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  • JABBA THE HUTT LEGO SETS: "Prized" investments or Bantha Fodder?

    Ed Mack

    Jabba Desilijic Tiure...AKA...Jabba the Hutt.  The biggest Alien slug this side of Tatooine.  But are the LEGO sets designed around this "festering, mountainous pustule"worth anything on the LEGO secondary market?  Are the older Jabba LEGO sets "sluggish" when financial growth and appreciation are concerned, or are they a worthwhile investment, "prized" by LEGO investors and collectors?  Also, how does the recent Turkish Mosque incident affect the new Jabba the Hutt LEGO sets...if at all?  Let's begin by looking at the first generation Jabba sets.


      I was never a huge Jabba the Hutt fan to be quite honest.  Out of all the STAR WARS characters that played somewhat major roles in the films, Jabba and Jar Jar Binks ran neck and neck in the least likeable category for STAR WARS characters in my opinion.  That being said, as an avid collector of STAR WARS LEGO sets, I did purchase the original four Jabba-related LEGO sets years back and stored them away.  Fast forward a few years and I noticed these rather simple and uninspiring STAR WARS LEGO sets(One can make a case about the Sail Barge being an interesting set) were appreciating very well.  Take a look at the chart below of the four original Jabba LEGO sets:



    Set Name Set # Pieces (MiniFigs) Launch Year MSRP (US$) Current Price (US$) Current ROI (%) High Price (US$) (Date) High ROI (%) CAGR(%)

    Jabba's Message
    4475 46(3) 2003 6.99 34.59 394.85 49.85 6/2012 614.59 17.35

    Jabba's Prize
    4476 40(2) 2003 6.99 35.86 413.02 49.35 4/2012 606 17.76

    Jabba's Palace
    4480 231(4) 2003 29.99 140.48 368.42 209.35 3/2012 598.06 16.7

    Jabba's Sail Barge
    6210 781 2006 74.99 326.3 335.12 406.57 5/2012 442.16 23.38

    The first three Jabba sets were released in the same year and were meant to work together as a set.  As stated earlier, these sets were very basic and besides a couple interesting minifigures like Bib Fortuna, a half naked Princess Leia, and a fat maxifigure named Jabba, there wasn't much to get LEGO investors and collectors excited.  Yet, these three small sets exploded in growth and averaged around 600% ROI(Return on Investment) at their high water mark.  Maybe it was the uniqueness of the Jabba character or their low cost, whatever the reason, these three sets ended up being quite profitable to those LEGO fans that owned them.  Three years later, the Jabba Sail Barge was released and replicated the Sarlacc monster scene, quite well I may add.  The Sail Barge was realistic and had 800 pieces and 8 minifigures, which is great for a $75 set.  It made for a very nice display set...and play set.  This Jabba set also did very well, exhibiting over 400% ROI at its high point.  The point I am trying to make is that the first version of the Jabba the Hutt sets did quite well in the secondary LEGO market, even being somewhat ordinary.  They have peaked in value from the looks of it, but you cannot scoff at a 600% Return on Investment for three of the four sets and even the Sail Barge returned 400% growth.  Will this translate to the newer remakes of the sets that  are still available today?  And how will the potential early retirement of the new 9516 Jabba's Place affect its future value and the other new Jabba sets?  Let's take a look at the four new Jabba the Hutt-related sets:  


    Set Name Set # Pieces (MiniFigs) Launch Year MSRP (US$) Current Price (US$) ROI One Month (%) ROI Six Month (%) ROI Total (%) CAGR(%)
    Desert Skiff 9496 213(4) 2013 19.99 26.4 11.25 2.68 5.64 5.64


      LEGO S@H DESCRIPTION: Escape from the jaws of the Sarlacc aboard the Desert Skiff! Hovering over the deadly Sarlacc Pit, Luke prepares to meet his fate aboard the Desert Skiff. Will he be made to walk the plank and be eaten by the ferocious Sarlacc? Or will his friend Lando Calrissian help him escape the clutches of the renowned bounty hunter, Boba Fett? You decide! Includes 4 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett and Kithaba.  

    • Includes 4 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Lando Calrissian, Boba Fett and Kithaba
    • Features Desert Skiff and Sarlacc Pit
    • Desert Skiff features retractable plank, flick missile and weapons locker
    • Sarlacc Pit features opening mouth large enough to fit a minifigure
    • Also includes 4 blasters, Lightsaber and axe
    • Escape the jaws of the Sarlacc!
    • Overpower Boba Fett and Kithaba!
    • Fire the missile!
    • Desert Skiff measures over 1" (5cm) high and 9" (24cm) long
    • Sarlacc Pit measures over 3" (10cm) high and 3" (9 cm) wide

    BRICKPICKER ANALYSIS: While not a Jabba set per se, the Desert Skiff plays an important role in the Sarlacc Pit scene in the Return of the Jedi, along with Jabba and his sail barge.  Unlike the older 6210 Jabba's Sail Barge, which included the Desert Skiff and Sarlacc monster, these new sets separate the new 75020 Jabba's Sail Barge and Desert Skiff into two distinct sets.  If you want to complete the scene, you need the 9496 Desert Skiff to do so.  As for the set itself, I really like the set.  With over 200 pieces and 4 quality minifigures, the set is a decent deal at $25.  What's even better is this set gets discounted quite frequently around the $17-$20 range, so buy multiples of this set if possible.  It is quite a value and is an excellent LEGO set for the novice LEGO investor or investor with limited funds.  

