Why Are Legos So Expensive?

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I will never forget the first Lego set that I was able to buy myself. I had saved all of my pocket money for a year before I could afford the exact set that I wanted.

I was so blinded by my excitement, that I didn’t question I was paying such an absurd price for a toy. Now, as an adult fan, I have the budget for any Legos I want.

As a smart Lego investor though, increasing values means a better return on investment. 

Top Reasons Why Legos Are So Expensive

Why are Legos so expensive and what makes Lego any better than other, cheaper competitor? During the Christmas season, the Lego sales seem to explode and parents pay more and more for that perfect gift.  What drives this up though. 

Let’s pick it apart brick by brick.

Lego Doesn’t Cut Corners On Detail 

An explanation for why Lego’s retail price is so high could be because of how much thought is put into the manufacturing of their bricks and the high-quality standards that they hold themselves to. 

Lego uses the same exact mold for each batch of bricks that they make, with each mold printed with a specific code to allow for accurate quality control. So, if a brick is faulty at all, it can be traced back to the exact manufacturing plant and the faulty mold can be identified. 

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You don’t need to worry about coming across a bad brick in your set. Only 18 out of 1,000,000 bricks are faulty and the wrong molds are usually fixed as soon as possible. 

Collaborations With Other Brands 

What sets Lego apart from copy-cat, cheap competitors is their exclusive rights to manufacture Lego sets based on popular brands. 

Lego’s first brand collaboration was with Star Wars in 1979. Following the popularity of the Star Wars sets, other business giants like Disney allowed Lego to make sets based on their films. This included; Winnie The Pooh, Toy Story and Frozen

These brand collaborations are something that direct competitors of Lego do not have, meaning that Lego can charge as much as they want for these sets. They can feature famous characters and embody everyone’s favorite stories. 

The issue is that working with such big-name brands means that licensing fees are greater. The fees are usually paid for through the Legos themselves, meaning the sets are more expensive. 

Still, adult collectors are willing to pay the upfront cost for Lego set collaborations as once they are discontinued, they become sought after collectables.

Even Lego acknowledges this – on their website, the 3,803-piece Lego Death Star is listed as a retired product that is hard to find, meaning that there are still customers looking for that set. 

Seeings as Lego uses high-quality materials to build make their bricks, even when sold second hand, their sets can still sell for an unreasonable amount. More often than not, these re-sales bypass the original price of the set. 

What Makes Legos So Popular?

The larger that Lego has grown, the more popular and sought after it has become. So much so that Lego now dominates the construction section of the toy market by approximately 70%. 

A History Of Lego 

Perhaps Lego has remained so popular because they stick to the Lego products that they know will work repeatedly. 

For 63 years, the standard Lego brick has not changed. Why would it?

The generic blocks of Lego as we know them today were launched in 1958 with few faults but endless possibilities.

The humble story of Lego started in Denmark in 1949 when a carpenter came up with the idea of plastic blocks that could connect (then called the ‘automatic binding brick’).

Fast-forward to the 1970’s and Lego took on a whole new life in the form of role-play and technical builds through their Duplo and Technic ranges that were launched internationally. 

This meant that Lego began reaching a whole new range of people, including those not necessarily interested in the construction-toy market product previously. 

Lego became more popular than ever and became a key part of not just the Danish but the American childhood experience too. 

Appealing To Everyone 

Something that sets Lego apart from other companies is their ability to be enjoyed by everyone, including those with autism. 

Legos have even helped bridge some communication gaps with parents and their autistic children.

Autism charities and therapists working with autistic children often use Lego as a focusing tool for socializing in groups.

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The Lego acts as the negotiation or explanation tool meaning that professionals can help build social skills in children who may not respond to direct communication.

It is not just their helpfulness that makes Lego so appealing to everyone, but also the classic themes built into easily recognizable set designs.

For example, in the Harry Potter sets, there are details from both the books and the movies that true Harry Potter fans would love. 

Really, it is this extreme precision and popularity that has driven the average price of Legos particularly high.

Just like any other business, the more popular Lego become, the more money they can make.

Who Really Buys Lego?

It has been said that “Lego has transcended the toy industry. It has become a global brand.” The hype behind this Danish company has been a driving force behind its growth and success. However, the humble brick, once a simple toy made from plastic, is becoming a commodity.

Should you realize this and invest in Lego, you can find a product that has been in the public eye for many years, and is now in a stage of evolution.

While it may be true that Lego was initially marketing to children and parents of those children, more complex sets like the Lego Architecture range means that even adults can continue to have their own Lego fun.  

Lego has even started to collaborate with blockbuster names such as Friends to create sets that appeal to the adult audience and trigger nostalgic feelings. 

Why You Should Invest In Legos To Resell

Many people are looking to invest in Lego. The main thing holding them back is the lack of information on the market. This is where Brick Finds & Flips comes in. We’ll be bringing our expert opinion on the best ways to invest in Lego.

So I have spoken a lot about how expensive Lego can be to buy at retail price but is buying and reselling Lego worth the effort? 

The short answer is yes!

Lego is constantly coming up with new sets and working with blockbuster brands to draw in a wider audience. That means there is always going to be someone who is on the search for the exact character or movie set in Lego form. 

The New Way To Invest

Okay so here’s the thing, some people don’t even consider buying and selling Lego as they see it as a toy. What they don’t know is that Lego has started to be considered by investors as a great way to invest for long-term profit. 

Research conducted by the National Research University Higher School of Economics shows that investing in and reselling Lego can result in an 11% or more profit. A statistic that can put gold and stock investments to shame. 

Of course, if you are planning on making buying and reselling Lego your full-time business, then you could make a far greater profit. 

For an investment deemed a toy by many stockholders, Lego sure continues to make a splash in the world of investments. 

What Legos Can You Make The Most Money From?

It would make sense for the bigger sets with more bricks to be worth more money once they resell, but that is not the case. 

The amount of money that you can re-make from a set all depends on how desirable that Lego set is and how long it was originally on sale. 

Lego often has limited time, seasonal sets. Currently, the 2021 Chinese New Year range is still on sale, but once Christmas comes around, then it will be considerably harder to find those sets. 

Likewise, different Lego shops all over the world have exclusive sets tailored to their location. The London bus set is only available in the London Lego stores.

This means that a collector in Australia may be willing to pay a pretty penny to get their hands on one of those sets. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, Lego sets can be way more pricey than you would think, but for good reason. They have earned their customer’s trust to deliver high-quality producers every time and continues to appeal to audiences of all ages.  

Personally, I think that the costly price is well worth the hours of fun that my favorite Indiana Jones Lego set can bring me all these years later 

Related Questions

What is the cheapest way to buy Lego?

If you are unconcerned about buying a whole new set of completed Lego, then your best bet is to go to yard sales or second-hand stores and see what Lego they may have. 

Do Legos ever go on sale?

Just like any other company, Lego is always having sales on their products. You could join the Lego club to keep up to date with any exclusive offers. 

How much does a set cost?

In 1985 a LEGO brick cost about 40 cents per brick; today, it averages 6-16 cents per brick.

How much does it cost to license your theme?

LEGO collaborates with highly popular brands like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, Harry Potter, and Marvel, which means high licensing fees.

why lego command big bucks
Jeremy Starke
Jeremy Starke
My passion for Lego began when I was a young boy and loved playing with my Lego sets. Like most kids as I grew up, I moved onto to other things and my Mom never saved my sets. (Yikes!!!!) Fast forward to when I started working the 9-5, I reconnected again with Lego and it has been a part of my adult life as an AFOL (Adult Fan Of Lego).
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