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    Maersk Branded Sets: Consistent Performers


    The relationship between LEGO and Maersk has existed for decades. Other than both companies being founded in the same country, I have a really hard time finding exactly how or why these two titans decided to occasionally produce sets together, but we can all be glad they did since most of the sets produced under the shipping company's brand have been quite successful once retired.

    One of the reasons I personally find the Maersk line appealing is that they add some more realistic feeling to the models and, consequently, to any CITY or modular layout. Maerks is a pretty well-known brand and I am sure pretty much everybody has some knowledge of what they do or, at least, the logo. LEGO fans are always interested in adding more realism to their LEGO layouts, as evidenced by the multiple MOCS, CUUSOO projects, etc, that base their designs on well-known businesses like Starbucks and McDonalds, and the Maersk line of sets gives them exactly that.

    So far, there have been 7 Maersk themed sets released, with the first one being the Container Ship in 1974. Let's take a look at how they have performed in the secondary market

    - 1650 Maersk Container Ship

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    Comments: This is the set that started the whole Maersk "theme". Released in 1974 exclusively in Denmark, it is probably one of the oldest LEGO sets we will get to analyze for a while. As it happens, there is no MSRP information, and no CAGR as a result, but we do have some information about a couple of somewhat recent sales. In 2011, the last three sales for this set were recorded in the price guide, with 2 used ones selling for around $200 and the one New copy selling for around $1,500. I am really not surprised with the value of this set considering its age and more than likely its huge appeal with LEGO/Maersk collectors in general. It would be interesting to see more recent numbers, as if they are close to 2011 this may very well be one of the most valuable sets "out there", but at this time there are no listings currently for sale on eBay and the few on Bricklink that ask at least $1,500 have apparently not been sold for a long while.

    It would be a very interesting set to own, in my opinion, as it is a very classic looking vintage set that would go great with the newer versions of the ship. For anyone interested, used copies are listed for $400 on BL.

    - 1651 Maersk Line Container Lorry

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    Comments: There is no data for this set in BPs Price Guide. The only thing we have about it is the current listings in Bricklink, that go from $ 600 to more than $1,000 for used sets to over $ 4,000 for sealed ones. I don't really think anyone will ever pay that much for such a "simple" set, but as I have said before this is really a niche market, so it is not impossible.
    - 1552 Maersk Truck and Trailer

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    Comments: This little truck was released in 1985 and as it happens with our previous entry there is not enough data on the price guide to accurately know its worth. The only new copy listed on BL asks almost $ 2,000, while the used sets go from $ 400 to almost $1,000. The market for this really old sets is very limited, but I am sure there is someone out there that would be willing to add this vintage set to their collection.

    - 1831 Maersk Line Container Lorry

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    Comments: Finally getting close to the present time, this little truck was released in 1995 and has seen a lot more activity than the previous entries over the course of the years. The set was, once again, only released in Denmark as a promotional item. Currently, it has a market value of around $ 135, so definitely a lot cheaper than those released previously. I guess this was the first of these sets that was released once LEGO had really started to go more mainstream. The set has sold a couple new and used copies over the last 12 months, but nothing really worth noting.

    - 10152 Maersk Sealand Container Ship

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    Comments: One of the newest versions and the first ship to be released after the original Maersk model in 1974, just 30 years earlier. As it had been the case with some previous models of the theme, this set was released in Denmark but was also available in LEGO S@H, so it was more available than the rest, and it was also the first one of its size closing in to 1,000 pieces in total. The model is very realistic looking, something that sure played a role in the good performance of this set in the secondary market, currently selling for around $200 New and with a CAGR of almost 12%. Even though this set was more available than the previous one, it is still a somewhat rare model to find, and only a couple have been sold each month over the last year.

    Price wise it seems to be very stable, with only a small bump in price since the month of October, when it went from $ 183 to $ 205.

