He sleeps with a Superman blanket and pillow - his wife doesn't mind

This photo shows Mr Eric Sia, 36, an administrative officer who has spent over $8,000 on his collection of Superman merchandise.
This photo shows Mr Eric Sia, 36, an administrative officer who has spent over $8,000 on his collection of Superman merchandise. ST PHOTO: BENSON ANG

He drinks from a Superman mug, eats from a Superman cereal bowl and keeps his computer files in a Superman thumbdrive.

At night, he sleeps on a Superman pillow and covers himself with a Superman blanket.

Far from being embarrassed about his superhero obsession, administrative officer Eric Sia, 36, says: "When it comes to Superman, I buy everything I like. I have no budget. The item also does not need to have a function.

 
 
 

"I just like Superman because he is the embodiment of truth and justice. If he wanted to, he could rule the world. But instead, he chose to help people.

"Batman is cool too, but he has a dark side that I don't really identify with."

Mr Sia has spent more than $8,000 on Superman-related merchandise, including 200 action figures, 30 medium-sized statues, seven movie posters and 10 DVDs of the movies and animated TV series.

At the moment,I do not think Eric’s collection is excessive or overwhelming. However, I did say no to a life-sized Superman statue, which he wanted to place near our front door to ‘guard’ the flat. It is just weird. It would feel like there is another man in the house. ’’

MS JOICE CHAN,who is married to Superman superfan Mr Eric Sia, on her husband’s interests

He also has Superman-themed T-shirts, stationery sets, tumblers and two sets of cabin luggage.

Most of his collection is displayed in custom-made floor-to-ceiling glass cabinets in the living room of his five-room Tampines HDB flat, where he lives with his wife, an allied educator.

In the storeroom are more than 500 issues of Superman comics, packed in six boxes.

Says his wife, Ms Joice Chan, who is in her 30s: "At the moment, I do not think Eric's collection is excessive or overwhelming. However, I did say no to a life-sized Superman statue, which he wanted to place near our front door to 'guard' the flat.

"It is just weird. It would feel like there is another man in the house."

Mr Sia does not remember how he got to know the action hero, recalling only that he collected the comics first, buying them with his salary from working part-time at McDonald's at age 14.

As he grew up and earned more money, he began collecting posters, action figures and statues.

The item he is proudest of is an 8kg, 76cm-tall full-scale bust of the superhero, which he bought for $500 while on a weekend trip to Johor Baru in 2014. He carried it back to Singapore by public transport.

He says sheepishly: "The box did take up the whole bus aisle, though, so I felt a bit embarrassed for blocking the way of all the passengers wanting to get off."

He also owns two Superman costumes which he bought online. He admits to having tried them on, but never in front of anybody - not even his wife.

He says: "When I bought it, I figured that it would make a good Halloween costume. But, as you can see, I don't have the body to carry it off."

If anybody wants to pay for him to have plastic surgery so he can look more like his beloved Superman, he is open to the idea.

"If other people want to sponsor me, why not? We all have our imperfections and looking more like my idol must be a good thing, right?"

Benson Ang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2016, with the headline 'He sleeps with a Superman blanket and pillow - his wife doesn't mind'. Print Edition | Subscribe