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Mini Busts

Darth Vader [Chrome] - Mini Busts

Name: Darth Vader [Chrome]
Type: Mini Busts
Number: Item No. 80137
Edition Size: 4000
Source: Expanded Universe (Gentle Giant Ltd. Concept)
Availability: October 2003
License: Gentle Giant Ltd.

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How do you make an awesome Mini Bust niche? Gentle Giant determined the best way to do this would be to dip 2003’s Darth Vader into a chrome lacquer and then add an aged final finish to it and save it as an exclusive. But it didn’t really go as planned. MBNA was given exclusive rights to this Mini Bust as an incentive for Star Wars fans all over the globe to open Star Wars MasterCard accounts under the MBNA name. Some existing card members were also offered the Mini Bust for 7500 Galactic Credits which were the rewards program under the card. However, while good intentions were in motion, the promotion was plagued by endless delays and most collectors found that the frustration to acquire this exclusive Mini Bust wasn’t worth the aggravation it was causing. Gentle Giant Ltd. ended up having to step in to remedy the situation and were able to get many of the units out to collectors via the Collectors’ Club.

Described as having a smoky-chrome finish, the Darth Vader [Chrome] Mini Bust isn’t anything special honestly. If you like oddly colored and interpretive versions of your favorite Star Wars characters, then we imagine you’ll find something to enjoy here, but between the poor performance it had with MBNA, it may go down as the most unsuccessful Gentle Giant Ltd. Mini Bust of all time. As a collectible, the piece is attractive, but there isn’t much to gaze at because of the solid color. In fact, our sample came right out of the box with a peeling defect. While the silver color underneath appears fine, the smoky-chrome layer is peeling and flaking off at an alarming rate. It may be worthwhile to strip this collectible down to its base finish of bright silver chrome instead. It just seemed as if this Mini Bust couldn’t escape any form of negativity whatsoever.

It’s sad when something intended to be a great bonus has turned out so badly. As a truly FREE gift, it’s never appropriate to look a gift horse in the mouth, but sadly the Darth Vader [Chrome] Mini Bust was an utter failure. It commanded almost immediately a hefty aftermarket price on eBay and in just a few months after its release became quite hard to find on auction sites. We believe that has more to do with the piece’s poor distribution than anything else. We’re personally irritated that we jumped through hoops to attain this piece only to have the outer finish fall apart on us. It’s very aggravating and because it’s impossible to find now, we doubt we’ll ever be able to replace it. Hopefully Gentle Giant Ltd. can get promotions like this more organized, or just stop doing them altogether because it’s never wise to tell a collector he can’t get something when he collects them all. Hopefully everyone has learned from this debacle.

Collector Notes

Darth Vader [Chrome]

Status: N/A

Exclusivity: MBNA Exclusive

Assembly: N/A

Date Stamp: 2003

UPC: 871810008346

Retail: $0.00 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Gentle Giant Ltd.
All Mini Busts

Added: July 2, 2013
Category: Mini Busts
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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