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  • Investing in LEGO Springfield: Time to Buy the Shorts to Later Eat, Man!


    So, what is BigBlueDogBricks (Brick Classifieds Store) up to, you ask? Swimming in sales is the answer, and since those sales have resulted in money, I'm swimming in cash flow. Granted it is mostly just numbers in my Paypal account, so the swimming is more metaphorical than anything else, but I'm definitely in a Micheal Phelps kinda place. So, with money coming in from sales and inventory moving pretty much as projected I have some spare capital to reinvest. I believe the time has come for me to start getting to my magic number for 71006 The Simpson's House.

    brickpicker_set_71006_1.jpg

    Pros:
    The Simpsons! It is pretty self-explanatory. Regardless of your opinion on the show, the decline of the show, the funniness or lack of laughs you get from it, etc., it is pretty clear that The Simpsons are an indelible part of American (Canadian) pop culture in a way that not too many other phenomena are. I also play The Simpsons: Tapped Out and, based on the length and (because it is still working on my phone) success of the game, as well as their regular Sunday timeslot, the Simpsons are still at least somewhat relevant to some people in this day and age. Ratings are still around 5 million per episode according to my expert wikipedia research, and deadline.com has them ranked 35th last year in all shows in the 18-49 demographic, with the listing containing about 200 shows total. I actually think that is pretty solid for a show that has been around as long as the Simpsons and tells me there are probably enough folks like me out there that like both Lego and the Simpsons enough to want to build a brickfield, uh, Springfield.

    First in line: The line was followed (obviously) by the 71016 Kwik-E-Mart. The Simpson's House preceded it. Enough said/written to get me on board. That isn't all, though, as rumors (unless someone has something more credible than the rumors that can be read by googling 'Lego Simpsons set 2016 – that is pretty much all the effort/research I put into this article) indicate that another set is slated for a probable June release in the form of the Android's Dungeon. If this comes to pass it might be a sign that the first in the series is on its last legs. I find it difficult to imagine three Simpsons modular style sets available at once. That being said, it is possible that TLG simply slaps another 'check back in XX' label and waits to see how much demand there is for X number of additional production runs. Since everything is #CHAOS, it is hard to accurately assess how the first in the line will fade away, but I do know I'd rather get some now rather than scramble later.

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    Gingerbread House! Insert Homer drool! Check out the sold listings for the Holiday Train. As of this writing (Nov. 19, 2015) the last half dozen have sold for around $35 CAD + shipping.

    Click here to view recent sold listings of the Holiday Train (#40138)

    lego_40138_ebay.jpg.5fe3c735bb7951901b92

    That is absolutely amazing for a free set, especially for folks who have trouble getting discounts on exclusives, don't live near a Lego brand store or who are like me and see this as the best 'discount' they'll probably ever get on some sets. I suspect that the Gingerbread House is going to do similarly well, if not better, and almost certainly not worse. I hope. And think. That means I have a chance to get a sizeable discount on sets that are hard to get under MSRP in Canada, and it is hard to say 'no' to gingerbread. Or Gingerbread men; they practically beg you to put them in your mouth and crush them with your mandibles.

    Currency Exchange: The state of the Canadian dollar makes the price difference between US and CAN MSRP very palatable for us Canucks. I won't pretend to know what the currency situation will look like when I actually want to sell these sets, but I certainly am happier with recent pricing for Canadians (as opposed to paying, say $50 more per modular when the two currencies were essentially trading at par).

    Cons
    Not many in the numbers I'm hoping to hit. If I can acquire a half dozen with double VIP plus a sweet limited edition Christmas set, I think it will be about the cheapest I can get it – at least in Canada. This buy in, coupled with the strength of the US dollar compared to the CAN dollar, really reduces my feeling of risk and the potential payout is pretty solid. I suppose if your goal is to get fifty or sixty of these, emazers-style, you need to tie up a heck of a lot more capital, space and potentially time, but for a small to medium-sized investor, ensuring as many exclusives as possible were purchased with a maximum discount or with the best freebies gives peace of mind. At least to me.

