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ethanwaethanwa Member Posts: 3
edited May 2011 in Collecting
I have started getting into collecting Lego sets. I've been buying them and keeping them unopened. I like collecting entire themes (Prince of Persia... all sets). Does anyone else do this? Is there value long term with this?


  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    There's real profit to be made (consider the obvious examples of 10179 or 10190), just not as much as if that same money was invested professionally. Some people might look down on your collection since the sets were made to be built, but I say to each their own.

    You're definitely not alone.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    Its a waste of money unless youre very lucky and the set shoots up in value (rare). The 'cost' of using it is usually very low indeed - if its a sought after set then it'll be worth a lot opened as well - and of course you get some benefit i.e. fun. Otherwise, you're wasting huge amounts of storage space for a minimal return.
    Get some benefit from it!
  • collect_thatcollect_that Member Posts: 1,327
    I agree opened sets that have been built and well looked after once retired don't really lose value.

  • JohnnycogsJohnnycogs Member Posts: 68
    edited May 2011
    I get them, rip em open, enjoy building the sets, use them for some photography practice then put em all in the loft, waiting for the Christmas day when my two boys are old enough to wake up n see a massive lego city from the big bloke with the red outfit!!! That's where the real value is.... kids that smile and learn from Lego....
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca Member Posts: 619
    I've got this list on Brickset called "The Unbuilt" of all my unopened, unbuilt sets. There are dozens of sets on that list, including a few that I know are worth quite a bit. However, their state of newness is an accident; real-life forcing me to spend time away from building, yet the urge to collect lives on. Now that I am on vacation until I start work in August, I think many of these sealed sets will be enjoyed the way they were meant to be. To be honest, I always buy sets with this criteria in mind: "Do I want to build this?" If the answer is, "Yes!", then I will buy it. Hence, the "keeping it sealed" issue is usually moot. I think that is a good load off my mind.
  • dmm32552dmm32552 Member Posts: 47
    I've wanted to keep stuff unopened but I can't (except for duplicates). I really see no point in it because, as has been pointed out by others already, the sets which become truly valuable command high dollars even when opened. You can get $50 easily for just a loose Jabba the Hutt. I like to build the sets, display them on my shelf, and rotate them so they don't collect dust or fade.
  • taffer1979taffer1979 Member Posts: 1
    I say enjoy the sets by building them, I have been buying tons of sets off ebay. I have noticed as long as you keep the boxes, manuels and of course all the pieces they are worth the same price. Unless the bidder is a sealed box collecor as well.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    You can get $50 for Jabba the Hutt?!? Wow... I have one that was in a bag of LEGO found at a garage sale. I wonder if I can sneak that away so that my son doesn't notice he's missing.

    Back on topic... I was watching something on TV the other day about comics, and they were interviewing Stan Lee and he was talking about why old comics are worth a lot of money - because they are rare and people didn't save them back then.

    Ever since ebay, a lot of people are holding onto their toys/comics/whatever because they think they will be worth a mint in 25 years. The problem is that so many people are collecting things in sealed boxes now, that the items won't be as rare, and hence not as valuable.

    For a while I was collecting GI Joe, and it never ceased to amaze me when people were paying more for a 2010 remake of a 1980's action figure than the 1980's action figure new in package was selling for. Huh? How does that even make sense? There is no way that remake is going to be worth as much as the 30 year old figure. Not when thousands of people are collecting them vs. almost nobody collecting them 30 years ago (we were all too busy playing).

    I think the same thing applies to LEGO as to comics or GI Joe... don't expect to retire off of your collection, the supply will exceed the demand for most modern collectibles.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    ^ Not entirely true when you consider what's happened with UCS and modulars; it's just that opened UCS/ modulars are not that different in price to sealed ones generally.
  • dougtsdougts Member Posts: 4,110
    yeah, it's all about rarity. I remember steadfastly collecting every SW Ep 1 action figure back in 1999. I got them all, never opened any of them, and they have been sealed away in boxes for 12 years now.

    Every once in a while I go on ebay and do some price checks. Full collections like mine seem to go in the neighborhood of 200-300, which probably isn't that much more than I paid 12 years ago, and adjusting for inflation, it's probably a wash. so there they sit. If I had a boy, I'd probably just give them to him. But my two girls wouldn't care a wit about them.
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    I am buying up sets and leaving them closed. Why? Me and my wife are planning on having a child. So we figured what a great thing to buy sets and leave them closed for our child when he is old enough. We figure when he is like 7/8, we are just going to give him this massive Christmas of 100's of sets. Maybe start out with 1 or 2 and see how they like Lego. If they don't, well we an just resell them and figure we won't be out anything. But after they see my collection, hopefully they will be hooked as well. We already have every Star Wars, City, PotC, and Castle set we could find at Walmart and the wife isnt even pregnant yet!
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu Member Posts: 368
    My unopened are a mixture of a handful of sets I really liked that I knew would be long gone by the time my son is old enough to enjoy them and a few high-cost exclusives that I intend to flip for a profit within 12 months of them going OOP.

