9 Largest Collections (of Junk?) in the World

Silly Bandz - Largest CollectionAs evidenced by the premier of A&E TV’s Hoarders this week, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between one of the largest collections from a pile of junk.

I guess that’s why they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Are you a collector, or a hoarder? Is the value you gain from your collection worth the time and cost you’ve put into it? Here are some of the more common collections and, where possible, a link to the largest collection:

The Largest Collection Of…

Silly Bandz – If you haven’t heard of these things, odds are you’ve seen someone wearing one. Silly Bandz were a creation a Japanese design team, and later picked up and distributed by the company that brought you the Lance Armstrong Livestrong wristbands.

The trend took off in the South amongst kids and teens and has since spread to other parts of the U.S.. They come in all shapes and colors. So the more that are produced, the more teens will buy. Genius.

There looks to be about 450 different Silly Bandz that you can buy on their website. But they have a “retired” pack of 24, which I’m sure will create some “rarity” bands. More genius. I couldn’t find a link to the largest collection of Silly Bandz, but I’m assuming anything over 500 would just have duplicates.

Pennies – A penny saved… Back in 2005, the record for the world’s largest collection of pennies was broken by an Alabama man, who turned in 1,308,459 pennies. That’s $13K in pennies. He said he’d been collecting the pennies since 1966 and plans to use the funds to supplement retirement.

Legos – My parents recently informed me that they still have my old LEGO collection. I can’t tell you how excited I was at that discovery. I love Legos and can’t wait to build something with my kids. But my little bucket of Legos has nothing on the big collections.

One of the bigger collections in the U.S. appears to be the collection owned by Dan Brown, founder of the Toy and Plastic Brick Museum, who is reported to have over 4 million LEGO bricks.

Baseball Cards – Probably one of the more common collectibles from the late 80s and into the 90s is the baseball card. I still have my collection of about 2,000 cards. Of course, with baseball cards, it’s not necessarily the sheer volume, but which cards you possess.

One of the most valuable baseball cards is the T206 Honus Wagner, which sold for $2.8 Million in 2007. The largest collection of baseball cards owned by one person is reported to be over 520,000 baseball cards.

Pokemon Cards – I’m a little old to understand the fascination with Pokemon (i.e. Pocket Monsters). But apparently they made a ton of cards as a result of this phenomenon. One of the largest collections of Pokemon cards I’ve seen is this whopping stash of over 65,000 cards.

From what I understand, Pokemon is related to insect collecting, and the idea was turned into a Game Boy role playing video game by Nintendo. The popularity of the game resulted in an animated TV series and a collection of cards.

Pez Candy Dispensers – There are over 550 Pez dispensers. Gary and Nancy Doss, of Burlingame, CA have one of the largest collections of Pez. They own pretty much all 550 Pez dispensers, plus other Pez memorabilia. They even have their collection on display for free.

Air Jordans – Now over 25 years old, Nike and Michael Jordan made the Nike Air Jordans famous in the mid to late eighties. The largest collection of Jordans I could find was over 500 pairs of Jordans. That’s roughly $50K to $75K worth. I can’t say I ever owned a pair of Jordans, but I’m sure wanted a pair at some point.

Shot Glasses – You see these in every gift shop in the world. It’s an easy last minute souvenir to grab at the airport before you head home. The guy at Shotglass.org appears to catalog more that 11,000 different shot glasses. And on his website he references the official record holder as having more than 8,000 shot glasses. Fitting that the record holder lives in Las Vegas.

Hot Wheels – If you can’t own the car, you can own the next best thing…a tiny replica. I remember using my wheel-shaped carrying case to bring all of my favorite Hot Wheel cars over to a friends house to play. My collection had nothing on the biggest collection of all. Michael Zarnock owns over 8,000 hot wheels cars.

Avatar About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. I have close to 1 million sports cards, that person with 520,000 cards isn’t even in the same league as me. And my cards are mostly newer cards.