After a somewhat long absence from writing articles, I decided that a good way to try and get back into the rhythm was to revisit one of my 2013 articles, The LEGO December Effect.
For those of you who have not had the time to read the previous article, back in 2013 I noticed an interesting price trend for the most expensive sets: they seemed to take a big deep in value in the month of December. Back then, I decided to compile some data for a few of the most expensive sets at the time and do a comparison between their November and December value. The table below is the one I originally used.
It is pretty apparent that a majority of the sets in the list dipped quite significantly in the month of December, with the Eiffel Tower dropping a whopping 33% alone. However, it is important to remember that these expensive sets also tend to have the lowest sales in terms of quantity, a factor that result in one out of the norm sale to affect the set’s value in the Price Guide.
Back then some theorized that one of the possible reasons for this deep in price could be that AFOLs, by far the most likely group to spend hundreds of dollars in these sets, put a temporary stop in their set spending in order to prepare for the holiday season.
I also noticed that there seemed to be an increase in supply for these sets in the months leading up to and including December. This coupled with the above theory about collector spending gave a pretty decent explanation for the “December Effect” at the time.
A couple of years have passed and I honestly regret not keeping track of this and analyzing it on a yearly basis, as the more data we had the easier it would be to determine if it was a fluke or an actual recurrent event. But, no point in worrying about what could have been while there is still time to show what happened in the last holiday season.
The table below includes the same sets I researched back in 2013 and some others that have since retired or significantly increased in value. They are sorted from Largest to Smallest set value.
Surprised? I certainly am. While a plurality of the sets in the table still decreased in value, the number of sets that didn’t is as close as it could be without being the same (12 vs. 11). More significant is the fact that the magnitude of the dips in value seems to have been smaller in this past year, with none of the sets decreasing by more than 10%.
Something crossed my mind while I was looking at this table. Could the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens have generated enough buzz that interested for older UCS sets was impacted?
Looking at the average decrease in price from November to December shows that while all the sets in the table aggregate to around (1.16%), Star Wars sets decreased at a lower rate (0.75%) relative to the (1.70%) of the remaining sets. For reference, the numbers in my last post were pretty much even at (8.3%)
While there seems to be a small variance between Star Wars and other sets this time around, it is very hard for me to say that this is completely due to the release of the new movie. If the non-SW sets had performed similar to the way they did in 2012, it would be easier to make that point, but that wasn’t the case.
In conclusion, it seems that the “December Effect” was nowhere near as strong this year as it was the year I originally noticed it. Clearly, we need way more data to determine if it is even a thing, but for that we will have to, once again, wait until next year!
Thanks for reading! You can revisit one of my 2013 articles, The LEGO December Effect to gain more insight on this topic.