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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,939
    I do think that we as AFOLs are in the minority of TLGs customers in caring strongly about box condition. and that is due to immediate or future resale prospects, most kids don't think about that when they tear open the box to get at their toy. No one giving Lego as a gift wants to see a tattered box, but the odd scuff or dent won't put off most consumers.

    Speaking of cpoyright, i'm surprised TLG aren't all over these ebayers who sell instructions on CD - I presume they've just ripped the PDF from the Lego website and burned it to a CD, generally charging about £3 is the norm for something most poeple could find for themselves.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,727
    ^ It is probably not worth their time. If people cannot find free stuff on the lego homepage, why should lego pay for someone to find the auctions, report them and have them removed just to protect people that cannot find them from buying them from people charging for them on a CD plus postage?

    For some people, it is probably worth their time not to have to search and download them. £3 for a CD is not too bad, considering how much time they would have taken to download.
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    Any insights on when the first wave of LOTR sets will be EOLed? Is it too early?
  • SiESiE Member Posts: 238
    I would have thought the LOTR and Hobbit sets will follow a similar pattern to the harry potter sets. The films are out in fairly quick succession so surely they will cash in on lots of sets.

    Has anyone had any experience in selling large job lots of sealed sets? I only ask as I am thinking of shifting a large amount of sets due to moving. In the past I have only sold smallish numbers on ebay.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,371
    ^^Weathertop seems to be sold out on [email protected] US and moved on to 3rd party at amazon. I would guess most if not all will start disappearing once wave 2 hits this summer (May?). Perhaps a few sets will linger to fill price gaps or because they are strong sellers but I imagine Moria will go soon and Probably Helms Deep since the new Pirate Ship is about the same price.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Since there's not a China thread (yet): I received a thorough response from TLG. If anyone is interested PM me and I'll forward it to you.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,711
    Surprised that weathertop is listed as 'sold out' and not the orc forge going before then, but I guess people want ring wraiths more :-)
    The question is, is this another LEGO mess up with the sold out moniker and more are coming, or are these going EOL for good? Im guessing these are not done yet.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited March 2013
    US Lego stores are no longer being shipped Lotr sets nor are they on the latest shelf schematics

    Doesn't necessarily mean anything but given all known information I would suspect manufacturing is done and what is left in the various supply chains is probably about it

    Another possibility is that they will reset them on the shelves again alongside wave 2 this summer for one last sales push
  • BumblepantsBumblepants DFWMember Posts: 6,371
    It will probably circle the drain with 'Call to check for availability' a few times. I bet they will just let each set run out without doing a clearance on them. They haven't yet declared the 'retiring soon' badge will be affixed to everything have they?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405

    I do think that we as AFOLs are in the minority of TLGs customers in caring strongly about box condition. and that is due to immediate or future resale prospects, most kids don't think about that when they tear open the box to get at their toy. No one giving Lego as a gift wants to see a tattered box, but the odd scuff or dent won't put off most consumers.

    Speaking of cpoyright, i'm surprised TLG aren't all over these ebayers who sell instructions on CD - I presume they've just ripped the PDF from the Lego website and burned it to a CD, generally charging about £3 is the norm for something most poeple could find for themselves.

    I have wondering about this as well. Maybe Lego has bigger fish to fry.

    As far as the boxes, I think you are missing the point of the boxes. The boxes are advertisement for the Lego set. The glossy boxes, the colors, the images are music to a child's eyes. Yes, they don't care about the box when they get home with the set, but it is the box that sells the set.

  • iluvmyelementiluvmyelement Member Posts: 52
    edited March 2013
    I called Lego and they said they (Weathertop) are end of life. They may get a few returns but there are no more scheduled to be made. (They said they have a screen that shows backorder date if they are still in production and there is no date so it appears they are EOL)
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Now you see it. Now you don't!
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    If that's true then the retiring soon label on the Lego site isn't really that useful.
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,657
    For anyone in the US, Weathertop is currently 5% off at target.com...
  • jcb193jcb193 Member Posts: 148
    SiE said:

    I would have thought the LOTR and Hobbit sets will follow a similar pattern to the harry potter sets. The films are out in fairly quick succession so surely they will cash in on lots of sets.

