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Kevin Silva: Worlds largest collection of Batman memorabilia in USA

By - December 2, 2013
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“Holy Batman Collection!”

… and for fans of Batman and the wider super-hero genres worldwide you will appreciate this opener as we introduce you to Kevin Silva… an ordinary man living in Indiana, USA who by day fixes amplifiers and electronics, and by night he heads to his very own bat cave where he has amassed a collection of over 2,500 items of Batman memorabilia.

Kevin Silva’s obsession with Batman began when he was just 5 years old in 1966, the year ABC’s live-action Batman TV series debuted, The Indianapolis Star quotes:

“I turned 5 on January 6th 1966 and The Batman TV show aired January 12, 1966. My dad made transformers for RCA, a deal with them got us a 19″ COLOR TV for Christmas 1965. Nobody in our neighborhood had a colour TV at the time. So my first Batman experience was a colourful one and it burnt a vivid image in my mind!” said Silva, who has been collecting Batman memorabilia ever since.

Silva’s collection spans all decades and reincarnations of the Caped Crusader, but the 1960s ABC series is most heavily featured. In his basement, aptly referred to as the Batcave, Silva has a red Batphone, which sits under glass, just like it did in Commissioner Gordon’s office on the show. He also has a Gotham City phone book, reportedly an actual prop from the show itself. (pic above)

A recent appraisal for insurance purposes estimated the collection’s value in six figures, but Silva said he doesn’t plan on selling any time soon and will leave it for his kids.

Silva interestingly isn’t the only collector in his family, either. His daughter, Kaylaigh, 25, buys up all sorts of Marilyn Monroe-related items, while her brother, Dylan, 21, collects memorabilia of the rock band Kiss.

We caught up with Kevin about his collection and heres what he told us:

When did you start collecting?

I have items I got when I was 5 years old including a Batman lunchbox which I had when I was at kindergarten. I’ve still got that lunch box to this day, and it is one of my many personal fave items from the entire collection.

What made you start and then continue collecting?

The 1966 Batman TV show. I turned 5 on January 6th 1966, the show aired January 12th. My dad did work for RCA, he got us a 19” color TV for Christmas in 1965. So my first images of Batman were pretty vivid! I had lots of comics, and toys that I managed to keep. I fell out of it a little after I was 12 or so and then got back in it deep after the release of the first Michael Keaton movie. I’ve been going strong ever since!

What do your friends and family think of your collection?

They all love it. Both of my kids (27 and 23) have a collection of their own too which I am sure has been influenced by me and my wife is always buying me things, and my “generals” if you will (friends) are always finding me things at garage sales, and flea markets. I’m an easy person to buy a present for, because if it is Batman related you are sure I’m going to like it!

Is Batman your favorite super hero?

Of course, by far! But I do have lots of Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, etc…

If you could have any super hero power yourself, what would you choose?

Always thought that x-ray vision thing was pretty cool.

Your favorite Batman film?

I like ‘em all, maybe the second Dark Knight with Heath Ledger a little more than the others Most people love this one for Heath’s incredible performance alone.

Your fave villain?

The Joker character, in all versions.

Do you allow people to view your collection?

Absolutely! I love to see the expression on their face when they realize just how big it is.

Is there anything you still would like to have in the collection that you don’t already?

Wouldn’t mind finding a 1966 “Ideal” Batbelt, very rare.

What’s your most favorite item in the collection and why?

My replica 1966 TV show Batman outfit. That’s what really started it all I guess.

Are you going to continue collecting? 

Just got back from Sam’s Club with my Batman Pedal car, seriously, just bought it so I’m guessing this looks like it’s gonna stay with me for my whole life!

Would you ever sell your collection? 

I guess everything in life is up for sale nowadays, right? Although my son might argue that, he gets this when I’m gone…

How much do you think you have spent altogether collecting? 

For what it’s worth, my collection was appraised 2 years ago for insurance purposes. Over $100k. Don’t think I have that much in it. Sum of the parts I guess… and it’s not monetary value that motivated me all these years, it was mere passion and love for something. My advice for everyone else… live for what you love and what comes with that is all a bonus!

Wise words Kevin… we salute you and give you the Guavo seal of approval!

In conversation Kevin also mentioned that in addition to fixing amplifiers by day, he also plays the guitar and is quite the musician himself. A jam session in and amongst the Batman collection is certainly something we’d love to see soon… watch this space!

Full selection of photos of the collection is available for Media and Press by email: [email protected]

Interview Requests can also be made by email: [email protected]

PHOTO / VIDEO CREDIT: #thisisguavo Media / Kevin Silva