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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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Comments

  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Apples and oranges.  The train in question was not #7938, but #60051, which exhibits a 15% msrp markup over #7938 for nearly the same, identical thing.  Buying that at 20% off is $120, which to gain a 66% increase would require the unlikely resale price of $200.

    Let me extend my hyperbole.  For investment purposes, there are a dozen sets I'd buy a hundred of before I'd buy #60051 at 20% off.

    CurvedRoadPlate
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    It's difficult to compare trains and modulars...apples to oranges really.

    TLG keeps coming out with both, but I think there's just a bigger aftermarket for the modulars. Another factor (for me at least) is that the City Passenger trains seem to be much more repetitive; the modulars more unique. In fact, the City Passenger trains seem more repetitive than the City Cargo trains (but not by much).

    Give it a year and I think the GE will pull a "Seabiscuit" on #7938 and #7939.

    JMO...
    I definitely agree that Grand Emporium will prove to have a higher ceiling. If the question was if the Passenger Train should be purchased instead of a Grand Emporium, I'd agree with a statement of no. What I was refuting was that Passenger Train wasn't worthwhile at all.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    Your original argument against #60051 was that it was "just another nondescript city train". But when I use #7938 (which I didn't cherry pick because it's an aftermarket star... because it isn't), which is the previous incarnation of the nondescript city train, you say that we can't compare them? Weird.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited March 2015
    It is still another nondescript train, which is irrelevant.  And you missed the part about apples and oranges.  #7398 is not comparable to #60051 because there's a 15% markup between models.  Weird that seems weird to you.
  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,252
    It is still another nondescript train, which is irrelevant.  And you missed the part about apples and oranges.  #7398 is not comparable to #60051 because there's a 15% markup between models.  Weird that seems weird to you.
    Weird that seems weird that seems weird to you?
    Bumblepants
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    I got most of my Grand Emporiums on sale and used a load of VIP points to purchase another. Not including VIP points, my average purchase price was $123. Although we don't have any data, if one were going to compare City Train sets to Modulars in terms of investment, it would probably be best to compare current Modulars to current Train Sets and then wait to see what happens.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    edited March 2015
    At the end of the day, this thread is full of "advice" and opinions. You are the only one that can decide which route to take. Everyone has different investment portfolios. I have definitely learned from some mistakes I have made in the past.

    My opinion, unless you can get a better deal than 20% on the City Trains, I wouldn't invest too much into them. Again, that is just my opinion.
    brickupdatedougtsTheLoneTensorFollowsClosely
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited March 2015
    I didn't miss that part. It was not a part of your original argument, and rather, was introduced after I made the comparison to #7938. So they were both apples in your first judgement, until you declared the apple an orange more recently.

    Regarding the 15% markup, #7938 was priced in 2010. CPI inflation calculator says it equates to $141 today, so it's really only a 6% markup
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited March 2015
    That's not relevant, because #7938 was still available in 2014.

    Now, if you want to stay on target with the original discussion and take the stance that buying the white passenger train today at 20% off is a better investment choice than the PS/PC/DO, I'd love to see that argument play out.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    I like the white passenger train.  It's sleek and modern.  Still, no modern train system can compare to the coolness of a space monorail:


    chuckpalijoezacLobotprevereparadisiaGothamConstructionCo
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,140
    If I was to start investing in Lego today I would probably shy away from any Star Wars set except for the UCS sets (and some select larger ones like the AT-AT).  Prior to the license extension, almost every set did really well (I would know I bought most of them when I got out of my dark ages at ridiculous prices). Nowadays, a lot of sets are being constantly remade and unless you get them for a very good price (like any other theme) you really won't make a lot. That theme also has the most competition when it comes to auction listings. 
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,326
    edited March 2015
    I stopped considering a sale price I got something at as a good indicator for how other people will do, especially with using ROI. I tend to look more against RRP and how high it is after all things considered, because you are assuming that everyone got that set at that sale price, but that is not always the case. Or maybe they got 'x' set for 30% off, but 'y' set at only 20% off, that does not really accurately gauge the performance of the set, but how savvy of a buyer you are IMO.

    I know RRP is not really a solid indicator either BUT it is the RRP, so that means that if no discounts are had that is likely the price you paid (especially if is is an exclusive set bought after the US Exclusive ban).

