By Jane Nambi
Today, what started out as an innocent gift from the parents of Brett Martin way back in 1989 has today turned him into a holder of a Guinness record as the king of video game memorabilia in the Guinness World Records 2013: Gamers Edition.
31-year-old Martin has 8,030 video game items crammed in his home,. Martin is a web designer from Colorado. “I’ve always loved Nintendo, and once I discovered eBay I discovered there was a lot more out there than a small Mario figure,” Martin said. “I started finding sets overseas. Then I discovered Yahoo Japan Auctions and started importing stuff from Japan. Now, it’s about preserving and history.”
Martin has other collections like Namco’s Pac-Man and Capcom’s Mega Man. Every item is an “official” piece of video game merchandise, which means weeding out the throngs of counterfeit pieces found on auction sites. From his collection, Super Mario Bros. 3 is his favorite game. His collection is worth between $75,000 and $100,000.
“I’ve tried to keep it contained to series that I really adore, rather than get everything,” he says. “Easier than it sounds, actually. I don’t really collect Pokemon or Animal Crossing stuff, even though they are Nintendo franchises, because I’m less interested in those two.”
“My boys love it, but I don’t let them around it much. We play with some of the toys, but several are mint in box or fragile…or vintage,” he says. “My wife watched it grow and continued to be overwhelmed by it. It used to fit on top of an entertainment center. Then some hung shelves. Then more hung shelves. Then bookcases. Now a room.”