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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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Comments

  • ^^ wow, that was fast.. Boba Fett's slave I is sold out in all of Europe!
    it is still available from Tesco Direct at £60 and with a £10 off £75 order it could actually cost as low as Amazon's previous price.
  • @Spacecake - It depends on the set, some sets go above RRP when they are out of stock, but obviously coming back, like the VW van before christmas, which had only been out for a couple of months. Other sets like the 7754 Home One has been out of stock at various stores for well over a year and prices are just starting to approach MSRP.

    Personally, it appears a few factors seem to affect the speed at which a set appreciates. One important one is sale price, any set that is discounted by Lego for any extended period of time at 50% off is likely to take a long time to appreciate in value. This is likely due to the demand not being great since it's taking a while to sell even at discounted prices, and many resellers buy lots of stock during the discount period, so the market is saturated.

    The sets that increase the fastest are those that are just sold out without any discounts or during a non-discontinuation sale, like Black Friday or May the Fourth be with you. This is where sets like the Cafe Corner, Millennium Falcon, Green Grocer and Taj Mahal were sold out, with corresponding skyrocketing prices. Typically the sets that have the most potential are those with very good price per piece ratios and that are especially coveted like Star Wars and Modular Buildings, these are the closest to sure thing you can get.
  • Wow, a great and knowledgeable reply there! I shall be sure to ponder over what you've said when I next look at sets with an eye for profit. Thankyou!!

    One thing though... What are "modular" buildings?

    :/
  • Buildings that "fit" together to form a sort of city block. Cafe Corner, Green Grocer, Grand Emporium, Fire Brigade, Town Hall.
  • Taj Mahal was discounted down to $250 for a while before it ended.
  • ^ Would probably be valuable time spent if you read this thread. If you're serious anyway . . .
  • edited April 2012
    Perhaps another sign of the bubble when people who clearly have no knowledge of Lego are "trying to get into Lego dealing." No offense to SpaceCake of course. ;)
  • ^Even my mailman mentioned he was selling Ninjago Starter Sets on ebay. He had no real clue about Modulars or UCS. Very worrisome signs indeed.
  • edited April 2012
    As long as LEGO doesn't re-release retired sets, the aftermarket will be stable (barring a zombie apocalypse). Yes, LEGO (and Ninjago specifically) is super hot right now, but even when LEGO isn't the "must have" toy, it's got such a following across continents and ages - the bubble concept doesn't apply wholeheartedly.
  • ^ I doubt anyone has to worry about that. What happened (if I recall correctly) is that very shortly after this set released, LEGO announced that it discovered a problem with the actuators in the set. They sent replacement parts out to those that bought the set at launch (along with a $10 "we're sorry" credit), and then they started putting the improved parts in every produced set thereafter. This set is almost two years old now, so it's almost impossible to imagine that anyone buying a sealed today will get one of those boxes from release week.
    This comment is one of the reasons I like Brickset so much. There is a lot of useful information out there that's being shared!
  • edited April 2012
    Perhaps another sign of the bubble when people who clearly have no knowledge of Lego are "trying to get into Lego dealing." No offense to SpaceCake of course. ;)
    Does not being familiar with the term "modular" mean I know nothing about Lego? City has never interested me in the slightest.

    I've been collecting Star Wars Lego since it was first released (had the first X-wing and a couple of smaller bits shipped out to bloody Zambia) and no other toy has brought, or indeed continues to bring me so much joy. I'm sorry if you think I'm jumping on a bandwagon here, but if trading Lego in all it's various forms will continue to fund my own interest in the stuff (utility bills take priority over Lego now that I'm old), then you know what you can do with your opinion.

    Thankyou. For listening. No offence of course.

    ;)
  • ^Hope you didn't take the jab to heart @SpaceCake. Here's the modular category:

    http://www.brickset.com/browse/themes/?theme=Town&subtheme=Modular Buildings

    There's a ton of valuable information spread throughout this thread, among many others on this board, that will help you get up to speed. My suggestion is to figure out which sets are about to go EOL next and start planning from there, as you continue researching.

