A couple of months ago Jonathan Waters was in Barnes & Noble Booksellers with his children when they started browsing through the Guinness Book of World Records.
They spotted a record that they thought their dad could take down. It was for the largest private collection of toy soldiers, which was 661. A key requirement is that each soldier must be unique from the others. "They said, 'You can beat that record,''' Waters recalled.
That night they spread out his collection on the floor, did a count and decided he could beat it easy. He got in touch with Guinness in London to find out what he needed to do.
At the Ocmulgee National Monument on Sunday, Waters set about proving that he had the world record. He set up a display of 1,020 toy soldiers, with no duplicates.
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Waters took some video and photos of the collection and got some witness signatures, which he will send to Guinness in London to have the record certified.
"Even if I only have the record for a day, it's worth doing it," said Waters, a Macon attorney.
Part of the requirement also was to take the collection to a public place.
Waters said he has been collecting toy soldiers since he was 5. He does it out of his interest in military history.
"We go to battlefields and I will pick up figures as we travel around," he said. "You accumulate a lot of figures."
He has collected soldiers from a wide range of wars from American and world history, including from medieval times. Each figure is about two and a quarter inches tall with the uniform painted on in the correct colors.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.