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    Lego 2014 Investment Targets: Technic


    LEGO Technic sets are an overlooked commodity in the LEGO investing world.  Many Technic sets appreciate very, very well after retirement, yet many investors will ignore these sets.  I just built my first Technic set a couple of weeks ago and I have to say, I am hooked. Loving Star Wars, I have always been a big fan of vehicles, but Technic sets take it to the next level. All the parts move, lots of sets can run with motors in them, and most are extremely challenging to build. I can not wait to build more Technic sets and add to my collection.

    The great thing about Technic in the investing world is that it is a fairly untapped market. First off, most investors don't pay a ton of attention to Technic. It does not have as many fans as other licensed themes and is only sold at the Lego store and Toys R Us in the US, meaning few discounts. Amazon UK has been the lone saving grace for us. However, there are certain Technic sets that perform extremely well. Take a look:

    Not bad huh? What this means is that if you pay attention, you can find some serious winners in a theme with a lot less competition! Here are the sets I will be seriously looking into next year.

    Note: I am assuming with this that all the 2012 sets will be done shortly besides the 9398 crawler (you will see it below). I think a good majority of them are winners and have multiples of each, but for those reasons I will not be targeting them).

    I would also suggest anyone who hasn't to read part 1 and part 2 of Quac's Technic EC blogs. I have them bookmarked and use the charts to judge sets constantly. Quac's knows his Technic.

    42000 Grand Prix Racer

    LEGO-42000-Grand-Prix-versenyauto-pp0-v

    Target Level: High

    There is really nothing you can say about this set that is not said when you see it in person. It is AMAZING. Its about 2 feet long and looks so smooth and solid on the outside. I really think from 5 feet away it looks like a model car. It has tons of pieces and is a very fair price-point of $130. Even more awesome, you can inser thte motor functions into this baby and really let her rip (well as much as they will without mods).  The set also allows the hood to pop up exposing the sections where the engine would be.

    As far as an investment, this one has the >100$ MSRP. Quac's mentioned in his article as well that the sets above $100 do quite a bit better in the Technic world. Technic loves like huge sets with lots of cool parts and intricacies. In my eyes, this set fits that mold perfectly. Quac's warned that cars have not had a seriously high ROI, but I think this will be one exception. Racing is huge in the US and in parts of Europe, and though this is not a NASCAR vehicle, I think it will be something that appeals to that crowd quite a bit. Watch out on Amazon UK - if this one hits 70$ again, DO NOT flip it. This set will appreciate nicely in the long run and honestly there is no reason you shouldn't pop one open to build it. If you have to settle for Toys R Us, I still think you can find a way to grab some around $100, which is still a winning price in my eyes.

    Target Price: $90

    Target Sale Price: $250

    42004 Backhoe Loader

    download (1)

    Target Level: medium

    This was my first Technic set I ever built, and I think its awesome. There have been quite a few backhoe loaders in the Technic port folio, but not too many at this smaller price point. Despite how cheap it is at just $25 retail, this set is awesome. Every part of it moves, it has a bucket at both ends and is really solid. The wheels on this set are really sturdy as well and it rolls really smoothly. I think the set is a killer representation of a bigger vehicle.

    I keep this set on my desk at work and get a lot of comments on it. It is something that I could see being a perfect gift for Technic fans, and just fans of construction vehicles. In the past, construction equipment has done extremely well and I think this set will be right along by it. Amazon UK is probably not the best place to find this set since it is cheaper and shipping and the price conversion might make it too expensive, but I think this is a safe bet at even $25. This past Christmas, it rose past $35 even though it was in stock at Toysrus.com and Lego Shop @ Home.

    Target Price: $20

    Target Sale Price: $50

    42006 Excavator

    42006_Box

    Target level: High

    This set is an obvious winner to me. The last two Excavators, back in 2010, both have grown nicely since retirement and I don't see why this one shouldn't follow that trend.

    I think this set is perfect for a mid range set in between these last two, but even more awesome because of the end piece. The other two have a normal excavating bucket, but this set has a 4 Pronged grabber. FOr the Technic fans that are getting tired of the same old Construction equipment, they now have something different to add to their collection. The extending arm is really solid for a smaller set and the tracks just make it even better. It also is one of the cheaper sets to take the power functions set, making it perfect for people who don't want to buy a $300 Motorized Excavator. I think this set has a good chance to maybe outperform the last two because of where it is at price-wise and value-wise, so I will not be caught without a stash of these.

    Target Price: 60$

    Target Sale Price: $200

    42007 Moto Cross Bike

    download

    Target Level: High

    This set is just awesome. Technic fans love Motorcycles, as referenced below, and this one is the cream of the crop for me. When you look at this set, it doesn't even look like Lego pieces - its so well put together and smooth. Whats even more cool is that it matches up with the 9392 Quad which will be good for the people who like collecting the smaller sets. Though this is a smaller set, and those traditionally haven't done as well, I think this one will be the exception. This is another intracate smaller set that works perfect as a gift or a desk display piece as  well as being a toy.

