So… I’ve been away for awhile! Been pretty busy settling into my new home and as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been away from my Lego for a couple of months. But hey, I’m back with a vengeance.
Here’s what I’ve been obsessing about:
Yes, I’ve been on the hunt for the infamous Mr.Gold. For those of you that are unaware, to commemorate the 10th Edition of Lego’s Collectible Minifigures, Lego decided to go Willy Wonka and secretly place 5,000 Mr. Gold minifigures in boxes around the world, egging fans to go on a crazy hunt to find the elusive minifig. With only 5,000 of these shiny minifigs created, you can bet that demand would be off the charts for them, with Lego fans (mostly AFOLs) sent into a frenzy. For example, the very first one found in the Southern Hemisphere was in New Zealand sold on ebay for NZ $750. A quick search on ebay shows that Mr Golds are still selling for $700+ at least.
Crazy that they’re selling for so much. It’s still early though, as only 434 have been found in the world. With At least 4,000+ more out in the wild, I fully expect the price to drop. But geez, $700 for a minifigure is insane.
So here’s a short story of my hunt for Mr. Gold. When news broke of Series 10 boxes showing up in Australia, I admit that I was a little late to the party and didn’t go out hunting the moment I got word that boxes were on the shelf. I started my hunt on the 14th of May, hitting Pakenham, Berwick, Traralgon, Morwell and Moe. Absolutely zero luck. Since then, I’ve driven almost 1,000km across Eastern Victoria searching for Mr. Gold and I was out of luck. I’ve gone through at least 25 boxes of Series 10 minifigs, with about half of them unopened and unsearched. Most metro areas like Chadstone, Highpoint were ransacked to the point that many minifigure bags were crinkled pretty badly. The final straw was actually driving all the way to Sale last Friday, which is about 200km to the East of Melbourne to search their Target and Toyworld but alas, luck wasn’t on my side. Here’s a Google Maps screenshot showing all the places I’ve searched for Mr. Gold (also, a useful guide of where NOT to search if you’re looking for him)
Yup. My wife has remarked at how crazy I was to go to such lengths. The entire process was horrible, and I do not wish this on anyone. I’ll expand more about why I think that Lego messed up on this. Anyway, so on Wednesday, I had to go up to Melbourne for to run some errands and I thought, hey might as well give it another shot. After scouring the entire Gippsland region for Mr. Gold, I sorta gave up on him for a bit, but the gold lust reawoken in me and I decided to go look for him in the city as a one last hurrah, before I threw in the towel for good. I didn’t pay much attention to locations in the city because I sort of assumed that Lego fans in metro areas would’ve already gone there and ransacked everything, from my experience in malls like Chadstone, Highpoint and even Fountain Gate.
The first place I checked was David Jones, since it was the closest department store. Upon reaching the counter, my fears came alive when I discovered that they’ve been searched. Nevertheless, stubborn me insisted on searching them so I went through them in vain. A little while later, a very friendly saleslady by the name of Sara came up to me and I engaged her in conversation. Turns out she was a fan of Lego as well and she told me that Mr. Gold wasn’t in the bags there. She also told me that she was collecting minifigs since Series 1 and we just chatted for a bit on the rarity of Mr. Gold and I told her how hard I was looking for him. I then decided to try my luck and asked if there were any unopened boxes out in the back, since I knew that the stock only just started getting unpacked in DJ, and she said that yup, there was an unopened box. My heart jumped as she went to the storeroom to get me my box.
She helped me search and we were down to the very last column in the box when Sara said “dont think he’s in here” with a tiny hint of sympathy. Deep inside me I pretty much conceded that I wouldn’t find him, trusting my track record and previous experience, but a few bags in, I felt a long cylindrical piece that felt like Mr. Gold’s staff. My heart stopped for a bit as I maneuvered my fingers to frantically search for Mr Gold’s tophat and I swear, time stopped right there and then as I confirmed that it was him. A huge smirk on my face, I looked up triumphantly at Sara and slammed the pack on the counter, exclaiming “I found him! I’m buying this one!”. With a look of surprise on her face she asked me to feel the bag and I handed it over to her as she confirmed “yup, it’s Mr. Gold. You must be so happy now!”. And happy I was.
Excuse, the melodrama, have some pics of my unboxing of Mr. Gold!
The bag containing the
Golden Ticket Golden Minifigure!
So here’s what you get when you pop open your lucky pack of Series 10! Note that there’s an inner plastic bag containing Mr. Gold’s parts. The tile platform is separate from his other parts. It’s good to keep this in mind as you’re looking because you can slightly feel the inner bag.
Here’s your ‘golden ticket’ with your unique collector’s number and online code that you can enter into http://minifigures.lego.com to register your Mr. Gold and location he was found.
Here’s what Mr. Gold is made of. A shiny top hat, his headpiece with that smug little smile on him. I really like the monocle on him. His legs are plain gold and he has a suit design printed on his chest piece. His accessories include a long lightsabre hilt, a stick that’s meant to be his staff and a jewel piece because Mr. Gold is all about the bling. It’s interesting to note that Mr. Gold’s base is pearl gold, with chrome paint applied on it. The best example can be seen on the stick piece, which has a little bit of chrome peeking out at the top where the lightsabre hilt goes.