    I will add that if you want a better chance of a good ROI then yes you want to find a set on sale, and I think the general feeling is at least 20% off of RRP, whereas 30-40% is optimal (but hard to find at those discounts lately). That way if it only is around retail, or slightly over it, after EOL you will still be better off. Mods and other exclusives are an exception in the US due to the sales ban on them (though apparently Target had #10235 listed in their BOGO 40 items).

    IMO A mod will give you a far better ROI than a 'standard' city train, unless LEGO decides to stop making trains as a standard set. If you get a train on sale? Sure it will do OK, but will it really be better than a mod? It seems that the latest EOL cargo trains have been stalling out at about 200 USD, or slightly over it. The #7938 is about 160 USD I think on eBay. I'm fairly certain a mod is not going to stall at 200 USD. Heck GE is generally regarded as a 'bad' mod, but still is now around 290 USD on eBay I believe.
    But look at the passenger train behind the last: #7897. A New one in box is 225 USD on eBay. Which means that even the mod that was released about 4 years later than it (GE)is doing better than it. Now the sister train that year, the #7898, is doing pretty well at 370 USD I believe for a new in box example. But that is now 9 years ago, the Mod out at that time? only the 'little known ' #10182 Cafe Corner, then #10185 Green Grocer

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    edited March 2015
    What also throws a Monkey Wrench in the whole thing is that TH was still available for 3-4 months after #60052 was released. Both sets have a $200 RRP. Would you rather have a stack of TH's or a stack of Blue Cargo Trains?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    That's not relevant, because #7938 was still available in 2014.

    Now, if you want to stay on target with the original discussion and take the stance that buying the white passenger train today at 20% off is a better investment choice than the PS/PC/DO, I'd love to see that argument play out.
    I won't take the stance because I don't believe it, and that wasn't what I was addressing. You're the one that's having trouble staying on target. You said you'd buy a modular 100 times before you bought a single passenger train.

    My response was that I, on the other hand, wouldn't. And I explained why selling 100 copies of the same thing presents challenges. I'd rather have an additional unique listing for a passenger train to sell from day 1, than wait until day N when I finally list the 100th copy of the modular.

    This obviously requires that the passenger train can be sold for profit, because I wouldn't make the same statement with just any set. And that's why I demonstrated with historical data that a set belonging to the same category that you call nondescript can be sold for a worthwhile profit.

    Of course, rather than doing the reasonable thing to counter my points, you just backtracked and said your statement was hyperbole and dismissed my undertaking to provide data as "<a lot of time spent>" as if that's a bad thing to do.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    Pitfall69 said:
    What also throws a Monkey Wrench in the whole thing is that TH was still available for 3-4 months after #60052 was released. Both sets have a $200 RRP. Would you rather have a stack of TH's or a stack of Blue Cargo Trains?
    This is a different argument and not unique to the case between Modulars and City Trains. For resale, buying just about ANY set right before retirement is preferable to buying a set that was just released. 
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited March 2015
    Nope, you're not twisting out of this one.  The argument was exactly what I said it was when it started, and then you took it in a whole different direction.  I refused to follow, and you refused to let it go.  LFT and you got into these scrapes one too many times, and that's one of the main reason's he's not around anymore (unfortunately).

    I'll be honest with you, you really disappointed me here.  This little dust up quieted down and we started getting back on track, then you decided to reel it back in for what?  To continue to prove a point to me that a) I don't care about and b) is wrong?

    When all is said and done, who really gives a squat?  Pitfall said it best, that this is all opinion anyway, and people will believe what they choose to believe, be it a loudmouth like me, a bullying admin like yourself or somewhere in between.
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,059
    What's the over/under currently on Brick Bounty?
  • LegoManiaccLegoManiacc Member Posts: 116
    edited March 2015
    Don't even sweat it, this was rocao back at Harvard explaining for 17 hours straight why jacks ARE the best kid's game ever and not hopscotch as one person had thrown out as an off the cuff remark. How bout them apples:
  • BrickarmorBrickarmor USAMember Posts: 1,257
    Opinions play a role in deciding what to buy today, but the numbers pertaining to already retired sets don't change whether one likes them or not. TLT gave an opinion, it was countered with facts, facts which the presenter actually said did not represent his own opinion (or the stance being foisted upon him). It's The Predictions thread, folks. Facts + opinions = predictions. Caveat emptor and carry on. I paid $75 for my old red Passenger Trains (whatever % off that is) and am fine sitting on them a while longer.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited March 2015
    Personally, I have found the formula below to be great for determining the "relative" aftermarket value of a Lego train.