    Has anyone had any experience in selling large job lots of sealed sets? I only ask as I am thinking of shifting a large amount of sets due to moving. In the past I have only sold smallish numbers on ebay.

    I've sold "lots" of the same item on ebay before (Sealed Slave 1) and offered local pickup only. You can also try craigslist with moderate success. Selling lots seems to work better on items that are about to be EOL or recently EOL, as you might be able to attract an investor that can afford to buy multiples.
    SiE
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    I just spoke to a LEGO Advisor and she too confirmed that #9472 has been discontinued with no remaining stock. I asked her to check on the future availability of #9474 Helm's Deep and she said it would be available for the remainder of 2013.

    As @Renny points out, the "Retiring Soon" label is not particularly useful. The LEGO Advisor did not have an answer as to why the lable was not used in this case.
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    In that case, the current 50% off deal in the UK looks marvellous to those within striking distance of a participating Tesco store.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I think Weathertop is a bit underrated. I'm not sure how well it will do in the aftermarket though. It does have a nice variety of minifigs and I'm a fan of the structure itself. It's not too big or too small and fits nicely on a shelf which I believe adds to its collectability.
    thornieBumblepants
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited March 2013
    ^ I agree @mathew I only bought one Weathertop for myself.

    The Urak-Hai set is the only LOTR set I felt confident enough about to buy several copies of. I see it as a LOTR Battle Pack. :-)
  • leego76leego76 Chandlers FordMember Posts: 360
    Think this will start a run of panic buying now? If you can get good discounts (30-40%+) then lotr will be a solid return, otherwise I don't see these sets rocketing from the off. A lot will depend on the figs being repeated in the subsequent waves though
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^Agreed. Even knowing they are in transition to EOL, the time length to healthy return % is too long to make it attractive to pickup any in bulk at RRP
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    So, what is a good return on investment then?

    Let's take Weathertop, and say you bought it for $45 and sell it for $75 (a low after-EOL price I feel, but let's use it anyway). Let's also say there's 15% fees and another 10% for storage & packing, so selling for $75 nets you $56.25, which is $11.25 profit, which is a 25% return.

    Granted it's not quite that simple, because there are other things to worry about like insurance, buyer fraud, etc., but really, where else can you get 25% return on your money with very little risk of the principal (i.e. the set you physically hold) being lost?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    mathew said:

    I think Weathertop is a bit underrated. I'm not sure how well it will do in the aftermarket though. It does have a nice variety of minifigs and I'm a fan of the structure itself. It's not too big or too small and fits nicely on a shelf which I believe adds to its collectability.

    As much as I dislike the actual set, I think Weathertop will do fairly well, especially with no Nazgûl in any of the upcoming sets. Though I suppose that will depend heavily on how much the figures themselves end up commanding.
  • leego76leego76 Chandlers FordMember Posts: 360
    25% is definitely a good return but to make some serious money you'd have to sell a lot, I think the general feeling is that the bigger sets offer better 'value' assuming you can achieve the same percentage return as they're less effort.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^Exactly, the low total net return is also a big driver for this one. You really need a bulk purchase of say 20+ to make the buy-store-ship process worth it as a whole. Even then we're talking about $220 net after moving 20 of these puppies. 20xRRP is $1,300 total after taxes pent up until at least Christmas. This is before accounting for shipping boxes and materials, so you'll be in the sub-$200 region for lots of work.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Absolutely, there is volume to consider, and that all depends on how much you expect to make, which definitely makes the bigger sets more appealing because it's much easier to sell one DS or IS than it is to sell 10 Weathertops.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    I don't know why everyone is so down on this set? How many Ringwraiths are there in the move? Don't you need several of these sets to build your "army" of Rinfwraiths?

    By the way, Bricket already shows this set is at its end as well in the US
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    edited March 2013
    ^im counting on TLG to heed our call on a Ring Wraith-heavy set or battle pack in LotR Wave 3.
  • iluvmyelementiluvmyelement Member Posts: 52
    I think this sold out sooner than most expected (sort of like the zombie set) so it might go up more than expected.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    As far as return percentages I generally don't sell a set until I can sell it for 2X to 3X retail. Even at 2X the return isn't what you think after fees and other costs. Also, I have some sets that are losers which return nothing or I lose a bit on, so I expect a good return on the winners to help offset my losers.