    Good luck!
  • ^Hope you didn't take the jab to heart @SpaceCake. Here's the modular category:

    http://www.brickset.com/browse/themes/?theme=Town&subtheme=Modular Buildings

    There's a ton of valuable information spread throughout this thread, among many others on this board, that will help you get up to speed. My suggestion is to figure out which sets are about to go EOL next and start planning from there, as you continue researching.

    Good luck!
    Thankyou! I think I'm going to spend tomorrow reading this monster of a thread from end to end. It's obvious that there is a vast amount of knowledge stored in this community and I'm very greatful at how willingly you guys share it! Too often I find collecting to be a competetive hobby, with much hostility directed at newcomers.

    :D

    And I probably overreacted to what was a good natured jest. For which I apologize!
  • Welcome to the forum @SpaceCake ...

    I agree with @BrickDancer. It is preferable to pickup sets near their end-of-life (EOL) so you don't have to hold onto them a long time before selling them. The original intent of this thread was to identify those particular sets that were about to be EOL'd. However, this thread has meandered in many directions including the attempt to identify bubbles in the Lego secondary market. Your comment appears to have enlivened some of the sentiment regarding the "secondary market bubble talk."

    The thing about reselling is that some sets may have a "bubble" in the secondary market and some may not. If you purchase the "right" set at the "right" time, you will do well. Best of luck to you...
  • edited April 2012
    @SpaceCake- In an attempt to catch you somewhat up to speed with the modulars in a quick paragraph. Right now people are watching the Fire Brigade which has been out since September of 2009, with the belief discontinuation is coming extremely soon. Next on the list to go is the Emporium which is actually only 6 months younger than the Fire Brigade, probably due for discontinuation at the end of this year or the beginning of next year. Considering you are just getting into all this business, my advice is to start research the Emporium. Right now Toys R Us is having a BOGO 50% where you can get 2 Emporiums (if they come in stock, they usually only last for 10 minutes), for around $240 which is a $60 discount.
    You can find that thread here: http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/4139/us-buy-one-get-one-50-off-41-47-at-toys-r-us#Item_36

    Past sets have been the Cafe Corner- retail $150 and now at about $1000 on eBay for NIB, Green Grocer retailed at $150 and now at about $500, and then the Market street which retailed at $90 and is now about $800. These are all rough numbers, but for someone just starting up that should give you a good idea.
    Have fun!
  • edited April 2012
    ^All that is USD. And Cafe Corner retailed at $140 ;-) But that pretty much sums it all up.
  • Much appreciated guys, all this info is going to be put to good use! I must admit, I certainly feel a fool for underestimating the desirability of Lego City. I guess I was always going to be a bit biased though: Star Wars kid through n' through.

    :)
  • edited April 2012
    ^Technically, modulars are released under the "Creator" theme, not "City". :P
    2 cents please.
  • edited April 2012
    ^Technically, modulars are released under the "Creator" theme, not "City". :P
    2 cents please.
    Oops, my bad! :/

    Do you accept GBP?
  • edited April 2012
    USD only:)
    Good thing there is Paypal:)
  • I'm a Star Wars fan here too, especially the figures, but I've always put a lot investment into the modulars.

    I charge $5 for my little paragraph... I'm more flexible than @FatMatt too, GBP is accepted. ;-)
  • ^It's a perfect time to taste the variety. Star Wars is always nice, that's what kept my love of Lego alive during my dark ages. But since returning 5 months ago, I've been amazed at how much their new stuff has improved.

    Try a hand at Modulars, Sculptures, Super Heroes, Pirates of Caribbean, Ninjago, upcoming Lord of the Rings. A lot to choose from, so might be a good idea to sample the best sets from each theme to give you an idea of what else you might learn to like.
  • ^Even my mailman mentioned he was selling Ninjago Starter Sets on ebay. He had no real clue about Modulars or UCS. Very worrisome signs indeed.
    Why is that worrying? Ninjago starter sets are essentially cheap toys aimed at kids. Modulars and UCS are completely different products. If he knows what kids like and wants to make a couple of bucks selling them, I see no problem. Buying small $10-$20 sets and making a few dollars turning them round quickly for sale to kids is very different to buying $200 sets for investment purposes.

