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I think your own statement actually sums it up well.
If you have to purchase something too get an item, it is then, by definition, not free.
So it isn't free.
TC-14 last year was worth buying a number of items to get a dozen of them, Han is not.
You don't like the promo, fine. But I don't hear anyone griping about the discount that most here - if not all - plan Spring purchases around. How many other major retailers/manufacturers offer consistent promotions?
What do all these things have in common:
Strict rules on promos/give aways
Answer: all thing either gone or quickly going. Might as well add May the 4th, 2014 to that list.
Taken in the context of we think that we should all get a free item from LEGO, now that is ridiculous (ignoring that VIP keychain...).
However, I think what most people are voicing is there displeasure at the lackluster-ness of the May 4th promotional item this year. Going back a page, it's a nice figure, but it is another Han Solo. Thus, they wish, if they are going to spend $75, they'd rather receive an item they think is more exclusive and warrants spending $75. Too them/us, $75 doesn't warrant the purchase of yet another Han Solo.
Thus, people are merely voicing their displeasure. This event only happens once a year. I like many others look forward too it. I'm somewhat disappointed at the promotional item LEGO is offering me. Now I have to wait another year for the next promotion and the next figure.
The bottom line is we would have liked a different figure, which all ties in with the context of "promotional item", and $75, etc.. It's all tied together. If you separate it into little pieces, it certainly sounds like we are being ridiculous.
But if you take it as whole, no one is really being ridiculous here. It's all just simple discussion. :o)
As amazing as an army of chrome silver protocol droids would be...
I'd have too kindly disagree though with your comment @y2josh. I think TC-14 will remain higher priced than Han Solo in the aftermarket. In more correct terms, I believe TC-14 has a higher ceiling than Han Solo.
Or if Disney, in their Star Wars destroying wisdom sees fit to add a TC-14 movie to their other standalone prospects. :D
TC-14 The Movie- Negotiations of a Protocol Droid.
Coming 2014 to a theater near you.
"Would it help if I got out and pushed?"
TC-14 is a niche character appealing only to the most hardcore Star Wars and minifig completionists.
The Shadow ARF had already outpaced TC-14's appreciation by this same point in its lifespan.
Run-of-the-mill Han Solo minifigs found in sets sell for around $10 (more if you throw in the carbonite).
Building from the above, this Han, save for the hair, is completely unique. Any other version of Han available can be pretty easily cobbled together, as he really only has a handful of elements that comprise his variety of 'costumes' across sets.
One more reason which I'm choosing to withhold until the promo is over.
Side note - Now that you've started quoting Leia, I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say I absolutely hope that your next step isn't to change your profile picture to one of you wearing the golden bikini.
You do mention though the only way I could give Han Solo the edge, is if because not as many people like it (I don't know if I speak for the majority or not), not as many are given out on May 4th. However, LEGO will produce a certain number of these, so they will get rid of all of them one way or another. Wether if that is with another promotion down the line (as with the ARF), or a TRU giveaway, etc..
It will than come down too which is more exclusive as deemed by the consumer. Han Solo or TC-14? Likely, they are produced in relatively the same numbers. So neither one gains the upper hand in that factor.
It comes down too the consumer, as always. They will decide which one is rarer in their mind.
My humble opinion will have to favor TC-14. Considering the consumer decides, you look at the other chrome figures and see their high prices. Chrome C-3PO, Chrome Vader, Chrome Stormtrooper, etc.. Both those fetch much higher prices than the average poly. While they aren't on the same number scale as these two promotional items, they will create bias for the chrome market.
In my opinion, chromeys are naturally thought of as a higher value item. It's just human nature too see something shiny as higher value. Is that necessarily true? Certainly not.. but it's the public view, and thus the majority market view.
Han is almost just too good, in the fact that he looks like a typical LEGO minifigure. Nothing screams special about him, unfortunately. Nice printing? You better believe it. Neat torso? Of course. Is there a special feeling about him? No, aside from the fact he sits in a separate plastic polybag.
On this same note, I probably can safely compare the Shadow ARF with TC-14, since they were both May the 4th promos and both were re-used as promos later in the year. TC-14 simply isn't performing as well as the ARF had, even in spite of the 'chromey goodness.'
Which is why I don't see I think it is actually worth more, but in more correct terms, has a higher ceiling than Han Solo. I'd be more willing to bet that TC-14 will go higher than Han Solo will come say @Pitfall69's date of 2014. Or, will at least going up while Han Solo remains stagnant at points.
Speaking of which, maybe now I'll sell the used set, probably for more than I sold you the new one for! :)