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Brick Babe

Architecture - general discussion

Architecture  

155 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like the sets?

    • Yes
      117
    • No
      5
    • Depends
      33
  2. 2. Are they a good investment?

    • Yes
      73
    • No
      12
    • Depends
      70


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1derman    8

Without letting this thread get too threadjacked - I think you run more of a risk investing in the Architecture series than other classic investment sets - especially the small scale sets. I own every set in the series and they were really what brought me back into collecting legos as an adult (I collected them for displays and not for investments), so I could be wrong but here are my two cents.

First - the Architecture series may have the highest quality of any series instructional manuals. I mean - you get a history lesson with each manual, and many have a fantastic booklet bindings. The packaging is also second to none, so you can tell these sets are really aimed towards the AFOL market.

Having said that though - sets like the Space Needle, John Hancock Building, Sears(Willis) Tower, and Empire State Building just have such a high price per piece (Space Needle is 35 cents per piece!) that I just don't know if you could really get a good return on them. Not to mention that some of those have been out since 2008 with no aparent sign of EOLing any time soon. Another crappier set that IMO is probably the poorest of all the line is the Burj Khalifa. You could probably Bricklink this set cheaper than buy it on the secondary market.

A few sets that might show a decent return in the future could be Falling Water, The Robie House, The Villa Savoye, and Sungnyemun. I haven't seen a lot of Sungnyemun's at the B&******'s lately, but you can usually still find the others. If you can find a decent enough deal with the others, you could get a decent return, but one of the problems I've found it that you won't find them in small shops since they have a exclusive market through B&******. So, that basically forces you online. I would go with Falling Water since it may be the most iconic, top design, has a average price per piece (12.3), and the length of time it has been out, but at this point I still wouldn't pay over $85 new. Weird sidenote - anyone else find it interesting that Falling Water is the only set not to have the black lined based with the name on the base?

Another sidenote - anyone else think that the upcoming Leaning Tower of Pisa could rival the Burj Khalifa for being worst in the series?

Bottom line I think is it will be hard to judge the return success of this series because of it's niche market and the fact that we've never seen one EOL. I guess time will tell.

One last side note - you may want to invest in the 21000-1 series that has the Sears Tower nameplate since at least that is no longer in production since 2011 and you can typically only find the 21000 Willis Tower sets. Even though the Willis Tower currently has a higher CAGR seems like it could make things interesting in the future. But at 29 cents a piece, you still may have a long time to wait.

Okay, I hear you on that. so what would be a few good sets to conider buying for investment purposes? ou say architecture sets aren't good risks.. so couuld you explain which sets are less risky and why? And I notice you talk about price per piece. Could you explain why the price per single piece is important in investing?

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srm_520    87

Okay, I hear you on that. so what would be a few good sets to consider buying for investment purposes? ou say architecture sets aren't good risks.. so could you explain which sets are less risky and why? And I notice you talk about price per piece. Could you explain why the price per single piece is important in investing?

As I already stated these are just my opinions, but here goes. Price per piece isn't nearly as good of benchmark as using CAGR (simply because it's an objective measure versus subjective) and watching for trends - i.e. the John Hancock Center. My logic is the overall demand sets in general and the what always seemed like lower demand for the less impressive sets in the series. Of course one could argue the exact opposite effect may be true - i.e. Sungnyemun - not a great seller in the series so in turn may end of having a shorter run than others in the set so lower number produced equals higher demand and overall greater return.

Of course - all of this could be my personal bias towards different sets too since as a fan of the series and architecture in general - meaning if I'm an AFOL and I'm what the series is aimed at - how could I ever go with not having a Falling Water in my collection, hence why I this it may see a better return once it hits it EOL. I mean, not everybody in the resell market is an investor - some people have money and just want the set for their collection, and people always want the pearls for their collection the most.

