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    Brickpicker blog articles on LEGO investing, news, reviews, evaluations, discounts and more...
    • thoroakenfelder
      After The Force Awakens was released, I looked at the available first wave sets and felt something was missing. To me, the Luggabeast conspicuously absent. Sure, Unkar Plutt was missing, but I wasn't really missing him. When I heard that this set was coming, I got excited. When I saw the preliminary images, I cried out as loud as any other about how bright the blue was. Upon further research, I saw that the blue was right. The Luggabeast shown in the film had a lot of bright blue, but most of it was heavily scratched and marred. It's hard to have the mottled look in LEGO, so they simplified it by going blue. I think it's time now to review and see how well LEGO accomplished the feel of Jakku. 

      Set #: 75148
      Name: Encounter on Jakku
      Theme: Star Wars
      Parts: 530
      Price: $59.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 5 numbered baggies,2 plastic "sails" and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: The first thing that you do is start building the body of the Luggabeast.

      I just want to point out the new parts 2x2 wedge in dark azure. There's a lot of dark azure pieces on  this build. Many of them are rare or unique.

      You round out the bottom of the beast It's fairly blocky, but I think that fits since the creature looked half mechanical and half organic.

      I guess you could call this the saddle?

      Bag 1 ends with only half a luggabeast. You do get your Teedo, but he only wants this set for spare parts.

      BAG 2: Introduces the new leg molds. You jus t peg some random kibble on them and slot them on, nothing really fancy, so I didn't show that.

      Now you build the basic shape of the head. It doesn't look like much now, but you're going to just slap some decorative panels on it anyway.

      More medium azure here. Check out the decorated piece.

      Use a couple whips to represent hoses or cables or something.

      Finally, you slot the head on. There's not really a lot of interesting techniques here. I think the end result is fine, but nothing in it to really excite.

      BAG 3: So, we're building a structure. No matter how big of a structure it is or if it is even a full one, we need a foundation. If it's a Star Wars structure, you need to build in stuff like slotted bricks and levers from the beginning. After all, you have to have play features, right? 

      I'm not sure if that's a counter to transact on or a table to clean junk on, either way, it's just more there to provide visual appeal than serviceability.

      I like that you use ladder pieces over the windows to create a security gate effect.

      A wrench appears, so it must be for taking apart junk to get to the good bits. Plus, now we have a hidden pistol.

      Unkar Plutt's base  of operations is a ramshackle affair, probably made out of a crashed ship or cargo crate. If we're going for a junk heap, well it's looking pretty good.

      BAG 4: We start another part of the structure, this time with a lot of slopes. It's interesting to me how much Dark Orange is used in here. This is a color that I don't feel like I see much of.

      Another window, this time with the typical bar arrangement. Maybe this is where you receive your meager portions. (meagre for British and Canadian readers.)

      Snap the 2 structures together with a hinge. You can see where Unkar keeps his riches. Lots of past date ration pouches in that safe.

      Finish up your walls and you can close up shop. I didn't really look to see what it looks like with Unkar in there. It seems pretty small, but if he's anything like the owner of the comic shop I used to go to, he never moves and only needs a small area.

      This upper platform isn't used for anything, except maybe to provide shade under the glare of Jakku's sun.

      Bag 5: I'm not sure if we are creating a walkway or a waiting area. It looks a lot like a disused Egyptian explorers set.

      You put together an arch, you can see some of the junk that wasn't good enough for Unkar Plutt here.

      Snap your new creation onto the previous larger structure. Notice the Battle Droid legs, those are supposed to be there.

      Look, more Battle Droid parts. There's even another arm in that box on the left. Actually that torso in dark orange is not common. You also attach the sail/awning, Unkar Plutt doesn't want anyone to suffer heat stroke. Our heroes Rey and BB-8 are here too.

      I like the way this set looks. I'll keep it together on my shelf for a while. It definitely represents the scene(s) in the movie. Is it accurate? Weeeeell, more or less. It's more the parts your brain fills in than the specific details that put you in the scene. I'm amused by the Battle Droid parts scattered all over. I would have thought those junkers would have rusted out long before. This set contains a lot of colors that you don't normally see. There's a lot of medium azure, a lot of tans and dark tans and some dark oranges. I would think that even if you didn't want the set for yourself, it's a good parts warehouse.
      I actually really like the Luggabeast. If nothing else, I am pretty glad that I got the set just for that. I might modify it a bit at some point by throwing some light grey or tan pieces on the blue, but overall it looks very satisfying.

      The minifigure selection is good. Rey and BB-8 both are reissues. These figures have both appeared in several sets, Rey in 3 and BB-8 in 4. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if fatigue starts to set in on them, especially now that their keychains have also been released.
      I thought for sure that Teedo was portrayed by a little person. I thought that this figure should have short legs. With that having been said, this figure looks nice. The decoration is well done even if it does remind me of a Tusken Raider figure that I had as a kid. The head is a nice new mold. But Teedo is not the star of this set.
      The star of this set is Unkar Plutt. Actually, he's not my favorite looking of the four. He is however the minifigure that is most wanted. The head/body piece is well executed, except I feel that the paint job is too simplistic. The character doesn't look like anything so much as a blob with eyes. Maybe that's an accurate representation of the character though.

