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Now on the demand side you have the demand somewhat increasing by people who wanted the set but put off getting it. They still want it but now it's only available on eBay. And, that supply gets lower and lower and lower. Even if there are 50 AFOL's selling a set they aren't a drop in the bucket compared to the earlier distribution. And, I don't there there are anywhere 50. And, the smart ones don't get into the water until the temp is right. ;-)
Yes, you'll see ebbs and flows on prices on eBay. If a lot of sellers are selling it at the same time the price will go down. Someone can always undercut the competition. But, those with staying power and the cash flow to hold off selling make a nice profit.
My thoughts on the FB are two fold...
First, humans by nature want to "complete" things, once someone gets into the modulars, they want them all. Now I understand not everyone can afford it, but many want them all, which creates demand.
Second, I suspect at some point there will be a Police Headquarters Modular, once there is, FB will shoot up in demand as people buy the "pair" to PH. Even Town Hall makes FB more in demand, since those two go together naturally in the real world.
In fact, with GG way gone, GE, PS, TH, FB, and TH all make a nice "street".
Perhaps in a year, PH will be the next "corner" set...
Shuttle will do the same in my opinion, but it is only worth buying at 25% off, like 10195 was on Brick Friday...
1) Cafe Corner
2) Green Grocer
3) Market Street
4) Town Plan
Despite this set being out for a while, it still has tremendous popularity with AFOL and goes great with all Castle related lines, HP (use it to build out a Hogsmeade), and soon to be LOTR (Bree/Prancing Pony), so it has multicategory appeal. There will be a lot of aftermarket supply but the demand should remain very high...plus from @LegoFanTexas analysis on price per piece it will be a good value even at $200.
There are lots of City sets or unexciting Star Wars sets that don't rise in the aftermarket. But for sets that are "special" in some way, their values rise despite all the issues folks have mentioned here, such as hoarding. @cbaker1974's mention above about MMV being on the top 5 most wanted is good indication of this.
Amazon is down to 132 of them, but of course, LEGO, Target, and others still have them in stock.
1. Amazon is playing with the displayed numbers and they actually have more than they show
2. This set is reaching the limits of what the market wants
3. This is just a terrible time of year to sell toys
@LegoTexas I don't know what to make of amazons stock sometimes. I feel like sometimes they display the right quantity and sometimes they don't. Could they really have over 1000 Tantive IVs (10198)? That seems like way too much for a set that has been discontinued since at least December. I'm am paying attention to a lot of sets just to see if the quantities jump or not.
Something I've noticed about much older sets, with a few exceptions, while their price might look attractive, demand dries up and everyone moves on.
10019 is a good example of a set that "should" be appealing, it "appears" to be expensive, looking at buy it now prices and Amazon's price, but if you look at actual sales on Bricklink and eBay, it isn't as rosy a picture.
Who here is really trying to collect 10 year old sets anymore? Designs change, instructions change, build style changes.
I've built a few of the older Star Wars sets (10030, 7191, 8002 all being good examples), and honestly they are terrible compared to the new stuff. If I wasn't such a complete Star Wars with a budget to match, I would totally pass on those sets.
Sad, isn't it? I loved building 10030, but that is mostly because it is HUGE! It really looks impressive... 8002 is cool when it works, and the concept is great. 7191 is nice, and it is MUCH bigger than 6212, but really it just sits there and it was a PITA build.
So... I think that a set like 10198 is rather doomed, because by the time the cheap inventory is cleared out, the demand will be gone, everyone will have moved on to something else.
And I say this with 8 of them in the closet. :( Oh well, at least I got most of them for 33% off. :)
It's also the set that had maybe the most sentimental group of Lego collectors out there, Classic Castle, proclaim it to be the best castle set ever, in front of the yellow castle, black falcon fortress, 6086 and all those awesome castles from the 80's and 90's.
This set should appreciate lots simply due to it's brick content, and when it becomes rarer in sealed condition, well this set will be very valuable. Castle sets usually do increase plenty in value, just look at what has already happened to the Kingdoms line.
@cloaked7 - You hit the nail on it's head, that was well reasoned and written!
Is that increase going to hold once LOTR comes out? Right now, you have MMV and Joust, and that is about it, to get your castle fix, so perhaps people are over spending because they have no choice?
Will the Kingdoms stuff (and older Castle) stuff go down in value once LOTR is everywhere?
I have no idea, just tossing the thought out. I'm very surprised by Kingdoms, and it isn't just Kings Castle, they are ALL going up, including the smaller sets...
I do know many castle fans are very sentimental, and will prefer to keep their armies "yellow", so I don't think the Kingdoms sets will depreciate a lot. Especially now that the sets were pulled so suddenly and many people still want to complete their collections, and many others want to create bigger armies.
