Gold Plated C-3PO

SquirrelSquirrel Member Posts: 13
edited June 2011 in Collecting
Hey I was reading up on how this minifig was distributed. I was wondering if there was a possibility of him showing up in any star wars set released in 2007, or were there only a select few.
I guess my point is, If I were to buy one of these sets sealed somewhere would I have a chance of finding one in there. Or was it a short run that didn't hit all the sets of that year.

Any info would be swell :)

Squirrel

Comments

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    Moved to 'Everything Else LEGO' - 06 June 2011 16:36 BST
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    A very small chance, but yes, as long as it's not a battle pack. Supposedly, (as I recall being told by Steve Witt) all the 2007 Star Wars sets have "a chance" of having a C-3P0 in them, except the battle packs, which were excluded from the promotion.

    Unfortunately, there was no special packaging on the boxes to indicate that there was a chance to win a C-3P0 (he's not actually gold-plated, just gold-color-chromed). So there's no sticker saying "You could be a winner!" or "Look inside for a chance to win!" They were all plainly packaged just the same as every other box.

    Some fans did discover a few ways to identify the boxes that contained C-3P0's (or were told how by LEGO employees), but this method, to the best of my knowledge, was never made public. Speculation is basically that it's a very subtle difference in the packaging, perhaps similar to the dots on the collectible Minifigures, or some other stray mark.

    DaveE
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 181
    I would have thought that the easiest way to spot these, without opening the boxes, would be to weigh them.
    I'm pretty sure that's what the bricklink vendors would have done, so I think it's unlikely that many have gone undiscovered.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Supposedly, weight was not the method. You'd have to have a scale that was accurate to a few grams to take to the store with you (or buy tons and do the weighing at home, returning the others to the store). Reportedly, the method involved something else (everyone asked repeatedly what the method was, and of course everyone asked "did you weigh them?", to which the answer was frequently "no, it's not the weight").

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited June 2011
    ^ I did hear of a few people with access to large quantities using the weight measurement method, but I'm not surprised to hear there may have been an identifier on the box, also.

    However, I have a hard time imagining if there existed a purpose for indicating these that would have justified creating separate boxes or introducing a mechanism for marking existing ones across the entire product sets that were eligible.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 455
    A question from me on the chrome C-3PO, to those collecting for longer and were lucky enough to get one of these in a SW set ( only 10,000 ever produced), have Lego confirmed this, as the packets do not seem to have a serial number on them, surely if they were only 10,000 produced Lego would have marked them with a serial number not just 1 in 10,000 on the polybag.

    Lego must have realised a lot of these chrome C-3PO's would never be opened.

    I am amazed the price people are advertising these for, but I suppose suppy and demand.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    So, it looks like I have to open all my misb sets? :o). Is it every SW set from 2007 but the bp's?
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    surely if they were only 10,000 produced Lego would have marked them with a serial number not just 1 in 10,000 on the polybag.
    LEGO produced more than 10,000 of them, and *AT LEAST* 10,000 were placed into LEGO Star Wars sets. I don't know if they placed EXACTLY 10,000 into sets, or if they placed more into sets.

    But additional chrome C-3P0's were made, and were distributed at select events. The most scandalous being a freebie giveaway at Comic-con. I don't remember the details, but there was some contention about how they were handed out, or the fact that they were simply re-sold and NOT handed out. Maybe someone here recalls the details better, but Steve Witt was supposedly not too happy with the group in charge of their distribution at the event.

    Anyway, a bunch of extras (I'd guess in the 100-1000 range) were made and handed out specially at various events or as special favors.

    DaveE
  • The_Sly_FoxThe_Sly_Fox Member Posts: 42
    Unfortunately, there was no special packaging on the boxes to indicate that there was a chance to win a C-3P0 (he's not actually gold-plated, just gold-color-chromed). So there's no sticker saying "You could be a winner!" or "Look inside for a chance to win!" They were all plainly packaged just the same as every other box.
    There were stickers on the promotional boxes. I saw plenty of Hoth Rebel Base (7666) sets with these stickers on. I was lucky enough to get one in mine.
    I now have two of these beauties ... I had to get a second one to open one up. Definately the best Lego Star Wars minifigure to date.

  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    edited June 2011
    There were stickers on the promotional boxes. I saw plenty of Hoth Rebel Base (7666) sets with these stickers on. I was lucky enough to get one in mine.
    Really? I remember Steve Witt confirming there wasn't any special packaging at all, and I never saw any in stores at the time (we did our share of looking when we first heard about the promotion). At the time, people were frustrated that there was no way to tell which sets were viably part of the promotion, and which weren't.

    On the other hand, I remember Steve telling me horror stories that people were under the impression that the figures were made out of solid gold (since there WERE a few that were made that way, just not put out in retail), so some unscrupulous people out there raided Wal-Marts and Toys R Us's, vigorously searching through boxes, since a 14K gold minifig would be worth thousands of dollars in gold alone.

    I wonder if perhaps (following the incidents) they released stickered versions to help clarify things, and cut down on the amount of sets being ravaged in stores? Do you have pictures? I'd love to see what they looked like!

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited June 2011
    ^ I think you're both right. I believe all 2007 LEGO Star Wars sets carried embossed boxart that marked them as 30th Anniversary sets. I don't think the badge said anything specifically about winning a gold chrome figure.

