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Casual observation: minifigs continue to demand a hefty price on eBay

OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
edited January 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
As someone who isn't really "a minifig guy" - I've watched the world's fascination with these little people from the outside looking in. It's really astounding to me sometimes just how much people are willing to pay for them. Take tonight for example, when a series of five auctions (same seller) ended tonight, one for each of the five minifigs that you get in the new Batcave (#6860):

Poison Ivy - $14.51
Bane - $12.50
Bruce Wayne - $6.56
Robin - $11.62
Batman - $11.15

total cost: $56.34
cost to just buy #6860 yourself: $69.99

So collectively, the buyers of these minifigs tonight are saying that they'd rather just pay $56 for those five minifigs, instead of paying a measly $14 more for those same five minifigs, PLUS the remaining ~650 pieces in the set.

Just thought I'd share! Like I said, just a casual observation.


  • starfire2starfire2 Member Posts: 1,333
    That's why I bought the set myself. Plus even though TRU had it marked up, I got it when it was $10 off $50 and had $30 in rewards r us dollars and $34.84 on a gift card, so it came to $19.80 after tax. I figure it was better than buying Poison Ivy by herself.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Yep, I bought six of these sets and have sold off almost all the figs - for more than those prices you have posted there. I'm keeping the free parts.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    I plan to do the same when the Marvel and LotR stuff comes out. I'm guessing those will go for even more premiums.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    But actually most of my buyers are overseas - where they can't get 6860 for $69.99. And keep in mind the shipping costs are much different for a few figs vs. a boxed set.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    ^ quite valid, good points

    I expect you're correct about LotR minifigs commanding even more money.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    Just bought Batcave from B&N for $53.89 after tax, and Batwing for $23.07 after tax. Batman sets are currently 10% off (and Batwing standard price is $29.99 at B&N for some reason, instead of $34.99 like, and $43.99 at TRU). And there is a 20% off promo code you can use - L8W8P9L (although you may need to be a B&N member). And RewardsRunner currently has 6% cash back at B&N (so I'll get another ~$3.00 back for the Batcave, and ~$1.25 for the Batwing).
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    Poking around eBay... the four figures from 9490 come in at around $32. The sandtroopers average about $10 apiece and R2 and 3PO combined fetch about $12. This will likely drop when that set becomes more readily available... but still. Though, this is not even close to the first time the minifigs from a Star Wars set have sold for more individually than the set itself is worth.
  • sidersddsidersdd Member Posts: 2,432
    The recent Republic Frigate and Hoth Echo Base sets were two good ones to sell figs from.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    this whole recent trend of LEGO being all about the minifigs is frustrating as heck to me, since I see them as largely an accessory to the real point of LEGO - building structures, vehicles, settings, etc. I understand there is demand from people who just want the figs (I don't get it, but I know it exists), and LEGO is more than happy to feed into that with overpopulating licensed sets with more minifigs then they should have. This only bothers me of course because it drives up the prices of these sets significantly for what, to me, is little value.

    Take my today's purchase - the new TIE fighter. Nice looking model. Needs a pilot. the other 3 figures have nowhere to go. Nothing. But they probably added 20% to the price LEGO sells the set for. and what's worse, they are just generic dudes. Ok, sure I'll take the robot I guess, but drop the other two and cut $10 off the price please.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    @dougts - I agree and disagree with you. On the one hand, it bothers me immensely that figures like Queen Amidala and Ceremonial Leia come with ships that they have no business accompanying. On the other hand, since TLG seems to be pretty adamant about NOT producing buildings and environments for the Star Wars license, I'll probably never see these figures otherwise... and they are extremely useful for custom builds.

    The new X-Wing, though, is a good example of a ship that has more minifigs than necessary where I think it works, though, since you can customize the ship to be either Red-5 or Red-6, similarly to the way 6212 could be modded into Red-2 easily enough.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    They know what butters their bread...I think they'll milk that cash cow until it rolls over from exhaustion.
  • GIR3691GIR3691 Member Posts: 674
    Buy all of the figs through eBay or Bricklink, and you're a dope. Those listings are meant for people who want just the one minifig and to be done with it. $14 for Poison Ivy is a lot cheaper than $69.99 for Poison Ivy and a lot of stuff you don't want, if that's your prerogative.

