Bunny Museum owners have so much stuff they're hopping to a bigger space
The California couple who hold the Guinness world record for most bunny-related items now have so much rabbit stuff, they're packing up their floppy-hoppy collection and moving to to a bigger house.
Candace Frazee and her husband Steve Lubanski run The Bunny Museum out of their home in Pasadena, Calif., where they house more than 33,000 rabbit-related knick-knacks, as well as six actual rabbits and some cats.
Now the self-described "hoppiest place on Earth" is moving to a bigger location in nearby Altadena, set to open with a "grand hoppenin'" on March 20.
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"We're out of room!" Frazee exclaimed when As It Happens guest host Susan Bonner asked why the museum is moving. "We've been out of room for 10 years, and we've always had this goal in mind to move to a place that's 10 times bigger."
But the cottontail-loving couple won't have to source new materials to fill their new space.
"Don't worry," she said. "We've always had things in storage — so we have slot machines, and arcade machines, 10-foot-tall bunnies and just things we could never show."
That's on top of all the stuff they've already got on display. There's a "pretenders" section with "all these things dressed up as bunnies, like gorillas and children and dogs" and Canadian section to honour Frazee's Port Credit, Ont., roots, complete with a Mountie rabbit and Laura Secord chocolate bunny.
But it all began with a single plush bunny that Lubanski gave Frazee on Valentine's Day in 1993 — a reference to Frazee's nickname for her beau: "Honey Bunny."
"If I had called him my big gorilla, this would be the gorilla museum," she said, laughing.
After that, they started giving each other bunnies every holiday, and eventually every day — a tradition they still keep.
By 1998, they had enough bunnies to open The Bunny Museum. One year later, they earned their Guinness World Record with 8,437 bunnies — a title they renewed in 2011 to mark the Year of the Rabbit and plan to renew again the next time it comes around in 2023.
The dark side of bunny history
But it's not all cuteness and kitsch at The Bunny Museum.
Once they're up and running in Altadena, they're planning to launch an exhibition called "The Chamber of Hop Horrors" to showcase "all the abuse of bunnies through history."
There will be lucky rabbit's' paw keychains on display, as well as photographs of "bunnies being experimented on with electrodes coming out of their heads," Frazee said.
"We've always collected these things, but we've never had them on display — you know, a chamber of horrors of the abuse of the real bunny."
Too macabre for the museum's youngest guests, Frazee says the chamber will be restricted to visitors 13 and over.
"Little kids, all they really care about are the real bunnies and the cats," she said.
But she believes it will be fascinating to the more mature bunny connoisseurs.
"If you're coming to study the bunny, you want to know the history of the bunny and how it affects different cultures."