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Predictions on Discontinuing Sets and their Secondary Market Value

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  • Hello i'm Tijrijn. What are your thoughts about Ninjago, I've got quite a few ice dragon and lightning dragon sets... will these grow in time or is the value at the moment based on people wanting to complement their collection and is the sweet spot for selling them at this point in time.
    Hello there, Tijrijn (I had to retype your name like 6 times before I finally got it right).

    I'm very interested to see how the Lightning Dragon does in both the short and long term. It's already fetching $130-$160 on eBay these days. I'm curious about this because it's a non-SW, non-10xxx set (the stuff we typically think of as "investment" LEGO). But rather it's a true kids' theme, and it's already right about at 200% of retail price.

    I picked up a pair of this set for a Bricksetter at a BOGO earlier in the year, and it was my first time seeing the box in person. It really struck me as a gorgeous set, and that's coming from someone that doesn't have a terribly high opinion of the theme. That dragon is just huge.

    I think its future success will depend a lot on how committed LEGO is to continuing and expanding the Ninjago theme in the next year or two. I believe there are some more summer sets expected this year, so I don't see the Lightning Dragon slowing down any time soon. As long as kids are buying current Ninjago sets, they will be exploring the sets they missed, and see that the Lightning Dragon exists, and ask mom and dad for it.

    It's hard to say what the apex of the set's value will be. My gut says wait until this coming Christmas at the very least. Might be a $250 set by then.

  • Ok, the new X-wing has been out for a month and yet I was still able to sell 45O2 for what I was asking for before 9493 came out.
    As TLG rehashes the SW line over and over again I feel myself more drawn to the old school OT sets with the yellow headed minifigs. That older styling just captures more of Lego and SW goodness for me than the insanely detailed minifgs of today that more resemble action figures. I much prefer the older Droid Escape and Desert Skiff...that original box art and simpleness I will happily pay for. I think I am done with rehashes of rehashes for the SW line. Think I am going to try and collect every SW set with yellow heads/hands from now on.

  • Yes but the Flip side is ask anyone who had an original MTT how well the market held for their old MTT when the new one was released, ask those who bought a 6209 Slave 1 for 150 dollars how well those held up.. Ask those who had original Sith Infiltrators how well those are doing
    SOME models hold their value, but not ALL of them.
    Yes models can do worse if the new one is improved, but how do you really KNOW this until it is out (or spy photos and hope you can sell them before the new ones come out I guess)
    Again At Ats are an exception because for the most part all are build well, the last being the weak link.and the walking one will always do well because it is power functions, but if LEGO remade one with better details and power functions Im not so sure the 'original' would hold their worth so well.


  • ^ Agreed...

    The 2nd gen MTT was much better than the first, so the value of the 1st fell.

    The most recent AT-AT is not as good as the older ones, the part count was cut too much, but the minifigs are better, so both will retain value.

    In general, I agree with you, the older kids won't hold value once rehashed...
  • People are asking about ninjago. Here's my take. They are a fad product. They are doing very well in the aftermarket (to my surprise - I really don't like them - but kids seem to love them). I have a feeling they will continue to double in the aftermarket as long as they are popular, but they will definitely not hold their value very long (IMO). At least until all those 7 year olds who love them now grow up. And that will take years.
  • My 6 year old son is now reading Ninjago books, watching the cartoon, and is getting into the story. If they keep that up, it might have legs beyond just a few years. Right now, everything Ninjago is selling very well, amazing really...
  • I must say. I don't invest in Legos to resell, but it's nice to know their value is. I do have a store on Bricklink, but I'm just trying to sell some of my collection to make room for newer Legos. I do think that investing in the larger more expensive sets is the way to go. Younger people that don't have alot of money will shy away from spending $150-200 on a set and will probably spend 3x that much later to obtain the set. I've experienced that when selling my Market Street. I've always thought it was a hideous set, but I sold it for over $1000 even though I only paid $80.
  • ^ Mine too. Ninjago is definitely hot for the short term. Who knows for the long term. All books and cartoons are really providing great exposure and drive for the line. I wouldn't be surprised if a video game was in the works. Maybe this is just the start of something even bigger as it appears to be a great franchise right now. Or, maybe this is the top of the mountain.