    I don't really know anything about modulars since I MOC my own constructions, yet I have sold multiple 100s of kids sets, often just the figures from HP sets so I can keep the parts.
  • @SpaceCake
    Brickset is a very valuable resource that I use daily. I use Ebay completed listings to determine going rates since that is where I sell, although there are many things to factor in including but definitely not limited to overseas buyers who's currency exchange rate plays a role. You can find production run dates of most any modern set on Brickset, and price what they are now going for. If this is something you are serious about, I strongly reccommend spending time doing your homework before making any investments including, as others have stated, reading this thread. I have parted out lots to sell pieces and sets for quite some time to subsidize my hobby, but got into investing in new sets about a year ago. There is no set formula nor technique, and most of it for me is going with my gut and instinct after much researching. It is something that improves the more experience you get with it. One piece of advice is to invest in what is most likely to be EOL'd soon, or else you will be sitting on your purchases for a while. It never hurts though to casually buy any good deals along the way though as long as you have the funds for it. Best of luck.
  • edited April 2012
    @SpaceCake - my apologies for jumping to conclusions - you know what they say about assumptions. My comment wasn't meant as a personal jab but more a comment on the growing numbers of people who resell.

    I wish you nothing but success in your attempts to fund your hobby! I do the same. And as you can see from the many comments above, this is certainly a forum where newcomers are welcome with open arms and friendly smiles. I apologize if my comment didn't keep in that spirit.

    Good luck!
  • ^Technically, modulars are released under the "Creator" theme, not "City". :P
    2 cents please.


    Oops, my bad! :/

    Do you accept GBP?
    technically, they actually are not. Creator is not on the box for FB, GE, PS, or TH. I believe CC was released as Creator however. They do not show up on www.lego.com under the Creator section either, though they do cross-list in the Creator them on shop.lego.com


  • ^It wasn't the set or price range of set that worried me, it was the lack of product knowledge that did. When uninformed folks with no appreciation for the product (yankee traders, thanks @LFT) start buying-selling, its a slippery slope for a bubble. Since you're a consumer of the product, this point wouldn't apply to you whether you like or dislike Modulars. Only referring to common folks doing it purely on speculation for profit based on perception from the general public that reselling Lego is a hot way to make money and not doing it for personal use/interest. Same symptoms running up before bubbles in any other type of market: housing, tech stocks, sports cards, etc.
  • Right now Toys R Us is having a BOGO 50% where you can get 2 Emporiums (if they come in stock, they usually only last for 10 minutes), for around $240 which is a $60 discount.
    It's actually $225 for two, which is $75 off the retail RRP of $300. If your $240 figure was including tax, then shouldn't the reference comparison ($300 RRP) also include tax? Since tax varies by location, it's also (IMHO) standard around here when discussing these things to NOT include it built-into any referenced prices, unless you specifically indicate that you are doing so.

  • edited April 2012
    @Spacecake - The sets that increase the fastest are those that are just sold out without any discounts or during a non-discontinuation sale, like Black Friday or May the Fourth be with you. This is where sets like the Cafe Corner, Millennium Falcon, Green Grocer and Taj Mahal were sold out, with corresponding skyrocketing prices.
    The Falcon reached EOL and then was discounted 25% during the May the Fourth promotion. As expected, the remaining stock didn't last very long. Of note, 3 of the sets you listed were also out for quite a while and in many ways are seen as trailblazers in the LEGO lexicon.

  • ^ I still don't see the problem. He (and I) can be completely ignorant of UCS and modulars, yet still know that cheap kids sets, especially when bought in a sale, can be resold for profit. If not, he's not lost much. There is a huge jump from selling cheap sets aimed at kids to hoarding UCS and modulars.

    And even if he does make the jump to more AFOL sets, again no real problem. He is no different to an experienced trader. If he gets burnt, he gets burnt. If common people start buying up stock, then that stock would only have been bought up by someone to use or someone (knowledgable) to invest. So long as they look after it.
  • edited April 2012
    Right now Toys R Us is having a BOGO 50% where you can get 2 Emporiums (if they come in stock, they usually only last for 10 minutes), for around $240 which is a $60 discount.


