Insight & Analysis

Harry Potter superfan enters Guinness Book of Records with mega Wizarding World collection

Published: Apr 2019

After nearly two decades of collecting wizarding memorabilia, a mum of three in South Wales has achieved one of her biggest ambitions and had her collection verified as the largest of its kind in the world.

It has taken her 18 years and an awful lot of dedication but Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts superfan Victoria Maclean has finally achieved a long-held ambition and gained recognition from the Guinness Book of Records for having assembled the world’s largest collection of Wizarding World memorabilia.

When the Guinness Book of Record assessors visited Maclean at her home in Neath, South Wales, they discovered that the 39 year-old mum of three has amassed a staggering 3,686 pieces of wizarding memorabilia tucked away. And it was more than just the cupboard under the stairs that was filled to the brim with Maclean’s prized collectables – one room of her house is packed full of boxes, trunks and drawers stuffed to bursting with J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts memorabilia.

The collection had to be assessed and counted by two independent witnesses, one of whom was a specialist in official Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts merchandise. They carefully counted and measured items and took photographic evidence of each individual item – all 3,686 of them. Guinness Book of Records adjudicator Sofia Greenacre then verified Victoria’s record and awarded her with her certificate.

Maclean says securing the award was “unbelievable…it’s the best thing ever, it’s the biggest achievement so far in my life”.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Maclean wasn’t a J.K Rowling fan from the very beginning and hadn’t read any Harry Potter books until she picked up Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001, four years after it was first published.

“Everyone kept going on about this wonderful boy wizard, this amazing story that people were becoming immersed in that took you away to somewhere magical. I finally gave in in 2001, I picked up the first book and have never looked back since,” recalls Maclean.

Treasured snitch puzzle

Starting with her copy of the first book, Maclean soon began collecting Harry Potter merchandise, which has since spread into the world of Fantastic Beasts. Some of her items were especially hard to come by. Her favourite and rarest piece is a 24-carat gold plated golden snitch puzzle from Japan: “I think it came out around the time of Chamber of Secrets. Five thousand of them were made and to get hold of that took me about six months. But don’t take it apart, because it’s really hard to put back together!”

According to Guinness, Maclean’s collection includes:

  • 26 pop vinyls.
  • 6 snow globes.
  • 115 Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts pin badges.
  • 34 wands.
  • 302 Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts postcards.
  • 114 Harry Potter books.

Victoria’s dedication to her record attempt echoes her motivated character and an unwillingness to let adversity hold her back. “I have disabilities – I have dyslexia dyspraxia, ADHD and SPLD. Unfortunately, that leaves me with a lot of problems with things like educational learning, putting things into categories or being able to do things the same as an average person,” explained Maclean to Guinness Book of Records.

“However, when someone tells me I can’t do something, even because I’ve got disabilities, I’m the type of person that would show them. No matter what’s wrong, what disabilities you have, if you believe you can achieve it, then go for it. Nothing is holding you back.”

Guinness Book of Records says that the largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia stands at 3,097 and has been held by Menahem Asher Silva Vargas of Mexico City (Mexico) since 5th November 2013. Menahem says his favourite item is a circular wall ornament that contains a photo of Harry in the Chamber of Secrets, given to him by his mother as a gift for Children’s Day.

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