The Simpsons memorabilia collections of Glynne Williams

Glynne Williams lives in an unassuming cottage in Patchway, Bristol - a little to the North of Paul Fraser Collectibles HQ. There is really nothing remarkable about it from the outside, or for much of the inside. In the attic, however, there lives a monster.

Or at least, 'monster' is the word Glynne's wife Adrena uses to refer to the collection held close together up there: the collection which is thought to be the largest grouping of Simpsons memorabilia in the world.

The extraordinary number of items has been carefully divided into sections, in particular: autographs, car accessories, clocks and watches, figurines, foodstuffs and toys. However Williams, a courier in his early forties, cheerfully admits that none of it is written down.

A smaller collection of rare Simpsons collectibles

That makes it harder to set an official world record for the collection which Williams believes numbers around 30,000 items - The Guinness Book of Records has previously accredited an Australian, Cameron Gibbs of Victoria, with 2,580 items as the most prolific collector.

Williams is not particularly bothered about that, but he is keen on the idea of getting more people to see the collection and a small museum devoted to it is not out of the question.

Remarkably, the collection began before Williams had any great passion for the show. He was given a poster and a few figures one year, and it spiralled from there.

Now he has seen every episode more than once, spends a few hours a day on eBay and other websites (birthday present requests are now just eBay numbers) and been interviewed by Supersize-Me's Morgan Spurlock.

The items he has invested in are of all conceivable kinds: from a Springfield nuclear power plant lava lamp from Florida, through a limited edition lunch box made in Japan to Simpsons motion sensors.

Simpsons memorabilia can be valuable, and there are some rarities amongst the pieces - the sorts of things that typically become collectible such as a Radioactive Homer doll which was discontinued (ironically became the paint it is covered it is genuinely hazardous, according to Glynne).

Williams tends not to buy Simpsons clothing (it's "never-ending") or the really expensive items.

Animation artwork from Weekend at Burnsie's (The Simpsons)
Animation artwork from Weekend at Burnsie's (Simpsons episode)
(Click to enlarge)

Some pieces of Simpsons memorabilia have proved to be genuinely valuable at auction: for example original animation artwork for the episode Weekend at Burnsie's brought $2,509, and in general original celluloid from the series is expected to bring four-figure prices at Heritage and Bonhams.

Despite forswearing the priciest items, Williams typically spends around £150 a month on the collection, and has spent up to £150,000 overall, and he does own some immediately impressive items, such as life-size fibreglass Marge, Lisa and Maggie figures sitting in his back garden and a vast Simpsons arcade game (for four players) which is held in his dad's garage.

(The figures are probably stolen, originally. Williams notes that they were used to promote The Simpsons Movie, and disappeared from the cinemas they were supposed to be welcoming people to.)

Whilst those items have escaped the attic due to their sheer size, none of the other pieces venture down the ladder. It's not just that they're banned from the rest of the house - there just isn't enough room.

The space is needed for Adrena's teddy bear collection.


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