    It's actually $225 for two, which is $75 off the retail RRP of $300. If your $240 figure was including tax, then shouldn't the reference comparison ($300 RRP) also include tax? Since tax varies by location, it's also (IMHO) standard around here when discussing these things to NOT include it built-into any referenced prices, unless you specifically indicate that you are doing so.

    Yes, my $240 estimation was with tax... roughly $60.. but if you all want to be that specific, I suppose with tax on both sides it's more around $70-75. ;-)
    ^Technically, modulars are released under the "Creator" theme, not "City". :P
    2 cents please.


    Oops, my bad! :/

    Do you accept GBP?


    technically, they actually are not. Creator is not on the box for FB, GE, PS, or TH. I believe CC was released as Creator however. They do not show up on www.lego.com under the Creator section either, though they do cross-list in the Creator them on shop.lego.com


    Not that TRU is the most trustworthy source, but all the modulars are listed under creator on their website. I think creator is a subtheme that a lot of people use to put the modulars into a category. Just calling them modulars works too..
  • @SpaceCake - my apologies for jumping to conclusions - you know what they say about assumptions. My comment wasn't meant as a personal jab but more a comment on the growing numbers of people who resell.

    I wish you nothing but success in your attempts to fund your hobby! I do the same. And as you can see from the many comments above, this is certainly a forum where newcomers are welcome with open arms and friendly smiles. I apologize if my comment didn't keep in that spirit.

    Good luck!
    @avoiceoreason I completely misunderstood your comment and have nobody to blame but myself! Don't say sorry, the fault was my own. Allow me to apologize, for being ignorantly short-tempered! It shall not happen again, I assure you.

    :)
  • ^All that is USD. And Cafe Corner retailed at $140 ;-) But that pretty much sums it all up.
    Hah, I got one better, Walmart.com had the Cafe Corners for 120 USD each and could barely sell them, AND they had just come out with their ship to store option
  • ^All that is USD. And Cafe Corner retailed at $140 ;-) But that pretty much sums it all up.


    Hah, I got one better, Walmart.com had the Cafe Corners for 120 USD each and could barely sell them, AND they had just come out with their ship to store option
    You lucky bastard.
  • I got my Cafe corner for $120 to on eBay for Christmas. Wish I had bought more....
    For all those interested, TB is back in stock at TRU.
  • edited April 2012
    ^All that is USD. And Cafe Corner retailed at $140 ;-) But that pretty much sums it all up.


    Hah, I got one better, Walmart.com had the Cafe Corners for 120 USD each and could barely sell them, AND they had just come out with their ship to store option


    You lucky bastard.
    Heck I only bought two from Walmart.com.. if I only knew then what I know now....
  • @SpaceCake, I'll also add my tuppence, its best to buy sets when they are discounted by retailers, that way, if you decide to flog some of your stock at RRP and free up cash, you know you're not losing out. I think with this venture, you have to play the long game and do some research before you jump in with both feet. Time spent researching is never wasted and its a good thing you're going to read this long thread. You're in good hands :-). Good luck!
  • I have heard from Lego Customer service that the Fire Brigade will be around until mid-2013.. I know this goes against previous EOL dates for the modulars (usually lasting 2.5 years).. so I tried to pry some information out of the Customer Service Rep. She believes the reason for extending the life of the product is because the demand is still very high (probably because everyone in this forum is buying them all up).. I have a feeling the modulars (especially the Fire Brigade) are/is going to be oversaturated in the aftermarket and demand will be pretty low (that smells like bad investment to me).. my word of advice - stay with the stockpile you already have and wait until later in the year to start feverishly buying.. I am passing on the Modulars all together - many of you will probably see your investments go South if you stay in this theme (just like what happened with Star Wars).

    In short: high supply, low demand = bad investment (aka look elsewhere and keep it to yourself so it doesn't become another saturated aftermarket LEGO).

    Happy Collecting
  • ^ Can you clarify a little? not sure what you mean by citing Star Wars as an investment going south. Almost every Star Wars set sells for much more than retail, and the ucs series is at a whole new
  • Yeah right, a customer service rep knowing in advance when a set will EOL'd in more than a year's time? Exactly what happened with Star Wars? Care to elaborate?
  • There are lots of different opinions here, which is great.

