A Tribute to Obsessive Collectors

Ransom Riggs

I know and love a lot of collectors of things: scotch, vintage photographs, guitars, signed baseballs. It seems like there's no end to the things people can obsess about -- and it's funny to watch corporations try and manufacture that desire in people (Indiana Jones cups at Burger King: collect all six!) when it's really so ineffable. Who knows where the desire to own every iteration of some nichey thing comes from? (The really strange graphic to the left, by the way, comes from the guys at Everything is Terrible, who spent some time collecting as many VHS copies of Jerry Maguire as they could get their hands on.) I found some videos of amazing collections of very random things, and wanted to take a minute just to appreciate the OCD awesomeness.

Chris, featured in the great documentary Confessions of a Superhero, is a Superman fanatic. I love the way the girl he's showing his collection to lapses so quickly into "Wow," "Uh-huh," "Wow" -- something familiar to any super-nerdy collector.

This New Zealand man owns more than 100,000 toys. He defines what it is to be an obsessive collector: "if I see two of something, I'll buy them -- because that's a new [collection]."

Mary, known as "the hat lady of Omaha," collects more than just headwear. She also collects cats!

What do you collect?