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Most MOCs that are left are my early Star Trek projects (Enterprise D bridge, USS Reliant, USS Saratoga, USS Excelsior, Nebula class (regular version and Utopia Planitia "under construction" version), Sovereign class main hull and neck - didn't get around to working out a satisfactory solution for the nacelle struts and secondary hull).
And for any non German user here some fact about our store "returns" policy: basically you are allowed to return unopened goods for about one to two weeks, depending on the store. Goods that are faulty can be returned during the guarantee period, but Lego rarely firs that category, as missing pieces are not sufficient grounds for calling a set faulty. Plus, often you don't get your money back but rather a voucher for your next purchase. Depends on how leniant/generous the retailer is.
IMO Trying to sell a mod for 50% over RRP and someone actually paying for one at that price are two different things. I can try to sell a Pet Shop for 250 USD. I doubt anyone will buy it for that and if they do, then they do. If you have an issue with what people are willing to pay that is something you need to come to terms with.
As for EOL LEGO sets, supply and demand dictates the pricing, not resellers, period. Once a desirable set has stopped being made by LEGO, the demand will go up and people will pay more, resellers or not.
Finally I think you are at the wrong forum if you are calling people 'stupid' for using their money in a way you do not approve of. IMO It is also misguided and insulting.
And, just because the Modulars might be "collectible" doesn't mean they aren't targeted at younger builders, such as your kids. Kids can be collectors too, you know; especially if those sane parents ^ have deep pockets.
Some people are unaware that they sell online. Some live in countries where that's irrelevant anyway. And, particularly at this time of year, a set may simply not be available in the required time-frame.
Nobody. If, as you're suggesting, you get everything, or even anything, at a 10-25% discount, you are still paying ridiculous prices for a pile of plastic. That's the nature of the game.
That's absolutely amazing. Not! A lot of people wouldn't buy a modular without that level of discount. When you manage to get them at half price, then come back and sing about it and we might start getting interested. FWIW, I've got all the modulars - the first two I bought at almost full price; everything else had at least 20% discount, and without trying. Others will have done better. And no, I don't live in Germany.
Because there are part of series with a limited number of releases. Like Winter Village. Like Ideas. But more particular they are considered collectable because simply choose to consider them that way. You don't? Sorry, but you lose. Some people collect them which, by definition, makes them collectable. Also, the concept may seem alien to you, but even those that don't collect them generally have sufficient respect for those that do not to consider questioning it.
Oh dear! How 20th century! Mid-20th century.
As for telling others what to do. Of course I am not the grandmaster of what and how to do with Lego, but I feel very strongly about this subject, hence my possibly rude sounding comments. At least they were not intended to insult anyone, just get my views across. Again: I am not a native speaker of English and as such am sometimes at a loss for the correct words/expressions to use. Pardon me for that.
Chubbles said that if he had the means to pay the inflated prices I mentioned and didn't care, it should also not be my business or at least not for me to complain about (at least that is how I understood his comment).
But that is exactly what makes me so mad: that there seem to be a minority of people with too much money on their hands who keep this collector price madness going, while the (I am just sure about this) vast majority of parents on a budget, who would still like to get some of these sets for their kids or themselves at prices which are at least within reasonable limits can't do so thanks to the "elite" buyer who can afford to waste whatever money he wants (and those people of course wouldn't call that "waste" because to them paying prices that amount to - sometimes - up to and above 1 Dollar per piece (!) still seems like a bargain. That is just so plain wrong and of course could lead to a general argument about the current disease in all societies worldwide where the gap between the small minority of the "filthy-rich" and the rest keeps widening all the time and at an ever more worrying rate. Even in a so-called "rich" country like Germany I can experience that every day. But that is taking this too far off-topic certainly. It is just one of the reasons why I feel so strongly about this - and I am not even one of either ends of the wealth spectrum, but right in the middle like so many others who are affected by this.
