Running concurrently, and also marking the 30th anniversary of Star Wars, was a pack-in giveaway for a polybagged, vac-metalled plastic version of the C-3PO minifigure. This Charlie and the Chocolate Factory luck-of-the-draw prize caused a frenzy that saw collectors taking weighing scales to toy aisles in the hope of detecting the 3 to 4 gram difference that this minifigure would add to a boxed set’s weight!
“THE HUNT IS ON! For a limited time only, special edition gold metallized C-3PO minifigures have been hidden in 10,000 random boxes from the new 2007 LEGO Star Wars collection. Will your next set be one of the lucky winners?”
The offer for the plastic protocol droid was only run in the US and Canada (as the packed-in version), and Europe with an unknown distribution mechanism. However, in Australia, where laws about sweepstakes prevented LEGO from randomly including them in the 2007 collection, they were given away as part of a mail-in through the countries LEGO Magazine. Only a hundred of these were made, making them the second rarest version of the C-3PO minifigure.
Nearly a decade later it emerged that the Australian minifig (left) was different to the one released in North America (right), creating three variants – polybagged North American, polybagged European and carded Australian – and a new hunting frenzy.
But then there is the intrinsic value that comes with it being a) extremely rare, b) a licensed Star Wars product and c) made by a globally identifiable brand. Community estimates put the framed minifigure’s value at a significantly more conservative US$25,000. While the auction is nice to look at we all have to be honest and accept that it won;t sell, so a new benchmark price won’t be set, and all it really does is serve to draw attention to the other items the seller has listed.
Meanwhile, the more common polybagged version can be bought for US$500 to $600 and the hard-to-find Australian giveaway will set you back triple that.
All photo credits go to minifigpriceguide.com who have a series of well-researched articles on all three of these exclusive minifigures.
This post originally appeared on Rebelscum.com on the 13th of March, 2019.
Fervent documentarian, effusive AFOL and founding partner, Jeremy manages the daily news content and set reviews.
Having enjoyed playing with LEGO from his earliest years, Jeremy started collecting LEGO Star Wars in 1999 when the theme was first released. He has shared his thoughts and opinions on LEGO via a number of websites – including starwars.com, rebelscum.com and brickset.com – contributed to the LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary series and served the LEGO Ambassador Network as a Recognised LEGO Fan Media representative.