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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    But for the fact that they insist on making all these models white. I realize that even the lightest grey pieces are too dark... but man... the white drives me nuts.
    Okay...now it bothers me too! Thanks guys... :-)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    You know, I think the X-Wings were supposed to be white as well, but the studio shooting model is discolored and gray because it was used for the movies, and thus was "damaged" for the rebels...

    Then again, the TIE Fighters actually have a LOT of white on them, but don't tell Lego that, they are ugly like this!!!

    The attached picture is one of the studio shooting models for the TIE Fighter for the movies
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited February 2012
    Now is not the time to sell Lego anyway, Christmas is the time to sell Lego, ....
    Exactly... I would take it one step further and say it's the time to sell AND buy Legos. It's a great time to sell last years EOL'd sets and a great time to purchase the next round of EOL'd sets. Amazon has great sales as does TLG. Even WM, TRU, and B&N jump into the game and have great sales (hence, half of the threads on this website that time of year).

    Trying to compare prices of EOL'd sets based on a post-Christmas snapshot when everyone is still trying to pay off their credit cards does not make sense at all. I will guarantee that the Winter Toy Shops will be sky-high everywhere by November of this year. I mean who cares about Toy Shops in February?
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 519
    ^ I do. I would like to buy a Toy Shop right now but @LegoFanTexas said he didn't have any. The NERVE of the man.

  • zipxanzipxan Member Posts: 10
    There are plenty of older sets that appear to have been hoarded, most of the Star Wars sets among them, which makes sense as plenty of people bought sets to keep since they knew the value would go up, just like the Star Wars action figures did.
    I'm brand new to the lego game since my kids got into it, but I've been collecting action figures for a couple decades now and write guidebooks on them, so I know that market pretty well.

    Star Wars action figures from the 90's did not go up in value, they went way down. Even vintage figures have dropped considerably in the past decade. Vastly over-speculated and inferior product compared to re-releases in the present make the majority of all 90's Star Wars figures worth half of their original retail value at best. It's hilarious to watch people on ebay try to pass off their collection for double or triple value on ebay and they don't even get so much as a watcher, because they assumed their investment would pay off and didn't even bother to follow the market trend.

    In the present day collecting market, most star wars figures are still not worth much over retail because Hasbro reuses molds constantly and follows the aftermarket to see which figures need a straight re-release if demand on the aftermarket is high enough to warrant it. Hoarders don't even really bother with the line anymore for an investment. I'm don't know nearly enough about Lego to draw any corollary's, but just thought I'd put that in there for anyone who thinks any Star Wars action figures who were put out at the same time as Star Wars legos have any investment value whatsoever.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    most star wars figures are still not worth much over retail because Hasbro reuses molds constantly
    Case in point: the CMFs are being re-released all over the place - s1 skater and cheerleader in the calendar, loads in the monsters theme, etc. People who thought the CMFs are a long term investment might find they're not due to these re-releases.

  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    edited February 2012
    There is a huge difference in collectable baseball cards and sketch cards compared to Lego. For one, providing you actually also love the product, if the worst comes to the worst, any sets you might have wanted to one day trade or sell, you can break up and use to build/MOC or give to your children etc. Essentially you still have a great generic product.
    The Star Wars figure market I know a little about, as I used to love the original Kenner/Palitoy figures as a kid, but I do think it is very difficult to catch magic in a bottle twice, and the difficulty or lack of any really big collectable market in second waves of figures in the 90's doesn't really surprise me, as by definition, the market would be more geared towards the collector, which I think is a sure fire way to know things are heading for the rocks.
    As I said earlier though, nothing stays the same forever, and I think there are a couple of warning signs about now, but perhaps nothing to signal any great worry yet. One of the inevitable things about over speculation though, is that it is always the latest people to the game who get burnt...
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Thanks for the perspective @zipxan. Your's is as good as most anyone's, because I think all of us speculate.

    As a few have mentioned, the major factor is LEGO and one big factor being how long they make a set. Take the Green Grocer (GG) type sets. Yes, they can have 5, 10, 15 (if they ever have 15 different sets) active at the same time. And, never EOL any of them. But, that hasn't been their marketing plan in the past and I don't see that changing too much. And, yes, they could delay retiring the FB and have it current with the outcoming TH, but I doubt they will have many such sets current at once. Why not? If LEGO is smart, and I think they are, they want to keep things fresh and drive demand by always having something new. All smart companies do that. Apple, car manufacturers, most all businesses. Otherwise their product line gets stale. Who wants to stop and look at the LEGO store if 90% of their product line has been around for years? No one. Now, sure LEGO wants to make as much of a product that they can and will be bought. But, they have a lot of factors to consider. Production lines, retailers, new product pushing old product aside.