    I love minifigs and am always happy to get cool new ones, but I agree on the Star Wars front. No reason to have so many just to have them. But hey, you can bring the price right back down by selling those minifigs off.
  • starfire2starfire2 Member Posts: 1,333
    I personally like collecting mostly the minifigures from sets. Sometimes I will buy a set because I like the figures, or animals or accessories. I also like to buy sets for the whole thing, like General Grievous' starfighter. Recently I bought the Commando Droid battle pack, Geonosian cannon and Droid Escape. I kept all of the figures from the Commando droid battle pack, C3PO and one Sandtrooper, Barriss Offee, Commander Gree, and the undead Geonosian but instead of selling the rest off, I gave the rest to my 2 youngest. I also gave my 12 year old my PQ pyramid and kept an Anubis figure for myself. I don't think I am a moron if I decide to buy figures from Ebay or Bricklink, if it is way lower in cost than an entire set I don't want.
  • johnsbricksjohnsbricks Member Posts: 210
    Mermaid syrena looks like an expensive catch ......this bidder paid £12 and there are buy it nows for twice that price!
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    @sidersdd, please tell me the B&N you keep mentioning is Barnes & Noble. And if it is Barnes & Noble how come I do not see the Super Heroes sets on their website?

    @Odindusk, I totally agree with you for the mini figs post above. For last 1 year or more we have been checking out prices for the Batman universe mini figures, especially Killer Croc, Two Face, Poison Ivy and Bane. I never found the prices to go down from 30-35 USD and due to that my LEGO partner (my son) been very sad.

    But we recently got the Batman Killer Croc set from someone on Bricklink for 60 USD including shipping :D and I was rewarded the 'Best Dad ever' certificate. But for other mini figs I have ordered the Funhouse set to get the other mini figs.

    So basically its never a good idea to pay so much for a mini figure. But this whole matter will repeat after 2-3 years when Super Heroes theme is sold out and becomes rare :)
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    It has to part of Lego's strategy. Look at how the Kenner figures took everybody by surprise in terms of demand back in the late 70s.
    If they can repeat just a part of what happened there, then they are on to a winner.
    Surely they must have cast an eye on the demand that happened for figs the first time around.
    Totally agree that in some areas it is overtaking the bulk of the Lego in the set.
  • LambringoLambringo Member Posts: 104
    I like the whole set aspect, but I do have a few friends who are into LEGO, but not in the sense that most of us are. They are more interested in getting a few cool minifigs such as SW, Indy and the older Batman to display around the house. They are happy to pay more since they do not care for the rest of the set.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    But hey, you can bring the price right back down by selling those minifigs off.
    sure, but then I've just gutted any future resale value of my now incomplete set.
  • emilewskiemilewski Member Posts: 482
    ^ But then you can just go on ebay/bricklink and just buy the minifigs to complete your set... :P
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    edited January 2012
    Another, more extreme example in an auction that ended tonight:

    The five Super Heroes minifigs from #6858 and #6862 (Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor).

    Winning bid: $49.95
    Cost to buy the two sets: $32.98

  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283
    I'm not a big Star Wars fan but after watching Robot Chickens' version of Palpatine I wanted him. I paid $30 for him. The only set I could find was with a ship and as I said - not really interested and have no use for it anyways. I also wanted a Boba Fett and paid $30 for him as well but lucked out and got him as a set with the 'frozen' Han' so that was pretty cool, and lucky :D
    If only I could find some cheap Stormtroopers....
  • yys4uyys4u Member Posts: 1,093
    Another, more extreme example in an auction that ended tonight:

    The five Super Heroes minifigs from #6858 and #6862 (Batman, Catwoman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Lex Luthor).

    Winning bid: $49.95
    Cost to buy the two sets: $32.98

    What?? Why on earth would anyone do that?

  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    @Jasen - I feel your pain. I'm trying to build a stormtrooper army 1,000 figs deep and I still have over 400 to go. Had I known stormtroopers were going to be so ridiculously difficult to come by, I'd have picked up way more of that fairly bad Imperial Dropship set. Even in spite of the mostly useless shadowtrooper that took up a valuable stormtrooper space, that still seems to have been the greatest deal in terms of massing stormtroopers.
  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283

    This is the best I have so far, I doubt it helps you but you never know. and yeah @y2josh I'm kicking myself now about not getting that set. I guess that's why my "Bricklinking" is getting out of control now. haha All I have is in the picture, I got a loooong ways to go.
    This is only my "Darkside" :)
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 1,996
    Just out of curiosity... why are Artoo and Threepio hanging out with those guys?
  • JasenJasen Member Posts: 283
    LOL @y2josh. I realised after I posted and wondered if anyone would notice.
    And here we are here we are haha.
    Finally my 'bad' has been exposed for all to see. I feel so ashamed..... haha.
  • GalidorneveragainGalidorneveragain Member Posts: 89
    I spent around £64(which is $100) to buy 5 old batman figures around this time last year; they were the Penguin,the Scarecrow,the Riddler,Harley Quinn and Poision Ivy.To be honest I find the 2006-2008 Batman figures to be much better than the recent 2012 Superheroes figures with the only ones I prefer more are Bane and Posion Ivys new hair piece(for which I have put on my old one and looks rather good!)
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor Member Posts: 1,258
    One word: Cassiopeia.
    Well, one more: Staggering.
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