It’s Star Wars Day every day for this collector | Lifestyle

A long, long time ago, in a village far, far away lives a 38-year-old Jedi Daniel Bernardo.

He was only a middle school student when he was introduced “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.”

“It was a magical experience for me because the musical score, characters and storyline amused me and since then I have been a big, big fan of ‘Star Wars,'” Bernardo said.

Watching the entire “Star Wars” franchise was just the beginning of the Tamuning resident’s journey as he had bigger burra fish to fry: “Star Wars” collectibles.

“In 2010, the first collectible I had was a movie replica lightsaber at GameStop and that was a flex for me because it was expensive back then,” said Bernardo. “Now, I have a wall that hangs nine sabers, which includes a purple custom-made one that I made at Star Wars Disneyland.”

Bernardo’s collection doesn’t just sit pretty on his wall. He has, in fact, battled with the dark side.

“My son and I do a lot of lightsaber battling. I took fencing classes at the University of Guam, so I taught him a little bit of fencing. He loves playing Darth Vader and will put me in a force choke, so I just act it out and he wins in the end. ”

It was only in 2016 that Bernardo started to take his collection journey seriously. Fortunately, he received a head start in the collecting game.

“There was a collector who donated a bunch of valuable vintage collectibles to me. I really appreciate them, but my collection focus drifted to collecting handcrafted busts and helmets. ”

Right now, he has 30 “Star Wars” characters, with more incoming.

“General Grievous head is my favorite item in my collection. I bought him when I went to Disneyland and he was 30 pounds as he was made out of stone. I was happy that they had a shipping service so when I came back home, it was waiting for me, ”Bernardo said.

“The Tusken Raider head was difficult to obtain because the only person who was making high quality versions was a guy from Poland. I had to wait almost a year to get him in my hands. ”

Bernardo used various social media platforms to search for his most wanted collectibles off island.

“I had to dive into the deepest parts of Facebook groups, the internet and Etsy. I even reached out and bought heads from an armorsmith, a leather worker from Poland and a creator from England.

“My collectibles are not commercial-made rather they are movie-replica made, they’re projects that people make and sell. The items are unique and beautiful as they were made with precise attention to detail and are very similar to the actual items that are used in the movies. ”

Due to the lack of “Star Wars” collectibles on Guam, shipping is the only battle where a lightsaber can’t win.

“For the big and bulky heads, shipping prices are double the amount of the item. Additionally, people are apprehensive about shipping to Guam. I’ve run into sellers and I had to explain that Guam is a US territory.

“I’ve had some items arrive damaged because they were shipped by boat. There were some times where I even had to add screws or glued pieces back together, ”said Bernardo.

Someday, Bernardo hopes to fulfill his ultimate goal by creating a wall filled with various heads and helmets. He hopes to achieve this goal by considering investing in a 3D printer to curate his own collectibles.


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