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

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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.”

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This Guy Has Been Saving All His Nail Clippings Since 1978

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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.”

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

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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.

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

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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”.

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Hamburger Harry – The World’s Biggest Burger Fan

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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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Woman Collects Realistic Dolls, Treats Them Like Real Babies

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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

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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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Obsessed Man Collects over 20,000 Bird Ornaments

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It all started when Lawrence Cobbold was 9 years old, after he purchased a picture of a bird . Today, at age 38, his home is so filled to the brim with bird ornaments. His place is so full of bird memorabilia that he has to wash up, do his laundry and have his meals at his parents’ house. In the past 25 years or so, Lawrence has managed to collect over 20,000 ornaments related to birds. His treasures could all be worth about £40,000 ($63,000) according to his own estimation.

Lawrence’s amazing bird collection consists of 15,000 ornaments, 4,800 thimbles, 1,000 fridge magnets and 300 plates. Apart from these, he has about 300 pictures, 150 mugs and 100 jigsaw puzzles that are in some way, related to birds. Each and every room in his house, every cupboard, loft and shelf is completely covered with bird-related items. Each room, in fact, has a theme of its own. The three-bedroom property belongs to his father Tony. Lawrence moved there after his previous residence, a two-bedroom house, was no longer sufficient for his ever-growing collection. Four hours of Lawrence’s day are spent rearranging and cleaning his collection– two hours before work and two hours after. When he’s not busy with his collectibles, he works full time as a warehouse attendant at the Co-op Retail Distribution Center in Plympton, England. He usually buys the ornaments at Plympton, Plymstock, Mutley Plain and Elburton, where he is constantly on the prowl for new items to add to the collection.

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Hang on to Your Panties: Thai Man Collects 11,000 Pairs of Women’s Underwear in 30 Years

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Some hobbies are downright disgusting. Like this guy from Thailand who collected 10,000 pairs of women’s underwear. No that’s not the gross part. What’s truly disturbing is that he smelled them all the time, even while he was driving. Ewww, right?

Apparently, his obsession was not just for underwear, but also for the stealthy way he obtained them. The police were tipped off about the thief after he broke into a building in Chinatown, Bangkok along with an accomplice. When they raided his home, to their surprise, they found not cash or jewels, but a whopping 10,000 pairs of underwear. And an additional 1,000 were in his vehicle. He then admitted that he had been breaking in and stealing female panties since the age of 18. He is now 48, so there was actually was literally 30-years-worth of underwear in there! Unfortunately, they could only arrest him on grounds of breaking and entering, since no one had actually reported any missing underwear. And I don’t suppose anyone would be interested in getting their missing garments back, either.

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If Your Name Is Smith, This Man Wants to Hear from You

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“I look for Smiths.” That’s how Bob Ziegler, from Minot, North Dakota, describes his hobby of 30 years. While most people are content with collecting stamps and bottle caps, Ziegler’s hobby is a little more complicated. He looks for people with the last name Smith and writes to them with a simple request: to send him their business cards. In the last 30 years, he has managed to track down thousands of Smiths, and sent them handwritten letters. Included with the letter is a stamped, self-addressed envelope that can be used to send him back the business cards.

Since 1982, Ziegler has sent over 2,500 letters, and collected 1,014 cards. The Smiths in his collection are spread in all 50 states of the US, and also seven other countries. Some of the responses he has received are a lot more interesting than the cards themselves. For instance, the chief deputy at Escambia County Sherriff’s Office, Larry E. Smith wrote, “It is an honor to serve the public whether it is providing assistance in times of need or providing a business card for someone’s collection because my last name is Smith.” The late president of American Pop Corn Co., Wrede H. Smith, sent not just his own card, but those of his son and nephew. He even threw in coupons for free JOLLY TIME popcorn. Of course, not everyone has been so enthusiastic to participate in Ziegler’s weird hobby. “What – are you nuts?” wrote back one Smith, with no card in the envelope. A few Smiths have been honest enough to admit that they did not have business cards.

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World’s Largest Collection of Clowns Is Kind of Creepy

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Ortrud Kastaun, a 61-year-old woman from Germany, has set a new Guinness record for the world’s largest collection of clown related items.

Orty, as her friends know her, has been collecting clowns for the last 15 years, and has so far amassed 2,053 different clown-related items. She’s had to move to a bigger house that would accommodate all her creepy smiling buddies, and has even opened a small clown museum close to her home, in Essen. But Kastaun hasn’t always been obsessed with clowns; it all started in 1995, when she was a recovering alcoholic going through therapy. ”I remember being in therapy one day putting a jigsaw together. The image was of a clown in a jack-in-the-box. Something just clicked. From that I day on I began collecting clowns,” Orty remembers. It was a tough time for her but she credits clown for helping her get passed it.

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Chinese Man Builds 600,000-Cigarette-Pack Fort

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Wang Guanyi, a 46-year-old cigarette pack collector from Longnan, China, has recently built a fort model using 600,000 empty cigarette packs.

Wang is a famous person in his home city because he usually greets everyone with “hello, do you smoke? do you have cigarette packs?” He says he has been fascinated with cigarette packs ever since he was a little boy, and collected his first one off the street, when he was just seven years old. He was first attracted by the bright colors and nice images on the packs, and kept collecting them until he reached an impressive 600,000. As you can imagine, every corner of his house was filled with them, but just when he was running out of space, he saw a TV show about a man who had built a house out of wine bottles, and was inspired to do the same thing with his cigarette pack collection.

It took him about a month to finish his 30-foot fort-like building made with 600,000 colorful cigarette packs. It was 6.06m long, 4.68m wide and 1.68m wide, and won Wang Guanyi a certificate from the China Record Office for the world’s largest cigarette pack structure. Unfortunately, he had built his unique fort on rented space, and since the costs were apparently too high for him to handle, he was forced to tear it down as soon as his record was acknowledged.

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