The Land of 10,000 Plastic Marios

July 12th, 2006 by Benj Edwards

Land of 10,000 MariosIt's official: Brett Martin has a metric buttload of video game memorabilia. By Mr. Martin's own estimation, his collection clocks in at about ten to fifteen thousand individual pieces. But not all of those trinkets of molded plastic, cast metal, and fluffed polyester are depictions of Nintendo's famous Italian plumber. His gaming nicknack collection actually spans a diverse range of characters from different franchises, companies, and eras.

That's-a-lotta Marios!Martin is married to a loving wife that is tolerant of his collection. But in the process of settling down and moving on to a new phase of his life, he recently realized that some things have to go. So Brett set up a new website to help him thin out his massive collection, while also sharing it with the world. The site, called the "Video Game Memorabilia Museum," is a virtual museum of Martin's pieces, which he is always updating with new photos and entries when he gets the chance.

VGMM LogoThe main gallery area of the VGMM site is divided into sections dedicated to specific video game franchises like Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Kirby, Mega Man, and Crash Bandicoot. Each main franchise section has sub-categories based on characters from within the franchise. Within those are further sub-categories based on the type of item (keychains, plushies, figures, and pins usually among them). Further probing reveals individual items from his collection, complete with pictures. He also has a section with a number of items for sale, as well as a community forum. It's a lot of fun looking through all the stuff he has up there — I definitely recommend taking a stroll through the museum at least once yourself.

Brett recently sent me a new batch of photos his collection, which are splashed throughout this article, and agreed to an email interview, which is reproduced below.


An Email Interview with Brett Martin

VC&G: How old are you and where do you live?

Brett Martin: I'm 26. I live in Colorado.

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: What do you do for a living?

BM: Hopefully my video game testing position will begin soon (it got delayed).

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: About how many items do you think you have in your collection?

BM: Wow. Tough question! There's over 150 items on the plush wall alone! I'd say I'm about 10,000 to 15,000 individual pieces, but it could be much more.

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: How long have you been collecting video game memorabilia?

BM: Since I started playing video games, and that was back in the Atari 2600 days! I started buying all of the Mario merchandise I saw in stores (which wasn't much) as a kid when it was available. Many of my Applause brand Mario items were purchased before I knew I'd be trying to collect them all! I also have many games that I don't have pictures of because games aren't as fun to photograph as the merchandise for me. After all, that was the original collection, as the merchandise always comes after the game. I wouldn't have interest in the characters if I didn't know what they were from, ya know?

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: What is your favorite collecting focus (i.e. Mario items, Donkey Kong, Nintendo, etc.)?

BM: People may seem to think that I favor Mario, but I have more Mario stuff just because there's more Mario stuff out there to collect! My favorite character is Link from the Zelda series, but there is significantly less out there to purchase. It wasn't always that way, but after playing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past I was hooked on Link forever. Then I went backwards and filled in the two original games. Next would probably be Mario, then Mega Man. It shifts a lot though!

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

BM: My favorite Zelda sets are the two sets of original 1987 unpainted enemy gashapon toys, as they have a figure of every character in the original game! Also in that link is a great set of hand painted Zelda figures. You can find the rest in each section. There is also a similar set of Mario unpainteds from the original Super Mario Bros. that I have. How can a collector pass these up? I even have some doubles for sale on the site (hint hint). My favorite Zelda piece is the Link statue I have, where my favorite Mario piece would be my 4′ statue. I'm big on statues, but also love the intricacy of smaller pieces. I also have to say I love my prototypes that I have of Metal Mario, Starfox's Fox McCloud, Banjo-Kazooie, and the Donkey Kong 64 characters. 1 of 1, can't beat that!

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: When did you first set up videogamemm.com?

BM: From the forums' updates section: "11/13/05 - Site goes online!! Sections Available: Super Mario Items - All pins sections, Zelda Items - All Pins sections."

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: Why are you selling some of your items now?

BM: I'd like a down payment on a house and a child. I already know I wouldn't be able to keep a child away from the collection, and as they are very rare I want other collectors to enjoy them. Plus, moving it all is a real pain! This is the first time I have the majority of it in one place and displayed.

