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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • pstrickler27pstrickler27 Member Posts: 71
    I have a feeling DC/Marvel are not going to do so hot in the aftermarket - you won't see ROI for a few years - same thing happened with the first release of Batman - and the SuperHeroes theme (as someone else mentioned) is probably going to go on for a couple years like Star Wars - so Minifigs will be less rare..

    Dino is starting to look more and more appealing each time I look at it though.. If only it carried the Jurassic Park label.. they would be huge
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I would love to take 3 or 4 Earth Defenses and make an ultra-centipede "Solar Snooper" version of that thing.
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,258
    Somewhat related to the future of AC... Has anyone else noticed the dismal depreciation of Life on Mars? This was the first theme I started collecting (all those weeks ago), and I've seen sets practically given away, which is to say, for half or less than what I paid for them. Any old timers here care to diagnose the issue? I'm sure it has something to do with SW, and (related to the Lego/Warfare thread) the lack of open conflict between Earthlings and Martians, a motif which sadly disappeared in the more typical "Us vs. Them" Mars Mission theme.

    And (if I may stray slightly off topic) isn't the depersonalization of the aliens in Mars Mission a gruesome follow-up to "LIFE" on Mars? Doesn't the whole Mars Mission theme seem like a macabre commentary on our dependence on finite fossil fuels (ala the astronauts' harvesting of Martians)? The Martians aren't even attacking, we're just literally sucking the life right out of them!!! Kinda complicates who the Good guys are...

    But the later series is doing far better in the aftermarket than its hippie-go-lucky let's all work together precursor.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,423
    I dunno but I do not think Life of Mars did that well to begin with. I think AC did far better, combined with the fact that Space Police came back Im guessing you have two lines that can interact with each other, which is more than Life on Mars could say.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    I haven't studied the issue in detail, but one thing I've noticed is that older lines that get retired may well have value for awhile, then fall off the other side of the bell curve.

    So lets say AC sets become worth:

    1.5x RRP in 1 year
    2x RRP in 2 years
    2.5x RRP in 3 years

    At 4 years, they might actually drop back to 2x RRP, then at 5 years drop to 1.5 RRP, then actually fall below RRP after that.

    Everyone who ever cared has the set, they are now old enough to be "out of date", and too many newer, cooler, sets have been released.

    Look at sets from the 90s, how many of those are really worth all that much? More than RRP? Sure, but given the time that has past, the "investable" period is over. Inflation is holding up their value more than anything else now.

    That is my thought on the matter anyway,
  • noblebricknoblebrick Member Posts: 19
    It's a well-regarded set that has a bit of everything: Base, rover, tank-like vehicle, viper with launcher, multi-shot flick-fires, medical lab. There's a ton going on, it looks fantastic, and all fits together really well.

    Not saying this is going to shoot up in price necessarily - being from a one-and-done theme isn't going to help, but if the two I have in box don't become worth selling, I'll be ecstatic to open them up and combine them with my display model to make a big MOC.
    ^ couldn't have said it better myself.

  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    I haven't studied the issue in detail, but one thing I've noticed is that older lines that get retired may well have value for awhile, then fall off the other side of the bell curve.
    I agree with this, especially with regard to non-licensed themes. After awhile, they just get irrelevant. 10 years down the road, there are very few people selling those MISB sets, and very few people actually looking to buy them, so prices just fall. Plus those Mars sets really sucked. :)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ yep, exactly. Anyone think Atlantis or Pharaoh's Quest is going to be raking in major profits ? Nah. These kinds of lineups are a decent way to expand the breadth of your LEGO portfolio, but unless you buy them at steep/clearance discounts, they likely aren't generally worth it. People will just move on to the new non-licensed items.

    Obviously, it's a bit different with licenses and the high-end AFOL sets.
  • momof2boys99momof2boys99 Member Posts: 322
    Did anyone else notice that the CTT is ...."call for availability" on Lego.com?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    Space Police will suffer the same fate. I think if Lego did re-ignite the classic space theme, those would hold value. They've kept the town line and castle lines about the same through the years. But with space, they really went down some different roads.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited April 2012
    This post should maybe be in another thread, but I know the Creator Volkswagen T1 Camper Van 10220 is a set people are watching and considering for the secondary market, so I'll post this info here. The set is $99 on Amazon now. That's a $20 discount. May be a bit early to stock up on this set, but at that price I will. Also, free ship and free tax makes it an even better bargain. (Also, after I put in my order they only had 10 in stock, so when those are gone they may be sold by a 3rd party at a higher price until they are restocked.) I just checked, the set usually sells on Amazon for $150+, and only sells for $99 for very short periods of time like a day or two, which has only happened 4-5 times. Interesting.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited April 2012
    Oh man, now I feel bad for making the above post. The $99 ones are already gone! I guess someone snagged the last 10. The price is now back up to $150+ and sold by a 3rd party. Good gravy, the $99 ones lasted less than 10 minutes!
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ this is definitely the correct thread for your post. $99 is a good deal, yes. Personally for me, it is too early to stock up, but I agree with you that this set should do well after EOL.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Only 43 of 10198 left at Amazon.com

    Does anyone know of any more of these anywhere else? They seem to be pretty much gone everywhere that I can see.