    On top of all this, Motocross itself has a lot of fans who love models and toys depicting the sport. I used to really love model cars and hot wheels and Motocross stuff was always extremely popular. Any Motocross fan would love to have this set. I think the only downside of this set is the MSRP. This one is a little more expensive at $40, meaning for it to double and triple, you are getting up in the territory where people might expect a bigger set. For that reason, to be safe, I would try to get this one at a little bigger discount than the others on this list. At the same time, it is right in play if Amazon UK has a nice sale.

    I am hedging my bet that this one is going to be a huge gainer for such a small set though and could be the best of all the ones listed here. Definitely don't get caught with a few of these... or more!

    Target Price: $30

    Target Sale Price: $100

    42009 Mobile Crane MK II

    IMG_2525

    Target Level: As High as my wallet will let me

    Do you want to see a set that is a homerun pretty much hands down? Look no further. This set is going to absolutely soar. It is insanely detailed, absolutely massive, has power functions and is one of the most challenging sets Lego has ever put out. One of my friends at work picked up this set and it is just incredibly impressive. Every detail of the crane is perfectly done. It had 5 booklets with him and took him about 27 hours to put together. It is about 3 feet long! Just has something for everyone.

    Lets take a look at the comparison between this crane and the last one that came out in 2010 and retired in 2012:

    Name Mobile Crane 8053 Mobile Crane MK II 42009
    Pieces 1289 2606
    Retail $99.99 $219.99
    CAGR 25.43 ???
    Highest Price 278.50 ???

    Um... Yeah, we have a winner. The first crane had almost tripled in price in less than two years being retired when this one came out. Obviously this one has hurt the price of the first one because it is so much better. Why would you pay $300 for that one when you could pay $220 for this one? Either way, it shows us what this set will undoubtedly do (if you think that "undoubtedly" is a strong word, I refer you to Quac's part 2 of his Technic article for some number crunching on the set). This set may be the best one ever and may even outdo the 41999 Crawler in the end.

    The fact that this set is huge is a big plus as well. As I mentioned before, the larger the set, the better it has done historically in the Technic line. This is one of the biggest there has ever been. There is no reason it shouldn't be one of the biggest gainers of all time either. Even if they make another one, I doubt it will be bigger than this one. And history says you will get plenty of ROI out of it before that happens.

    Target Price: Any discount

    Sale Price: $550

    So there you are. Any omissions you see? Any problems with the sets I have mentioned?  

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    I dont think excavator would do very well. There is an 8043 excavator in decent supply for 350. It is fully motorized and RC out of the box and is bigger and more detailed. Thing to remember about technic is that technic fans put more weight on function over form and it is about process of building and playing to us vs display and collect. We are also more savvy then average lego consumer, ie we know about bricklink:). With exceptions of flagship sets top two three by price and some limited edition stuff we are not willing to pay a lot more than a bricklinked piece by piece price for a set.

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    Wouldn't 8421 Mobile Crane (2005) have been a better comparison? I think the 'Mk II' in 42009's title is really meant in reference to 8421, not 8053.

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    I also don't see 42007 fetching $100. There are no unique colors in it that would dissappear anytime soon. Right now bricklinked price for it is around 50. I would say a more realistic expectation for it is $60 to $ 70 after EOL if that. 42004 would not be more than 40 bricklink average price is 34 to bricklink it and it is a kiddie set so I'm not spending 50 on it as a parent 30 or cheaper with color substitution gives my kid all the functionality and still cool colors even if they are not yellow. I do agree with you on grand prix and MKII. but technically speaking they are 2013 sets, if the focus is on sets right on the brink of EOL I would suggest focusing on the following in order of priority 9398-4x4 Crawler -This is a very sturdy set suitable even for some grass covered backyard play, sand would probably kill gears really fast. It is fully RC and motorized out of the box, always a big plus with technic crowd. Price bricklinked is $387 so it should easily fetch $400 after EOL 9397-Logging truck, 9396-Rescue Helo, 9395-Tow trucks the ship had sailed on those but if you find them somewhere on your store shelf get them they should fetch 250,150,120 in my guestimate respectively. Out of 2013 models you mentioned 42009 and 42000 already I would skip 42006 it is a failed re-do IMHO of 8043 smaller more expensive no PF. At 160 bricklinked and 100 for PF and RC I'm getting into 8043 territory. This one doesn't offer a bang for the buck to a technic fan like 8043 does. You have to remember we don't collect we play and abuse :). Instead of 42006 I would focus on 42008-Service truck it is pretty moddable so you could drop RC into it and more importantly it has pneumatic functions that we love. I see this one going north of 250 quite possibly to 300. It also has Cab over engine euro look that is refreshing and novel to US consumer.

