LEGO Black Falcon Rare Misprints - The Rare Minifigures that Classic Castle Fans Could Own
28th December 2022
The Black Falcons are one of the most popular factions from LEGO's Castle theme, who first appeared in sets in 1984. As well as being one of the earliest factions, the Black Falcons were also the most long-lived, as they kept featuring in sets up to 1994. After many years spent consigned to LEGO's back catalogue, they have recently enjoyed a rebirth, having been included in the Medieval Blacksmith (21325), Lion Knights' Castle (10305), and Bricklink's Castle in the Forest (910001) set.
The Black Falcons are distinguished by their black and blue colour scheme and the falcon crest that appears on the front of every knight's torso. Towards the end of their first 10-year lifespan, some misprinted crests started escaping the LEGO factory. If you are not aware of the misprints, these can easily go unnoticed, but it's worth knowing what to look out for, as these variants are rare and more valuable than the regular Black Falcons.
To further add to the confusion, LEGO also changed the crest design for a re-released version of the Black Falcon's Fortress (10039) in 2002.
In this article we run through each Black Falcon variant and explore how much each of them is worth.
Normal Black Falcon (1984 - 1994)
We'll start with the standard Black Falcon, which features alternating black and silver colours on the crest with a right facing falcon. This is by far the most common variant and makes up the vast majority of Black Falcon minifigures. Between 1987 and 1994, all Black Falcon minifigures produced would have been the normal variant.
Left-Facing Falcon (1984 & 1986)
One of the rare variants is a Black Falcon with the same pattern of alternating black and silver colours, but with the falcon on the crest facing left instead of right. Information on these misprints is hard to come by, but it is reported that they only appeared in the 6030 Catapult set from 1984 and the 6074 Black Falcon's Fortress from 1986. It does seem strange that LEGO made the same mistake twice, two years apart though.
If you remember having either of these sets growing up, it's worth rooting around your old minifigures to see if you have any. However, not every copy of these sets had the misprint, as LEGO realised their mistake and replaced them with the normal right-facing version. It's likely that the correction was made after one or two production runs.
It's very difficult to put an estimate on how many of these minifigures were distributed, but the number around nowadays is going to be significantly less, given the age of the minifigures. At the time of writing, they can still be fairly easily found on eBay and Bricklink and the asking prices vary dramatically, which probably reflects the challenge of assigning a precise rarity to these minifigures.
Reverse Crest Printing
The rarest variant is a Black Falcon with the black and silver colours of the crest reversed. There is very little information on what set this misprint might have appeared in, so it isn't possible to put an estimate on how many were distributed. However, an indication of their rarity is that they hardly ever come up for sale, and when they do, expect to pay several hundred dollars or pounds to get one.
As well as being extremely rare, the misprints have a functional quality, as they can be used to distinguish high-ranking knights and leaders on the battlefield, which further adds to their appeal for Castle fans and army builders.
Re-Released Black Falcon (2002 - 2003)
Much to the delight of Castle fans, LEGO re-released the iconic Black Falcon's Fortress in October 2002. This re-release stayed on shelves until December 2003 and featured Black Falcons with slightly altered torso printing. The difference is not obvious, but if you look closed you can see that the crest's shield is more pointed at the bottom. The exact reason for this change is unknown, but it's expected that LEGO thought this gave a sharper more modern look to the minifigures.
An easier way to tell if you have a 2002 Black Falcon is by checking the internal structure of the torso piece, as around the mid to late 1990s, torsos began to feature more prominent prongs to improve their connecting strength.
The value of the re-released Black Falcon is less than the original version.
Armed with this knowledge, it's worth checking your Black Falcons if you have any of the classic LEGO Castle sets in which they featured. You never know, you could be sitting on a gold mine.
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