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Controversial gold LEGO figure is $1,000 windfall

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Mr. Gold (Credit: Lego)

Individually numbered and mixed in randomly with LEGO’s other collectible minifigs, Mr. Gold is gold-chromed from top hat to toes -- except for his classy white gloves.

And he’s apparently worth his weight in gold to LEGO collectors. Thanks to a flurry of interest, genuine Mr. Gold figures have sold for up to $1,000 on eBay.

Mr. Gold is part of LEGO’s tenth series of collectible minfigures, all of which ship in sealed packets so that buyers don’t know which of the range’s 17 figures they’re getting. Minifig fans have been known to buy them by the case in the hunt for particularly sought-after figures, helping turn the line into one of LEGO’s most successful products.

“We know that the LEGO minifigure has become almost as iconic as the classic 2x4 LEGO brick,” Michael McNally, the Brand Relations Director of LEGO Systems Inc, told Yahoo! Games, “as it’s the hero via whom every child -- from the youngest builder to the oldest collector -- can identify with and explore the LEGO worlds they create.”

You might think Mr. Gold’s popularity means your chances of getting your hands on one of these elusive golden collector’s items are slim, but you’d be wrong. They’re pretty much as good as anyone else’s. Plenty are out there: LEGO runs a website where fortunate finders of Mr. Gold can register their feat, and at the time of writing, only 409 of the 5,000 Gold minifigs have been found.

All the same, the decision hasn’t been popular with some LEGO devotees, who fear adult collectors will snap up all the Mr. Golds and shut out the toy’s younger fans.

“Why are LEGO doing this?” asks blog GimmeLego. “They must surely be aware that the chances of any of these figures ending up in the hands of children...are next to nil.”

“And I'm struggling to believe that the LEGO company actually set out with the intention of lining the pockets of eBay scalpers. Which does beg the question of exactly what they're trying to achieve by doing it just good, old-fashioned greed and a desire to milk the Collectible Minifigure cash-cow for all it’s worth?”

Maybe. But if you have the desire to milk the minifig cash-cow yourself, here’s a tip: Mr. Gold is the only figure in the range to have a top hat, and the figures are wrapped in flexible plastic bags. Get out there and feel your way to a fortune.

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