Artist amasses super-sized toy collection

Young at heart: Lugue with his Guinness World Record-breaking toy collection at his home in Apalit, Pampanga province. — Reuters

FROM the age of five, Filipino graphic artist Percival Lugue has had a passion for collecting toys from fast-food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and home-country favourite Jollibee.

Now, nearly five decades later, the 50-year-old has about 20,000 toys packed from floor to ceiling in his home and holds a Guinness World Record from 2014, when his collection reached over 10,000 items.“The toy is like a storyteller in itself, ” said Lugue while sitting among an eclectic mix of toys in his three-storey home.

“For example, it gives me a glimpse of that particular period when I got it, the story of what was going on then and the incidents attached to the acquisition.”

Lugue, who lives in Apalit in Pampanga, a province northwest of Manila, built his home especially to house his collection.

He likens the excitement of getting new toys to Christmas morning.He has always played with the toys, but even as a child took good care of them and put them on display “unlike the other kids, who would tear up their toys into smithereens”.While most of his toys were obtained through personal purchases, some were donated by friends and family.

“I would invite my friends to... have lunch at McDonald’s... and in one sitting I would be able to complete the whole set, ” he said.

One of his most treasured pieces is a Hetty Spaghetti figurine, a mascot from the Jollibee chain that his mother gave him in 1988.

His dream is to eventually put his collection on display for the public or even open a museum to “give others a chance to revisit their own childhood memories”. — Reuters

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