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What is the value in Polybag sets?

Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 788
edited August 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I believe the title speaks for itself. When it comes to Polybags such as the Frodo and Thor ones recently, people seem to go into a frantic rush to have them. Why is this and is their any value in selling them rather as opposed to trading them?


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,523
    They are exclusives to certain stores, at least at the start of the run. For people that like to have complete sets eg of all the superheroes, it is obviously important to secure them.

    There is value in both selling and trading them. I have traded and sold quite a few of both Frodo and Thor. I have got some nice minifigs from others in exchange for them, and they have also sold quite well - normally between £6 - £10 per poly, before fees.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    - Some polybags have minifigs which are otherwise only available in more expensive sets (see Batman Jetski, Frodo's kitchen, Thor etc.).
    - Some polybags, especially Creator ones, appear to have more greeble parts than larger sets, compared to the overall number of parts in the set.
    - Most of all, a certain population of "completists" might perceive polybags as comparatively cheap to collect? Maybe?
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,967
    To me, the biggest "value" in polybags at this moment in my life is that you can collect them without needing lots of storage space :)

    I'm not in it for the money, so if I have several bags of the same set, then I prefer to swap them for bags I don't have yet. It's just a little bit of fun, really, as I know I'll never have every polybag ever made :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,523
    I think the Frodo one is actually worth more as a sealed poly than the sum of its parts. Parted out it is about £4.50 on bricklink. They sell for more than that as a sealed poly.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    I like them because you can fit a fairly large collection of them in to a smaller space. I don't know if they actually gain much value though, unless they happen to contain a fig or rare piece that spikes later on.
  • BeardedCastleGuyBeardedCastleGuy Member Posts: 127
    @paul_merton and @iccarus have pretty much hit it on the head, they are small, generally inexpensive and very easy to store.... You could have many dozens of Polybags in the space it takes to store a single modular set.
    Yes, some of the Polybags are a pita to get due to where/when/how and occasionally the quantity released but that also can hold true for the larger sets as well.
    Plus with some of them they make great army builders for example is one that I personally have a LOT of.... Now generally one with a character like Frodo or Batman will not be collected as army builders if you wanted the non-minifigure parts you could try selling the minifig seperately and wind up with cheaper or even free parts depending you much you get for them. Spending say $4 a poly or $100 on a large castle which give you more minifigures? With a ratio of around 25 to 6 the poly's win (unless your like me and you do both....)
    I've got over 60 of the 4811 linked above I believe and there's a few other castle poly's that I have in similar quantities.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    That's way more than I have, but I've really only been picking them up more regularly in the last few months. I have a feeling my collection will jump if I ever come across a place that has them available at a discount. I have a hard time even finding them locally.

    Another aspect I forgot is that they make great little gifts. I know some of my extra Friends and Batman jet ski polys will be going to nieces/nephews around Christmas time.
  • Penkid11Penkid11 Member Posts: 788
    edited August 2012
    iccarus said:

    ... but I've really only been picking them up more regularly in the last few months.

    And that rises another question: Is it worth buying them for full price ($5.00 for Frodo Poly at TRU as an example)? I got mine for free with the deal going on right now, but the set I bought (a Duplo gift) almost made me sick with horrible price-per-piece!
  • BeardedCastleGuyBeardedCastleGuy Member Posts: 127
    For the ones I have in truly large quantities they were on sale, clearance or some sort of discount, but I've been buying the poly's off and on for a couple of decades now. One of the few poly's that I purchased in quantity without some sort of discount is it was hard enough to find at all in the local retailer that carried it, let alone to wait for it to (hopefully) discount and then hopefully be around when it did to buy any.
    I'd set a range for 'truly large quantities' in regards to polybags in the 10 to 15 range myself. I can see for most folks having 1 or 2 of any particular poly set being the norm, there's quite a few that I have 1 or 2 of just so I have 1 and perhaps one to trade/open. then as previously mentioned I have the large quantity sets and most of them are opened and sorted to some extent or in the eventual pile to opened/sorted/used.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    I like to collect polys only for personal collection purposes, like having mini-versions of existing sets such as the Lighthouse, Blackpearl, X-wing, Slave-1, etc. But aside from the obvious special promo-polys like TC-14, mini-Hulk, PowerArmor Lex, Chrome Stormtroopers; I don't collect them en masse for resale as I don't foresee much appreciation or demand for them over time or in the long run. Just take a look at the older polys and how they've performed over the years, such as old Star Wars and City polys.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    I recall seeing a chart at one point that tracked the price history of all of the Star Wars polys. They saw at least a modest increase in value.

    I'm pretty sure the more exclusive polys are the bigger deal. Stuff like the Lex Luthor mini or the TC-14/Hulk that are only available through [email protected] or brand store promotions. Granted, those start at well above what you would consider "retail" value on a poly.
  • BeardedCastleGuyBeardedCastleGuy Member Posts: 127
    The thing is I don't collect the poly's (or any sets) just for resale, I have a REALLY hard time letting go of any pieces, so if I amass a bunch of any particular one it's because they have plans for them.

    I collect poly's because it a way to collect sets from a variety themes is a way that still has a cohesive way to view them rather than being a random scattering of whatever appeals to me. Well and some sets are because of the parts inside, be they minifig's or bricks.

    @penkid11 that depends upon your focus in collecting the polybags, is it a goal that is Pokemon style, aka 'Gotta get them all' or is it hey that one is kinda neat I should have 1 or 2 of them? Personally I'm in-between with tendencies towards 'Gotta have them All' but I'm also generally unwilling to pay much above RRP to get them so I don't come as close as I could if collecting the poly's were my primary collecting (and spending focus). In the end only YOU can decide what YOUR focus in the hobby is, building MOC's, building sets as designed and displaying them, getting one of everything in the most pristine box possible, collecting copies of EVERY single sets in a chosen (sub)theme, making a history of LEGO sets/parts/stuff since they started releasing bricks? There are people doing all of the above and more and as I've posted recently: There is no 'One, True Way' for our hobby, it can have both similar and divergent meanings to different people and it's all good.
    I personally don't put a cost/price valuation too much on what I collect, I go for the stuff that pertains to my primary and secondary focus with occasional opportunistic grabs of anything cheap.
    So if the Frodo poly seems too expensive then skip it unless you have decided that you need/want it anyways. Just as a comparison my local Targets have gone to pricing their poly's @$4.74 or so, that makes $5 @ TRU not horribly out of line....
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    For me, it is completion. I want to have all of the LotR sets, so I picked up Frodo in the current TRU promo. I'm glad it was free (bought the Desert Skiff to get it...a find in itself because they aren't anywhere here and I found it hidden behind a bunch a other boxes), but I would have gladly paid for it to have the full LotR line.
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