      I don't think LEGO is going to be revisiting Jakku again anytime soon. They may get to it in 5 years or so. I just don't think there will be a lot of motivation on their part with new movies every year. Will that lead to it being worth more because it's not being remade, or will it languish because the scenes depicted are not super important? Either way, this set is begging to be paired with Rey's Speeder and, if you can swing it, the Unkar's Brute minifigure from that book. Look for discounts on Amazon.
      You get a lot of the small pieces that you usually see. Plus you get an extra sail thing. I'm not sure why you need an extra one, but there it is.

      Please take a look at the other Star Wars Reviews:
      #75060 Slave I (click here) #75078 Imperial Troop Transport (click here) #75085 Hailfire Droid (click here) #75087 Anakin's Starfighter (click here) #75092 Naboo Starfighter (click here) #75094 Shuttle Tyderium (click here) #75100 Snowspeeder (click here) #75101 Tie Fighter (click here) #75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter (click here) #75103 First Order Transporter (click here) #75109 Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure (click here) #75125 Resistance X-Wing Fighter Microfighter (click here) #75127 The Ghost Microfighter (Click here) #75131 Resistance Trooper Battle Pack (click here) #75132 First Order Battle Back (click here) #75133 Rebel Alliance Battle Pack (click here) #75134 Galactic Empire Battle Pack (click here) #75135 Obi-Wan's Jedi Interceptor (click here) #75136 Droid Escape Pod (click here) #75137 Carbon-Freezing Chamber (click here) #75139 Battle on Takodana (click here) #75141 Resistance Troop Transporter (click here) #75148 Encounter on Jakku (click here) #75150 Vader's TIE Advanced vs. A-Wing (Click Here)

    • Quacs
      According to this Lego Ideas blog entry, the approved Lego Ideas Adventure Time set is nearly complete!  Here's a quick glance at the set:

      The set will be number 21308, and include 495 bricks with an MSRP of $49.99.
      Per the blog entry, seven brick built characters will be included in the set: Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Lady Rainicorn, Marceline, BMO, Gunter and Ice King.  Compare this to the originally approved Ideas entry:

      Even though there are fewer characters, the ones in the approved set appear to be slightly more detailed than the original entry.
      This new set is much different than the Lego Dimensions packs that are set to be released with Dimensions' second series.  They include Adventure Time minifigures and micro-builds, all shown here:

      It looks like a lot of Lego Adventure Time is coming your way in the near future.  What are your thoughts on the new theme?  Be sure to comment below.

    • Quacs
      The Lego Group has revealed the first of their 2016 San Diego Comic Con minifigure giveaways: a new "Hydra-devoted" Captain America minifigure! This minifigure celebrates the heel turn of one of Marvel fans' favorite heroes.  More information on the giveaway can be found at Entertainment Weekly.
      What do you think of the new minifigure?  Please share your thoughts in the comments.


    • jaisonline
      If Walmart's $139.99 TIE fighter sale wasn't enough, here's an even better discount.  Amazon.com has discounted the set by 37% to $125.99 for Prime members.
      An additional $30 can be saved by using the Amazon Rewards Visa credit card during check-out.  

      Click the link below for more information.

      For more Brickpicker information about this set and more Lego deals, please view the Forum topics below.


    • jaisonline
      Hey Lego fans, boy does Brickpicker have great news to share today!
      Walmart.com is throwing a "Throwback Thursday" sale like it's 2013.  Walmart's online website is currently selling the $199.99 Lego 75095-1 Star Wars UCS Tie Fighter set for only $139.99 with free shipping!  That is a 30% discount.  We haven't seen a sale like this for an Exclusive set in "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".
      Click the link below to save money on a fine Lego set.
      Regarding the Investment potential,  the Tie-Fighter is an iconic Star Wars ship.  The ship's status alone will help it's Lego version perform better than even less popular UCS Set such as the 10127 B-Wing.  10127 is now selling for $300 on eBay.  This is not a bad price for a set which was heavily discounted in 2013 (many sets sold for $99.99 and $160 at retail). 

      For more Brickpicker information about this set and more Lego deals, please view the Forum topics below.



    • thoroakenfelder
      Sometimes I get random sets if I find them cheap enough. Usually they are broken down for parts, and the minifigures are sold off to defray the costs. I don't usually think much about those sets if they don't fit in with the themes that I collect. My kids have taken to watching Ninjago over and over on Netflix. I happened to have a few Ninjago sets and let them have a couple. They love them. I thought I would take a moment to look at one of the remaining sets that I have. Are the builds fun? Is there more to it than I would expect? Well, I have reviewed a Batman set with a pair of motorcycles in it fairly recently. That should give me an idea of what to expect, similar size, similar part count and price point. I am almost expecting it to be the same set in different colors.

