In 2014 Ahmed Bin Fahad made headlines when he received the Guinness World Record honour for the biggest Nintendo collection. Consisting of over 8000 pieces, it's an impressive range that shows his love for all things Nintendo, with the estimated cost coming in at around 1.5 million dirhams - the United Arab Emirates currency - which is over $400,000.
We're always interested in learning more about the most passionate collectors, so we caught up with this Nintendo superfan to learn a bit more about how it came together, and how well known Nintendo is in the UAE.
First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself?
My Name is Ahmed Bin Fahad, I was born in 1981 and I have a Masters degree in International Business.
When did you first get exposed to the world of Nintendo, and what was it that turned you into such a big fan?
I was exposed to the world of Nintendo in 1986, starting with the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom system.
As a child, I was just like every other youngster who loved video games and liked being up to date with them, but that slowly developed into an extreme obsession where I saw myself collecting, organizing and storing everything I bought.
What prompted you to start collecting Nintendo games in this way?
It all began 20 years ago when I automatically started asking my parents to buy me the latest consoles and the latest games. Although I used to get them occasionally as presents, I made sure the old ones I had were stored in their boxes and were kept in a safe place; then I realized that I was obsessed with Nintendo.
A thought came to my head of collecting some clean copies of the old games of my childhood, as their memories are close to my heart.
Therefore a thought came to my head of collecting some clean copies of the old games of my childhood, as their memories are close to my heart.
Which is your favourite Nintendo system to date?
My favorite Nintendo system to date is Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
How did it feel to get the Guinness World Record for your collection? Can you tell us a bit more about this?
The idea of joining Guinness World Records only came to me a year ago, when my friends brought up the subject of getting the Guinness World Record as a joke, and it kept on my mind for a while; then I started thinking of getting serious. Moreover, getting the Record made me happy and proud.
How prominent a brand - and how popular - is Nintendo in UAE?
Nintendo is well known in the UAE today, since the 1980s.
How much would you estimate you have spent on your collection so far? Have you had to travel outside of UAE in order to collect some of the rarer items in person?
So far I think I most have spent not less then 1.5 Million AED. Yes I have travelled to various countries such as Japan, Singapore, Germany, Italy, Turkey, USA, France, Malaysia, Thailand, India, and Switzerland looking for my collectables.
Can you tell us about the Triforce shaped shelves and the location for your collection? How much of the collection is on display and how much is stored away?
The Triforce Shelves I got made and customized locally, and it's in my residential premises; those Triforce shelves only contain my Zelda items, and not even all of them.
We understand you have a rare Nintendo M8 Demo Unit. Can you tell us a bit about this treasured possession?
Yes, I do have the rarest M8 Demo Unit (not only one unit but two demo sets), which makes me feel proud to be its owner; I used to buy those rare systems from various countries.
Video Games are fun, and collecting them is even more fun. Don't think purchasing games is a waste.
Which item in your collection, other than the M8 demo unit, are you most proud of?
It makes me feel proud to have the Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP with Miyamoto-san's signature, other than that I have my rare demo system, the Sharp Famicom Station.
Aside from collecting games in factory sealed condition, we understand you often buy a second copy to play. Do you feel it is important to experience the games as they were intended rather than just have a box on a shelf?
Sometimes yes I do feel it is very important to experience the game, especially when it comes to first party games like the Zelda series, Mario Series and Metroid Series.
Is there a vibrant retro gaming collection scene in the UAE, or do you feel that it's rare in the country?
Lately, after achieving my Guinness Record a lot of young generations have being inspired by it and started collecting the retro games.
Do you have a final message for our readers?
Video Games are fun, and collecting them is even more fun. Don't think purchasing games is a waste. I never felt like throwing out or discarding my old games, which finally made me a proud Guinness Record Holder.
We'd like the thank Ahmed Bin Fahad for his time.