    They don't seem to be selling very fast, perhaps this one will be slow in the after market?
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    I think the lack of an "exclusive fig" will hurt the Tantive IV's aftermarket value. The playability factor is low...
  • stephenvwstephenvw Lexington, KYMember Posts: 89
    ^^ Target has them for $158 last I checked.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    I think that's right. I'm really excited about just about any Original Trilogy item, but there is just nothing in Tantive IV that makes me want to buy it -- particularly given the cost and lack of figures. All else being equal, most fans would much rather buy the Falcon, which is cheaper and comes with more figs. Or get the X-Wing, Y-Wing, etc. Or any of the playsets.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    The front of the Tantive IV is too small and makes the ship look rather ugly (not that it's all that great looking to begin with. It's iconic because it's the first ship seen in Star Wars.) Here's a good looking MOC that has a more proportioned front (click on the second image comparing the two): http://www.mintinbox.net/Actus/09-12/1211tantiveIVlego
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,916
    I picked up some of the Tantive IV from TRU and Amazon during sales. I think the most I paid was $127 a piece for 2 and $111 a piece from Amazon. I think it will do ok later on. Nothing exponential, but will be a decent ROI. It is still an iconic ship that isn't likely to be remade anytime soon.
  • zmagilicutiezmagilicutie Member Posts: 12
    The front of the Tantive IV is too small and makes the ship look rather ugly (not that it's all that great looking to begin with. It's iconic because it's the first ship seen in Star Wars.) Here's a good looking MOC that has a more proportioned front (click on the second image comparing the two): http://www.mintinbox.net/Actus/09-12/1211tantiveIVlego
    The other ship is not a MOC it is the UCS Tantive IV 10019
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,416
    edited April 2012
    @mathew, as @zmagilicutie said, that's not a MOC, but an UCS Tantive iv. Very nice ship I might add.

    Personally, I think it will do quite well. Maybe not an incredible exponential rate like some sets, but a steady builder. It's a nice set, anniversary addition, Captain Antilles is exclusive in it [I think], nice figure.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I stand corrected. While more refined, the new one uses those fugly "plastic cups" for the front. The original also has a more classic space look which I appreciate.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    That is a cool comparison image between the 2 :)
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    I stand corrected. While more refined, the new one uses those fugly "plastic cups" for the front. The original also has a more classic space look which I appreciate.
    And of course, it's the difference between what LEGO can do with a playset at a playset price point, and a UCS model set at double the price point*


    * yes, I know it was $200 vs. $150, but the UCS was released 8 years earlier. that thing in 2009 would have been a $300 set
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Would it? It actually doesn't have that many more parts than 10198, 339 more to be exact.

    Now they are "bigger" parts, to be sure, but there aren't that many more, and the UCS set is missing the interior (what of it there is) on 10198, probably where many of those 1408 parts go on 10198.

    More than anything else, what 10198 is missing is landing gear or a display stand. It is too fragile to play with, and it looks silly sitting on the bottom guns.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    Question on "secondary market value" of the more recent sets -- I certainly see many Ebay, Bricklink, Amazon etc listings for the Imperial Flagship, Emerald Night, etc at very high prices. But there aren't many bids on the ebay listings and the stock seems to largely remain the same? Do these items actually sell at the high levels they are listed at? Simple economics suggests that they must; otherwise, some seller would lower his or her price to undercut the competitor. But I just don't seem to see evidence that they actually sell. Maybe I'm wrong.
  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    ^ Um, to see how many are selling and for what, just look at the completed ebay listings, not the current ones.
  • hoyatableshoyatables Northern Virginia, USAMember Posts: 873
    ^ Um, to see how many are selling and for what, just look at the completed ebay listings, not the current ones.
    Duh. Thanks. And this was helpful -- as I suspected, the going market rate for the Flagship, for example, is considerably below what they are listed for on Amazon.