    Pitfall69Rainstorm26
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    You're really misinterpeting. When you said you'd buy a modular a hundred times before buying a single city train, I thought that's exactly what you meant and I thought it was interesting advice worth discussing. This was reinforced with your next post that said "these things are not what anyone should have in their brick investment portfolio."

    My post was not a critique of that position. I didn't say you were wrong (because as pitfall69 said, there is no right or wrong, only differences of opinion). If you care to re-read, you'll see that I said that I wouldn't do the same. I was offering the counterpoint of investing heavily in a particular set vs. diversifying. Am I not entitled to this opinion?

    Your response accused me of being overliteral. I wasn't being overliteral; I simply wasn't assuming that you were exaggerating. 
    BACbrix
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    ...and people will believe what they choose to believe, be it a loudmouth like me, a bullying admin like yourself or somewhere in between.
    Not a fan of either one of you guys.  But it's funny you calling someone else a bully when you yourself pick on the "newbs" on a regular basis.
  • RonyarRonyar Member Posts: 357
    Let me throw out another hypothetical topic for discussion, as the whole idea of what price you bought a set at keeps getting pointed out. I have seen various SW sets in the US at nice discounts via the Walmart app. Sadly, not where I live. (AT-AT for $54, Cantina for $21 are two good examples). If you could buy them at that price, how long would you hold them? Are they likely to appreciate enough after retirement that holding would be worthwhile? Or would you sell them quickly to get your cash back out to reinvest in something else? (Also assuming you can't buy unlimited numbers of the sets at that price.)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,326
    Ronyar said:
    Let me throw out another hypothetical topic for discussion, as the whole idea of what price you bought a set at keeps getting pointed out. I have seen various SW sets in the US at nice discounts via the Walmart app. Sadly, not where I live. (AT-AT for $54, Cantina for $21 are two good examples). If you could buy them at that price, how long would you hold them? Are they likely to appreciate enough after retirement that holding would be worthwhile? Or would you sell them quickly to get your cash back out to reinvest in something else? (Also assuming you can't buy unlimited numbers of the sets at that price.)
    If you can really get these sets for greater than 50% you are in the drivers seat if they are desirable. You can sell now, or wait until EOL. It is really in the eye of the beholder though. How much are you looking to make off of a set? 100% profit? 200%? etc.

    pharmjod
  • superstarbeejaysuperstarbeejay Member Posts: 121
    When to sell is a much bigger issue for me than what to buy. Most of what I invest in is highly discounted sets on clearance. Most of these will not jump above rrp quickly. The question is then how long to hold on for before taking what I can. Most sets in the UK do eventually go above rrp but the time this takes is highly variable.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,694
    It'll be interestering to see what happens if they repeat a modular, not a copy but an updated version of say a fire station. Just like regular city trains, or SW ships, there is not an infinite list of possibilities, and some future ones will start to look like older ones.
    VorpalRyuTXLegoguy
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^There can be "infinite possibilities". Most cities in the US have more than just 1 Fire Station. Larger cities have many. There are many Modular buildings that Lego can produce without repeating anything.
    pharmjodDad
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,694
    ^ I'd call two firestations similar sets. Sure they would be different, but how many people will want two firestations in a row of maybe 15 modulars?

    Of course there are infinite possibilities, but that is exactly what happens with City sets too. They are rarely repeated exactly, but sometimes (quite often) very similar models to ones from the past come out.

    Lego could easily change the game on modulars if they wanted to. What happens if they decide to do two a year and keep them at [email protected] for up to five years? That would be up to ten available at retail at any time. That would probably be more than enough to satisfy newcomers, and far fewer people would need to dip back into retired products at inflated costs. Sure, there would always be the odd one that people wanted but if they start doing more general stores, for example, would people really want a pet shop at inflated prices when they can get five different stores at current prices? Would people really want the other fire station if they can get an newer one with possibly better features / updated parts at retail? This is essentially what happens with City now. It only takes a decision at Lego that the adult / expert market should be better catered for and expanded and it could happen.

