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  • LEGO Galaxy Squad Wave 2: A Cosmic Investing Catastrophe or Astronomical Profits?


    Six months after the release of the original Galaxy Squad sets (see my article on that wave here), Lego released another four sets. My previous article was a bit (read: massively) over-optimistic looking back, as the sets haven't done well, so this article will explore if wave 2 will be plagued by the same investing mediocrity. I'll also evaluate the two promotion polybags of the theme, 30230 and 30231. Is the line doomed for alien subordination and minimal investment returns? Read on, astronauts.

      70706 Crater Creeper

     photo 70706one_zps47f28a9b.pngLego.com description:

    Stop the Crater Creeper with green team leader Chuck Stonebreaker!

    Take Galaxy Squad green team leader Chuck Stonebreaker on a mission to exterminate the alien’s Crater Creeper! Jump into the hero hovercraft and chase after the bug-eyed buggoid in the Crater Creeper with insect legs, chomping jaws and flick missiles. Fire the hovercraft’s flick missiles, bring the Crater Creeper crashing to a halt and win the battle with the Galaxy Squad! Includes 2 minifigures with weapons: green team leader Chuck Stonebreaker and an alien buggoid.

    • Includes 2 minifigures with weapons: green team leader Chuck Stonebreaker and an alien buggoid
    • Features Crater Creeper and a hero hovercraft• Crater Creeper features insect legs, chomping jaws and flick missiles
    • Hovercraft features flick missiles
    • Weapons include 2 blasters and a sonic gun
    • Don’t get caught in the chomping jaws!
    • Fire the missiles!
    • Measures over 3" (8cm) high, 9" (24cm) long and 7" (20cm) wide
    • Hero hovercraft measures over 1" (3cm) high, 1" (5cm) long and 1" (5cm) wide

    Eightbrick's Analysis: At $20, this is the closest thing to an impulse set the second wave gets. The green pod is pretty insignificant, but the crawler looks very smooth and organic while still having some technological elements. Unfortunately what it has in looks it can't match in functionality: only 2 of the legs move (the middle ones). The elasticized pincers do a bit to correct this but I found it strange that the posability is restricted, especially since Lego has demonstrated many times recently that it has mastered the art (eg. with Shelob).

    Currently the set has a -5.9% CAGR, a sorry sight, yes, but a flesh wound compared to the CAGRs of the two largest sets of the theme. It is a great throwback to the insectoid line of the 90s and is excellently executed. Call it personal bias or an amateur guess, but I'll peg it's 5-year CAGR prediction at 9%, a good comeback from it's current rate. 10% CAGR will result in it being valued at $30.75 in 2018.  photo 70706-2_zps31c68627.png

    70707 CLS-89 Eradicator Mech

     photo 70707one_zpsb088754f.png

    Lego.com description:

    Exterminate the alien abductoids with the CLS-89 Eradicator Mech!

    Get back into battle with the bugs with the split-function CLS-89 Eradicator Mech with rapid-fire missiles! Help orange team leader Jack Fireblade and his robot sidekick raise the mech’s powerful arms, load the rapid-fire flick missiles and aim the laser cannon to stop the alien abductoids! When the battle heats up, activate the Eradicator Mech’s split function, lower the wings and take flight in the super-agile galaxy jet with hidden bay door and deployable bomb. Stop the bugs from trapping the Galaxy Squad in cocoon prisons! Includes 2 minifigures with weapons: orange team leader Jack Fireblade and his robot sidekick.

    •  Includes 2 minifigures with weapons: orange team leader Jack Fireblade and his robot sidekick
    •  Features poseable limbs, rapid-fire flick missiles and a laser cannon
    •  Splits into a mech exosuit and a galaxy jet
    •  Other vehicles include a flying alien abductoid and a crawling alien abductoid
    •  Galaxy jet features lowering wings, opening cockpit with space for a minifigure and a hidden bay door with deployable bomb
    •  Poseable alien abductoids feature cocoons with space for a minifigure
    •  Weapons include 2 blasters and a sonic cannon
    •  Activate the split function to fight back with 2 fierce fighting machines!
    •  Launch the rapid-fire flick missiles and spin up the laser cannon!
    •  Don’t get trapped in the alien cocoons!
    •  Measures over 8" (22cm) high, 6" (16cm) long and 5" (15cm) wide
    •  Mech exosuit measures over 7" (19cm) high, 4" (11cm) long and 5" (15cm) wide
    •  Galaxy jet measures over 1" (5cm) high, 4" (11cm) long and 5" (15cm) wide
    •  Flying alien abductoid measures over 1" (5cm) high, 4" (11cm) long and 3" (10cm) wide
    •  Crawling alien abductoid measures over 1" (3cm) high, 4" (12cm) long and 3" (10cm) wide

    Eightbrick's Analysis: A somewhat unbalanced (if not chubby) mech for the orange team makes up set 70707. Like the rest of the line, it's a bit thin on the minifigs, at a conservative 2 (both are goodies). Their foes are two brick-built "abductoids"; one winged, the other grounded. It's an interesting idea, having non-minifigure villains, not exactly a groundbreaking concept (having been tried in several action themes before), but it did lead to high success in the Vikings line (15% average CAGR nearly a decade later). The head of the mech splits off into a jet, in a somewhat predictable play feature. Overall, it's a nice set, arguably a lot better than the previous orange team set, 70705 Bug Obliterator. Possibly one of the better bets from this line - but that isn't saying much.

