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Thursday, July 2, 2009

10th Anniversary LEGO Promotions
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Chrome Darth Vader
Thanks once again to LEGO, we can see Darth Vader - in chrome! These rare and uniqueminifigures were randomly inserted into all LEGO Star Wars 2009 boxes (including the battle packs) in accordance to the LEGO Star Wars' 10th anniversary. This type of promotion was also seen in 2007 with LEGO GOLD C-3POs. This promotion is limited though, as LEGO only produced 10,000 of these hard to find minifigures.
Go to LEGO's "hidden" promotion page created for people who have found a Chrome Darth Vader at: http://starwars.lego.com/en-US/10/default.aspx.


How To Get A Chrome Darth Vader
eBay & Bricklink
The simplest and most sure-fire way of getting a Chrome Darth Vader is to buy it from either eBay or Bricklink. Either way, it will cost you a fair amount of money getting a Chrome Darth Vader this way as many LEGO sellers are striving to make a handsome profit off of people who just can't wait or find it on their own.

Sweepstakes
Entering in online free giveaways and sweepstakes is not the most effective nor easiest option when trying to get a Chrome Darth Vader. However these sweepstakes/giveaways are mostly free, and if you win, the rewards are high. These sweepstakes/giveaways are hard to catch, as most are just meant to attract more readers and viewers and are only open for a very short time.
FBTB.net was offering a free Chrome Darth Vader, though the giveaway was only open from February 23, 2009 to February 28, 2009 - 5 short days.

Weighing Boxes
Weighing boxes is by far the most effective and sometimes the cheapest way of finding a Chrome Darth Vader. Since Chrome Darth Vaders were inserted in the 2009 battle packs, the weight difference is quite noticeable when you find the box with it inside. This method works outstandingly well, and is the way that one of our staff aquired two Chrome Darth Vaders from their local Toys R Us.

Conclusion
LEGO has done a great job in creating a large demand for their Chrome Darth Vader, but quite frankly I am disappointed in their lack of advertising and public notification. LEGO should have learned from two years ago from the Gold C-3POs that NOT telling your customers when you have a promotion is just plain stupid. Overall, it is possible to get a Chrome Darth Vader for free, or for almost no price, as there are quite a few viable methods to achieve just that. Getting a Chrome Darth Vader is not that hard and requires luck, but if you follow my suggestions above you should have one in no time.


Are Chrome Darth Vaders in Battle Packs?
The Real Story
According to LEGO and their representatives, it seems that Chrome Darth Vaders are in 2009 Battle Packs (Assassin Droids Battle Pack; Clone Walker Battle Pack). And some people, on FBTB and on other internet sites are reporting numbers of Chrome Darth Vaders being found in these very sets.

Testimonies by LEGO
A LEGO representative that I have contacted has told me that so far, Chrome Darth Vaders will be in 2009 LEGO Battle Packs and all of the January sets that were released.

Testimonies by Other People
A person has reportedly opened an Assassin Droids Battle Pack and found a Chrome Darth Vader - all while filming his amazing discovery (before he opened the box and after). X-Ray vision, who knows? You can find that video here or by clicking the image to the right.

Sets that May Contain a Chrome Darth Vader

7748 Corporate Alliance Tank Droid
7749 Echo Base (Premiers 6/09)

8014 Clone Walker Battle Pack
8015 Assassin Droids Battle Pack
8016 Hyena Droid Bomber
8017 Darth Vader's TIE Fighter
8018 Armored Assault Tank (AAT)
8019 Republic Attack Shuttle
8036 Separatists Shuttle
8037 Anakin's Y-Wing Starfighter
8038 The Battle of Endor
8039 Venator-class Republic Attack Cruiser


As you can see, the sets that Chrome Darth Vaders might be in are in all of the January 2009 & July 2009 sets released by LEGO, and do include the Battle Packs.


Statistics
Weight: 0.2 ounces (approximately 5.7 grams) with polyester bag.
Pieces: 7 (1 Head, 1 Helmet, 1 Torso, 1 Pair of Legs, 1 Cape, 1 Lightsaber Hilt, and 1 Translucent Lightsaber Blade).
Retail Value: Approximately $70 - $120
Odds: 1 to 300

So far, the Chrome Darth Vader version of Darth Vader is only slightly different from its other 2009 Darth Vader counterparts (excluding the chrome finish). The only noticeable differences are a shorter and thinner chin line detail, and added eyebrows. The lightsaber hilt that I received though seemed to be from a slightly different batch, and turned out a tad bit darker than the one from Darth Vader's Tie.



The Value of a Chrome Darth Vader
Monetary (On eBay & other sites)
The value of a Chrome Darth Vader is approximately $100 as seen on eBay and roughly $80 as seen on BrickLink. If you are looking to sell a Chrome Darth Vader, chances are that you will not make too much profit now, or in a few months because of the fact that the Chrome Darth Vaders are not worth as much to people as the Gold C-3PO was. The best option for resellers is to wait until next year when LEGO starts to release new sets, and when the demand for it increases.

Display (subjective)
I personally would view the Chrome Darth Vader as a real gem in anyone's LEGO Star Wars collection, both because of the monetary value and because of the display value. In many ways, the Chrome Darth Vader's display value exceeds all of its LEGO Darth Vader predecessors, because of its twist in color and appearance. Its shiny chrome finish is what makes it stand out, though many people do remark that the regular Chrome Darth Vader's torso decals are much more precise, a minor let down for collectors looking for a perfect centerpiece. Overall, a Chrome Darth Vader leading your LEGO 501st legion is what every LEGO Star Wars fan dreams of, and will brighten your collection even further.