Eric Jaskolka standing amongst X men collection

The world’s largest collection of X-Men memorabilia has X-panded significantly since being awarded the record in 2012.

Its owner, 53-year-old Eric Jaskolka (USA), says it now totals over 25,000 items – approximately 10,000 more than when it was officially counted 12 years ago.

Eric first began collecting in 1989 after being introduced to X-Men by his Sunday school teacher who owned a comic book shop.

Eric’s collection grew to include toys and figurines, and it now contains all manner of X-Men merchandise such as lunchboxes, wristwatches, school supplies, towels, bedding, calendars, costumes, and much more.

Eric holding X-Men #1 (1963) and an original, custom sketch of Storm by artist Sabine Rich

Since we last filmed his collection eight years ago, Eric has acquired several notable items. In addition to completing his set of the original X-Men comic book series by purchasing X-Men #1–7, he bought an unreleased Wolverine figure from 2006 as well as a rare Psylocke figure, rumoured to be one of only 12 in existence. 

However, he says that “a vast majority” of his purchases nowadays are new items rather than older ones. He buys every new comic released – an average of five per week, although that number can quadruple when including all the variant covers – as well as every new action figure.

Eric, who works as an IT project manager, estimates that he's spent “enough to purchase a really nice home” on his collection, with his most expensive item being X-Men #1 (1963). 

He has sourced several items from conventions, such as an original sketch signed by the producer, voice cast and writers of X-Men: The Animated Series, whom he met at Grand Rapids Comic Con 2022.

In 2016, I met Stan Lee at the Wizard World Des Moines Comic Con and obtained his autograph and picture. I showed him we were both in the same Guinness World Records book – his response: “now we’re connected for life”.

Items on the top shelf from right to left: a graded comic book sketch of Wolverine by Larry Houston, producer of X-Men: The Animated Series; a photo of Eric and his son with the cast and writers of the animated series; a copy of X-Men #1 (1991) signed by Stan Lee; and a photo of Eric and Stan Lee at the Wizard World Des Moines Comic Con in 2016

Eric’s collection is displayed in two rooms in his house, with hundreds more items packed away in storage.

Fortunately, his wife has always been supportive of his hobby, as have his three adult children, two of whom have been inspired to start their own collections (of ducks and LEGO, respectively).

Besides Wolverine, whom he previously revealed as his favourite mutant, Eric is a fan of Storm and Magneto; the former being a “powerful character with a soft, loving heart” and the latter being a “protector of his people”.

An unreleased, graded 2006 ToyBiz Wolverine figure

“I would have sided with Magneto,” Eric admits.

“It would be wonderful for normal humans and mutants to co-exist and follow Professor X’s ideals; unfortunately, in the comics (and real world) the mutants (minority) are constantly on the defence just because they are slightly different. […] At some point that minority needs to assert themselves and speak out and go on the offense just to survive.”

Eric holding a case containing an unreleased prototype Wolverine figure made by Hornby in 1990

Eric plans to continue collecting for the foreseeable future, although as he looks towards retirement in 10 years, he acknowledges that it might become “too difficult to maintain” when he’s older.

“If I were a mutant, having a healing power that slows down my ageing would allow me to continue reading X-Men comics for many years. Who wouldn’t love that?!”

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