Segments in this Video

Excessive Gnome Collector (03:28)


Retired window cleaner Ron Bloomfield has spent his adult life buying dwarf figurines. He tracks his 1,725 items in a log book, dresses like a gnome, and is locally famous.

Excessive Reborn Collector (02:51)

As her five children grew up, Pembrokeshire housewife Alice Norman dedicated her life to lifelike baby dolls. She treats them as live infants and has created a nursery room, complete with clothes and toys. She takes "Reese" out to the beach.

Baked Bean Museum (01:37)

Port Talbot bachelor Captain Beany has an excessive collection of Heinz baked beans merchandise in his home.

Reborn Subculture (03:07)

Alice joins other lifelike baby doll fanatics at an East Midlands fair. Many have experienced emotional trauma; Alice grew up in an abusive household and was placed into foster care.

Excessive Barbi e Collection (03:12)

Florida resident Lori Birkeneder has close to 3,000 dolls; display cabinets are taking over her home. She associates the icon with positive childhood memories.

Transient Childhood (02:38)

Lori Birkeneder's family moved frequently and she couldn't accumulate toys—a fact she attributes to her excessive Barbie collection. Her husband Jay supports her passion. She spends $10,000 per year on dolls.

Gnome Cottage (02:58)

Ron began collecting gnomes after a divorce 50 years ago. He sees no room for a partner in his home, but receives visitors to fill his desire for human company. He hopes to reach 2,000 figures.

Excessive Shoe Collector (04:37)

Philadelphia resident Beth Shak has 1,200 designer pairs, estimated at $1 million in value. Her passion is inspired by Dorothy's red slippers in "The Wizard of Oz" and she began collecting as her marriage broke down.

Excessive Vacuum Cleaner Collector (03:43)

Heanor resident James Brown has collected hoovers since childhood. He runs a repair shop that doubles as a museum, and holds the world record for owning most vacuums.

Adding to Collections (03:19)

Reborn artist Caroline will create a twin for one of Alice's lifelike baby dolls. Ron goes hunting for new specimens in a gnome reserve run by a fellow enthusiast.

Obsession and Identity (03:16)

Barry Kirk has changed his name to Captain Beany and set the world record for taking a bath in baked beans to raise money for charity. A bachelor, he gets tattoos of female and male baked beans.

Reborning (04:08)

In a two week process, Caroline paints realistic skin elements and roots hair on a vinyl mold to create Alice's next baby doll. Alice receives her new “infant” in the mail and plans to expand her fake family.

Lifelong Collectors (03:45)

James shows off his five favorite vacuum cleaners. Ron adds two new gnomes to his collection, and hopes to reach 2,000 figures before he dies.

Credits: Excessive & Compulsive Collectors—Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life (00:32)

Credits: Excessive & Compulsive Collectors—Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life

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Excessive & Compulsive Collectors—Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life

Part of the Series : Can't Stop: When Compulsion Rules Your Life
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



This documentary sheds light on the psychology and habits of excessive collectors. Retiree Ron has spent 50 years collecting garden gnomes, turning his home into an unofficial museum. Suffering from empty nest syndrome, Alice collects Reborns—lifelike baby dolls—and treats them as real infants. Captain Beany collects baked beans merchandise and identifies as a superhero, while Lori has transformed her living room into a shrine for more than 3,000 Barbi dolls. From vacuum cleaners to designer shoes, excessive collecting originates as an emotional coping mechanism and develops into compulsive behavior that takes over lives, finances, and households. A BBC Production.

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: BVL95051

ISBN: 978-1-68272-272-5

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.