I mean, moving beyond the architecture series, isn't that what always dominates threads and discussions anyway? Those amazing sets in an exclusive series or major sets with a high number of pieces? I mean, when was the last time you got caught up in talking about a minor set in a series like The John Hancock Building versus the amount of time you spent talking about the Robie House or The Imperial Hotel. Those are the sets that truly capture people imagination and are the ones collectors (not necessarily investors) want. Of course in the end however, I guess that is what makes more people good collectors rather than investors. You listen to someone like Ed and he is smart enough to know that you diversify your collection with many different series and many different sizes, but in the end the biggest risks and return always come with the big daddy sets and not the little guys. (However, it can be the little guys that pay the bills while you wait for the big ones to come home and roost.)

Okay so in the end after all my ranting I suppose I should be fair and say I truly can't judge which sets will truly be the best to invest in on this particular line (heck who can right?) so I'll do the next best thing. If I was a collector looking for sets in this series - here is the exact order of which set I would be looking for and be willing to invest my money to get my hands on. Ohh, and I have various reasons for each of these, but again just my opinion so here my list:

1. 21005 Falling Water

2. 21000-1 The Sears Tower

3. 21010 The Robie House (But the $200 is a huge negative)

4. 21016 Sungnyemun

5. 21013 Big Ben

6. 21014 Villa Savoye

7. 21002 Empire State Building (For some reason I love this set a could rebuild it 100 times. Weird right?)

8. 21006 The White House

9. 21004 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

10. 21009 Farnsworth House

11. 21017 Imperial Hotel

12. 21003 Seattle Space Needle

13. 21011 Brandenburg Gate

14. 21007 Rockefeller Center

15. 21000-2 The Willis Tower

16. 21001 John Hancock Center (This reflects before the set went EOL. Obviously, currently it should be around #1 or #2 based on this simple fact that it's the first to do this, but this is where it used to be ranked for me before that - so obviously goes to show you what the heck I know! :) )

17. 21012 Sydney Opera House

18. 21008 Burj Khalifa (I really just dislike this one on principal. It's boring, overly simplified, and it's a poor build structurally and experience wise.)

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spener90    202

I think the reason this might actually be a good investment is that the sets are of limited release, and actually look rather nice. I was talking to my Dad about this recently, and he lightly dabbles in Lego, but he loves these sets. If Minecraft can be successful, then so can these.

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srm_520    87

I think the reason this might actually be a good investment is that the sets are of limited release, and actually look rather nice. I was talking to my Dad about this recently, and he lightly dabbles in Lego, but he loves these sets. If Minecraft can be successful, then so can these.

I don't totally disagree with you. Looking at the John Hancock Center - I think this series shows that it can be successful - I was just trying to point out the success compared to other series in overall dollars amounts. For the most part I think these are really well done sets that should give you a good chance to double your money and if you are real lucky then triple, but that still only a $40 profit on the small sets best case scenario.

I suppose in some ways though - you could look at that as a bigger win. I guess you just have to weigh, - do I want 20 sets of the John Hancock Building at $400 invested or one SSD at a $400 invested? You can very easily argue pros and cons for both mindsets.

Here you go - here's my best suggestion, what for a sale a B&******, buy a membership card to give an additional 10% off and go crazy. Admittedly, I did this with some Kre-O transformer sets. They were clearanced at 50% off and then I used my card for an additional 10% and scored a really good deal. I was desperately looking for clearanced legos - but of course no such luck! (I couldn't help it, I love my transformers)

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My only concern about investing in the Architecture series is that they show no sign of going EOL. I bought a single one for investment purchases and I'm thinking of getting rid of it and spending the $50 on something else. Even the sets that were released in 2008 are still available at retail. That said, once they go EOL, I agree with the other posters that the larger sets will see some gain. The price per piece of the smaller ones is too high for them to see any real growth though. The only draw they have is the pretty boxes and nice instructions. I personally would never buy any to build though. I might buy one of the larger sets for the pieces though...

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Saltin    0

I think the Frank Lloyd Wright sets in particular will show a nice return as the years go by and they are retired. It is difficult to understate the importance of FLW to both architecture, America's coming of age, and the impact he had on what a "house" really is. He has a huge following and fan-base, to many he is a legend without equal in his work. These sets will always do well because the FLW brand will always do well.

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Fcbarcelona101    1,132

I am almost sure they won't release this, but I would love a Twin Towers "tribute" set release only during the month of September. As "simple" as their design seemed to be, they were two of my favorite buildings.

