lifestyle

Mum builds summerhouse for 3,000 pieces of Mr Men memorabilia because partner and kids don’t like them


Caption: Meet the Mr Men and Little Miss super fan who owns more than 3,000 items
BPM Media

Walking into Michelle Martinez home, you’d have little idea about her love for Mr Men.

All but two of her 3,000 items that she has been collecting since she was born are in the summerhouse.

She said: ‘If you came into my house you wouldn’t know I was a fan of Mr Men, there’s a Mr Man cushion and on my washing machine there is a Mr Mischief sucker toy but that’s been there for around 20 years.’

While her partner Stephen and children tolerate the memorabilia, they aren’t as fond of it as Michelle – but she admits she’s happy about that.

She admitted: ‘To be honest with you, I’m relieved because some of my stuff is so old and brittle it would have broken if my kids had played with it.

She said: ‘My 19-year-old daughter is into Funko POP in a big way, so I think hoarding my runs in the family.

‘I said lord help us if Funko POP release Mr Men, we’ll be scrapping but I will win because I’ll have to pay for them.’

Michelle, from Waterlooville Hampshire, got her first piece before she was even born.

Her mum was pregnant the same year the brand was created by children’s author Roger Hargreaves.

What started off as a series of books aimed at children, is now a 50-year-old brand with countless toys and items to collect.

Michelle’s collection (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

Michelle said: ‘When my mum was pregnant in 1971, she bought a Mr Men book before I was even born. I chewed a Mr Jelly book when I was four and I still have original books I chewed in 1976.’

Throughout her childhood, she bought items using her pocket money and although she went through a spell of distancing herself from the items as a teenager, she started collecting again at university.

Michelle said: ‘Mr Men had a resurgence and there were Mr Men bags in Clintons, I just had to have one.

Michelle has put everything in a summerhouse (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

‘I would go to university with a Mr Men rucksack and everyone knew who I was, I’m nearly 6 foot 3 so I stuck out like a sore thumb.’

Now, at 48-years-old, Michelle’s love for the characters is evident in her collection of over 3,000 pieces that are stored in her summer house.

Her favourite character is Mr Strong, the character of a cuddly toy she would carry around as a child.

She’s been collection since she was a baby (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

She said: ‘Every significant person in my life has bought me something Mr Men related: boyfriends, my ex-husband, my kids, and my current partner has spent an absolute fortune on Mr Men memorabilia

‘When I look in my Mr Men summer house, it is a room full of love. Sometimes the people aren’t here, or aren’t part of my life anymore, but there are still good memories even if there is a bit of sadness tinged to it.’

The unique items in Michelle’s collection include Mr Men chopsticks, a tin opener, kitchen roll holder and a lighter.

Michelle uses Facebook to connect with fans across the world, she runs a group called ‘Mr Men Collection’ which has over 370 members.

She said: ‘People post pictures of their children or grandchildren with toys, and they share pictures of their collection. It is just lovely to know i’m not the only nutter.”

‘It’s a bit like an addiction, when I see something I’ll say “can I afford it no? Do i need it? No.” I don’t need it but I do want it, so I’ll still get it. Some people have that with shoes, although I wish I decided to collect stamps it would take up much less space.’

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