Although none of us really pride ourselves on being BrickLinkers or LEGO investors, and most of the readers are here looking for extra tips on building custom MOCs, it’s an interesting enough topic to at least drop in a few words on: LEGO investing; interesting enough to even be featured out in the mainstream media like Time Magazine and US News.
The angle they take is about LEGO being a better investment than gold, which people buy into for security of monetary value or increased value in time. That increase being roughly 9.6% each year since 2000. But in the last 16 years, average LEGO sets kept in new, sealed condition have increased by around 12% annually. And that’s just average LEGO sets of any variety, if investors play their cards right, numbers upwards of 36% annual gain are being tossed around. An example of this is the much sought after Star Wars Ultimate Collectors Series Millennium Falcon from 2007, which had an original price tag of $510. Now buyers looking a product in the 2007-like LEGO store condition are staring up at a $4,250 set-back.
Assuming you’re still reading and not rushing to BrickLink to confirm some of these numbers, you’re at least interesting in learning more about either short or long term LEGO investing. Notice the part where I said, if you play your cards right, earlier. There are simple ways to make investments, like picking up good deals and turning them over later, or picking up sets that are about to be real popular since their movie is on its way. But when it gets complicated is when you need to predict the sets that stand the test of time, and are still demanded years past discontinuation.
Unless it’s in your buffer of cash you’re ready to give up for a long time, I do not recommend investing in LEGO, especially this way. There is no guarantee of the return you’re hoping for, and you’ll be out for quite a while.
Chances are if you’re delving into this RebelLUG blog, you’re a member of the LEGO online community, and you watch as everything goes down. You keep pace with other fans, and understand the hobby enough. This is where you have to watch for patterns. Look at what’s popular among the real fans, and what isn’t. Another indicator is how frequent the sales are and how long they last. If a vendor leaves a big LEGO set on 20% for an extended period of time, and it doesn’t get sold out, there’s no way it’s going to be super-hot on the aftermarket.
But that’s the beauty of all LEGO. Whether it’s new or used, in parts or in a set, it always manages to at least retain value. So for us as casual builders or set collectors, were actually making micro investments on a daily basis, which some day (hopefully not) we will take back our piece plunge.