I have to admit, I am addicted to Lego store displays. I love them. I scour eBay and Bricklink for any sort of Lego display. From Agents to Star Wars, they are awesome in my opinion. But what are they really worth and are they a good investment?
Lego store displays are rare for the most part. These plexiglass covered, Lego dioramas can be found at any local Toy R' US or Target. The thing that makes them rare is that they are not for sale to the public from Lego or any department store. Rumor has it that they are supposed to be destroyed or returned to Lego when they are done being displayed, yet somehow, some find their way onto eBay and similar auction sites.
Displays can range in size and shape. I have seen tiny minifigure displays from the San Diego Comic Con to large, 4 foot cases with 4-5 complete sets inside. Most Lego displays are glued together from Lego and cannot be taken apart. Some are lighted, some have movement, some have sound or a combination of all three. In short, there is a display for most of the major Lego categories and most Lego fans favorite set types.
But the question remains, are they worth anything? And if they are worth something, how do they compare to a regular Lego set that is new or a used one that is complete? Let's take a look at a variety of Lego displays.
The Lego Collector displays from the San Diego Comic Con or similar Lego expositions probably are the safest bets when investing in displays.
A display similar to the above General Grievous display is a numbered set from Lego and is limited in it's production. Most sold in the $25-$50 range at the show, yet on eBay, these displays bring back double that amount. The Lego store displays are a little trickier when it comes to figuring out investment value. As I stated earlier, it's really up to an individual buyer to set a price for an item. A large, 4 foot display can run anywhere from $100-$500 on eBay. One thing is certain, displays containing STAR WARS sets(such as the one below), bring in more money than a similar sized non STAR WARS display(similar to the Agents display below).
Both sets are the same size and contain about the same amount of sets, yet STAR WARS Legos almost always bring back more money in auctions. Another consideration is the size of a display. These 4 foot store displays make an awesome impression in person, but they are huge to be honest. Lego seems to be downsizing some displays so that they are attractive in appearance, yet don't take up too much shelf space.
The smaller size decreases the value of the display slightly, but it seems that there is more interest in the mid sized displays, because people can actually fit them in an office or bedroom. Most 2 foot displays can go for anywhere from $75-$250 and some of the more expensive STAR WARS displays can hit $400 or more. Last, but not least are the Lego displays not based on actual sets. Stores such as Toys R' Us and Target have had custom designed displays that fetch big time money. Toys R' Us displays that are 18-20 inch plastic replicas of Lego minifigures(see below) have consistently brought in $500-$1000+ on eBay.
Target displays of R2-D2 and Yoda have brought back over $500.
As you can see, these rare displays can bring in big bucks, but unfortunately, they are very hard to come by.
So what's the bottom line? Are Lego displays worth anything and will they increase in value? It's this author's opinion that Lego displays will continue to increase in value. This is based on the fact that the large, vintage minigure replicas of the 80's and 90's have reached exorbitant levels. The current plexiglass Lego dioramas that are being produced are relatively new to the scene.
Although there are some dioramas that were produced in the early 00's, most have been made over the last 4-5 years. As with most collectibles, VINTAGE MEANS MONEY and Legos are no different. As the years go past and more and more of these displays get trashed or destroyed, the remaining ones will become more valuable. At least that's what I'm hoping for(because I have an office full of Lego displays .
As with anything, it's all about the "eye of the beholder". Some, like myself, love these miniature plastic worlds and don't mind paying top dollar for them. Others think they are a waste of space and would rather invest their money in a 'new in box' STAR WARS set. For the investor who really wants a bang for their buck, Lego displays are not the way to go. Vintage, 'new in box' sets are the more consistent investment over the long haul. But at least you can view a completed Lego set in a display. I mean, what fun is it looking at a sealed box? LOL.
Any questions or comments are welcome. Thanks.