close
close

A look inside billionaire Palmer Luckey’s ‘boys’ toy collection

Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images; BI

  • Palmer Luckey’s startup Anduril produces futuristic weapons of war.
  • But the billionaire founder has his own James Bond-esque collection of military vehicles.
  • Luckey gave Bloomberg an inside look at his 1980s-designed home and private collection of “boys’ toys.”

Defense tech startup Anduril is making some of the most futuristic autonomous weapons on the market as it tries to reinvent the military’s wheelhouse.

But the company’s forward-thinking vision hasn’t stopped founder Palmer Luckey from amassing his own collection of older military vehicles and boys’ toys.

The billionaire’s collection includes a boat purchased from the US Navy, six helicopters and a 1985 ex-Marine Humveefighter, he revealed on the latest episode of Bloomberg’s “The circuit.”

That includes land, sea and air.

Luckey’s Mark V special operations vessel, which he purchased from the Navy, is the fastest boat ever built by the military at just over 5,000 horsepower, he told reporter Emily Chang as he took her for a ride on the ship around Newport Beach.

“It’s specifically designed for seal insertion and removal missions. It works very quickly and is a lot of fun.”

A Mark 5 Special Operations Craft used in Bandito Brothers production in 2009
MCC Kathryn Whittenberger/US Navy

He still has the real M2 50 BMG heavy barrel machine gun that came with the boat, but he ‘mostly’ has fakes mounted.

“Most of my neighbors like it, and a handful hate it.”

Luckey first made a name for himself when he founded the virtual reality company Oculus in 2012. Two years later, he sold the company to Facebook, now known as Meta, for $2 billion in cash and stock.

In 2017, a year after being fired from Facebook, Luckey founded Anduril. It has since risen to the top of Silicon Valley’s defense technology boom.

But his passion for the military started when he was young, Luckey told The Circuit.

“I grew up watching the Marine Corps practice right off the coast in their helicopters. Watching Navy ships do exercises gets stuck in your brain and doesn’t go away.”

Palmer Luckey owns a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter.
Daniel Brown/Business Insider

He is now the proud owner of six helicopters, including a UH-60 Blackhawk.

In addition to military-grade vehicles, Luckey owns a 1967 Disneyland Autopia, a toy car used in Disney theme parks designed by legendary park designer Bob Gurr and Walt Disney himself.

“As far as I know, mine is the only complete Autopia outside of the parks. Mine has the original mechanicals, original transmissions, original wheels, everything,” Luckey told Chang.

The small vehicle, usually seen tearing up race tracks at Disneyland, suffered a minor malfunction halfway through the interview and had to be repaired with a flat-head screwdriver.

Walt Disney piloted an Autopia car at Disneyland in 1957, similar to the 1967 edition that Luckey owns.
San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers/Getty

The founder also took cameras to his 1980s-designed LA home. Equipped with a two-inch-thick teal shag carpet and a 15,000-gallon aquarium, Luckey’s home has “a good ‘Miami Vice’ vibe,” he told Chang.

On the coffee table is a map from his Dungeons and Dragons campaign, in which he plays as a “chaotic neutral wizard named Nilrim V.”

As the billionaire founder himself admits, “I’m a bit of a caricature.”

But where do you keep the largest collection of video games in the world?

“I put that in one of my missile bases, 200 feet underground,” Luckey told Chang.

Correction: May 20, 2024 — The headline of this story has been updated to clarify that some items are stored in an undisclosed location rather than at Palmer Luckey’s home.