So @Chubbles: of course it's all relative, but in this case a small minority is responsible for destroying fair market conditions for the rest. Which in the case of Lego seems even more extreme than say model trains, stamps or coins for example, because there the market forces seem much more balanced. And as for fine arts, where "ridiculous" prices are often the norm nowadays, that market can't really be compared anyway, as at least imho a Rembrandt for example is still not comparable to a Grand Carousel or Green Grocer ;-)
And as for 'a small minority destroying fair market conditions', what a load of poop. Just not being rich enough isn't a reason to moan at people that are. And we could equally blame the people that bought at retail and aren't selling theirs, how dare they not flood the market to keep the price down so I can buy it! Oh, and we could blame the internet, how dare people be able to sell to anyone in their country easily, thus inflating the competition and price of a set. And we should totally blame Lego, how dare they wish to use their storage and machines to produce new sets when someone on the planet doesn't own the last one.
Argh, why do I let myself get dragged into these debates - I know what the internet is like and I still fall for it.
There's always been a second-hand market. Then came relatively small-scale reselling by people who were really running a business - just using eBay or BrickLink as their shop window. Then every Tom, Dick or Harry wanted to jump on the bandwagon and things started to go crazy.
If it had always been the case that a five-year-old set was five times list price then it would just be like many other fields and we'd just shrug. The point is that's not how things used to be, and that's what irk us.
When was the last time anybody walked into a toy shop and bought a set that had been discontinued for a couple of years? It wasn't particularly uncommon, whereas it's now unlikely that something like that stays on the shelf for very long.
There are loads of changes all the time that don't bother me at all. Take Facebook. I know it is there, I know it wasn't around when I probably would have been interested in something like it, so now I just don't care. I know many people love it, quite a lot of others loathe it. But it is here to stay, so why the bother argueing about it. I simply don't partake in it.
That Lego reselling madness as you said has just become crazy in recent years.
I sometimes joke with my colleagues that they should invest their money not in equities, gold or whatever, but in rare Lego sets, as they now seem to be better as an investment than as a toy which they are. One colleague came into the office yesterday and told me about the SW advent calender he had bought for his son. I told him jokingly that he should have bought two, kept one unopened and sold it in future for some crazy amount. He said, and I quote "what an idiotic idea", and we laughed about it.
Today I received our 10247 Ferris Wheel. Should I stuff it in the closet, hoping to sell it at double or triple RRP in a couple of years? Probably.
But you know what I am going to do? As soon as our older daughter is home from school, we are going to break open the box, empty the bricks on the carpet of her room, and start having fun building the thing. And when it is finished, it will become the main attraction of her Friends fun park she built out of the pieces of several of her Friends sets.
Honestly, now it just looks like you're trolling. If you're really not trolling, you would be better off banging your head against the nearest brick wall, because I hate to break it to you, but adult LEGO collectors are not going to go away any time soon, no matter how much you may despise them or sneer at them for their hobby.
I would say it sounds more like you are the one trolling?
Just think, in today's economy, if Lego did not make as many collectible sets as it did, where would the company be? It would be with a lot less income from collectors. I think we should be grateful for the collectors who are willing to pay for these sets and help Lego keep its factories running.
I'm sure Lego has not lost sight of the true purpose of the toy it is, and is trying as hard as it can to maintain the playful aspects of the system. I don't think it has completely converted to solely a collector's product....yet.....but is still focused on children and making toys that children all over the world enjoy.
That to me is not trolling.
So according to you he is not allowed to express his thoughts on the matter?
And I didn't think me meant collectors who actually build and enjoy lego sets - even if only to display, but i thought he meant people that fill their spare rooms with sealed sets.
Had you maybe read on before shooting off to the first comment that irritated you, that may have become clear.
TLG would be in the same place as it is now. AFOLs don't keep the company afloat.
This thread is dead. The question has been answered. Anything additional is now off-topic. It's not as if you're trying to get it back on-topic.
Had you read up to where this this conversation started, you would see that I have been active in this discussion from the beginning and I have read all of the related comments.
I anxiously await further incorrect assumptions from you.
And just because I am new to actively writing in this forum instead of just reading it passively doesn't mean I am a troll either. Not even that I made some comments that are starting an intense discussion (where by the way quite a few here seem to agree with me, either completely or at least on parts important to me).
Otoh you sometimes come across as quite rude and unfriendly here. From the start of this discussion that my comment spurred, you seem to try and read personal attacks against you into what I write.
I can't stress enough the fact that English is not my mother tongue. I do believe to be quite adequate at it, but will not pretend I have mastered the finer points of the language perfectly. So excuse me if I sometimes write in a perhaps more drastic sounding way than might be necessary in order to get my point across.
@tecjam and Lego_Nerd98: thank you by the way.