    Limit 1 – For those without friends and family, or not close to a Lego brand store, this limit might get you a dance with the ban hammer. Tread carefully! I don't use my friends and family buyers very often, but I truly believe that the gingerbread house is tantalizing enough to get me to go through the effort of organizing some purchases. Despite the potential ban hammer with a limit 1 set if you get a little buying-happy, this limit also makes it more difficult for others to grab these five at a time, and even if you have contacts to buy sets on your behalf, their account will be limited as well anyway. This will likely discourage more casual investors or new(er) investors from hoarding a stockpile, which will hopefully reduce competition when this set does retire. BigBlue obviously thinks the effort is worth it!

    banhammer.jpg.24b50cc5a5095087cc662710a4

     

    Another obvious con is potential EOL – will it hit the two year mark in 2016 and keep going strong or will it be more of a Sea Cow style run? As a smaller investor, I'm willing to gamble it retires at some point in 2016, but even if it doesn't, I have a diverse enough portfolio that sitting on a few of these won't wreak economic hardship on me or mine. I'm lucky to be in a good place where I can carefully plan as opposed to playing the F5 game (not that I'm not into finger-jamming fun – just ask any of my, um, 'friends') and I'm also lucky enough to be able to sit on six of these or so without needing them to retire in the next twelve months at some point. Now is a great time to buy in if you have the capital, space and want to diversify your portfolio.

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    Thanks for the article. 

    The Simpson's House is still available in all the toy stores of the world in large quantities. When TLG announced they would ('temporarly') stop its production, the horde wasn't able to absorb all the supply. In fact, even though discounts were legio, the boxes remained unsold in the many B&M shops I visit. The day it's really gone, I'll probably be able to pick some up at 25% off.

    This said, I've already got my share of SH stashed away, just because I'm a Simpsons fan and couldn't stop myself (sucker buyer- yeah, I agree). But my optimism has drained when I saw the quantities supplied.

    TLG changed its approach to the second large set: KEM. This one is exclusive and far less available. I'm unsure how long the licence will run between TLG and Simpsons, but if it would stop, chances could be that the KEM performs somewhat better even though the set came a year later. It had less optimistic reviews. My guess is that it's less stockpiled.

    Personal conclusion: At launch, Simpsons were massively overhiped. But 2 years later, the SHouse and the MF (2) don't sell well anymore at all. You get MFII for free currently when buying sets in S@HEurope and this action has been going for a quarter! Seems TLG misgudged demand... for its supply.

    So I'm less excited on the potential of the entire line. Just another opinion of course.

    Take care.

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    2 hours ago, ZULU said:

    I'm unsure how long the licence will run between TLG and Simpsons, but if it would stop, chances could be that the KEM performs somewhat better even though the set came a year later.

    Considering the fact that The Simpsons is now also part of the Lego Dimensions game, with several expansion packs (Fun, Team and even a Simpsons Level pack) included, I don't think the Simpsons license will run out any time soon.

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    I actually hope the simpsons line continues for a few more years, with a few more sets.  But I also hope lego doesn't mass produce them.  Like others said, I think the Kwikee Mart release was perfect.  I have yet to see that one in the wild, but it's still obtainable.

    I'm still on the fence about investing in more than an extra copy of these though.

    And yeah, that stupid train set was great.  I was a bit worried that it was going to become flooded, so I pushed 4 of them out.  Sold 3 around 25 in hours, and sold my last one for 28.  Maybe I blew it too early, but heck, that was basically a 20.00+ discount on the 4 exclusives I bought during last months 2xVIP.

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    Posted (edited)

    I love the Simpsons line so far. Wonder how long the horde will keep it alive these next few years.

     

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if they always kept the SH around and swapped the others around, as in the new set replacing KM.

    Edited by MarxMarvelous

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    5 hours ago, ZULU said:

    The train set is fantastic. 

    If that's limited supply, it could go really high next year. 

    It wouldn't surprise me if it sells for $50-60 next year, with the only downside being a similar promo set next year, or if TLG is holding pallets back to use at another date...but for now it seems like a winner winner. Pairing this with Gingerbread House could net a really nice return the first two weeks of December...

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