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    I would also say that 42000-would fetch around 300+ given that it is very detailed and slick. And 42009 would easily go 600+.This is the largest of the technic sets to date it can be readily modded to be full RC(Jurgens' ultimate 42009 mod). I would not be surprised it going the route of the 8275 buldozer and crossing to the north of the 1K if you're patient enough. To date 42009 is an ultimate achievement as far as flagship technics go.

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    Yes I knew there was another one I wanted to add in there but I couldn't find it. It has a 14.42% CAGR even though its been gone for 6 years now. AND a 3.25X return on investment. Either one you look at, 42009 is a serious winner.

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    Interesting points and definitely good thoughts - thanks for posting. I like hearing back from people because my investment thoughts are definitely no where set in stone or right all the time - I really write blogs so I directly hear peoples feedback. Do you think the bricklinked value matters more to Technic fans? In general, this doesn't seem to matter to normal fans. I have met quite a few people (I like to talk to people in line and observe what they buy) who have mentioned they really love Technic and they are not Lego people like us at all. I think I could see it making a bigger difference than the normal set, but not that big. There are a lot of sets you can bricklink for half of what you can buy them for new. Also Bricklinked does not equal new to some people. Have you built 42004? I might write a blog about it but it is stellar built, even being small. 42007 is really based on how well Motorcycles have done. Do you think this one is not as good as past ones? I really like the look of it and may build it myself. The 9398 - totally a bad omission on my part. I was ignoring the 2012 line because most of them are gone. this one isn't though and I will be buying a lot of them this year. You are absolutely spot on regarding the copter, logging truck and tow truck. As for 42006 - I really just like the grabber at the end. Do you think that will make a difference in its value? 42008 - good points. I was trying to narrow this down, but I didn't think about modability and I could see how that could play into it. I am gonna check into that one a little more. I thought it looked a little plain so it scared me. But it is huge which is a big plus. And service trucks have done well.

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    The best analogy I could come up with to differentiate between Technic and Mainstream Lego is this. Da Vinci Mona Lisa and a nuclear bomb. What is awesome in Mona Lisa? The flow of color the intricate level of detail and yes her eyes. Nuclear bomb is awesome in its own rite but now it's about physics the splitting of atom and how it was all accomplished. We can paint a nice pinup girl on bomb casing or leave it dull gray and it will not detract from its awesomeness. Same can't be said about Mona Lisa in desert Camo. :). So getting back to Lego. Mainstream Lego. Let's use Modulars for example they are Mona Lisas. They are about creating something unusual and fresh out of elements seemingly not designed for the purpose. Like Awning on Cafe out of skis. That's your build part. Second part is play part. Play part is heavily aesthetic it's about your eyes and brain enjoying flow of colors on the building and in your city as a whole. Now those colors on modulars are somewhat rare Sandy green brick from green grocer is at $5 on bricklink vs $.10 for regular green, White window frame from Cafe corner is $7 vs .25 for purple, but color substitution takes a lot from the finished build especially if you are artistically inclined. Now to technic The build part is all about gears and reductions and power functions and utilizing levers and puleys and motors and axles. Play part is equally physics and physical it's about driving and lifting and pulling and then after a week comes modding you'll take it apart and try to make it bigger and stronger and maybe add more wheels axles etc. Aesthetics are now in gears and motors and axles and what you can do with them not in color. To that effect a Technic fan looks at a set with the eyes towards physical play and modding. Color becomes a distant second. So to a technic fan new used or bricklinked becomes irrelevant. Again there are some exceptions like the firsts and limited. So as a Modular's fan I might look at Cafe corner bricklinked with color substitution at half the price and say no it's like dressing Mona Lisa in Camo and as Technic fan I'll look at color substituted gray or black vs yellow bricklinked 42009 and it would still be all about gears and pulleys and no less awesome to me. With that analogy out of the way, Technic sets require quite a bit of those pulleys and gears Average bricklink price for 42009 right now all used parts with gray panels vs yellow is $468 by no means half the price of a RRP. Add realistic shipping and the fact that you won't always get the average and you're at 500-525 mark, at least, and that's used. So assuming we are past retirement date and I'm a Technic fan I could get Used for 525 or new for 600 and avoid annoyance of multiple shipments from bricklink and all colors match. That 75 bucks is only 14% premium not very difficult decision for me to make. In case of 42007, 04. I watched my 7 year old build them helped him a little, he enjoyed it. He played with them a bit now he's modding them trying to turn them both into some kinda robot :). Those are good kiddie sets for a young child. So if I'm a Technic fan with a young child who wants them, my first stop is bricklink because I'm not spending ton of money on a set that's going to be all over the house in 3 days or less. Used bricklinked 42007 is $54. Add 15-20% for my convenience of not dealing with multiple bricklink orders and the fact that set is new, and you have 64-70 price range with a big BUT This is a kiddie set in my Technic AFOL parent mind there are always simillar or simillar enough current sets that I can get for my kiddie at RRP of $30 so I can just tell my kiddie that he can have two current sets vs one motorcycle and kiddie would jump at it. That is why those smaller sets are risky to invest in longer term. Similar story with 04, bricklinked new parts it's at 34 bucks and the same big BUT hangs over it as it does over 07.