    So, how much does LEGO care about the secondary market and the fact that some sets sky rocket in price after EOL? Not sure if they care very much. Sure, they may want to build more TH's after seeing how successful the GG did after EOL, but how many more TH's and for how long?

    Also, you have the manufacturing side of things. I don't think LEGO wants to have 5 mega city sets in production at the same time. And, they sure don't want to warehouse the product. That's what WM's and Amazon are for. And, they don't want to warehouse LEGO's for long either.

    Just so many factors involved. And, I am not sure the secondary market is high on the things LEGO considers. Sure, they know about it. But, how much do they care? If I were a big business I wouldn't care too much about it. I would be focused on more important and more immediate things. What are the new sets? New themes? World wide production of all the many LEGO sets. Minifigs. Distribution.
  • zipxanzipxan Member Posts: 10
    speaking of lego sets selling out. Only 13 MMV's left on Amazon.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    12 now...

    And Amazon won't let me buy more. :(

    Oh well, guess I don't need more...

    What is interesting is that it doesn't say (more on the way) next to the "order soon" thing, usually it will say that when they have more ordered...

    No telling of course, and it could be back 10,000 strong next month, sheesh...

    Time to go have some more coffee!
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    I just ordered another MMV. I think I have 4 total now. With it still in stock at Target, LEGO.com and elsewhere, I am not too scared of it being retired immediately. But, you know, 'always be prepared.' I could easily see picking up another 6 of these.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Just to take another view...

    2518 - Nuckals ATV

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HGV0UM/

    Take a look at this on Amazon, great sales rank, 479 in all toys, 57 in building sets, however look at the price...

    160 different sellers have this listed for sale... 17 of them are below $20 a unit...

    This is being sold by Lego for $12.48, plus shipping and tax, but lets assume that all of these buyers bought it tax free and paid no shipping...

    At the current low price of $16.95, the seller will actually get $11.67 after Amazon's cut, plus they had to pay to ship it into Amazon's warehouse, plus pay for storage, plus buy the thing in the first place, and of course try to make a profit...

    Needless to say, that isn't a grand plan based on the current prices listed... Anything under $20 on this set is really losing money based even on buying it 50% off. It sells well, but many of these lower price sellers have dozens, or hundreds of copies in stock.

    I foolishly bought 150 of these from Walmart after Christmas, so it will be awhile before I can even make that money back, much less profit.

    Just thought I'd share the other side of the coin. :)
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    Woah! 150 Nuckals ATVs! Looking at the sets I have, it is clear that some will require a few months wait before I COULD sell them. Others, at least a year or more in order to gain a profit. The key for me is being selective about which sets I buy.
  • dsdg88dsdg88 Member Posts: 133
    @LegoFanTexas: When at the LEGO store this week I showed this ATV to my younger son who collects Ninjago. I said it was a great deal at half off and was all set to pick one up.
    He wasn't interested.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited February 2012
    it will be awhile before I can even make that money back, much less profit.
    Since Im going to be needing a chocolate hat anyway, I'll eat my hat if you're not selling loads of your high volume low value sets as bulk parts through bricklink by, say, the end of next year.

    If you think about it, 150 sets = 150 transactions with the profit issues you mentioned. Now if you split those into parts, there are probably about the same number of different parts (say 150), so you set up each as a bulk lot in bricklink, and you can still sell the whole lot as 150 transactions, but you make a stack more cash, plus you can start selling right now, plus it all takes up 1/3 of the space to store in the mean time. Plus you might actually sell it. Plus you reduce the number of ninjago sets in the world.

    Wins all round really.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Since Im going to be needing a chocolate hat anyway, I'll eat my hat if you're not selling loads of your high volume low value sets as bulk parts through bricklink by, say, the end of next year.
    Never going to happen... :)

    No, really, won't...

    Why? Because the time needed to open those sets, separate out the parts, etc. exceeds what my time is worth.

    I would donate them all to Toys for Tots and move on with life before I'd ever part them out.

    They will go up to $30 a set by next Christmas, or I'll bulk sell them, or I'll donate them and take the tax write-off.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Woah! 150 Nuckals ATVs! Looking at the sets I have, it is clear that some will require a few months wait before I COULD sell them. Others, at least a year or more in order to gain a profit. The key for me is being selective about which sets I buy.
    Yea, I got all excited about them... What can I say, I let my heart do all the thinking, "what a deal, Ninjago, vehicle, half price, I can't lose!!!"

    Ha!

    Famous last words...
  • FatMattFatMatt USMember Posts: 502
    MMV down to 7 on Amazon.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    ^^ I wouldn't be surprised if they restocked thousands in a few days.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    4 left... :)

    Yes, they may well get 10,000 more next week...
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    edited February 2012
    Re: 2518..

