RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The RGV is now home to the Guinness Book of World Records’ largest Darth Vader collection.
Bill McBride and his wife, Rebecca recently made the move from the Washington D.C. area to the RGV for work. In their move, they had to pack up McBride’s collection of 70,000+ Darth Vader items.
While a majority stays back on the east coast in a temperature-controlled storage unit, McBride is working on expanding his “Vader Vault.”
McBride currently has one room dedicated to Darth Vader ranging from one-of-a-kind helmets and paintings to action figures.
According to the World Record Academy, as of 2015, McBride had spent $270,000 on his collection, but he’s not sure where the price tag sits today.
“I guess the two best answers are one: probably too much money and two: like in today’s market prices for the value what the collection is, I’m very open about it. I couldn’t afford my own collection today,” added McBride.
McBride does recall spending somewhere in the five figures range for one item though.
The desire for Darth Vader items started when McBride was a young boy. He said it started out as a fascination and grew into a serious collection about 30 years ago.
“There was a lot that resonated with me about the character,” said McBride. “I just thought he was so cool and mysterious.”
Now in his 40s, McBride told ValleyCentral the passion behind his collection may never die. “It’s something that still brings me joy and still truly makes me happy to do it. We all have our hobbies and our interests and this is something I truly enjoy.”
One piece in McBride’s collection he takes pride in is an original stage performance helmet from George Lucas’ Super Live Adventure in Japan. The mask was one of few modified to give the actor complete visibility.
“I absolutely love. It was offered to me by a good friend of mine,” commented McBride. “He knew it was going to a good home, so it kinda checks all those boxes. It’s a super significant piece in its own way, has a sentimental value, and just the history behind it.”
With McBride’s current work schedule, he is unable to showcase his collection as he wants but when he has more free time available he plans to make appearances at RGV comic cons.