When you’ve been a lifelong Batman fan, it isn’t often that you’re overwhelmed with someone else’s collection. Today was that rare kind of day for me. Through a mutual friend we were introduced and I was allowed to see Kevin’s collection. Kevin is a friendly, outgoing music guy with long white hair and a lifelong love of the Caped Crusader. After some small talk with he and his wife, Janet, I was led to the basement engulfing Batman collection. Kevin was the Guinness World record holder from 2013 to 2016 for the world’s largest Batman toy collection. He said that he overtook the title from a gentleman in Bulgaria, who was complimentary when he gained the record.
With most of the collections that I’ve seen there are focal points. If it’s a comic book collection it might be the first appearance of a key character or an especially pristine golden age comic. With Kevin’s epic collection there wasn’t really a key toy, figure, statue, or costume. The thing that you’re struck with when you reach the last basement step is the massive size of his collection. It’s shockingly large! It’s not all easy to find items, it’s an eclectic mix of current, retro, expensive, fragile and durable items. You might see a modern era $5 poster next to the 1966 Batman and Robin place mats valued at $200 to $300 each. Below you’ll see a picture with the Batman Marx Shooting Gallery from the 60’s which is an expensive, obscure item. There are .99 Hot wheels and a Batman costume that was custom made for $3500! The neon Batmobile and neon Bat symbol were custom as well. Some things were seen in the Batman movies or on the campy television show, making them one of a kind. One display case had 20 Batman Black and White Statues, one of which is the Dustin Nguyen Batman Beyond statue which sells for $260. That is part of the joy of Kevin’s collection, you never know what to expect in the next display case.
After a 5 year negotiation with the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, they have decided to buy the contents of his entire collection. I didn’t have the nerve or the relationship to ask him how much they paid him, but it’s got to be a ridiculous amount. Even with a massive amount of money it would still take decades to find and purchase this much Batman stuff. (Trust me, I know) When I asked him why he chose to sell his lifelong collection he said that he didn’t want his wife or family to deal with it, in case “he got hit by a bus”. It was as easy to talk to Kevin as to be in awe of his determination and dedication in collecting Batman items. Now with the world’s largest Children’s Museum buying his collection, Kevin’s Batman legacy will live on.