Toys | Life | 70s | 90s | 80s

Middle-Aged Man Has Collected Over 5,000 Barbies, And My Inner Child Is Getting Jealous

Collecting Barbies was basically the most important thing to me when I was a young girl. I probably had more than a dozen, and I loved each and every one of them.

As I grew older, and I didn't want to play with Barbies anymore, I slowly let go of my collection, passing them down to younger cousins and selling them at garage sales. I don't have any left now, but sometimes when you see the commercials it gives you that little warm nostalgic feeling.

One man however, went ahead and decided that his desire for nostalgia would trump all other thoughts of logic, because he has managed to grow a collection of Barbies that numbers in the thousands.

Sam Pena is 45 years old, and he has collected about 5,000 Barbies since 1992. He has dedicated an entire room of his house to his impressive collection that has been growing for 20 years.

"I got my first Barbie in 1992, and since then I've collected over 5,000 dolls," Pena said to Mirror.

It all started when he came across his sister's old dolls, he just couldn't get them out of his head. "As soon as I stumbled across my sister's old Barbie dolls , all of the memories of our childhood came back and I was hooked on Barbie again," he said.

But how much has this collection cost him?

He tries to buy them second hand, but even though he isn't paying full price. "I don't want to think about how much I've spent, but I try not to buy a lot of new dolls from the shelf," he said.

"I spend a lot of my time searching for more to add to my collection - I'm constantly at charity shops, car boot sales, auctions and searching for deals online too."

He's had to devote an entire room to the iconic doll, which at least limits his collection from spilling out all over the house.

"Barbie has her own room in my house, and isn't allowed anywhere else but in her room, or she'd take over," he explained.

He sorts them by eras, and displays them all proudly, but there's one that holds a special place in his heart.

"My mum got a 1962 Bubblecut Barbie for my sister from a charity shop in the mid 70s and when we played Barbie I was the one who got that Barbie," he said.

"This was the doll that launched my obsession and is my all-time favorite."

Pena works as a librarian and he values his collection highly. "I think it's important to have friends who share your passion for what you collect - whether it's cars or Barbie dolls."

You might be wondering how his friends and family reacted when he devoted an entire room to the doll, but he's said that they've been very supportive.

"I have a lot of friends who collect Barbie's, but I also have a lot who don't - and they still think my collection is cool," he said. "My family have been very supportive over the years - and it was a big day when my mum and dad got me some Barbies."

"It showed me that they were cool with it - especially when my dad would show my collection to his friends when they came over."

If you like his collection, you would absolutely love John-Paul Annuziato's collection. He's got over 30,000 items all from the 80s.

If you could collect one thing from your childhood what would it be? Personally, I wish that the Beanie Baby trend wasn't such a lie... I would be SO rich if those predictions came true.