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LEGO Star Wars new chrome C-3PO coming!

(Written by Richard from Denmark)

Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with LEGO minifigure designer Chris Bonven Johansen at LEGO WORLD 2012. I told him that I’m a collector of mainly LEGO Star Wars minifigures, which he has been designing for the past seven years.

Sorry, this is not my best picture, but it shows Chris signing the LEGO Star Wars minifigure posters we received. George – a good friend of mine – is on the left, and the kid with the twinkle in his eyes is his son, Kai. My son is standing with his back to the camera and I’m behind the camera. 🙂

It was actually quite a surprise to meet Chris. We signed up for a Build with a LEGO Star Wars Designer session, but did not know who we were going to meet. I only knew Chris by name and not by appearance, so when he introduced himself I was very pleased.

Chris has been working for LEGO for about 13 years, and been designing LEGO Star Wars minifigs for the past 7 years (5 years exclusively). He also did design-work in other themes like LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Indiana Jones. (I don’t know if there is some way of confirming all of this, in case my memory is off. I cannot find any bios on other than the LEGO Creator designers. It would be cool to have some kind of info on the guys and gals who design the stuff that we love so much.)

I obviously had a lot of questions for Chris, and I wish I would have been better prepared! I could have had more questions answered, but many of them popped into my head only after our 15-20 minutes meeting was over. That’s not a long time when you have so much to ask about! Hopefully Chris will be there next year, and I will be ready to ask him more. 😉

I did tell Chris that I liked the way printing on the LEGO Star Wars minifigures are becoming more and more detailed and asked him why don’t all minifigs have printed legs like the sandtroopers. He said they only add leg and arm-printing if it has a purpose – like showing the dirt on the sandtroopers’ pants – otherwise it has been decided between LEGO and Lucas Arts to save the cost and make room for more parts in the sets.

Chris also told me a bit about the new stormtrooper torso, which he made because he was tired of looking at the old, inaccurate design. 😮

Finally I asked him about the 2012 C-3PO with wires showing from the #9490 LEGO Star Wars Droid Escape set. He told me that this would be the C-3PO included in all future sets, although the torso-printing fits this particular scene of the Star Wars movie.

At the end of the conversation, he gave me a heads-up regarding a new chrome-gold C-3PO with the 2012 colorful wires print, it will become available sometime during the summer as a promotional giveaway. I thought it was great news, considering the old version being one of the most wanted minifigs for LEGO Star Wars collectors (going for over $200 on Bricklink and eBay).

(Below is an excellent photo of various C-3PO versions by Flickr member Morgan190. Left is the very rare and highly coveted chrome-gold C-3PO, the middle is a custom by Morgan himself, and on the right is the more common C-3PO available in several LEGO Star Wars sets.)

My boy got a #30053 LEGO Star Wars Republic Attack Cruiser Miniset, which Chris assisted in building. And we both got a signed 2012 minifig poster, to remember this memorable event.

It is not yet known if the new version of the chrome-gold C-3PO will be in random boxes like last time, or will it be available through other means. Nor is it known how rare it is going to be. But if you aren’t the lucky owner of the previous version of the chrome gold C-3PO, here comes your next chance, so keep your eyes open for updates! What do you think? Are you excited?  Let us know in the comment section below. 😀

You might also want to head over to the LEGO Star Wars section for more LEGO Star Wars news, or select from these highlighted posts:

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • ninja-of-earth April 1, 2012, 11:41 AM

    First comment! 🙂 Ummmm, admin, I think you mean C-3P0, not 3-CPO! LOL

    • admin April 1, 2012, 12:45 PM

      LOL, thanks for catching that! That’s what I get for writing too fast! 😀

  • Chris April 1, 2012, 12:39 PM

    Thanks for the heads up. I’d like to get one of these chrome mini-figs for my collection. I hope it’s in random packs or maybe a VIP exculsive and not some thing that’s only sold a convention.

