The toy box is toppling from the Mount St. Lego that’s been slowly growing inside. You’ve got Lego boxes under beds, bricks that you constantly step on and mini figures taking over the house.
But, wait! Before you ditch the idea of ever buying another set, take a look at what those Legos are really worth.
That’s right, your child’s Lego has real cash value. If you’re wondering how to value Lego, you’re in for a sweet surprise. According to the Telegraph, Lego offers a better financial return than bank accounts, stocks or even gold. Starting in 2000, Lego has shown a 12% return annually. We dare you to find an interest-earning bank account that has the same. Go ahead – you aren’t likely to find it.
Okay, so that beaten-up looking set with jam-smeared pieces and bricks that the dog chewed on isn’t exactly worth its weight in gold. But, if you happen to have a set or two that has all of its pieces, is in top-notch (like new) condition and still in the original packaging, you’re in luck. It’s these pristine Legos that are fetching pricey paybacks.
What set gets you the best return? Legos made in 2000 or after that are popular, distinctive or have been discontinued are the most valuable. Don’t think that you need to wait decades for your kids’ sets to be discontinued by the makers. A few hundred are retired each year. This routinely happens to make room for new products or when a blockbuster movie run is over. Money-making films such as the Star Wars franchise has sprouted in-demand Legos that buyers will pay plenty for as the company stops production.
You don’t need to have the 14-karat gold Lego (yes, it really does exist) to make a bang in the resale market. Even though the golden brick has a price tag of $14,000, sets big and small also have more than decent paybacks. When it comes to resale winners, “Café Corner” (a 2,056-piece Lego set that was originally priced at $132 before being retired) now has a 2,230 percent financial return, with a value of $3,072. Yikes!
If you’ve got Lego to sell, where can you go to make some money back? Well, of course, there’s always eBay for all of your online auction and resale needs. That said, you might not know how to price your set (not many of us mums and dads do) or what it’s really worth. BrickPicker.com to the rescue! This community for Lego-lovers provides plenty of up-to-date information on investing, collecting and selling. Cofounder Eddie Mack notes on his site that the $399 Star Wars Millennium Falcon set that he bought for $399 was selling for $800 to $1,200 on eBay only two years later. The site’s blog gives added info, listing the top 10 selling sets by week.
Brick picker also offers a ‘LEGO Stock Tracker’. This feature lets you see the current price of popular sets from a variety of retailers. If you’re unsure of a price for pieces that you currently own, simply type the set name or number into the site’s search tool and find out what it might be worth.
With the potential high return, should you go into the Lego reselling business? Making some serious money off of your Legos isn’t exactly a snap-your-fingers-and-you’re-rich proposition. It takes work – hard work. It means having the ‘right’ sets, investing, figuring out trends and sifting through the stats. It also means that you need to sell the stuff, as you also keep watch on how the Lego market is performing.
On top of that, if your kids have made a mess out of their Legos, lost pieces of the sets, chewed through the cardboard boxes, finger painted on pieces or (in some cases) simply played with the bricks, forget about it. Distressed Legos aren’t worth their weight in gold. Even so, as your third grader asks for yet another Star Wars set, you can take comfort in the possibility that your purchase could have some pretty fabulous financial possibilities!
How to get the best value for your Lego:
- The website dedicated to Lego investments, Brick Picker, lists how much each set has risen in price. Jump on over and take a look around to get a feel.
- If you’d like to collect Lego, research, research, research and see what has been doing well.
- Sets often based on films like Star Wars, famous landmarks like the Taj Mahal or brands like the Volkswagen Beetle seem to do best. Everyday sets like police stations are also doing really well.
- The hardest part will be not opening your new box, because to see the benefits you have to keep it in pristine condition (so keep boxes out of sunlight and vertically to avoid damaging them).
- Sets released after the year 2000 tend to do better, as they are more complex.
- Sets with boxes will get the best resale, so DON’T dispose of it!
What to read next:
- Stress less with these Lego sets for adults
- How to deal with your kids’ screen obsession
- This Kmart hack is a Lego lovers dream