Retired Lego Sets

Latest Retired Lego Sets & Upcoming Retiring Lego Sets

There are an estimated two million Lego model sets in existence worldwide, and the company has produced thousands of new sets each year since its inception.

The interest in Lego products & collections continues to grow as more children & adults around the world continue to evolve in the ways they play & collect Legos.

Maybe you just started investing in Lego brick sets and you want to know what the big deal is about retired Lego sets.  All the Lego communities seem to talk about retiring Lego sets like it is some posh senior living community that you have to be a part of.

But really, what is so unique about Legos going into retirement?

We will dive into all the details about what exactly is retired Lego sets and what does this mean for you as a Lego investor.

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Retired Sets Information

What Are Retired Lego Sets?

One of the oldest and largest hobbies is Legos, and it is estimated that there are about 50 million people actively collecting many Lego themes. These sets are individually owned sets that are often mass-produced and, over time, become quite rare and valuable.

Retired Lego Sets are sets that have reached the end of life (EOL) production with Lego.  The Lego sets are typically available for a short period of time, and then they stop making them.

This is actually a good thing, as it allows Lego to make new sets every year and keep the product fresh as sets are retiring soon.

elves retired set

Current Lego.com Availability Status

Lego is sold in many stores throughout the world.  Probably too many stores worldwide to publish here. Each retailer has a cycle of products that enter and leave the shelves during each season cycle.  Lego sets have a certain period of time they remain on the shelves

One day you will see the Legos taken down or moved elsewhere in the store to make room for the new Lego City models.

No matter what you may hear from different sites including us here at Brick Finds & Flips, the availability status on Lego.com is the one you should check to make certain a set is officially retired. 

Head over to Lego.com site and then type in your set number and see what the status is. Unfortunately, the website has a small offering of what theme or sets are retiring soon.

lego avaialbility status

Why Do They Retire Lego Sets?

Lego only makes a set for a certain period of time or so many particular production runs.  Coming out with fresh Lego sets is part of the Lego group’s business model to make their fans happy.

Let’s take a particular movie that is set to be released.  These Lego theme sets and minifigures are made well in advance of the film release.  The Lego sets are then released prior to the movie release to help generate interest in the movie. 

The move hits cinemas and the Lego theme sets for that movie tend to fly off the shelves.  All good things come to an end.  The movie leaves the theater and interest starts to wane.

Lego Star Wars is one of the Lego group’s best performing licensed theme. Star Wars always has new movies and shows along with many huge Star Wars fans.

Well guess what time it is.  Time to retire that theme set.

Lego does have a list of its retired Lego theme sets that you can find here.

How Long Before a Lego Set Retires?

This is a loaded question.  The reason is that some sets can have a very short life such as a weekend for some special Lego event and it can be almost 10 years like the Lego 10220 Volkswagen T1 Camper Van.

For most sets you will see a period of about 18-24 months that they are still available. 

This means the sweet spot to make your Lego investment is before it goes out of stock.  This means that you don’t have to hold onto it for a long period of time.  Having this notice will help you plan for your Lego purchase when the next sale hits.

Unfortunately, all the sites besides Lego are only speculating when it comes the exact date or timeframe before a set reaches its end of life.

What Lego Sets Are Going To Retire

A good way to figure this out is to know when a set is first released.  You can usually find this on a few different of sites like Brickset or Bricklink.

Once you have the release date, you can tack on at least 18 to 24 months on to that date.  Sometimes it is actually the end of the year if that timeframe is close to it.

Figuring out when Lego sets are due to retire is not a simple math problem though.  There are so many factors that the public is not made aware of.  Lego is usually tight-lipped about their end of life production runs.

Remember this is just a guide and is not deemed reliable for each and every Lego set.  Sometimes it really depends on what is going on in the Lego groups production capacities. 

During 2020, the Lego Group’s production was definitely slowed as the pandemic put a temporary halt on most things. You can imagine this disruption impacted its normal release and retirement schedule.

Other times, the set is very popular and Lego decides to have more production runs thereby extending it beyond the average 18-24 months. 

Do Lego Sets Come Out Of Retirement?