    I also wonder how many it will take people to reach saturation point. There will always be die hard collectors that will want everything, probably sealed too. But for the general collector / displayer, once there are lets say 15 out, will they still want more if they do not have room to display them? Of course they could sell the older ones and buy newer ones, which works under today's resale prices. But if the above happens, and older ones become out of favour with respect to newer ones, modulars could become the new City.
    TXLegoguymadforLEGOLegoKip
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,326
    I have a lot of classic town i would love to display but I would rather display the Mods when I eventually build my train layout Heck I will likely just build it all and place some shelves in my room. Whatever is not on the table will likely be 'shelved' so it is still displayed but not on my layout at that time.
    I just do not see LEGO doing another Mod Fire Station any time soon, they still have not built a police station, and one would think that would be released before a another fire station.
  • sdetskysdetsky Member Posts: 35
    I am not a reseller or investor but I do enjoy reading this topic thread.  One topic that I don't think has been discussed very often (if at all) is the type of person most resellers are selling to (other resellers or investors, adults coming out of the dark ages, parents of kids wanting sets), whether there are changing trends in customer types (e.g. more investors and less "consumers") and what effect that has on reselling and price trends.

    I bring this up because of the recent talk about whether Star Wars sets have not appreciated as much due to the glut of remakes/remodels.  As a consumer who purchases sets to build rather than to resell, I think the major reason Star Wars sets are not appreciating as much is that I see so many more of these for sale, whether new in box or used but mostly used.  For a builder like me, if I want a particular set, I don't care if it's new in box or used as long as it is in good shape, which a lot of the used sets are due to many Star Wars collectors being adults and keeping their sets in good shape.

    I buy all my used sets off of Kijiji.  At least 50% of the sets for sale at any one time are Star Wars.  The supply is way higher than the demand and I think as young adults who purchased Star Wars sets to build and display start to age, get married, have kids, etc. this is causing so many of these collections to be put up for sale.  This obviously cuts into the reseller market for the same sets.  Meanwhile, if I wanted a particular set from another theme, it is very difficult to find without going through a reseller (on Bricklink or otherwise), which keeps prices higher.

    Just my thoughts.
    Farmer_JohncatwranglerthenosMaxime_1987chuckpLegoKipGothamConstructionCo
  • Final_SignFinal_Sign KentuckyMember Posts: 101
    ^I have often pondered the same question.

    I enjoy reading this thread, but I'm not a reseller.  I have often wondered who the heck is out there paying 2x MSRP or more for a retired set.  I'm sure there really isn't a typical purchaser, but it does seem like they would all have to be people with "money to burn".

    Like many others I played with Lego as a kid and just got back into it recently now that I have my own kids.  Right now there are so many new sets that they will keep me busy for a while, but maybe once I have all the new ones I want I'll start drooling over the older sets and become one of those overpaying customers . . .
    catwrangler
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    I have a diverse product mix so my sales go to both adult collectors and children. I sell retired sets after they've appreciated a fair amount so I don't think many of my sales go to resellers, unless they happen to be a good amount more bullish on the set than I am.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,694
    Resellers sell to all three types. It does depend a little on the set.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    edited March 2015
    ^All great points!

    To add, I am curious what sort of impact the upcoming SW 7 movie will have on resale of SW-themed sets. TLG will certainly come up with additional sets to go with the SW 7 movie, and I'm sure they'll sell like hot cakes. In the process, TLG will likely discontinue several of the existing SW 1-6 sets to make room for the new sets. Doing this may help put a floor under the SW 1-6 sets IF the new movie drives an overall renewed interest in Star Wars. So I guess the ultimate question is how many new customers will the new SW movie drive to the old sets? Only time will tell...
    VorpalRyu
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Looks like [email protected] is down...
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 901
    edited March 2015

    I

  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,245
    @Farmer_John, I would have say, with EP VII due soon, I'm kind of glad I don't have much of SW in my inventory. Regardless of what the movie does, it could have little to no effect on current SW sets, or it could seriously impact on them.

    If EP VII does massively well, but doesn't effect the EP I-VI stuff, I can imagine some SW resellers would be a bit ticked, likewise if EP VII bombs & seriously damages the resale of EP I-VI stuff. For all of you guys that are stocking up on SW, I hope the movie does well, or if it does bomb, that it doesn't really touch the values of the EP I-VI sets.