The long term value of Castle sets is pretty astounding, just look at what price increases have happened to the sets from the 80's and 90's, where even many used sets have increased several hundred per cent in value. Even the horribly designed Knights Castle 2 sets fetch prices above MSRP these days, as builders still want the parts and some of the minifigures and minifigure equipment.
In fairness, I don't much care what sets from the 90s have done, that is too long an investment time period to actually make it a good "investment", if you can't flip them within a few years for 2 or 3 times what you paid for them, they don't make sense from the $$$ point of view.
However, I get the general point you're making, or at least I think I do... That Castle in general is a popular long term theme that has staying power, it isn't a flash in the pan like some others have been.
I'm surprised that PotC sets don't sell better, considering how much of those parts look like Castle to me. I actually have kept one of each of some of those, because they look like they'll drop right into a middle-ages type theme without too much work, just keep Jack Sparrow out and you have castle stuff. :)
One question I have that I don't know the answer to...
Was Lego this "collectible" even 10 years ago? 20 years ago? Prior to the past 5 years or so, did anyone care "nearly" this much about all this?
Or is this recent?
I was wondering the same thing
assuming that both Fire Brigade and Diagon Alley will be discontinued soon, which one, in Your opinion, would be a better 2/3 years investment?
As far as PotC goes, I'm in with those. They don't sell well now because every chain has/had them stocked and Lego produced a lot. QAR & BP are awesome looking ships, licensed, inique colors & parts, and the big ships always do well. More a gamble on the other sets but Indiana does well and we do have more Pirates movies coming. Plus they have to do well given I have over 50 Pearls right now :P
Think I will start stock piling MMV. Are there any discounts to add on to Target right now? With 10% + 5% Red Card + ???
Diagon Alley will be a quick flip for christmas next year, wont be any Harry Potter of the shelfs and new kids are reading the books. I feel this is one of the top 5 investments in lego sets that are currently out.
DA inventory 0 -> 10
That being said, the best years of castle were the 80's until the mid 90's, so fresh AFOLs that were kids in the late nineties and early 2000's might not have the same sentimental attachment to the theme, so there could be some stagnation in the fanbase for these sets.
@gmpirate - Using myself as anecdotal evidence, I can say the appeal for me with the Kingdoms line was the classic two faction approach without the presence of fantasy creatures, as well as a somewhat old-fashioned set design.
Kingdoms I think was very over looked during release due to all the competition from other lines. It was, in my initial opinion at least, slightly inferior to Castle, but with the benefit of hindsight, the sets seem to get slightly better. Mill Village Raid I really like, and I think for anybody who picked up these, they will go up in value quite a bit.
No doubt somebody will tell me they have some crazy figure. :-D
1) The Lego AFOL market is growing rapidly, I believe, so that will support prices.
2) Inflation must be factored into the appreciation of sets held more than a year because money is being printed like there's no tomorrow by governments around the globe.
Not to get too picky, but I see the price curve as non-linear function with a different shape than a bell curve. Every set will have a different shape, but (on average) I see sets rising linearly and eventually topping out when the demand and supply come into equilibrium (not dropping like a bell curve does). Again, this is an average relationship as every set will "do its own thing."
PotC could come back if Johnny Depp is game to make more movies (and my money says he is). Pirates (and ships like the IF) have proved their worth and they will always do well. HP series could be huge in a couple years, and DA the biggest of that series due to its cost and originality (I personally don't like HP, but can't deny it will be a winner). Kingdoms is a great series, but TLG can always make more with slight modifications (in fact, LotR is a variation from past Kingdoms sets in my opinion). I see Toy Story as a sleeper since it is unlikely there will be another TS movie made. PoP will perform average since the movie just wasn't that popular (I like the Lego series though). Atlantis may do okay a few years out, but short-term could be slow (reminds me of an underwater version of agents for some reason). Trains will always do well and one almost can't go wrong buying for resale. SW is more set dependent because Lego keeps reproducing the same general sets. In this case, the originality of the SW mini-figures within a given set may be the key (General Grievous comes to mind). Modulars (including the FB) should all go up over time because of AFOLs and their disposable income. Super Heroes have proven that they can do well, and I believe will also perform well in the aftermarket when they are eventually EOL'd.
Just my opinion on some of the more recent sets.
I was doing pretty well with Bionicles until LEGO quit making them. HF is very similar, but simply not the same, so most kids don't care about Bionicles now. Course, it is good to have a kid of the right age available, because what they see on TV, commercials... drive demand to some extent. With lines like HF and such. But, to your point AFOLs are easier to figure. Well... and they have a lot more money. :-)
Once it is gone, it is out of sight, out of mind, for many people... Demand will remain, but without "new" sets to bring people into the fold, then draw them into collecting the "back catalog", what will drive further sales of the sets a year from now? Two years from now?
There will be no more movies, and probably no more books written... so while many new people will read the books for years to come, how many will even know HP Lego was ever made?
