Brett Martin has collected more than 20,000 items of videogame-themed memorabilia.
Brett, a web designer, was given his first item (a Mario figurine) by his parents when he was just 8 years-old, however he only started collecting 12 years ago when he “discovered eBay”.
In that period he has amassed a collection worth in excess of $100k.
Brett, who is married with children, says: “Many of my friends know I’m a gamer, but I guess after this they’ll realise just how passionate and obsessed I am!”
Martin started his collection when he was rooting around in eBay in the ’90s looking for figures he’d started to collect. From there, he amassed more and more videogame-themed memorabilia, eventually expanding into other auction sites to get his fix.
His collection has ended up pretty diverse, including oddities like a Mario shower head for a power shower. “It’s Mario and Luigi holding up what looks like a pipe,” he says, “but it’s just one of the weirdest items that I have—who thought of that?”
“I think people think I’m nuts, but I also think they recognize the passion,” Martin says. “I am the world record holder for the largest video game memorabilia collection.”
Martin was born to be a collector of video game stuff. He shares his birthday with Super Mario. “I was born in 1981, the same year Mario was,” Martin says.
Collecting this much is pricey, though Martin has put a limit on what he allows himself to spend on single items. “I really try to keep my budget to under $500 an item,” he says. “Some of the statues were around $800 but I don’t really like to pay over $500 for anything.”
Martin also shows off his collection on his YouTube channel, where he does unboxing videos and reveals his latest hauls. His last video was on very rare Kirby plushies.
His basement is covered from top to bottom, full of figurines and mementos dedicated to video game characters.
“I know there’s lots of video game collectors, but there’s not a lot of video game memorabilia collectors,” Martin says. “Which makes my collection pretty unique.”