INDIANAPOLIS — One of the most anticipated and critically acclaimed movie of the year, "The Batman," opened in theaters nationwide Friday.
But if you're searching for the biggest "Caped Crusader" fan in the world, you don't need the "bat signal" to find him — that's because he's right here in Indiana.
At one time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Kevin Silva had the biggest Batman collection you’d find anywhere in the entire world.
"I had a dozen display cases downstairs in my basement," Kevin said. "It was about 1,200-square feet, and it got to the point where I couldn't even walk down there. There was just so much Batman stuff, and that was kind of a determining factor in selling it."
Five years ago, Kevin sold nearly all of his Batman collectibles to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
"They made me an offer," Kevin said on his decision to sell. "I said, 'I’ll take this much money and bring one check.' And they did."
Staff from the Children's Museum came to his house to remove 3,252 pieces from his collection in March 2017.
"It took six people three days to pack it all up," Kevin said. "Those three days were rough because all the stuff that I had collected got carried away. I was saying, 'Don't drop that, don't drop it!'"
After collecting memorabilia for 45 years, what made Kevin decide to sell most of his collection?
"A friend of mine made a comment to me that 50 years from now, all the stuff I've gathered up all these years will still be together at the museum," Kevin said. "It will get shared way more than I could share it here [in my house], and that was the deciding factor."
But now, Kevin is starting a new "bat cave" of collectibles, some of which his friends send to him from all over the world.
"I call them my 'generals,'" Kevin said. "They just see something and say, 'I have to get Kevin that!'"
And now, Kevin has his own "boy wonder."
"My son, Dylan, has been collecting stuff parallel with me," Kevin said. "He's a really good artist, and his Batman renderings are fantastic!"
"Who doesn’t like superheroes?” Dylan asked. "I just like to draw superheroes."
"Several pieces that he did went to the Children’s Museum," Kevin said. "It’s kind of cool to add to my collection something as personal as that because he's got a passion for it."
So what was it like for Dylan growing up surrounded by the biggest Batman collection around?
"It was always like Christmas around here," Dylan said. "He had so many toys, but he never opened them and you couldn't play with them."
With "The Batman” expected to rake in big bucks at the box office this weekend, you have to wonder: Why do we love the Caped Crusader so much?
"He's the only superhero that if you had a billion dollars and a little bit of military training, you could be Batman," Kevin said.
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