"Star Wars" Fanatic Has Massive Collection - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/22/05-Tyler

"Star Wars" Fanatic Has Massive Collection

"When people come over and want to see my collection, I get this stuff out," Tariq Raza, 32, said. "But for the most part, it's just kind of kept away in a closet."

Tariq is a careful collector. He's bought thousands of Star Wars items from all six episodes over the past 11 years -- including action figures, books, magazines, DVDs, cereal boxes, Darth Vader masks, accessories, and cookie jars -- and checks each one for blemishes.

"I don't just pick up anything and just buy it," he said. "I make sure it's in mint condition. And it goes straight from the store into a plastic bag."

There's more than meets the eye in his home. Each ziploc bag has two action figures, not just one. And the binders contain thousands of collector cards that Tariq is not trading anytime soon, even though he's been offered up to 10 times the retail value for some of his rare purchases, like a Darth Maul collectible figure.

"I had my personal contacts at Target, Toys R Us, who called me when stuff came in," Tariq said.

A little obsessive, you might say, but Tariq says he's just passionate about a movie he's loved his whole life. There's not a question he can't answer in the Trivial Pursuit game he has.

One of Tariq's favorite items is a green light saber he bought this weekend.

"I went into Hastings to rent a movie and I walked out with a $120 light saber," he said.

So I thought we'd try it out with one of his favorite characters, a Master Yoda muppet.

"I think my wife can't get it out of my hands," Tariq said. "I've just been kind of playing with it all day long."

The end of the Star Wars trilogy brings uncertainty to Tariq's collection.

"The collection may continue, or it may end right here," he said.

Whatever happens, Tariq plans to keep his prized possessions for a long, long time.

Tariq has already seen Episode III three times since opening night. He says he plans to see it at least five, six, maybe even seven more times.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv.com

 

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