    Fun fact: as of my writing this article, this is the only wave 2 (non polybag) set with a positive CAGR, an impressive 1.63%. Okay, so not anything worth getting excited over, but for a struggling wave that is easily accessible at pretty much all retail locations that sell Lego, I'll take any 1% above retail over nothing. Given that, and that the set was well done, I'll award it a 9% 5-year CAGR prediction again (resulting in a value of $61.52 in 2018). High clearance frequency, especially in an unstable theme like Galaxy Squad, could do significant damage to that number though. There are some interesting parts (the trans yellow bulbs on the back of the insects are exclusive), so if not for the scarce (and mediocre value-wise) minifigures it might have been a viable part out option.

     photo 70707-2_zpse5043a43.png

    70708 Hive Crawler

     photo 70708one_zps2225c156.png

    Lego.com description:

    Stop the Hive Crawler from laying eggs and save the galaxy!

    The alien mantizoid is on a mission across the galaxy in the creepy Hive Crawler with moving legs. Stop it from laying insectoid eggs and spreading the alien threat! Deploy Galaxy Squad red team leader Billy Starbeam and his robot sidekick in the split-function hero speedster! Dodge the double-rotating venom guns, razor-sharp legs and pinching mouth! Then launch a deadly double attack by splitting the hero speedster into a sky speeder for air assaults and a planet speeder for ground combat. Don’t let the insectoid eggs hatch! Includes 2 insectoids and 3 minifigures with weapons and accessories: red team leader Billy Starbeam, robot sidekick and an alien mantizoid.

    •  Includes 2 insectoids and 3 minifigures with weapons: red team leader Billy Starbeam, robot sidekick with jetpack and an alien mantizoid
    •  Features an egg launcher, 2 hatching eggs containing 1 flying and 1 crawling insectoid, razor-sharp moving legs, rotating laser guns, a pinching mouth and an opening cockpit with space for a minifigure
    •  Hero speedster features detachable blasters and splits into a cool sky speeder and a planet speeder
    •  Weapons include 2 blasters and 4 blades
    •  Stop the Hive Crawler from launching the eggs and hatching the creepy insectoids!
    •  Activate the split function for double the fighting power!
    •  Push the Hive Crawler and make the legs move!
    •  Measures over 5" (14cm) high, 13" (34cm) long and 11" (30cm) wide
    •  Hero speedster measures over 1" (4cm) high, 6" (16cm) long and 3" (8cm) wide
    •  Sky speeder measures over 1" (3cm) high, 0.5" (2cm) long and 2" (7cm) wide
    •  Planet speeder measures over 1" (4cm) high, 5" (14cm) long and 1" (5cm) wide

    Eightbrick's Analysis: Here we have 70708 Hive Crawler. Again, poor Billy of the reds ends up with only a tiny speeder to work with in his fight against his enemies. That enemy being a impressive queen-insect type vehicle with a massive bulb-shaped abdomen. The set was on display at my Lego store one time I went in for demonstration and it seemed quite a few kids (and parents) were impressed by the legs that move as it is rolled along, turrets, and catapult that can sling pink eggs with larvae inside (seems like a pretty dumb battle tactic, hurling your undeveloped children at your foes - I guess that's where the naughty ones go). The designer of the set did a top notch job creating a fun play set while still keeping with the spirit of the theme.

    The set is suffering a -30% CAGR right now, and it doesn't look like it has a bright future. It has some rarer figures (albeit not many), but isn't a very good value for money at MSRP. It is only out of respect for the designer's genius in maximizing the play features that I give it a 4% CAGR prediction. It's a kick-butt set, but definitely steer clear at retail.

     photo 70708-2_zpsc788a0f1.png

     70709 Galactic Titan

     photo 70709one_zps5c1793d3.png

    Lego.com description:

    Defeat the alien caterpillar and hive tower in the final battle!

    Send in blue team leader Solomon Blaze to exterminate the creepy alien caterpillar and hive tower! Only the split-function Galactic Titan can stop the alien army from hatching more eggs. Rescue blue team pilot Max Solarflare from his cocoon prison! Move the Galactic Titan into position with its rubber quad tracks, rotate the double shooter into position and fire at the creepy caterpillar! First, disable its moving joints and dangerous pinching jaws! Then initiate the Galactic Titan’s split function to deploy the deep space destroyer with removable cockpit, rotating wings and flick missiles. Use it to destroy the hive tower’s insectoid egg shooter and cocoon prison. Defeat the alien bugs once and for all in this fierce final battle! Includes a flying insectoid and 5 minifigures with weapons: blue team leader Solomon Blaze, robot sidekick, Max Solarflare, an alien mosquitoid and a mantizoid.