    Of course, it was in the 2007 sets that gold chrome C3POs might appear. However, as people began reporting their finds, it became evident that certain sets did not contain the C3POs despite being 2007 sets and carrying the badge.

    I just went to try to my set storage with the hope of pulling out some 2007 boxes to confirm what the badge looked like, but Murphy's Law always applies to my box stacking and it's at the bottom of a very high pile of heavy boxes. Hopefully someone has the sets more accessible.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,256
    ^ Just a "Limited Edition" splash on my 7666.....
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited June 2011
    Here's the badge I had in mind, on the side of the box:
    image
  • SquirrelSquirrel Member Posts: 13
    Thanks for all the info guys :)


    Squirrel
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    Yeah, I remember those little badges-- I guess I was assuming it was indicative of the C-3P0 giveaway, but maybe not?

    DaveE
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 181
    I have limited access to the internet this week, so I'm only now coming back on the weight topic.
    I have some pocket scales that weigh up to 2kg in 0.1g increments, so plenty accurate enough to distinguish between a boxed set with or without an extra minifig.

    I wasn't suggesting that people wandered into stores to weigh the boxes, although I suspect that did occasionally happen.
    I'm in the UK, so never got the opportunity to try.

    I was trying to suggest that most sets from 2007 would have been opened by now, or had been bought in larger quantities by people planning to sell them on.
    With multiples of sets, I assumed it would be fairly easy to spot a slightly heavier box, even with some cheap but fairly accurate scales.
    The heavier boxes would have been opened for the fig and the others would have remained sealed.
    Hence, my (possibly false) supposition, that few would remain in sealed boxes now, except in private collections without multiples on which to perform comparisons.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,256
    ^ I have a few MISB sets from 2007; maybe it's time to do some weighing ! Anyone know how accurate the set weights on Bricklink are ?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited June 2011
    I recall an old thread from 2007 when everyone was reporting their finds. At some point, some probabilities were published on the likelihood that a given set would contain a gold chrome minifig. Thinking back, I can't imagine how the size of the product line was established for this to be accurate, but I do recall that the stated probability was high enough for me to seriously believe that I had one among my MISB 2007 sets. However, that didn't stop me from just buying a C3PO on the aftermarket and leaving my sets intact :P

    I couldn't find the thread after 15 minutes of web searching so I gave up.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 455
    Guys thanks for all the info very useful.

    from posts it seems 7666 Hoth Rebel Base may have had them in.

    I strongly suspect the bricklink sellers know this as well. So, if I bought one of these sets sealed off bricklink then highly likely I will not get a chrome C-3PO in the set.

    Do fellow posters agree?
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 808
    It's pretty unlikely to start with-- and then on top of that, factor in that BrickLink sellers may have intentionally weighed them and filtered out any that were heavier-- and that makes it even more unlikely.

    That's not to say it couldn't happen, but I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were you!

    DaveE
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited June 2011
    ^ To illustrate mathematically what DaveE is saying, let's say there was a 1 in 50 chance a 7666 set had a chrome C3PO in it when they were produced. And let's say that half the bricklink sellers know about the weight method and care enough to examine them. The 2% chance is the far more limiting number than the 1% it is reduced to if half the sellers filter for the prizes. Those numbers are purely hypothetical, of course, but I think you should get the point.

    The cheapest set I recall them being found in was 7657 AT-ST which now sells for ~$45. And if you were willing to spend the money needed to acquire a high enough volume whereby the probability actually becomes a statistical likelihood, you probably wouldn't mind just paying for a gold chrome C3PO directly.
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 944
    I would love to have one. I'm at a point where to buy now or wait.....which will most likely raise in vaule.

    My ulitimate decisions.......spend on this simple item or buy a large set.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    I had to go back and double-check which SW sets were released in 2007 and wow was that a stinker of a year. So much for my C3PO chances. I'll be putting my hopes on just the landing craft, moto AtAt, or Hoth sets. I imagine my 2010 UCS falcon wasn't actually produced in 2007 and I was a moron and skipped the MTT.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    @1265: if I had to decide between spending $150 on a large set or a gold chrome C3PO, the large set would be the easy decision for me. It'd be more display-worthy, more playable, and actually able to be built. Conversely, would you even open the C3PO if it came sealed? I think it's value is pretty much set where it's at. It will fluctuate based on who is in the market at the particular time they come up on eBay, but the price is not going to suddenly double, whereas the value of a large set very well may head that way once it retires.
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 944
    @rocao: I see the point about spending so much on a very little piece set compared to what I can get in return for the same amount. However, I'm a MISB type of collector, so, if it's a small or large set.....I treat it the same.

    I do find it expensive spending that much for the minifig......that's why I have not yet pulled the trigger.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    ^ Well in that case, a large box with colorful artwork looks more impressive sitting on a shelf than a black and white polybag with only a tiny hole through which you can see the gold chrome :P
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 181
    @Dr.Dave - If your sealed sets came from Europe, there's no chance, unless they had come from the other side of the Atlantic before that.
    I can't remember if they were only put in sets in the USA, or in Canada too.
  • sirrich69sirrich69 Member Posts: 455
    @jgadget, thanks for that, it was going to be my next and final question, so to confirm sets in the USA had them in only, none in the rest of the world.

    @rocao and Davee123 yes I agree with you guys not worth buying a sealed set hoping it has a C-3PO inside as the probability is pretty low.

    @1265 I am thinking the same, but why spend so much money for it to be hidden away, are they really going to go up much more than they are already.
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