Benchmarks: LEGO Technic
This the sixth entry in 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. I have done the Star Wars, Ninjago LOTR/Hobbit, City, and Super Heroes themes and this time it’s the turn of Technic!
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. I’m only going to look at US based information in regards to retail price etc.
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.
Technic has proved a bit tricky to look at. There are a wide variety of set types and a lot of weird and wonderful pieces that come as a set by themselves like the Power Functions parts released in 2008. These kind of “sets” throw averages off wildly as they are expensive and have very low piece counts. So I decided to include only sets with a piece count over 10. These better represent true building sets to me. There were also plenty of sets that had a $0 or unavailable retail price, mainly the very old ones as Technic is an ‘evergreen’ theme and has been around for decades. I decided to simply exclude all these $0 retail sets as well.
Even after the exclusions listed above I have gathered data on 246 Technic sets from Brickpicker set pages.
For the Technic theme there isn’t an already well established consistent list of subthemes that I could find. So what I decided to do was to put the sets into natural groupings as much as I could, pulling out trucks, bikes, cranes, etc and leaving the rest in a catch all miscellaneous ‘Other’ group. I hope that proves to be useful in helping us see if there are any differences between the types of Technic sets and could be so if you want to compare a one particular vehicle type to the averages of its peers. Totals will give us the overall results for the whole theme.
A note on the groupings with set counts in brackets. “Bikes” (20) contains any kind of motorbike. “Cars” (50) contain cars of course along with any type of buggy or kart. “Cranes” (13) also include things with long telescopic arms. “Digger/Loaders” (26) contain any excavators and tractors and bulldozers. “Planes/Choppers” (17) is anything that flies. “Truck” (30) is fairly obvious. The “Other” (90) category is anything that doesn’t really fit anywhere else.
The average piece count per set is 373 pieces. The splits for all the groupings can be seen in the graph below.
The 246 sets have an overall average of $43.34 for retail price. Again the splits are presented below.
You do have to take a little care in interpreting these averages as they are from such a long time span. Things like inflation not to mention wide changes in production costs (offset by efficiencies somewhat I’m sure) make prices from many years ago hard to compare to today’s environment. I can tell you though that out of the 246 sets just over half were released after the year 2000 so that’s a healthy number that keeps the averages fairly relevant still.
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.
The overall average for the 246 sets is $0.150 per piece. That seems a little high compared to the conventional benchmark of $0.10 per piece. There are no license fees for this evergreen in house theme to push the budget up a bit for this Lego line. Technic sets often contain specialty pieces though so you would expect that to drive prices up a little
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.
Weights were not available for 37 of the sets. For the 209 sets that I did get weights for the overall average PPG is $0.070.
Well this is a section I usually put in for most themes, but it isn’t really relevant here. There are only 25 Technic sets that have a minifigure and the last of those was released back in 2001. Technic is a theme geared towards building these days and not minifigs.
Thanks for reading and I hope you find a use for some of these numbers either in your own writing or your own investment decision making.