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Saturday July 16, 2005

Fantasies come to life for sci-fi fan


Chua in the costume of elven prince Legolas of The Lord Of The Rings .
FOR Richard Chua Yew Yee, dressing up as his favourite characters from popular science fiction and fantasy stories is part of the fun in his passion for the genre.  

“The costumes are an extension of my collection of science fiction and fantasy collectibles,” said the 30-year-old civil engineer.  

Among the Star Trek collectibles at his home in Kuala Lumpur are toy figurines of the crew from the television series Enterprise as well as alien races such as the Klingon, Hirogen and Cardassian.  

There is also a scale model of a Romulan Warbird and three scale models of the starship Enterprise in his collection.  

Other Star Trek collectibles owned by Chua include a Monopoly set, interactive video board game, role-playing books and magazines, a Klingon teddy bear as well as prop replicas of a phaser (handheld energy beam weapon) and tricorder (multi-function scanner). 

Chua is also a fan of Star Wars and has a Lego recreation of the Battle of Hoth from the movie The Empire Strikes Back as a key part of his collection.  

“I get a sense of satisfaction and pride when using the collectibles to recreate dioramas of scenes from the movies,” said Chua, adding that his Star Wars Lego kits were bought over the last six years.  

He also owns more than 20 toy figurines from the Star Wars: Unleashed series featuring characters like Count Dooku, General Grievous, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Han Solo, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.  

“These were bought after the release of the movie Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones three years ago,” said Chua.  

Meanwhile, his Lord of the Rings collectibles comprise items such as a Monopoly set, Risk board game, a toy figurine of Legolas and a book entitled The Origins of Tolkien's Middle-Earth For Dummies.  

“I have only recently begun collecting LOTR items and don’t have many yet,” said Chua, who also owns an extensive collection of figurines from the Transformers and He-Man: Masters Of The Universe animated cartoon series.  

“The Transformers and Masters Of The Universe figurines were collected when I was in primary and secondary school,” said Chua.  

He said most of his collectibles were ordered through the Internet or bought from countries like Australia and Singapore.  

Chua with his light sabre and some of his Star Wars collectibles.
“In Malaysia, there are limited choices,” said Chua, adding that he does not know how much money he has spent on his collection.  

“I am afraid to count how much I have spent, probably thousands of ringgit,” he said.  

Another of his prized collectibles is a Star Wars light sabre that glows with a blue light and emits a humming sound when turned on.  

Figurines of the characters Data (left) and Spock from the Star Trek television series.
The light sabre completes Chua’s Obi-Wan Kenobi costume that includes a hooded cloak as well as a false moustache and beard.  

The Legolas costume comes complete with a blond wig, false pointy ears, tunic, belt, cloak and even boot leggings inscribed with elven runes.  

For added authenticity, Chua also borrowed a bow and a quiver of arrows from a friend. 

His passion for the Starfleet uniform is shared by his friend Richard Si.  

Together with other members of Myscififan (Malaysia's Science Fiction and Fantasy Community), Chua and Si placed orders for the Starfleet uniforms with a tailor in Subang Jaya last year.  

A toy figurine of Count Dooku from the Star Wars: Unleashed series.
Si, also an ardent Star Trek fan, showed up for the photo session with his nine-month-old son Riker Si Tee Kirk, named after two of his favourite characters in the television series.  

“My costumes were created after I made friends in the Myscififan community who were also enthusiastic about dressing up for activities and events such as special movie screenings of LOTR and Star Wars,” said Chua.  

For more information on the Myscififan community, log on to www.myscififan.com. 

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