Even if you are not a big Star Wars Lego fan, you know the planet series as they are EVERYWHERE in stores. These are cool, cheap little sets that cost 9.99 that include a minifigure, about 60-100 pieces to make a Star Wars ship, and a hollow planet that has attachments to either sit or hang from the ceiling. As mentioned before, these are everywhere and many have made it pretty far into clearance cycles; I have seen several sets of these that were 50% off.
What will these do in the after market though? Are they worth picking up, especially at such very low prices?
Well there are a couple of issues before we really get into this. I decided to make a pros and cons list (if you read my blog you know this is how I do everything). So here we go:
- Cheap sets with a good number of pieces and minifigures along with a planet that is exclusive; no other sets really have things like this.
- Very collectable since there are 4 series now that all share the same attributes. If you get a few of them, you will want them all (I have all the released ones, and 2 of several).
- Can be found on clearance fairly easily.
- Have had very short runs in stores although still widely available on line. If retired soon their limited time in stores could be a plus.
- Very popular among children and collectors.
- Small so very easy to store.
- Because of the planet, these are hard to ship in something small enough so you are paying a decent amount for shipping.
- Have been very widely sold and bought meaning there will be more around and less people that don't have any.
- Not a whole lot of exclusive pieces and minis. Besides the planet, nothing special.
- Battlepacks offer more minifigures usually which gives people more playability and a little more value for normally the same price.
So as you can see from my list above, I am a little hesitant about these selling well int he aftermarket. The cons above definitely outweigh the pros a bit in my opinion. And with the popularity of some other sets and themes and the questions these cons raise, it seems there are some better investments out there.
However, there are some things I think could be an x-factor to make a few of these sleeper sets. First off, they are not going to be targeted by investors except for those who buy them at clearance prices. Second, SW battlepacks have done pretty well with most of them coming close to doubling in value (There are several other articles that have touched on this so I will spare you more of the same). Also, if you check out a few of these sets I am about to discuss, you will see they have relatively held their values on Ebay meaning chances are they aren't going down now that they are gone. Plus, new ones seem to keep coming out keeping popularity around and driving the old ones off shelves.
This combined with a few positives from above like the limited runs and the clearance prices make me feel a few of these are worth taking a look at. So here are my picks for the planet series. Note: I still would only recommend bulk buying these for under 7-8 dollars each. This way you can cover yourself if I turn out to be wrong. Make your own decisions, this is just what I am looking at and banking on.
Lego 9676 Tie Interceptor and Death Star
My Analysis: I think this is just an awesome little set for 9.99 and it includes a Death Star. You absolutely cannot beat that for a small set. The minifigure is the same one that appears in many of the tie sets, so it is nothing amazing. However, I think that the ship looks really great and does the Tie Interceptor pretty good justice for that few pieces.
The two things that really make me like this set for an investment is the Death Star and the tie interceptor itself. The Death Star is great in this set because there are only two other sets with a Death Star, and they are both UCS and cost hundreds of dollars. So for the smaller collector, this is a set worth buying just to get the Death Star.
The Tie Interceptor itself helps as well. It is a very popular ship as a sleeker version of the Tie Fighter itself. Looking back at the Tie Interceptor's past, 6306, 6965 (Polybag), and 7181 (UCS) all have over 10% CAGR. That's nothing amazing, but substantial growth for sets that all have been around for 7-8 years. The length of time since the last Tie Interceptor helps as well.
Currently this set is already over 12% CAGR sitting around $11 on Ebay. I would definitely jump on these if I found a bunch for <$7.
9679 AT-ST and Endor
My Analysis: Everyone loves the AT-ST. This set is really cool because it is always fun to have a smaller model of a very complex and detailed vehicle. Everyone loves the BrickMaster AT-AT for the same reason. Endor is pretty popular as well, but is not exclusive as it will be in one of the series 4 sets as a planet as well.
There is another plus to this set in that the AT-ST pilot redesign is exclusive to this set. That is going to always add a plus to the set as long as they don't use this in any future sets (which I would doubt as we have a lot of other AT-ST sets).
Another upside is that, at least in my area, these weren't near as available as most of the other planet sets. I think this is because this one was very sought after by children and therefor was always sold out. I know I had to scrounge through tons of targets and Walmarts just to find one.
We do have two pretty direct comparisons to this set in the 20054 polybag AT-ST and the 4486 AT-ST& snowspeeder that both included a smaller version of the AT-ST. 30054 is a cool little set, but not as well built as the planet one (I find mine falls apart if touched). It has still had a 27.34% CAGR. 4486 has been around for 10 years and still has a 15.83% CAGR which is really great for a set that old.
Using all this data, I think this set should be grabbed around $6-7. Put it in a box somewhere and forget about it for a few years and you will pocket 10 bucks per set someday. Not bad for something you can store so easily. Its sitting at 4% CAGR right now without being officially retired so chances are at a discounted price, you wont lose money.
75008 Tie Bomber and Asteroid Field
My Analysis: This set is one of my favorites, mostly because I love the Tie Bomber ship itself and didn't have one until this one came out. I immediately went out to buy one when it hit the shelves. The asteroid field is nothing that great at all, but it does fit well for those that have seen the movie and those that have played the old Tie Fighter and X-Wing games as well as the Nintendo 64 games.
One plus here I see is this one has been very hard to find and the Planet 3 series has somewhat been overshadowed because of the lack of interest in the other two ships in the series. Along with this, the anticipation of the Planet series 4 sets is high as they blow the others out of the water in terms of being iconic parts of the movie. This means this one could really be a big sleeper.
The ship itself is really great for 50 pieces and is very detailed. It's a solid ship and is very popular. This one is going to benefit from the fact that there has only been one other Tie Bomber in the Star Wars Lego series – 4479. 4479 was made 10 years ago and still has a 12.28% CAGR and is sitting at over 3 times retail value. Because there are no other tie bombers, and no others that a lot of people will ever see on shelves, I think this one will become very sought after, especially if these are shown again in the new movies. (I am discounting the one that you could build from pieces of the 4 small sets in the mid 2000s, just because it is harder to count that with it being a sort of exclusive).
I think if you can get these for $8, I would buy a ton of them. I think in 2-3 years these could be at around $25. This would be worth it, especially if you have space problems as these will fit pretty much anywhere.
Final Analysis: I don't want to put a thought out there that these sets are going to be amazing and going to break records because I don't think that. I don't think you should actively seek these out as an investment either. However, I think there are three ways to get these that really make sense:
- Pick them up on clearance: I think we have already gone through this a little, but if you see a bunch of these on clearance anywhere for the prices I have indicated, I would definitely jump. They are definitely worth the very small risk at that price.
- Best Offer – I have touched on this in several other articles, but there are definitely some listings out there of 20 of these sets where you may be able to put in offers to get them down to a pretty good price for an investment.
- Online BOGO and other sale types: Whenever people look online for sales, they always look at the big and popular sets, not at the smaller ones. Sometimes you can really miss a great deal. For instance, if you get $20 off a hundred dollars, then you can get some of the sets above for just $8 a piece.
What do you all think? Do you see any winners in these or the other Planet Series sets?
Note: All of the information here are my own opinions and are pulled from my experiences. You may or may not have success with these methods.