People make investments out of many things that they enjoy as hobbies – classic cars, antique watches, sports memorabilia, and other collectibles. I have a lot of collections of things, but I’ve never viewed any of them that way.
One of the biggest collections we have is LEGO models & sets. I have many sets from when I was a kid and we’ve bought & built exponentially more as my son was growing up.I’m not sure how many sets we have in total at this point, but it probably numbers close to 150 if you include all of the small sets and the big ones together.
LEGO makes each sets for a year or two and then they are on to the next ones. A few might last five years in their line or get updated in a new form. Still, since they retire so many sets, there is a burgeoning secondary market to get older sets that aren’t in production anymore. I’ve bought a few sets off the secondary market, but the prices can be outrageous.
Here’s an example: the LEGO Corner Cafe set sold for $139 when it was introduced in 2007. Now, a dozen years later, there are five of these that have sold on eBay in the last month for an average of $2,569. That’s an impressive investment return of 27.5%/year.
Of course not all sets go up that much, but most have been rising. The ones that do best seem to have the following commonalities: 1) a set tied to a very popular theme (Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Marvel); 2) a high price point that people can’t easily afford today; and 3) a unique design / unusual features.
My son & I felt like this new LEGO Mario NES set with a unique TV set & console fit the bill on all of these counts …
Nintendo/Mario are a new theme for LEGO and there has been huge demand. This is a very unique build with a scrolling TV frame you can actually make Mario jump around on. At $229/set, there will be many people who can’t afford it now – but will hopefully pine for it ‘someday’ in the future.
That being the case, we ordered several sets and will build one and store a few others as our first LEGO investment. As long as we keep them sealed up / new in box, I don’t think we’ll lose money on them. My worry would be they keep the set on the market for more than 2-3 years and there is a supply glut at that price.
Regardless, as LEGO Enthusiasts, it’s a fun investment to make and we’ll see how it goes!
Have you made any interesting or unique collectible investments?