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  • Investment Analysis of LEGO 10214: Tower Bridge


    Big and bold, the 10214 Tower Bridge is one of the largest LEGO sets ever created. With 4287 pieces, the 10214 Tower Bridge is in fact the third largest LEGO set ever created. That is quite an impressive feat considering there are over 9000 LEGO sets in existence. A beautiful recreation of the grand Tower Bridge that spans the River Thames in London, this particular LEGO model would make a wonderful display piece in any home or office. But does this huge set have huge potential written all over it? Quite possibly. Let's take a look at the LEGO Shop @ Home description of the set:

      Build London's famous Tower Bridge!
    Stretching over the River Thames since 1894, the famous Tower Bridge of London, England is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Now you can add this timeless classic to your LEGO world buildings collection! Designed with advanced building techniques and rare colors and elements, the Tower Bridge is complete with its iconic paired towers and a drawbridge that really opens. Fun to build and display, it locks together solidly but can be taken apart in sections for easy transport. Includes 4 miniature vehicles; a black London taxi, a traditional red double-decker bus, a yellow truck and a green automobile. Completed model measures 40" (102 cm) long, 17" (45 cm) high and 10" (26 cm) wide.

     

    • Includes 4 miniature vehicles: a black London taxi, a yellow truck, green automobile and even a traditional red double-decker bus!
    • Features the iconic paired towers and a drawbridge that really opens and closes!
    • Includes unique printed shield!
    • Features hundreds of 1x1 slopes in tan!
    • Many useful arches, angular bricks in tan!
    • Includes 4 blue base plates and over 80 windows!
    • Tower Bridge is ideal for building and display - it can be taken apart in sections for easy transport!
    • Add this amazing landmark to your LEGO world buildings collection!
    • Completed model measures an impressive 40" (102 cm) long, 17" (45 cm) high and 10" (26 cm) wide.

    For those of you investors who don't currently own the 10214 Tower Bridge, now would be a good time to start thinking about grabbing one (or more, if you have the means.)

     

    This colossal LEGO landmark has just hit its two year anniversary, and as many of you know, the two other LEGO sets from the Advanced Models Buildings theme, had a lifespan of right around two years. The 10181 Eiffel Tower was available at LEGO.com for approximately 24 months, and the 10189 Taj Mahal was available for about 26 months.

     

    Speaking of the 10181 Eiffel Tower and the 10189 Taj Mahal, has anyone happened to look at what these sets are selling for these days? The 10189 Taj Mahal is a very cool set, and is going to capture anyone's interest upon the first glance, but it is also the biggest LEGO set ever as far as piece count goes. This might have something to do with why people are regularly selling a new in box set for between $1,200 and $1,500 on eBay. Not bad for a set that had an original price tag of $299.99. Then there is the 10181 Eiffel Tower. This set debuted in October 2007. As stated earlier, it had a shelf life of almost exactly two years. It was available for purchase from your friendly neighborhood LEGO store for $199.99. My research shows that the last three new in box sets sold for $1,175, $1,199, and $1,274.95 on eBay. Once again, not a bad day's work on a $200 set. Check out the chart below with the investment data for the three large Advanced Model Buildings:

     

       

    Set NameSet #YearMSRP (US$)Current Value (US$)Pieces% Return Last 6 Months% Return Last Year% Return From RetailCAGR (%)
    Tower Bridge102142010$239.99$2254,2873.42%5.28%-6.45%-3.28%
    Taj Mahal101892008$299.99$11425,92213.03%59.68%280.7%39.68%
    Eiffel Tower101812007$199.99$8953,4286.32%8.25%347.4%

    34.94%

     

     

    The 10214 Tower Bridge, as of this writing, has not been retired as of yet and is still available from all major retailers, so the data above for the 10214 Tower Bridge is not that relative at the moment. But it does show you how similar the 10214 Tower Bridge is to the 10181 Eiffel Tower and 10189 Taj Mahal in set pieces and prices...and maybe future growth. As stated earlier, all three sets mentioned thus far are part of the Advanced Models Buildings theme. In fact, they are the ONLY three sets in the theme. The first two that have retired have appreciated very nicely, and the Tower Bridge should be no exception. The price tag might be a bit of a hurdle for some at $239.99, but please be aware that at 5.6 cents per piece, it is an exceptional value. Plus, if history is on our side here, that $240 looks like it should easily become $1,000 if you are willing to give it a couple years. This set has also been heavily discounted recently, even as low as $180, so it pays to pay attention to Brickpicker.com alerts on LEGO deals from the various major retailers.