And to @TigerMoth , my comment wasn't an exhaustive list, it was just a comment that aportioning blame for something you don't like about society is pointless. Whether or not it is what it used to be like doesn't really matter. For example, they used to only make 2x4 bricks (irrelevant) and they used not to make modulars at all (irrelevant). The fact that Lego used to be less popular doesn't change the prices now, if you want to be involved in a marginal hobby with cheap prices then move on to pogs*, I reckon they will see a revival soon.
*(insert other failing toy here if required)
Plus no, I don't look down on collectors per se. Anyone who buys Lego sets to play with them (and keep them) is also a collector. So by that definition we as a family are also collectors.
The only collectors I am angry about are those that buy sets at ridiculous prices (ok, so it is my personal opinion that these prices are ridiculous, to some, like you perhaps, they might still look like bargains), thus making the market spiral exponentially towards a situation where older sets will become unobtainable (whether MISB or used) for the majority of interested buyers. One can see the beginning of this already on ebay. I have used that market since 1999 and I believe I can say without exaggeration that I know a) my way around there and b) the developments in former and recent years. And from what I see I deduct my reasoning. Nothing more, nothing less.
And to finally take this thread back on topic (sorry to all the guys and gals with the popcorn ;-) ), what would interest me is if there is a way to find out how well certain Lego sets are doing / how well they are selling on the primary market, especially the rereleased Toy Shop.
I think it is interesting to note by the way that 10249 in Europe is only 10 Euro more RRP than 10199, not 20 USD as over the pond. And considering that it has almost 100 more parts, the price per piece of 10249 is almost the same as 10199. Add to that the fact that the newer Toy Shop has more printed parts and an extra Minifig, it is not really bad value for money (inflation not even considered, which would make it even more reasonable).
But seriously, this thread should be closed already. I keep wondering why there are new comments in this thread that has no relevance anymore.
I know you didn't give an exhaustive list. I just think a lot of those reasons go back to the same root - that things have changed. You don't tend to hear people complaining that they can't afford a Ferrari, or that they're ridiculous prices; it's always been true.
And it does matter. If you went back to how things used to be, you would stand a chance of getting sets cheaply in the sales a week after they started. You would stand a chance of finding an old set in that tiny toy shop when you go on holiday. Most importantly, you wouldn't drool over those old sets with ridiculous prices on eBay, cursing the resellers because there wouldn't be any ridiculous prices nor large numbers of old sets.
It also matters that the part selection used to be smaller. Most of the coveted sets have high prices because they contain parts that are in short supply. That means that they can't be BrickLinked cheaply. That would satisfy a lot of people and also keep the set prices down.
If you put a frog in water and raise the temperature slowly, you'll boil him. If you try making the water hot too fast he notices, protests, and leaps out.
I used to be upset over the cost of retired or unusual sets. Now I just say, "No, thank you," politely (or at least I hope I'm polite) and move on. Many of the models can be BrickLinked at a relatively reasonable price, especially if you're willing to make adjustments to reflect the changes in part availability. If it's building and playing that you want to do, having something in collectable condition really isn't necessary. I have a lovely set of Lego Hub Birds which cost me about $80, including shipping charges, from about three major orders and a few random pieces stuck into unrelated orders, using BrickLink. I refered to an unboxing video on YouTube to build them. I can see why some people would prefer to have the boxed version, which had a lot of extra information and was beautifully presented, but it simply isn't worth another $120 to me.
Besides, there are many older sets that can still be found for about their original list price in good used condition. The ones that can't were almost all collectors' items in the first place--the early modulars, the tour exclusive or employee gift sets, and sets (especially but not limited to UCS sets) from the various Star Wars and Super Heroes lines which have a collectors' market beyond the Lego one.
Early in my AFOL career, I decided to choose between Medieval Market Village and Diagon Alley, and also between Fire Brigade and Town Hall. As an investor, I made the "wrong" choice both times, but I am very comfortable with what I bought, especially as I prefer the new Ghostbusters' HQ to the FB anyway. (My as-yet-unbuilt Lego City doesn't have a problem with narrow passageways breaking up a large block of buildings, so I consider GBHQ and HH to be legitimate members of a modulars collection.) There's more to life than worrying about money--at least if you have enough money that the price of retired Lego sets is what you worry about.
This is clearly the best comment on the thread. Winner!