    The only other MISB items I have are a couple of limited edition/limited release sets which I want to hold on to for 5+ years and they were primarily justified as an investment, but I am not actually bothered if they don't appreciate in value - I'll just open them up and build em!

    Keeping sets boxed without a explainable reason just puzzles me.
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    Each to their own and everything, but I have always believed you shouldnt count your chickens, a good friend of mine has just found out he cannot have a child.
    Also my experience so far suggests that giving him 100's one Christmas is not always the way to go. And you could have a girl :) and most girls of that age probably wouldnt be too interested in Star Wars, Pirates or Castles, so you may end up selling it all to get dolls (sorry for the clearly sexist suggestion there, but it is true of most girls).
    Not quite sure the benefit of keeping them sealed as you say you have a collection, why not just collect the ones you like and if you have a boy and he is into LEGO in 7 years time, then you can pass yours down to him leaving him a (I assume) awesome collection.
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    To each their own, but I cannot bear to leave my sets sealed. I usually open them right away because I cannot resist.

    ^ Don't make any assumptions, often it is parents who influence what their kids play with even when the child would have preferred something else if allowed to make the choice on their own. I have a friend who was never bought LEGO as a child simply because she is female. She told me that she would have loved some and that she played with her brother's LEGO.

    I had LEGO from a young age and it was castles, ninja, space, Star Wars etc. and I am female. Plus there are themes that are equally appealing to girls and boys (ex. Harry Potter, City).
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    Yeah, you are right, I know (and am very happy) that there are female LEGO fans out there, but whatever the reason percentage wise they are a minority.
    I wasnt saying that if he had a baby girl that she wouldnt want to play LEGO, just that she 'may' not.
    Anyway, I retract my comment if it affended (last thing i wanted :) ), just thought it a strange reason to collect sealed LEGO for a child that hasnt even been conceived.

    But as you say each to their own. Diversity is what makes life interesting. :)
  • wander099wander099 Member Posts: 114
    ^ Don't worry, I am not that easy to offend :) I just don't want people to make assumptions like that. Anyway, I agree that it is a strange reason to collect sealed LEGO sets because there is no guarantee that any child will like LEGO, male or female. Or if they do, they may not care for the particular sets or themes anyway.
  • EnbricEnbric Member Posts: 64
    I think the (conscious or unconscious) reason romdam is collecting sealed sets is for himself and his wife. He says he is hoping his child "will be hooked as well" indicating that romdam is already hooked. I'm guessing it's just a reason to justify buying sets as an adult.

    Even if he is buying for his unborn child, I'm sure he realizes that a young kid won't care about whether the set is in production or how rare/expensive it is, it's all about the size and the playability. I'm sure most kids don't care if the set is sealed or not, anyway.
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    No, not buying the sets for me. I only own about 7 sets total that were made from 1995 to current. My basement is set up in all 80's sets.

    If the child shows interest, the will have thier own sets then to play with. My sets are not for play so much.

    I WANT the child to open them. No, not given all at once. It was just a joke between me and the wife to think it would be neat to have all these sets to give a child when they are old enough. I loved Lego as a kid and never really had a bunch. I grew up in the 80's so the reason for my buying all the 80's city, space and castle sets for myself.

    We are leaving the sets closed for the reason if the child shows no interest in them. We figured we'd get our money back then at least. We just thought it'd be a neat idea. If he/she loves them, awesome. If not, I would have no problems with putting them up on ebay or the likes as the current stuff does nothing for me really.

    To use as an example, I had an uncle save sports cards for me since the year I was born in 1972. I grew up around cards and when I was old enough, at 7, he gave them to me. Sports cards was always my #1 hobby and now I can say I have all the major sets of baseball, football, basketball, and hockey since 1972. It was neat someone did something like that for me. Grantd he startd when he knew I was a boy, but still. I wish I would have done somthing like this for my daughter who is now 19, but I was a single dad and could only afford so much at the time. She always loved and still does love my sets from when I was a kid. If anything were to happen to m, they'd be hers.

    End of long story, they are for a child to OPEN, and hopefully love.
  • princedravenprincedraven Member Posts: 3,764
    :) thanks for the background story romdam, sounds like you had a really nice uncle :)
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ Member Posts: 4,179
    ^^ Sounds like a closet AFOL though to me :)
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    edited May 2011
    @romdam - thanks for the story. And I agree with you. Part of my justification is that the sets I have are for my unconcieved kids one day (the town ones certainly - the modulars maybe not!) I'm also putting away the odd set that I've got at 50% off - hopefully in 5-6 years time I'll have appreciated paying for them already, as finding discounted lego 'on demand' is difficult - it's good to buy it when you see it.
    I can't promise that they'll stay unopened all that time - and they might end up with my niece and nephew. But I suspect the impact of getting lego for my kids won't be same if it's opened when they've grown up surrounded by lego. I think it needs to be sealed, so they know it's for them!

    My sister and I loved lego (and still do) but had a handful of sets between us. I do wonder whether spoiling mine with loads of sets will detract a bit from the pleasure of mocing sets over and over. Does anyone with small kids who've grown up in an AFOL's house have experience of this?
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