Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 August 2020

Star Wars memorabilia collector Omar Al Bahiti: ‘The new BB-8 droid will be the hot seller’

As a leading member of the UAE branch of the 501st Legion, the global network of Star Wars fans, and owner of what is thought to be the largest Star Wars memorabilia collection outside the United States or Europe, we were keen to hear what Omar Al Bahiti thinks of Force Friday.
Omar Al Bahiti with R2-D2. Christopher Pike / The National
Omar Al Bahiti with R2-D2. Christopher Pike / The National

As Star Wars fans eagerly await the release on Friday of toymaker Hasbro’s new collection of toys and figures based on Episode VII: The Force Awakens, we caught up with our old friend Omar Al Bahiti.

As a leading member of the UAE branch of the 501st Legion, the global network of Star Wars fans, and owner of what is thought to be the largest Star Wars memorabilia collection outside the United States or Europe, we were keen to hear what he thinks of the event and what he is looking forward to getting a hold of.

The new merchandise includes Stormtrooper masks, action figures (large and small), Nerf guns, model vehicles, new lightsabers and countless special editions.

Some of the more serious Star Wars collectors, however, may be leaving most of this batch of merchandise for the kids – Hasbro is, after all, primarily a toy manufacturer.

“Since they are toys, I might skip them all,” says Al Bahiti. “But their ‘Black’ range looks interesting, especially the new Black-edition lightsabers.”

He did have one tip that might prove invaluable for exasperated parents come Christmas.

“The only must-have exception is [new football-shaped droid] BB-8. This will be the hot seller,” he says.

But for the most part, he says, he will be waiting for higher-quality collectables from specialist suppliers, rather then the mass-­produced toys.

“The ships look interesting but I will wait for the props to be available from the replica builders and try to get those instead,” he says.

cnewbould@thenational.ae

Updated: September 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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