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    I agree that it's a good pick with potential. But I guess what I was trying to point out was the favorability in the comparison. It's probably clear to most as to why 42009 is a better set overall than 8053. But when you compare 42009 to 8421, some technics fans might tell you 8421 is still the superior set. That said, I don't own any of them and reading your blog has definitely raised 42009 on my radar as a set I might have to pick up. (even if just for my own personal collection -- looks like a fun build).

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    Ah good point for sure. I think the big thing about this one is how freaking huge it is. Definitely a big plus that it is the biggest Technic set ever. I am going to try to get a video, but the one my co-worker has in his office is just insanely impressive. It took him longer to build than the SSD and its got so man awesome moving parts. I didn't think I would ever drop 200$ on a non-star wars set for my own collection, but I am about to.

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    Nice article. Lately I have been looking into detail into Lego tech sets and have found some very interesting investment candidates, and the most interesting one is 42009. I think you are correct that 42009 could be one of the big investment winners. However, while some of the technic sets are popular with both tech and "normal" Lego fans, this one might be just too much for the "normal" Lego builder. This given that the price is high and considering the huge amount of bricks (and the effort to build the set). But my assumption that the "normal" Lego fans might give this one a miss, if correct, will only mean that it won't sell out immediately. This said, I think it will be a winner in the long run, not the least because it's the biggest tech set ever released.

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    It is nice to read an article about Lego Technic as an investment. Without criticising the other types of Lego, ie City, Star Wars, etc, I think that Technic is the "sleeper" of investments. Firstly, you are right about 42009, it will be a popular on for investments later on, based on the performance of it's predecessor, 8421. BNIB 8421 are fetching prices of $500 to $1000 for those willing to pay (no where near the asking price of 10179, the Millemium Falcon). Secondly, Technic does not sit on the shelves as long as the other themes, it tends to be sold in small numbers (mostly due to initial outlay for ste) and being more of an older age set, the uptake is usually AFOLs buying them for their personal collection, One trend that is on the rise with Technic, is the second hand market for the older sets. Even WITHOUT THE BOX, they can command reasonable returns, that is to be able to get their purchase price back and more so. A number of the earlier Technic sets are in demand, anything of the Super Car serires sells well, the machinery types such as tractors & earlier cranes. Helicopters do well too. I guess the thing with Technic is that the sets are generally ageless, you can get a set that is 30 years old and it does not look that out of place with the current sets. The introduction of the Power Functions to Technic is not a new idea, they have had a battery and motor before. The concern is that "revisiting" some of the older sets and paying homage by doing an update (ie 42009 homage to 8421) , it seems that Lego is playing it safe at times and only risking doing new ideas every so often. The Cargo Plane (42025) will be an interesting one to watch, lets see if it holds is value the same as the Rescue Helicopter (9396). If Lego is reading this, you have done the dirt bike, the backhoe, the excavator & the formula racer before. Something different would be nice. Variety is the key to keeping interest in Lego, rehashing "safe" sets will bore fans.

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    I am kind of on the fence with the aviation theme. Personally as a long time Technic fan they do nothing for me. They don't drive they don't lift and again personally if I wanted a nice aviation model I'd get me a Revell. I was not too gaga over unimog and logging truck, that claw crane was just too flimsy for my liking but the rest of the vehicles were done well and had a good potential for modding and playability. I'm drawing a blank on how to play with that cargo plane, or make an RC fly model out of it. Would be interesting on how it plays out.

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    I own both the formula racers that were released before, the Silver Champion and the Williams Racer, and I am personally stoked that they 'updated' the old versions with the new 42000. I think it looks like the old Toyota team racer, so I like to think of it as a 'loose' translation of the earlier Marlboro McLaren cars. I personally think it's a good idea to update older sets, especially if they really add something new to it...

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    I have an 8421 set that was imported from Germany because it was not available in the U.S. at the time. It was an awesome build. I have an unopened 42009 at the moment just waiting to be put together. I am anxious to try all of the motor functions on it when done. It certainly appears to be a fantastic build.

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