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Going for a Guinness record, one hippo at a time

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MERIDEN - If you're a fan of the Guinness Book of World Records, you probably know there seems to be a record for everything.  Almost everything.

Becky Fusco--a fourth-grade teacher at the Plymouth Center School, a wife, and a mother--wants to add another title to her name: record-holder.

Her super-sized plan revolves around her hippo collection. From hippopotamus-themed toys to hippo cherry-pitters, Fusco's collection has swelled to 604 items in 20 years of gathering the goods.

"I started when I was 10," Fusco said. "There are world records set for things I think are crazy, like dragons and sheep, but there is no record for hippos."

Fusco's collection might be whimsical but getting it certified for Guinness is a stringent process. She had to get experts from the Barker Cartoon Museum and Beardsley Zoo to account for her inventory.

"We send the inventory and witness signatures to Guinness and I have to wait 12 weeks until in might officially get the title," she said.

Between her hundreds of plush hippos, her Hungry, Hungry Hippos board games (regular and travel sized), and her hippo wine bottle, Fusco will wait to hear from to see if she makes it in the record book.

"They're adorable," she said, laughing.