      Set #: 70600
      Name:Ninja Bike Chase
      Theme: Ninjago
      Parts: 231
      Price: $19.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 2 numbered baggies, a sticker sheet, and 2 instruction books. Each book corresponds to a bag and a build.

      BAG 1: There really wasn't much about this build to make it interesting other than the dude is flying on a rocket pack made from a garbage can. How menacing can that be. On the other hand, his sword is awesome. Really very happy with that weapon.

      You may not be able to see that he has a clear collar piece that attaches to the jet pack. Only one of his bombs fits in the garbage can, and he can't really hold the other one.

      Since you wasted so many parts making a lame glider jetpack the motorcycle has a simplified design. Batman wouldn't make a bike like this. Then again, he's Batman and Kai's a ninja that doesn't seem especially bright.

      The decals on the sides are mostly obscured, but whatever, they're decals. I have to say tat I do love the big chunky tires, but I wish there was more to it. It really makes me appreciate the Batbike.

      I didn't mention it before, but you also make a killer 5 piece sword in this bag. According to the LEGO site it's a "translucent smoke-colored Djinn Blade with ‘trapped Cole’ element brick."  Yeah, I don't know the story behind that but that's 2 nifty swords and a regular katana. Maybe that makes up for the lameness of this motorcycle.

      BAG 2: It's time to tackle Nya's motorcycle. Her motorcycle starts out more complex than Kai's which makes me happy. It's also not a clone of the Batman bikes. So, again, happy.

      It maes sense that Nya's bike would be more complex because compared to the other Ninjas, she's a genius. She's like the Batman of Ninjago, which I guess is why she's going to be getting her own Batcave soon. Note: complex doesn't mean more difficult or interesting. This bike is more pieces, but not really something particularly fun to build.

      Ok, now you've got my attention. This girl apparently loves weapons. Her bike is decorated with or made out of 6 edged weapons. I bet all of her Barbies have scars.

      2 things to note: First, I like the design of the fanned fins. the look is interesting and it wasn't a configuration that I would have thought of at random. The other thing is that the axles aren't pegged into anything except the wheels. This free floating thing means that it doesn't have any stability. If you try to race the 2 motorcycles, you have no idea which direction Nya will wind up going. There really should be some bushing to keep the wheels from shifting too much. Also, I felt that the placement of the axle brackets made the vehicle ride too low. I'm thinking of flipping at leas one set to give more ground clearance.

      The final bike reminds me very strongly of a Speeder bike from Return of the Jedi. It doesn't really look like it, but it gives a good impression of one.

      Well, that set wasn't enough to turn my mind around on Ninjago. It did make me feel a bit better about the Gotham City Cycle Chase though. With 2 bags and 1 instruction book per bag, you could easily (except for the stickers) divide this set between 2 kids. It's fairly inexpensive and it's not terrible for kids to play with. It's not really going to shine when compared to the amazing large sets in Ninjago though.

      I wish the minifigures came with additional hairpieces. Nya and Kai desperately need to be able to be played with without masks. I do really like Nya's costume in dark red, but hate the azure mask accents. Kai is an angry young man with a scar. Both Ninja look good with their hoods on, but I'd just like a little more. The pirate's name is Sqiffy and honestly I feel like that says more than enough about the character. His costume looks dumb, he has a dumb name, and his expression looks more constipated than anything. 

      What can I say? People don't really invest in Ninjago. There's nothing about this set that calls out for it to be in demand later on. At this time, it's only about 3 months old and is already living with a 20% discount. Strangely, it's not actually currently being sold by Amazon. Every listing is third party. Could it have been only available for a short window to Amazon? I don't know how It works, but I would keep an eye out and see if it retires super early, if so, that might cause a loser to become a winner.
      Wow, for a small set, you get a lot of extra pieces. You get an extra Cole spirit token a sai, 2 katanas, Sqiffy's sword and an extra djinn blade. If that's not enough, there's enough pieces to make an extra bomb.

    • thoroakenfelder
      I loved the Captain America: Civil War movie. I loved the chance to get Giant-Man, Agent 13 and War Machine. I felt lukewarm about the chance to add another Iron Man and Captain America to my collection. Here was my chance to recreate the epic airport battle between 3 iconic super heroes and the 9 second-stringers that they brought along. (I say that with love since I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Hawkeye, Winter Soldier and Black Widow.) Wait, the packaging conveys so much depth of scene, but when you take away the graphic, what are you left with? Why couldn't Giant-Man have been released in a set similar to Hulk Buster? I need to look more in depth at this set to answer at least one question. 

