There’s a mention on Wikipedia that Nintendo of America kept selling Platinum GCCs on their online website up until 2012. Only one out of the five standard US colors, weird. Luckily, there’s a source that links directly to the Nintendo Online Store’s listing that is surprisingly still up on the Wayback Machine – see it here.
However, as you’ve seen from the cover picture, it does get weirder.
It is interesting to note that the Platinum GameCube was by far the preferred color for the GameCube for the US market – the silver color was first teased at Space World 2000 and IGN polled that it was the favorite by a whooping 42% (Source). Nintendo even threw a huge party at the Hollywood and Highland gala with celebrities to promote the launch of the Platinum GameCube on October 24 2002 (Source). With that in mind, it’s easy to understand why they would decide to sell only Platinum GameCube controllers.
The next part will be speculation.
Nintendo of America probably ended up with a lot of stock they couldn’t sell from the GameCube days, or some returns from customers, some old controllers in the boring base colors like Indigo and Jet Black. Another interesting thing about the platinum controller is that the shell has a layer of silver paint. A perfect plan – recall all the old stock and convert it to the more desirable platinum color to sell on their website. A layer of paint on the shells, mismatched the parts and thrown for sale on their Online Store at a standard price, which stood for a few years. (This might be a reason why we never got the JP White offered outside of Japan?) As far as I know, this was only an offer for the US market, and I’ve not heard of or seen those hybrid variants of the Platinum in any other region.
I currently have an Indigo front shell and a Jet Black back shell that is left from my collection, but I’ve also seen a clear back. Only a Spice Orange is eluding me. The new paint job comes with the standard “Nintendo GameCube” logo, and it seems a bit tacky as there are some bulges in the creases, notably on the stamped writing on the back. And it seems to be painted over some old scratches. But it is definitely OEM, painted from the original factory itself.
This also leads to some interesting things you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise from a standard Platinum, like T1 internals or a “Blank” stamp on the back shell. Another interesting thing is that the shells are not matched, so you often end up with a full Platinum half and another painted over half. I have not seen a painted over plug end yet.
Here’s a slideshow with a bunch of examples:
Huge thanks to Goomy and Sage for the Indigo and Jet Black shells, and rabit! for the clear shell pictures!