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The pfm Lego Investment Challenge

Discussion in 'off topic' started by lsinclair, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. lsinclair

    lsinclair pfm Member

    Invest in Lego and try to beat the banks! The idea for the Challenge came from [post=2966510]Tony’s post in his Lego Yellow Submarine thread[/post]. I had also been looking for an unusual way of investing a small amount of money in these near-zero-interest times and thought it was a great idea. I asked him if he would take part in a good-natured contest and he agreed. Over a period of time – nominally ten years – we would monitor the progress of our Lego investments and see if we would have been better or worse off sinking the money into ISAs, gold, coffee futures, LS3/5As etc.

    The more the merrier, so why not join in? Get yourself a Lego portfolio, post the individual items and price paid here, then lock it away in a cupboard. Only factory-sealed boxes are eligible! When we start – January 1, 2017 seems as good a date as any - I’ll try to knock up a spreadsheet with all the participants and their items and update it every three months or so with current prices from one of the Lego investment sites. The idea is really to restrict ourselves to current Lego sets, but I suppose retired ones could be included if we use the current market value as the starting price.

    Please remember this is all totally informal and may fall apart – but even if it does you’ll still have your Lego investment!

    Participants so far:

    Tony L

    edit: The challenge is now underway, but you can join in at any time. Just post in this thread, mention your wish to participate and give a list of your holdings together with the price paid (if real) or current retail price (if imaginary.)
  2. lsinclair

    lsinclair pfm Member

    And to get the ball rolling, here’s what I’ve got -

    10218 Pet Shop 119.98
    10218 Pet Shop 119.98
    10220 VW Camper 64.99 (inc. £15 voucher)
    10244 Fairground 84.99 (inc. £15 voucher)
    10245 Santa’s Workshop 59.99
    21108 Ecto-1 41.97
    21302 Big Bang Theory 36.99
    21303 Wall-E 35.97
    21304 Dr Who 34.99
    21304 Dr Who 18.25 (price match and £15 voucher)
    21306 Yellow Submarine 49.99
    21306 Yellow Submarine 34.99 (inc. £15 voucher)
    21307 Caterham 7 69.99
    42039 24hr Race Car 68.03
    42043 Mercedes Truck 109.97 (price match and £15 voucher)
    60124 Volcano Exploration 44.99
    75095 Tie Fighter 169.99

    Plus some Minifigure sets, freebies from Toys R Us – 2 x 5004421, 5004422, 2 x 5004573, 5004574.

    Total paid £1,166.05
  3. Colin L

    Colin L LOU Attitude Adjuster

    I've bought about 600 quids worth of lego over the past 18 months for my boy. An excellent investment. They are carefully stored in a big bin in his bedroom. One big bin and about a million pieces. Sigh ��
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Current "portfolio":

    21304 Doctor Who £49.99
    21303 WALL•E £39.99
    10251 Brick Bank £119.99
    75095 Star Wars TIE Fighter™ £169.99
    75060 Star Wars Slave I™ £169.99
    21306 Yellow Submarine £49.99 (I have two, but I've built one to keep so only counting one in the list)
    40222 LEGO Christmas Build Up £0.00 (x2 as two qualifying orders)
    21050 Architecture Studio £138.97
    75913 Speed Champions F14 T Scuderia Ferrari £79.93
    75156 Star Wars Rogue One Krennic's Imperial Shuttle £0.00 (Tesco 3 for 2 offer with the two sets above)
    75911 Speed Champions Mclaren Mercedes Pit Stop £21.97 (Amazon)
    76052 Batman™ Classic TV Series £183.99 (Lego Black Friday)
    40223 LEGO Snowglobe V29 £0.00 (Lego Black Friday)

    Lego VIP Points discount applied -£30.00 (I have another tenner there to spend).

    Total investment: £994.80

    As per the other thread I was only looking to invest £1k as an experiment to see if it holds value better than any cash investment over say five to ten years. I'm a little concerned by some items, e.g. am I over-exposed to Star Wars, but I'm fairly convnced Brexit £s in the bank will be pretty crap over the next decade so I'll be pretty surprised if this does worse than my building society. If it does I'll just play with it!

    PS F***ing Yodel appear to have damaged and returned my Batcave, was due for delivery today but the tracking system implies it has been returned with issues.
  5. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    I've got all my childhood Lego, and so my 8860 set is not for sale; I might take it for a drive later.