      Set #: 76051
      Name: Super Hero Airport Battle
      Theme: Marvel Super Heroes
      Parts: 807
      Price: $79.99
      Some people may wind up picking up a set that is open box or, want to verify the box contents before beginning a build. For this set, there are 5 numbered baggies and a bag containing a sticker sheet, a comic book, and an instruction book.

      BAG 1: We start this large LEGO set with probably the biggest let down. It's a tiny LEGO car that feels like it would be more at home in a $6.99 City set, or maybe a polybag. To add insult to insult, you have to apply 2 stickers within 4 steps. I can understand that they feel that a small vehicle adds some value, but not to me. Especially when it looks like the Mighty Micro's inbred cousin. 

      It's a luggage mover, so it needs a trailer. Looks like someone jumped the gun and hitched the trailer without wheels.

      What makes a tiny baggage cart even less useful? a launching mechanism designed to fling the bags.

      I wanted to give you this view so that you could see the play feature lever that is soon to be hidden. You activate this particular play feature by shoving tiny Ant-Man into the mouse hole.

      You may recall that I take a strange sort of pleasure from pointing out the ubiquitous fire extinguishers in every Super Heroes set. Well, here it is. Wrench and fire extinguisher. Clearly the only tools you would ever need at the airport.   

      The entire front of the second level is missing, but with that lever set up, you can tell that it will be wall exploding time before too long. I guess it's fine that the luggage cart is so small since the people going to Wakanda, Socovia, and Bielund are only bringing briefcases. Iron Man and Agent 13 round out this bag.

      BAG 2: I didn't do a great job showing it here, but you fill in the wall on floor 2 in 2 chunks. I'm actually somewhat pleased with how that was done. So far that's the highlight of an unexciting tower.

      I was trying to show the computer screen stickers, but I don't think they really stand out, which is fine because they're just not that interesting anyway. I do like the window treatment.

      It really does look like a very short traffic control tower. It's kind of undersized for a major airport, but really, no one is buying this set for the traffic control tower or the luggage cart.

      Add some boxes from Stark Industries, Hammer Tech and A.I.M. as well as a gate, and you are done. Scarlet Witch and tiny Ant-Man round out bag 2. (You may be wondering why I am not talking about the characters. I'll get to them in the summary at the end.)

      BAG 3: The bag that everyone was waiting for. It honestly took me a minute to figure out what I was looking at here. I finally realized that the angles corresponded to the angled torso of your standard minifigure. It makes sense, since we are building Giant-Man (I looked it up, it is hyphenated. Stan Lee liked his hyphens unlike DC creators that just made compound words.)

      So, the Torso is not terribly complicated, you just need to add some bulk and attachment points while maintaining the roughly trapezoidal shape.

      The legs actually require much more work than the rest of Giant-Man. I didn't take any pictures of the build process of them because I was actually enjoying the process. I love how they use the slopes to approximate the curves of the minifigure legs. By the way, yes there are 7 stickers shown here. Sadly, there's still one more to come for this character.

      After the legs, the arms are way too simplistic and give a worse approximation of the smaller figure. Even the torso was more interesting to build than the arms.

      The inside of Scott Lang's head. 

      The face is printed. It's a good thing too, because I'd be pretty mad if I applied his face wrong. He's got a flip down mask. The mask is a sticker and for those of you with OCD I am sorry. I think I applied it upside down.

      After you complete the front of the head, you still have to try to make the back round, or roundish I guess. Maybe more round adjacent? It's round like. Anyway, don't forget to tack on the "ears" of the helmet.

      Ta Dah! Giant-Man. Just for giggles, they threw Captain America into this bag too.

      BAG 4: Here, we begin the Quinjet. I could derail myself here by talking about whether it is necessary to release a new Quinjet while last year's model is still filling shelves, but I am going to hold off until the wrap up.

      Strangely (to me that is) I realized at this point that I was actually liking the build of this Quinjet more than the 2015 version. It didn't have a big hollow body to accommodate a motorcycle and the techniques used were at least a little more varied.

      When I see these long technic bricks, it says action feature. It also says wing stability.

      Boom, action feature. Did I get something wrong though? Those stud shooters are facing backwards. No, it's right.

      The round brick is actually a knob that will cause the stud shooters to pop out on the bottom. Hooray action feature!

      I'd like to take a moment here to point out just how many pieces of Dark Blue are included in this set. I always like to see that color because I don't feel there's enough of it.

      Attach your wing and you're done with this bag. Winter Soldier's a little miffed that it's not flyable yet.

      Bag 5: I wanted to show off the new 2x2 wedge pieces that are used to fill in the internal structure of the wing.

      A lot of pieces stack to give the wings their unique shape.

      snap on the wing and add an engine.

      lots of rounded slopes to shape the body of the aircraft. It looks a little squat though.

      Don't forget wheels. You need wheels because LEGO planes don't really fly.

      You extend the wings and add a hatch on the back with a rope. There's no depth to the hold area because of those stupid cannons. Why you need a rope is sort of beyond me. Everyone that I have seen exit a Quinjet just sort of either walks out or jumps out.

