Fun older sets without heavy price escalation?

AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
edited September 2012 in Collecting
Splintering this off from the discontinued-prices thread...

There are clearly sets that are considered fun to build, but for whatever reason, don't seem to appreciate after they're discontinued. The Star Wars "Home One" set seems to fall into this category, and it looks like many of the PotC sets will as well.

What other sets and themes fall into this category? (And are therefore worth looking into as a collector who is looking for fun stuff to build but doesn't want to pay huge premiums above the original RRP?)

Comments

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,244
    Honestly, most older sets fall into this category. eBay is full of older used sets which you can pick up for very little - I do it all the time. Particularly if you're willing to do without a box and/or instructions (which you can download instead) then you need never pay big money for interesting older stuff to build.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Yes, but I'm a bit off "used" sets in general, too many cases of trouble for my taste...

    What older sets can you get still new in the box for a reasonable price? Say anything RRP or lower?

    Box condition doesn't matter really, just so long as the parts are new.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,244
    I'm not sure what 'used set trouble' you've experienced, LFT.... Thanks to Bricklink it almost never matters that used sets are incomplete; just last week I picked up 3 x unboxed, used Indiana Jones sets for less than £20 for the lot including all the minifigs. A few missing bits but nothing I can't quickly replace.

    OK, so I already have the sets MISB, and why I don't just crack open the sealed sets instead of buying them again used is another thread entirely, but my point is that bargains are easily available if all you want to do is build old sets on the cheap.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ Dirty parts is the biggest issue. I get dust and I understand that used parts aren't new, but sometimes they are just nasty. The work to clean 500 parts properly exceeds the value of my time, I would have been better off buying a new set for the trouble.

    Sometimes it works out, the UCS Falcon I purchased used was in perfect condition, but I've had others that took some real cleaning.
  • cataclysmcataclysm Member Posts: 1
    All the Adventurer and Castle sets fall under this
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,244

    ^ Dirty parts is the biggest issue. I get dust and I understand that used parts aren't new, but sometimes they are just nasty. The work to clean 500 parts properly exceeds the value of my time, I would have been better off buying a new set for the trouble

    That's fair.

    I generally soak used parts in warm+ water mixed with washing up liquid, rinse a couple of times and then leave to air dry for about a week. Giving used LEGO a bit of a clean like this is pretty quick and painless. If dirt or dust is bad and parts need to be actually scrubbed then that's a complete pain in the butt, but the used LEGO I buy is seldom dirty enough to need that kind of attention thankfully.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Heck, my own "used" sets sitting on the shelf get dusty. :) But dust blows off with compressed air.

    I've had parts that soaking overnight in dish soap didn't help, they needed a tooth brush. That's just nasty. :)

    The other issue becomes, what is your time worth? At some point, if I have to put 3 hours into cleaning parts, I might as well have bought a new set, depending on the set of course. :)
  • ringleheimringleheim Member Posts: 168
    To get back on point, two outstanding Lego building experiences available at reasonable prices are the UCS AT-ST and Darth Vader's Advanced TIE.

    Both are long discontinued UCS sets and yet can be had in MISB condition for less than $200 each.

    As to why these aren't at least double that I don't know.

    I got both and loved the build/finished product in each.

    Both build into large, substantial sets with great detail and use some interesting build techniques. Each was a good bit bigger than I thought it would be once built.

    Regarding used sets...I have only bought one so far, and it was missing several pieces, many of the pieces were gunked up with what appeared to be dried nail polish, and there was a large oil stain on the first 2 pages of the instruction manual. The whole thing literally smelled like disgusting McDonald's or similar fast food, and I swear a greasy bag (yuck!) of McDonald's food was placed on the instruction manual!

    I will most likely never buy a used set again. I'm not into paying money for other people's discarded trash. I would have returned the set for a refund as the set was most certainly not as advertised, but after several glitches and delays with the seller, I simply could not trust that I would ever get a refund.

    I concluded keeping the set was better than the annoyance of dealing with a return. Lesson learned.

    Buy new, all the time. That's my policy now.



