Rare Lego pieces

From limited edition minifigs, to solid gold bricks, to Lego on the surface of Mars, these are the rarest Lego pieces that money can(‘t) buy.

Rare lego pieces - photo montage including Mr Gold Lego minifigure, a solid gold Lego brick, a chrome gold Lego C3PO minifig, and a Lego minifig of Juno, wife of Jupiter

Over the decades, the Lego company has produced many unusual and rare Lego pieces, bricks, and minifigures. Some are limited-run collectibles, desired by collectors the world over. Others are competition prizes, or rewards for long service with the company, made from previous metals. Some of them are out of this world – and we mean that literally, because they’re currently not on planet earth.

You’ll find a few items from this list on our guide to the rarest Lego minifigures and rare Star Wars Lego minifigures. But for the most part, you won’t find any of these bricks and pieces in our guides to the best Lego sets or the best Lego sets for adults: these are truly limited items.

These are the ultimate rare Lego pieces:

Rare :Lgo pieces - three lego minifigures attached to a space exploration vessel

Juno mission minifigures

NASA’s Juno probe mission to Jupiter was accompanied by three unique Lego minifigures, space-ready aluminum minifigs of the Greek god Jupiter, his wife Juno, and Gallileo Gallilei, the scientist at the root of modern astronomy. The figures were launched as part of Lego and NASA’s long standing partnership to engage young people in space exploration.

These figures will never return to earth, and there’s no chance of them being recovered. NASA intends to crash Juno into the Jupiter’s atmosphere in 2025, to reduce the risk of space debris contaminating the planet’s orbit.

Rare lego pieces - a "Red rover Goes to Mars" DVD held in place on a Mars explorer lander with three solid metal Lego bricks

Mars explorer Lego bricks

The Planetary Society, a charity that aims to interest and educate the public about space exploration, teamed up with Lego and NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover project in the early 2000s. DVDs containing the names of 4 million people, were attached by solid metal Lego bricks to the lander capsules that delivered a pair of rovers to the surface of Mars.

Photographs of the DVDs and bricks returned to earth in January 2004, but the bricks themselves are still out there, waiting for the first humans to walk on Mars!

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14k gold Bionicle masks

In March 2015, Lego launched the “Lego Bionicle mask hunt” promotion. Fans were tasked with photographing real world objects that corresponded to Bionicle’s six elements of power: fire, ice, jungle, water, earth, and stone, and uploading them to social media with the hashtag #BionicleMaskHunt. Six winners were chosen over six weeks, each receiving a unique, 14k gold Bionicle mask.

Rare lego pieces - a solid gold lego brick in a presentation case

Solid gold Lego brick

In the 70s and 80s, Lego rewarded employees for outstanding service with special 2×4 presentation bricks cast from 14K gold. We don’t know exactly how many of these solid gold Lego bricks were actually made; online auction house Catawiki states “less than 10 of these bricks are known to exist” in a sales listing from 2020.

Catawiki further states that rewards bricks were “bespoke items” made by “contracted jewelers”, and outstanding service might include things like “opening a new market for Lego in Italy or setting up a distribution network in Germany”.

The presentation brick that sold in 2020 was awarded in 1987 to a “German Lego machinist” who could “fix every brick molding machine in the company” for “25 years of loyal service”. The brick itself sold for around $17,000 (€15,183).

Star Wars 30th anniversary minifigures

Star Wars mania and the Lego Star Wars partnership in the early 2000s’ were huge for the Lego company, and saw a spate of different promotions involving limited edition Lego Star Wars minifigures.

Rare Lego pieces - gold chrome plated C3PO minifigure

Gold Chrome C3PO minifigure

10,000 C3PO minifigures with gold chrome finish were randomly inserted into new Lego Star Wars sets from Summer 2007. Lego tends not to use gold chrome finish as it is prone to flaking, but the shiny C3POs were a massive hit. Price website Brickeconomy estimates a sealed chrome C3PO to be worth around $3,000, based on past sales.

Rare Lego pieces - Solid gold C3PO minifigure with certificate of authenticity

Solid gold C3PO minifigure

Around the same time, five solid gold C3POs were offered as prizes for a contest hosted on Lego.com. It’s now very difficult to find evidence of this promotion online, so it’s not clear what fans had to do to be in with a chance of winning this figure. We’ve also found accounts of a silver C3PO, but no photos.

Gold and silver Boba Fett minifigures

C3PO wasn’t the only Star Wars character to get precious metal editions that year. Two sterling silver and 14k gold Boba Fett minifigures were given away that year, one at San Diego Comic Con, the other at Star Wars Celebration V.

Rare Lego pieces - Mr Gold minifigure, a chrome gold lego minifigure in a tuxedo and tophat

Mr Gold minifigure

The Mr Gold minifigure was produced as part of LEGO Minifigures Series 10 in 2013. As well as the 16 main figures in the line, 5,000 copies of Mr Gold were randomly inserted into the blind-purchase bags to celebrate the range reaching its 10th birthday. Each Mr Gold was numbered, and as they were found fans registered their copy online on a promotional website, populating a world map.

Unlike other ‘golden tickets’ – like the recent One Ring from Magic the Gathering’s Lord of the Rings set – it was possible to ‘feel out’ the presence of Mr Gold in polybags, prompting a spree of adult collectors fondling packs in shops around the globe. While articles from the time were amazed that Mr Gold was selling for around $800, BrickEconomy now estimates his value in the region of $9,500 (£7600).

If you fancy some much more accessible Lego sets, why not check out our guide to the best new Lego sets from the year?