     

      In conclusion, it would appear that the Tower Bridge may very well be one of the safest bets out there. There just aren't a whole lot of sets to compare it to, but I say that in the best way possible. It is a set that doesn't get a lot of attention, but don't let that fool you. The smart LEGO investor has several in their collection. People seem to love real world landmark sets that are done on a large scale. It will be interesting to see what is next in this highly successful series, but until then, ****** up a Tower Bridge while it is still available and tuck it away under your pillow, or wherever it is you keep your LEGO sets...



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    Thanks for analyzing this large and beautiful set. I had snatched one of these up during a Wal-Mart sale to put away til Christmas. But when I realized the investment potential for the set, I decided to buy another one used and leave the pristine one in it's box. I'm looking forward to seeing great returns on it.

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    Thanks for the article. This is definitely a set that is going to be hard not to build. I was also fortunate to get one on the Walmart sale, along with one I already had from S@H. Really hopeful that it follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. Also very interested to see what comes next in this line, there are many possibilities out there.

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    I am actually counting on this set being available through next year. We'll see if I feel the same eight weeks from now... TB graces the cover of the 2013 LEGO calendar so it would be remiss for TLG to cease producing the set in 2012. I do need to at least grab one for my personal stash if it ever dips under $200 again. Of the 4287 parts, 556 are tan cheeser slopes!

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    I sure hope it dips below 200 again, it hasnt since i started collecting. Another great article Aaron. You arent fooling anyone saying that you are new to all of this lol!!

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    Great article man!! I love this set! I think that this set will definitely increase after EOL at some point, but not to the levels of the Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal due to the fact that there's a lot more ppl stashing these away than there were those hoarding extra Taj Mahals and Eiffel Towers. People are really starting to figure out this whole Lego investing thing unfrotunately!

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    Hey Rich, unfortunately I have to agree with your estimation that the value may not climb as much due to the increased amount of LEGO investors today compared to five years ago. I am very annoyed with myself that I didn't catch on to this whole thing sooner! Aaargh! And Stephen...you're right, I'm not new to this. I'm the mastermind behind the whole LEGO investing operation! Muah-ha-ha-ha! :)

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    "Of the 4287 parts, 556 are tan cheeser slopes!" Wow! Interesting fact! After you pointed that out, I had to go to Bricklink and see how many of those were for sale. One seller had over 20,000 of them! That is not a typo! That must be the most worthless LEGO piece ever invented at this point! LOL!

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    Believe me man, I wish I had started doing this a lot earlier as well. Hopefully we're not getting into it too late and we can to still make a couple bucks in the future :)

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    I was debating on buying this set. Finally decided against it (which I‘ll probably regret). My reasoning is that I'm not sure if it can be compared to the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. Is Tower Bridge iconic enough? I'm not so sure. Hence, the secondary market demand might be low. When most people think France / Paris and India, I bet the Taj and Eiffel Tower almost immediately come to mind. Personally, when I think of London / UK, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace immediately comes to mind. Tower Bridge is definitely popular but not like the Eiffel Tower or Taj Mahal on a world-wide scale. Then again, I might be thinking too much into this.

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    jaisonline - I have to agree with you that the Tower Bridge is not as iconic as the Taj Mahal or Eiffel Tower. I am banking on sheer scale when I predict good value for this set in the future. When it comes to LEGO, bigger IS often times better. But yes...you are thinking too much into this. We all do. :)

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    What amazes me is after going to London...this set is a true replica in color and architecture. Would love to invest in this set. Hope it also comes out in the architecture series!

