A small, shining “Jumpman” logo sits squarely on a white wooden door in the middle of Joshua De Vaney’s house. It serves as a hint to what lies beyond the otherwise unassuming slab of oak in De Vaney’s Western Australia home.
The door, once opened, serves as a jaw-dropping portal back to 1990s Chicago. The redness of the room is overwhelming; dim lighting from the ceiling only serves to exaggerate the glow of checkered floor tiles, half red with a black “Jumpman”, the other half black with a red Bulls logo. A human-sized Michael Jordan figure stands against the back of the small space, no larger than a storage closet, or perhaps an oversized pantry.
The walls are lined with quite literally every Michael Jordan toy imaginable. Clear glass displays are stuffed to the gills with legos and various brands of action figures alongside hundreds of toys you never knew existed, including but not limited to the official Michael Jordan Wall Ball Hoop, the Lil Sport H.O.R.S.E. MJ action figure, and Space Jam Trophy Treats. Atop these cases are vintage Jordan Jr. Jammer hoops, surrounded by Jordan-themed lockers, posters, plaques and more.
On the right side of the room, adjacent to the large MJ figurine, De Vaney has constructed a shrine of sorts, with another large Jordan figure (from the torso up) placed atop a stack of Enterbay MJ posable action figure boxes. His arms are extended in an almost divine fashion, replicating his famous "Wings" poster and spread over a group of smaller, seated action figures. Included in this group are a couple of Michael Jordans, of course, but also Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, just in case you needed an extra dose of 90s nostalgia.
This description, in itself, hardly does the room or De Vaney’s MJ collection any justice. I’ve yet to mention a basketball hoop, peering out behind the large MJ figure toward the back of the room.
It was this hoop, though, that brought the whole collection into being.
A Personal Connection
“There’s a basketball hoop you can see in the background just here,” De Vaney said, panning the camera over his shoulder. “So I had that hoop originally back in 1994. It was one of the very few Michael Jordan toys that made it to Australia, and my parents had bought that for me as a gift.
“Fast forward to 2014, I was working… and I was just searching eBay one night and I stumbled across it. Remembering all those great times that I had with that hoop, I was able to purchase it off eBay and that’s basically the start of this whole collection.”
This demonstrates one of the many ways the collection serves as more than just a group of toys. Part of De Vaney’s inspiration to acquire such a massive body of MJ memorabilia was deeply rooted in his own nostalgic experiences. In fact, De Vaney’s love for Jordan may not have even been the primary motivator in starting his collection.
Believe it or not, the man known as the MJ Toy Historian -- and rightfully so -- grew up a Magic Johnson fan.