As It Happens

Bunny Museum owners have so much stuff they're hopping to a bigger space

Meet Candace Frazee, head of The Bunny Museum in California and proud owner of more than 33,000 rabbit-related items.
Candace Frazee, co-founder of The Bunny Museum, holds an Elvis bunny sculpture in Pasadena, Calif., on Dec. 8, 2016. The world record-holding museum dedicated to rabbits, which opened to the public in 1998, is now moving its more than 33,000 bunny items to a bigger location. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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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.

"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."

Candace Frazee poses beside a bunny sculpture, one of more than 33,000 rabbit-related items in her collection. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

Rabbits snuggle as at The Bunny Museum, which will soon move to a newer, bigger location. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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.

A wedding photo of Candace Frazee and her husband, Steve Lubanski, owners of The Bunny Museum, is shown at the museum in Pasadena, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)

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 Bunny Museum owners Steve Lubanski and Candace Frazee celebrate Christmas, bunny-style. (The Bunny Museum/Facebook)

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."

Stuffed Bunnies are just some of the more than 33,000 bunny-related items at The Bunny Museum in California. Guinness World Records dubbed it the largest in 1999 when there were only 8,437 items in the house. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

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."

If you're heading to The Bunny Museum's grand hoppenin', don't forget to wear your best 'bunny attire.' (The Bunny Museum/Facebook )

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