Instatraveller: Eric the Globetrotting Stormtrooper
Star Wars may be all the rage right now, but @DarryllJones and his collectible Stormtrooper have been spreading the galaxy love for several years – and all around the world. Here, we catch up with Darryl about how he and 'Eric' became an Instagram sensation with their quirky, Star Wars-inspired travel imagery:
How did it all begin?
Eric comes from a long line of predecessors; I have had all types of little Stormtroopers over the past few years, ranging from the tiny Lego guys at first, to the little three-inch 'hard to pose' figures, to the Hasbro six-inch range and then, finally, to the Sideshow Collectible range. That was always the goal, but initially out of reach due to its price tag. But, through steady work, and a lot of patience, I was able to finally buy myself the 12-inch, fully poseable 'Eric'. At a little over £300, most people buy these as showpieces for cabinets, but Eric, well, he's been all over.
What’s your favourite image and why?
That's a tough question, I think I will always love Eric lying in the cherries, purely becasue of the accidental way it came together and the graphic feel about it. But I guess each has a certain memory attached to it, so I couldn't really pick one. I think an important one was one of the first of Eric walking through Scotland with his little Tartan bag, as that was picked up by BBC Scotland and I started being featured all over the place.
Which destination has worked best?
I love landscapes, and seascapes. I come from Edenvale in Johannesburg, where landscapes consist of suburban houses, hardly any trees, shopping malls and factories. Now, living in Milton Keynes, I have woods on my doorstep, I have lakes and mountains near, and the difference is, I can go walking through them without any fear. But it's Scotland, hands down: best scenery, best people. Eric and I visited Hong Kong a while back and, whilst the scenery was stunning, it just failed to grab me as much as the openness and ruggedness of Scotland did.
How many countries has Eric visited, and do you have a favourite place you have visited?
Moving to the UK has been wonderful as I now have the opportunity to see a lot more. So far Eric has travelled extensively throughout the UK, including Wales and Scotland. He has also been to Hong Kong and South Africa.
What’s the next adventure?
This year I am trying to grow the business I started up with my friend Craig Morran – a food photography company. But with regards to Eric, we hope to travelto as many places as we can, seeing as much of Europe as possible and hopefully doing a book at last!
Did Eric inspire you to explore Europe, Hong Kong or South Africa? Well we can help – make an appointment to speak to one of our Travel Experts and they'll help create a holiday tailor made just for you.