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Minifigures and their Secondary Market Value

samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
edited January 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
With the blessing of the moderators on these forums, I've been granted the ability of being able to start a minifigure thread, similar to that of the "Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value" that has been one of the most popular threads on Brickset for over a year.

I've noticed an increase of minifigure collectors on these forums, so I figure it is about time we kick start our own little thread here.

This thread is meant to discuss the many aspects of minifigures, including what people think about specific minifigures coming out in new sets, as well as previous ones. It can be any theme of minifigures, CMF, Star Wars, Super Hero, Exclusive, etc.. Whichever you have questions about or thoughts on... just as long as it is a minifigure!

I hope to see this thread take a direction of discussing minifigures as potential/current/past investments. However, I realize it's Brickset, and this thread will probably go wherever that its members choose :-)

But, with this general idea in mind, what minifigures do you all believe will be future "winners", which are being undervalued currently, and which ones in the past were overlooked and may be prepared to make a comeback? :-)
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Comments

  • DiggydoesDiggydoes Cologne/GermanyMember Posts: 1,079
    Thanks for opening this thread!!! I've tried to start the same conversation in the "pred.on sets..."couple weeks ago but somehow it didn't really worked out ;)

    I'm curious to know where the Comic-con TMNT figures might go,they're currently rather expensive so will there way go up or down?
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    I would love to get one of those black Leonardo figures but I'm holding out hope that a similar figure will be released in a future set. Since the theme is so new its hard to predict how these exclusive figures will do.
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    S6 Centurion = Spartan MK2

    It's stating the obvious; I know, but I'm still having bags of fun turning them up in the most unusual of places. Easiest minifigure to feel, combined with the highest current value of the series makes him a winner in my books!
  • jasonord69ajasonord69a UKMember Posts: 437
    I think TMNT minifigs will do extremely well. Lots of 30-40 year old AFOL's will be reminded of their youths and loads of kids will love it now.

    I also think that CMF series 8 Santa will climb in value each year, especially around Xmas. Also very easy to feel for the figure and be able to sell them sealed. I can see them being worth at least £15 next Xmas.
  • SpaceCakeSpaceCake Member Posts: 291
    The Klang minifigure is undoubtedly awesome.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    I've edited the titled because the original one was just too long, particularly if you intend for it to be a high volume thread that's always near the top of the list :P
  • Tevans333Tevans333 Member Posts: 152

    I think TMNT minifigs will do extremely well. Lots of 30-40 year old AFOL's will be reminded of their youths and loads of kids will love it now.

    I also think that CMF series 8 Santa will climb in value each year, especially around Xmas. Also very easy to feel for the figure and be able to sell them sealed. I can see them being worth at least £15 next Xmas.

    I agree about TNMT, but am I the only one disappointed by the molded heads? Yeah, they look just like the turtles, but they are so un lego like. I guess I'm old school and don't like specialty pieces. This is the only factor I can see hurting them as I was very excited until I saw this, then passed because of it:(

    What does everyone think of the 3 figures in Wolverines chopper? This set was on clearance recently around here for $15. That's pretty cheap for a set with 3 unique and desirable characters that so far are only available in this set, and last I heard a Deadpool movie was in the works.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    I think all three of the Chopper showdown figs will have strong demand after the set goes away. Especially if the Marvel sets continue to focus on the current movie property that's in theaters right now. Who knows how long it will be until we get another X-Men movie.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    Collecting Minifigures is what got me back into Lego and since my set collecting has spiralled out of control this thread will help me get back to basics.

    Will TLG mark future licensing milestones by hiding figures in sets or continue newer tactics and use exclusive figures to encourage consumers to spend during certain months of the year?

