More often than not, the main question LEGO investors are trying to answer is “When is this set retiring?”. As we all know, once a set is retired is when it really has the potential to start growing in value, so it is not surprising that the EOL question is as common as it is in the forums. However, focusing entirely on currently available sets may be causing investors to miss on a potentially lucrative market: sets that have already been retired for quite some time.
It is not the first time I write about this, and I know some of other members like fellow Mod Grolim used to bring up quite often in the earlier years of Brickpicker, but taking a look at my last article pushed me to write about a set that I see as a potential money maker even at its current market value. Before getting into that though, let’s take a look at some of the arguments in favor of investing in retired sets.
Removes the uncertainty of retirement date and, in some cases, performance. Investing in retired sets allows you to reap the benefits of growth as soon as you acquire a set, removing the need to park your money waiting for a set to go EOL.
Most of the already retired exclusives that are performing great are way more scarce than any of the newer exclusives will be once retired. It is pretty clear that the LEGO investing market has seen an influx of buyer over the past couple years, prompting LEGO to produce more and more of the popular sets and keeping them around longer; the older sets were not as massively produced or hoarded.
Of course, there are also a couple of arguments against this practice, and it would not be responsible of me to simply omit them. The ones that come to mind are:
Risk of remakes. We have seen the two sides of the coin related to this point, as the remake of the UCS X-Wing failed to completely depress the prices of the older version but the new Winter Village Toy shop completely destroyed 10199. Acquiring an already retired set increases the likelihood that investors will be holding a set at the time a remake is announced.
High amounts of capital are usually required. While practically anyone can invest on sets that are currently available, it becomes harder when you are targeting sets that are worth upwards of $500.
Also, it is important to mention that this article assumes readers are Buy and Hold type of investors. Flipping and selling other sets in the short term can more than likely generate the same or more returns by moving sets quicker.
The case for investing in the UCS Super Star Destroyer
Some of you may remember the good old times when we saw the Super Star Destroyer selling for $319 on Amazon. Clearly, those days are over, but that does not mean that it is too late to put some money into this impressive set with the idea of making some good money in a couple of years.
Why do I even bring this up? Well, just take a look at the following chart showcasing the performance of some of the UCS sets in the past two years1:
1Actual values for December 2013 and 2015. 2014 Data is just an interpolation.
Clearly, the performance of these sets has been outstanding over the past couple of years, and some of them were already extremely expensive back in December, 2013. We are talking about an average return of close to 93% in just 2 years over an average price of $750! (90% if we do a weighted average).
Even more impressive, most of the sets shown in the graph above have been retired for more than 5 years at this point. Seeing these levels of growth over just two years indicates how solid most of the UCS models are in the long term.
The UCS Super Star Destroyer is already selling for almost $1,000 based on the latest Brickpicker data. As mentioned before, investing in these expensive sets requires a certain amount of capital and a moderately high risk tolerance, but looking at how similarly valued sets have performed in the 2 years we have data for, it is a strategy with high reward potential.
Back when the SSD was available for retail it already sold for $400 most of the time, making it one of those sets that are somewhat more difficult to hoard for most investors, reducing supply in the secondary market. Besides this, the set is probably one of the most impressive in both size and detail LEGO has ever released, and one that we are more than likely won’t be re-released for quite some time. LEGO has so many other sets to re-release before we ever see another SSD in stores (Imperial Star Destroyer, Millennium Falcon, Snowspeeder, etc.).
Honestly, I see this set with the potential to reach $2,000 in a few years, much like its older sibling the Imperial Star Destroyer. This is only an opinion, but I figured I would bring the topic up for discussion and let each investors make up their own mind about it.
Thanks for reading!
Edited by Fcbarcelona101