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If you are talking about a set that is someone's 'grail' that is not measured price wise then that may change some peoples answers, as while I understand the scope of the Falcon, the price pretty much stops anyone that is a casual collector from obtaining it, unless someone is out of touch enough to throw on into a Garage sale bin.
And I thought the cloud city was expensive.
is there any cool sets that are rare that go for a reasonable price?
But that is just my opinion
My understanding is that Cloud City is little more than a playset. Its value lies solely in the fact that there has been no remake, nor any smaller sets featuring the same minifigs. LEGO has remade just about every other set in the original trilogy except for Cloud City and Mos Eisley, so it is only a matter of time before they get back to Cloud City.
...unless we are talking about episode 6 :)
Seriously though I would think 10179 Falcon is the most sought after, and rightly so, set in the Star Wars theme. Cloud City is only popular because of the exclusive figures
The set itself is horrendous, and probably one of the poorest constructed sets that LEGO has ever made. It was also priced at $99.99 upon its release in 2003, for a mere 705 pieces.
Considering that LEGO wasn't incredibly popular (slow uphill climb) at the time, not many people purchased this set. Price per piece was much, MUCH, better back than... thus 705 pieces for $99.99 was hardly appealing for anyone.
It was this lack of market demand, that caused Cloud City to just recently shoot up in price (2-3 years ago). Poor market demand in 2003, resulted in very few copies being created and held onto, making it very rare now that we are in 2013 and people are attempting to "complete" their collections.
Several minifigures, the real grail of the set, are exclusive to this set. This makes it a "Must-Have" for minifigure collectors such as myself. You'll notice that a used copy of Cloud City sells for roughly $500. I sold a set of the minifigures for $475, no pieces included.
Only demand is for the minifigures in my humble opinion, and thus you can't really consider the "set" itself, as the holy grail of sets.
Plus, lets face it, its just a horrible set.... bleah.
That said, I agree with the others that Cloud City is tough to get at decent prices due to the muliple exclusive minifigs, and the UCS Falcon is the biggest sets and is therefore the most expensive. There are many more copies of these sets available than the Toy Fair Exclusive. On the other hand, the TFE is merely a repackaging of #7251 , so maybe it's not that grail-ish...but I doubt I'll ever obtain a copy, and I already own #10123 and #10179 !
All you are paying a few more thousand for is a small label in the bottom.. left hand corner(?) (If I recall correctly). There's only 50 copies, and 3 have been sitting on BL and eBay forever. There just isn't the draw considering you can have the same contents of the package for a mere $30 or so.
direct link if embedding doesn't work
It is certainly the UCS #10143 Death Star II, but for some reason I clearly remembered it as the #10188 Death Star "dollhouse".
The clip is from season 5, episode 8, "The Isolation Permutation".
Oh, and the episode ends with producer Chuck Lorre mentioning those who built the model for the shots:
- a thing which is eagerly pursued or sought after.
- the object of a prolonged endeavor.
#10179 UCS Millennium Falcon is my Holy Grail.
To each their own though. Maybe someone's holy grail is a msib set from their childhood that is no longer made and feel that their collection is not complete without one.
I would say only the Gold C3PO, Bronze Boba and perhaps some stuff that LEGO have never released to the public, could really be considered holy grail stuff, things that you would really have to work hard to get hold of, through legal or illegal means.
I don't agree that price/piece was MUCH better in 2003. But that's a lengthy claim to prove either way. But I will submit the following two sets which were very popular and the comparable PPP ratios were not a barrier: #7163 Republic Gunship (693 pieces/$90) and #7153 Jango Fett's Slave I (360 pieces/$50). It didn't just shoot up in price 2-3 years ago. The aftermarket price doubled within a year of retirement and has continued a steady ascent ever since. My recordkeeping is very clear on this.
Market demand wasn't so much of an issue as market exposure was. Cloud City was a LEGO exclusive at a time when there were only a handful of LEGO retail stores. This was predominately sold from LEGO [email protected], and thus its exposure was limited.
"Holy grail" is pretty subjective, but the set does have some characteristics indicating that it should at least be in the conversation as such, particularly among system scale sets.
It is desirable: it is ranked as the 9th most wanted Star Wars sets by Brickset users. It's after market value as an appreciation % is second to none.
