A collection can function as a cultural value scale revealing the collector’s priorities, and the very existence of a collection can be as revealing as the collection’s content—it’s one thing to say you like trumpet music, and another altogether to have every record Al Hirt ever made in a display rack in your living room. The line between collecting and hoarding can be a fine one (I am no longer friends with someone who casually referred to my shelves full of books and music as a “hoard”), and discussion of a hobby that entails surrounding one’s self with amassed stuff always has an uncomfortable discussion of the commodity fetish lurking underneath it. But all in all, life’s fucking short and happiness doesn’t always come easily, so if there’s something out there that makes you smile, why not fill your world with it?
Some people are into model trains. Some people are into vinyl LPs. Some people are into Barbies.
And Beloit, Wisconsin electrician Mike Martin was into department store mannequins. Department store mannequins with really huge tits.
Per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
Nearly 60 in all and dressed for an evening out, they stand shoulder to plastic shoulder in four different rooms of the home Mike shared with his wife, Maxine, until his death in July at age 88.
“Some people are making fun of it online. But everybody collects something,” said Rich Ranft of Beloit Auction & Realty and a longtime neighbor of the Martins.
“Whenever he heard there was a mannequin for sale, he’d go get it. They had a small Ford or whatever it was, and he would strap them to the top or put them in the backseat, wherever he could put them,” Rich said.
Then Mike would rely on his skill in automotive body work to repair and paint the figures. He used Bondo, the fix for rusted-out fenders, to augment the mannequins’ breasts until they were the size of cantaloupes.
Martin with some of his harem in 2007. Above photos: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
The collection is now being auctioned by Martin’s family. Online bidding ends on Thursday, September 9th, and mannequins will not be shipped, so winning bidders have to be willing to pick up their prizes in Beloit. (It’s about halfway between Madison and Chicago, right on the Wisconsin/Illinois border.) So far, the bids are fairly low, between $10-20, with only a couple of outliers like the mermaid one (oh, yeah—I didn’t mention that there’s a mermaid one) fetching above $50. Of course, most of the action happens in the last hour of an auction so who knows, but the auctioneer’s unwillingness to ship could keep the final sale prices on the lower side. If this is your kink but you’re not handy with Bondo, yourself, you might be in luck. Photos that follow are from Beloit Auction and Realty’s online catalog.
More big-boobed mannequins than you can shake Russ Meyer at, after the jump…