  • Like 1

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IrishGuy66    4

I am almost sure they won't release this, but I would love a Twin Towers "tribute" set release only during the month of September. As "simple" as their design seemed to be, they were two of my favorite buildings.

I was going to post that, but wasn't sure if should. As great as that would be I don't think TLG would ever produce it.

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akohns    126

Also a great wall of China segment...pyramid...anything that is a great wonder of the world.

I was thinking the same thing.

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Blackjack    92

Guys.  You are forgetting the most important buildings for Lego to make as sets.  :logik:  Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Big-Lots, some of those others I'm forgetting, and one of those dumpy little ebay stores you see in the bad part of town!

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comicblast    403

A LEGO Store :D

A Target or Walmart with amazing clearance

A TRU with a sign reading CLOSED - OUT OF BUSINESS

 

Or a small scaled Eiffel tower would be nice... 

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Mafio73    3

Here are my picks:

1- France, Arc de Triomphe

2- Cambodia, Angkor Wat

3- Acropolis of Greece

 

And for natural Landmarks (why not? I'd like to have some!)

1- Canada, Niagara Falls

2- Ayers Rock. Australia

3- Victoria Falls. Zambia

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ausleigh    25

I still maintain my intent to avoid becoming a Lego collector or investor (though am certainly dabbling at both), but the Architecture series are ones that I have collected, and currently have all, though most are still boxed up (and some wrapped as upcoming birthday presents from my wife).

 

I picked up a Hancock after EOL and therefore paid a mark up on RRP, and am debating if I should open it or, since I paid extra, leave it boxed up to see what happens.

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kvasir    8

Before the sets were available in Canada, I parted out the earlier sets and bought pieces on bricklink and built the models. The earlier sets were simple and had pieces common enough it's worth it if you just wanted to build the model for fun and don't care about the unique name plaque printed tile. I even took trouble to eliminate duplicate pieces among the sets so I could order the least amount of parts to build all the models.

When the bigger sets become available in Canada along with the earlier ones. I thought I would buy them for the printed tile, build them and then sell them as "used" without the printed tile. But thanks to bricklink I was able to buy just the printed tile at reasonable prices so I figure I can just resell the set as "complete, used". This way I can, at the very least, sell at MSRP and get to build the model for free.

My point of the story is, even as a (small A) architecture fan I don't intent to keep any of the sets (with the exception of Sydney Opera House and the UN, more on that below). I think the bigger sets will do much better over the smaller, less complex sets. This is solely because you can get parts easily, if you don't care about the printed tile. Each set comes with a beautiful booklet which I think is nice for a collector, but otherwise you can just download a PDF. Since the scale of these model is all over the map, literally, you can't really display them together in a meaningful context.

The Sydney Opera House (21012) is interesting. I know It's a bit of a controversial set, but with the bigger-scale SOH (10234) now available in the Expert line, I, for one, am tempted to get it just so I can have both displaying side by side. As you know, 10234 does not come with a booklet nor a printed tile. The 21012 set could complement the 10234 set nicely. As a matter of fact, I got an extra "SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE" printed tile off bricklink just so I can put it on the 10234 display (because while it is a beautiful model it does miss that level of detail).

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jayteef    3

I just finished 21003 Guggenheim and really enjoyed it, I think it will eventually hold value.  I agree that the FLW series will be more valuable than others because of the brand.  They are also unique designs on their own and have transferred over well.  The new United Nations set also look appealing. 

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cissi    617

Maybe many have seen this coming but I just thought it might be cool to have a discussion on this.

 

Given that the Architecture theme seems to have longer lift time than others, lately many of them are heavily discounted including on LEGO Shop at Home, which seems to be a sign for retiring sets. The following sets have drew my attention:

21000 Willis Tower (2011) - Sold Out

21002 Empire State Building (2009) - oos, available in 30 days

21004 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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mudcatsfan    1,781

I would think the theme will continue and just be refreshed with some newer sets. I do however think the Studio might be gone. 

 

Its sold out at Target.com, LEGO Shop at Home, BN.com, and FAO.com.

 

In fact, its not even ON the BN.com website anymore. When you call stores to find it, they can't look it up.This one might SKY ROCKET

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