Welcome to the first entry of what I would like to think of as a revamped Evaluation Corner article. The idea behind this new format is to offer a little more historical and analytical data when evaluating sets for potential investment, in a more visual way. Hopefully you will like it; be sure to add your feedback or comments!
Historical & Theme Analysis
The topic of this first article will be the recently released The Brick Bounty – 70413. The “Pirates” LEGO theme has become one of those recurring ones we expect to pop up in stores every few years. It really needs no explanation; kids love pirates and AFOLs really appreciate a well- designed LEGO ship. So, how has the Pirates theme performed over the course of the years when compared to some of the other “evergreen” lines?
As you can see, the theme sits slightly below the average LEGO theme CAGR of 11.55%, seemingly indicating the performance of its sets has not been quite as stellar. However, it is important to mention that all of the themes showcased above have been around for a long, long time. The aggregate CAGR number is somewhat skewed negatively as time goes by and the return gets spread out over a larger period of time and more sets are added to the sample.
Of course, these only highlights the performance of the theme as a whole, and while that is good information to have, we should focus our attention in the performance of pirate ships. The graph below includes all the pirate ships in the theme with over 500 pieces, excluding the Imperial Flagship.
It is pretty clear that while the overall theme CAGR is not that impressive, the return on investment for these ships is the complete opposite. All of them have increased AT LEAST 100% in value, with the most recent example of 6243 Brickbeard’s Bounty.
Realistically, I believe that 6243 is the one set that will provide more insights into the potential performance of 70413 The Brick Bounty, as the sets themselves are extremely similar. The rest of the sets in the list are either Pre-2000, or re-releases of previous versions.
It is encouraging to see that LEGO decided to go with a significantly higher piece count for this newest pirate ship release. While not on the same level as the retired Pirates of the Caribbean sets, I do think that the design of the set is very appealing and the set reviews on LEGO Shop at Home seem to suggest buyers think the same. I do want to note that some people feel the “interior” of the set could have used a little more detail.
Besides that, the set includes 7 standard Pirates minifigures, none of which strike me as special enough to increase the value of the set once retired. It would be nice if LEGO found a way to innovate/change the minifigures in this line; they are just too similar to previous versions.
Since this set has practically just been released, it is pretty normal not to read too many comments about it in the forums. I think there will be plenty of time to acquire this set at decent discounts, and the initial price point of $99.99 already makes it appealing for the less “serious” LEGO investor.
I figured I would include some sort of forecast of where I think sets will go in the future in my articles, based on basic regression analysis and just plain trending. If nothing else, it can give some people a very high level idea of potential future performance.
In this particular case, the sample is way too small to run any kind of significant regression as, in reality, there is only one set that I see as comparable to The Brick Bounty (Brickbeard’s Bounty). Still, I do believe the path of 70413 can sort of follow that of 6243, so we can still make a high level prediction of long term value.
6243 – Performance
One thing to note about this graph: the points in blue are estimated, as we have no actual data points that far in the past. I estimated them based on the usual assumption that retired sets grow a lot faster over the first 2 years of retirement, and then plateau at around 4 or 5 years. All prices are assumed to be end of year. 2014 and 2015 are actual historical values from the Brickpicker Price Guide.
As you can imagine, 6243 has been impacted by the release of 70413 as buyers have the option to pay retail for a set that is significantly larger than the $200 counterpart.
70413 – Projected Performance
Given this information, we can come up with an estimate of what 70413 will be worth 5 years after retirement, assuming a new ship is released at some point in the fourth year. The growth of this set has been adjusted downward to try and capture the change in the market environment. Even then, we could see a CAGR of over 15% by 2022 and an increase over retail of around 120%.
Pirate ships hold a special place in the heart of LEGO investors and collectors alike; Not only great performers over the course of the years, but great toys and display pieces. I really think that despite the changes in the LEGO investing landscape, these well done ships will continue to produce decent results in the long run.
*This is NOT investment advice. It is just my personal opinion about the set’s potential based on historical information and a set of assumptions. As with anything, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Please do your own research before making a decision.