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Collecting certain objects is fun as you are compelled to venture out to different places, looking for possible additions to your stash. In the process, you meet people who share the same enthusiasm for your hobby and develop new friendships.
At the same time, being an avid collector can become a weird hobby. There are actually collectors out there with very niche taste when it comes to the objects of their obsession, some of which are featured below, and they’re not like others who usually hoard old video game cartridges and units, vinyl records, cassette tapes, film cameras, action figures, dolls, stamps, coins, and other typical collectibles that we are more accustomed to seeing being collected.
If there is one thing that all collectors can agree with, it’s that they believe that there is value to everything even when they’re almost obsolete and worthless in the eyes of most people.
Here are some collections that are very particular and out of the ordinary.
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Normally, people would get annoyed by the sight of traffic cones in the streets. They’re placed there to block someone’s path because there’s roadwork up ahead or something’s not right with the traffic, giving the driver less room to maneuver. And we haven’t mentioned the corresponding fine if you drive through them. But, despite the negative connotation associated with traffic cones, UK resident David Morgan has over 500 of them, as he finds bliss in seeing them on his lawn. Perhaps, this is because he was involved in the production of traffic cones while working for Oxford Plastic Systems. A rival company accused him of copying their design, and this started his search for other cone designs to prove them wrong, which eventually led him to collect traffic cones.
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Awarded by the Guinness World Records for having the largest collection of umbrella sleeves, totaling 730 at the time of her recognition in 2012, Nancy Hoffman might be the only person in the world with such a distinction. Hoffman has been collecting umbrella sleeves for a long time, and by 1996, she has turned her house into an umbrella sleeves museum for everyone to see. Throughout her umbrella sleeve-collecting ventures in many countries, she has amassed different types of umbrellas from over 50 countries. Hoffman also accompanies visitors to her museum playing the popular Bing Cosby track “Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella” with her accordion.
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You may think that it’s easy to collect dinosaur toys, as most children would probably have a lot of them. But to be considered for a Guinness World Records award for a dinosaur toy collection, you must have a massive stash as big as a T-Rex. Randy Knol has been collecting dinosaur toys since the 1960s after receiving a Flintstone playset during the holiday season. Although he’s outgrown his childhood days, his love for collecting dinosaur toys has never left and he has continued this hobby for 50 years. Now, Knol has “probably about five or six thousand” collectibles, and he’s having a hard time storing all of his beloved figurines in his home.
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It’s one thing being an avid “Doctor Who” fan, collecting over 570 Daleks toy figures is certainly another. English resident Rob Hull has been a huge fan of the popular sci-fi series for as long as he can remember, but his favorite in the entire show has to be the extraterrestrial mutants known as Daleks, leading him to collect a total of 571 toys of this race of extraterrestrial mutants. For his effort, Hull has received recognition from the Guinness World Records for having the largest Daleks collection. His Daleks toys come in different sizes—some are tiny figurines that can be displayed on shelves while others are massive, reaching 6 feet in height.
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Manfred Rothstein is a dermatologist, but if you visit him at his clinic in Fayetteville, North Carolina, you’ll see more back scratchers than the usual medical tools. Rothstein has the world’s largest back scratcher collection, with more than 800 variants displayed in cabinets. At first, you would think his collection ends at the hallway, but wait ‘til you see his examination rooms.
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Fast Food Toys
This one is cute. Much like dinosaur toy enthusiast Randy Knol, Filipino collector Percival Lugue carried the same fascination for toys from his childhood to his adult life. He’s been collecting fast food toys for many decades now that he boasts of owning more than 14,500 toys, all of which are taken good care of. His collection includes high-valued ones like a 1999 Inspector Gadget toy from McDonald’s and a 1987 Popeye and Friends set from Jollibee, a popular fast-food chain in the Philippines. But even today, Lugue is not content with his collection’s size as he aims to make it even larger.
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Florida man Harry Sperl loves burgers. Who doesn’t? But that obsession of his doesn’t stop at mere craving for the food. He actually wants to see burgers items everywhere in his home. So, for the past 26 years, Sperl has collected many different burger-inspired objects until his home is covered in buns, lettuce, and patties. His love for collecting burger items is so widespread that he has earned the moniker “Hamburger Harry” and recognition from the Guinness World Records.