    - 10155 Maersk Container Ship

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    Comments: This was a re-release of 10152 in 2010, so a fairly recent set. A LEGO exclusive, this version of the container ship has produced some very nice returns since retired back in 2011-2012. With an MSRP of $120 and a current market value of $220, the set presents a nice 22.74% CAGR. I would expect this set to continue growing some over the next year or couple years, BUT with the all but confirmed rumors of the 10241 Maersk Ship floating around one has to wonder whether that set will have a negative impact on this version. I would assume it will, but since there is no way to check the impact this one had on 10152 I can't really be sure. We also need to wait and see how similar the new version ends up being.

    - 10129 Maersk Train

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    Comments: I think all of you are very familiar with this guy right here. The first Maersk train ever released came out in 2011 and was the first of the "theme" to cross the 1,000 piece barrier. This model would make your shipping ports one of the most realistic sections of your entire LEGO city along with the ships and some of the trucks, it is really an impressive looking train. Of course, you could add some tracks and motorize it with LEGO Power Functions to make it even better. Investment wise, well, you know what most of us have been saying about this train for months now: most wish they had picked up a lot more. The train has really exploded in value since its retirement, with a current market value of $ 210 and a CAGR over 32%. Over the past 6 months the set has grown over 70 %, consistent with the spike in value after going EOL. There is still room for growth with this model, and I don't think picking one up at current prices would be a bad move at all.
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    Those are some solid numbers. With the upcoming release of a new Maersk Ship, and after taking a look at the numbers above, I believe investors should seriously consider adding several copies of the new set over the course of its run. If it follows the path of all of the previous models then there is a lot of upside for a relatively low risk.

    Thanks for reading.

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    Good Article.  I had no idea that there have been so many of these.  One question how exactly is "Maersk" pronounced?  M-A-ersk?

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    "ED"itor's notes: Maersk sets are quality under the radar sets that appreciate very well.  The light blue bricks bring back the green!

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    Really cool sets and very good investment stock.  I'm really surprised TLG have not gone down this avenue with a few other branded set lines where it fits in well with their themes.

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    You can also add the interesting bit about how Lego had to recreate Maersk's trademark blue just for these builds since 2004. Definate points for builders!

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    Guest skfdlty

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    Great article. I remember seeing several of the "greats" of the LEGO world rush past me when I was younger, around 8 years old, with the Maersk Ship, Taj Mahal, outstanding UCS Falcon, all of which I didn't pick up. I've always been a big admirer of the Maersk "theme" because they are incredibly accurate and just cool in general. :D

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    With the re-issuing of the ship over the years, I would be hesitant in investing money in these past EOL unless you are picking them up at retail. With news of a new ship coming, I do believe they will re-issue the train again at some stage, which makes me question how far it can go price wise (though it has improved significantly as is). Thanks for the article.

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    Great article, excitedly awaiting the new Maersk ship. I always wanted to live in a prefab house made from a Maersk container LOL

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    Count me among the ones wishing I had invested more in the train!  When I do sell the last three I have, it will represent my first 'big' investment winner, and this awesome looking train is kind of what brought me into Lego investing.

     

    Any rumors on a replacement train?

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    I have not heard any rumors about a new train, but since the other one just retired I would assume LEGO will want to wait at least a couple of years

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    " I have a really hard time finding exactly how or why these two titans decided to occasionally produce sets together "

    Maybe that's because we all try to keep our manuals in mint condition in their sealed boxes.

    The 10219 manual contains the answer, besides a timeline of all released product: "The relationship between TLG and Maersk was founded on a personal relationship between Godtfred Kirk Christiansen and Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller."

    And no, I did not open one of my sealed boxes, I remembered that the product summary at lego.com said that this piece of history was included in the manual and downloaded it...

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    I have been lucky to get a couple of trains and ships for about 270€ in total (which is an incredible deal I suppose), although they have been retired. Found them in a clearance in Denmark. Not sure how long should I hold on to them before I sell atleast one of each. Couldn't resist building the train and its absolutely gorgeous, and eventually will build the ship too. Any ideas as to when to sell? 

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    FYI Most Mærsk sets were given out as gifts to business partners and employees, so technically you could say all of the sets had worldwide releases.  One other thing to note is that both sets 1831 and 10152 have different versions with slightly varying prices depending on the version.

     

    I am definitely looking forward to the new triple-e class model too!

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