Doctor beware! This man owns 1,801 Daleks

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Rob Hull with his collection of Daleks, which earned him a Guinness World Record.
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Rob Hull with his collection of Daleks, which earned him a Guinness World Record.

A Childhood Ambition Fulfilled...And Then Some!

Rob Hull started off wanting just one Dalek. He was out shopping in Doncaster with his mum aged seven when a model of the iconic Doctor Who enemy caught his eye in a shop window.
Faced, as many seven year olds are, with rejection to his request he made a vow.
He explained: “She said no as she could not afford to buy it and I stood there with my fists clenched very tightly saying to myself  ‘when I get big I’ll get my own Dalek’.
“Some people joke that I’m psychologically disturbed by my mother for not buying me that Dalek.”
It took Rob until he was 29 to come good on that pledge, but that certainly didn’t prove to be the end of the matter.
Fast forward 28 years to the present day and the married father of four has a formidable collection that stands at 1,801.
This ever-growing army has meant he’s held the Guinness World Record, since March 2011, for having the most Daleks owned  – having spent thousands of pounds and taken out a good insurance policy in the process!

The Dalek design has proved timeless - capturing the imagination of generations of fans.
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The Dalek design has proved timeless - capturing the imagination of generations of fans.

A True Television Icon

Doctor Who was just a couple of weeks old – and in its second serial - when the Daleks first made their way onto the nation’s screens. An eerie shot of a suckered arm  threatening companion Barbara formed the iconic episode cliffhanger on December 21 1963; beginning a success story that took initially-sceptical BBC bosses by surprise. The subsequent 1960s 'Dalekmania' spawned two films starring Peter Cushing as the Doctor and, naturally, meant many more appearances for the show’s undisputed number one nemesis.
From their home planet of Skaro to Earth, Kembel, Necros and a host of other weird and wonderful worlds, the Daleks did battle with the Time Lord.
The young Rob was one of a whole generation of youngsters to cower behind the sofa in fear of the Daleks, who barked ‘exterminate’ in a robotically uniform way that evoked the totalitarian terror of Nazi Germany.
Their popularity continued when the show came back – after a hiatus – in 2005, spawning a new generation of fans and a new range of merchandise.

Rob's collection has attracted attention worldwide.
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Rob's collection has attracted attention worldwide.

Collecting Is A Way Of Life

Collecting Daleks became second nature to Rob over the years and he now describes it as his ‘career’. His record came about after a YouTube video of his collection was spotted and brought him a lot of attention over the last few years.
He said: “It has been great fun being on TV a number of times and being in lots of newspapers and magazines round the world.
“I never set out to be in the Guinness World Records, it only happened because Guinness contacted me in November 2010 after seeing one of my videos on YouTube and asked if I was interested in the possibility of being in the book.
“On a very surreal day in February 2011 five people from Guinness invaded my house to get a picture and count the Daleks to be entered into the 2012 edition.”

FACTFILE: The men behind the Daleks

The Daleks were the creation of writer Terry Nation – but owe much of their origins to the design of Raymond Cusick. Cusick replaced Alien and Gladiator director Ridley Scott (originally down to be designer for the Dalek serial) and helped come up with an iconic pepper pot-shape – along with eye stalk, 'bumps', gun stick and ‘sink plunger’ arm - that is instantly recognisable to people who have never even watched the TV show.
The infamous - and oft-repeated - voices were developed by Peter Hawkins – the man behind Captain Pugwash, Bill and Ben and Big Ears from Noddy – and David Graham, who was responsible for many of the Thunderbirds characters.
Later on Roy Skelton alternated life as the voice of Zippy and George on Rainbow with stints on the Dalek ring modulator.
Nation established the rich fictional back story of the Daleks, penning nine adventures that featured his creations as well as another two non-Dalek stories.
Models representing designs from Destiny of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks
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Models representing designs from Destiny of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks

Variety Makes For A Great Collection

The famous Dalek shells house devilish creatures who have been genetically modified into mutants from the humanoid Kaleds in a bid to win a bitter nuclear war against the Thals. The evil engineering - which removed emotion - was the work of their creator Davros.
Over time, the Daleks developed new deadly varieties including an Emperor, Special Weapons Dalek and the Cult of Skaro. All of which, of course, spawned their own action figures and models that make them ideal for a rich and varied collection such as Rob’s.
Daleks come in all forms these days – from cuddly toys to Lego and action figures.
Rob owns many different sizes – his pride and joy being his head-turning 6ft life sized replica.
Ever the collector, Rob still doesn’t think his Dalek army is quite complete.
He told eBay he still has his eye on a half sized Dalek…maybe number 1,802 is on its way?

Rob recommends savvy shopping on eBay to boost a collection
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Rob recommends savvy shopping on eBay to boost a collection

A Record To Be Beaten?

Having well and truly earned his record, how would Rob feel if someone usurped him?
“I would be devastated. So much time and passion has gone into my collection but records are there to be broken,” he said.
He urged fellow collectors to ‘stick at it’ and learn to be savvy when it comes to bidding for items on eBay, adding: “It can be very expensive. Don’t let anyone put you off no matter what they say.  If you are bidding on eBay, bid in the last seconds. You can’t over spend on an item if you know what it’s worth.”

Rob with his prized life-sized Dalek.
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Rob with his prized life-sized Dalek.

Behind Every Great Collector...

Spare a thought for Rob’s wife Dawn…who doesn’t even like Daleks!
Rob said: “That’s going back to when she was little and being frightened of them.
“With the rest of my family and friends it’s always a talking point on how the collection is coming on, what have I bought lately and done and so on.”

FACTFILE: Doctor Who, the record breaker

Doctor Who is a show that is no stranger to Guinness World Records. In 2006 it was named the world’s longest running sci-fi series, with its first episode airing on November 23rd 1963. The 50th anniversary special then set the record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama, with the Day of the Doctor shown in 94 countries across six continents on TV and cinema screens.
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