The Guardian view on Lego: price is not value

MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,533
It's not the article itself (which is fairly basic in it's content and conclusions), but the comments are pretty interesting!



  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    Especially in WH Smiths.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,920
    I'm amused by the pseudo-anonymous comments where people feel the need to complain about plastic polluting the environment.

    Somewhere, I wonder if they think: 'Huh, if I post that plastic pollutes the environment on a Guardian article being critical of an odd Russian economics paper - perhaps all of humanity will spontaneously not utilize one of the single most versatile material created by humans?'
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,349
    edited January 19
    It is simple as this: Value, in relation to 'price', is in the eye of the beholder, no one else.
    If someone values a 15 year old new-in-box (or even used) LEGO set is worth 1K, who is anyone to tell them they are wrong?
    I can see it now:
    'Well buddy that is only a car after all, and other new cars are better, and it really only is worth the sum of the parts that built it, so I will take that 1970 Ferrari Daytona coupe off your hands for 5000 dollars'
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^Unless the car was owned by Ed Sheeran or Jon Voight.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,920
    (I would get the engine checked out on Jon Voight's LeBaron.)
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 759
    I started reading the article. Until it got to the cringey cliche of stepping on Lego. Then I stopped reading. Can’t any mainstream culture talk about Lego without focusing on stepping on it? Might come back and do a sneaky read of the article later and blank out the first sentence or two.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,920
    ^ It is very hacky - agreed.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,228
    They don't really know what they're talking about when it comes to the appreciation of retired sets. It doesn't come down to how much it's been played with, it comes down to whether it's been played with, or more importantly, whether it's been opened. A pile of dinged-up bricks from a 1980 set that uses only bricks still available, without a box or instructions, isn't more valuable than the same pile of dinged-up bricks from 2018. Now if it's a used Green Grocer that's been kept by an adult in a smoke-free, pet-free home, been kept clean of dust and hardly used beyond being built and displayed, and includes all of the super-valuable sand-green elements and unscathed minifigures, then that's worth a fair bit. But, like the majority of mainstream articles on this topic, this one doesn't explain that, and I doubt the author is even aware of this.

    But hey, the existence of valuable toys is a sure sign that capitalism is failing, right?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    Completely off topic, but my family is watching Marie Kondo and my wife said that we should take a shot every time someone says "Sparks Joy". The last episode had Lego in 5he room that they were tidying.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,460
    @Baby_Yoda if the only value someone gets from Lego is profit from selling it, I must agree that sealed sets are more valuable. I suspect the VAST majority of people buying Lego are more like me, buying for the fun of building and sharing time with their kids. 

    Instead of buying shiny new sets at retail, I usually buy bags of used parts or heavily discounted sets when the big retailers put them on clearance. I get a lot of value from spending time playing with my grandson, and from just building for myself. Buying in cheap will mean if I ever do start selling I don't compete with the MISB collectors and can break even or make a profit selling to other folks who see the play value. When remakes come out they don't damage that part of the market to the degree that MISB sets are affected. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    The article is about investment and selling, rather than playing with lego, so it makes sense to concentrate on the financial value.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,920
    It's actually a reaction piece to someone else's (questionable) study weighing 'market returns' on LEGO as compared to traditional market investment vehicles.

    I'm trying to get my hands on the underlying study to see if bulk parts are differentiated from what we would consider 'investment' grade sets.

    And if there were any other differentiating factors featured in the original study.  Not that I don't trust the veracity of media, but columnists nowadays tend to pick-and-choose from the original source material to fit their audience, rather than accurately reporting the results of the study.

    (Uncomfortably watching 'expert correspondents' get the US Supreme Court's Obamacare ruling repeatedly wrong a few years ago completely stripped away my confidence in the US media.)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    There's a lot of things to consider here. A lot of older Lego sets (pre-minifigure) are really only valuable if you have the box and instructions. A box full of Sand Green 1x8's is not the same as a box full of Black 1x8's. There are plenty of sets out there where the minifigures are more "valuable" than the set itself. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,920
    Yes - basically I consider that the 'antique' LEGO market, which is completely different than the Cafe Corner market (or what used to be the UCS MF market), which is also different from the minifigure market, which is different from the @samiam391 market of very rare and unique collectables.
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,533
    @SumoLego - is this referring to the same paper?

    Somewhat better written than the Grauniad article (shock, horror).
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