      Slap on the cockpit cover and we're done. Don't forget War Machine.

      REACTION: Giant-Man is definitely the star. If not for him, there would be very little point to this set. The Ant-Man micro figure is nice to have (especially since you get 2 of him.) I'm really kind of irritated by the inclusion of the Quinjet though. It makes sense in that it does appear in the movie that this set is based upon, but it was a very minor part of this battle. Marvel Super Hero sets suffer from a lack of iconic vehicles and for better or worse, the Quinjet is one of the few. However, there's still a Quinjet on shelves from 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron sets.
      Too bad that almost every Super Hero set includes some version of a jet, a helicopter, a boat, a motorcycle or a jeep/truck and the horrible baggage vehicle would never suffice to fill the disappointing vehicle role. A lot of them also contain a disappointing partial building full of play features. I guess we get all the standard stuff. Disappointing plane and partial building to make the Giant-Man set an $80 set instead of a $30 one. I guess they needed to make it a big set in order to justify 6 minifigures. I would have preferred a regular plane that broke up into chunks that they could fight around. The Quinjet is the smallest one yet.

      For the minifigures, let's skim past Captain America. This is the same Captain America that they have been making since Age of Ultron. He's in 4 sets at present and will be soon appearing in a fifth.
      I talked about this Winter Soldier minifigure previously. Still love it though.
      Onto the wholly new and unique. I spun the wheel and landed on Agent 13. Sharon Carter is a character that long time Captain America fans know and if not love then tolerate. To me, the figure looks bad. It's just a weird looking outfit that either needed to be wholly uniform or civilian. It comes across as a mismatch. Plus her hair should be more blonde than strawberry. Her inclusion seems like a knee-jerk reaction to all the #wheresblackwidow from 2015. They included another woman in order to bring the number in this sub-subtheme to 3. (Don't even mention Maria Hill.)
      Scarlet Witch is a new costume including a cloth "skirt." The skirt makes the plain black pants somewhat acceptable. I'm not a fan of red eyes. Even though I tend to display my Super Hero minifigures with their scowl faces, I'm just not likely to with her.
      Iron Man is Iron Man. He's different from all other versions, but not in an interesting enough way to make him stand out. I doubt I could successfully pin an Iron Man to a set without looking up the subtle differences.
      War Machine is nice. I'm a lot happier with him than the silvery version released for Iron Man 3. all the kibble on his back overbalances him though. I hate the stupid giant stud shooter on his back. 
      Not pictured here is Ant-Man. Ant-Man isn't really a figure in my opinion. It's a nice representation of the character, but it's completely non pose-able and the detail is low.

      Keep checking Amazon for a likely standard 20% discount going forward. Giant-Man might be released again, and if he is, this set will tank. People are less likely to buy a knock off Giant-Man, so he's who you need to keep an eye on for any future viability of this set. I think people are getting tired of Captain America and Iron Man minifigures and none of the rest are good enough to prop up this set. No one wanted a smaller Quinjet, and if they did, another one is probably just around the corner. People have been parting out this set already, they'll probably redouble efforts when the mark downs come. I anticipate rate of growth to be low due to the bloated cost from all the chaff that was included.
      I thought I'd give you a few shots to compare the Giant/Ant-Men and the size of the Quinjet.

      the only real piece of note is the extra Microfigure of Ant-Man.

      If you like Super Hero sets, please check out these other reviews:
      76049 Avenjet Space Mission
      76065 Mighty Micros Captain America Vs. Red Skull
      76022 X-Men Vs. Sentinel
      76044 Clash of Heroes
      76037 Rhino and Sandman Supervillain Team-up
      76047 Black Panther Pursuit
      76050 Crossbones Hazard Heist
      DC Mighty Micros
      76053 Batman: Gotham City Cycle Chase
      76052 Classic Series Batcave