    • admin April 1, 2012, 12:49 PM

      Chris, yeah, it is not clear how these minifigs will be distributed. Hopefully it will be available wider than the previous version. Maybe Richard will chime in if he knows more. 🙂

  • Brian April 1, 2012, 11:21 PM

    Please, DONT let the chrome C-3PO be a San Diego Comic Con exclusive!! Those things are a pure pain to try to obtain! It needs to be easily obtainable, especially due to this figures immense popularity! The best thing would be a Lego store & shop at home exclusive with minimum purchase. Many of us would spend more money at the official Lego stores if this were the case.

    • admin April 2, 2012, 10:41 AM

      Brian, hm… I hope that won’t be the case. I have read a post on Brickset by someone who also knew about the chrome C-3PO, and he said it will be the May 4th promotial item. So, if it will be a similar sale like in previous years, C-3PO should be available with any order placed online (probably above a certain $ amount). 😉

  • Brick Will April 2, 2012, 3:33 AM

    Hi I took the risk to mention this information, linking to your post and of course crediting your blog for this, hoping that it is not an April fool…. If not, that’s very good news hehe…

    • admin April 2, 2012, 10:54 AM

      Will, don’t worry, no risk there. It is a complete coincidence that this was posted around April’s Fools day. In fact I changed the date this morning to the 2nd to make sure nobody gets the idea that this is a joke. To make you feel better, a reader told me that someone else shared info about the chrome C-3PO coming on the Brickset forum some time back: https://forum.brickset.com/

  • Hyrum April 3, 2012, 12:15 AM

    I saw on the new lego store calendar that on may 4-5 the lego store will have a special tc-14 (so its not 3po just tc-14) chrome minifigure free, if you spend $75 of lego star wars toys!

    • Quad April 3, 2012, 11:54 AM

      That would be nice! 🙂

    • admin April 3, 2012, 12:30 PM

      Hm… that’s very interesting… thank’s for sharing that! I guess we just have to wait and see. 😉

    • admin April 3, 2012, 12:44 PM

      Hyrum, looks like you are right! Check this out!

      • Kurt January 9, 2014, 1:32 PM

        If Chris was honest…he told you who really designed the Stormtrooper and Sandtrooper torso. Bad bad Chris taking credit… 🙂

  • Tobymacboy April 21, 2012, 2:32 PM
    • admin April 21, 2012, 3:36 PM

      Nice find! Please note that it is not C-3PO but TC-14. In otherwords it is chrome-silver, not chrome-gold. TC-14 is going to be a freebie at LEGO’s 4th of May sale. 😉

  • Tobymacboy April 22, 2012, 1:54 PM

    Yeah I noticed that after i posted the comment. I want it very bad BUT I never buy SW sets of $75 unless its Christmas………..

  • Tobymacboy May 12, 2012, 8:24 PM
    • admin May 12, 2012, 8:50 PM

      Yeah, that one is a really special minifig anyone would be very lucky to own! 🙂

  • sam September 3, 2012, 4:38 PM

    i want it so bad i have all the 3 cops but that one

  • orangesquidge April 8, 2013, 9:53 AM

    Did this second chrome one ever materialise?

    I’ve heard nothing about it and it’s now 2013.

    • admin April 8, 2013, 10:16 AM

      No, although there is still hope that someday it will. Otherwise it would be strange for the designer not to be able to tell C-3PO from TC-14. 😀

      • orangesquidge April 8, 2013, 12:44 PM

        That’s true, but TC-14 did come around at that time.

        I hope it does too, because to be honest the design of TC-14 is far better than the C-3PO.
        Let’s just hope we get it in gold one day.

        • admin April 9, 2013, 9:11 AM

          Yes, TC-14 was released shortly after this article. From all indication it seems that the designer was working on the new design, and then LEGO decided to chrome TC-14 instead of C-3PO. 😉

          • orangesquidge April 10, 2013, 8:01 PM

            Sucks. I guess I’ll just have to fork out £300 one day when I’m a little wealthier.

  • Miro September 24, 2015, 8:58 AM

    I guess I’ll have to wait and hope that they will make a chrome gold C-3PO available for the masses in the future, perhaps for the 40th Star Wars Anniversary in 2017. (hint, hint)

    • admin September 24, 2015, 10:54 AM

      Yeah, that would be awesome! 😀

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