What a collection! Mum Michelle is just mad about Mr Men

14/06/12  EB''Michelle Harrop from Waterlooville with her huge collection of Mr Men toys and objects.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122035-2)
14/06/12 EB''Michelle Harrop from Waterlooville with her huge collection of Mr Men toys and objects.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122035-2)

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MUM Michelle Harrop and her family share their home with thousands of men – Mr Men.

The 40-year-old mum-of-two has collected countless pieces of memorabilia about the much-loved children’s book characters.

Everywhere you look in her home on the Hazleton estate, Waterlooville, you’ll find Mr Men faces peering out.

Turn on a light, and you’ll be using a Mr Men switch.

There are rugs, mirrors, curtains, bedspreads, jackets, cake tins, kitchen roll holders, tea sets and Mr Bump and Mr Funny fairground carts in the garden.

The family even hang clothes on Mr Men coat hangers.

The collection of thousands of items has been insured for £35,000.

Michelle, who celebrated her 40th birthday with a Mr Men party, said: ‘My friends have got a nickname for me – The Mad Mr Men Woman of Waterlooville!

‘When I met my partner Gary I had to explain pretty early on that I share my life with a lot of other men.

‘He was fine about it though and actually encourages me. For my birthday he bought me a Mr Men charm bracelet.’

Michelle shares her home with three young people with learning disabilities, caring for them full time.

She said that although people may think she’s crazy there is nothing unhinged about the reasons behind her obsession.

She said: ‘My favourite one of the Mr Men is Mr Strong because it’s the first cuddly toy my mum gave me.

‘I had a very happy childhood with my parents and Mr Men bring back so many memories of that time. It might sound strange but just looking at them makes me smile and brings back that feeling of being loved and secure.

‘I don’t know how anyone could not find Mr Men sweet.’

The characters – created by Roger Hargreaves – were first published in 1971.

Michelle believes she may hold the world record for Mr Men memorabilia.

‘The Guinness World Record Holder has 2,500 pieces but I think I’ve probably got more than that,’ said Michelle.

‘I’m going to photograph every piece individually and see how I get on.’

The only Mr Men-free room is Michelle’s bedroom which she says is ‘out of respect for Gary’.