Saturday, September 27, 2008

Meet the toy-mad Brit who has a collection of two million Lego bricks!

A toy-mad Briton has the biggest-ever private collection of Lego toys - containing over two million bricks.

Darren Smith, 32, started collecting the colourful building blocks aged five when he was given a set by his parents as a Christmas present.

His childhood love for Lego has turned into an incredible collection of more than 2,000,000 bricks.

Smith has broken the previous British record held by Phil Traviss, 50, from Yarm in North Yorkshire, who has 500,000 pieces at his home.

Darren of Exeter, Devon and a data analyst by profession said that his favourites Lego figures are the Star Wars characters - particularly C3PO and Darth Vadar.

"I love all Lego but I'm obsessed with the Star Wars stuff. To this day my favourite piece is a gold C3PO limited edition which I keep in a safe place," Telegraph quoted Darren, as saying.

His collection includes over 2,000 sets of pirates, police, cowboys, astronauts, Vikings and super heroes such as Indiana Jones, Spiderman and Batman.

He also has Lego cars, bikes, helicopters, trains, dinosaurs, robots, fire stations, footballers, aliens, Harry Potter and farm animals.

Darren keeps his 50,000 pounds collection in his three-bed home, that fills large garage and a specially converted loft.

"'I love Lego - the colours and the shapes are timeless. Some people might think it's sad but everyone wants to see the collection," he said.

Darren received his first set in 1981 but admits he only went public with his huge collection aged 27 when he joined a club for AFOLs - adult fans of Lego.

"When I was five my parents gave a me a Lego town and I loved it straight away. I was fascinated. As I got older I used to be a bit coy about it but when I turned 27, I joined the Brickish Association, which is a club for adults.

"It was great because I realised I wasn't the only adult in the country who was mad about Lego," he added.

Darren said that he has spent up to 50,000 pounds on Lego but he keeps the cost of his hobby down by scouring jumble and car boot sales for cheap sets.

As well as individual characters and bricks he now builds large models including a 5ft Lego Winnie the Pooh and a 3ft Piglet.

He has started to display many of his creations at exhibitions across the country and is currently working on a major show to be held in Swindon, Wilts.