Jacc Batch even had to move house to accommodate his beloved toys.
A successful businessman has been awarded a Guinness World Records title for his staggering £250,000 collection of Sylvanian Families toys.
Dance school owner Jacc Batch, 32, who has amassed 9,000 items and spends £300 a week on everything from Sylvanian toy figures to magazines, even had move to a bigger house, as he needed two rooms to store his floor-to-ceiling haul.
Admitting that he spent a staggering £15,000 on his most treasured item, a carousel, Jacc, of Kettering, Northants., who began collecting at seven, said: “I love toys, especially from the 1980s.”
He added: “I choose to spend my money on them because I can afford it. I don’t go without. I own my own business, drive a nice car, have a lovely home.
“Other people go on expensive holidays and I choose to buy Sylvanian Families.”
First created in 1985, Sylvanian Families originated in Japan and came to the UK in 1987.
Grouped into families, including rabbits, foxes, squirrels and owls, Jacc collects every character and accessory belonging to the woodland creatures, which live in the world of Sylvania.
Delighted to have made it into the new 2019 Guinness World Records book, out today, Jacc won the record for the largest collection on the planet based on his 3,489 unique items.
Duplicates – which many of his items from America, Japan and Europe are, although they may have slightly different packaging – are not counted.
Jacc, who is single, has bought the majority of his collection over the last 15 years, which – valued at £250,000 – is worth more than the £214,745 average price of a UK house.
He first saw his most expensive find, the £15,000 carousel which he bought last month, in a catalogue as a young boy.
Told it was never put into production, but the prototype was in a ex-toy designer’s loft just a few miles away, he could not resist buying it.
“It’s the most money I have ever spent on anything in my whole life,” he smiled.
“But I would rather spend my money on Sylvanian Families than going out drinking all the time.
“Luckily, I work really hard and have a successful business, so I was in a position to buy the item I had always wanted.”
As a child, Jacc used his pocket money to buy his very first item, Brother Hedgehog, at a toyshop in Kettering, when he was seven – triggering his lifelong passion for all things Sylvanian.
“People started buying me them for birthdays and Christmas and I realised I couldn’t just have one,” he said.
“I absolutely loved playing with them as a child. It was like an escape back then and collecting them now, as an adult, it still is. I just love the total happiness of their world.”
Keeping the toys, which come with different sets – from cottages, treehouses, and hospitals, to caravans and a luxury hotel – in a chest in his bedroom as a child, when Jacc left for university and moved to Spain for a year, his collection moved into his 63-year-old mum Sue Batch’s loft.
Then, after meeting his former partner Craig Fellows, 39, and deciding to move in together, Jacc insisted his collection had its own room.
And earlier this year, when the pair, who remain best friends and run the dance studio business together, separated and Jacc moved out, he found a new home with more space for his growing-collection.
“Now I rent a four-bedroom home and two of those rooms are for the Sylvanian Families,” he said.
“The rooms are packed floor to ceiling and I don’t let anyone go in there, because it is so precious to me. I don’t play with any of the toys either, they stay in their boxes.”
Buying most of his items on eBay now, Jacc says he will never stop collecting.
“It’s very doubtful this will ever end,” he said. “I plan to be an old man surrounded by Sylvanian Families in my care home, telling the nurse to pop to the post office to get my parcels.”
His toys have even earned him fans around the world, who have seen them through his social media and acknowledged his astonishing achievement.
“It’s amazing to be recognised as having the biggest collection in the world,” he added. I’ve even been stopped in the street by people who recognise me from my massive collection.”
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