    It's really interesting what's going on right now. Friends has been done before, but much better this time. Lego could really expand the brand cross products -- I.e. lunch boxes, back-packs, clothing, games and cartoons. You could say Ninjago had been done before with Bionicle type products -- games, movies, etc. Seems they determined what was successful and not with the previous lines and really hit it off with the current. They've possibly taken a cue from Disney and taken advantage of cross promotions and products that constantly reinforce each other.

    How does all this translate to the secondary market with "kid" appeal products? Who knows as its uncharted territory with non-licensed themes. One thing is for sure. I wish I could go back to December 26th and hit all the Walmarts and Targets and pick up the red boxes I passed up on.
  • ^Yep, I wasn't taken by the Ninjago sets to begin with and still don't plan on having any on display, but post Xmas sales when Wilko's went 50% off all, Fire Temple went 75% at JL and Tesco did 65% off 2509 I went in heavy as I could and have a lot stocked - just need to decide whether to shift them this year/xmas or hold longer.....
  • ^ Mine too. Ninjago is definitely hot for the short term. Who knows for the long term. All books and cartoons are really providing great exposure and drive for the line. I wouldn't be surprised if a video game was in the works. Maybe this is just the start of something even bigger as it appears to be a great franchise right now. Or, maybe this is the top of the mountain.

    It's really interesting what's going on right now. Friends has been done before, but much better this time. Lego could really expand the brand cross products -- I.e. lunch boxes, back-packs, clothing, games and cartoons. You could say Ninjago had been done before with Bionicle type products -- games, movies, etc. Seems they determined what was successful and not with the previous lines and really hit it off with the current. They've possibly taken a cue from Disney and taken advantage of cross promotions and products that constantly reinforce each other.

    How does all this translate to the secondary market with "kid" appeal products? Who knows as its uncharted territory with non-licensed themes. One thing is for sure. I wish I could go back to December 26th and hit all the Walmarts and Targets and pick up the red boxes I passed up on.
    They did do a video game...Ninjago Battles for Nintendo DS.....my son plays it often. I think this "Ninjago" and "Friends" are great lines. I know they are a huge hit with kids. I would never had predicted how well. I wonder if Lego had any idea how successful these lines would be. I see both lines sticking around for along time. Oh....if only everyone had a crystal ball.
  • ^ I actually meant for Xbox and the like. There's a Ninjago iPhone App as well.
  • To those of you surprised by the popularity and rise in prices of discontinued Ninjago, remember not to underestimate the power of spoiled kids. In this country there are thousands of kids who get everything they point at, and if their parents promised them an Ice Dragon for their birthday and the parents couldn't find them in stores, then the parents go on to ebay to pick one up.

    In many parents eyes, spending a few hundred dollars on a Lego set is far better than having their kid throw a hissy fit. Ten years ago the exact same thing happened to Bionicle, another trendy non-AFOL line, and many of those sets are still worth lots of bucks.

    This is part of why I think the 10188 Death Star will have serious legs when it's discontinued, it appeals more to kids than any set over $150 has ever done and there will be plenty of wealthy parents panicking to get the set when they can't get it in stores.
  • Ahhh... spoiled kids. I see them everywhere, TRU, Walmart, Target. They whine and whine until they can get what they want or something similar. Fortunately, I was never one of those kids when I was young.

    And fyrmedhatt you make a good point about the non-AFOL sets sometimes doing good in the secondary market.
  • While I agree with your comments about spoiled kids getting whatever they want, I doubt they are throwing hissy fits to get EOL'd sets (with a few exceptions). Like you said, I would imagine they want whatever they can point at (which isn't EOL'd sets). Personally, I'm not a fan of Ninjago, but apparently there are a lot of others that are. Ninjago is not licensed, so Lego will have it around for a while; especially since it's so popular.

    As for Bionicle, I was the guy who purchased the sets that DIDN'T go up. ;-)
  • BTW, 10198 is out-of-stock at Target.com finally.
  • do you think it helps sales of oop sets that there are now all the various books? Now kids can see a lot of the sets that have been made, decide they really want them and THEN the parents find out that they have to pay an arm and a leg for them...
    $0.02
  • Imperial Shuttle is on sale at Amazon - 10% off (saw a similar price at either Target or Walmart, so I think they're matching). Given that Amazon is tax-free for many of us, maybe this is a good opportunity to pick one up before it goes EOL?
  • I see them everywhere, TRU, Walmart, Target. They whine and whine until they can get what they want or something similar
    Oops...
    More often then not it's an AFOL, when it comes to LEGO, we sure don't mess around. ;-)

    ^^About time!