    @jasonord69a, I would be surprised if S8 Santa will reach that much for the very reason he was easy to feel and many people will have stocked up for reselling at Christmas. Popular yes but maybe not S1 Zombie prices. IMHO.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    With the appearance of Superman changing slightly in the forthcoming movie, is it possible the current Superman minifigure, from 6862-2, will be sought after as a more classic depiction?
  • SherlockbonesSherlockbones Member Posts: 411
    I think the TC-14 will slowly rise in price, and so will alot of the Batman II figures
  • Tevans333Tevans333 Member Posts: 152
    Kind of on a tangent, but as a minifig collector, how do you obtain the new figures? I've bought the sets new, removed the figures, then sold the remains. But, I've also just purchased the figures outright. What seems to be the most economical?
  • RepeterRepeter Member Posts: 9
    edited January 2013
    The new Harleen Quinzell, Penguin and Scarecrow from Arkham...they come in a very expensive set that many will stay away from for the price...doesn't mean they won't want those awesome minifigs, though.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    ^^ @Tevans333 if you get your sums right, buying a set and removing the figures you want and selling off what you don't need will pay for the figs and maybe a small profit if your lucky.
    Takes time and effort but in essence it can fund your minifig collecting.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    edited January 2013
    The CMF ones are obvious:

    S1 Zombie (and lesser extent clown and forestman, cheerleader)
    S2 Spartan (disco / pharaoh)
    S3 Elf (gorilla / samurai)
    S4 Viking (hazmat / musketeer)
    S5 Dwarf (gladiator / royal guard)
    S6 Roman (highlander / bandit / liberty)
    S7 no stand out (knight / galaxy patrol / aztec / bunny)
    S8 no stand out (but Santa seasonal, conquistador, bat, businessman, cheerleader, actor, all reasonable)
    S9 Forest maiden, knight (mech, alien avenger, cop)

    Most of those are army builders, which is why people want them in volume, which is why they are harder to get hold of. None of them are going to be worth huge sums though, except the zombie - even then not really huge sums. The future value will probably be in selling whole armies. If you have 20x dwarfs to sell, they will sell well as a group. I can see the business man going for $5-6 but not much higher, since alternatives are available in the city line. Same with soldiers, vikings, etc. There will always be sets out every few years that keep prices for those in check.

    The exceptions to the army builders have generally wide appeal - Santa at Christmas, Liberty in the USA.

    There are of course others that I have missed out with specific appeal - hockey player, footballer (both soccer and US football) - which may be highly collectable for some, but haven't actually done that well.

    It also depends what new sets come out. If LEGO produces a mythology set and it has a copy of the spartan in it, I expect his price will slide a little. The same could happen to any of the army builders, since it cuts out the people wanting volume. If a cheap(er) variation comes along, it is easier to build an army with that instead. This has happened a little with the zombie. I've noticed the same with S2 vampyre and S4 monster and S4 crazy scientist - prices have gone down slightly for these since MF came along. Witch is fairly cheap now too, compared to what it was. Santa is the best Santa there has been. He will do well unless he comes out in another set - although it appears that this years Xmas / seasonal sets will have an old style pirate-bandana hat Santa in.

    That said, I doubt any of them will ever go very high in value, simply because they were so widely available at release, and available worldwide and not really time restricted like promos are.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    Complete sealed CMF sets (early series) may also sell well as new CMF collectors emerge.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
    rocao said:

    I've edited the titled because the original one was just too long, particularly if you intend for it to be a high volume thread that's always near the top of the list :P

    @Rocao- Haha! Sorry, I did get a little wordy didn't I? :-)

  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381

    I think the TC-14 will slowly rise in price, and so will alot of the Batman II figures

    Hm, yes TC-14 is intriguing. On one hand he looks a lot like the "famed" Chrome C-3PO, while on the other he was incredibly mass produced. I'm intrigued to see where he goes.

    I think there should be an emphasis on slowly rise in price.. however I think after a few years, he should pick up pace a bit as people forget just how mass produced he really was.

    He could start to pick up the same enthusiasm as Chrome C-3PO (not near in price of course), since he is almost a carbon copy of him (minus them pesky wires sticking out).

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^He is a she buddy. Get it straight :P
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
    ^No wonder the figure looks like it is wearing a tank top with those wires showing. I should know better. Excuse me miss TC-14.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444

    Complete sealed CMF sets (early series) may also sell well as new CMF collectors emerge.

    I can't keep Series 1 sealed complete sets stocked. They fly right out of here. Series 2 really only sells because of the Spartan, but I have sold quite of few of those as well.

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    @CCC
    The Nurse is actually commands higher prices than the Clown or Forestman. I just sold one a few weeks ago. I have no idea why???
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
    Perhaps as an addition for hospital scenes and such? I can't think of any additions that the clown and forest man give.

