So Bart, tell us something about your collection.
»I guess I have more than 1000 items. Including magazines, puzzles and clothing. I have a separate room furnished specially for my collection. Because the first film was made in the year 1984, most items are not in stores anymore. A big part of my collection is bought from a guy in Antwerp. He decided to quit his collection from one day to another. I’ve already visited him for six times, to buy parts of his collection. He’d been collecting for over 15 years. Imagine that… We’re friends now. »
Where does your passion for Gremlins come from?
»My passion for Gremlins started at an early age. After seeing both the films as a 7-year-old boy, I fell in love straight away. The films were always broadcasted around Christmas and I watched them secretly, together with my older brother. The first time I saw the film I could hardly sleep. But after a few times I started to see the crazy and funny side of Gremlins. Now I’m one of the biggest Gremlin collectors in the world. »
Do you remember the first Gremlin you bought?
»I got my first Gremlin from a good friend of mine. After that my interest grew and I discovered new places where I could find the most unique Gremlins. In the beginning I mostly bought them through web shops, but now I know all the special spots. »
What makes your collection so special ?
»The special thing about it, and collecting in general, is that I see it as a form of art. The items itself are important, but also how the items are being displayed makes it special. That’s why I started an Instagram-account. This makes it possible to show my collection in the most beautiful way possible. I also created a magazine called « Gremline Zine – Gremlins and Mogwai Collectors Worldwide » in which I interviewed the top ten largest Gremlin-collectors in the world. The magazine was sold out quickly. »
A part of your collection is exhibited at Volkshotel. How do you think visitors will react?
»I very much hope that if people see my collection, they’ll get a nostalgic feeling. They could think: “Wow, that’s from that movie!” or “Hm, I’ve seen this before somewhere.”. I actually just want the people to memorize that particular period. The best case scenario is that they’ll get the desire of watching the movies again. »
We wonder, what do your friends think of your passion for Gremlins?
»Luckily, many friends like my collection. Recently I noticed that friends are also talking about it a bit more than usual. For example, when my TV broke down the other day, a good friend said: « There must‘ve been a Gremlin in there.’’. But I don’t talk about it every day though. That would be a bit too much. »
As a collector, what’s you biggest dream?
»I would love to open a museum at home. That’s definitely one of my goals! I’ve made several displays inside the house. It would be ideal to see my own home based collection, exhibited behind glass, so that people can drop by. They could admire my collection in exchange for a small contribution. Maybe I’ll even earn back my investment one day. Haha! No, I’m just kidding. I just love to do this. »
Are there any fun anecdotes, good stories or Gremlin memories you’d like to share?
»By collecting Gremlins I met so many great people from all over the world. I’m still in contact with these people on a daily basis. We have certain groups where collectors share fun facts, drawings, new merchandise or behind the scene photos that someone discovered. They send me new items and even birthday gifts. It sometimes seems that I’ve become some kind of Gremlin guru. Which I find really cool. »
If you had to choose between your girlfriend and your collection, what would you pick?
»Wow, that is a very difficult one. If I had to choose, I’d go for my girlfriend. But definitely in a Gremlin-suit. »
Take a look at his Instagram account.
Volkshotel is looking for collectors. Those with an untamable passion for quirky items. To show off their special collections and to tell the special stories behind it. Happen to know one? Let us know at email@example.com.