Source / Star Wars.com
A replica Stars Wars R2D2 droid made by an NZ-based fan and an Ōtara dairy-owner turned Batman are two of 'Hollywood’s' biggest stars set to bring joy and laughter to more than 4,000 special needs children at a Funfest VIP Day in Auckland this month.
The day before the annual Trillian Trust Funfest opens to the wider public in Manukau, the tamariki will get the chance to enjoy face painting, free rides and a special visit with the two 'superheroes'.
The Star Wars movie icon is a scale replica of the R2D2 droid from the movies, lovingly built by New Zealand-based Star Wars fan Barry Crocker.
The Star Wars R2D2 replica made by Barry Crocker. Source / Jason Ellis (YouTube)
"It’s a fantastic work of engineering and kiwi ingenuity. This R2D2 unit has all of the personality of his movie star cousin, including beeps, lights and special effects straight from the big screen," Doug Te Moni, Funfest's coordinator, said in a statement.
Making his third appearance at VIP Day is South Auckland’s own Velvet Dairy owner Batman who is famous for dispensing 'Random acts of Batman'.
The owner of a dairy on Velvet Crescent in Ōtara who only wants to be known as Batman is most well-known for his work in the community – dressing up as the comic superhero to visit children in hospital and donating to various causes and events in Ōtara and wider South Auckland.
“I dress as Batman. We have the Batmobile, the bat-bike, we have the two Batcave’s. We visit kids with terminal illnesses and we just do random things for people."
Special visit to middlemore Now onto the last visit of the year which I'll post about at midnight tonightPosted by Random Acts Of Batman on Wednesday, 30 December 2020
Te Moni says, “ Lots of Kiwis lost jobs because of Covid-19 last year, thousands of families were impacted, Funfest is a fantastic way of supporting those families in need.
"We’re also sending a message to the world from New Zealand that Covid can be contained and we can run large events safely in the Covid era."
Funfest will encourage fans to wash hands regularly, stay home if they are unwell, wear a face mask, social distance from strangers and scan into the event using the Funfest QR Code, he says.
Funfest VIP Day is on 13 January at Vodafone Event Centre in Manukau, Auckland.
This year's 20th annual celebration of Funfest runs from 14 to 17 January.