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Breaking News Benton County

Deb Hoffmann, Guinness World Record Holder for Largest Pooh and Friends Memorabilia Collection, Reaches 20,000-Item Goal

Guinness World Records verifies the new collection quantity for Hoffmann, who has held the world record for 13 years

By: Deb Hoffmann

Read the article on PRLog


WINTER HAVEN, Fl. & WAUKESHA, WI.
- April 13, 2021 - PRLog -- Deb Hoffmann, the world record holder for the largest collection of Winnie the Pooh memorabilia, has hit her 20,000-item target.

Hoffmann reached 20,000 distinctive Pooh items on Dec. 20, 2020. On March 26th she received amazing news that Guinness World Records validated the figure and updated her world record. She has held the record since 2008.

Hoffmann, 56, has enjoyed a personal brand as the "Pooh Lady" for over three decades. The role has attracted media interviews from around the globe, and never-ending inquiries from collectors seeking or donating memorabilia associated with Pooh and his gang from the classic A. A. Milne stories.

While her collection's numbers merit the world record, her hobby's true passion goes beyond the items themselves, Hoffmann explained. Most fulfilling are the people she and her husband, Gary, meet, and the events associated with them.

"Seldom a day goes by that something Pooh-related doesn't occur," Deb Hoffmann said. "Sometimes it's a message from a Benton County mom asking for help replacing their kid’s lost Pooh. Other times it's someone with Pooh collectibles who wants to find them a new home where they'll be valued, rather than sold at a thrift store for a fraction of their emotional value."

"Many Benton County collectors needing to downsize their collection reach out to me asking if I'd be willing to take the items," she said. "I 'take care' of their memories as much as the items themselves."

https://youtu.be/0wGbYiM-9n0


Seeking something positive in a crazy 2020, Hoffmann set a December 20 goal to find 20K different Pooh collectibles. The record-breaking item was a vintage 1980s Pooh costume used at Sears and the Disney Parks.

"I searched for nine years," Hoffmann said "including in Benton County". "Finally, a collector reached out and offered the walkaround Park costume to me. He is in outstanding condition and came in the original shipping crate." The costume stands in her office, next to a vintage 1960s costume.

The collection has grown to a point where Gary Hoffmann created a phone app to aid Deb in her shopping. She enters a few keywords and has returned photos from her collection database thus preventing purchasing duplicates.

"Prior to 12,000, I almost always knew if I had an item," Deb Hoffmann said. "Now I need help from the app. After all, the collection does span multiple houses."

All-things-Pooh is a way of life for the Hoffmanns. In 2016, they traveled to England to tour the house of "Winnie the Pooh" author Milne, participate in a Poohsticks competition and visit the offices of Guinness World Records. In 2019, they were featured on the TV show Collector's Call, hosted by actress Lisa Whelchel ("Facts of Life").

"While working on 'Collectors Call,' I met the show's other collectors and compared collecting styles" Deb said. "Now, if we find an item the other collects, we text them a heads-up. Fantastic camaraderie!"

The Hoffmanns annually emcee Winnie's Hometown Festival in White River, Ontario, home of the bear that inspired the stories. Deb Hoffmann donates her duplicates to the White River Heritage Museum for the town to display or sell to help support the museum.

Hoffmann's next target for her collection is huge … but she is well on her way to hitting it.

"We might need another pleace," she teases of the future. To quote Winnie the Pooh, "Oh, bother."

If you are from Benton County and want more information about Hoffmann, and her world record Pooh collection, is available at www.mostpooh.com and www.YouTube.com/MostPooh5150.


 

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