There was a time when I would do Lord of the Rings marathons every weekend; to the point that I memorized to heart the actors’ lines in the J.R.R. Tolkien masterpiece.
When the release of the first installment was announced in 2001, I remember reading all three books a few weeks before they hit the cinema. I would re-read the books before each film installment was released.
Imagine how my geeky heart went wild when I saw the LOTR figurines and other memorabilia at the Omniverse Museum, the latest museum project of the Philippine Amusement and Entertainment Corporation.
Displayed are the scaled-sized landmarks of Middle Earth—Rivendell which is the house of Elrond, the Shire, Isengard, Helm’s Deep, the Argonath or the Pillars of the Kings, Minas Tirith, and the fortresses of Gondor, among others—all set against Mount Doom as background.
On the opposite side is the Barad-dur, also known as the Dark Tower, the colossal tower where the Eye of Sauron is lodged; positioned the same way it was described in the book or seen in the movie.
Aside from the life-sized Durin’s Bane, the Balrog that slain Gandalf in the Mines of Moria in the latter part of the Fellowship of the Ring, mounted on the wall, there are lots of things that would delight any LOTR fan.
There’s Sauron’s hand wearing the One Ring, a replica of Narsil which the longsword originally wielded by King Elendil during the War of the Last Alliance and was used by his son Isildur to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand, Anduril or the reforged sword from the pieces of Narsil, and Glamdring, the sword of Gandalf the Grey.
I tell you Omniverse is a happy place for all the geeks out there. There are sections meant for Game of Thrones and Harry Potter.
It has chambers dedicated to Star Wars, with amazing collectibles from the film franchise, including the limited edition Millennium Falcon signed by Harrison Ford, the actor who played Han Solo in the 1977 Star Wars film (later renamed Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope).
Marvel and DC fans would love this museum, with its outstanding collections of superheroes.
A first in the world, Omniverse is the first and only officially licensed Hall of Armor that showcases all 14 different iterations of Iron Man’s suit, including the Mark XLIV or Hulk Buster.
The museum also has a Batcave room, with the Batmobile from the classic Batman 1989 film, which was used in the actual movie, on display.
The Asylum features some of the villains faced by Bruce Wayne. I particularly like the Joker collection, featuring the different actors and their interpretations of the arch-enemy of the Dark Knight.
Otakus will have a fun day with the anime section, featuring life-sized statues from One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, One Punch Man, among others.
The Omniverse Museum showcases around 5,000 pop culture collectibles from the personal collection of businessman Ryan Sison, who is a self-confessed avid pop culture collector.
He started collecting back in college; he was 19 years old then. It began with reading and collecting comics before he moved to collecting toys and figurines.
“I like to read Filipino comics such as Funny Comics. Then, I moved to Marvel and DC. I don’t have first appearances. I did have Xmen but it was thrown away by my mom because she thought it was trash. Sakit sa puso,” shared Sison.
He admitted that he collected pop culture memorabilia as a hobby because he is a huge fan of movies.
“They remind me of those iconic films that I love to watch. I’m the type of person who would watch a movie over and over again. Star Wars, I watched it a thousand times. I watch Star Wars when I’m sad, when I’m happy, or during Christmas.”
While he started with toys, he moved to statues, then from scale to life-size, and it grew out of proportion. “I don’t have the exact number. It keeps growing,” he said.
One of the challenges he faces is the space to display the collection. It is every collector’s dream to have enough space to display everything properly. “I would wrap and store our warehouse in pristine condition. I can’t really throw the boxes or their value will be affected. What I do – I would buy a certain item, and display it in whatever space I have. When I buy a new one, I would display it and then store the old one.”
Good thing, he now has the Omniverse Museum to display his collection and share his passion for pop culture.
The museum combines entertainment and education. Omniverse bridges fiction and reality with learning tools based on the inspiration that brought about blockbuster movies.
The Omniverse Museum is located at Japan Town, 4/F Glorietta Mall, Makati City. It is open from 12:00 noon to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. For advance bookings and inquiries, email email@example.com or call +639150091034/ +63917842 1131.