It’s official: Pizza Today Man on the Street columnist Scott Wiener has the world’s largest collection of pizza boxes — or so says The Guinness Book of World Records. How do we know? Art Director Josh Keown and I were on hand to count each. And. Every. One. All 595 of them. Twice, and double checked.
Scott owns and operates Scott’s Pizza Tours in NYC. In my 10 years at the magazine, I’ve never met a man more passionate about pizza –– so much so that he began to collect pizza boxes in 2008. When he’s not toting around busloads of avid pizza fans in the city, the Brooklyn native is eating pizza. A lot of it. And he has literally become an expert on the art and design of the pizza box. He’s currently on a book tour for his recently released Viva La Pizza! book detailing just how gorgeous boxes can be, and the book has received national exposure by media outlets such as The Huffington Post and USA TODAY.
“I started collecting pizza boxes about six years ago when I saw one that wasn’t boring like all the ones I grew up with,” Scott says by phone as he prepares for an interview with a local ABC affiliate. “It was catchy, with yellows and blues on it. It completely stuck out. Setting a Guinness World Record is an absolute dream come true because I used to read that book and I wanted to be one of those ‘freaks,’ and now I guess I am!”
Josh and I traveled to Scott’s Brooklyn home last month to officiate the record attempt. That required counting and double-counting Scott’s massive collection of boxes. (And yes, we lost count more than once.)
They somehow fit folded down into a closet not unlike a Tetris game. It’s pretty impressive.
In the end, 595 boxes were tallied and officiated, making Scott the owner of the world’s largest pizza box collection in the world. Each one is unique. There’s artwork from Italy, representing The Simpsons cartoon characters, Batman, and lots of busty women. More than 45 countries, every major chain, a ton of independently owned pizzerias and even famously signed boxes are represented.
In short, the collection is glorious. The title was announced just in time for Guinness World Records Day 2013, which also included the largest gathering of people dressed like penguins, a record for the fastest run on four limbs, the world’s largest knitted scarf and the largest wooden sculpture.
We were honored to have been asked to officiate. Offer Scott congratulations in the comments!