LEGO products are not just toys, they’re a symbol of childhood memories, imagination, and pure joy! Have you ever stumbled upon an old box of LEGO in your attic and asked yourself: “Wow, I wonder how much this set is worth now?”. Well, wonder no more because we’re here to answer that question for you! In this guide, we’re going to have some fun exploring the wild world of LEGO value estimation.
We’ll break down the factors that make a LEGO set worth its weight in gold, including rarity, age, condition, and demand. We’ll also give you some tips and tricks on how to estimate the value of your sets and even how to spot a rare gem hiding in plain sight! So grab your bin of LEGO and let’s start estimating!
- Is the LEGO set still in production?
- Conditions of a LEGO set
- Using BrickLink to understand the offer and demand of a retired LEGO set
- Conclusion and summary
Is the LEGO set still in production?
The first step is to understand if a LEGO set is still in production, or if it has been discontinued by the company.
Sets that are no longer in production tend to be more valuable, as they are more rare and harder to find. LEGO occasionally re-releases popular sets, but the value of the original version will usually be higher.
It’s important to keep in mind that just because a set is discontinued doesn’t necessarily mean it’s valuable, as it also depends on the demand for the set. On the other hand, sets that are still in production may not have as much value, as they are easily available for purchase.
Understanding if a set is still in production is quite easy: all you have to do is to look for that set’s code on the official LEGO website.
There are six possibile status fo the availability of a particular set on LEGO.com:
Sets in pre-order are not available yet, but you can anyway place an order so that you will get them as soon as they are out. Pre-Order is not a common thing on LEGO.com, it is used only on a selected range of products. You can check all the set currently in pre-order clicking here.
The sets on the Coming Soon list have been officially announced, but can not be ordered yet!
All the sets in the Available Now page are fully accessible for purchase, with fast shipping.
When a set is still available for purchase, but more time is needed for shipping, then the option to back order is given. Here you can check all the sets in back order, with the estimated shipping date indicated on the product page.
Sets that are flagged as Temporarily Out of stock are not available for order or back order, but are still in production and may return in stock sooner or later
On the other side, sets that are flagged as Retired are definitely out of stock, and no longer in production!
How availability changes the value of sets
So, if your set is still in production:
- Its maximum value is typically linked to the suggested retail price of that set.
- Its real value should usually be a little lower, as is it not impossible to find deals and offers on LEGO sets still in production.
If you want to receive our suggestion on LEGO bargains, you should subscribe to our free Telegram channel!
Nerver miss a LEGO Deal: join our Telegram Channel for FREE!
Every day we scrape the web looking for the best LEGO offers, but sometimes the best sales may end quickly.
By subscribing to our free Telegram Channel you will receive a notification every time there is a LEGO deal, so you can be sure you never miss one!
While, if your set is no longer in production:
- Its actual value will depend on the demand of the market, that we will discuss in the final section of this guide
- Also the condition of the set will influence the final value, as you will learn in the next session
Conditions of a LEGO set
The condition of a LEGO set can greatly impact its value, as collectors and buyers are often looking for sets that are in the best possible condition.
A set that has been well-preserved, with all the original pieces, box and instructions, will usually command a higher price than a set that has missing pieces, damage, or yellowing from age. Any signs of wear and tear, such as scuffs, cracks, or discoloration, can also lower the value of a set.
Usually, the condition of a set can be understood using four paramaters:
- New or Used
- Complete or Incomplete (missing pieces and / or minifigures)
- With or without Instructions, and their condition
- With or without original Box, and their condition
Of course there can be many different shades of these parameters, which we are now going to explain to you in more detail:
Where the set’s packaging is still sealed, the condition can be:
- MISB (Mint In Sealed Box): brand new, sealed, no signs of wear on the box.
- NISB (News In Sealed Box) sealed but with imperfections (to be specified).
The difference between MISB and NISB is substantial, however, the first term is often used followed by the condition of the box (9/10, 8/10, etc.), committing a logical error: MISB literally means brand new, just out of the factory, therefore without any imperfections. A set that has slightly damaged corners or lines on the packaging (even if barely noticeable) changes condition to NISB, and it is therefore appropriate to specify the conditions (9/10, 8/10, etc.).
