when the merchandise bales were opened. He gave them all to his then-girlfriend, Margot. After going steady for a while, Paul asked the girl’s parents for her hand in marriage, and they agreed, on one condition – that they leave struggling Germany and move to America. They left for the Land of Opportunity during the 50’s and Paul was disowned by his own family for going against their wishes. The two arrived in Ohio and moved to Arizona before finally settling in California. Brockman started working in construction. No stranger to hard labor, he was soon able to build a construction company and pretty soon the money started coming in. He and Margot shared a passion for dance and went ballroom dancing every week, but Paul wanted her to have a different dress every time, so he kept buying her new ones. By the time they arrived in Los Angeles, in 1988, Margot Brockman already had between 25,000 and 26,000 dresses.

55000-dresses

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World’s Biggest Winnie the Pooh Fan Collects 9,000 Different Bear-Themed Items

48-year-old Deb Hoffman is probably the world’s biggest Winnie the Pooh fan. Her collection of over 8,900 Winnie-themed items has won her a place in the Guinness Book of Records and even though it takes up four rooms of her house, this dedicated fan doesn’t plan to stop adding to her collection anytime soon.

Deb, a computer software designer, from Waukesha, Wisconsin, says her obsession with the lovable Winnie started when she was just 2 years old. Her father came home late one night, and as always, she used the old “I have to go to the bathroom” excuse just so she could go see him. Only this time he had brought something home with him in a box. Her mother put it in the bathroom where she could reach it, and the moment she put her hand inside and pulled out an adorable orange bear dressed in a bright red t-shirt with the letters P-O-O-H on the front, little Deb fell in love with it. Over the years, the cuddly teddy bear remained her favorite toy, and by age 20 she had around 40-50 Winnie-themed items. Not exactly unusual, considering other kids collect hundreds of their favorite dolls or action figures. But at 22, Deb Hoffman married Gary, a careful and patient husband, and got a full-time job which provided her with some disposable income. That’s when her obsession with Winnie the Pooh really kicked into high gear.

Winnie-the-Pooh-collection

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Meet Asako Kanda, the World’s Biggest Hello Kitty Fan

Hello Kitty has millions of fans around the world, but none are more in love with Sanrio’s iconic character than Asako Kanda. The 39-year-old receptionist from Japan has amassed a fantastic collection of over 4,500 Hello Kitty items.

Like many other girls of her generation, Asako’s fascination with Hello Kitty began during her elementary school days. At first, she just bought little things like pencils and erasers featuring the popular kitty, but by the time she turned 11 she was so obsessed with Sanrio’s creation that she made a Hello Kitty mug in her pottery class, and an embroided Hello Kitty apron for her home economics course. But she can’t be the only girl in the world who did this kind of stuff while growing up. But that’s the thing, while most other girls move on to idolizing boy bands or movie actors, Asako Kanda remained faithful to her childhood friend. “Kitty has always been with me, almost subconsciously,” she said in an interview a few years back. Some people call her infantile, other laugh at her bad taste, but none of this has ever affected her long-term love affair with Hello Kitty. She now holds the Guinness World Record for most Hello Kitty items, 4,519, as of August 2011.

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The Bone Collector – Man Amasses Creepy Collection of over 7,000 Animal Skulls and Bones

Ray Bandar, a retired biologist from San Francisco, has spent the last 50 years collecting thousands of animal bones. He estimates he has 7,000 skulls, 200 pelvises and countless other limbs from animals he mostly found and cleaned himself.

“I enjoy removing the flesh from the skull and disarticulating the jaws,” Bandar recently said in an interview for National Geographic’s Taboo series. “I see nothing gross about this, whether it’s a fresh animal or a badly decomposed animal, makes no difference to me.” The native San Franciscan grew up in the Richmond District and started collecting different animal specimens in junior high. That’s when he got the nickname “Reptile Ray”. As time passed, his passion for collecting and cleaning dead animals grew, and he is now the proud owner of a collection of over 7,000 skulls, including 2,600 from California marine mammals. Over the years, his own discoveries have been supplemented from local zoos, museums, taxidermists, roadkill, and trips to Australia, Africa and Mexico. His house is like no other on Earth – every room is virtually crammed with bones and skulls from animals Ray decapitated himself, but he still roams the beaches of Northern California looking for new and exciting additions to his museum home.

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Woman Collects Realistic Dolls, Treats Them Like Real Babies

Marylin Mansfield, a plus-size model from Staten Island, has turned her home into a creepy nursery filled with over 300 dolls, including reborn babies, Barbies and Goth-like Krypt Kiddies.

We’ve posted our share of wacky doll collectors here on Oddity Central, like this lady with a thing for antique dolls, this other one who loves clowns, or the couple who share their home with love dolls, but Marylin actually treats her plastic collectibles like real babies. “I take them anywhere you would bring a real baby. I don’t do it for the shock value. I do it for myself because it makes me happy. I just loved when my kids were babies — and these babies stay babies forever. I buy them clothes. They never grow out of them and they never get dirty”, the tattooed platinum blonde says about her peculiar hobby.

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Baseball Fan Has Caught over 5,800 Home Run and Foul Balls

Zack Hample, from New York, is a baseball fan and bawl hawk – he’s great at catching and stealing balls. But Zack isn’t an ordinary ball hawk, because no one else boasts a collection as impressive as his: more than 5,800 balls, both home runs and fouled balls. The way he goes after balls at matches can be characterized as almost professional.

A typical game for Zack Hample goes kind of like this – running around the Major League ballpark, searching for foul balls or home runs, and sometimes even convincing coaches and players to toss balls into the stands. As you can imagine, being a ball hawk is no walk in the park. It involves a lot of athleticism, a bit of science and loads of luck too. All three of which Hample has plenty of. His collection of baseballs is the largest in the world. “Yes, I’m obsessed,” he admits.

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