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James Bond superfan has world’s largest collection

The name’s Bennett. Nick Bennett. Owner of the world’s largest collection of James Bond memorabilia.

In a top-secret location somewhere in the North West of England, the 56-year-old’s hoard of more than 12,000 items is stored for his eyes only.

Nick says when it comes to 007 he buys “anything and everything” including spy watches, poker chips, even a speedboat.

His collection features very few Dr No items as the film, released exactly 60 years ago, was “a very low-key affair”.

“The film release wasn’t the event that a Bond film is now,” he explained.

“There really was almost nothing,” said Nick. “Maybe only a paperback book of the film, but it was the next film that came out was what started a small amount of memorabilia and a lipstick featuring Daniela Bianchi.

“Books and little things like that really were the start until 1964 when Goldfinger hit the screen and once those gadgets came in they could make anything for kids to play with.”

Nick, from Leigh in Greater Manchester, has spent the last 25 years building his collection.

He said it was a trip to the cinema with his parents in 1973, aged seven, that got him “hooked”.

“Roger Moore was my James Bond,” he said.

“I’d already been collecting things as a kid, books, stamps, but after watching Live and Let Die, I thought this is fantastic, and it all started there.”

He has since travelled the world to attend auctions but said things were “much easier” now as he can sit at home and bid for items on online auction websites.

“Anything produced on the back of James Bond that is available to buy, I want to buy it,” he said.

“It’s about the nostalgia and recreating our childhood, that’s why us collectors do it.

“These things were of course designed to be played with, and most were played with, so when I find something in its original state it makes me very happy.”

Nick said the majority of his collection was more than 50 years old, and in its original packaging.

He has held the Guinness Book of Records’ world record for the largest collection of James Bond memorabilia since 2013.

He said he would continue to add to his collection but planned one day to sell it.

“I want to enjoy the collection and enjoy the ownership, but I won’t die with it,” he said.