A “Titanic” megafan has 1,560 copies on VHS. He won’t stop until he gets 1 million

Within 30 seconds of meeting JD, better known as titanicfan97 on TikTok, he’ll introduce you to Jack Dawson, that is, a large mannequin with the head of Leonardo DiCaprio’s character of the same name from the blockbuster. Titanic” from 1997.

“We have Jack Dawson,” he says on Zoom, pointing to a huge shrine to the film behind him. “And ‘Titanic,’ and Captain Smith.” You know what’s going on.

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JD, a video editor who lives in Florida, is best known for his energetic love of the movie “Titanic” on VHS, and his collection is approaching 1,600 copies of the two-tape set. Although he picked up around 300 himself, mostly through thrift stories and garage sales, the rest came from enthusiastic fans who sent him copies over the past year, as he has documented his growing collection on TikTok to over 108,000 followers.

The account is brimming with optimism, a mix of unboxing videos, tributes to the film, trips to thrift stores and many more moments celebrating James Cameron’s epic.

In his trademark excitable tone, JD says his obsession with the movie came when he saw it in theaters at age 6.

“It was Jack Dawson’s mania,” he says. “You already know what’s going on. You couldn’t escape it back then. And my family loved ‘Titanic’, so I just mixed in with all the ‘Titanic’ that was going around at the time.

JD said the collection started just over ten years ago, but really took off in the last year.

“In 2012, we picked up a few copies,” he says. “The store had them on display on the top shelf, so it looked glorious. And I’m like, ‘I know nobody’s ever going to buy them.’ They’re super cheap, so we took a box and filled it with all the ‘Titanics, and slowly started collecting them for a couple of years, we had about 100 before I started doing the TikTok, so it was really last year when we went from 100 to about 1560. It kind of exploded on its own. I have no control at this point.

In addition to VHS copies of the film, fans around the world sent in titanicfan97 fan art and one-of-a-kind trinkets, such as a crocheted Jack Dawson who became a mascot for the collection, an authenticated piece of a ship’s lounge chair, and a Japanese copy. movie on VHS.

JD’s “Titanic” shrine is in his old editorial office and quickly takes over the room. Given that he’s already received hundreds of packages from fans and still have plenty left to open, he plans to eventually have to move the collection to his bedroom – a larger space.

Beyond his home setup, titanicfan97 has taken his films on the road, showing up at select conventions with the Jack Dawson doll and copies of “Titanic” on VHS. JD has other trips planned this year, including visiting some of the Titanic museums and attending Tampa’s Metrocon anime convention.

His ultimate goal? The next benchmark is 1,997 copies, to commemorate the year Cameron’s film was released.

After that, the sky is the limit.

“They made 25 million,” he said. “So at least a million copies… I think I can get that many back.”

See more photos from titanicfan97’s collection below.

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