This humble backyard shed is home to an impressive Star Wars collection – and most of it is up for grabs.
Star Wars is known for being ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ but right now, a suburban Adelaide shed is where you’ll find Rick van der Kolk’s out-of-this-world collection.
His unbelievably well-organised Star Wars memorabilia is hidden away in his eight-by-four-metre shed. Four decades of obsession went into it. More than 20,000 individual pieces fill the shed, including rare figurines, helmets, costumes, every Star Wars comic book ever printed, and 1600 carded figures in perfect condition. Jabba the Hutt, Luke Skywalker, Yoda, C-3PO, Chewbacca – they’re all here. It’s a bit like walking into a George Lucas film-themed store. “I have another corner shed full… you can’t walk in that one because it’s floor-to-ceiling boxes.”
The Star Wars bug bit when Rick was nine and home sick from school. He flicked on the The Mike Walsh Show and entertainment reporter John-Michael Howson hit the screen. “He said ‘There’s this new film coming up called Star Wars, it’s going to be huge’. They showed the clip and I was blown away.” His favourite of the flicks is Revenge of the Sith. “But I love it all.”
His wife tolerates the obsession. “She’s not into it. I took her to the special edition of The Empire Strikes Back and she fell asleep.”
Despite the passion, dollars and energy Rick has put into his hoard, it’s time to sell most of it. “Why? Every spare cent went into this collection and it got to a point where it’s time. I’ve had cancer, my missus had cancer, and my father-in-law passed away a month and a half ago. It put things in perspective.”
Rick set up a Facebook group to sell his precious cargo. “People ask what it would take to buy the whole collection. If someone backed a truck up and gave me $200,000 – I’d say take the lot. But most collectors just have holes in their collection.”
He won’t part with his precious ewok mask or limited edition Darth Sidious lightsaber. “I’m enraptured by the dark side. I love the bad guys and that to me is the ultimate.”
A Darth Vader helmet signed by David Prowse – Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy – is also special.
When the bulk of the stash is gone, Rick will continue to live a devoted Star Wars life. He is part of the 501st Legion, a volunteer Star Wars costuming organisation which appears at charity fundraisers, the Christmas Pageant, and The Women’s and Children’s Hospital in full costume to turn little frowns upside down. “It’s wonderful to see their excited faces,” he says. “It can be heartbreaking but luckily we wear masks so they can’t see how much it affects us.”
Find ‘Rick’s End Of An Era Star Wars Sale’ on Facebook.
Are you an obsessive collector too? Let us know what you collect in the comments, below.