    Buying a stock and then only having to own it for x period of time to get a return of x% is one thing. Buying LEGOS, then storing, listing, selling, shipping them takes a lot more of my time and a good amount of effort. So, I expect to make a much higher % return on my LEGOS than stocks, precious metals, stamps, whatever.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    Making $11 is kind of a joke. You're not even figuring in gas and time.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098

    We are certainly at the end of the golden age.

    I sadly agree with this. Lego released a lot of amazing sets between 2008 and 2012. 2013 is looking like a disappointment. Too much emphasis on licensed sets and minifigs and not on building. The Chima and TMNT sets are prime examples. This is kind of good for me as I won't be spending nearly as much as I did last year.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    mathew said:

    We are certainly at the end of the golden age.

    I think we will have to see what the second half of the year brings, all though it is licensed the Tower of Orthanc sounds as though it could be a nice set (this is from someone who does not have any of the LOTR sets). Also if the early reports of the new Sydney Opera House are true it sounds like an epic set.
    On top of that we have the new Creator Family House #31012 which I actually like.

    It's all so good for me that TLG does not release too many awesome sets as it is hard to keep up :)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited March 2013
    ^ and ^^

    I think this is all highly subjective and depends greatly on individual perdpectives

    The excerpt you both quoted was used in the context of a Chinese LEGO factory and concerns about worker treatment. You both are talking about set design quality however

    I think anyone would be hard pressed to argue minifigures (licensed and not) aren't getting more varied, colorful, interesting and exciting each year. Indeed for minifigure enthusuasts (of which i am decidedly NOT one) we are just entereing a "golden age"

    For those who appreciate large, highly detailed, realistic models with advanced building techniques, the Golden age really kicked off around 2006/2007 and shiws no sign at all of beginning to decline

    The best argument for the end of any "golden age" would be for those who favor sets with more generic and highly reusable parts. I would submit that this ship sailed a decade ago and we have been in a slow and steady decline in this department ever since

    Another argument could be made that the increased emphasis on licensed themes at the expense of classic ones is another end if a golden age. This argument is certainly credible but has a pretty credible counter-argument as well, as there is a diverse selection of non licensed sets that certainly are greatly appealing to the target audience (ninjago, chima, friends, city as well as recent one wave offerings like MF and others)
    y2josh
  • thorniethornie Member Posts: 245
    mathew said:

    I think Weathertop is a bit underrated. I'm not sure how well it will do in the aftermarket though. It does have a nice variety of minifigs and I'm a fan of the structure itself. It's not too big or too small and fits nicely on a shelf which I believe adds to its collectability.

    I love Weathertop. I have it displayed on my shelf with every other LoTR set and Hobbit set, and it's easily the best one. I love how it's designed, and the build was a lot of fun.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,405
    edited March 2013
    It sounds like people are WANTING Lego to put out undesirable sets, so they can save a little money??? That is insane.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,939
    I have found that LOTR minifigs are very hard to shift for worthwhile money in the UK, even when the new sets were hard to find - admittedly before the Hobbit film came out to renew some interest in the franchise (but not that much). I had the opportunity to buy 6 x weathertop at £25 each but passed - There's about £35-40 worth of minifig sales at realistic levels in there on each set for what is a lot of work. I was surprised at seeing ebayers struggling to shift Aragorn for £8 and ringwraith with horse for £10-12 going slowly. Could be worth it if what you really want is the bricks. Does weathertop feature in the Hobbit as a location at all?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    It makes a cameo of sorts in the film, but it's not in the book.
  • jockosjunglejockosjungle Member Posts: 701
    I thought there'd be some demand for people wanting to create their own fellowship set of minifigures, think you need Weathertop for a Merry figure
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    I don't think weathertop has sold well at all in the uk, but that's just my anecdotal view based on the heavy discounting. I have some doubts about this as an aftermarket set, but will be interesting to see.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,727
    dougts said:


    The best argument for the end of any "golden age" would be for those who favor sets with more generic and highly reusable parts. I would submit that this ship sailed a decade ago and we have been in a slow and steady decline in this department ever since

    Take a set like Helm's Deep or Weathertop or even Mines of Moria, a set which most people seem to hate. How many of those parts are not generic enough to be used in a MOC? There is more to life than 2x4 and 2x2 bricks, the true generic building blocks. Standard 1xX bricks, 1x arches, slopes, plates, hinges, etc. They all find a use in other situations for castle builders. A golden age can also be defined in the variety of parts, in a variety of colours. The exact opposite of the golden age of generic pieces.

