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    Benchmarks: LEGO Star Wars


    I’d like to start a series of blogs that analyses some of the data we have available here on Brickpicker to provide some simple averages to use as benchmarks. Focusing on one theme at a time my aim is to provide some basic stats for the theme mainly around averages for a few simple measures relating to set sizes and value for money metrics. I’m going to leave out investment return measures such as CAGR and the various ROI time periods we have available as I think they should be a different discussion and the fact that current retail sets often muddy the results when looking at theme wide averages.

    This information should prove useful in writing other blog articles or set reviews. It also should serve as a benchmark to be able to compare a set against the averages for its theme, which may or may not be useful but the option is there. Over time as I hope to complete more of these blog posts we might also be able to compare themes against each other.

    First up lets have a look at the Star Wars theme.

    For this analysis I gathered data on 264 sets from Brickpicker set pages. I think I got most of them included but I can’t guarantee I didn’t miss 1 or 2 here and there. I excluded all the bundles of sets that show up in the listing and just got proper single set only information. I’m also only going to look at US based information in regards to retail price etc.

    Basic Information

    Of the 264 sets there were 196 sets that included at least one minifigure, leaving 68 sets that had no minifigures included. This split is useful as I’m going to use it to differentiate sets with or without minifigures in some of the later measures. Of the 196 sets with a minifigure present the average amount per set was 3.9 minifigures, with the highest being the 22 included in the 10188 Death Star. We can view this split easily in the diagram below:

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    I can also tell you that of the 264 sets there were 14 with a retail price of $0 or being not available. These sets are some of the exclusive giveaways and promotional sets that are not sold at retail. As such these 14 sets are excluded from some of the later measures that require a retail price to be present.

    It may also be of interest that of the 264 sets there were 121 sets that have had a Brickpicker review written for them. Of these 121 the average overall review score was 7.06.

    Pieces

    The average piece count per set is 463 pieces. When split by minifigure and non-minifigure sets there isn’t much difference with 466 and 462 average piece counts respectively.

    Posted Image

    Retail Price

    Of the 250 sets with an available retail price the overall average is $51.91. This is split to $49.90 for non-minifigure sets compared to $52.50 for sets with minifigures.

    Posted Image

    I was expecting the differences between minifigure and non-minifigure sets to perhaps be a little wider thinking that small polybag mini builds would drag the non-minifigure average lower. But upon reflection there are a lot of smaller cheap sets with minifigures like the battle packs and quite a few of the other polybags have a $0 retail so are excluded. There are also plenty of large UCS sets with no minifigures to pull the average up.

    Another nugget of information is that of the sets with minifigures you pay an average of $13.58 per minifigure at retail price.

    Price Per Piece (PPP)

    Whether you like using PPP as a measure of value for money or not I have included it here as it has become quite a common metric for people to use. Personally I don’t put much stock in it and find it quite a blunt tool. Quacs has written an excellent blog post on the merits of PPP that can be found HERE

    The overall average for the 250 sets is $0.117 per piece. For non-minifigure sets the average is $0.099 and for sets with minifigures it is $0.122.

    Posted Image

    Price Per Gram (PPG)

    PPG is in my opinion a better indicator of retail value for money. It takes into account the amount of raw ABS plastic material you get in the box and should be a closer approximation to the cost of production of the set.

    For the 250 sets the overall average PPG is $0.068. For non-minifigure sets it is $0.070 and for sets with a minifigure the result is $0.067.

    Posted Image

    That’s a closer spread of results than I anticipated. I did expect the sets with minifigures to be higher. The difference is almost negligible though and I would suspect a proper statistical analysis of the results may not find a statistically significant variance, but I’ll leave the hypothesis testing for another day or another author to have a crack at.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you find a use for some of these numbers either in your own writing or your own thoughts when comparing some basic set information to factor into your investment decision making.

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    That was an interesting read, Grolim.

     

    Intriguing use of averaging sets with and without minifigures, and the method of 'price per gram' which has a way better acronym than 'price per piece'. (Try saying PPP in a normal conversation.) Price per gram does seem to be a more reliable way of calculating a sets worth over the norm. I'm wondering though, do sets have their weight printed on the box somewhere? I never really thought of looking for it before now.

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    Thanks Orc.  All set weights are from the set info page on Bricklink.  As far as I know it's not printed on any boxes at all.

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    It seems like the takeaway is there's no reason to distinguish SW sets as with or without Minifigs. When running a regression, there's probably not a lot of value in listing Minifig/No Minifig as an independent variable. Thanks for gathering that data. I bet it took awhile!

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    Great. The PPG mean is something I have been wanting to have when writing reviews or some articles but thought it would take too much time to calculate. Glad you did, this entry will be very useful to me. Quacs, while collecting some data for a regression on the whole SW theme I started including the number of minifigs in each set and found it to be almost worthless when running some numbers. I figured I would start collecting the secondary market value of the minifigs alone on each set instead, but that will take a very long while.

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    Thanks guys.  Yes, one of the main conclusions we can draw from this isolated exercise is that minifigure presence has no material impact on Star Wars pricing metrics.  I went into this thinking there almost certainly would be.  Interesting and pleasing that your regression work concurs with that FcB.

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    That was an interesting read, Grolim.

     

    Intriguing use of averaging sets with and without minifigures, and the method of 'price per gram' which has a way better acronym than 'price per piece'. (Try saying PPP in a normal conversation.) Price per gram does seem to be a more reliable way of calculating a sets worth over the norm. I'm wondering though, do sets have their weight printed on the box somewhere? I never really thought of looking for it before now.

     

    Lol - I know the pain with PPP. In networking, I have to say it every day:

     

    Point to Point Protocol - PPP.

     

    Try Multilink PPP - MLPPP

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