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    Will Mickey Mouse Save LEGO STAR WARS Investing?


    In a time, not so long ago, in a place, not so far away, the STAR WARS theme ruled the LEGO investment world. Iconic LEGO sets like the 10179 Millennium Falcon, 7191 X-Wing Fighter and 10030 Star Destroyer yielded fantastic returns on investment. Almost every STAR WARS set had better annual returns than the standard LEGO set and were universally thought of by LEGO collectors and investors as “can't lose” investments. But over the last several months, the LEGO STAR WARS theme has slowly started to decline in overall CAGR, dropping below the average LEGO Theme CAGR. Take a look at the chart below

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    As the reader can see, starting in August of 2012, the combined STAR WARS theme average CAGR dropped below the average CAGR for all LEGO sets and themes combined. In other words, your “run of the mill” LEGO set had a CAGR of around 10.47% in August and the once Gold Standard of LEGO investing, the STAR WARS theme, dropped to 9.9% CAGR and has remained below average ever since. What the Hell is going on you may ask? Well for one, the last major STAR WARS movie, STAR WARS III: Revenge of the Sith, was released all the way back in 2005. That is a long time ago in the world of entertainment and keeping people engaged in a movie franchise is rather difficult nowadays, even an iconic franchise like STAR WARS. With an eight-year hiatus in new STAR WARS ideas to base new LEGO sets off of, LEGO has had to base each year's new STAR WARS sets on retreads or previously done or minor vehicles or characters. Basically, LEGO fans and STAR WARS fans in general have lost interest in the stale franchise and remade LEGO sets. The once leader in LEGO investing, the STAR WARS theme, has turned into a below average investment in the world of LEGO investing.

    But fear not my young Jedi, help is on the way and he wears yellow shoes and red shorts. His name is Mickey Mouse and he might just inject some life into this tired franchise and LEGO theme. Back in October, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in cash and plans to release STAR WARS: Episode VII in 2015, with many other STAR WARS movies to follow. Knowing Disney and their proclivity to make sequels, you can be assured that the STAR WARS franchise will be reborn and live well into the future. Also, George Lucas will be an advisor on the next three films, so you know the quality and creativity will be there with the new movies. This is just fantastic news for the LEGO investor, especially those like myself who have a collection that is heavily based in STAR WARS sets. With the renewed and continued interest in the STAR WARS theme, many of the older STAR WARS LEGO sets might once again find strong growth, which has stagnated over the past several years. Depending on when the next movie will be based(in STAR WARS time that is...), it is quite possible many of the older STAR WARS ships, like the Millennium Falcon, will have new roles in the new movie. Can you imagine what a 10179 Millennium Falcon will appreciate to if it is in the next movie? I can only imagine.

    So, all in all, the news that Disney will be producing new STAR WARS movies is wonderful to say the least. Not only because STAR WARS fans will get to see new movies, but that the once iconic line of LEGO sets will become iconic and relative once again. With new STAR WARS movies every 2 to 3 years, there will be a plethora of new vehicles and characters to immortalize in ABS plastic bricks every couple of years. No more retreads. Also, with the potential of all the new fans being introduced to the STAR WARS series, older characters and vehicles will find new fans as well. Some of these fans will undoubtedly be LEGO fans as well, which makes for a nice combination for the continued growth potential of STAR WARS LEGO sets that exist today. What's funny is that the STAR WARS Ultimate Collector's Series is what brought me out of my Dark Ages of LEGO collecting and has made me some nice paper profits over the years. But the recent downturn of the theme has had me recommending some of the other hot LEGO themes of today...Ninjago, Monster Fighters, Friends, CUUSOO...to name a few. Well, I am here today to tell you that the STAR WARS LEGO theme is back. Maybe not today. Maybe not next year. But when Episode VII hits the big screen in 2 years, lookout...the prudent STAR WARS LEGO investor will be one happy Geonosian...

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    If the movies are great, the sets will perform great. If the movies are o.k., the sets will perform well. If the movies are bad, the sets will do OK. My point is bad movies don't necessarily translate into bad sales. Star Wars unlike Prince of Persia has a very strong following and has done fine over the last 8 years without a movie release.

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    Guest skfdlty

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    SW will probably rebound in 2015 due to the new movies. Until then, hold your sets for a little SW depression/lower growth rate.

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    Disney announced today that there will be an animated Star Wars series on the Disney Channel in 2014. The show will take place after Episode III and before Episode IV (the original).

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    Through ownership of star wars, most superheroes, princesses, and of course their original cartoons Disney has a monopoly on much of our childhood cultural heritage, at least those of us who grew up since the 1970's. And they own ESPN. Might the real treasure here be owning part of the company that licenses all these characters? 

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    First I do think the author of this article is speaking of the Star Wars sets in general, so its quite unfair judging the UCS and mass-produced sets by the same criteria. It would be much more interesting to see how the UCS sets perform individually as they are completely different story and a smaller portion of the whole theme. UCS is where REAL collectors come into play and there has always been a demand, regardless! Majority of the people who just want to make money by investing in Lego couldn't care less what it says on the box (city/star wars/modulars ..just name it). They're not interested in Star Wars or whatever the theme, as long as it's in demand and hot on the market they will invest in it..

    Second, the fact that we lack some great sets currently has nothing to do with Star Wars sets being unattractive or declining in general. Speaking as a huge Lego & Star Wars fan (each individually and combined) and as a designer too, I can say that currently only the Super Star Destroyer, R2-D2, X-Wing...and perhaps the B-Wing are the ones that look very cool. There are some that are just OK/Fine...and the rest are fillers that I have no interest in purchasing unless as a gift to a child. Perhaps we're running out of ships in the Galaxy, but as some people mentioned above there are some many cool things yet to be done when talking of Star Wars. For example, when I saw the 10212 Imperial Shuttle for a first time I said to myself, there is no Force on this planet to stop me from owning one ....(actually its more than one now)! 

    3rd and not least important. Star Wars is such an epic movie and a milestone in the Cinema making, that it doesn't need Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or any of these superheroes to save it! Its such an iconic movie that has been watched million times, still is ....and will continue to be watched by generations to come. Whether we make new movies in the future or we don't, interest will always be there. Yes, there is a hype when a new movie comes out....but to turn this hype into a religion (what Star Wars is to some people) takes more than just a good movie. So, bringing down Star Wars to the level of Mickey Mouse and saying it needs to be saved its .....ridiculous to say the least!

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