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ToyCon draws fans of science fiction, comics to Santa Rosa

  • Fans of toys, games and cosplay at the Santa Rosa Toy Con at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds on Saturday.

Three-year-old Nakoa Throop inherited more than just dimples from his parents.

He picked up their love of all things "Star Wars," including the movie series' gleaming black villain, Darth Vader.

At a toy convention Saturday at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, the toddler got the chance to see the character in person.

"Hi Darth Vader!" he shouted at the towering figure, played by Redding costume enthusiast Dwayne Smith.

His mother, Delane Larson, stood nearby.

"His father is really into it, so he's been into it, too," she said. "He knows all the characters."

The two were among hundreds who turned out for ToyCon, held at the fairgrounds for the second consecutive year.

It featured dozens of exhibitors selling unopened vintage toys, comic books and things like metal lunchboxes emblazoned with movie and TV show characters.

Elizabeth Duque of Vallejo bought a "Star Wars" Ewok lunchbox, circa 1983, from seller Neal Van Keuren for $20.

"I have a small collection at home," said Duque, sporting an R2-D2-themed dress.

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