The force is with this Star Wars fan!

April 12th, 2023 3:05 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Newry in his studio with his creations and, top right, with his wife Caroline at their home.

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A major Star Wars fan has taken his love of the movie franchise to a whole new level, because not only does he collect memorabilia from the film, he also customises items and repaints them.

NEWRY Bakry, originally from Malaysia but now working as a chef in The Leap Inn, is such a fanatic of one particular movie franchise that he’s going to be featured in Star Wars Insider, the official Star Wars magazine later this year. 

Not only that, he was also invited to feature in a scene for a new Irish film Storm Trooper and plays an incinerator stormtrooper. 

Newry’s YouTube channel, as well as his TikTok and Instagram accounts, all detail his dedicated work in customising his toys and designing costumes.


Newry Bakry and his wife Caroline at their home


Both he and his wife Caroline donned his carefully crafted costumes to attend Dublin Comi Con recently and were the envy of thousands of sci-fi fans there.

Despite only beginning his collection five years ago, Newry has already amassed over 3,000 items all, neatly displayed in a special room in their Dunmanway home. 

Speaking to The Southern Star, Newry said his love of creating and making toys goes back to his youth in Malaysia where he would make his own toys using wood and scraps he found.

‘I actually started collecting Transformers in 2005 when I came to Ireland, but had always wanted to collect Star Wars items. But I found them very expensive,’ said Newry.

‘It was only when Caroline said she wanted a stormtrooper figure for her desk that the whole collection slowly began to increase. That one five inch figure fuelled a massive collection – which now has its own room in our house!’

Newry's completed costume, Tusken Raider Dune Sea Black Tribe


Not content with just displaying his memorabilia, Newry has taken some apart, repainted them and even added his own personal touches to create truly unique pieces. Another room is given over to his studio, the hub of his creations, where he has in the past made his own Star Wars guns and weapons, some with added sound effects, for good measure. 

He has also re-painted several artillery stormtrooper headpieces and he customised his own stormtrooper armour, which he first wore to Dublin Comi Con in 2017. He included a fan mechanism to keep himself cool, as well as adding audio for authenticity.

‘I also build dioramas, which are basically a model from a scene in a film. It took me about three-and-a-half months to build an Ewok diorama using 30 to 40 vintage  figures including Princess Leia, Chewy, Luke Skywalker, Ewoks and stormtroopers. The videos of me making them are also up on my YouTube channel.’

Caroline said her husband’s skill when it comes to making the costumes is out of this world.

‘He is so creative and imaginative and he can literally do anything from sewing a costume to airbrushing models or making something from scratch. And he cooks like a dream too!’

They wore his own creations for the Tusken Warrior and Tusken Dune Sea Black Tribe at Comi Con and his attention to detail in making is remarkable. 

He has also been asked to customise other peoples’ toys. During Covid he took on a lot of commissions while he wasn’t working. This led to him starting his own YouTube channel, Newry Bakry Big Boy Toys, which has over 1,000 subscribers.

You could say Newry and Caroline are true collectors, because they also have an impressive collection of Mini Cooper models – 1,000 in fact. Some are still in their boxes as the couple attempt to create even more space in their home to house their treasured collections.

‘We started a Mini Cooper model collectors’ group on Facebook in 2014 and it now has 1,300 members worldwide,’ said Caroline.

And let’s not forget their collection of Batman and Transformers models. Their home is truly a sci-fi collector’s delight.

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