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: Do you have a family, children? What do they think of your collection? Do they ever get annoyed at the volume of it all?

BM: My wife and I have come to agreements about the collection. I've been very blessed to have a wife that "puts up" with this sort of obsession. She's just glad I'm passionate about something, and is thrilled that I want to pursue it. However, it's time to pursue new goals and close this chapter of my life. It's been tough though. I've found just how attached I am to some of this stuff. Remembering the thrill of the hunt for certain items, and learning all of the details about each piece. Hopefully the site will be able to fuel that passion when the majority of it is gone. Still, it's been fun to sell it too, finding out just how rare some of it is. It's very tough to price things because of eBay. As I purchased the majority of the items off of eBay and Rinkya (a Yahoo Japan to USA auction service), there's no telling what some are really worth. At some point I'd like to put together one of those price guides specifically for this merchandise. Still, it's tough because Japanese exclusives are always worth more in the USA and vice-versa. I try to price it for what I would pay for it if I was looking. Just try to find some of the stuff I have for sale anywhere else on the net. Trust me, I've looked. eBay is so fickle you never know what you'll pay. I've paid way too much for stuff and also snagged great deals. Still, it's fun.

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: Do your friends think you're crazy for having so much video game stuff?

BM: Most think it was inevitable based on my passion for games. I play them, listen to their music, dream them, have a job testing them, collect their merchandise, and want to design them someday. Oh, and I also ate them in the eighties when Mario had ice cream sandwiches and cereal out. I live them. Sure, people will think I'm crazy. I'm fine with that. I know the games are a big part of my life, but I also have room for many other passions. My wife is one, my newfound religion is another, and they will keep coming.

Video Game Memorabilia Museum

VC&G: Finally, what are some of the strangest or funniest items in your collection?

BM: Well, there's the Super Mario Bros. 45 RPM soundtrack record, the Super Mario Bros. "Shower Power" shower attachment, and the Super Mario World Puzzle Can. Most of the weirdest stuff is Mario-related. Never got the Mario ceiling fan, but that would be a good one for this set. Still, there's some pretty crazy console merchandise, like Famicom pillows, N64 Voice Recorders, DS watertoys, and there has been a digital clock of some sort made for each Nintendo system.




56 Responses to “The Land of 10,000 Plastic Marios”

  1. Mike Says:

    "I know the games are a big part of my life, but I also have room for many other passions. My wife is one, my newfound religion is another, and they will keep coming. "

    What is your "newfound religion"? Of which faith are you?

  2. gnome Says:

    Most probably a follower of the Koopanian Cult, I guess… Or the brill Museum convenant.

  3. Chess Says:

    All these Nintendo goodies….and no Pikachu???

  4. User1138 Says:

    Are there Earthquakes in Colorado ?

  5. Zer0 Says:

    This article made me die a little on the inside.

  6. Paul Gale Says:

    I have a lot of videogame memorabilia, but this guy takes it to a whole new level. If he says that he has a TON of Nintendo stuff, in this case, it's quite literal. Awesome collection.
    Paul Gale
    1up.com

  7. Rob Says:

    Wow… I'm so jealous. No really…

  8. واحد يبي يهبل Says:

    شكلك سارقهم

  9. hunting raven Says:

    غربان الليل يورونك الويل

  10. Jakanden Says:

    # Rob Says:
    July 12th, 2006 at 4:40 pm

    Wow… I’m so jealous. No really…

    I am extremely jealous. I want that entire room lol

  11. Brett Martin Says:

    Thanks for the comments guys! I just became Catholic. Perhaps another reason why I am thinning out the collection.
    Not a big fan of Pikachu, but I do have figures of those Pokemon that appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee, 'cause I just LOVE that game. Brawl is going to be my new instant fav! Perfect for fanboys like me!

  12. GhaleonQ Says:

    *immediately buys Yoshi, Luigi, and Final Fantasy VI keychains* THANK YOU.