    IMHO...
    Star Wars is a solid investment if you're getting items with some discount off retail. Larger playsets are excellent to invest in. They eat-up money, but pay-off in the end.

    Modulars future is a complete unknown. What we do know is that it's popular and bringing AFOLs fans from out of the dark, that is a strong factor driving the price up. FB, GE, and PS will start slow in the aftermarket, but once the quantities online dwindle - they will skyrocket. How long will that take? Maybe 2 Xmases.

    There are plenty of other themes that fly under the radar that perform exceptionally well. We just love to talk about SW and Modulars the most!
  • Goes against what all the stores are saying as well. Plus, since I just bought six more it has to EOL :P
  • FB should be on sale Black Friday. Scoop them then IMO. Good trades :)
  • To explain myself.

    #1. I have seen the return on Star Wars dwindle over the past couple of years (I have been doing this for 12 years now).. as more people hear about the aftermarket value, the more newbies we get adding to supply, which drives our return down.. It's still a good investment (you'll probably double your money in 1.5 years), but it's not as good as it used to be, and it will probably continue to decline as forums like these become more popular.

    #2. No one knows when the Fire Brigade will reach its EOL for sure (except maybe some senior executives at TLG).. any Lego employee's opinion is as good as the nexts.. I'll trust Customer Service before I trust a Lego Store employee. I have been fooled in the past by Lego Store employees (just trying to get me to buy the product from their store that day).. I have had good experience with Customer Service estimates (again.. I've been doing this for 12 years)

    #3. Hasn't anyone on this forum ever heard of keeping a good investment to yourself? I don't want to come across as a misanthrope (I often tell families in the the Lego Store to hold onto the boxes, instructions, and all the pieces - becuase they will probably be worth money), but I would never tell someone which sets to buy, when to buy them, etc. Is that not a concern for fellow collectors?
  • edited April 2012
    There's something about the mystery date of official EOL that is very cool. It's so mysterious and random sometimes. I think that really adds to the lore and chase of collecting. If we all new the EOL dates, imagine how differently we'd buy sets.
  • @pstrickler27 - in reply to #3 This forum is especially friendly and helpful in advising each other of good investment opportunities. I understand your thinking and probably had the same idea when i first started reading these site, but its not in the spirit to take and not give on this forum.
  • @pstrickler27 - I agree with you on several points. The larger the supply of MISB sets in the aftermarket, the lower prices will go. If everyone is hoarding the same sets, then it will take more time for the value to appreciate.

    It's one of the reasons MISB toys from 25+ years ago are worth dramatically more than MISB toys released in the 90s. There were collectors out there pre-1990, but it was not nearly as prevalent as it was starting in the 90s and continuing into today.

    You can't always predict what's going to do well though and a lot of it really is just speculation. Will the current line of modulars do well in retirement? Probably, but I highly doubt you'll ever see price jumps with them like CC and MS. If we do, it will probably take far longer for that to happen and it will be people who have the ability to hold on to things for 5+ years.

    The plus side is that most EOL sets appear to at least go for RRP after retirement. So if you pick them up on a BOGO or whatever, you'll probably come out ahead. For the casual re-seller (someone just looking to subsidize the hobby), that works out just fine for me. I bought 2x GE from the TRU sale. I have one to open and one to resell down the line. If after two years I can only get RRP for the sealed one, I'm fine with that. It just means I ended up getting the GE I'm keeping for about $75. I know that doesn't work for everyone, but I'm happy with that arrangement.
  • To explain myself.
    #1. I have seen the return on Star Wars dwindle over the past couple of years (I have been doing this for 12 years now).. as more people hear about the aftermarket value, the more newbies we get adding to supply, which drives our return down.. It's still a good investment (you'll probably double your money in 1.5 years), but it's not as good as it used to be, and it will probably continue to decline as forums like these become more popular.
    If anything, the reason you may have seen your SW investments 'go south' in the last few years is because of the increase in the number of re-releases, and/or the increase in the number of non-iconic sets that AFOLs aren't as interested in, such as all the Clone Wars and expanded universe sets that have come out lately. Not because the reseller market is getting saturated...

    You just have to pick and choose what to invest in more wisely these days...
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