    Just like a security, you only lose once you sell. Just forget about them and in time it will sell just fine. It's LEGO.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Just like a security, you only lose once you sell. Just forget about them and in time it will sell just fine. It's LEGO.
    True, but money has a time value attached, and storage isn't free...

    I'm spending about $100 a month to store 2,000 Lego sets right now, cheap at 5 cents a set average, but it does add up over time...

    5 years of storage is 3 per set, times 150 sets, that is $450. Now if they go to $50 a set in 5 years, it doesn't matter, but this might also be one that just never really gets above RRP...
  • parkerwilsonparkerwilson Member Posts: 142
    edited February 2012
    And then they were gone, for a few days at least :)
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    Unless the storage unit is at capacity OR you want to stop renting it then throw a tarp over the 2518's and forget them for now.
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 519
    @Legofantexas - you can totally store your sets at my house for free!

    Errr. There might be some quality control issues though. No promises.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Unless the storage unit is at capacity OR you want to stop renting it then throw a tarp over the 2518's and forget them for now.
    Yes, but then the question is, do I buy another 150 of them? ;)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @Legofantexas - you can totally store your sets at my house for free!

    Errr. There might be some quality control issues though. No promises.
    Ha! You can have them in return for child care... ;)
  • littletokilittletoki Member Posts: 519
    ^ *runs away* Well played, sir. Well played.

    Actually, your storage costs sounds quite reasonable - makes more sense than trying to find suitable storage in one's own house.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Sheesh...

    Well, Amazon didn't want to sell me more, so I just bought 5 more from Target... Using redcard plus $5 off, they actually end up costing less than Amazon, but you have to buy them in 5 separate orders... Silly on Target's part, but whatever... :)

    More for sale at Target, but 5 more was enough for me... After all, I have to draw the line somewhere, right? :)
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited February 2012
    but 5 more was enough for me... After all, I have to draw the line somewhere, right? :)
    Hey, I heard that tune in December....and January...and February...and...

    TLG is breaking records and Lego collectors are the broken records. ;-)

    At least you're going with a good set though..looking at selling 150 of the Ninjago ATV sets would just make me cringe.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    @tk79 - uhh, yea... :)

    I'm an addict, what can I say? :)

    But really, once you start moving around this much, it does temper the whole thing somewhat. My desire to do as much as I did last month is not there, that WAS overkill...

    Now I'm focusing more on the higher value sets because I can decent money into each one without it being a trailer load.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    In order for things to stay collectible there has to be a limited supply and a high demand. I think Lego is selling so many sets right now and I don't believe the supply is small anymore. Lego is attracting so many people strictly looking to make money and that is usually when collectibles become less valuable. I think the market will suffer until they leave or move on.
    The problem with this of course it is tends to take down the parent company with it...

    The 4 baseball card companies in the 90s catered to the collectors and overproduced, devaluing their own product.

    Now there is 1 baseball card company

    If Lego destroys the collector market, they'll win in the short run and lose in the long run. You have to leave some money on the table and let everyone play, or no one will play with you at all...
    Absolutely not. Baseball cards market is the collector's market. LEGO's market is children. We account for such a tiny, insignificant amount of it's consumer base.


    All of these fantasies about prices tumbling down and being able to scoop Cafe Corner or the UCS Falcon for a few hundred dollars are best left behind.
    Nobody has those fantasies, those sets are already rare and won't suddenly have new supply. The fantasies that are best left behind are expecting $1,500 for your Death Star or $500 for your Fire Brigade in two years.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited February 2012
    ^^We're all addicts at some level or another :)

    ^You can definitely say the Lego market is for children, but when talking about $100+ sets, those are not tailored to "children" (in my humble opinion at least...I never had rich parents or relatives, so maybe my opinion is skewed). I think TLG is doing a good job at capturing various target markets with all the various sets and price points they have. I do agree that expecting monster returns on some of these sets isn't reasonable anymore, but almost doubling up on IF and EN in 1-2 months is a very nice ROI for anyone that did that.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Absolutely not. Baseball cards market is the collector's market. LEGO's market is children. We account for such a tiny, insignificant amount of it's consumer base.
    Children never bought baseball cards?
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Children never bought baseball cards?
    I know I did...but then I destroyed them by continuously resorting them and carrying them around. What I wouldn't give to have those baseball card sets that I purchased as a child in mint condition now. Hence, the attitude of many with the means to purchase the lego sets they played with as a youth in MISB condition today.
  • Ma1234Ma1234 Member Posts: 693
    edited February 2012
    Absolutely not. Baseball cards market is the collector's market. LEGO's market is children. We account for such a tiny, insignificant amount of it's consumer base.
    Children never bought baseball cards?
    Of course they did. But they aren't the primary market. To argue that LEGO would be hurt if the collector's market failed is probably the most ludicrous thing I've ever read here. That's not going to happen. 95%+ of LEGO sets are bought by parents for their children, not by collectors.
    ^^We're all addicts at some level or another :)

    ^You can definitely say the Lego market is for children, but when talking about $100+ sets, those are not tailored to "children" (in my humble opinion at least...I never had rich parents or relatives, so maybe my opinion is skewed).
    Your opinion is skewed. Kids get $100+ toys all the time, and it's not only "rich kids" that are spoiled with expensive toys. It kids weren't buying Pet Shops and Emerald Nights and Death Stars, LEGO would not produce them, because the adult market alone cannot support it.

