To explain this topic, you really need to look back at the various themes that have come and gone since LEGO has been making toy bricks. What you consider the best off, in some sets, some would disagree, most sellers will tell you that the majority of TV & Movie themes are a good investment, like Star Wars or Harry Potter for example. I have listed 10 LEGO sets to invest in based on my experience and the reasons behind this.
Please Note! I don’t like profiteering from LEGO. Even though I have sold sets from time to time for obvious reasons, I never take advantage. That’s my key message here.
Medieval Market Village (10193)
The first LEGO set to invest in is one from LEGO’s own themes: the Medieval Market Village (10193). Sure, we’ve had castle sets since LEGO was still in diapers, but nothing like this. The set was unique in that you, the builder, could now create a village to go with your castle, and it looked the part.
When it first arrived, not many gave it a second thought, and it was overlooked. That was a big mistake! It happened to be a really good investment in terms of money. While it cost $150 AUD, in today’s market it’s somewhere between $250-$500 AUD. Not a bad little earner.
Another Castle set that proved just as popular was the Mill Village Raid (7189). The current asking price on most Australian sites is $600! So you see Castle sets can be good LEGO sets to invest in, if picked at the right time.
Grand Carousel (10196)
Next on the list is the Creator Grand Carousel (10196). The original one, with sound. If you want a LEGO set to invest in, this was the one to beat. I bought this one on sale at $400 AUD (yes! You read correct!) I thought at the time I’d buy it for my daughter for Christmas, who was 5 at the time. It was something to spruce up her bedroom, as she was going through a “pink” phase at the time.
I put it together and wow! This was something to see! She loved it, played with it a lot, but due to it being so fragile, after a while it got put it on the shelf. But she loved the fact that it moved & played music, so much so I had to take the batteries out!
This was again, unique in that something like this had never been done before, and having been privileged to build something like this was worth every penny.
Now comes the hard bit. Although LEGO re-released a later set 10257 with no motor, still with sound, that is where the difference ends. Price-wise, this is ridiculous. Anywhere between $600-$7800+, and if it’s mint-in-box, it’s time to book that holiday you always dreamed of!
The Batmobile: Two-Face’s Escape (7781)
The third on my LEGO sets to invest in list is a set I always wanted since I first saw it. In fact any set from this range would fill this spot, but as this is my list, I’m putting this one in. It was without a doubt the best in that series. The theme was very short lived, in that, I think I saw the sets for less than a month, and to this day, I don’t know why.
It was based on the Tim Burton 1989 film Batman. The car looks incredible and is hard to beat. It’s one of the reasons I bought it. That, and also the chance to get Batman. Prices on this set go for $250-$450 (Mint-in-box). Considering that the set only cost $30 AUD, it was a good investment to also buy the rest of the theme. Other sets in this theme included the “Batwing”, “Batboat”, etc and of course the “Batcave”. Due to limited number of these sets, many lucked out, and some missed the boat entirely.
I managed to get mine due to a guy I knew at Toys’R’Us, who was a big Batman fan, and wouldn’t shut up about these sets he’d seen. That’s how I got mine.
Haunted House (10228)
The next set on my list had to be the Monster Fighters Haunted House. When I first saw this house I’d been already collecting the Monster Fighters theme for a while, mostly because I like the monsters. Since the LEGO Movie Studio days, it seemed a good investment to carry on with the tradition so I had bought most of the theme when this showed up.
First thing came to mind was how much this house reminded me of “psycho”, and was there a Norman Bates to be included? It definitely looked the part from the first time I saw it, and at $200 AUD it wasn’t a bad price either. It opened like a doll’s house, which was my first mistake. When I built it, my daughter used the model for exactly that: A doll’s house!
Still, every Halloween, it’s a great talking point to any of the kids that see it, and was well worth the money I spent on it. I was sorry to hear that it wasn’t the success that LEGO had hoped for. When I saw the set last, it was being sold off at half price. That caught me by surprise as it should have done better.
The price range for this set goes for $250 Used to $500 Mint-in-box. Just be careful though, as Lepin does the exact set for a lot cheaper and you can be duped into buying this instead of an original LEGO one!
Death Star (10188)
Now before I begin, what kid/adult would not want this set? This was and will always be a great LEGO set to invest in, if not money-wise then great hand-me-down to your grandkids, younger brother/sister etc. This was the set that every kid wanted for Christmas 2009, and though the price tag was pretty steep ($600 AUD), it looked as though LEGO had pulled out all the stops on this one! It had everything! Figures, playability and hours of fun for the whole family. Everyone except the poor sod who had to put it together the night before. Yes, I got one!
