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Friends - general discussion

Fan of Friends  

83 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you a fan of the Friends theme?

    • Yes, but only to invest in.
      35
    • Yes, I like to collect them.
      8
    • Yes, I collect and invest.
      24
    • No, I'm not.
      16


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I think the stables are a solid choice, but if you are looking for Friends sets that might be better to target, I'd try to grab the Butterfly Beauty set and the Heartlake Dog Show. I'm really hoping that they go from sold out at S&**** to retired.

I haven't been paying enough attention to the friends sets to notice that these 2 are most likely retiring or possibly already retired. They are not on the order form for 2013.

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What little girl doesn't love ponies and horses? It is a good bet--it was just on sale on Amazon for 30% off.

i saw on walmart online for 35 but you pay like 2 50 in shipping

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Veegs    582

I haven't been paying enough attention to the friends sets to notice that these 2 are most likely retiring or possibly already retired. They are not on the order form for 2013.

I think that they are most likely not coming back. I think Andrea's Stage and Emma's Design Studio are also pretty sweet buys right now - almost sure Andrea's is listed as a retired product on S&****. I was looking around online retailers for the Butterfly & Dog Show and didn't see a whole lot of stock anywhere. They are mid-sized sets for the line and might be far enough under the radar to make a nice profit on.

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I haven't been paying enough attention to the friends sets to notice that these 2 are most likely retiring or possibly already retired. They are not on the order form for 2013.I think that they are most likely not coming back. I think Andrea's Stage and Emma's Design Studio are also pretty sweet buys right now - almost sure Andrea's is listed as a retired product on S&****. I was looking around online retailers for the Butterfly & Dog Show and didn't see a whole lot of stock anywhere. They are mid-sized sets for the line and might be far enough under the radar to make a nice profit on.I believe Walmart clearanced out all the dog shows for $14 and the Butterfly beauty salon was $17. These are very hard to find at this time at any retail outlet and I don't believe they are coming back (Walmart has already reset with all the new sets) so if you see one: buy buy buy (I love that saying now-thanks to whoever wrote it in a review). Unless you are at TRU then wait for a sale so you don't have to pay TRU tax.

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Veegs    582

I haven't been paying enough attention to the friends sets to notice that these 2 are most likely retiring or possibly already retired. They are not on the order form for 2013.I think that they are most likely not coming back. I think Andrea's Stage and Emma's Design Studio are also pretty sweet buys right now - almost sure Andrea's is listed as a retired product on S&****. I was looking around online retailers for the Butterfly & Dog Show and didn't see a whole lot of stock anywhere. They are mid-sized sets for the line and might be far enough under the radar to make a nice profit on.I believe Walmart clearanced out all the dog shows for $14 and the Butterfly beauty salon was $17. These are very hard to find at this time at any retail outlet and I don't believe they are coming back (Walmart has already reset with all the new sets) so if you see one: buy buy buy (I love that saying now-thanks to whoever wrote it in a review). Unless you are at TRU then wait for a sale so you don't have to pay TRU tax.Pretty much anything from the Jan. 2012 launch wave seems to be getting hard to find. I think the City Cafe might be another nice pick up if you can grab it at a nice price. And help Ed out and get a few of the sets through Brickpicker's link - I already did!

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totohs    0

Hi all, I'm from Indonesia, originally a Star Wars set collector. I have 5 and 3 years old daughters and last week I decided to buy them two sets of LEGO Friends along with a basic playset.

This is what they did after previously watched me taking pictures of my Star Wars minifigs :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7G5Y6EV7x8

Please tell me what you think about it, it's still a very rough movie but I'm so proud of my kids to do the project by themselves! -toto-

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Veegs    582

That is a pretty sweet first effort. I am sensing that you will be buying A LOT more Friends sets in the next few years. The curse of success!

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Hi all,

I'm from Indonesia, originally a Star Wars set collector. I have 5 and 3 years old daughters and last week I decided to buy them two sets of LEGO Friends along with a basic playset.

This is what they did after previously watched me taking pictures of my Star Wars minifigs :)

Please tell me what you think about it, it's still a very rough movie but I'm so proud of my kids to do the project by themselves!

-toto-

Nice work!!!! Looks like y'all had fun!

