World's Craziest Collectors & Their Collections
1Bob Gibbins and Lizzie: 240 Love Dolls
Bob says that he has always been interested in dolls, but his passion really started to develop when he used to buy rag dolls and other toys for his two kids. He then moved on to buying shop mannequins for a few years, amassing a pretty impressive collection. However, it wasn't until he found an online forum about silicone dolls that he realized that's what he really wanted to collect. With the help of his wife, Gibbins acquired his first silicone doll, Beverly, in 2007 for around $4,000. But that was only the beginning, as the couple continued to buy different kinds of love dolls, from cheap blow-up dolls costing $639 at most, to realistic silicone dolls like Jessica, who put a serious $11,202 dent in the family budget. All in all, Bob and Lizzie Gibbins estimate that they've spent around $160,000 since they started collecting love dolls.
Although love dolls are usually bought and used for sexual purposes, Bob says he has never used one of his girls in such a way. He admits that he finds most of them attractive, especially since he says they were created with perfect physical assets, but he considers them all part of the family.
2Graham Barker: World's Largest (and Probably the Only) Belly Button Lint Collection
Graham Barker from Perth, Australia started his bizarre collection when he noticed his own navel lint one night and became curious about how much fluff a person produces. The only way to answer his own question was to monitor his own belly button and collect the lint. Contrary to what most people believe when they hear about his weird habit, Graham isn't obsessed with lint, nor does he spend most of his time checking his navel. He is only driven by curiosity, and dedicates a mere ten seconds a day to collecting the fluff, right before stepping into the shower.
The amount of fluff he finds in his navel every night depends on the type of clothes he's been wearing that day, but he has noticed that thermal underwear is the most productive. Each night, he takes whatever he can find in his belly button and stores it in a clay jar, bought specifically for collecting lint. At the end of each year, he adds the lint to his grand collection. In the 26 years that he has been collecting his own fluff, he has managed to fill three glass jars, and he is already working on his fourth. Believe it or not, his extensive collection weighs just 22 grams.
After being acknowledged by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's largest collection of navel lint, his three jars of fluff were acquired by a museum for an undisclosed amount.
3Eric Ducharme: Latex Mermaid Tails
Since Ducharme was a child he says he's been fascinated with mermaids. At the age of 16, he put on his first show while swimming as the mermaid prince in Weeki Wachee Springs' Little Mermaid show in 2006.
Today, Ducharme runs his own business called Mertailor that manufactures custom-made tails from silicone, urethanes, and latex rubbers like the ones he wears.
4World's Largest Collection of “ABC” (Already Been Chewed) Nicotine Gum
When Barry Chappell was on an international flight, he started chewing Nicorette gum because he couldn't smoke. Since there was no place to put the gum when he was finished chewing it, he just held it in his hand and twirled it around into a little ball with his fingers. Piece after piece, his discarded gum became a much larger ball between his fingers. It was at that moment when his brilliant idea was born. Why not create the world's largest gumball and completely stop smoking in the process?
Now, six years and 95,200 piece of gum later, Barry is a non-smoking superstar. He created a gigantic piece of chewed gum that weighs 175 pounds!
5Paul Brockman: 55,000 Dresses in a Collection Handpicked for His Wife
The first ten 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.
He and Margot shared a passion for dancing and went ballroom dancing every week, but Paul wanted her to have a different dress every time, so he kept buying her new ones.
Margot never liked shopping, so Paul picked out and bought the dresses all by himself. He would buy dresses before work, after work, and even during work, sometimes coming home with up to 30 different ones. He got them during end-of-season department store sales, at yard sales, and pretty much anywhere he saw something he liked. At one point, his obsession with dresses got so out of hand that he stopped caring about their size.
He never set a budget for his purchases. He would sometimes spend all the money he had in his pocket, and wait until next week if he was broke. The most he spent was $300 on a dress Margot that never even wore. As you can imagine, most of the 55,000 dresses were never worn.
6Jian Yang: 6,000 Barbie Dolls
The 33-year-old Singapore man favors minimalist decor, but the Barbies and 3,000 other dolls dominate three sides of the main room and spill over to fill nine mirrored cabinets in his dressing room and the shelves of his study.
Yang has a professional interest in toys and consumer trends as director of strategy at Omicom Media Group. However, his Barbie collection began at age 13 when he bought the "Great Shape" model in a turquoise Spandex gym outfit and striped leg warmers.
His boyhood interest turned into a "crazy obsession" that his friends support and his family has come to accept. He has spent 20 years and over £251,699 on his collection.
NOTE: Although Yang has a pretty massive collection, the 2013 edition of Guinness World Records gives the award for the largest Barbie doll collection to Germany's Bettina Dorfmann, who owns something like 15,000 Barbies.
7 Chris Reid: World's Largest (and Coolest) Super Soaker Collection
He has about 340 Super Soakers overall, including about 240 unique designs (the others are color variations or duplicates). His very first Super Soaker, the green and yellow 50, was autographed by Super Soaker inventor Lonnie Johnson.
8Robyn Amato: 3,000 Raggedy Ann Dolls
So far she has spent more than $20,000 on dolls, cookie jars, and other Raggedy Ann memorabilia.
Amato also loves dressing up as Raggedy Ann and taking some of her precious dolls out for day trips. She throws tea parties and spends time daily in a special bedroom reserved for her Raggedy Ann clan, as well.
9Vic Clinco: World's Largest Hot Sauce Collection
He has been collecting the jars for the past 17 years and is widely thought to hold the world record for a private collection. Mr. Clinco, who works as a staff cook at the Four Seasons hotel, said his most expensive bottle is worth about $900 – a one of a kind – and the most he has ever paid for a bottle is $400.
10Paul Luke: World's Largest Collection of Milk Bottles
Dedicated Paul Luke, 33, saved his first milk bottle when he was just nine years old while earning pocket money as a "milkman's mate." However, his collection has swelled to more than 10,000 bottles over the years, with some of the rarest dating back to the 1890s.
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