  13. PRGuitarman Says:

    I want that Shine Sprite pillow :(

  14. Broken Lights! » Blog Archive » Attack of the nerds Says:

    […] This guy has thousands of Mario/Nintendo toys… Check it here on VintageComputing.com […]

  15. Misner Says:

    Im so jealous…cause id sell off every last one of those things just to afford a PS3

  16. poke50uk Says:

    I rekon I'm getting near that..
    http://static.flickr.com/45/118304322_bf2397ad83.jpg?v=0
    ^ thats just my pokemon stuff.. welll.. some of it.. thats all I could fit on the bed anyways.. the rest is in the loft.. and on a little display shelf.. marios and a few sonic etc + all sizes of mario kart rc's

  17. malcom Says:

    i want that Shine Sprite pillow (:

  18. malcom Says:

    i also want that please. how much is that cost i pay in pound £ and u can ship that to me. i'm also a collector.

  19. Brett Martin Says:

    Sorry guys, the sprite pillow already sold!

  20. -mech- Says:

    im amazed about your colletion, like everyone said before i liked the Shine Sprite pillow. saddly i never saw that kind of merchandise in my country. greetings from chile!

  21. hala real madrid Says:

    what guy…

  22. ARMAGEEKDON.net » La tierra de los 10.000 Marios plasticos. Says:

    […] Articulo Completo | Los 10.000 marios plasticos. Publicado por: Dr.Tshock | […]

  23. ugotpwn3d Says:

    this guy is obviously a virgin, and if by some chance in hell that he isnt, he definately should be. LOSER.

  24. RedWolf Says:

    I honestly have a hard time understanding why someone would post a comment like that last one by "ugotpwn3d." Or at least post it and actually be sincere about what they're saying. It doesn't make much sense that someone would waste their time to go out of their way and put somebody down like that. Especially over something as innocuous as a large collection of video game toys.

    What a strange world we live in.

  25. anon Says:

    somebody needs a girlfriend…

  26. sihaya Says:

    Nintendo Corp just contacted me wanting to talk about some sort of shindig they are having in the Colorado region this fall. The problem is, you and my husband have the same name and we live in Colorado, but he obviously is not you. If you can get my e-mail from here, contact me please. If not, tell me how to send you my info safely. Thank you.

  27. Eddison Says:

    Anon, he mentions that he has a wife. ;-)

    That is an AWESOME collection. My jaw dropped when I saw the first photo.

  28. Brett Martin Says:

    sihaya
    You can contact me through the site - http://www.videogamemm.com
    Just go to the buy section and write out a message with your email so we can talk.
    Don't worry, you wouldn't be purchasing anything (unless you want to, heh).

  29. Brett Martin Says:

    poke50uk:
    I REALLY want you to join the forums on my site!
    I've been looking for someone DESPERATELY that has extensive Pokemon knowledge and/or a sizeable collection. You seem to fit both. I need individual pics! Please visit the site and let me know if you can help!

  30. MangatiKa-Blog v.6.0 » Blog Archive » Sólo veo Marios! Says:

    […] Aquí teneis el resto de imágenes, entrevista y curiosidades vía: Vintage Computing […]

  31. Suffah Says:

    someone get this man laid!

  32. Jakanden Says:

    He has a wife for Christ's sake people. Sounds like you are the ones needing female companionship.

  33. RedWolf Says:

    Someone get Suffah a pair of reading glasses!

  34. Xerone Says:

    Haha, Got a lot of comments on this one, Red. I've seen it on blogs all over.

    Nice article, by the way.

    Just wondering, but do you have any Metal Gear Solid stuff? He is gonna be in the next Super Smash Bros…

  35. FORT90.com Says:

    […] Second, check out this dude’s out of control video game collection. […]

  36. dog-breath Says:

    man…. that's just so sad.
    i mean, it would be cool if it was 7 metric tons of godzilla kaiju or something.

  37. S_dragon1976 Says:

    Man, and I thought me and my friends loved old school games like Mario,Link,Zelda,etc. But WOW!!! You are welcome in are group anytime. I hope to have a large collection like you someday.