I really like that Lego did that instead of making it pure chrome so it wouldn’t scratch when you’re inserting the stick into the lightsabre. Oh, and for Lego fans afraid that the leg-piece were going to be similar to previous Collectible minifigures, you can set your fears aside as they bear the Lego logo inside them, which is a good sign that these weren’t made in China.
My leg piece feels a little loose when stuck into the torso, but other than that, no faults or scratches on my Mr. Gold.
When you enter your VIP code into http://minifigures.lego.com/, you’re greeted with a huge congratulations banner.
Here’s your congratulatory post! Woohoo. Note that you DON’T have to register your Mr. Gold if you don’t want to, as it’s quite cumbersome since you need a Lego ID. I’m pretty sure some collectors and kids won’t bother doing this, so I doubt we’ll see all 5,000 found on the world map.
In the VIP area, you get the option to print out this extremely cheesy certificate from Mr. Gold to hang up in your study next to your degree or wedding pictures. I guess kids would enjoy this as kids LOVE getting certificates.
When you’re logged in you also get to see where your Mr. Gold is in the grand scheme of things.
Okay, so how do you find him? Here’s a quick guide.
- Try searching in unopened boxes of Series 10 minifigs. Chances are most boxes on shelves will have already been searched at this point. Make it a point to ask store assistants if there are any boxes unopened in the backroom. I’ve managed to snag a few unopened boxes that way if the store assistant is friendly and helpful enough.
- You only need to look for a few defining parts when searching for Mr. Gold. His top hat is a dead giveaway. Being the only unique headgear that has a flat top. The top hat also has a wide brim that is fairly easy to feel out.
- Secondly, you can also look for his stick piece. Now, there are a couple of minifigs that have accessories that are long and sticky, but the main thing to notice is that Mr. Gold’s stick is plain. The Tomahawk Warrior’s weapon is by far the closest, but it has a little bit jutting out at one end. The Warrior Woman’s spear is long, so if it has a bendy spearhead, it’s not Mr. Gold. Motorcycle Mechanic has a wrench piece that does feel like a stick, but can be easily be identified by the wrench head.
- Lastly, don’t give up. There are less than 10% found in the world so far, and with absolutely zero news of Series 11 (some industry watchers are speculating that Series 10 is the last collectible minifigure series for a while), there will be more boxes out in the open. As of last weekend (18th May) there were no minifigs yet in Toys R Us, so if you’re in Australia, I’d look there if I were you. I spent more than a week searching for him and going through countless boxes till I found Mr Gold, so don’t give up. With patience, perseverance and determination and some luck, you will find your Mr. Gold 🙂
Here’s a cool .gif of Mr. Gold that I made, showing how shiny he is!
Final Thoughts: While I absolutely love that Lego did something special to commemorate Series 10, which is a HUGE milestone for the Collectible Minifigures series, I feel that they botched the execution hard. A Willy Wonka inspired ‘Golden Ticket’ hunt sounds great in theory but in practice, it kinda fails when you’re able to physically feel out the golden tickets. I’m pretty sure the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would deviated hugely from its original form if people were able to ‘feel’ out the golden tickets to Wonka’s factory. For one thing, you’d see adults instead of kids getting the once in a lifetime chance of visiting Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Which leads me to my point. A LOT of Mr. Golds are being snapped up by adult Lego collectors, who are aware of his rarity and financial value. Searching boxes and boxes of Series 10 minifigures in stores, while little Jimmy who comes in with his mum and is maybe allowed to buy one or two minifigs has close to a zero percent chance of being surprised by a Mr. Gold when he gets home and opens his minifig bags.
Personally, I feel that Lego should’ve made getting Mr. Gold completely random. They managed to insert in unique codes on the character sheets. Why couldn’t Lego have printed special codes on the sheets, which would eliminate the option of people feeling for them. You get the code, yell for joy at how lucky you are, go to the website and Mr. Gold would be shipped to you anywhere in the world. I’m pretty that postage for 5,000 minifigs would be a drop in a bucket for their finances. That would’ve probably ensured that AFOLs, scalpers and Little Jimmies all have an equal chance of finding Mr. Gold. I admit that by doing that, it sort of eliminates the “hunt factor” and instant gratification of finding out you’ve gotten a golden minifigure, but at the end of the day, kids are losing out when people like me are going across the state checking Targets, Kmarts, Big Ws and every other store that sells Lego for Mr. Gold. I also would’ve been at peace knowing finding Mr. Gold was completely out my control, and no effort on my part would bring me any closer to him.
Well, hope you enjoyed my extensive writeup on Mr. Gold! I also acquired the entire lineup from Series 10, and hope to have a review up in the next couple of days.
Thanks for reading and I wish you luck if you’re looking for Mr. Gold yourself!