Once the set’s packaging is opened, then an evaluation of three aspects is necessary: bricks and minifigures, instructions, and box.
Bricks and Minifigures
For bricks and minifigures, the condition can be:
- MINT: brand new, still in the plastic packaging.
- NEW: new, taken out of the original packaging and stored, built but kept in excellent condition, with barely noticeable signs.
- GOOD: taken out of the original packaging to be built several times, mixed with other pieces, minor imperfections may be present.
- PLAYED: built several times and played with, mixed multiple times, imperfections present.
- POOR: built and played with many times; signs of wear and discoloration present; major imperfections present.
For instructions, the condition can be:
- MINT: still in the cellophane.
- NEW: removed from the cellophane
- GOOD: used to build the sets but well kept.
- POOR: flipped through multiple times and with damages.
For boxes, the condition can be:
- NEW: excellent condition, opened but well preserved.
- GOOD: good condition but signs of wear (for example damaged corners and superficial lines).
- POOR: damaged or torn with noticeable signs of wear.
As you have seen, there are many aspects to consider regarding the conservation conditions of LEGO.
Of course, a new and perfect set will always be worth more than a used and incomplete set, but different collectors value different aspects.
For example, there are collectors for whom the perfect box is essential, and others who care nothing about the packaging.
Ultimately, now that you understand all the possible condition ratings for LEGO products, we can move on to the next step for their economic valuation.
Using BrickLink to understand the offer and demand of a retired LEGO set
BrickLink is an online marketplace that connects LEGO enthusiasts from all over the world. It is a one-stop-shop for buying and selling new and used LEGO bricks, sets, minifigures, and other related items.
BrickLink started as an independent website in 2000, but it has officially been acquired by The LEGO Group in 2019, becoming in fact the most used source for the LEGO secondary market.
So, how to estimate the value of a LEGO set using BrickLink’s data? Let’s make an example, whit the famous LEGO Creator 10224 Town Hall
Firstly,find the set on BrickLink using the search bar
Then, click on the “price guide” tab
Now, take a look at the statistics of sales for this particular set. Focusing on the “Last 6 Month Sales” columns, you can find these data:
- This set has been sold 26 times as new, and 22 times as used
- The minimum sale price for new has been 299€, the average 773€, the maximum 1375€
- The minimum sale price for used has been 221€, the average 573€, the maximum 775€
While in the “Current Items for Sale” columns we find that:
- There are 76 new sets and 32 used sets available
- The minimum sale price for new is 680€, the average 1048€, the maximum 1795€
- The minimum sale price for used is 556€, the average 714€, the maximum 1149€
These can be useful references for our evaluation!
Another step to take is to check the current selling prices of the set in our reference market: the European Union. This is useful because sometimes sets can cost much less if bought in America or Asia, but the shown price often needs to have customs costs added.
To do this:
- Select the “Items for Sale” tab within the product page you are viewing
- Set the Condition of the set you are interested in (New or used, complete or incomplete)
- Set the “seller location” to European Union.
In our example, we see that the set in EU is sold starting from 680€, with an average of 950€, and that is in line with the global results.
Conclusion and summary
In conclusion, with this guide you now know that the value of a LEGO set depends on several factors, including its availability, rarity, condition, and demand. If the set is still in production, its maximum value is usually linked to its retail price, while if it is discontinued, its value depends on the demand of the market. The condition of the set, including its pieces, box, and instructions, also plays a role in determining its value. By understanding these factors, you can get a good estimate of the value of your LEGO set.
This summary will help you evaluate you LEGO set step-by-step:
- Check if the set is still in production: go to the official LEGO website and check the availability status of the set. Discontinued sets tend to be more valuable as they are rarer.
- Availability changes value: If the set is still in production, its maximum value is usually linked to the suggested retail price and may be lower with deals and offers. If the set is discontinued, its value depends on demand and condition.
- Consider the condition of the set: The condition of a LEGO set can greatly impact its value. A well-preserved set with all original pieces, box, and instructions is more valuable than a set with missing pieces, damage, or yellowing from age.
- Final value also depends on demand for the set in the market. Use BrickLink statistics to understand it.