  38. Axel F Says:

    Why are you collecting these things? didnt you know girls like non material stuff like feelings and taking trips?!!? or maybe youre just gay -.-

  39. Niero Says:

    I haven't seen that much mustache since Queen.

  40. Master Jedi Knight Yoda Says:

    Wow, I comprehend little knowledge and foresight of collecting video game merchandise. Yet it is a sad day for all to see you finally have to aquire the courage to part with such a gratifying collection that took years of struggle to aquire. Your pain is farwide felt. May the force run strong with your troubled soul.

  41. MONO Says:

    BIEN PELOTUDO, POR QUE NO COLECCIONAS CASCARA DE NARANJAS?

  42. mister idraulico Says:

    Dude, you are a real klektomaniac. That is an epic collection. I always wished those radio-contolled Mario Karts worked properly so you could have real races - they look cool but they all work on the same channel so you can't even race 2 of them!

  43. emily Says:

    How much are you asking for the Nintendog/s plushies? thanks

  44. James Montagna Says:

    Wow, it's great to see someone who shares my passion! You have a lot of the same items that I do, but there's some things that I've noticed you or I do not seem to have. I guess nobody can document it all. Great to get a glimpse at a fellow collectors pride, though!

    "Nintendo Corp just contacted me wanting to talk about some sort of shindig they are having in the Colorado region this fall."

    Is this something I should know about?!? XD

  45. Estrellita Says:

    Yo encuentro un medio trabajo ordenar tooooooodes esos juguetes,pero de verdad debe ser bkn ,porque el niño que los tienes ,yo por mi parte,creo que nunca se va a aburrir……

  46. UberBlog » Blog Archive » warp zones are awesome Says:

    […] I was reading internets this morning and I can across a posting on some video game website ( I think) that had an interview with some dude who totally loves old Nintendo crap. It’s amazing to see pics of this fan’s collection of stuff, and how he’s slowly purging it. Made me think of Über-fan, and how hopefully down the road I’ll find someone with the levels of “stuff” that this guy has. Now, I am limiting my über-investigations to music related entities, but this Nintendo-obsession probably has some parallels that I might discover. I can’t predict the future, and people like this guy are probably rare, but will be sweet if I can locate someone on this level - but my über hopefully won’t be selling out to “raise a family.” Nuts to that. […]

  47. JD Says:

    what a legend! Every kids dream to do something like this, AND you found a wife that will tolerate it, good going dude!

  48. Tony Pinard Says:

    the links arent working for me and id very much like to visit the store, any help would be nice

  49. » Empezamos con ganas .::Demon Port::.: Just another WordPress weblog Says:

    […] [+] Una extensa colección de figuras de los personajes de Nintendo. […]

  50. Ryan Says:

    I have a Mario Ceiling Fan… MINT IN BOX . never been used or removed from the box…
    what is it worth

  51. Spazz Says:

    Oh. Em. Freaking. Gee.

    You're my IDOL.

    GYAAAAAAH! Even though I'm not all Nintendo-y (more of a Square-Enix fan myself), this takes dedication and I admire it. Good freaking job.

  52. Jason Says:

    I have the mario ceiling fan for sale never opened from box 1988. call me if interested 585 413 3326

  53. Anthony Says:

    if you can believe this my mother bought my brother and I the same mario shower power attachment haha

  54. Usmokemids Says:

    You're all a bunch of homos.

  55. Matt Says:

    [quote]# Usmokemids Says:
    March 19th, 2009 at 11:55 am

    You're all a bunch of homos.
    [/quote]

    Troll.. why would you bother searching for this if you don't like it?
    Don't be an idiot.

  56. Mike D Says:

    hey man, nice collection. if your really interested in the Mario Ceiling Fan i think i can help, i just moved out of my home of 20 years and that had been hanging since i was like 6yrs old. now im 30. i took it down when i moved and thought i would take a peek online to see if it had any value. its immaculate and in perfect working order not a scratch on it, factory new. well anyways let me know
    Mike D

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