A good way to figure this out is to know when a set is first released.  You can usually find this on a few different of sites like Brickset or Bricklink.

Once you have the release date, you can tack on at least 18 to 24 months on to that date.  Sometimes it is actually the end of the year if that timeframe is close to it.

Figuring out when Lego sets are due to retire is not a simple math problem though.  There are so many factors that the public is not made aware of.  Lego is usually tight-lipped about their end of life production runs.

Remember this is just a guide and is not deemed reliable for each and every Lego set.  Sometimes it really depends on what is going on in the Lego groups production capacities. 

During 2020, the Lego Group’s production was definitely slowed as the pandemic put a temporary halt on most things. You can imagine this disruption impacted its normal release and retirement schedule.

Other times, the set is very popular and Lego decides to have more production runs thereby extending it beyond the average 18-24 months. 

Rereleased Retired Sets | What Does This Do To The Resale Value?

The Lego sets that are brought back out of retirement are usually very popular Lego sets and are in high demand.  Lego seems to be pretty in tune with their customers and probably has excellent data to back this up.

We all know Lego is in the business to make money and keep their raving fans buying more Legos.  The resale value of their retired sets is not on top of their list since the amount of resellers makes up a small percentage of their customers.

Here are some examples of a few Retired sets that were rereleased so you can see what it does their value.

Take a peak at their Keepa charts to see the overall price changes through the years.

Taj Mahal Sets

LEGO Taj Mahal (10189)
LEGO Creator Expert Taj Mahal (10256)
Product
Product
LEGO Taj Mahal (10189)
LEGO Creator Expert Taj Mahal (10256)
Year Released
Year Released
2008
2017
Year Retired
Year Retired
2010
2020
Number Of Pieces
Number Of Pieces
5922
5923
Retail Price
Retail Price
$299.99
$369.99

Apollo Saturn V Sets

LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309)
LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (92176)
Product
Product
LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309)
LEGO Ideas NASA Apollo Saturn V (92176)
Year Released
Year Released
2017
2020
Year Retired
Year Retired
2019
2022
Number Of Pieces
Number Of Pieces
1969
1969
Retail Price
Retail Price
$119.99
$119.99

Why Are Retired Lego Sets So Expensive

Two words — Supply & demand.

The economics of a retired set fall in line with normal economic supply curve.  Prices rise as the supply dwindles yet the demand is still the same.

As Lego Investor

Finding this sweet spot is what a savvy Lego investor tries to do. 

Buy low and sell high.

It is best to try to time on when and where to park your investment in.  Buying at the right time and price is of utmost importance. 

Buy to early and your investment is tied up for a longer period of time.

Buy too late and you may not have access to an adequate supply.

For The Consumer

Buying retired sets means that you will have to pay more money compared to when it was available on all the retail shelves.  It is just how economics works and has existed since the beginning of marketplaces.

It can be disheartening to see how the retail prices have increased.  The price per piece can also rise for certain rare pieces if you had to look for them too.

So be nice to the seller that still has a set you want after it retires.  Most likely they put money & sweat equity into this set or minfigure at least 1.5 to 2 years ago to deliver this to you now.

Finding a set that is in mint condition retired set can be difficult but there are a few ways that you can pick up a set that is in retirement as long as you don’t mind paying a premium.

Most of these retired sets can still be found on many major marketplaces like Amazon or eBay.

Final Thoughts

The value of the boxes of Legos can certainly change over time like any other collectible.  The price movement can be a steady upward slope. 

Keep this in mind the next time you purchase a Lego set whether you like to play, collect, invest or a bit of them all.

Finding a retired set that you may have played with as a child is well worth it to the now adult fan of Lego.

Related Questions

Are Legos worth collecting?

Lego sets are definitely worthy of collecting because they hold their value over time.  The demand & popularity for Legos is increasing over time as well.  They would make a great investment as a collector.

What does Lego do with unsold sets?

Retailers will offload their excess inventory to other markdown stores.  It does not get returned to Lego unless there were some defects or issues. It is a mystery as to what Lego itself does with it.  I would imagine they might donate the sets or give them away.