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Today versus a Decade ago - FRIENDS Main Street vs CREATOR Pet Shop

BubbaBubba Member Posts: 53
edited January 11 in Collecting
Obviously prices are always going to increase over time especially with something of quality like LEGO's but it hit me today just how much more expensive LEGO's are today versus just 10 years ago. One of the new LEGO FREINDS Sets is the Main Street Building #41704 which reminds me of the CREATOR MODULAR sets. This set goes for $150 (US Dollars)  and has 1.682 pieces.  Jump back to 2011when the PET SHOP released for the same price ( $150 US )  and consisted of 2,016 pieces.  I realize the 2 are not an exact comparison (not every LEGO Element is of the same value b/c of size difference)  but to the consumer its the price and what you get in comparison that means most and when you look at these 2 sets it's quite apparent how much less that same $150 will get you.   
560Heliport

Comments

  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 2,022
    Don't forget about inflation.

    $150 in 2011 money would be over $185 today.
    iwybsWesterBricksstlux560HeliportCymbelineMynattgmonkey76AanchirLyichir
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,723
    Plus minidolls are generally more expensive than minifigs.
    iwybsWesterBricksstlux560HeliportLyichir
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,410
    Also that Friends set has a lot of the larger transparent panels which are expensive direct from lego too.
    iwybsWesterBricksstlux560HeliportAanchirLyichir
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 559
    If you want some real sticker shock you need to go farther back.  725 Town Plan was $25 in 1961.  In 2022 dollars it's $232.  King Castle 6080 was $44.99 in 1984.  It would be $120.35 today.

    Fair comparisons between these are basically non-existent.  It's rare for sets in the 500-700 piece range have anywhere close to a dozen mini-figures.  And the specialties pieces from 725 are another kettle of fish.   Anyway, Lego has done a very good job keeping the price inflation well under control for a long period of time.
    iwybsstluxWesterBrickspxchrisBumblepantsAanchirLyichirSwitchfoot55
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,984
    CCC said:
    Also that Friends set has a lot of the larger transparent panels which are expensive direct from lego too.
    Yeah, and in general, a 16+ Creator Expert set will have much smaller pieces on average than an 8+ Friends set. It's the same as how you wouldn't expect a Duplo set to have as high a piece count as a City or Creator set at the same price point, since Duplo parts are so much larger than System ones.
    Plus minidolls are generally more expensive than minifigs.
    Even aside from the difference in price between the two types of figures, Main Street Building has a lot more figures overall! And printed, pre-assembled parts like minifigure or minidoll torsos and legs are considerably more expensive than simpler building elements that can be churned out of a single mold.
    On a related note, 10218 had just 10 different printed elements, minifigure parts included. 41704 has at least 40 different printed elements — about half of which are minidoll faces, torsos, and legs. That's a pretty huge difference in and of itself!

    All in all, even ignoring the inflation factor, this is less of a comparison between "today vs. a decade ago" than a comparison of sets from two wildly different themes. It's kind of like comparing #7498 from 2011 ($99.99 for 783 pieces) and #10293 from 2021 ($99.99 for 1445 pieces) and concluding that today's sets offer nearly twice as much value as sets from a decade ago. You see how silly that is?
    That's not to say there's no value in making these sorts of comparisons. I look at this sort of stuff pretty frequently myself simply out of curiosity! But unless you start out by comparing sets that are at least roughly similar in both subject matter and target age, you won't be able to draw any sort of meaningful conclusions from those comparisons.

    Even then, you ought to still look into various possible explanations for the discrepancies you notice, instead of just assuming that it can all be chalked up to when they were released. That includes adjusting for inflation when possible, as well as considering whether any differences between the contents of the two sets might account for some of the discrepancies in price, weight, piece count, etc.
    Chances are, a comparison between just two sets still isn't going to be enough to draw broad-strokes conclusions like "The value of LEGO sets is getting worse", no matter how carefully you pick your examples! But it can certainly help give you a better understanding of why those sets' prices and piece counts are what they are, and of what sort of situations are likely to result in similar discrepancies.
    LyichirWesterBricksiwybsstluxToc13
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,984
    edited January 14
    If you want some real sticker shock you need to go farther back.  725 Town Plan was $25 in 1961.  In 2022 dollars it's $232.  King Castle 6080 was $44.99 in 1984.  It would be $120.35 today.

    Fair comparisons between these are basically non-existent.  It's rare for sets in the 500-700 piece range have anywhere close to a dozen mini-figures.  And the specialties pieces from 725 are another kettle of fish.   Anyway, Lego has done a very good job keeping the price inflation well under control for a long period of time.
    Sticker shock aside, I think inflation adjustments can be useful for keeping some of these past sets' prices in perspective. Even for its time, the number of minifigures in #6080 was pretty far from the norm, and its price certainly reflected that!
    What's more, the fact that it had so many minifigures and molded horses was probably at least part of why its piece count still ended up considerably lower than we'd typically expect in a $120 set today. Of all recent sets, #60330 Hospital probably comes closest to 6080 in terms of price, piece count, target age, and number of minifigures, and naturally it doesn't include any horses!
    Lyichir560Heliportiwybs
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,410
    Creator 3 in 1 sets are possibly some of the better sets to compare to past sets, containing mainly basic parts, relatively plain figures and not many printed parts. Although even those have changed over the years.
    560Heliport
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,984
    CCC said:
    Creator 3 in 1 sets are possibly some of the better sets to compare to past sets, containing mainly basic parts, relatively plain figures and not many printed parts. Although even those have changed over the years.
    In some cases that comparison would be very appropriate! But keep in mind that compared to Creator 3-in-1 sets, even a lot of "classic" sets of the 1980s made much heavier use use of big parts like wall panels, space windscreens/canopies, preformed boat hulls, raised/decorated baseplates, and molded animals — not to mention a lot more minifigs relative to their piece count.

    Creator 3-in-1 is part of LEGO's "core creative" theme category, and as such tends to emphasize sets' building experience and creative rebuilding potential over their figure-based play potential compared to "play themes" of any decade. Hence why hardly any classic Town, Castle, or Pirates sets even approach the piece count of sets like #31097, #31109, or #31120, despite often having much higher prices when adjusted for inflation.

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