Exclusive Interview: Tracey Nicol-Lewis Breaks Guinness World Record for Largest Collection of Wizarding World Memorabilia

If you think that you have a large collection of Wizarding World memorabilia, there’s a new Guinness World Record to beat! As of April 3, 2021, Tracey Nicol-Lewis, of Mid Glamorgan, Wales, now holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Wizarding World memorabilia.

The previous holder was Victoria Maclean, also of Wales, whose collection officially consisted of 3,686 items when she broke the record. (The record for the largest collection of Harry Potter memorabilia – not including Fantastic Beasts items – is a separate title.)

Meanwhile, Nicol-Lewis’s collection has been confirmed to have over 5,000 items (5,434, to be exact!). In fact, it is so large that she had to buy a bigger house to fit everything in it. Building such a huge collection requires a lot of dedication, and it turns out that the process of confirming a world record takes a lot of time and effort too.

MuggleNet interviewed Nicol-Lewis via email to learn more about what it was like to achieve the world record, what her favorite items in her collection are, and if her Guinness World Records title marks the end of her collecting Wizarding World memorabilia. Our first question was what the process of achieving the Guinness World Record was like.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Tracey Nicol-lewis (@welsh_wizarding_collector)

 

Nicol-Lewis explained that just laying everything out to be photographed and officially itemized took “several weeks,” and it took over four hours for the witnesses to count each item from her collection. Uploading video footage of the attempt, she added, took three days. It was worth it, however, and Nicol-Lewis said that waiting for the confirmation from Guinness World Records “wasn’t too bad.”

Nicol-Lewis also said that she hasn’t planned to keep collecting; “it just happens.” She explained that it is difficult to “keep [her] away” from shops selling Wizarding World merchandise, which definitely sounds familiar to us. Nicol-Lewis added that she plans to start showing more of her collection on YouTube “to help others and show what can be achieved if you put your mind to it.” She also hopes to be able to promote businesses on the platform.

Of the items in her collection, Nicol-Lewis told us that the item that she would consider to be the most interesting would be her Gentle Giant bust of the late Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore. There were only 750 such busts made, and she purchased what she believed to be the only known bust of its kind in the United Kingdom. She later discovered that another bust of Harris as Dumbledore had been put up for sale in the UK, and she purchased it.

While Nicol-Lewis told us that it’s difficult for her to pick a favorite item, she named these busts as one of five of her top favorites. She also mentioned her Fantastic Beasts suitcase; her Ruitertassen bags; her golden eggs, because she owns three of the four eggs created as promotional prizes for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; and Albus Dumbledore’s watch from Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. (Although she owns several clocks and watches, Nicol-Lewis said, Dumbledore’s is “lush.”)

With all the items she owns, there are still a few that Nicol-Lewis hopes to acquire. She mentioned three in particular: “the cursed necklace, the remaining golden egg, and one of each of the brooms.”

Congratulations to Tracey Nicol-Lewis on achieving such an amazing world record! We at MuggleNet wish her all the best with her continued collecting. If you’d like to stay updated on her collection, you can find her on Instagram as @welsh_wizarding_collector.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Full Transcript with Tracey Nicol-Lewis, Monday, May 10, 2021

When we last reported on your collection, you had just purchased a new house to fit everything and were working on confirming your world record title. What was the process of confirming the record like?

Well, the process for confirming the title was very daunting, lots and lots of organizing; we had to itemise everything with pictures, and after doing nearly 5500 items, I can tell you [that it] took a rather long time. All the time laying everything out in each room ready over several weeks. Sometimes I would wish I could hurry the whole thing up. Took just over 4 hours for the count itself, almost biting my nails all the way through it because I was trying to let the witnesses do their counting. Not easy to let someone go through all my Potter stuff. Very nerve-racking. The waiting game for the answer from [Guinness World Records] wasn’t too bad; they came back with the answer and declared me, little me, officially amazing, and I had beaten the world record. I suppose the most frustrating part was trying to get all the video footage uploaded; that took 3 days to do.

Now that you have broken the world record officially, what are your plans for your collection? Do you plan to continue collecting Wizarding World merchandise?

I don’t ever plan to keep collecting; it just happens. I don’t seem to be able to help myself; there are always more [H]arry [P]otter items coming out all the time. Passing a shop with a Potter display or [shops that] I know are always having new items in store, and you can[']t keep me away from there, so yes, I will keep collecting. My plans are to start [Y]ou[T]ubing my collection to help others and show what can be achieved if you put your mind to it. I[']m hoping to start [gathering] sponsors and perhaps promote companies within the business community.

What is your favorite item in your collection?

Ooooo, favorite [i]tem; that’s a tough one. I have so many I like; for instance, it would be easier if I answered with my top 5. My [F]antastic [B]easts suitcase; it[’]s full size and really rare, but I love all the little things in it, especially the clock. [Second,] my [Ruitertassen] bags; they[']re all leather, [and] they were made for [the] cast and crew. I impressed them with the full collection; they don’t think there[']s been anyone outside their company that has them all. [Third,] my [G]entle [G]iant busts; they really are lifelike; they sit quite proudly around some of my rarer ones in my display cabinet. [Fourth,] golden eggs; I have 3 of the 4 golden eggs that were awarded as promo items at the [Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire] film premiere. Very hard to find, especially the last one. And finally, [D]umbledore[']s watch; I have several clocks and watches, including several rare ones, but his watch is lush.

What do you think is the most interesting item in your collection?

Most interesting item that I own[…] There['re] absolutely loads to pick from; most of the rare stuff has a back story [sic]. But to pick one would be the Richard Harris Dumbledore Gentle Giant bust. 750 were made worldwide, and I managed to get my hands on one in the [UK], which I was told was the only one known of in the UK. I later found out there may have been more than one, [and] it was about a year later when another popped up, so I bought that one as well. It[']s an amazing bust and really hard to find, but since buying the second one [-] which, to point out, they are not cheap … since buying the second one, [I]'ve not seen another one for sale in the [UK] since, [and it's] been over 3 years. Nice to know I own some really rare items.

Are there any items that you don't have in your collection but hope to acquire?

There are a few items I am always wanting but some more than most. I[']d love to get my hands on 3 items in particular. The cursed necklace, the remaining golden egg, and one of each of the brooms.

Is there anything else that you would like MuggleNet readers to know?

There are a great many members of the cast and crew that I have met over the years, some repeatedly, like the [Phelps] twins, [W]arwick [D]avis, Jason [I]saacs (saw him outside the premiere for [Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald]). That was fun, sitting in a cinema with most of the stars, even talking with them and walking down the BLUE carpet with them. Yes, it wasn’t red, lol.

My husband says, ["]It[']s not IF you can do something; it[']s how [badly] you want it.["]

 

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Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.