    I think that is why you find some prices higher than others for some CMFs over others (excluding rarity), is practicality. Which scenes or LEGO setups will/can they be utilized for?

    I'm quite certain there are more LEGO hospitals than forests or circuses/parties :-)

    Any thoughts on the Chrome C-3PO? I'd love to hear your all's thoughts on this piece. It was at a very rapid exponential growth, and has slowed down as of lot. Anyone think it has plateaued, or if it will continue to go up?
  • lovelegolovelego Member Posts: 16
    Another valuable mini figure to cherish for now is the elrond mini fig. I say for now because who knows if lego will release him in a future set.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
    @lovelego- He actually is coming out in a set soon:

    http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=79006-1

    Council of Elrond.

    However, his torso/leg/(possibly face) art will be different. Which should keep the "collectibility" and rarity of the current Elrond poly steady. It's a nice figure.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    Pitfall69 said:

    @CCC
    The Nurse is actually commands higher prices than the Clown or Forestman. I just sold one a few weeks ago. I have no idea why???

    It does, I think it was down to the distribution / number of them. A decent hospital set could easily kill the price of the nurse for people that don't have these as full set collectables. The surgeon also helps keep the price down for those who want hospital MOCs.

    The clowns seem to be sought after - and some people do have armies of them! I have a few I use for circus MOCs, when combined with pieces from the S5 clown, there are quite a few possible combinations to make them look different. The forestman is also quite popular as an army builder, fits in well with medieval soldiers for a Robin Hood style pack of bandits.

    For the earlier sets, I think the price is determined by people wanting to complete sets, rather than for figures for MOCs. Many of the earlier ones have been repeated to some extent, or variations are out there in other sets, to make cheaper options elsewhere. Which is especially important if you want a dozen or more.
  • SherlockbonesSherlockbones Member Posts: 411
    samiam391 said:

    I think the TC-14 will slowly rise in price, and so will alot of the Batman II figures

    Hm, yes TC-14 is intriguing. On one hand he looks a lot like the "famed" Chrome C-3PO, while on the other he was incredibly mass produced. I'm intrigued to see where he goes.

    I think there should be an emphasis on slowly rise in price.. however I think after a few years, he should pick up pace a bit as people forget just how mass produced he really was.

    He could start to pick up the same enthusiasm as Chrome C-3PO (not near in price of course), since he is almost a carbon copy of him (minus them pesky wires sticking out).

    Agreed, I don't think the figure will go as high as her older brother.

    I think LOTR figures will go up in price after a few years
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 961
    I'm 3 expensive minifigures and a few cheaper ones away from completing my HP collection: Mad-Eye Moody, Umbridge, and Trelawney. I'm not primarily a minifig collector so I've had a hard time parting with the cash for these, but should I cut my losses at this stage and grab them? Or have the prices reached a plateau? It's been a while since I followed the pricing trends on them.
  • ZonZon Member Posts: 214

    ^^ @Tevans333 if you get your sums right, buying a set and removing the figures you want and selling off what you don't need will pay for the figs and maybe a small profit if your lucky.
    Takes time and effort but in essence it can fund your minifig collecting.

    This. I always buy a few of the sets that I want the minis out of, and part out the figs and bricks separately. By the end, I've made all my money back and have the minifigs at no cost (except my time, which I happily spend).
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    ^ Quite a few do the opposite, split the set but get rid of the minifigs to keep the bricks!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^They do indeed. I'm one of them...lol.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    edited January 2013
    ^^&^ This. Minifigs got me back into the brick but this is what I found myself doing more nowadays.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    edited January 2013
    ^ Me too. I find once you have 500 minifigs (OK, I probably have more) you have enough and might as well shift new ones to get a big discount off your bricks.

    I do keep new ones if I don't have them - I don't have any Hobbit ones as yet, and will probably get them once the sets are on discount - but ones that are duplicates I will sell off. You only need so many Lukes, Hans, R2s, etc.

