With recent rumours of a shiny, drum-lacquered C-3PO now debunked, it’s worth noting that metallic gold versions already exist.
There have been many C-3PO minifigures released over the years, from the protocol droid’s first appearance in 2001’s 7106 Droid Escape, right up to a version with new arm printing in 75339 Death Star Trash Compactor Diorama in 2022. While most of these have been fairly accurate (to varying degrees), only a few very rare C-3PO minifigures have managed to emulate the gold-plated look of the original movie saga’s character.
In 2007 the LEGO Group randomly inserted 10,000 4521221 Chrome Gold C-3PO minifigures into 30th anniversary LEGO Star Wars sets. These editions were hard to find but do pop up on the secondary market from time-to-time. In addition, 100 rarer Chrome Gold C-3PO minifigures were produced in special packaging as part of a promotional giveaway in the same year. This version included a printed backing card and congratulatory winner’s letter and are much harder to find.
However, the rarest C-3PO minifigure (and most expensive LEGO minifigure of all time) is a 14k solid gold version that was one of five created in 2007 for another LEGO Star Wars 30th anniversary contest. If you were one of the lucky fans to get your hands on this highly-desirable item, then you’re sitting on something of a literal gold mine. A recent eBay listing for the promotional C-3PO minifigure valued it at over $300,000.
Although the LEGO Group has already stated that drum-lacquered elements don’t really live up to its own design standards, we’re still holding out hope for a more accurate C-3PO minifigure, something that even a fussy protocol droid would approve of.