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    I don't think its as romantic as the other 2... doesn't seem to fit the romance of the street corner stuff or the Taj or the Eiffel. That said its a cool set. Speaking of over thinking the brickset own to want ratio(~3:2) doesn't look that good does it? Or is that typical at this stage? Eiffel is running 1:2, Taj (5:8). Clearly the Eiffel was the real champ in terms of lack of buyers vs wanters.

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    I am new to Lego and after doing research and going through different forums decided to give it a try to earn some bucks..after reading this analysis i decided to go and purchase at least 2 of these sets..i just won 1 brand new sealed in box London Tower bridge set for 226$ including shipping is it a good price?... I am also eyeing on Grand Emporium, Fire Brigade , Pet shop and have purchased 1 Camper T1 as well(119$).. please give your suggestions

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    I got my son the Taj Mahal for Christmas 2010. He was 6 1/2. I sorted the pieces and he did the building. It took him 2 months and 2 days to build. I had not idea at the time that the price of the largest Lego set ever made would quintuple in price. Still, I decided to buy 5 Tower Bridges- I am thinking the price will at least triple?- maybe more. I did see on the Lego website yesterday, 1-28-13 that they dropped the price of the TB. I think retirement is close in its future. I also heard that it will be replaced with the Sydney opera house. I am not sure if the lego salesperson should have told me that.

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    Interesting...I'm not sure they should have told you that either. Lol. It's always so interesting to call and speak to people at LEGO. You get such a wide variety of different information from one conversation to the next.

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    You know, I think I was so caught up in the prices on amazon begin $267 I did feel the pressure to buy 3 more at the 239.99. I for some reason thought this was a sale. I did have $195 in VIP points and that helped a lot. A few weeks ago I bougt 2 of them for 219 with shipping and handling. That deal is no longer there. I sill feel like the clock is ticking and I am happy that I have 5 TB in my Brickfolio :)

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    It's just a shame that in the United Kindom (like myself) we have to pay so much more for the same sets. $240 works out to about £150, but to buy this from UK lego site it is £210 :(

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    Great article. Like others who have chimed in, I too was tempted to immediately go out and buy myself one the iconic sets; but when I found out that the little cars, and the triple decker bus are actually made out of bricks I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I had been expecting that those vehicles were real little miniature vehicles which because they would be unique would be very collectable. Of course a review of the instructions set me straight. Regarding the relative value of the 556 small tan slopes just think of all the roofs you could make using those slopes. At an average used price of .06 they are still cheaper than the overall average retail value of the total parts within the set. At roughly a nickel per part the set is a bargain at the current retail value. Worse case scenario, folks who sit on these sets as an investment will definitely get their money's worth out of the parts. Right now I am torn between buying several of the Bi-planes or just one of the Tower Bridge sets.

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    Do you think this set will be retiring soon? I am thinking about buying this, but not so sure as I am just stepping into the investment community.

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    I'm watching this set constantly on ebay. It's a really cool set with a huge number of pieces. It should do very well on the secondary market considering it's a big landmark of England and recognizable across the world.

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    It's interesting to read opinions that this set may not do so well as Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower due to the fact that there are way more Lego investors than before. True, if there is more supply on investors trying to resell this in few years, that is a component driving prices down. But I still say that the total sum of Lego investors is still a very small slice from the whole Lego market and until that slice is not large enough to fully drive the upward price speculation on these sets, then London Tower should follow the same fate as its counterparts. Note that this particular market of large architectural icons does not really fit in the "toy section" for me and neither does its price fit there. Playability is low but it gets into a market where younger people not aware of these models will look at them when they are EOL and then decide to purchase one. And they may not be necessarily Lego fans. London Tower bridge was never built before by Lego and you'll see that the very first models of iconic meaning built by Lego as still extremely valuable no matter its age. Look at some sets from the 60's/70's/80's and some of them sell at very high prices. London Tower Bridge - because it is a landmark - will always have a meaning and hence it will always have a market as well (though as an investor I would not wait 20 years to sell it :D)

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