    •  Includes a flying insectoid and 5 minifigures with weapons: blue team leader Solomon Blaze, robot sidekick, Max Solarflare, an alien mosquitoid and a mantizoid
    •  Features opening cockpit with control panels, quad rubber tracks, fully rotating double shooter, small radar, weapons rack and space for a cocoon
    •  Splits into a planetary defender and a deep space destroyer
    •  Planetary defender features double rotating shooters and radar
    •  Deep space destroyer features removable, detailed cockpit, rotating wings and wing-mounted flick missiles
    •  Alien caterpillar features moving body sections, pinching jaws function with space for an insectoid egg, and space for a cocoon and minifigure on its back
    •  Hive tower features insectoid egg-shooter function with egg, cocoon prison and a weapon rack with 2 alien sonic guns
    •  Activate the split function for double the fighting power!
    •  Open the egg to hatch the insectoid!
    •  Rescue blue team pilot Max Solarflare from the cocoon prison!
    •  Take aim and fire the powerful double shooters!
    •  Measures over 5" (14cm) high, 12" (32cm) long and 6" (17cm) wide
    •  Planetary defender measures over 5" (14cm) high, 11" (29cm) long and 6" (17cm) wide
    •  Deep space destroyer measures over 4" (11cm) high, 9" (24cm) long and 8" (22cm) wide
    •  Alien caterpillar measures over 1" (3cm) high, 10" (26cm) long and 2" (7cm) wide
    •  Hive tower measures over 3" (8cm) high, 5" (15cm) wide and 4" (12cm) deep

    Eightbrick's Analysis: The largest set of the line and the theme, 70709 gives space fans the proper flagship that they missed out on last line. Not only does it deliver a large double-cannoned tank-shuttle for the good guys, but it gives the baddies a hive outpost to hang in. The alien caterpillar is a minor let down when other sets have much more interesting bugs. It does contain one of the newer aliens and is ripe with play features but the blue vehicle is pretty eyesore (plus it seems like the blue guys are over-represented in the theme). A flagship, yes, but not the grand hurrah we were looking for as the theme comes to a close.

    Honestly I'm at a loss regarding a value prediction for this set. On one hand, it is the largest set of the theme, which should theoretically put it as #1 on the wishlist of Galaxy Squad fans, but then again stumbling space themes aren't healthy pastures for large sets; take recent failures such as 7066 Earth Defense HQ or 5974 Galactic Enforcer for examples. Currently it's sitting at a CAGR of -31%. It feels a bit messy and is slightly disappointing, so the classic spaceship coming out in the Lego Movie theme will likely steal a lot of the set's thunder. All things considered, I'll give this guy a boring 0% 5-year prediction. It will surely fluctuate over the years, but I don't expect it to journey far from MSRP in it's interstellar travels.  photo 70709-2_zps2aea5b44.png

    30230 Mini Mech

     photo 30230one_zpse45877f0.png

    No Lego.com description (promotional item).

    Eightbrick's Analysis:

    This little guy was available at Target and Walmart for short periods in 2013, and was also a Lego.com reward for customers who purchased over a specific limit (in August or September, I believe). I actually like it better than its counterpart 30231, as a (extremely junior) polybag collector it seems a bit more imaginative and substantial than a guy and a bug. Conflict isn't necessary (and often missing) in small promo items, and I think the mech, with four moving legs and two lasers is quite nice. The fact that is less rare than 30231 has worked against it (it has a 24% CAGR compared to 30231's 59%), but I think it has room to healthily grow, and wouldn't be surprised to see it only drop to 15% CAGR over 5 years.  photo 30230-2_zps7fe975fb.png

    30231 Space Insectsoid

     photo 30231one_zpsb088754f.png

    No Lego.com description (promotional item).

    Eightbrick's Analysis:

    The second Galaxy Squad promotional polybag, this one was only available from Toys R Us. The insectoid provides some conflict that action themes feed off, but it came out a bit bulky and strange. That said, the green team seems more popular than orange and the limited availability has propelled it to a CAGR of 59%. I'll cut that number in three to get a five year CAGR estimate of 20%. If you could get it with a TRU deal such as BOGO50%, it's not a half bad investment - if you don't mind working with small sets.

     photo 30231-2_zps41227f24.png


     photo GSW2_zps18c2b9a1.png

    It's hard to exactly pinpoint what went wrong with this theme. I think inter-competition with other themes was a big chunk of it, not only with Star Wars but with all fantasy/action themes including Ninjago, Chima, pretty soon the Lego Movie, etc. For those wondering, yes this is the final line as no new sets have been reported, it was advertised as the "final battle", and the line hasn't been selling well. I think they gave it a good effort (considerably more than Alien Conquest), but perhaps today's market just doesn't have room for a home-grown space theme. I wouldn't touch anything from the theme with a ten foot pole at retail (except maybe the polybags), and would advise you all to do the same. Catastrophe? Not exactly. It's not worthy of the drama that accompanies a disaster. It's more of a quiet, uneventful, failure.

    Thanks for reading.

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