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North Central PA Goodwill strikes gold with rare LEGO mask donation

A close up of a gold LEGO Bionicle mask in a black box.
Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania
The Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania held an online auction for this rare gold LEGO Bionicle mask, which it received in a donation. It's going to the highest bidder for $18,101.

The Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania recently hit gold — LEGO gold, that is.

A small toy mask that was donated to Goodwill’s State College store turned out to be a rare 14 karat gold LEGO mask that ended up selling for more than $18,000 on Feb. 21.

Jessica Illuzzi, public relations and social media coordinator for Goodwill Industries of North Central Pennsylvania, said after the mask was donated, it was sent with a bunch of jewelry to the nonprofit's online auction, Shop Goodwill, to see if it was worth anything.

“Our manager of Shop Goodwill in DuBois, she actually was examining the item and she decided to list it for $14.95," Illuzzi said.

The mask — about an inch tall — is part of Bionicle, a popular line of LEGO action figures. But it turns out, it is not an everyday toy. It’s made of 14-karat gold, and it’s rare.

“The item itself is one of only 30 in in the entire country. Twenty-five of them were given to LEGO employees. And five of them were given out as part of a magazine contest that Lego did," Illuzzi said.

Goodwill put the mask up for sale online, but there was what was determined to be false bidding. So, after a little bit of research, Goodwill relisted it.

“We never imagined we would get anywhere near this amount," Illuzzi said. "We thought a little over $5,000, we would have been happy with. But this is now the largest amount that a LEGO piece has ever been sold for, as far as I know.”

The winning bid came in at $18,101.

Illuzzi said while the auction was online, the money raised supports local Goodwill programs.

Anne Danahy has been a reporter at WPSU since fall 2017. Before crossing over to radio, she was a reporter at the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pennsylvania, and she worked in communications at Penn State. She is married with cats.