    Set Name Set # Pieces (MiniFigs) Launch Year MSRP (US$) Current Price (US$) ROI One Month (%) ROI Six Month (%) ROI Total (%) CAGR(%)
    Rancor Pit 75005 380(4) 2013 59.99 58.14 -10.84 N/A -3.08 -3.08

      LEGO S@H DESCRIPTION: Help Luke escape the clutches of the mighty rancor! Build a famous scene from Star Wars™: Episode VI Return of the Jedi™ with this stackable set! Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is trapped in the Rancor™ Pit beneath Jabba the Hutt’s Palace and must escape. Look for a way out before the gate lifts and the mighty rancor makes an entrance! Battle the rancor with the bone before he eats the Gamorrean guard. Then, find the hidden compartment with a secret key or drop the gate on the space beast before it’s too late! Combine with LEGO® Star Wars™ 9516 Jabba’s Palace for a stackable scene with a trapdoor into the Rancor Pit! Includes rancor, skeleton and 3 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Malakili and Gamorrean Guard.  


    • Includes rancor, skeleton and 3 minifigures: Luke Skywalker, Malakili and a Gamorrean guard
    • Features opening gate, secret room and hidden compartment
    • Rancor features movable arms, jaw, hands and fingers
    • Accessories include bone, 2 keys, pitchfork and a bucket
    • Find the hidden key in the secret compartment!
    • Open the gate or smash it down onto the rancor!
    • Collect the first-ever LEGO® Star Wars™ rancor creature!
    • Rancor Pit measures over 6" (16cm) high, 7" (19cm) wide and 7" (20cm) deep
    • Combine with LEGO Star Wars™ 9516 Jabba’s Palace for a stackable scene with trapdoor into the Rancor Pit!
    • Rancor stands over 3" (10cm) tall

    BRICKPICKER ANALYSIS: The Rancor Pit is a rather interesting set.  By itself, it almost looks incomplete, but in tandem with the 9516 Jabba's Palace, it makes for a rather unique and wonderful play and display LEGO set(s).  Taking a look at just the Rancor Pit set, one would be rather unimpressed as a whole.  Besides the awesome Rancor monster maxifigure and a somewhat cool Malakili minifigure, the rest of the set is rather uninspiring in my opinion.  With almost 400 pieces, it's not a real value for $59.99 and looks unfinished by itself.  There are some cute features like the skeleton and large gate that slides up and down, but otherwise, it's nothing special...until you match it with the 9516 Jabba's Palace.  Then, the Rancor Pit shines and becomes a must buy.  The combined 75005/9516 is quite an impressive display together...and very playable at the same time.  From an investment standpoint, I consider the Rancor Pit and Jabba's Palace as one unit and plan to market them that way in the future.  For every Jabba's Palace I own, I also own a Rancor Pit.  With all the recent activity with a possible early EOL for the Jabba's Palace, you have to wonder  about the future of this set as well.  Maybe an earlier EOL for this set is a possibility.  Regardless, see if you can pick one up at a discount.  I have seen them in the low $50 range.  Overall, a must have for any STAR WARS LEGO fan or LEGO investor.  

    Set Name Set # Pieces (MiniFigs) Launch Year MSRP (US$) Current Price (US$) ROI One Month (%) ROI Six Month (%) ROI Total (%) CAGR(%)

    Jabba's Palace
    9516 717(9) 2012 119.99 86.62 -8.16 -27.34 -27.81 -27.81

      LEGO S@H DESCRIPTION: Rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt's desert palace! At Jabba's Palace™ on Tatooine, Princess Leia is disguised as Boushh as she and Chewbacca try to rescue the carbonite-frozen Han Solo. Can she get past the roof-mounted missiles, defense guns and surveillance equipment to reach them? Or will Jabba and his motley band of followers capture the princess and entrap her beneath Jabba's sliding throne? Includes 9 minifigures: Jabba, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Gamorrean Guard, Oola, Han Solo, Princess Leia in Boushh outfit, Chewbacca and B'omarr Monk.  