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I'm going to play devil's advocate here. For the average investor, one with limited investment capital and limited storage space, the Friends line doesn't make sense to invest in. As I understand Lego investing the strategy is to buy stock at a discount to retail, store it while the set is inevitably retired and disappears from store shelves, then release it back into the secondary market when it has appreciated sufficiently (typically 2x retail or greater, which can take a year or more depending on a variety of factors). The target audience of this secondary market is inevitably adult male collectors with disposable income, as these are the individuals whom the sets appeal to and who have the cash required to pay for them. Kids aren't paying hugely inflated prices for recently retired sets, at least not in any significant numbers. So if that's the current target audience of the secondary market who will be buying the Friends line when it EOL's? I get that its popular right now with little girls, I think its great for TLG that they're expanding their market share. I also think you *may* get a small bump on the secondary market from these sets as they vanish from shelves and desperate parents spend a premium on them for their kids, especially at the end of this year right before the holidays. But then what? Who's your target audience 2 years from now when this current crop of Friends sets is long forgotten and all new sets are packing the shelves? Certainly the current secondary market demographic won't be pining for a $500 mint 3185. You may find a small niche market, but that's a big gamble considering there's no proven track record for these sets post retirement. Also consider that every dollar you invest in them and every set you pack away is a dollar less and one less spot in the closet or rack on the shelf that could be spent on something else. Essentially you're betting that the Riding Camp will be out performing Helm's Deep or Epic Dragon Battle. I'm not convinced. Just some food for thought. I personally think we need more discourse like this on these forums.

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I'm going to play devil's advocate here. For the average investor, one with limited investment capital and limited storage space, the Friends line doesn't make sense to invest in. As I understand Lego investing the strategy is to buy stock at a discount to retail, store it while the set is inevitably retired and disappears from store shelves, then release it back into the secondary market when it has appreciated sufficiently (typically 2x retail or greater, which can take a year or more depending on a variety of factors). The target audience of this secondary market is inevitably adult male collectors with disposable income, as these are the individuals whom the sets appeal to and who have the cash required to pay for them. Kids aren't paying hugely inflated prices for recently retired sets, at least not in any significant numbers. So if that's the current target audience of the secondary market who will be buying the Friends line when it EOL's?

I get that its popular right now with little girls, I think its great for TLG that they're expanding their market share. I also think you *may* get a small bump on the secondary market from these sets as they vanish from shelves and desperate parents spend a premium on them for their kids, especially at the end of this year right before the holidays. But then what? Who's your target audience 2 years from now when this current crop of Friends sets is long forgotten and all new sets are packing the shelves? Certainly the current secondary market demographic won't be pining for a $500 mint 3185. You may find a small niche market, but that's a big gamble considering there's no proven track record for these sets post retirement. Also consider that every dollar you invest in them and every set you pack away is a dollar less and one less spot in the closet or rack on the shelf that could be spent on something else. Essentially you're betting that the Riding Camp will be out performing Helm's Deep or Epic Dragon Battle. I'm not convinced.

Just some food for thought. I personally think we need more discourse like this on these forums.

I agree we could use more discourse like this on the forums. Let me opine my few cents here -

1) You're right this line is much more riskier than other establish lines but that's what makes it potentially have the highest returns

2) I don't see investors stocking up on these as much as others just given people's preferences. Less supply means that you don't need a ton of demand in order to make prices go high

3) There are going to be more female AFOLs now and in the future. How many of them are one day going to look on eBay for sets they used to have as kids and/or want to collect for themselves or even their own kids

4) Say the line does very well. More and more kids playing with these sets potentially means demand for earlier sets that were missed out the first time around.

5) Say the line doesn't do well. If anyone does want to get a construction block toy for their girls, well they are going to have to hit the secondary market for their potential needs

I'm not saying that Friends will appreciate significantly or do better than say LotR or SW. But it's certainly a possibility IMO.

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totohs    0

That is a pretty sweet first effort. I am sensing that you will be buying A LOT more Friends sets in the next few years. The curse of success!

I think it is going to be 'days' instead of 'years' ...

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emazers    1,400

I disagree with the Friends Lego sets not being a very good investment, but for me its only 2 sets, Its the 3315 Olivia's House $69.99 and Toys R Us wants $84.99 or $89.99, and the Lego and Toys R Us Exclusive 3185 Summer Riding Camp. which Lego.com sells them for $99.99 and the Scum Bag Toys R Us wants $119.99 I will be getting at leat 10 sets of each, just got 6 Olivia Houses at Amazon for $57.00

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emes    100

I'm going to play devil's advocate here. For the average investor, one with limited investment capital and limited storage space, the Friends line doesn't make sense to invest in. As I understand Lego investing the strategy is to buy stock at a discount to retail, store it while the set is inevitably retired and disappears from store shelves, then release it back into the secondary market when it has appreciated sufficiently (typically 2x retail or greater, which can take a year or more depending on a variety of factors). The target audience of this secondary market is inevitably adult male collectors with disposable income, as these are the individuals whom the sets appeal to and who have the cash required to pay for them. Kids aren't paying hugely inflated prices for recently retired sets, at least not in any significant numbers. So if that's the current target audience of the secondary market who will be buying the Friends line when it EOL's?

