Meet the man with the world’s largest Sonic the Hedgehog collection

If you’re reading Sega Mania magazine, or you’ve found your way to our website, then it’s likely you have a pretty decent gaming collection going on.

Well prepare to have the wind well and truly knocked out of your sails by Barry Evans from Dayton, Texas.

His wall-to-wall collection of Sonic the Hedgehog memorabilia occupies entire rooms of his home, literally from floor to ceiling.

So vast is his collection that it has now been officially recognised as the largest on the planet by the Guinness World Book of Records.

“It all started in 1992 when I bought a Sonic the Hedgehog character shaped bubble-gum container, and now here I am,” says Barry.

“I'm Super Sonic Excited to have accomplished this. It was no easy task and took nearly a year to do all the required work. The criteria is extreme.”

If you can think of anything even vaguely Sonic the Hedgehog related, you will probably find it in Barry’s collection.

There are arcade cabinets, posters, baseball caps, stickers, figurines, cuddly toys, mugs to name but a few.

He even has a Sonic Japanese girl's pink thong that he says always gets a laugh.

“When I was first collecting, most people thought it was "strange" or "lame" but that did not deter me in the least,” Barry tells us.

“I kept on collecting and now three decades later people come over and are speechless. I really feel I'm preserving Hedgehog History.

“The rarest things in the collection are the Sonic & Tails statues.  They appeared at our local "Flagship" Toys R Us store in 1994 (only those got them).

“I asked the manager if they ever decided to let them go to please let me know!  I actually checked in with the managers every six months for nearly a decade.

“In the spring of 2001, I received a call saying, ‘if you want those statues, come right now, we're remodelling’, I slipped out of work and went over to pick them up ASAP before they changed their minds.”

Barry says his earliest memory of Sonic comes from when he was helping his best friend, Manuel Gonzales, set up his new apartment.

He said: “Manuel bought a Sega Genesis and Sonic the Hedgehog in October 1991. 

“We turned on the game and heard the soundtrack of Sonic playing while we were

unpacking and setting up the apartment.

“The soundtrack of Sonic was instantly enjoyed. I bought my Sega Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog the very next day.”

You might think that earning global recognition for a collection that is 3,050 items strong would mean Barry might have decided to put his feet up and retire from collecting, but this is far from the case.

“As long as new Sonic the Hedgehog items are made, I'll continue to add to the collection,” he says.

“There are several items I'd love to get one day if I can; Sonic display statues from other countries, Sonic kiddie rides and amusement machines, signs, posters, and displays that I might have not known about.

“I'm always on the lookout for the strange and unusual Sonic items!  Even bootleg items are interesting!

“Sonic is really important to me. Besides the obvious fun the games are, It's the memories with him all these years that makes it so special.”

You can follow Barry on Twitter

- Article: Sam Forrester

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