  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    edited October 2012
    I'm broke and have pretty much limitless time, barring vengeful acts of god and whatnot. So I'm all about used sets. I don't value my time and money is already valued for me. There are many, many older "sleeper" sets, I think it all just depends on your tastes. For example I got Ogel's Mountain Fortress NIB for $32. I like, very much.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Yes, I'm really looking for new, sealed sets at, say, no more than a 50% premium over RRP, and preferably not more than a 20-35% mark-up. There are some things I've been willing to pay huge mark-ups on (Imperial Flagship, modulars, and probably eventually a Grand Carousel) but those are limited.
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 518
    The Hypno Cruiser from the Time Cruisers' lineup is an awesome little set! A cool, wacky car with lots of neat pieces. I bought two NIB (everything still sealed in bags) from eBay for a combined price of $14.99. I think that is what one of them sold for at MSRP back in 1996. This is just one example, as most of my eBay vintage set purchases are of these smaller, over-looked gems from the 1990s.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    I think anything that gets refreshed or upgraded periodically you can pick up for around or below rrp. I'm thinking of City sets mainly, so older versions of Police or Firestations should be reasonably priced, as long as they aren't vintage. Maybe the recent reincarnations of the Y-Wing, X-Wing and T.I.E will deflate the value of their predecessors somewhat.
  • MandarineMandarine Member Posts: 31
    I recently picked up a new Volcano Base from the Agents line. Heaps of fun and I got it for about $90 AUD. Not cheap, but about RRP when it was out in Australia. It channels all the Bond and Bond/Superhero spin-offs, like the Incredibles, or Dr Evil... My son loves it!
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    I bought the Volcano Base when it was new, and I absolutely adore it. It was one of a pair of purchases during my second dark age. The rest of the Agents sets seem to have escalated hugely though.

    Lego has definitely gone through a renaissance in recent years, though, with a totally different and much more refined visual look to the models.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    StuBoy said:

    I think anything that gets refreshed or upgraded periodically you can pick up for around or below rrp. I'm thinking of City sets mainly, so older versions of Police or Firestations should be reasonably priced, as long as they aren't vintage. Maybe the recent reincarnations of the Y-Wing, X-Wing and T.I.E will deflate the value of their predecessors somewhat.

    I wouldn't consider police/fire sets to be a "fun build" that they are looking for. Much too juvenile.

    I take it you have exhausted what is currently in stores? Because there are loads of great sets in stores now like the VW Camper, Death Star, and the UCS SSD that you can pick up at or under RRP.

    As for discontinued sets, I don't know that I have ever purchased a MISB set. I go for used sets from a reputable Bricklink store, and try to look for sets AFOL owned and taken care of.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,780
    Some classic spaceships like #6973 are a lot of fun if you like Space. Not very cheap on Bricklink though
  • coachiecoachie South WalesMember Posts: 476
    Technic #8455 ? That should tick the fun build/play box. Also quite a few older not quite top of the range Technic sets eg. #8462 and the re-release #8431 of the popular 8460 from 1995.

    I _cough_ have a few 8455 in my BL store that I have at a very good price.
    They seem to be expensive in the States, but cheaper in Europe.

    Is Techic as popular in the States as it is in Europe?

    Also, the Life on Mars sets from 2001 don't seem to have gone stellar, if you pardon the pun. A few interesting sets in there.
  • cbaker1974cbaker1974 Member Posts: 150
    I really enjoyed the Prince of Persia sets with their interesting colors and exotic theming. You can get them for great deals on bricklink or eBay...especially like the Alamut and race for the dagger sets.
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,876
    To answer the initial question here...1682 is a good one.
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    I've managed to accrue maybe half of the Model Team sets. Relatively affordable for some very nice sets. Most below original RRP.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Thanks for the suggestions thus far!
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    edited October 2012
    natro220 said:

    I wouldn't consider police/fire sets to be a "fun build" that they are looking for. Much too juvenile.

    Why not? The OP suggested Home One and PotC, they're not much more 'grown up' than City.
  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 545
    StuBoy said:

    natro220 said:

    I wouldn't consider police/fire sets to be a "fun build" that they are looking for. Much too juvenile.

    Why not? The OP suggested Home One and PotC, they're not much more 'grown up' than City.
    I have nothing against City in general (it and classic town make up probably half of my collection)...but Police and Fire get rehashed so often, I haven't considered buying most of their sets in a long time. But to each their own...
  • LegogeekLegogeek Orange County, CaliforniaMember Posts: 711
    edited October 2012
    Guess it depends on what the OP means by "FUN"
    A 'fun' build or 'fun' as in playability factor after the build?
    I might be the odd-man-out.... I enjoy building, but I don't quite classify it as 'fun'.
    What constitutes a fun build?
    If playability, then I'd say any police or fire set has a fun playability factor.
    Of course it all depends on the kid or AFOL and their own personal likes and dislikes...
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    For me (an AFOL), a "fun build" is one in which pieces are used in interesting ways and there's interesting detailing -- stuff that makes you say "oo, haven't seen that before". I also have a weakness for interesting traps.

