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    Re-Make Impact Evaluation (1st Edition): Sopwith Camel #10226


    I decided to start a new kind of feature or at least semi-regular type of article that will focus in the impact of re-released models on their predecessors. I intend to at least do one of these per month as a minimum, but may increase the regularity based on how much time I have available from time to time. Also, I can only do this with sets that have been released over the past 12 months, as that is the only data I have available from Brickpicker, but I consider that is more than enough time to evaluate the effects of remakes most of the time.

    I will be starting this section of my blog with one set that has been talked about a lot on Brickpicker's forums, the 10226 Sopwith Camel.

    Back in 2001 Lego released its first version of the Sopwith Camel, a somewhat famous plane from the World War 1 era. The set included almost 600 pieces and was the first of a series of several advanced models dedicated to famous aircrafts (the other two being the Red Baron and the Wright Flyer). The model was very well done, for its time, and in the end performed very well in the secondary market. More specifically, it currently has a CAGR of almost 10% and a Holding Period Return of close to 210%, great numbers when we consider it has been retired for almost a decade at this point.

    Fast forward 12 years and LEGO decides to bring back a larger and more detailed model based on the exact same plane. The newest version released last year includes 883 pieces and looks just so much better than the older one. From the fresh color scheme to the vast collection of details and features, this set really proves that LEGO has stepped up its game in the past few years. The 10226 Sopwith is one of those sets most investors expect will do great, but that it's a completely different conversation.

    So, what has been the impact of this newest release on the older 3451? Let's take a look at the numbers of each set compared in the graph below:

    Posted Image

    So, I don't know if you can notice it very well on this graph, but I think you can see that since the newest Sopwith was released the older version has been on a downward trend as far as value is concerned. It has not been a sharp 30% drop, but it has been somewhat significant. In fact, If you take a look at the numbers in the Price Guide, the 3451 has lost almost 8.4% from where it was last year and it seems to keep going down.

    These results are hardly unexpected. Who would really want to pay more than $150 for an older and inferior model when there is a clearly superior and more affordable one currently on the market based on the exact same plane?. Other than some serious collectors, there are probably very few individuals that would for the older one. The older Sopwith will not, of course, lose value indefinitely.

    Even though in this case the re-released version has cause a dip on the older set, we can't really assure that this will always be the case. And we will see if this holds once we get to our 2nd Edition of the Re-Make Impact Evaluation.

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    I have to disagree that the drop of 8.4% is significant for a number of reasons:

    • The graph clearly shows the value going up and down over the last 10 months. In fact, the initial dip in value (Aug/Sep 2012) has not been reached again.
    • Other, pricier sets such as the Cafe Corner have lost more than 9% in the last year without a re-release so there may be other factors.
    • The overall number of sets sold each month is hard to draw any real statistical conclusion from. One outlier in either direction can skew all the numbers.

    It's clear the re-release had an impact, but there just isn't enough data to claim it to be significant. I think you should consider volume of sales for future comparisons. Statistical significance is hard to consider, especially given the limited information we have to work with here, but higher volumes of sales will translate into less error.

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    I think all sets plateau at some point.  Maybe it's a coincidence that these older sets are plateauing and the same time the new sets are released.

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    They do, and that may be part of the issue, but if I'm not mistake the old 3451 had been hovering at around $170 pretty consistently. We'll see if it continues to drop in the next 6 months.

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    If I had to get 10 of either the Sopwith Camel or 10 Volkswagen Camper's I would get all campers, well really I do only have 13 Volkswagen Campers. I think these will do way better than the Camel.

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    [quote name="emazers" timestamp="1371669384"]If I had to get 10 of either the Sopwith Camel or 10 Volkswagen Camper's I would get all campers, well really I do only have 13 Volkswagen Campers. I think these will do way better than the Camel.[/quote] Only 13 VW campers! I don't even have one!

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    Good stuff.  It certainly is an interesting issue.  I've written up an attempt at analysis this effect on SW remakes and I should probably get around to re-submitting it using this new blog editor feature.

     

    We are limited by the data we have available and that links to some of the points gregpj has pointed out.  Seasonality is hard to account for and so is statistical significance when dealing with lowish volumes of sales.  As time goes on we will build up more and more of the excellent data we are now getting and can start to look at longer term month by month historical patterns.  Exciting stuff :)

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    Wait until you checkout the Batcave sets. Despite the 2012 (6080) set being considered inferior by many to the 2006 (7783) one, the older set is still dropping in value. The latest releases of the Imperial Shuttle and B-Wings (both UCS by chance) have lessen price demand of their predecessors. Same with Jabba's Palace and the Harry Potter trains. One of the lessons I learned since beginning investing is to sell, sell, and sell sets before their re-issues are released.

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    Some of the sets you mentioned were on my list for the next blog article. I had forgotten about Jabba's Palaca and it happens the data on the site makes it a perfect candidate for being featured next. Here's my issue when doing stuff like this: BP's data goes back only 12 months, so if I wanted to analyze the impact of something like the Hogwarts Express, we would not be able to accurately tell if the set indeed started dropping when the newer version came out or if it had started dropping before. So basically I am limited to those sets that have been released in the past 12 months.

    As I sais, it happens that Jabba's Palaca was released around June last year, so I will be definitely writing about that one soon.

    @Grolim: I am really wanting to see that article!

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    Wait until you checkout the Batcave sets. Despite the 2012 (6080) set being considered inferior by many to the 2006 (7783) one, the older set is still dropping in value. The latest releases of the Imperial Shuttle and B-Wings (both UCS by chance) have lessen price demand of their predecessors. Same with Jabba's Palace and the Harry Potter trains. One of the lessons I learned since beginning investing is to sell, sell, and sell sets before their re-issues are released.

     

    Great call, jaisonline.  This is why it can be dangerous to chase the white whale of "selling at its peak", and another reason to use emes' "set a preferred return and sell when it hits it" strategy.

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    FCB, one thing I forgt to mention when I was researching reissued sets earlier this yr (buying Batman 1 and Sar Wars for my son). The older version sets had a larger price decease for used sets (regardless whether boxes were included). Granted, sealed sets saw price decrease but not as much % as used ones. My theory.,, I assumed used sets had the larger price % decrease due to 1) used sets like 7783 (Batcave) when it didnt have a refresh are always in-demand by the typical AFOL/ parent and not investors. Hence, parents / AFOLs now went with the newer cheaper option (6080) because price is the driving point. 2) used sets (even sold as 100% complete) still occasionally come with a missing element or two. Parents / AFOLs don't like dealing with this issue so buying a new 6080 became more desirable.

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    Here's another one for you: by extrapolating the data from about Feb 2012 when the new TIE was just released, you can see that the old TIE (2001 version) suffered pretty steady falls. Also interesting to note is that the old TIE picked itself up, reversing the curve a bit after several months of falling. This goes back to what you said in the article about the price not falling indefinitely, probably because when the price is low, there is higher demand, which in turn raises the price again.

     

    Great article, nice job!

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    Brian, it might have fallen because the new Tie's 50 retail price and it was sold out for 1-2 months. How is the old tie doing now?

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