Forget art, wine and even gold – used Lego prices are rising faster than any of them, study finds.
Researchers at the Russian School of Economics found that the prices of used Lego sets increased by 11% every year, a faster and better rate of return than traditional investments like stocks, bonds, l ‘gold and wine.
Associate professor and study co-author Victoria Dobrynskaya said more unusual investments, such as Lego, Barbie dolls and model trains, could also be big bucks.
“We are used to thinking that people buy items such as jewelry, antiques or works of art as an investment. However, there are other options, such as collectible toys.
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“Tens of thousands of transactions are concluded in the Lego secondary market.
“Even taking into account the low prices of most packages, this is a huge market that is not well known to mainstream investors.”
The study looked at the prices of 2,322 used but unopened Lego sets from 1987 to 2015.
He found that aftermarket prices started to rise two or three years after a set pulled out of retail, with some returns reaching 600% per year.
The most expensive sets were the Millennium Falcon, Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer, all from the Star Wars movie franchise, and the Taj Mahal.
Prices for large and small sets have increased faster than average prices, and themed sets dedicated to famous buildings, popular movies or seasonal vacations have generally seen the strongest growth.
The study authors said that several factors contributed to the rapid growth in the price of sets, including limited production, scarcity in the second-hand market, and the nostalgia of adult Lego fans.
“The sets produced 20-30 years ago make Lego fans nostalgic, and the prices for them are skyrocketing,” Dobrynskaya said.
“But despite the high profitability of Lego sets in the general aftermarket, not all sets are equally successful.
“You have to be a real Lego fan to unravel the nuances of the market and see the investment potential in a particular set.”