    Just wondering if the reason why there is all these UCS sets coming, bar the Falcon, is because TLG are planning for a new UCS MF that is based on the EP VII version?
    xiahna
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^From what I hear, there will be a new Falcon from the new movie with lights...and sound possibly.
    TXLegoguy
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    edited March 2015
    A new Star Wars movie regardless of how bad it is will spark interest in all Lego Star Wars sets. The new movie cannot be any worse than Episode 1. I highly doubt a new movie will negatively affect the values of any past Star Wars Lego sets.
    pharmjodjuggles7
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,245
    edited March 2015
    @Pitfall69, highly unlikely, but not completely outside realms of possibility, EP VII would have to be an absolute turkey, but you never know, it could end up being worse than EP I. Personally, I didn't mind EP I, felt it dragged somewhat, but EP II-III definitely made up for it, especially EP II, loved finally seeing Yoda get his saber on.

    New MF with some sort of light & sound gizmo? Are we talking something like an updated version of the gizmo in #6780 #6750???
    xiahna
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    And here's one charting cost over that time. I didn't use many data points so the slopes rise pretty constantly, when in actuality they should have more of an exponential decay
    FollowsCloselycloaked7
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    Pitfall69 said:
    ^From what I hear, there will be a new Falcon from the new movie with lights...and sound possibly.
    I have no doubt there will be a MF set released from this movie, especially after seeing it in the SW7 trailer. The MF was personified as a character in the SW movies almost as much as Han Solo, R2-D2, or Luke Skywalker. TLG would be foolish not to do exploit that baby.

    Pitfall69 said:
    A new Star Wars movie regardless of how bad it is will spark interest in all Lego Star Wars sets. The new movie cannot be any worse than Episode 1. I highly doubt a new movie will negatively affect the values of any past Star Wars Lego sets.
    The smartest thing Disney ever did when they purchased Lucas Films was to dump any scripts that Lucas had in the queue and bring in another director and writer. That by itself is enough to draw me and my family to the theaters (a place we very seldom ever venture to).
    Pitfall69ShibFollowsCloselybinaryeye
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited March 2015
    Pitfall69 said:
    A new Star Wars movie regardless of how bad it is will spark interest in all Lego Star Wars sets. The new movie cannot be any worse than Episode 1. I highly doubt a new movie will negatively affect the values of any past Star Wars Lego sets.
    I agree that the new movie shouldn't impact retired sets. The biggest torpedo of value is a re-design/re-release. #8129 AT-AT is down about 25% from its peak since #75054 AT-AT, and #6211 Star Destroyer is down about 20% with #75055. And, imo, even more of a problem than reduced value is the reduced # of sales.
    juggles7
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,874
    The main reason why Episode VII won't be worse than Episode I is George Lucas isn't involved in any meaningful way with the new movie. New director with a new vision. I am not a big Star Wars LEGO guy but I can't help but think the new movie will be a boon to SW LEGO in general.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,096
    George Lucas is the creator of Star Wars. Whatever JJ Abrams makes will be entertaining but that's it. He's an imitator not a visionary.
    roxioBrickDancer
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    How many of you bought tickets to "Meet Joe Black" just so you could see the Episode 1 trailer?
    hoyatables
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,184
    The funny thing with ep. 1 for me is that I was the right age at the right time for it, and I enjoyed it, then I didn't watch it again for 5-10 years and I hated it.
    i think that the biggest advantage to the secondary market for Star Wars Lego will be that there will be even more source material for TLG to pull from when designing sets so there could in theory be less remaking of OT vehicles, which will definitely help keeping the aftermarket price up. The average Lego fan is generally conntent with whats on the shelf/whats likely to come up soon - I'm not a massive Star Wars fan, the only aftermarket sets I've bought were still arround RRP and were for specific figures more than builds - only the die hard Star Wars Lego collectors feel the need to have earlier versions of the same set.
  • Farmer_JohnFarmer_John USA - 4,035 Miles from 62 West Wallaby St., Wigan, Lancashire, UKMember Posts: 2,404
    mathew said:
    George Lucas is the creator of Star Wars. Whatever JJ Abrams makes will be entertaining but that's it. He's an imitator not a visionary.
    George Lucas's prime was from the mid-70s to mid-80s, after which he lost his vision. Unfortunately, his Death Star-sized ego wouldn't allow him see that and he became a cliché of himself.
    pharmjodVorpalRyudougts
  • Maxime_1987Maxime_1987 Member Posts: 32
    Wow thank you guys! That generated a lot of discussion about the trains. Finally I can have it for 30% off! So I am buying the #60051 for now and the #21108 Ecto-1 for 30% off. Waiting for the #60052 and not sure for the Bike shop.



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