Funny, sick or off the wall – when it comes to collecting stuff, there’s no accounting for taste

This Crazy World We Live In – No. 4

Well, they say it takes all sorts! It certainly does. Clicking around the Interwebs, as the cats call it, I came across a site devoted to the stuff folk collect. And then I found another site. And another. As you do.  I’m indebted to all of them, just as I am indebted to the collectors – whether on the ‘almost normal’ end of the spectrum or those who are so far out in the stratosphere that they might have trouble getting back.

There’s navel fluff – oh yes indeed – you’re not going to get a picture of that on this post, look it up! There’s air sick bags; remember this post is subtitled Crazy World. There’s lawnmowers and street signs, mangles and backscratchers. Anything and everything that isn’t bolted to the floor, and even some that is. Here I can only scratch the surface, but I urge you to click the links below and have a good old browse, not to say wallow. That’s if you enjoy the quirky, the weird, the wonderful and the downright odd. If not, I suggest you move swiftly on!

Some strange collections have even been housed in museums, real or virtual. The Toaster Museum, founded by Jens Veerbeck, has over 600 models, many of them rare and most of them rather beautiful. Still on the subject of toast, so to speak, there’s the Burnt Food Museum containing examples of yes, you guessed it,  toast but also ‘hash blacks’, incinerated macaroni and all manner of burnt offerings. Not moving too far from a collection of burnt food, the Asphalt Museum has a collection of, that’s right, asphalt. How weird is that.  Boasting samples from 6 different countries and 11 states the museum is housed in a real building in a real university – the California State University, Sacramento.

Naturally, given the oddity of some of these collectors, there has to be a collection, if not of bananas, then at least of banana labels. There are also collections of toothpaste tubes, napkins, portraits in toast (yes, you did read that right), airline spoons, bars of soap, locks of celebrities’ hair (spooky) and sugar packets. Among my favourites are shoes – shoes shaped like foxes, horses hooves, boots with ponytails (eh!) and bondage shoes – don’t ask! And to add to the general weirdness, moist towelettes.

It will come as no surprise to hear that at least a few of these collections made it into the Guiness Book of Records. The world’s largest Pokemon collection has been held by a girl in the UK, since 2010, although on a different site that honour is claimed for an American woman. The world’s largest collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia also made it into the record books. The Happy Meals collection didn’t make it. While not breaking records some collections are so beautifully housed they are a work of art in themselves. Witness the Be@rbricks Collection. For those who haven’t come across them before, be@rbricks are collectible toys designed and produced by the Japanese company MediCom Toy Company. A collaboration between the creatives at Openbox and architects Onion, led to the superbly outrageous ‘Garage of the Bears’ which houses the iconic collection.

Welcome to the weird, wacky and often beautiful world of collections. Here are some links :-

Neatorama, Weburbanist, Oddee – and you’ll find odd collections but much more on Dark Roasted Blend.

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