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Breaking News Johnson County

Deb Hoffmann, Guinness World Record Holder for Largest Winnie the Pooh Collection, Reaches 20,000-Item Goal

Guinness World Records validates the new collection amount 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 Guinness World record holder for the largest collection of Winnie the Pooh memorabilia, has reached her 20,000-item goal.

Hoffmann reached 20,000 non-duplicated Winnie the Pooh items on December 20, 2020. On 3/26/21 she received amazing news that Guinness World Records approved the figure and updated her world record. She has held the record title since 2008.

Hoffmann, 56, has enjoyed a personal brand as the "Pooh Lady" for over three decades. The role has gotten media interviews from around the globe, and never-ending inquiries from people 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 memorabilia 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 Johnson County mom asking for help replacing a child's lost Pooh. Other times it's someone with Pooh figurines who wants to find them a new home where they'll be valued, rather than sold at a thrift store for $1.00."

"Many Johnson County collectors needing to rehome 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 upbeat in a crazy 2020, Hoffmann set a December 20 goal to find 20,000 different Pooh items. The last item was a vintage 1980s Pooh costume used at Sears and the Disney Parks.

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

The collection grew to a point where Gary Hoffmann created a phone app to aid Deb in her searching. She enters a few keywords and sees photos from her Pooh database thus preventing purchasing duplicates.

"Prior to 12,000, I usually 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 lofty … but she is well on her way to reaching it.

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

If you are from Johnson 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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