Who: Steve Simek, of Gilbert, 50, an information technology director for COMSYS IT Staffing in Phoenix. How the collection began: As is the case with many other glass collectors, I started collecting the original set of 18 Warner Bros. cartoon glasses that were given out by many fast food restaurants in 1973.
By connecting with other collectors, I discovered that manufacturing variations and demands of such a large glass distribution actually created 112 unique variations of those glasses, and the treasure hunt was on!
How many pieces: Right now, I have 4,192 glasses in the collection. The number changes constantly as I continue to find new issues and antique glasses of interest from around the world. I have many foreign glasses, including McDonald’s glasses with Japanese writing and many special issues from Europe. I trade with collectors from all over the world, particularly Australia, the Netherlands and Germany.
How the collection is showcased: We have dedicated an entire room in our house to displaying the majority of the collection. I rotate glasses on display based on seasonal themes and areas of interest that I’m currently focusing on.
The prized piece: I have multiple Coke glasses that were issued as prototypes and never released to the public.
Other collections: My wife collected Beanie Babies and has about 300 in boxes hidden throughout closets in the house.