    On a whim I bought the F1 Williams 8461 about a decade ago. Looking now I am amazed at asking prices for boxed complete ones - 5,6 x what I paid.
  6. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    Beware of a Lego bubble my friends.
    My daughter used to avidly collect Beanie Babies.
    She kept the tags and they are all kept in bin bags.
    At one time she had some "worth" hundreds.

    15 years on they are worthless.
    There is no market any more.
  7. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    Lego is not fashionable. It is timeless.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed. The risk is a) in the popularity of the specific sets, e.g. will everyone be sick to death of Star Wars in ten years, and b) given the state of the economy and with so many people trying to ditch falling currencies for something more stable will too many people invest and flood a future market. I played the vinyl market superbly buying shed loads when it was dirt cheap and selling when it was high, but I have a nasty feeling I may be doing the reverse with this one and be buying in when everyone else is. The only redeeming thing is I'm really only looking to stick a grand somewhere better than the Brexit £ and I very much doubt that is a high hurdle to jump! Sticking a grand in a building society at maybe 1-1.5% or whatever crap you get now in a market where the £ is already 15-20% down internationally and inflation likely to get pretty high is a great way to lose ones assets. Anything that tracks inflation or the property market would be good, and I suspect these Lego collectables will at least track inflation.
  9. kennyh

    kennyh pfm Member

    Toys are always inflation proof. Did this for a year with Corgi a while back. Looking now though prices aren't as firm. Good bit of fun for little money.
  10. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    You would not have spent that much without some research on potential but a quick ebay browse revealed not much classic/vintage lego stuff going for big money. What did you find that I did not?
  11. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    If you go to eBay, type in Lego, click the 'sold items' checkbox, sort by price: highest first you have to get to page 3 before it drops below £1k!

    PS I'm certainly not assuming I've got anything of the value of the first Millennium Falcon etc, but I suspect I may have a fair few bits that will make 20-30% over five or ten years, and I bet that beats my collection of Brexit £s in the building society! Even if it just tracks inflation and averts currency depreciation I'm ahead.
  12. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    The extra bonus of Lego is that there is some intrinsic value. You can have fun building them, playing with them, breaking them down, and repeating until your fingers cramp. Try having fun with old banknotes or "investment grade" number plates.
  13. deanf

    deanf pfm Member

    Hang on, so really what I need to do is find something that today's poor kids and tomorrow's future rich kids want now but can't afford. The big money's in the unopened rare first editions, probably too expensive to own now.

    The suggestions are all sci-fi related so what I'm looking for is people who will probably make their money in science and tech, so why would I not just invest in Internet of Things and bio-tech stocks and cut out the middle man?

    I'm not meaning to spoil the party, I just think I need a bit of evidence before I start buying kids toys with my hard earned.
  14. James

    James Lord of the Erg\o/s

    There is serious investment speculation (i.e. figuring out what makes certain sets highly desirable once they have been retired) and then there is the fun of collection. Personally, I like sets that offer interesting functionality (Technic) or life-like detail (Creator). I'm less crazy about mini-figures or any of the TV/Movie themed sets. So far, I have resisted opening my small portfolio of:

    10232 - Palace Cinema (Creator - 2013)
    42025 - Cargo Plane (Technic - 2014)
    10248 - Ferrari F40 (Creator - 2015)
    75060 - Slave 1 (Star Wars UCS - 2015)
    42042 - Crawler Crane (Technic - 2015)
    21304 - Doctor Who (Ideas - 2015)
    42052 - Heavy Lift Helicopter (Technic - 2015)
    42053 - Volvo EW160E (Technic 2016)
    42054 - Claas Xerion (Technic - 2016)
    21306 - Yellow Submarine (Ideas - 2016)
    21307 - Caterham 7 (Ideas - 2016)
  15. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    I'd keep mum about this if I was collecting something, you will only lower the value.

  16. Adam D

    Adam D Where's the bear?

    This is an interesting experiment!

    I would love to partake, but I do not have enough money to.

    My 13 year old son loves his Lego, particularly Ninjago. I will ask him which ones he thinks will become collectors' items.
  17. Cesare

    Cesare pfm Member

    It's good to see you diversifying (from your collections of blue note early pressings, and SME arms).
  18. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Not much post-capitalist, anti-consumer, left-of-liberal, standard PFM thinking going on in this thread.
  19. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Good idea. Make sure you also get the ones he would really like now, tell him he can't have them yet, leave them shrink-wrapped in an airtight box in the loft, reassuring him they'll be his one day....
  20. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    All investment portfolios should have a balance of 3 key categories: cash, stocks, bricks and mortar. You'll just have to make do without the mortar.

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