SCIENCE fiction fans across Bolton flocked to the Market Place shopping centre to get their hands on some rare collectibles.

Famous sci-fi characters Darth Vader and Batman were also at the centre to have their pictures taken with excited fans.

There was a wide range of stalls selling sci-fi and superhero memorabilia, including T-shirts, books and comics.

Ken Hampson, owner of the sci-fi shop Omega Collectibles, which is based at St Andrew’s Court, put up a stall at the event, which sold Batman toys and miniature Doctor Who daleks.

Mr Hampson, from Salford, said: “The response has been very good — this event is always a success. Children and adults alike have thoroughly enjoyed it, which is encouraging.

“This event seems to appeal to all ages. Sci-fi is all the rage right now — you see it in the major films of today.”

Another stallholder at the event was John Wright, from Southport, whose items included a rare Spiderman comic for sale at £200.

Mr Wright said: “I’ve had some great feedback from people and I’m really pleased with how many have turned out.

“I’ve always found sci-fi as a genre fascinating and I have many sci-fi heroes. The first superhero I ever watched was Adam West’s Batman and I was interested in Spiderman from Marvel Comics as a kid.

“Sci-fi has changed a lot over the years. When you look at some of the early artwork in comics, it’s comical and slapstick. Nowadays, it’s a lot darker. But in any era, children will always have sci-fi characters to look up to.”

Matthew Lee, aged 16, of Farnworth, came dressed as Master Chief, the main character from the video game Halo. He said: “I enjoy everything about sci-fi, from Star Trek to Doctor Who. I heard this is a big event.”

His friend Ocean Stulock, aged 19, of Tonge Fold, added: “I like the way that you can lose yourself in sci-fi. It’s like your own world that you can become lost in.

“This event brings the sci-fi community together.”