Since then, Hoffmann’s collection continues to grow.
Many of her items come from downsizing collectors who don’t want the keepsakes to end up at thrift shops. The 20,000th piece (which she acquired on Dec. 20, 2020) eluded her for nine years: a Winnie the Pooh costume from the 1970s and 1980s that was used at Disney parks and Sears. Her collection also includes a Winnie the Pooh costume used in the 1960s and 1970s at Disney parks.
Now Hoffmann looks forward to displaying film-used props.
“I would love to find anything that was used in a Disney production as a prop,” she said. “That would be like the cherry on the top.”
Hoffmann allows others to peruse her memorabilia. A recent visitor spent hours marveling over her displays.
“It was fun to see my collection through his eyes,” she said, noting she also utilizes her expertise as the “Pooh Lady” to assist others daily with queries. Sometimes it’s a question about authenticity, other times it’s a parent seeking a toy.
“It’s so gratifying when I can connect a mom with a source to go replace that Winnie the Pooh for their kid,” she said. “I love doing that.”
Hoffmann’s passion for Pooh extends beyond her amassed keepsakes. She once visited A. A. Milne’s estate in southern England and estimates she has made 70-80 Walt Disney World trips, where she’s ridden The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction at least 100 times.
Hoffmann credits her attraction to the Hundred Acre Wood pals with a desire for something simple, positive and drama-free.
“These days, there’s so much negativity,” she said. “When you look at the Winnie the Pooh stories, it’s always about the characters helping one another out. There’s some type of an issue, everybody comes together, and by the end of that story, things are positive again.
“When I look at the collection … it’s just simple. It’s just nice. There’s no drama here.”©2021 Orlando Sentinel. Visit at orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.