Though there have been other remakes, like 75159, this was quite an investment to undertake at the time. The set was basically a play set, and had plenty of things to do in it, and anyone who saw the set wanted to play with it, whether you wanted them to or not! It was one of those must-have sets, and a great talking point.
Now as for the price range, I have seen this go for crazy prices, everything from $500 to $1200+. But with the new release version out there, your best bet is to shop around, and again, a word of caution, Lepin does a much cheaper version, so buyer beware.
As one of the good LEGO sets to invest in, I’d say “Yes” to this one.
Imperial Flagship (10210)
Now who doesn’t like pirates? This was one of many pirate themes that LEGO has produced over the years and collecting them was every kid’s dream. Not all were as detailed or as big as this one. In fact, this was the biggest LEGO ever made. So it is only fair I include this in the list.
Like I said, it was very detailed and the last time I saw a ship as good as this was the Queen Ann’s Revenge (4195) or the much earlier Black Seas Barracuda (6285) from 1989. So you see, pirate ships can be safe LEGO sets to invest in, for those who wants to collect them.
In terms of price, back then I got this set for $100 AUD on sale. These days, to buy the same set, you need to pay $950-$1800+ on eBay.
You have to wonder why LEGO don’t do a re-make…
Ford Mustang (10265)
This is for future investors out there! This is the car you want. It was very well-made, and in terms of detail, for a LEGO car, you can’t pass this one. It also doubles (with a few modifications) into a muscle car and looks brilliant.
When I first saw this, I found it hard to believe that it was LEGO. The designer of this did an excellent job, and any collector would be happy to have this on their shelf. Though, if you are buying this to make money, you will have to wait a while as it is still on LEGO’s current catalogue. But as a model, it stands alone as one of the best I’ve seen.
Its current Price is $200 AUD.
NASA Apollo 11 Lunar Lander (10266)
This will be the third remake of this set, but it is still a worthy LEGO set to invest in. I had the the second version of this, Lunar Lander (10029), when it first came out back in 2003. But due to reasons, I had to sell it. I regretted this badly, and was overjoyed to see a remake which was much better than the last one. I also noted how much that set had increased in value as at the time it wasn’t that popular. But its price sky-rocketed once it fell out of circulation.
Which brings me to this version. I bought this, but not for the reasons you might think. I wanted a piece of history, and the Apollo Moon Landing, is just that. I was lucky enough to be old enough to see this on BW telly and remember it well, so it’s no surprise that some investments don’t always concern money. To me, this is history!
You can still pick this up on eBay and LEGO Shop at Home. Price range is $125-$450. Oh! And FYI, 10029 goes for $289-$1800+. Not bad for a set that was originally $45 AUD!
Any Movie / TV set
Whether it be for Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Doctor Who, or Friends, sets like these are never going to go out of favour. Take Star Wars and Harry Potter – it a safe bet that someone out there will always want them, so they’re great LEGO sets to invest in!
LEGO and other toy companies have long since caught on to this, and prices fluctuate depending on the market at the time. I tend to stay clear of the more popular ones for that reason, and stick to the more obscure ones, like the Stranger Things The Upside Down (75810). Now I know it’s not as popular, and is basically, for the moment, just one set (I don’t include exclusives, as no-one has the chance to get these in the current market). But in a few years time when younger kids grow up and watch this show, sets like this will have all but disappeared. How cool would it be to have this on display to say, “Yeah, I saw the series and know what it’s about”?
The same could be said for Friends, and perhaps Seinfeld (If LEGO would hurry up and make it!)
It’s a chance you take, and if you follow the trend, you can’t go far wrong.
Santa’s Workshop (10245)
Now I bet you thought I was going to go with the UCS Falcon or some Technic one. Well, you’d be wrong. Why this set you ask? This set was the one that stands out more than all the other sets combined. Not many sets have the ability to bring back fond memories like this one, except perhaps The Simpsons House and Walle-E.
As an investment, I always get comments about this set. Call me old fashioned, but there is something about a Christmas set that draws people in and this was one of those sets. Not that it was expensive, as sets go, but it was pretty popular at the time of release in 2014, and it was damn near impossible to get.
That year it went down a treat, so as an investment, it was money well spent.
In the many years I have collected LEGO, it never entered my mind to collect as an investment. Instead it was how close could I make my collection to perfect. Things didn’t always go as planned, as some sets, no-matter how much you try, can never be found. Some themes just never get finished, and some end before they even start.
I collected when I could, and some mistakes were made along the way, but that’s the beauty of collecting, right? You never know.
So my advice to anyone who is looking for LEGO sets to invest in is to look at the trends, then look at the more unusual sets, as it’s those that sometimes can bring home the prize.