"I took it home and read it and something just awoke. It was different, more intense than cartoons and campy TV. People die, Batman is serious, and there is real danger," Ladner said.
Ladner said his collection was mostly comics until he reached adulthood, when he started buying toys and statues as well.
His collection now includes many rare items, including a prototype Batman Camel cigarette box that was designed for use in Europe but never made it to market, and a costume continuity binder from the set of the 1989 Batman movie with 280 set photos.
"In a way, it's a shrine to something that is important to me that, without it, I may have been a very different person," Ladner said of his collection.
The record-holder said his advice to aspiring collectors is to not allow collecting to take up more than 10 percent of their time or money.
"It is important to keep a hobby a hobby and not make it too much of a part of your life," he said.