    I probably wouldn't be into lego now if it was just 2x4 and 2x2 bricks. It is the detail that comes from the parts available now that keeps me interested in building with lego.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,727

    I have found that LOTR minifigs are very hard to shift for worthwhile money in the UK, even when the new sets were hard to find - ....... I was surprised at seeing ebayers struggling to shift Aragorn for £8 and ringwraith with horse for £10-12 going slowly.

    I'm not at all surprised. Why would Aragorn sell for £8? He is common enough not to sell at £4 on BL. It doesn't help him coming in two sets, which immediately means collectors will have one too many if they buy all the sets. Even worse, if collectors go for 8x ringwraiths, then that is another three too many they have to dispose of, bringing the price down.

    y2josh
  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    I'm hoping for a brick-built Nazgul, the flying dragon-like creature, with Witchking figure (and Eowyn?). I think that the LOTR set should have good aftermarket value. The LOTR fan-base is perpetual and here to stay. There will be many LOTR-fan who will re-discover lego later down the path.
  • luckyrussluckyruss UKMember Posts: 872
    edited March 2013
    ^^ That's where I am! Anyone want to buy a couple of Aragorns!??

    I've found the Weathertop to be a really nice set, and my spares are good for bley parts for rockscapes etc as well as the extra ringwraiths.

    For resale, it feels like one that will be a slower burn on the aftermarket, again where it's critical to pick it up at the right price (eg 50% off where it has been recently). Once it's EOL though, if they don't bring out further ringwraiths in another wave of sets, this might give it some value for those who find LOTR or Lego in the future and want to get hold of multiple dark horses.
    y2josh
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited March 2013
    Basta said:

    mathew said:


    On top of that we have the new Creator Family House #31012 which I actually like.

    #31012 Yup, great looking set. I think it will do very well. Anyone know what the RRP will be?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    As far as aftermarket goes LOTR is no HP, IMHO. HP sets have done extremely well overall.

    I think comparisons are fair - book-to-movie franchise, fantasy characters, yada 3x. There a 1 or 2 sets that will do great, many that are a slow climb to profit.

    If...Lego had committed to this franchise when Fellowship came out with a video game and the all the rest, I think it would be a story.

  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    Well, Lego did release a Lord of the Rings video game based on the original trilogy and in my opinion has been the best Lego game made to date. Playing that game definitely got me even more interested in the Lego products and I think that it will help fuel more interest in this theme with kids.

    I personally think they will do rather well in the aftermarket. The books have been around for a very long time, the movies (imo) are excellent and there are always waves of new Lego fans arriving late to the party so to speak. I wish I was a Lego fan when the Indiana Jones theme came out but now look at some of those set prices. I told myself I wasn't going to make the same mistake with lotr.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    ^im counting on TLG to heed our call on a Ring Wraith-heavy set or battle pack in LotR Wave 3.

    I wouldn't count on a third wave of LoTR. But now that the third Hobbit movie has been moved back, it's possible.
    prevere said:

    I think comparisons are fair - book-to-movie franchise, fantasy characters, yada 3x. There a 1 or 2 sets that will do great, many that are a slow climb to profit.

    I think Harry Potter has more mass appeal, though, being "low" fantasy. Also, it's aimed more toward kids than LoTR.

  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,898
    I miss Indiana Jones. Never quite understood why they cut off production after 2008-2009. I here a LOT of kids asking about it still.

    Classic example of a great licensed line that could easily continue without the need to tie into a movie.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    I like the Indy sets. Pretty weal on aftermarket too, so easy to pick up.
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