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Set Price Oddities - (What determines set price?)


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As I have been acquiring some Lava Falls set (MSRP $7.99, 2 minifigures, 94 piece) - I couldn't help but wonder how they come up with some pricing - For example, Shipwreck Defense is LESS pieces, also with 2 minifigs, and $12.99. Forest Ambush from castle was 90 pieces, 4 minifigs, and $11.99 MSRP. The pricing just seems wildly inconsistent for "in house" themes.

I expect licensed themes to be more pricey, but this is odd. Anyone with any theories on this? Is it simply that Ninjago is targeted more for kids so they are ok lowering the price a few bucks? Doesn't seem to work that way with the sets that are $20 and up... 

 

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As consumers we can only speculate but I imagine some factors of:

  • Piece count
  • Part type (size + complexity)
  • Colors used
  • Amount of minifigures + accessories
  • Overall layout & intricacy of finished product


Now you mentioned a few examples. While Shipwreck Defense does yield fewer parts, the set contains a spring-loaded cannon (big pieces plus an internal spring to fire), couple rifles, and one crow's nest piece. Lava Falls is mainly basic parts with the exception of a few tank tracks for the bridge and decorative flames. Forest Ambush was all about the characters as the builds of a cart & scenery were barely above polybag grade. Also don't forget minifigures on average use three pieces(head, torso, & legs) according to how LEGO incorporates them into the piece count therefore four minifigures is twelve from the total and that is before taking account of the headgear for an extra one each making it now sixteen.

Licensed or not, matters little in the end really. In short I would suspect the amount of materials needed, mold complexity for parts used, and result of the end design ultimately decide the pricing.

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46 minutes ago, TheOrcKing said:

Licensed or not, matters little in the end really. In short I would suspect the amount of materials needed, mold complexity for parts used, and result of the end design ultimately decide the pricing.

Exactly. I remember quite a few nutjobs hollering about piece count and blaming licenses when the Volvo came out, comparing it to cheaper sets (Unimog) with more pieces. Yeah, a Technic pin totally equals a Power Functions motor in value...

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3 hours ago, TheOrcKing said:

[..snip..]

Licensed or not, matters little in the end really. In short I would suspect the amount of materials needed, mold complexity for parts used, and result of the end design ultimately decide the pricing.

As stated in other threads where LEGO pricing was discussed, it is very likely just a function of their raw material cost. The more plastic goes into one set, the higher the price. That's why MSRP for 60080 Spaceport is $120 with only ~500 pieces, because most of the shuttle and booster pieces are huge. A small poly like 30278 Poe's X-wing can have 64 pieces and cost only $4, just because those pieces are all 1x1's and 1x2's, and tiles/plates at that.

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