EXCLUSIVE: We Talk to the ‘Simpsons’ Superfan Set to Break the Guinness World Record for Largest Merchandise Collection

Bart's Collection

Back in February we reported that a ­Simpsons super-fan in Wolcottville, Indiana was attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most merchandise owned by a single person. His only challenge? Getting an official count.

With the inventory now complete, Travis “Bart” McNall took some time to talk to BubbleBlabber about his record-breaking collection and how he got to this point.

Bart said he’s been a fan of the show since he first saw the shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show back in the late ‘80s. Once the Christmas Special/pilot aired and the first season began, he was hooked, and has seen every episode to date.

The purchasing of Simpsons merch was quick to follow. “Summer 1990,” he said of the start date. His collection grew exponentially since then, but Bart didn’t even consider the fact that he owned a record-setting lot until six years ago.

“I saw the world record at the time [was] 951 different Simpsons pieces [but] gave up then when I heard that I had to pay for ALL the expenses,” he told us. The goal would have to be relegated to the back burner for a bit.

Apparently Guinness recently changed their policy on expenses, and Bart once again saw his opportunity to go for the record. “When I saw (on page 91 in 2015 edition of Guinness World Records) that the current record’s at 2,580, I already knew I had that beat,” he said.

Then came the counting.

“I had to find two people that I had NO connection to,” he explained, citing Guinness policy. “The two independent witnesses thought it would take two weeks or so,” but after only counting into the 200’s on Day 1, “they were now thinking it would take a bit longer than that.”

Bart stressed that although it took a while, he was very patient with the witnesses, considering the fact that they volunteered to help with no expectation of a reward or compensation. “They came here on their own time and dime to help me. I can’t thank ‘em enough.”

As for the results, “We ended last Wednesday [May 13, 2015, almost three months after the start date] with 3,444 different Simpsons pieces!” he boasted. A landslide victory.

As for what the collection contains, Bart has a few favorites to highlight. “Life sized (50”) Bart Simpson plush doll, the yellow Bart Simpson shirt wearing shades in my last TV interview, [and] a repro animation cell from the 100th episode, ‘Bart-O-Lounger,” he listed. That last item, by the way, is a limited edition piece – one of only 2,500 in the world. He also owns some classic Simpsons and Bart Simpson comics in which they published his own letters, artwork, and a photo of the mega-fan himself.

The next step in Bart’s journey involves combing through all the photos taken and finalizing the official paperwork required by Guinness (which also includes newspaper articles and newscast recordings) and sending it all to the main office in London.

In the meantime, the self-proclaimed “oldest ten-year-old boy” will be enjoying his time as a local celebrity. “I visit my old elementary school and tell fourth graders about my Simpsons collection, and they love it,” he said. Of course, he’ll also be expanding his collection even more, and already has his eye on another acquisition, which just might be the holy grail of Simpsons merch.

“The #1 item that I’m looking for is a Bart Simpson theme-park-style costume; the exact one used at Universal Studios Orlando,” he revealed.

So if anyone at Universal is reading this, why not help support Bart in his Simpsons quest? After all, he’s been supporting The Simpsons for the last 28 years.

[Photo via WANE]

Gonzo Green

@Gonzo_Green is a chronic sufferer of Pre-life Crisis Syndrome. He drinks frequently, and wears hats sometimes, with these events occasionally occurring concurrently. Gonzo also likes watching baseball, and putting ketchup on foods that ketchup has no business being on. He enjoys rock’n’roll from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, when rock was rock, and meaningless repetitive phrases were frowned upon. But it is what it is.

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