  • Speaking of Ninjago, Destiny's Bounty (9446) is out of stock everywhere and is demanding over $100 for MISB. This is one set that will probably do very well long term.
  • Destiny's Bounty is one of the first Ninjago sets that makes me want to pick up some of the line. That may just be because it's a ship though. It just came out, right? Probably around for awhile.

  • ^ You guys have fun with Ninjago.. I can't wrap my head around the appeal.. and if I don't understand it.. it's too big of a risk for me.
  • ^Remember Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Exactly the same thing.
  • ^ I understand, and won't fault you from being that way. But, you can learn a lot by just asking kids which sets they like. They will typically like sets that don't appeal to me, and if they are your future customers it is good info to have.

    I will never forget being in TRU 2 years ago, looking over the SW sets, and thinking about what sets would resell well. A kid came in with his grandmother and was going Ga-Ga over Anakin's Jedi Starfighter, 7669. A $19.99 set. I thought 'Meh, it's a $19 set. No money to be had there.' His grandmother was asking about more expensive sets, but the boy wanted Anakin! If I had only listened better. I did end up getting a few 7669's, but not nearly enough. Just sold my last set a few weeks ago for $60.00!
  • What is a reasonable ceiling to expect for the Death Star? Will it reach USC Falcon type numbers 3 -4 years down the line or will the market be too saturated for it?
  • Only time will tell, but I don't think you can expect it to reach MF numbers.
  • Many good points made here recently. Part of the AFOL's bafflement regarding Ninjago may not be so much incomprehension ("What do those darn kids see in it anyway?!?") as indecision ("Which ones do they really like?"). At least that's how I feel. I can see the appeal but I don't know anything about the line, therefore I concur with pstrickler above. And as cloaked7 mentions (and Ice Dragon proves) it may not be the biggest sets that have the longest legs. The TRU near me still has a ton of Destiny's Bounty, though; we'll see what happens to that throughout the year. 111ins mentions the books and secondary circulation: if Lego does a good job with this, I see 2 scenarios: a boon for those who scooped up the red box sets last year, or (ala SW) infinite rehashes. Ninjago could be a fad or it could be a pivotal point in Lego's production, a vehicle of total marketing and cash cow fattening.

    DS will sell for $654613216498798765431.
  • Just kidding. I don't know. Nobody does.
  • Kids love Dragons, that is a truth... My son loves "How to train your dragon", and he loves the Ninjago Dragons as well.

    I have no doubt that Lego will do more Dragons, when they do, we might see a falloff in the Red Box versions (2260 I'm looking at you)

    That being said, while the Green Box sets overall are of a higher quality than the Red Box sets, my son has not been as excited about them... He does like the wrecking ball and loves the motorcycle (much better there than the first one), but overall they are just vehicles. To be sure, kids love vehicles, but those will be redone over and over.

    2507 is the interesting one to me, it is still for sale, Red Box set, Lego seems to have kept it on rather than doing another big box set. If it retires before Christmas, it'll do well. If not, it may be around too long and everyone will have one, to make it far in the after market, even more so if Lego comes out with another big box Dragon set...
  • ...This is part of why I think the 10188 Death Star will have serious legs when it's discontinued, it appeals more to kids than any set over $150 has ever done and there will be plenty of wealthy parents panicking to get the set when they can't get it in stores.
    I expect 10188 to jump to $600 quickly. Then at a pace much slower than normal go up. The reason being is the target audience.

