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The exact location of the Simpsons’ hometown has never been revealed on the long-running animated sitcom, but there is a good chance it could be located in Jeremy Wilcox’s Fresh Meadows apartment.
The 30-year-old owns the largest collection of Simpsons memorabilia in the city, with more than a thousand toys, posters, maquettes and other items adorning two walls in a 10-foot-by-10-foot room in his home.
“I’ve always been collecting action figures, but ‘The Simpsons’ has been my favorite show,” he said.
Wilcox, who works at a movie memorabilia store in midtown Manhattan, said he got hooked on the show when he was 10 and he saw the premiere episode.
His first and most prized possession is a plush doll of Bart Simpson, the show’s mischievous son of the yellow-skinned family. The doll, which today is still in good condition save for a missing finger on each of his hands, was a gift from Wilcox’s mother, who knew he liked the show.
Wilcox said “The Simpsons,” now in its 20th year on the air, appealed to him because of its vast array of characters and situations. Although the main focus of the show is based on the Simpson family — parents Homer and Marge and children Bart, Lisa and Maggie — the townsfolk of Springfield, USA, have also provided laughs, according to the fan.
“On ‘The Simpsons,’ if they don’t have any ideas, they can do a show that’s not based off the Simpsons family. The 450th episode featured Krusty the Clown and it was funny,” he said.
Wilcox’s passion for the show expanded 10 years ago when he was studying sociology and media at Hunter College. He began collecting Simpsons action figures based on the family and the show’s supporting cast.
Eventually, his collection grew so big that he and some friends created the site simpsonscollectors.com for a way to share the collectables and buy new items. Among the possessions he has acquired over the last decade are European Simpsons soccer toys, German plush dolls and cans of Duff beer and Buzz cola, the popular fake beverages seen on the show.
Wilcox’s collection room, which includes other collectibles such as DC Comics and “Star Wars” figurines, impresses his friends and family when they come to visit.
“Anytime I have a party, I invite people into this room and show [the collection] and they’re so amazed,” he said.
The fan’s collection has even astonished Matt Groening, the show’s creator, who met Wilcox on several occasions at fan conventions.
“He loves the collectors. He told me he collects [Simpsons] stuff himself,” Wilcox said.
The Archbishop Molloy High School alum’s apartment was so popular that it was featured in a special documentary on “The Simpson’s” longevity that aired after the show’s 450th episode Jan. 10. Wilcox said he was amazed when “Super Size Me” director Morgan Spurlock interviewed him for the documentary and featured his room.
“At times I wondered if this is a normal hobby for a 30-year-old to have and to be featured in the special .... It was worth it,” he said.
Wilcox said he thinks “The Simpsons,” the longest-running scripted show on American television, will continue to remain popular for years to come and he will continue to find more items to fill up his room. If the collection gets too big, the fan said he’d look for a bigger room to store his items.
“I’ve amassed such a collection, I don’t know how I could part with it,” he said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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