  • AvengerDrAvengerDr Member Posts: 453
    Is the Grand Emporium approaching EOL soon? Amazon uk does not seem to carry in anymore. [email protected] do es, however...
  • popnfreshpopnfresh Member Posts: 9
    To say that Lego is going to eventually destroy itself in the long run if it saturates the market and ignores the collector markets wishes is laughable and ridiculous. You can't destroy a business by alienating (and its questionable if they are even doing this) a tiny fraction of your demographic. The secondary market is the least of their concerns. As long as they dont do something silly like try to diversify again, Lego will be fine.

    I Always see parents in the aisles dropping $100+ dollars on Lego around christmastime even if they aren't sure what it is, only that their child wants it.
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,918
    Is the Grand Emporium approaching EOL soon? Amazon uk does not seem to carry in anymore. [email protected] do es, however...
    No, it should stick around fro another year. The Fire Brigade on the other hand is closely coming to extinction.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    ^^ amazon uk never had it (unless maybe a reseller)
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    It's worth noting that my local LEGO Store had Medieval Market Village in stock today. Seems to be available everywhere BUT Amazon at the moment.

    That said: I have seen this again and again: people don't want to buy a set until just AFTER it retires. I'd rather buy what I want 6 months early than 6 months late.

    Some photos:
    http://brickupdate.com/little-surprises-at-the-lego-store/
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    edited February 2012
    ^ How much were those Alien Conquest Alien Defender sets marked down to? 30% off?
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    ^ I have to go to my local store tomorrow AM so I'm hoping for a decent discount. I picked 20 of the strikers at half price. Would love to pick up 10 for $5 a piece. Then I'll just have to figure out how I'll display them all.
  • DougoutDougout Member Posts: 888
    I don't think Lego will go out of business for a long time. The way they recovered after 2005 and the size of their fan base shows how enduring they are. However, they should not pay too much attention to the aftermarket and they should try to keep collectors buying multiple sets for the future. They definitely don't want to take away from AFOL collectors. Most of the UCS sets were introduced to get collectors into Lego and they have sustained the market with modulars and other sets since then. Yea, expensive sets are bought for kids, but not that many kids were getting the UCS Falcon for Christmas.
  • littleguylittleguy Member Posts: 2
    edited February 2012
    Hi,
    What will be the better set to collect, 10213 or 10231? It seemed that both are very similar in style and feature, but the price different much.
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    Even though 10231 fixed the problems of 10213 and is the better set to build, the latter will certainly be the more collectible of the two as it was EOL'd relatively abruptly, people didn't have months to debate over hoarding it and it was never on sale or clearance. That's my take.
  • doodlebirddoodlebird Austin. Texas. Member Posts: 88
    it'll be fun to see what happens with this one. i can't imagine that anyone will buy the first version to build... but i can see it taking hold with the crowd that likes to keep stuff SIB. i've got one of each, haven't cracked either open yet. but when the time comes, i will certainly open the revised version... i hope i don't screw it up and open the wrong one. :)
  • mary123mary123 Member Posts: 5
    It is very interesting to read all your comments...but I just want to add some more:

    *Lego is now more in demand than ever because the economy makes us the parents
    invest in children's toys that will last longer and are more "interesting" than video games and stuff like that...we want our children to use their "brains"

    *Lego popularity is going to increase with the new LEGOLAND parks that were opened recently

    *TLG are opening new stores everywhere in the world...hence, the ones in south America(Argentina, Peru) and people actually pay $400 for sets like pet shop, grand emporium, fire brigade and this is NOW (when they are not even retired).


    I am just a collector and an investor (just now in Lego as well) and a mom of 3 wonderful teenagers, all in honors :-)

  • mary123mary123 Member Posts: 5
    thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge...it is greatly appreciated...I have a FB that seems to be from the batch with the missing parts...what was the #? I am very interested in the FB, even though is not that appealing to me we know it is the one that is not a commercial building and it is the building that any "complete" city will need...
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    39R1 is the "problem" batch... some of them are missing a bag of just over 100 parts, others are not...

    Open it now and check, or return and exchange for one that isn't missing parts...
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