    • Includes 9 minifigures: Jabba, Salacious Crumb, Bib Fortuna, Gamorrean Guard, Oola, Han Solo, Princess Leia in Boushh outfit, Chewbacca and B'omarr Monk
    • Features sliding throne with trap door and hidden treasure, entrance gate with movable guns, flick missile on detachable roof and detachable watchtower
    • Also includes Han Solo in carbonite, handcuffs and Jabba's water pipe
    • Weapons include medium blaster, blaster pistol, blaster rifle, thermal detonator, axe and Boushh's lance blade
    • Jabba the Hutt features poseable head, body and arms!
    • Avoid the trap door!
    • Release Han from his carbonite prison!
    • Jabba's Palace™ measures over 9" (25cm) high, 11" (29cm) wide and 7" (19cm) deep

    BRICKPICKER ANALYSIS: WOW...What can you say about this set that hasn't been discussed over the recent Turkish Mosque incident?  Let's rewind for a minute and take a look at this set before the recent activity.  The 9516 Jabba's Palace was a remake of the much smaller 4480 Jabba's Palace, that was released in 2003.  Not only was the older Jabba's Palace smaller, it was just very basic and inaccurate, unlike the new 9516 which is a very close replica(Maybe too close...LOL) to the movie structure and characters.  Yet, even with its shortcomings, the 4480 Jabba's Palace appreciated very, very well...exhibiting almost 600% growth from retail to its peak on March of 2012!  In comparison, the new Jabba's Palace is very well done, with accurate and creative minifigures and a structure that is a very close depiction of the movie Jabba's Palace.  So will this set appreciate like the older version?  Who knows?  But I really like the set on numerous levels, even standing alone...and I REALLY like the set when built in combination with the 75005 Rancor Pit.  I like the future of this set(s), even without the most recent rumors of a premature retirement and feel that regardless of the EOL outcome of the set, future growth in the LEGO secondary market will be strong to very strong.  

    Set Name Set # Pieces (MiniFigs) Launch Year MSRP (US$) Current Price (US$) ROI One Month (%) ROI Six Month (%) ROI Total (%) CAGR(%)

    Jabba's Sail Barge
    75020 850(6) 2013 119.99 NOT YET RELEASED


    BRICKPICKER ANALYSIS: There is not any definitive points I can make on the set yet because it has not been released, but from the looks of the current pictures available, the newer Jabba's Sail Barge looks smaller.  Even though the piece count is higher, it looks like less large brown plates were used to reproduce the ship in the similar manner as the older 6210 Sail Barge, thus using more smaller pieces but a smaller model.  Also missing from the set is the Desert Skiff and Sarlacc Monster from the earlier version, along with a couple of minifigures.  A simple solution to this would be to combine the 9496 Desert Skiff with this set to complete the scene.  As with the new Jabba's Palace and Rancor Pit combo, I feel the combination of the new Jabba's Sail Barge and Desert Skiff is a winner from a build and investment standpoint.  Even though the set looks slightly inferior in some ways, I still see strong future growth for this set.

      You've come a long way, baby...and that's how I feel about the remakes of the Jabba the Hutt LEGO sets.  Taking the whole Turkish Mosque situation out of the Jabba's Palace potential in the secondary LEGO market value, I see a very solid future for this set and the others in the category.  Before the rumors of early EOL, I was already buying multiples of Jabba's Palace and the Rancor Pit to package together for future resale.  I love the remake.  I love the combination of the two.  Just a wonderful display and play set(s).  The new Jabba's Palace is a 99.99% improvement over the original.  The Rancor Pit only sweetens the deal in my opinion.  The Rancor maxifigure is one bad @$$ figure and the combination of the two sets works flawlessly.  Another big plus is the improved Jabba maxifigure, which is leaps and bounds better than the old one.  As for the new Sail Barge, it is probably a push when compared to the older set.  Both are quality sets.  Throw in the Desert Skiff with the new Sail Barge and you have another winning combination that will undoubtedly do well in the future investment market.

      Now throw in the potential early EOL and unique story of the Jabba's Palace and you have the makings of a superb investment.  As of this writing, the set was still in stock at many major retailers, including LEGO S@H and Amazon.com, so you can still buy one at MSRP.  Whether or not you will see $88 prices for this set again, I cannot say, but even at retail prices, these sets, when matched up together, could be very profitable in the future.  You saw the madness on a small scale when the Jabba's Palace was hard to find, imagine what will happen when and if LEGO pulls the proverbial plug on the set.  You also have to take into consideration the future of the Rancor Pit if Jabba's Palace is not there to complete the package.  Does that go to an early grave as well?  At this juncture, it's hard to pinpoint an approximate EOL date besides The LEGO Group's late 2013 notification.  The less time on the primary market, the more valuable the set will eventually become.  My personal opinion on the claim of racial and religious undertones of the set is much ado about nothing.  All LEGO did was reproduce the actual STAR WARS movie structure in a very accurate manner.  If anyone needs to shoulder some blame for insulting Muslims and their religion, maybe George Lucas needs to step forward.  It's really the design and characters of Lucas that is causing a stir, but as I said before, it is a minor issue and I don't believe any harm was meant from any party involved.

      So, any way you slice it, the Jabba the Hutt sets are potential big winners in my book.  Like their earlier versions, these new Jabba sets should do very well when they are eventually retired...maybe even before they are retired as illustrated by the shortages and high eBay auction prices of recent days.  Although Jabba is one unsavory and unattractive character, his LEGO sets are top notch and very attractive as potential investments.  If you haven't bought a Jabba's Palace and Rancor Pit, do so.  You never know when the EOL timer runs out...  




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