  • Thanks for all your insight on the Ninjago sets. I don't know if it is a growing line in the longterm but I see the dragon sets climbing up in value at a incredible pace.. I tend to choose more "safe" and traditional sets but always play with a minor percentage of my funds with more riskier sets. I already spent all the money i had planned on Ninjago 2260 and 2521. Then i saw a discount last week on the 2507. (60 euro) I didn't have the guts too buy them since i already had the other ninjagos but they sold nearly 150 sets within a day, now i'm banging my head against the wall :)

    The 2260 and 2521 almost doubled within months. It seems to me a lot of people (including me) are looking at the expensive AFOL sets but how long will it take for a 300 euro set to double in value ?
    I didn't do the math but i reckon even the MF didn't double value every couple of months since it EOl'd.
  • No, UCS Falcon did not, but neither will 2260 or 2521, both are reaching the limits of what I'd expect them to reach, 2521 shouldn't go over $200 for awhile, it will be a slow climb. 2260 must be near the top, for a 158 part set, it would be hard pressed to sell many units over $100.
  • One of the things that I think has helped the resale value of the red Ninjago sets is the fact that they were out for less than a year. The sets were announced towards the end of 2010 and then were OOP by the end of 2011. If TLG intends to refresh the sets that often and the cartoon stays popular, these should continue to do well.
  • Mf was produced for what, 2 years. Ds has been produced for how many years now? 5(didn't check just guessing). Too many ds out there. Maybe double in time if lucky. Definitely won't do what mf did.
  • ^DS has it's four year anniversary on the 8th of June... close enough though ;-)
  • One of the things that I think has helped the resale value of the red Ninjago sets is the fact that they were out for less than a year. The sets were announced towards the end of 2010 and then were OOP by the end of 2011. If TLG intends to refresh the sets that often and the cartoon stays popular, these should continue to do well.
    Well, I'm pretty much convinced this kind of shelf life is the norm, not any kind of exception. In addition to Red Ninjago, look at the last wave of Kingdoms. Or Alien Conquest, or PoTC. Outside of the Direct/high ticket items, we're going to be seeing turnover like this on most themes. Retailers have to keep their aisles fresh, and it is in neither LEGO nor the retailers advantage to overproduce sets that end up on the clearance bin or collecting dust on a shelf. Those that do make it past the 9 to 12 month range are going to be the under-performing themes.

  • LegoFanTexas mentioned part counts: is it me or does it seem like the Dino theme is prohibitively priced per piece? I know some come with nice megafigures like the T Rex and Triceratops, but... I dunno. But as with dragons, so with dinos: kids love em, and the Dino theme has the advantage of not being burdened with licenses (though the "advantages" of this burden are debatable). Someone a while back thought they would have skyrocketed if under the Jurassic Park banner. I think the theme has an inarguable aisle appeal to parents, as long as they don't do the math. My son (6) got one of the smallest Dino sets that came with Coelophysis (see-lo-fi-sis) and he played with just it forever... All things considered, it has some stiff competition for kids' adoration, what with Ninjago, the perennial SW, and now Marvel.
  • I think price per piece matters more for AFOLs than it does for the average consumer. Consumers in general think Lego are overpriced, but they appreciate the creative aspect of the toy so they see it as an investment.
  • I think price per piece matters more for AFOLs than it does for the average consumer. Consumers in general think Lego are overpriced, but they appreciate the creative aspect of the toy so they see it as an investment.
    Lego is overpriced when compared with all the Made in China stuff, because it isn't made in China, it shows what everything in our lives would cost if we never went down that path.

    Not saying good or bad there, just pointing out that Lego is in a world of its own, due to being made in Denmark, which is a really expensive place to make stuff.
  • LegoFanTexas mentioned part counts: is it me or does it seem like the Dino theme is prohibitively priced per piece? I know some come with nice megafigures like the T Rex and Triceratops, but... I dunno. But as with dragons, so with dinos: kids love em, and the Dino theme has the advantage of not being burdened with licenses (though the "advantages" of this burden are debatable).
    It is, but that isn't the problem... It isn't "tied" to anything, it kinda gets lost in the back of the stores...

    It also came out right when the new wave of Ninjago and Friends came out, so it was lost in the shuffle. It would have been a better "summer" release I think, but what do I know.

    Dino just screams "one and done" to me, I picked up a few just because I think they are cool in general, and I like Dinos, but I don't think it is selling all that well.
  • Mf was produced for what, 2 years. Ds has been produced for how many years now? 5(didn't check just guessing). Too many ds out there. Maybe double in time if lucky. Definitely won't do what mf did.
    MF was out for almost 3 years, but yes it did not stay on the shelves as long as DS has. MF also had the benefit of being a proper UCS set, with a display plaque and a huge part count.

