Yoda, Batman, Optimus Prime: Surrey man’s pop culture collection displayed at B.C. museum

Click to play video: 'This Is BC: Surrey man shares collection of pop culture collectibles in museum exhibit'
This Is BC: Surrey man shares collection of pop culture collectibles in museum exhibit
Dilber Mann is a Gen X-er who has been collecting characters through the ages -- from Star Wars and other defining movies. His trip down memory lane will make anyone familiar with the era nostalgic and is now showcased in a new exhibition at the Museum of Surrey. He also shares how the opening of SkyTrain changed his perspective. Jay Durant has more in This Is BC. – Jun 2, 2022

Inspiration X is a display years in the making.

Dilber Mann’s hobby is collecting statues of famous characters from the 1980s. Recently they were packaged up, put on a truck and moved to the Museum of Surrey. Except for Yoda who rode shotgun in his car.

“I didn’t have the box anymore and I didn’t want to take it apart,” Mann said.

The exhibit includes statues of Batman, X-Men, Optimus Prime, Predator and a couple of well-known Jedis. While it’s a showcase of 80s pop culture, there’s also a narrative on the wall describing Mann’s experiences during those years growing up in the diverse city of Surrey and how these franchises brought people together.

“We connected through common interests and a lot of that common interest came down to these pop culture icons” recalled Mann.

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Mann remembers when The Empire Strikes Back hit theatres around B.C. and how people from many different backgrounds came together to watch George Lucas’ latest work at the Guildford Cinemas in Surrey.

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“At the movie theatre, they were all there collectively, all united towards the one thing that they all loved which at the time was Star Wars,” said Mann.

And he remembers how the SkyTrain expansion gave Generation X the chance to explore Metro Vancouver, opening up new experiences in different communities.

“I had never been to downtown, or Chinatown or Metrotown area ever,” said Man. “So it was very exciting to open up all these different doors.”

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That exploring continues to this day. What started out as a love for characters like Spider-Man and Batman, inspired Mann to move into a creative career. Sixteen years in the video game industry has taken him all over the world.

Mann hopes the exhibit is a hit with visitors. Only half of his collection is on display. He’s already looking at expanding, but that’s not an option here right now

“No space,” Mann said with a laugh. “I can’t take over the museum so we’ll have to figure it out.”

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