Two of the top-selling styles of New Era caps are professional sports licensed caps, followed by comic character-themed hats. Germany-based collector Benjamin Hickisch – AKA NEHectorius – started off purchasing pro sports caps but now only exclusively collects character-inspired caps, and he’s amassed quite an impressive collection – over 200 caps and counting! Now that’s how you #FlyYourOwnSuperhero proud. Benjamin lives with his girlfriend, who knows – Women Can Wear Caps Too! She shares in his passion for caps and has quite a few gems herself. Be sure to check out our Cap Talk interview with Benjamin to find out more about the rare caps in his collection, what inspired him to start collecting and where he picks up his caps in Germany. What’s on your mind? Want to show off your collection? Hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Benjamin Hickisch
Location: Magdeburg, Germany
Cap Size: 7 1/4
Social Handles: Instagram @nehectorius / Twitter NEHectorius
You’ve been collecting caps for around 7 years. What inspired you to start collecting?
So point one… what inspired me to start collecting, I guess it was my destiny :D. I always have worn hats since I was a Little Boy. But I started to buy more hats so the hat matches the rest of my outfit. I had around 20 hats when I saw the first comic hat. I think it was the blue-eyed version of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. After that I got Red Skull and the Mark II chest piece from Iron man and the story went on ;)
How many caps do you have in your collection?
Actually I have 207 hats plus 3 hats that are still on the way to my home.
You started collecting sports caps, but now only add character-themed hats to your collection. Why?
The reason why I started collecting comic hats is very easy explained. I love Marvel and DC Comics since my childhood. Like I said before first the hat had to match the outfit but then New Era started those awesome hat releases with Batman, Wolverine, Star Wars and stuff so I had to get them all.
You have an incredible collection of comic caps. What are some of your favorites?
My top 5 List of my hats are: 1. Bane sample hat 2. Avengers vs X-Men signed by Ed Brubaker 3. Banshee sample 4. Plastic Man 5. Tron helmet / Red Tornado suit hat. But i love to wear them all :)
One of your most prized hats is the limited Avengers vs X-Men cap signed by Ed Brubaker. How did you come about getting your hands on this hat?
My Avengers vs X-Men hat I got from the USA. I was lucky to know some Ebay seller who sold me one of them. But I can’t understand why he didn’t signed it from Stan Lee himself :D
We see that you have one of the caps that made it onto our “Top 20 New Era Comics Caps” article – the rare Martian Man Hunter mid section 59FIFTY – in your collection! Where did you find this cap?
The Martian Manhunter hat I got from a friend here in Germany. It was released in Germany too, I think. But at a time that I didn’t collect hats.
You live in Germany. Where do you get most of your caps from?
I got my hats mostly from the USA because those releases are mostly the best. But I also buy hats from several sources like Japan, Germany, England and Korea.
As a Germany-based collector, what are some of the challenges you face in finding the hats you want.
I’ve got some good friends all over the World so its not really difficult to get them. But it’s often more expensive because of the customs and postage from USA to Germany. But its worth it :). Finding hats is quite easy because of the internet and the hints from my friends.
Are there any local cap stores you can recommend to other collectors?
Good caps stores in Germany? Hmm… of course the New Era stores in Berlin and Frankfurt, maybe snipes and Def Shop, but I mostly use the internet.
You live with with your girlfriend, who knows Women Can Wear Caps Too! What types of caps does she like to wear? Is her passion for collecting hats as strong as yours? Do you guys ever share caps?
My girl has around 20 hats and she is a big Eminem fan so of course she got the last Detroit Eminem fitted. She also got some Iron Man and Captain America hats. She has the same size but we don’t share hats very often because she does not wear them nearly as often as I do.
What does the New Era brand mean to you?
New era hats are the best hats I have ever worn. They have the best fit and the coolest design. New era is a brand which reflects my personality and lifestyle. So a very good way to express myself. I love this brand especially because its founded by a German man ;)
What was your favorite New Era release this year?
My favorite release this year definitely was the Guardians of the Galaxy hats and especially Rocket Raccoon. But I am a bit sad that they only made two big face hats. Would love to get a Groot hat and also Drax and Gamora. But maybe for the second movie ;)
With so many caps in your collection, how do you store them all? Do you have any storage solutions you can share with your fellow collectors?
I store my hats in clear plastic bags and storage them in a big shelf so they are safe for dust and stuff.
Which style of cap do you prefer: fitted or snapback – why?
I only wear fitted hats no snapbacks. I like the Design of many snaps but don’t like to have the snap in the back. Moreover I often wear my hats backwards and I think it looks stupid to wear a snap backwards. A hat has to be fitted for me ;)
Do you keep the New Era sticker on the visor or nah?
I keep the sticker at the underbill. But if the hat has an awesome underbill design like the Tokidoki ones or the new big face character hats I keep them at the top of the bill.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’re working on you’d like to share with our readers?
Don’t really have any big projects. Just one thing maybe… I am quite good in design and painting. So i made a few shirts and hats by myself. I will take a white blank hat from New Era and will paint it with some characters of my favourite video game – Metal Gear Solid. The style will be like the white allover ones from New Era, like the Avengers all-over, but I will see how well this will work ;)
Any final words?
Any final words… I love New Era so I have to say: just keep being the way you are. You make awesome hats but you could make more big face hats ;). To all other collectors: keep collecting! Each collection is an expression of yourself and we all know what it means to get a New Era hat. Peace out.