It was scarce: it was a LEGO exclusive and not produced at the same volume of other LEGO system scale sets.
In the aftermarket, it is relatively rare: it has the second lowest own to want ratio of any non-promotional Star Wars set (1087 own vs 2476 want).
However, that being said... I think there may be a few errors in your "counter" post as well and I'd love to bring up my own arguments against what you said... Have to say I disagree with most of what you said.
Still though, I don't want to go back and forth on it on here, as I don't really like it when two people go back and forth on a forum and start to crowd it up with their own "personal conversation". I'll just shoot you a PM, I'd love to see some records on it and discuss it more. :-)
I am curious to see the records?
I am mostly judging off of what I hear around the forums, I will admit that. I've never heard Cloud City as once being recommended as a even "good" set... and I hate it myself. It is quite a subjective statement, and perhaps I shouldn't say it to a few people that are just getting into LEGO so as not to discourage them from it.
"It didn't just shoot up in price 2-3 years ago. The aftermarket price doubled within a year of retirement and has continued a steady ascent ever since. My recordkeeping is very clear on this."
It may have doubled (I'm sure your records are crystal clear on that, so I won't debate it), however I must say that minifigure prices on it didn't soar until 2-3 years ago. Maybe even 4, going back to 2009. This figure was readily available (CCBF) a mere few years ago for $70, and has since reached past $200 to even $300.
I think my problem with my whole post, that you see, is I place an emphasis on minifigures. Minifigures are my forte, not so much sets.
"I'm certain LEGO was among the most popular toys of that era, just as it is today. Stores had an entire aisle dedicated to LEGO just as they do today, and you don't do that with unpopular toys."
"Cloud City was a LEGO exclusive at a time when there were only a handful of LEGO retail stores. This was predominately sold from LEGO [email protected], and thus its exposure was limited."
Second comment does sort of contradict your first one.
I never said it wasn't a rare set, it is rare. However, I believe that the market drive for it is the figures, as opposed to the set itself. I separate a set into two things, bricks and figures. Maybe that's a flaw, but I do it by instinct. In this, I see prices for CC figs going for $475, and than the set itself (used copy) going for $550 or around that range.
""Holy grail" is pretty subjective, but the set does have some characteristics indicating that it should at least be in the conversation as such, particularly among system scale sets."
It is a subjective term, and I never said it shouldn't be considered a "holy grail", however I do NOT think it is the "actual" holy grail.
Everyone I believe will have their own specific holy grail, which makes LEGO great. I'd hate for everyone to strive after the same item, that'd make the rest of the "collection" boring.
Anyway, that's me rambling.
I find we go back and forth on a few things on the forums, must be the difference of bricks and figs.
You should know that I mean no harm in anything I say, perhaps my posts are to subjective and personal. Which I apologize for, if so :-)
To be clear, I wasn't even saying Cloud City would be my choice; I simply said that it shouldn't be so easily dismissed based on its design shortcomings $70 for a single minifig is a pretty robust value to me. And there are three additonal exclusive minifigs. I don't agree that there is a contradiction. LEGO was still being sold at all major retailers. Just because LBR had not yet decided they wanted to open stores in every major city does not mean LEGO was not popular.
Even today there are LEGO customers who aren't aware of [email protected] or are aware but have never placed an order. Now imagine the situation 10 years ago, before the e-commerce landscape had really changed. People on Lugnet were still phoning LEGO weekly to get news of specials because the website was not updated with them. I liken it to the mail order catalog service of the previous era (80's and 90's). People knew about it, but I think it was widely underused. We definitely have a fundamental difference in opinions here. To me, minifigs are part of a set. And the fact that people are separating the figures from the set only increases the rarity of owning the complete set.
So for me the holy grail is a minifig scale death star.
3.9km in diameter to build a minifig Death Star.
"As far as cost goes, ... you're probably at the level where you may find it cost-effective to acquire a controlling interest in the company instead of buying pieces on the open market."
Minifigures are part of the set, however in my mind I instinctively separate them.
I think our difference in opinion will end up getting us nowhere as we continue to go back and forth. I'm not much of a debater either, so I'm just going to leave at that and save us some time :-)