There was a fair bit of confusion when more than 20 people dressed in black and white, and with masks over their faces, stormed a supermarket in Ponsonby today.

But, fear not. There was no burglary underway. The odd-looking group were actually Stars Wars enthusiasts dressed as Kylo Ren and a squadron of stormtroopers.

The costumed fans had been hired by Countdown to promote the new Star Wars collectible campaign ahead of its launch tomorrow. They are members of Outpost 42, the New Zealand arm of the international Stars Wars costuming group the 501st Legion.

The group of super-fans spend hundreds of hours perfecting their movie-quality costumes for official Stars Wars exhibitions and kids' charity events. They call themselves "bad guys doing good", preferring to dress up as the villains of the cult films than the heroes.


Outpost 42 garrison executive officer (GXO) Andrew Green, who dressed up as a stormtrooper for today's event, said he thinks the collectibles are "fantastic".

"I'm very much looking forward to getting my hands on some of them."

Green told the Herald he believes the love of the popular films bring people of all ages together.

"It binds us, you know?"

From tomorrow, fans of the franchise can collect Stars Wars Cosmic Shells with purchases of $20 or more. The collectibles will feature characters, planets and vehicles from all seven films.

Bridget Lamont, Countdown's general manager, said she thinks adults will enjoy collecting the shells as much as their kids.

"The new Star Wars Cosmic Shells offer parents and grandparents a chance to share their love of Star Wars with the next generation of fans. We believe the Cosmic Shells are a must-have for any true Star Wars fan."

Collectors will be able to trade shells at in-store swap-meets in September.


Avid fans can buy Stars Wars Cosmic Shells collectors' albums, which include a game board and game play instructions, for $8.