    That said, it is hard to stop with the soldiers. I promised myself to stop at 64 Romans. But that idea was soon broken.
  • Thanos75Thanos75 Member Posts: 1,120
    My minifig collection is small compared to what most of you have...200-300....I'm at the point where i'm going to sell of a bunch to free up funds for building my city. I only have 3 roman's...lol... Are minifigs better to sell in groups or individualy?
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    ^ 64 would never be enough to take a Castle with anyway.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    ^ My castle only has about 40 knights, so yes it is! I'm now stopping when I reach 100 romans.

    Most of the time they fight barbarians made from highlander torsos and legs. They outnumber them 2:1 as well, so it's an easy victory.

    ^^ It really depends who you are selling to. CMFs tend to sell better one-by-one at the time of release, going to people collecting them all. Later on, small groups sell well. Other minifigs, it totally depends what they are. If they are likely to sell, it doesn't really matter. Although it's hardly worth the bother selling, for example, one city minifig or a SW droid or rebel. Better to groups those together in a lot worth £10-20.
  • kempo81kempo81 Wiltshire, UKMember Posts: 961
    has the HULK poly gone up in value and i missed it...? i put some promo poly's on eBay every now and then that i have spare at fairly high prices (not desperate to sell but you never know - might get a bite!), when they have a free insertion weekend. i just put a HULK #5000022 up for £25 and it went instantly? last time i checked these were £12-15???
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,923
    There's a separate thread on this, but the big postal increase in the States on 1-27 is gonna really hurt international buyers buying one-off figs from sellers in the States.
  • RomanticWarriorRomanticWarrior United StatesMember Posts: 248
    Tevans333 said:

    What does everyone think of the 3 figures in Wolverines chopper? This set was on clearance recently around here for $15. That's pretty cheap for a set with 3 unique and desirable characters that so far are only available in this set, and last I heard a Deadpool movie was in the works.

    I think the three-minifigure, $20 superhero sets will hold up well minifig-wise (except maybe the Cosmic Cube Escape). All of the others have three exclusives. Even a year later, the figs from the Superman set are going pretty well. They probably will continue to when the sets are discontinued. I can see the same thing happening, especially with the Mr. Freeze set from this year.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,381
    Thanos75 said:

    My minifig collection is small compared to what most of you have...200-300....I'm at the point where i'm going to sell of a bunch to free up funds for building my city. I only have 3 roman's...lol... Are minifigs better to sell in groups or individualy?

    @Thanos75- That is entirely dependent on the minifigures themselves.

    If it is an army figure, such as your roman which you have already provided as an example, than I've found it better to sell in lots of 10.

    A nice example (yet another) would be that I had two listings a few months ago. One for a lot of 10 Romans ($90), the other to buy Romans individually ($10 a piece. The lot of 10 Romans (although $1 cheaper for each Roman) sold very fast. I than put up another lot of them, and again it was off the eBay site in a relatively fast time.

    Another figure, using a figure such as Darth Vader, wouldn't really sell well in a lot. I don't really know anyone looking to complete their Imperial scene with 10 Darth Vaders, when one suffices.

    A lame example with the Darth Vader, but I'm sure you get where I'm going with it.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    edited January 2013
    samiam391 said:



    A nice example (yet another) would be that I had two listings a few months ago. One for a lot of 10 Romans ($90), the other to buy Romans individually ($10 a piece. The lot of 10 Romans (although $1 cheaper for each Roman) sold very fast. I than put up another lot of them, and again it was off the eBay site in a relatively fast time.

    Totally agree. It's the hassle factor. Why spend 10x longer looking for 10 of them at the price you want, when you can pick up 10 in one go. Some people may still be looking for one to complete their CMF series, but many people that buy these now are after armies or in some cases, buying as an investment.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    kempo81 said:

    has the HULK poly gone up in value and i missed it...? i put some promo poly's on eBay every now and then that i have spare at fairly high prices (not desperate to sell but you never know - might get a bite!), when they have a free insertion weekend. i just put a HULK #5000022 up for £25 and it went instantly? last time i checked these were £12-15???

    I thought they were £12-15 or so too. Yet a look back at recent history on ebay points to some selling for £28 inc postage, while others sit unbought at £18. That's ebay for you.
  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    edited January 2013
    @samiam391

    Carrying over from another thread, where we had a small discussion on production quantities of promotional SW figures, I've been meaning to ask you out of interest in all TLG promotons and associated releases what reference or source did you use to know there are 10,500 chrome C3-P0 figures produced?

