Meet Darth Vader Clecta Bill McBride

Clect is based on the simple premise that collectors love to Collect Together, so we like to feature members of our community – we call ourselves ‘Clectas’- and hear about what they love. This week, we’re featuring Clecta @BillMcBride, the Guinness World Record Holder for Darth Vader memorabilia.


1. What got you started collecting?

I grew up in a family that collected all types of things, and that collector-DNA certainly carried over. The Star Wars Original Trilogy was a huge part of my childhood growing up, and it was just a natural process to start collecting Star Wars toys at the time. (as we all did, I think). Darth Vader was immediately my favorite character, so I found myself naturally asking for anything and everything Vader. While I’ve been only been actively collecting as an adult for 25+ years, I can say my Vader “focus” started right there in 1977.

2. Why Darth Vader?

The easy answer is because I think he’s the most amazing, brilliant movie character of all time. I thought that the first time I saw him in “Star Wars”, and that’s never changed. There was more world class talent poured into Vader, than any other character in movie history. It wasn’t just me, he was also the runaway fan favorite as well, and we see that when we look back to the first vintage products that were being sold. Posters, patches, even the infamous “Vadar Lives” campaign from Factors. Just the sheer volume of Vader-themed items is staggering. When I started collecting seriously as an adult, I just naturally gravitated to Vader … I’ve never had any interest in collecting anything else.

3. What are your 3 favorite pieces and why?

1) Early hand made prototype 4″ figure from Kenner – this is one of the earliest prototypes known for the figure, and was also the very same figure that was used for all the early product photography. It is a truly historical piece in every sense of the word.
2) Prop Darth Vader Helmet – George Lucas Superlive – My collection has evolved over time, and I now find myself going after only original props and production items. Being able to find *any* Vader prop is a feat in and of itself, but finding a helmet is a once in a life time opportunity. This is another truly remarkable piece on it’s own, but it’s history is unparalleled in the hobby. It’s a superlative piece in every way
3) The original blueprint & color rendering for the 4″ Darth Vader figure (a two-for-one here, as they are a set) – these are the original blueprints and designs which
were used to create the Darth Vader figure. You can’t get much more historical or significant than that, and it’s an honor to have these types of items in my collection

4. Is there a holy grail piece you still need?

My current holy grail would be any Vader prop from the Original Trilogy. That’s sacred ground for Star Wars fandom, and to own an original Vader OT prop
would be a dream come true. My other grails are closely guarded secrets 🙂

5. What advice would you share with other Collectors?

I think the holy mantra of collecting I would share with anyone is – “Learn, learn to be patient, and have the patience to learn”  So many people succumb to the “collecting bloodlust” and rush headlong into things without taking time to educate themselves, or having the patience to sort out good deals from bad. Especially in the Star Wars world right now … the market we are seeing is unprecedented in both demand and values. People that don’t take the time to educate themselves about the items and absolutely setting themselves up for failure, and possibly crushing financial errors.

6. How could we improve Clect for you personally?

I have a bit of a unique problem – I have the largest collection of Darth Vader memorabilia in the world, so the sheer volume issues from cataloging those items is staggering. (I’m sure I would need a full time assistant just for that)  However, what I think is the key benefit from the app is the global dynamic we are seeing with instant resourcing and information. We can’t carry around armloads of reference books and tools to each show and Con we attend, but having an app, with this type of content at your fingertips is invaluable to collectors.
Click on these images to see these items, and much more, from Bill’s incredible collection on Clect:
Darth Vader Superlive Prop MaskDarth Vader Collection of Bill McBride

Meet Bill @ Wizard World Chicago!

Bill will be joining the Clect team at Wizard World Chicago later this month for a special panel discussion called “Collect Together: How the Clect Platform wants to bring together the many millions of collectors globally to help them build and share their amazing collections.”  and will give us a detailed look at his ever-growing collection.  He will also be at the Clect booth throughout the convention, so grab your tickets and come hang out with Bill and the Clect crew!
So, what do you Clect?  Collect together with Bill and the thousands of other members of the Clect community and help us build the best platform for collecting in the Galaxy!
Register at
Meet Darth Vader Clecta Bill McBride