    It also had the benefit of being minifig scale, something that obviously you can't do with most larger Star Wars sets (imagine the size of a minifig scale DS!)

    That being said, UCS Falcon is a display piece, it is an adult toy, nothing to do with it once built. DS is very child friendly, much more so than the older UCS DS II (10143), which also just sat there.
  • (imagine the size of a minifig scale DS!)
    *Drool....
    That being said, UCS Falcon is a display piece, it is an adult toy, nothing to do with it once built. DS is very child friendly, much more so than the older UCS DS II (10143), which also just sat there.
    That being said, UCS Falcon is an absolutely beautiful display piece, so what it loses in play ability, it more than makes up for in looks. That and it is the most iconic ship in all of the Star Wars movies, even though it never appeared in 1-3.
  • ^ Agreed that it is iconic, I also agree it is well known... My wonderful silver-hair mother, who knows next to nothing about Star Wars, knows what the Falcon is, can tell you Han Solo is the pilot, and would know it on sight.

    That being said, read the most recent review on DS:

    "That's no moon, it's a - Fantastic Set!"
    http://brickset.com/reviews/?ID=43714

    I couldn't have said it better myself, which is why this set is a 4.9 out of 5 on Brickset, one of very few sets to accomplish that.
  • edited April 2012
    ^DS has it's four year anniversary on the 8th of June... close enough though ;-)
    Where are you located? In the US, the Death Star came out on the first of September.
  • ^DS has it's four year anniversary on the 8th of June... close enough though ;-)


    Where are you located? In the US, the Death Star came out on the first of September.
    US... apparently we both got the date wrong, it was released on the 21st of June according to Brickset. That's what I get for reading the cliff notes. ;-)

  • ^ I don't think it was out anywhere before September. The pre-order started on July 1st, for shipping in September.
  • http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10188-1

    Says 21st of June which is what I'm going off of... I'm probably wrong though. SW minifigures are my forte, sets not so much.
  • LegoFanTexas mentioned part counts: is it me or does it seem like the Dino theme is prohibitively priced per piece? I know some come with nice megafigures like the T Rex and Triceratops, but... I dunno. But as with dragons, so with dinos: kids love em, and the Dino theme has the advantage of not being burdened with licenses (though the "advantages" of this burden are debatable). Someone a while back thought they would have skyrocketed if under the Jurassic Park banner. I think the theme has an inarguable aisle appeal to parents, as long as they don't do the math. My son (6) got one of the smallest Dino sets that came with Coelophysis (see-lo-fi-sis) and he played with just it forever... All things considered, it has some stiff competition for kids' adoration, what with Ninjago, the perennial SW, and now Marvel.
    I don't own any of the dino sets and haven't done the calculation. But what if you take price per kg rather than price per piece? Some of those dino sets seem to have large parts - especially the dinosaurs.
  • I think we may be seeing a much steeper curve on the sets worth investing in for the next few years. Anything in the Dino, AC, PQ, Atlantis, TS - and other "middle of the road" series will take awhile to get to 1.5 or 2x - as has been mentioned.


  • edited April 2012
    ^ Spot on. In many ways I think the price to piece ratio is not as important as it used to be. When elements were less specialized and there were fewer instances of both very large and very small pieces, the ratio had better relevancy to a set's value.

    There are, of course, additional factors that seem to add to the price of a set -- licensing, # of minifigs, unique and complex elements, special packaging -- but weight reflects how much plastic was used, which I imagine has a very concrete valuation by TLG. For example, there is a very strong correlation between the weight of an element and its pricing via LUGBulk (LEGO's direct purchasing program).

    5886 T-Rex Hunter has a paltry 464 pieces at a retail cost of 70 USD. The T-Rex is a large, complex piece that was specially designed for this set so it's understandable that it comes at a premium. But just how much since it only has 464 pieces?

    According to Bricklink the set weighs 1134 grams. Although that weight doesn't put it among the heaviest of sets at the 70 USD price point (~1300 grams), it definitely compares favorably against 10222 Winter Village Post Office which, despite seeming like a good value at 793 elements, weighs only 989 grams.
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