I get that its popular right now with little girls, I think its great for TLG that they're expanding their market share. I also think you *may* get a small bump on the secondary market from these sets as they vanish from shelves and desperate parents spend a premium on them for their kids, especially at the end of this year right before the holidays. But then what? Who's your target audience 2 years from now when this current crop of Friends sets is long forgotten and all new sets are packing the shelves? Certainly the current secondary market demographic won't be pining for a $500 mint 3185. You may find a small niche market, but that's a big gamble considering there's no proven track record for these sets post retirement. Also consider that every dollar you invest in them and every set you pack away is a dollar less and one less spot in the closet or rack on the shelf that could be spent on something else. Essentially you're betting that the Riding Camp will be out performing Helm's Deep or Epic Dragon Battle. I'm not convinced.

Just some food for thought. I personally think we need more discourse like this on these forums.

I think you've described one approach to LEGO investing. Another approach is to buy something and try to sell it for a reasonable markup as quickly as possible.

IMO the Friends sets are not something you hold for years.

I'm sold many Friends sets and lots on eBay, and I've always made a minimum 30% ROI. In some cases I bought items and sold them within a week of the initial purchase. In this case the strategy is not buy and hold, but more one of providing efficient market distribution. The other thing with Friends sets is that you probably want to be selling large lots.

A tv show once told me that we don't all march to the beat of just one drum. The investing strategy that works for one line, might not be right for some....

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emes    100

Lots that have all of the same set or lots with different sets?

I do it with all different sets. For example 3930 through 3939, with one of the bigger or medium sized rare sets added in as a sweetener...

I can't really make enough money on the smaller sets individually (at present prices) for it to be worthwhile, so my approach to Friends is generally to sell multiple sets in a lot.

It also tends to trigger questions from people where they want a custom lot, and you can create a private listing to meet that need.

My strategy is generally one of quick turnover. Once I get a minimum 30% return (in addition to fees and shipping), a set gets sold. Sometimes I can get more than this, but 30% is my minimum.

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So if you buy a set for $100, you want to be able to make at least $30 profit before you sell? What price would you have to sell a bigger-sized $100 set for on eBay to make $30 profit? $160?

This is easy to calculate once you factor fees and shipping costs. I believe someone put together a calculator for this purpose.

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emes    100

So if you buy a set for $100, you want to be able to make at least $30 profit before you sell? What price would you have to sell a bigger-sized $100 set for on eBay to make $30 profit? $160?

I just checked my spreadsheet...the 1st one that I saw that is a $100 set is the Friends Summer Riding Camp. My number on that one is $178 and my net earnings comes out to $31.53. That's with $20 built-in for shipping, which would probably end up being a little less. It depends on which eBay id I list it with too, and whether it's auction or BIN what the # is, but it wouldn't be all that much different. Also remember that I list as free shipping for US and calculated for international. I only send Express Mail international, because it's the only one that can be tracked to the destination. I'm always shocked what people pay for international shipping.

Not saying any one strategy is right or wrong, rather, I think people need to set a percentage gain and stick with that percentage. When your number hits sell and don't look back. For me if I can make 30% on something and quickly reinvest I'm happy. I'm getting around to selling a bunch of Harry Potter stuff at the moment and it's earning way more than 30%.

Based on most of the discussion here most people's target seems to be high. High targets will take longer to hit, which means your money will likely be tied up longer. That's ok, you just have to accept that going in.

Some people will say that a $30 gain is inconsequential. I don't look at the $$ as much as I look at the percentage and the volume that I can push. Also keep in mind that this is mostly my wife's thing and LEGO is only a small percentage of the items that she sells, and for many of the things that she sells she gets way more than a 30% return.

Going to bed now...hoping to wake up and hit the malls and find a cache of Year of the Snakes....

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emes    100

This is easy to calculate once you factor fees and shipping costs. I believe someone put together a calculator for this purpose.

Yeah, there's a web page somewhere that will do this. I built a spreadsheet in Excel that I can use that's customized to how I want it to look...I recommend everyone do the same and make sure you factor in all of the charges. Then you can experiment with different #'s. Don't forget random charges like if they pay you with foreign funds and it has to be converted...

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Speaking of calculator, I've been using this online calculator http://www.newlifeauctions.com/calc.html It was spot-on for my recent auctions, and you can also put in how much you bought the item for before you auctioned off, and it will tell you how much profit you made, after PayPal and eBay fees, plus shipping, etc. You can even put in "charged S&****", and another value for "actual S&****".

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I found some interesting trends in the Jan data. Set # Description 1 month 6 months retail 9468 Vamp castle -33.27 -16.95 -15.47 9467 Ghost Train -15.18 -30.12 -22.55 9466 Crazy sci &mon; -8.67 -23.32 -10.24 3185 Riding camp 13.42 32.39 3315 O's Hou -3.9 -4.44 -1.49 3189 Heart Stab 13.05 -7.28 I know this is a very small and select data set and things will probably change once we get close to EOL, but wow, that is a lot of negative growth for Monster Fighters. Full disclosure; I picked up one 9468 and one 3185 at the recent TRU BOGO 50% off sale. :)

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