Superhero fans will rave over the new record set by one Milton, Georgia man.
Brad Ladner owns an extensive assortment of Batman items.
At an outstanding 8,226 individual pieces, he has officially accomplished the record for the largest collection of Batman memorabilia.
His impressive collection includes action figures, posters, and a Batmobile.
Brad first began his Batman collection in 1988.
He was watching the news with his parents when it was mentioned that people were voting on whether Robin would live or die.
This peaked Brad’s attention and a few months after the news story he found a copy of A Death in the Family at the mall.
“I took it home and read it and something just awoke. It was different, more intense than cartoons and campy TV. People die, Batman is serious, and there is real danger,” said Brad.
I just fell head over Converse in love. I wanted to see what happened next, so I figured out where a comic shop was, went there, and my collection started.
Brad mostly collected comic books until he became an adult.
He then began collecting toys and statues.
His most prized possession is his Batman Sanity statue, which is a rare statue featuring Batman and many of his villains.
“In a way, it’s a shrine to something that is important to me that, without it, I may have been a very different person,” said Brad.
It’s a temple to the most important thing about Batman – the idea of Batman.
Brad also owns other significantly rare items including a Batman Camel cigarette box that was made for use in Europe but never used, and a 1989 Batman movie costume continuity binder with 280 photos from the set.
Brad groups the items in his collection either by brand and type of object or by the year it was created, depending on what is most relevant.
“Things from movies and media are displayed and organized by the brand, so Batman ’66 stuff is together, Batman ’89 movie stuff is together, animated stuff is together,” he said.
But then, things that aren’t as relevant to those brands are organized differently, with statues all in certain spots, or Easter baskets and candy in specific areas.
T-shirts, shoes, glassware, and baseball caps are also all grouped together, and vintage items created before 1989 are organized by the period with an 80’s section and a 60’s-70’s section.
Aside from ordering items when they first debut or searching for them in stores, Brad spends a lot of time on eBay.
“I had a database where I coded it to search multiple eBays across multiple countries, almost instantly, so I could find items that were really only ever released in foreign markets,” he said.
Although Brad enjoys his Batman memorabilia, he doesn’t have any favourite items in particular.
“It may sound odd but outside of the actual process of collecting, I don’t dwell on the collection that much,” he said.
After all, it’s called ‘collecting’ and not ‘collected.’ The act of finding and acquiring the items is the heart of the hobby, and not so much the having.
Brad is thrilled with his Guinness World Records title and says it’s “cool” to be recognized.
However, he says it’s important to not let a hobby take up more than 10 per cent of your time or money.
“It is important to keep a hobby a hobby and not make it too much of a part of your life,” he said.
A healthy life means balancing interests of fantasy and collecting with family, friendships, and experiences.
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