    I never hold much credence in the numbers that float about for every promotion, even with the limited qauntity printed on the outer packaging for this figure I've always assumed there were more of these produced and/or 'escaped' than the 10,000 used in the promotion. Perhaps either employee/corporate gifts or extras run off at the production facility.

    But apart from your post I've never actually seen someone directly reference another production number.


    But for builders like @CCC I would fully expect LEGO to supplement the figures that lend themselves to being used in large number like the Roman and the Knights to add diversity to large armies. Maybe not often, but enough?? Maybe for those who keep track of secondary market values on figures it may level out the value of the core/original soldier/figure?

    As for CMFs covering a lot of genres and themes not present in the standard core ranges, the one figure(s) that a lot of AFOL's would snap up would be a 'modern' soldier,as there seems to be a big market in customs. Now we know TLG would never go down that avenue, but it will be interesting to see in forthcoming series how 'close' they come in timeline terms (18th, 19th century etc..) and at what points in history it is acceptable to represent in figure form.


    @kempo81

    IMO the Hulk figure is very underated compared to other promotional figures and is a very nice companion piece to the larger character Hulk figure. It's nice to have a choice and be offered a genuine alternative figure not just an alternative print.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,772
    edited January 2013


    As for CMFs covering a lot of genres and themes not present in the standard core ranges, the one figure(s) that a lot of AFOL's would snap up would be a 'modern' soldier,as there seems to be a big market in customs. Now we know TLG would never go down that avenue, but it will be interesting to see in forthcoming series how 'close' they come in timeline terms (18th, 19th century etc..) and at what points in history it is acceptable to represent in figure form.

    They went pretty close with the Germans in the Indy sets, and obviously British soldiers in PotC. The closest to a modern soldier in CMF would be the Royal Guard - who is a member of the army, but dressed up as more of a ceremonial figure. I doubt many would identify them as a real soldier though, rather just a cermonial figure that you see in London.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited January 2013

    Carrying over from another thread, where we had a small discussion on production quantities of promotional SW figures, I've been meaning to ask you out of interest in all TLG promotons and associated releases what reference or source did you use to know there are 10,500 chrome C3-P0 figures produced?

    I never hold much credence in the numbers that float about for every promotion, even with the limited qauntity printed on the outer packaging for this figure I've always assumed there were more of these produced and/or 'escaped' than the 10,000 used in the promotion. Perhaps either employee/corporate gifts or extras run off at the production facility.

    But apart from your post I've never actually seen someone directly reference another production number.

    @collect_that: Here you go, from @davee123 -- about as authoritative a comment you're going to get outside of it being from LEGO directly, and in this circumstance, I believe his estimate comes from Steve Witt of LEGO, anyhow:
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/11079/#Comment_11079

  • collect_thatcollect_that Kidderminster, EnglandMember Posts: 1,327
    edited January 2013
    @CCC
    True, in every aspect the Royal Guard is a modern soldier, but I also don't identify with him as such. The same is also true of the German figures from the IJ theme, although again a 'modern' soldier, I don't tend to identify with the figure as such as history tells and how they are portrayed in the films themselves.

    Have you pictures of anything you have built with your Romans?

    @rocao
    Thanks, nice little nugget on info on this item. And pretty definitive really, aint gonna get a better answer!! I always read @davee123 posts (post more!!) with great interest but must have missed this one.
  • leego76leego76 Chandlers FordMember Posts: 360
    I think the £28 hulk went as high as there were no other auctions for that fig on at the same time. Quite a few on again now so probably won't hit that level so easily. Which is a shame!
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    The Hulk promo is a great little minifigure.

    As far as "modern" soldiers go, I understand Legos stance, but again they created an Alien Abduction theme. They have a Space Soldier in the CMF line. I think that is closer to a present day soldier than a soldier from WWII.
  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    The Hulk promo minifig should do well long term, again down to exclusivity and probably not as hoarded as the TC-14's.

  • GothamConstructionCoGothamConstructionCo Colchester UKMember Posts: 784
    ^^ If space exploration funding is cut any further we will no longer have spacemen, never mind space soldiers.
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