The largest “Berenstain Bears” collection in the world is on display for the first time ever in Austin, Minnesota.
Bradley Mariska – Farmington High School’s band director – started collecting the popular children’s books when he was a boy. Then when he discovered Ebay, he expanded to all types of “Berenstain Bears” memorabilia, the Austin Daily Herald reports.
“I had a handful of ‘Berenstain Bear’ books … and on the back when you flipped it over, it said ‘collect them all’ – and I sort of took that literally and just kept buying all the books as they came out,” Mariska told ABC 6.
His collection now includes more than 700 books and almost 2,000 other “Berenstain Bear” related items like games, stuffed animals, clothing, figurines, and other items, the news station says.
All of it is on display at Sweet Reads bookstore in Austin, where the shop held the grand opening of the year-long exhibit over the weekend.
Mariska’s collection is in the process of being formally named the largest of its kind in the world by Guinness World Records, the Austin Daily Herald says.