    • LEGOmaniacs
      Convention exclusive. The two words many LEGO collectors dread to hear and several investors become giddy over. To some, these highly exclusive sets with their limited availability can be the Holy Grail of a LEGO collection. They are extremely hard to obtain, and can be very expensive unless you are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
      In recent years as the popularity of LEGO has skyrocketed, these exclusive sets have become even more coveted. Retailing for just $40, they can be found at conventions such as the upcoming San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and Star Wars Celebration. These sets are small with very low piece counts (averaging around 200) when compared to the price tag. Yet, for investors lucky enough to obtain them, they are instantly worth at least two to five times retail price.   For LEGO investors, convention exclusives are easy money if you're looking for a quick flip. Especially they can be obtained directly from the LEGO booth for retail price. If your investment style is less "fast money" and more "buy and hold" these sets have traditionally seen incredible returns within 1-2 years of the convention as supply dries up and the sets become harder to get.   As is often the case, what is good for the investor is often bad news for the collector. For a LEGO collector such as myself, it can be a frustrating, difficult, and certainly expensive to obtain one of these sets. For the average collector, a convention exclusive will ever make their way into their collection and will forever remain on their list of dream sets. One need only look back one year to the summer of 2015 and the convention exclusives released San Diego Comic Con   At SDCC 2015 there were three exclusive sets released, all retailing for $40. One from the Marvel superheroes line, "SDCC2015-1: Throne of Ultron," one from Star Wars universe, "SDCC2015-2: Dagobah Mini Build," and one from the DC superheroes line, "SDCC2015-3: Action Comics #1 Superman." Every year when these sets go on sale over the course of the convention, before some sellers have even made their way through the winding lines up to the cashier at the LEGO booth, resellers are already listing them on sites like eBay, and Brick Classifieds. 2015 was no different and both Throne of Ultron and Dagobah Mini Build were being listed on eBay for between $100-$120, thee times the retail price. A 300% return on investment is amazing for any LEGO set and after 12 months these sets are still holding strong in the same price range but the prices are slow starting to climb and will probably be near $150 by the end of 2016.  But what about the third set to be released? How did Action Comics #1 Superman perform? If you were an investor who got this set for $40 or even $100 you were jumping for joy! This was my personal favorite set of the trio, and unfortunately for my wallet, I was not in the minority. Initially Action Comics #1 was selling for $180-$250, few sets ever reach five times their initial retail, let alone reaching that mile stone before the ink on the receipt had dried and it didn't stop there. It seems that with this set the sky is the limit and recent prices on eBay reflect that. For those investors who braved the crowds and the lines at last year's SDCC Action Comics #1 Superman has become one of the most valuable LEGO convention exclusive sets to date and has recently started selling for anywhere between $300 and $600! An amazing feat for any set; but when you take into account Action Comics #1's "low" $40 price tag and a piece count of just 145 this set's performance is truly astounding. Both investors and collectors may ask: "When is the best time to buy these convention exclusives?" Or "How can I avoid paying astronomical prices on the secondary market?" Obviously the best way is to head down to sunny San Diego and attempt to buy the sets right from the source; but since that isn't an option for most people, I have found that buying the set within the first few days of its release from people looking to do a quick flip can get you the best deal. After that initial rush when the market isn't nearly as flooded with sets, patience is key. Auctions can be a great way to save some money as they usually end a few dollars lower than if you were to pay a set price. Hover with auctions you run the risk of not having the winning bid. If you do decide to use the "Buy it Now" option on a site like eBay, be sure you research the going rate for the set and look out for unreasonably high shipping costs.  If you watch the secondary market closely, eventually you might get lucky and find the set of your dreams for a steal of a deal. I was lucky enough to find my dream set, Action Comics #1 Superman, for just under $170 by catching the listing right after it was listed.   With San Diego Comic Con just a few weeks away rumors of this year's convention exclusives are starting to swirl. Will you be traveling to Southern California to brave the crowds and lines for your chance at owning one of these highly coveted sets? What types of exclusive sets do you hope to see revealed this year? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned to Brickpicker for the latest news as we move closer to the convention. Never forget to clean the HTML code and double check your content before publishing an article!

    • Quacs
      According to a story by Andrew Paul, Contributing Writer to Comicbookresources.com, the next wave of DC Mighty Micros will be released January 2017, and include three new superhero/villain pairs:
      Batman vs. Killer Moth

      Superman vs. Bizarro

      Wonder Woman vs. Doomsday

      For more on this, check out the Comicbookresources.com story here.  Thoughts on the new pairings?  Please feel free to share in the comments section below.

    • thoroakenfelder
      Some people probably wonder if I'm averse to going outside the comfortable zone of Star Wars sets. There's a whole universe out there of LEGO themes and sets that have nothing to do with Star Wars or Super Heroes. Well, I wanted to start with the daddy of the modular sets, the one that began one of the most expensive (on average) series of sets out there.
      LEGO Modulars are an offshoot of the standard Creator line. Introduced in 2007, this sub-theme consists of large, detailed buildings targeted at adult collectors. The retail price tag of the sets and the 16+ age range tends to discourage the younger collectors. The very first set in the line was the Cafe Corner. This set was designed by Lego's Jamie Berard.  It retailed for $139.99 and contained 2,056 pieces. Current Brickpicker Price Guide Value shows a value of about $795 used or $1700 new in box. The used price of this set is more than 5.5x its original retail. The original retail price per brick was a fairly reasonable $.07, while now the value of the used bricks averages much closer to $.39 each.
      So, why not just make one out of the parts that your kid keeps leaving on the floor of the living room? I'm sure you'd love to save almost $800 plus shipping on this beautiful beast. The biggest problem are the parts involved. Not just any part will do. In a lot of cases, you're going to need far more of certain pieces than you are likely to have on hand. In other cases the parts involved are either unique to this set or in so few sets that the odds of you happening to have one are rare. If you were to buy a set used, you probably know what to look for there, but we'll take a look at some of those things so that people can be aware of what might have been substituted if the dealer is shady.
      So, 2056 parts listed on the box. Of those 2056 parts, the number of different element/color combinations is 259 including the 3 minifigures. The color palette is 17 colors dominated by dark and light bluish gray with tan, white, reddish Brown and Black filling in most of the remainder. I don't know about you, but to me that sounds about like what I would expect from a big building.
      Parts with Highest Occurrence:
      I'd like to take a look at what parts are most common in the set. These would be the fundamental building blocks what might say. Each of these pieces occurs 25 or more times. I had to pick a lower limit and 25 was it. This article is in no way a comprehensive parts list for the set, it is an analysis of what makes this set unique. For a complete inventory, I suggest the Bricklink reference catalogue. (Apologies for when the images do not match the color in inventory. We are using the basic element picture to represent the item from the set. Please pay attention to the color listed in your inventory.)
      The most common element in the set is Element 4070 Brick, Modified 1x1 with Headlight (Sometimes called an Erling Brick) in Reddish Brown. You need a massive 60 of these bricks. Bricklink shows an average of about $.12 each. Fortunately it's a fairly common part appearing in 109 sets.

