40308 Lester was spotted on Facebook by Brickset, accurately recalling the ‘debacle’ of just 275 blister carded Lester minifigures being given away when the LEGO Store Leicester Square opened. Now, the character is back in polybag form, available for customers to buy for £5.99.
There is possibly a difference for collectors to note between the original Lester and this new release. The reason that was floated for only 275 minifigures being produced for the launch was that the bowler hat element was no longer in production. As the character had only been intended for promotional artwork, this did not come to light until it was too late. As a result, the original minifigure is reported to have a different bowler hat to the new edition, according to Abner Finley:
Please know there is a minor difference compared to the original rare one. Not just package, but I believe ‘hat’ element… Some have reported the new one is shorter. We are gonna have to wait and see.
Although the launch minifigure promotion was poorly handled, fans visiting the UK capital will be pleased to be able to take a minifigure souvenir home with them.