  • BanditBandit Member Posts: 890
    ^ Yes. Amazon's prices are generally ridiculous, and I totally ignore them when trying to figure out what something is worth. I don't think those sellers are selling much, if anything -- I think they're just hoping to hook people who don't know any better or who don't understand what's going on (the whole 3rd party amazon reseller thing can be rather confusing to people).
  • pumperxpumperx Member Posts: 106
    I wonder why on Bricklink someone paid $222 for emerald night when it can be obtained for a lot less? Is the transaction accurate?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ Yes. Amazon's prices are generally ridiculous, and I totally ignore them when trying to figure out what something is worth. I don't think those sellers are selling much, if anything -- I think they're just hoping to hook people who don't know any better or who don't understand what's going on (the whole 3rd party amazon reseller thing can be rather confusing to people).
    I had this happen to me recently - went to Amazon for a great deal, hit the 1-click checkout, then found out that somewhere in that span amazon ran out of stock and I got reshuffled to a seller who was much higher. i cancelled the order, but I could see this trap catching people from time to time.

  • effalconeffalcon Member Posts: 71
    I wonder why on Bricklink someone paid $222 for emerald night when it can be obtained for a lot less? Is the transaction accurate?
    Could have been local to them?
    less postage?
    somewhere that isnt 'typical' for a shipping location?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Yes. Amazon's prices are generally ridiculous, and I totally ignore them when trying to figure out what something is worth. I don't think those sellers are selling much, if anything -- I think they're just hoping to hook people who don't know any better or who don't understand what's going on (the whole 3rd party amazon reseller thing can be rather confusing to people).
    You'd think so, until you consider what you get for those prices... :)

    Ok, so not everyone value's Amazon's service the same way... but do consider that Amazon completely stands behind every deal, far more than PayPal does. You simply have zero risk buying Lego from Amazon, 3rd party or otherwise. Buying from Bricklink is going to have risk, buying from eBay is better, but not completely risk free, with Amazon, you never, ever have to worry about it...

    That has to be worth *something*...

    From the seller's point of view, Amazon charges more than eBay or Bricklink do, 15% plus there are some extra fees, either variable closing fees based on weight of the item, or fulfillment fees if Amazon is shipping the item, which can be as much as $6 per item plus 37 cents per lb shipping charge to the seller.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,196
    ^ Yes. Amazon's prices are generally ridiculous, and I totally ignore them when trying to figure out what something is worth. I don't think those sellers are selling much, if anything -- I think they're just hoping to hook people who don't know any better or who don't understand what's going on (the whole 3rd party amazon reseller thing can be rather confusing to people).
    It is not really Amazon's prices, it is reseller prices. I find Amazon's prices are generally good for current stock. They are two different beasts. And I wish there was a way to sort by price for just one of them.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    ^ Excellent example is the VW Camper. Currently, IF it is sold and fulfilled by Amazon the price is $99, which IMHO is a very good price. (I expect that price to go up later and be close to retail. It seems that Amazon sells certain LEGOS at a lower, or no, discount the closer it gets to Christmas and the longer the set is out.)

    But, Amazon will only have 10220 in stock for a few hours and sell out. Extremely interesting. (This happened yesterday evening.) Then, it is sold by a reseller for $150+. Which still isn't a terrible price if you compare it to buying it from [email protected] and have to pay sales tax and shipping. But, of course, $150+ is a lot more than $99. :-)

    Also, it seems that people buy the set at the $150 price. I guess most of those buyers don't know they can get the set from [email protected] for $119 or for $99 from Amazon if they check Amazon regularly (which isn't easy for everyone).

    Also, for several reasons (some stated above) it looks like set 10220 will do extremely well when EOL'd.
  • pstrickler27pstrickler27 Member Posts: 71
    I haven't studied the issue in detail, but one thing I've noticed is that older lines that get retired may well have value for awhile, then fall off the other side of the bell curve.

    So lets say AC sets become worth:

    1.5x RRP in 1 year
    2x RRP in 2 years
    2.5x RRP in 3 years

    At 4 years, they might actually drop back to 2x RRP, then at 5 years drop to 1.5 RRP, then actually fall below RRP after that.

    Everyone who ever cared has the set, they are now old enough to be "out of date", and too many newer, cooler, sets have been released.

    Look at sets from the 90s, how many of those are really worth all that much? More than RRP? Sure, but given the time that has past, the "investable" period is over. Inflation is holding up their value more than anything else now.

