Alright. So personal gripe of mine: I love the color orange and was elated when I learned that the '01 Kaukau was made in trans-orange for Pohatu. However, it is one of the more difficult non-misprint masks to track down and getting it under $40 is a steal. The clear variant suffers from this same issue, but worse. The cheapest US listing on Bricklink is currently $64. Granted, this is not an insurmountable challenge for adult collectors, but I wanted to ask you all, why is this?
So are either of the masks rare? Without conclusive data, it is impossible to tell if either were less common than any other mask in '01. It is possible that they are hot items for collectors due to their price, current rarity, and color. Because most of them would hypothetically reside in collections, it then follows that the available stock would be limited in the current day.
All of the non-blue Kaukau are usually among the higher-priced masks. The green and red look nice, but are a bit dimmer than these two masks. The Kaukau being transparent is already somewhat of a novelty, and the two misprints make it even more interesting. An article on Brickset theorizes that the orange mask is likely priced because of its striking color. This checks out to me. I have no idea why the “white” clear mask is so expensive though. Perhaps it is most vulnerable to wear. Perhaps the clear color is useful for mocs bc it doesn’t distort the face behind. Or perhaps it is the most-lost '01 kanohi because it is the hardest kanohi to see, thus relegating many of them to long-forgotten bins and boxes in attics and garages.
I’ll stop whining. All I’ll say is that if they ever invent time travel, you better believe I’m going back to 2001 to pick up these masks for their original retail price!