Bill McBride, from Washington DC, is the proud owner of the world’s largest collection of Darth Vader memorabilia. The 42-year-old Star Wars fan has been working on the massive collection for the past 20 years, spending over $280,000 on 60,000 items including figurines, artwork and replica lightsabers.
Bill’s obsession with the iconic Star Wars villain began when he was five years old. “The moment Darth Vader burst on screen in Star Wars, I was immediately a fan of the character,” he said. “When you have the imposing, powerful presence of David Prowse, the other-worldly voice of James Earl Jones, all wrapped up in one of the coolest, most amazing costumes in movie history, you can’t help but fall in love.”
Although he’s been a fan since childhood, Bill only started collecting Darth Vader merchandise in the 1980s. But he’s made up for lost time by getting his hand on some pretty awesome stuff – right from original movie props to pre-production items, original works of art, and modern merchandise. Some of the ‘rarer’ items in his collection don’t even have a ‘market value’, while others can fetch over $16,000. But Bill isn’t really interested in parting with any of his cherished Vader relics.
Not too long ago, he received a very interesting trade offer – a man wanted four or five items from Bill’s collection, in exchange for his Porsche 911! “But I turned him down, of course,” said Bill, matter-of-factly.
His Darth Vader memorabilia collection might be the most exhaustive one in the world, but Bill says it will never be complete. “The hobby of Star Wars collecting is mind bogglingly vast, and it’s easy to get lost,” he admitted.
But Bill’s enthusiasm sure hasn’t faded over the years. “I am more passionate today than when I started,” he insisted. And now he’s really looking forward to the new saga in the Star Wars franchise, Episode 7. “Needless to say, the entire world is now becoming fully engaged in Star Wars mania again and I for one am dying to head back into that galaxy, far far away.”
Photos: Vintage Star Wars Collectors
via Daily Mail