      The next highest number of pieces in the set is Element 3069b Dark Bluish Gray Tile 1X2 With Groove. For 51 of these at almost $.08 each, You'll spend almost $4.00 but you could definitely average lower since this piece is even more common, appearing in 268 sets in all

      It's not deja vu, you need 45 reddish brown element 3069b Tile 1x2 with groove. This part appears in only 148 sets (I know, that's still a lot, but almost half as many as the previous entry.) so has a slightly higher average of just over $.10

      If you liked the 1x2 tiles, you'll go nuts over element 3068b Tile 2x2 with groove. This piece appears 45 times in this set in dark bluish gray. It has an average cost of $.14 and is fairly easy to find, appearing in 209 sets.

      Continuing the theme, you need 44 dark bluish gray 1x1 tiles with groove, element 3070b. This element appears in 141 sets and sells for about $.07 on average.

      A brick (break) from the pattern is 39 dark blue 1x2 brick element 3004. This part appears in 47 sets and has an average bricklink cost of about $.19 each.

      Element 4460b Slope 2x1x3 (Does anyone actually measure the degrees of slant?) in Dark Red appears 39 times. This piece appears in only 5 sets total and will cost you about $1 each. None of the other sets that contain this part have anywhere near the quantity that this set does. (This part should appear in the rare/unique section below, but I will be excluding the duplicate listing to avoid confusion. Just note that this part is both rare and the quantity required is high)

      You will also need 36 each (that's 72 in total) of white and light bluish gray tiles with groove, element 3070b. White appears in 293 sets and light bluish gray in 151 and they average $.06 and $.08 respectively.

      34 Dark Red Plate 1x1, element 3024, are next. It appears in 69 sets and has an average cost of $.08.

      After that, we're looking at 30 dark red element 3004 Brick 1x2. These run about $.07 on average and appear in 75 set

      I was thinking about how such a large set seems to have a high proportion of small pieces. How could you ever make something of any size with those. Well, here's something substantial, 29 light bluish gray 1x8 brick element 3008. This part appears in 104 sets and averages about $.27 each. You're looking at almost $8 there.

      White Plate 1x2 element 3023 is next with a count of 28. This piece is super common, appearing in 1126 sets. You could probably find all of these that you need for $.01-$.02.

      I'm glad that this next part is on the list. The standard bricks get sort of boring. 28 dark bluish gray brick 1x2 modified (log) element 3036 fills the need for variety. It appears in 93 sets and averages about $.05 each,

      27 is a magic number for 1x1 plate element 3024  because you need that many each of trans red and light bluish gray. For trans red, it appears in 485 sets and is easily found for $.01, while light bluish gray shows up in 218 sets and sells for about $.06.

      You will also need 25 reddish brown round brick 1x1, open stud element 3062b. It appears in 211 sets and averages $.04 each.

      Up next I'm going to again combine two into one. You need 25 each medium blue and dark bluish gray brick 1x2 element 3004. Medium Blue appears in 87 sets while Dark Bluish Gray shows up in 277. Both average about $.06 each

      In all, we have accounted for 625 pieces. That's about 30% of the set.
      Rare and expensive parts:
      Now that we have looked at the most numerous pieces in the set, let's take a look at the pieces that are hardest/most expensive to find. I am going to list these from most expensive to least expensive. (Note: Not every rare or unique part is expensive and not every expensive part is rare or unique. Just usually it is both.)
      The most expensive piece in the set is element 73435c01 light bluish gray Door 1 x 4 x 5 Right with Trans-Clear Glass. Bricklink says that it appears in 6 sets, but I dispute that since it shows the same set with an altered box. So, 5 sets. It averages close to $25, but if you're patient, you might get it for less. Just, be careful of scratches to the glass.

