Largest collection of toy soldiers: Spanish Museum sets world record (HD Video)
VALENCIA, Spain--The Museo de los Soldaditos de Plomo in Valencia, Spain holds a collection of more than 85,000 toy soldiers and miniature figures on display in intricate dioramas and displays, and more than an million more in storage - setting the new world record for the largest collection of toy soldiers and miniature figures, according to World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: Brutus about to murder Julius Caesar. All Photos: Derek Workman
The Guinness world record for the Largest (PRIVATE) collection of toy soldiers was set by Sergey Valentinovich Spasov (Russia), who has 661 different toy soldiers, as of 3 August 2010.
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest collection of model trams, set by Geoff Price (UK), who has 830 model trams, as of April 2011.
Museum director Alejandro Noguera told Smithsonian's Derek Workman (paid a visit) that in 1941, his father received a set of toy Spanish soldiers from his father for his second birthday. That was the beginning of a vast private collection.
"I don't remember a holiday as a boy that didn't involve searching through shops and flea markets looking for toy soldiers," says Noguera.
"But as well as my father's collection being a hobby, he also used it as instruction for myself and my brother and sister."
"It was great fun," he says, "and we used Second World War armies, with rules about diplomacy and economy, but it was also my father's way to teach us about business, because if you know how to organize an army, you know how to organize a business, a library, almost anything."
He says the original idea for the museum was simply to display his father's collection, but as he became more involved in the research behind both the making of the miniatures themselves and the stories they represented, he decided to take a different approach, thinking of a historic scene he'd like to present and then buying or commissioning the figures to create it.
"My father thought that everything should be put on display, but apart from that being physically impossible because of the size of the collection, I thought it would be better to leave much more open space, and present the collection in a series of dioramas and large spectacular scenes, particularly the major battles."