    That is my thought on the matter anyway,
    I have noticed the same trend - I try to sell at the 3 year mark - after all the newbies sell off their lot within the first year or two
  • pstrickler27pstrickler27 Member Posts: 71
    To remark on Amazon selling - I only sell on Amazon - I have burned in the past on eBay and frankly hate that site - Amazon is a trusted brand and people are willing to pay a premium for quality service and low risk - I have yet to run into an unfaithful buyer (knock on wood) and I usually have no problem selling my stock - the fees are high, but everything is super simple from both sides of the transaction
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    For Amazon, you have to have a credit card reader/billing account, right?
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    For Amazon, you have to have a credit card reader/billing account, right?
    No, Amazon handles all the payment processing, you do need a US bank account to have them send you the money, either once a week or once every other week, depending on your account type.

    You do have to have a valid credit card on file, if someone files a claim against you, Amazon will get their money back from you, it isn't like PayPal where you can ignore them.

    Amazon is honestly not the site for a casual seller, the rules there are quite strict, for example, you must take returns for any reason in 30 days, you are not allowed to say "no returns" like on eBay.

    If someone buys a Lego set, opens it up, then wants to return it, you may charge a 20% restocking fee, but you must take it back. If the customer claims it is defective or missing parts, you must refund 100%.

    If you as a seller say "no", and the item is under $300, and the buyer files an AtoZ claim, Amazon will refund the customer (usually out of your pocket) and not require them to return the item.

    Anyone thinking of selling on Amazon needs to go read the Amazon Seller Forums first:

    https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=1010&tstart=0
  • pstrickler27pstrickler27 Member Posts: 71
    @LegoFanTexas - While the rules are more strict - the buyers are usually better (IMO) - I usually recieve orders from parents who are looking to buy sets for their children (usually unaware of pricing) - I (like many of my buyers) simply do not trust the eBay/paypal system - and many of them are unaware of Bricklink - like I said, Amazon is a trusted name and a great place to sell, but I agree - I would definitely read up before you start selling - and sell honestly - as I'm sure most of you do.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    I haven't studied the issue in detail, but one thing I've noticed is that older lines that get retired may well have value for awhile, then fall off the other side of the bell curve.

    So lets say AC sets become worth:

    1.5x RRP in 1 year
    2x RRP in 2 years
    2.5x RRP in 3 years

    At 4 years, they might actually drop back to 2x RRP, then at 5 years drop to 1.5 RRP, then actually fall below RRP after that.

    Everyone who ever cared has the set, they are now old enough to be "out of date", and too many newer, cooler, sets have been released.

    Look at sets from the 90s, how many of those are really worth all that much? More than RRP? Sure, but given the time that has past, the "investable" period is over. Inflation is holding up their value more than anything else now.

    That is my thought on the matter anyway,
    I have noticed the same trend - I try to sell at the 3 year mark - after all the newbies sell off their lot within the first year or two
    If the above valuations are true then you would be a noob to hold on for longer than 1 year rather than re-invest yearly for those gains. Problem is the above model is far too simplistic....it all depends on the set, the original price, and its place in a series or if it is just stand alone. Always weigh the opportunity cost.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Only 8 left of 10198...
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    Switching tracks....

    How does everyone feel about the current train lineup for aftermarket potential?

    I feel like unless it's a BOGO situation, it's not worth it. EN was the kingpin for aftermarket, but the regular city trains (cargo and company) may not be worth the risks.
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    @prevere "switching tracks"... nice one :)

    I personally think the Maersk train will do nicely in the aftermarket. Something about the combination of the modern look and the nice blue really make it stand out to me.
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    I agree, the Maersk train is a handsome set and should be sought after long after it is gone. I plan to get a couple of them even though I have no other trains.
  • ptericpteric Member Posts: 156
    The Maersk train is nice, really nice detail. I wish I would have gotten the container ship when it was avail.
  • turtle1173turtle1173 Member Posts: 230
    It seems to me that in recent years, trains have done well. I expect that the yellow cargo train will do good after it's gone. I'm always trying to find some during a BOGO sale but my TRU hasn't carried any of the trains in a while.

    I also think the Maersk will do very well in the aftermarket. Have any of you found any good deals on it? It seems buying direct from lego is about the cheapest you can find it. Amazon always seems to be high for it. TRU & target have it marked up a bunch. I've got 5 or so EN and I never paid more than $87 each with tax & shipping. Haven't been able to catch a break with the Maersk though.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Yellow cargo train should do very well, but it may not be retiring as soon as some think, Red cargo train is not really a replacement since it is a TRU exclusive, so what would everyone else sell if Yellow cargo train goes away?

    Maersk train will do just as well as EN in my opinion...

    Side note, 10198 is finally gone from Amazon.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited April 2012
    Never ceases to amaze me how quickly the last dozen, or so, of a LEGO set will get gone on Amazon. Amazon obviously sells lots and lots of LEGOS! :-) Ahem... of course, it isn't just LEGOS that they sell lots and lots of. Make that just about everything. :-)
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