      Doors seem pretty pricey. The next most expensive part is a black Door 1 x 4 x 5 Right with 6 Panes, element 73312. It appears in one other set 4886 Building Bonanza. It's going to cost you close to $20

      This next piece surprised me. Mostly I think of element 3680 turntable 2x2 plate base as a common, cheap piece. When it comes to light bluish gray though, it appears in 11 sets (10 if we ignore that same duplicate city airport.) You can't find one for less than $9 right now, and you need 4 of them.

      Averaging more than $6.75 each, you need 4 Dark Blue pillar 1x1x6 solid pillar support, element 43888. This piece appears in 2 other sets 8894 Piraka Stronghold and 4981 The Chum Bucket.

      There are 5 white 2x4x3 window frames in this set. At an average cost of almost $6.50 element 4132 makes the list of rare parts by appearing in 10 sets.

      I remember that in the announcement video for 10235 Winter village market that they specifically pointed out element 3308 dark blue arch 1x8x2 as a rare piece that was in demand. You need one for this set and there's not a lot available for less than $5.50. It appears in a total of 5 sets.

      I never thought that the light bluish gray trash can with 2 cover holders was a hard to find piece. It seems like element 2439 usually appears in dark gray or dark bluish gray. In this color it appears in 5 sets and will probably cost you $5.

      You need 2 green 16x32 baseplate element 3857. It's not actually rare, appearing in 76 sets, but it is going to cost you about $4 each. (it is the only green piece in the set, maybe that's a definition of unique or rare?)

      Again, not super rare, because it appears in 25 sets, Element 2362b panel 1x2x3 with hollow studs in white is here more because of the average cost. It averages more than $4 and since you need 20 of them, it looks like you are going to need to make a bunch of orders because the only people carrying that quantity on bricklink are charging significantly over average.

      The white lamp post elment 2039 (2x2x7 with 6 base flutes) has appeared in every modular set. It was a trend started by 10182's Lego designer.  So, I can't really leave it out of my list. It appears once in this set. It's part of 21 sets and averages $3.50.

      Appearing in only 2 other sets 8893 Lava Chamber Gate and 10187 Volkswagen Beetle, element 2339 is fairly rare. Dark Blue brick arch 1x5x4 continuous bow averages close to $3.25 and you need 2 of them.

      Be careful with element 2546 dark bluish gray bird. It appears in 8 sets, whereas the older dark gray version appears in 29 sets. You can get the 4 that you need for about $1 each, but it'll be frustrating if someone sends you the older color by mistake.

      Bricklink shows element 3747a tan slope inverted 3x2 without connections between studs as part of this set which appears in a total of 4 sets. It lists the more common 3747b as an alternate while rebrickable only lists 3747b. The more common piece appears in 16 sets. The rarer piece averages about $1 each and the more common one about $.30. I wonder if only early issued sets had the a variant. either way, you need 2.

      You need 4 Dark Blue brick 2x2 corner element 2357. It appears in 9 sets. and averages about $.70 each. I always notice that Dark Blue pieces tend to be harder to find.

      Minifigures and other stuff:
      There are 3 minifigures included in this set. All of them are fairly plain, ordinary, nondescript figures using fairly common parts for the most part.
      The older gentleman is the lowest valued of the set. He runs less than $5 on average.

      Female #1 has a unique jacket patterned torso piece that makes her the queen of this particular set ringing in at more than $16 on average.

      Female #2, who is the most boring looking of the 3, actually tops the old man by more than $1 on average. I think it's the hairpiece.

      The average cost for all parts used through Bricklink is about $564. That's not terrible, considering the whole has sold for more than $200 more than that. Building one for yourself out of parts that you acquire may be more satisfying eventually, but may require far more orders and therefor more shipping than you want to deal with. All parts costs that I calculated are based upon bricklink's average and reflect only the average that these parts sell for, you may be able to acquire what you need for less in a lot of cases. If you want to add instructions or a box, your costs jump significantly, and your options are significantly fewer.
      The instructions are in 2 books, and there are only 2 listings on bricklink currently that include both books. 

      You're never going to cut down on the quantity of certain parts that are needed. It is possible that at some point one of the rare parts will be released in a new set, knocking the price down for a time. Hopefully having this list will help you to keep an eye out for the key pieces if they ever do show up in a new set.
      The value of this particular set is unlikely to trend significantly downwards, unless there is a remake. Modular collectors who are just getting into the game will be behind the eight ball if they want to catch up. Demand's going to be there. So,if you can restore one of these sets from various sources for cheap enough, you may come out ahead if you tire of it for your own collection.
      All images are the property of Rebrickable.com, Bricklink.com, and the LEGO Group.
      If you liked this article, please check out the others in the series:
      10123 Cloud City
      7181 UCS TIE Interceptor
      10212 UCS Imperial Shuttle
      Here are some Brickpricker forum topics that discuss this set.

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