    I love the modulars, which are full of interesting techniques as well as detailing. I love the Ninjago Destiny's Bounty, which has both interesting techniques as well as totally unexpected sculptural sorts of details -- the ship itself is so unusual that the build is unpredictable. I like things like the Batcave's elevator shaft (drop down Bruce Wayne and get Batman at the bottom), the sleek lines of the car in the Vampyre Castle, the cleverness of the shark's head entrance in Portal of Atlantis, and so forth.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    edited October 2012
    Some of the old space sets have some pretty clever features, like Blacktron2 and Space Police. The Blacktron2 line had detachable cockpits that could be interchanged with other vehicles http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6933-1, and one Space Police set I have has a clever way of carrying the prisoner pod, and the entire rear of the craft can be slid forward when the pod is detached. http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6897-1

    My favourite for clever design and fun build is Camouflaged Outpost, but not much chance of finding a MISB for cheap. http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=6066-1
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I have to agree, #6897 is a fun build.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    ^^When you say "not much chance of finding a MISB for cheap", you really mean "it'll be about $600"...:P Or at least, the one advertised for sale right underneath is.

    That's the problem with old sets: if all you want is last year's Ninjago set, or the last incarnation of the ubiquitous fire station/police hq, it probably won't be too expensive (I'm guessing it could well be cheaper then retail price), but if you want older, more 'classic' sets, you could easily be looking at 2 times RRP, and if it's a particular classic, then there seems to be no upper price limit.

    Having said that, if you're just looking for a fun build, I'm sure some recent sets have those for very reasonable prices.
  • BobaFett2BobaFett2 Member Posts: 12
    Smaller sets tend to stay low priced. Large sets suffer from serious inflation.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    So I took a look at prices to see just how bad the prices are for classic sets. And yes, it tends to be pretty bad. However, what really surprised me is that it's only true for new sets. For used sets the price is often times well below MSRP when the original is adjusted for inflation. Even the ever popular #6066 is not that bad: Original price was $23, which adjusted for inflation is $47. Average sale price on Bricklink is $66, with sets being sold as low as $45.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    I actually own the Camouflaged Outpost from my chilldhood. Or more precisely I snatched it from my sister, who got it as a Christmas gift. I remember it was one of my favorite childhood sets. :-)
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    StuBoy said:

    Some of the old space sets have some pretty clever features, like Blacktron2 and Space Police. The Blacktron2 line had detachable cockpits that could be interchanged with other vehicles http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=6933-1 ... .

    I got this as a kid and it's still one of my favorites to this day! I'm surprised to see some of the old Blacktron, Ice Planet, and Space Police sets going for so little.

  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Regarding sets like #6066 - What is amazing is that set was released in 1987, that is 25 years ago... and yet it was 10 cents per part.

    How far as Lego come, how far has manfacturing come, to have the prices still be in the same per part range today in 2012?
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited October 2012
    ^Same denomination per piece, but 50 percent cheaper in today's dollars! (at least I think that's how the math works) According to this, $.10 in 1987 is equal to $.20 today. Yes, quite amazing that Lego is effectively 50 percent cheaper today than it was in 1987. Fantastic for us.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    emmtwosix said:


    I got this as a kid and it's still one of my favorites to this day! I'm surprised to see some of the old Blacktron, Ice Planet, and Space Police sets going for so little.

    I agree! I guess there's not as much demand for these as, say, Castle or Pirates of this era. Wouldn't be too expensive to complete a collection of any of those sub-themes, I'd imagine. But, as others have said MISB is a different story.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    Agree with what has already been said by some...big fan of the Ice Planet stuff. Glad I never got rid of mine.
  • AmberylAmberyl Member Posts: 193
    Just updating this with finds... The Space Police III sets look like they're great buys -- EOL'd recently enough there's still plenty of stock and availability below RRP, and current-generation design.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    edited October 2012
    Agree, especially on Lunar Limo #5984-1 . Bought it for all the nice black pieces but can't find the will to part it out. Fantastic little ship.

    Nice little Galactic Cadillac with an Alien Pimp minifig in purple crushed velvet suit with matching fedora. I can already imagine him peddling Twileks on a dark corner of the universe somewhere... love at first sight ahh!
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