Counting a total of 2,250 items, Deadpool superfan Gareth Peter Pahliney (Ireland) has assembled an incredible collection dedicated to Marvel's most famous anti-hero.
His mammoth assembly is entirely organized in a storage space Gareth renovated himself, which he affectionately calls "the man cave".
It spans from magazines to rare pieces of merch, from a branded Monopoly to Funko Pops, up to Deadpool-branded Hot Wheels cars and action figures… up to a hand-painted, life-size statue.
Gareth's array - featuring several variations of Wade Wilson in his iconic red-and-black gear wielding plenty of different weapons - was confirmed as the largest collection of Deadpool memorabilia in Cloghan, Offaly, Ireland, in February 2023.
Well-known as one of the most talkative and unhinged anti-heroes in the history of comics, Marvel's Merc with a Mouth made his first appearance in 1991. He only joined the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2009 as one of the characters in the X-Men film series.
Even though he always established himself as a less mainstream character, in 2016 Deadpool finally got a spin-off movie dedicated to his genesis.
A second movie, Deadpool 2, followed in 2018.
On screen, the character has been portrayed by American actor Ryan Reynolds in every cinematic adaptation so far. The casting choice broke once again the fourth wall after Deadpool defined himself as "Ryan Reynolds crossed with a Shar-Pei" in a comic dating back to 2004.
"Because of Reynolds, the mainstream audience knows who Deadpool is.
He brought the character to life, he embodies who Deadpool is. I would love to gift him a figure of himself from my collection, but just to have a picture with him in the Deadpool cave, dedicated to the character he embodies, would be epic." - Gareth
However, a lot of the items that the record-breaking collector purchased in recent years are not even categorized.
“This is kind of a living collection,” he explains. “Every month I add new items. I would love to find a way to show this to other Deadpool fans as the collection grows and new pieces come in: it's not open to the public yet, but there's something in the works.”
“But I stopped counting at 2,500 in 2016, so now I have many more Marvel-licensed Deadpool items than I used to,” he goes on.
“Of course, every piece is different: my collection ranges from statues, action figures, comics and memorabilia.”
“My collection also includes a 1:1 life-size statue.” - Gareth
Gareth’s favourite item among his many memorabilia is a 2012 Premium Format Figure of Deadpool.
This finely sculpted limited edition figure stands at 20 inches (50.8 cm) tall, and shows the Marvel character in full gear and ready for the fight: with twin katana swords secured to his back and stepping on a base decorated with bullets, holding a rifle and a rubber chicken.
“I love this one because it’s holding a rubber chicken!" Gareth says.
"My aunt brought it back for me from Canada, back when I was living in South Africa and before I moved to Ireland. This collection spans across continents!”
The superfan also owns a rare signed poster from the Deadpool movie.
Gareth received this very special item after cosplaying as the Merc with a Mouth at the premiere of the first Deadpool movie, which came out in February 2016.
However, the most eye-catching of Gareth's possessions is without a doubt a 1:1 life-size statue of Wade Wilson pointing his finger.
The foam life-size replica is hand-painted and looks astoundingly realistic - which seems fitting for the character that, more than any other, mastered the art of breaking the fourth wall. Even the statue seems ready to turn and wink at the audience at any moment!
"I have been really lucky because I was always able to buy or pre-order every item I've wanted as they came out."
Even though the emotional value of it can't be quantified, the overall monetary cost of this incredible collection remains a secret.
"My wife might hear about it, and she might kill me," Gareth jokes, taking a sip from his (Deadpool) mug.
However, he says, his family has been incredibly supportive of his passion and his friends love to hang out in the Deadpool cave.
Other than Deadpool, Gareth's second-favourite character is James Howlett, aka Wolverine.
He owns plenty of merch dedicated to him and, although a lot of the other items in his man cave revolve around the MCU as a whole, the section dedicated to Deadpool is, without doubt, the pièce de résistance.
Why Deadpool, one might ask?
“I love the character, and I have always loved the character. He was one of those characters that, back in the 90s, I absolutely loved in the comics. He was different.”
“He was just funny, and kind of a fringe character. Everyone was talking about the Hulk, or Spider-Man, but only the true comic geeks knew Deadpool," Gareth continues.
So he latched onto it, as he admits, and discovered that he enjoyed collecting merch of this unconventional, quick-witted character that only true Marvel fans knew and appreciated.
"He is kinda my spirit animal," he jokes.
Looking back at the journey that earned him the coveted Guinness World Records certificate, Gareth says that it's been an interesting, work-in-progress experience and that he has no intention of stopping.
"I highly doubt I will ever stop collecting," he says.
Interestingly, as of 2016 (when the mainstream audience learned to love the tongue-in-cheek anti-hero), the first Deadpool held a rather unique record.
Based on public BitTorrent data, the unconventional superhero movie, with its action-packed scenes, pop culture references and jabs at the other heroes, was the most illegally downloaded film of 2016.
That crowned Deadpool as the most pirated movie of that year. It was followed closely by Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and another Marvel production, Captain America: Civil War (2016).
That result dethroned the previous record holder, Interstellar (2015). Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi classic had racked up 46,762,310 illegal downloads in the 12 months leading to December 2015.
We are sure that the bad boy of the Marvel universe would be delighted to know about Gareth's epic collection dedicated to him, and can't wait to see all the new pieces this amazing collector will find in the future.
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