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Mexican lawyer sets Guinness record for Harry Potter collection

Menahem Asher Silva Vargas with a Harry Potter wand, glasses, scarves and more, part of his Guinness world record-setting collection of Harry Potter memorabilia.
(Rebecca Blackwell / AP)

Have you been claiming that you’re the biggest Harry Potter fan in the world? A man in Mexico City would like a word with you.

A lawyer named Menahem Asher Silva Vargas has spent almost 15 years collecting memorabilia related to J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard, and now has something to show for it (besides a dwindling bank account). On Monday, Silva Vargas’ trove officially set a Guinness world record as the biggest such collection in the world, weighing in at 3,097 pieces, easily eclipsing the old record -- a paltry 807.

In a video interview, the 37-year-old attorney shows off his massive supply of Hogwarts swag, which includes wands, scarves, action figures, and, naturally, books.

Silva Vargas says the collection started taking on a life of its own soon after he started grabbing up Harry Potter merchandise. “If I saw a piece that interested me, I kept it,” he says, “but never with the intention to have a Harry Potter collection. It was by chance.”

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There’s no word on how much Silva Vargas’ collection might be worth, but fans are willing to pay top dollar to snap up anything related to the series of books. As of Wednesday, vendors on EBay were asking $25,000 for an original Harry Potter illustration, $18,500 for an autographed first-edition book, and $10,000 for a complete Harry Potter Lego set.

Silva Vargas might be the envy of his fellow muggles, but not everybody’s impressed by his achievement. At Gawker, the headline over the story reads “Congratulations, Nerd: Here’s the World’s #1 Harry Potter Junk Collector.”


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