DA might be one exception because of its value to Castle type themes and LOTR MOCs, but otherwise, will Hogwarts Castle really be in demand in a few years?
What other licensed themes were out 5 years ago that were not updated, and are still in demand? I can't think of one...
good note, I agree with the vast majority!
I agree on reminiscing on the good ol days of 10% off. You used to be able to stack the coupons too - $15 off $150 promo code plus the 10% off.
can't understand why on ebay/amazon etc, people think they can ask big money for the first wave of batman sets, when many of the relaunched sets are very similar. Certainly I now have no desire for any of the old sets. Surely that is telling?
Is it just me?
@cloaked7 - I think HF has kind of taken over Bionicles. My kids are fans of both and have sets from both, but only get what they can afford (which is now HF). Bionicles may become more of a niche (if it isn't already). PoP may be sort of a niche too, but PoP can also be broken up and sold as pieces as some of its pieces are more original to its theme (camels?).
I am one of those oddballs that would like to get the first wave of BM sets (if I could afford them). Marvel and DC were around when I was a kid (unlike HP and TS), and my kids are the next generation to get into those. Furthermore, they are licensed so Lego can't do anything it wants without permission from Marvel or DC (hence, it probably won't run forever....I know, but SW is special). I plan to grab at least 2 of every set they release in the Super Hero theme (including the crappy glued magnets if they make them).
Other sets that you can't go wrong with in the secondary market are technics, trains and ships (PotC or otherwise). Technics are often overlooked, but you would be surprised. I purchased 6 Technic Go-Karts (8256) on a whim for $7.50 each near their EOL date, and they now go for over $90 each on Amazon. About a year after the Technic Combine was EOL'd, I saw a "make and offer" on eBay. I purchased one (should have got both the guy was selling) for $75 with free shipping. I was going to build it, but they now command over $350 sealed on eBay. Perfect example of a set that's slow to take off. Trains like the EN and ships like the IF are classics and will always trend up regardless of how many purchased to sell on the aftermarket. I think those that purchased Maersk Container Ships (unfortunately I didn't but have learned my lesson) will do very well.
Okay, sorry for the blathering...
Yup, Technics... I have several of the Technic Excavators 8043 and even 3 of the Front End Loaders 8265 (which I got from TRU B2G1F). Wanted to get more, but the FEL's EOL'd quickly too. (yeah, let's abbreviate some more words! ROTFL) Oh well, a quick EOL that seems to be pushing up their price. I think I will hold them until Christmas, maybe longer. It is a very nice set so who knows where it will top out. Everybody like construction sets!
Well, except for girls. That's where the likes of Apple Tree House, etc. kick in. I think the houses are classics and solid performers. Just wish the Hill Top House (or, whatever it is called) was not a TRU exclusive. If not, I would have a lot more of them than I do.
I think the Maersk train will be around at least another year. It's relatively new. I like trains so I got a couple. I will definitely pick up more if I can get a price break. I just picked up a passenger train (probably my least favorite), a yellow cargo train, a red cargo train, and a Hogwarts Express. I probably have 8 TS trains that I got for $50 or less. Those are more of a gamble, but I should be able to at least get my money back out of them in 6 months.
If I could get a dozen Unimogs at 25% off, I would snap them up. I think they are a no-brainer. Also, the Technic Motorized Excavator will do well when it is gone. I love the 8265 set. I was able to get 2 from [email protected] when Lego inadvertently had them for 60% off in the first 20 minutes of the 2010 BF sale. I am very tempted to build one of those...very tempted indeed.
Finally, I remembered I purchased a remote control lego car set (8183) from TRU when they had it on sale for about $30. Dang...that one's gone up substantially.
On a different note concerning EOL'd sets, one of the best kept secrets for freshly EOL'd sets used to be a site called Kids Scandinavian Shop:
They package very well, have very fast free shipping and their prices were very reasonable. In fact, that is where I purchased the Technic Go-Karts for $7.50 and countless IJ Ambush in Cairo sets for about $8.50...all with free shipping and excellent service.
Unfortunately, they started limiting the number of sale sets a person could purchase. Then they raised their prices above RRP. They still have decent deals from time to time on EOL'd sets, but it's obvious they recognized they were leaving money on the table.
I feel like the back third of the year is when most 'resellers' pick up their stock on LEGO and most resellers don't specifically follow LEGO and either don't know or don't care to look for sets EOL'ing in the front half of the year.
With that in mind, I think the MMV is going right now thanks to a healthy mix of informed resellers and people who want the set just because $89.96 is a really great price, all things considered. If it stays gone... all the better.
I don't necessarily think this will be the case, but I do feel that it's an odd time to be a speculator. Be careful out there. Luckily LEGO almost never falls below retail, so you can count on being able to dump excess stock pretty much whenever. But I know at lot of you have heavy money and space invested into some of these sets.