Ratings and Reviews for eightbrick

71001-10: Sea Captain
71001-10: Sea Captain
Reviewed on: Jul 8, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

5.60

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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 6

The weather-beaten Sea Captain is one of the more modern characters from the CMF series 10. Offering owners with a realistic (or at least stereotypical) depiction of a hardened boat captain, the personality of the character is spoken through his detailed appearance and accessories, including a seagull and binoculars. While the figure is convincing, it is vulnerable to being lost in a sea of other, more anticipated, collectable minifigures.

It should be noted that there is a lack of eBay data for Collectable Minifigures in general on Brickpicker, so for that reason charts are not included in this review.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 8

Over half of the set's seven elements are exclusive, including the Captain's torso, head, hat, and the seagull. All collectable minifigures have somewhat exclusive/rare pieces, but I found the seagull an especially nice addition, as the Lego world has been lacking birds for a long time, with only parrots and owls filling that niche. The plastic quality is average for the collectable minifigure theme and will not affect the value positively or negatively.

The captain has plain white legs, but his torso, which features front, back and arm printing, makes up for that. The minifigure's hardened face with a grey beard is exactly the kind of personality that most people imagine Sea Captains as, and it works perfectly. His naval hat is perfect, and instantly recognizeable, even to us landlubbers. Black binoculars are also included.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 5

Alone, the minifigure offers mediocre playability. While there is a lack of an obvious conflict, the inclusion of a second animate character (the seagull) goes a long way to forgive this. When coupled with other minifigures or a set, the Sea Captain adds a personality of leadership and grit to any play scene. The binoculars are a nice touch, but don't really inspire any play scenarios. The build is expectedly brief.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 4

The set's price per piece value comes in at 42.71c/piece. Compared to "real" Lego sets, this is an atrocity, but keeping in mind the amount of exclusive and printed pieces included, the value is certainly above a "fail". In some situations, a price per piece (or even price per gram) value isn't an accurate gauge of value. This is one of those cases. Don't get me wrong though, the value of the set is by no definition spectacular, and if you were hoping to get bang for your buck, you will be left disappointed.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 6

While the Collectable Minifigure theme is wildly popular in the retail market (where it has seen 10 series' thus far, with an eleventh on the way), TLG has met the popularity of the theme with massive production runs. Hundreds of packages of minifigures are available to many stores, including stores that normally don't carry Lego. In fact, the minifigures have lost their collectable status for many collectors because there are so many of them. Series 10 is probably the most popular series right now due to the possibility of finding Mr. Gold, who demands huge aftermarket prices, so that may help increase demand for the figure.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 5

The series 10 of collectable minifigures is one of the most widespread available sets out there. That said, according to Eurobricks, only 2 Captains appear in every box of 60 Collectable Minifigures. This means you have a random chance of 3.33% of getting one. These low odds even out the accessability of the line as a whole.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

Along with all the other series 10 minifigures, the set is packaged in a gold mystery polybag. The packaging does not allow for direct identification of the Sea Captain, but it can be found through the feel method (see below). While a polybag usually symbolizes durability and easy shipping, to sell as a vertified minifigure you will have to open the package, at least partially.

What to feel for if you are looking for the Sea Captain

The Sea Captain is one of the harder minifigures to feel for. The seagull should be the main giveaway, but if you want to be sure, find his hat (the binoculars are hard to find, don't worry too much about them).

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 6

The Collectable Minifigure series is notorious for a wide range of returns, even among the same minifigure. Currently, the Sea Captain is selling for $3-$6 on eBay.com, so few sellers are losing money right now. However, that number could very likely drop before it makes a steady gain and levels out, as series 10 minifigures continue their availability. The Sea Captain recieved average anticipation, but its low chance of being found will help increase prices.

The Verdict

Despite being pretty rare and demanding above retail prices on eBay, I don't see this set becoming a worthwhile investment based on the performance of previous Collectable Minifigures, particularly the sailor from series 4, who is a similar minifigure on the grounds of source material and availability, and is sitting at a lacklustre ~$3.00 on eBay.com. I forsee the set hanging around its current range for awhile. As a quick flip investment, you won't lose money, but there are better options out there.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 5

The Sea Captain is small, but has enough unique details (including arm printing - a rarity with Lego) and accessories to be a decent display minifigure. While he doesn't feature as many pieces as some minifigures, or is as large as Medusa, for example, his personality shows with his clothes, and it makes him practically a stock character.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 5

While the Sea Captain provides us with an all-new animal and a detailed minifigure, its production run and the lack of hype surrounding it will make it an above average investment at best. Unless you like working with small sets, stay away mateys, this is a needlessly dangerous investment voyage!


30240-1: Z-95 Headhunter
30240-1: Z-95 Headhunter
Reviewed on: Jul 4, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

6.60

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MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 6

The Z-95 Headhunter, a compact clone star fighter, saw action throughout the Clone Wars, and was given full scale Lego treatment in 2013 (see set 75004). This set, however, focuses on a much smaller intepretation of the clone fighter, using only 54 bricks. Lacking a minifigure, the set's focus is on maintaining the Headhunter's shape using minimal pieces. Despite being part of the less-known Clone Wars subtheme, the set should recieve healthy profits thanks to the overarching Star Wars theme and the solid performance of past mini Star Wars sets.

 

*Currently, the set has no list price,  but based off experience and general pricing for similar items, I know its price is MSRP $3.99 USD*

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 4

The set contains 54 pieces, which is a decent spread for a four dollar polybag, but other than some new dark red pieces and a light grey 3x3 plate, there are no rare pieces. But that doesn't mean there aren't any useful pieces; the set plays host to a decent variety of essential white plates and tiles. No minifigure is included, but there are enough pieces that the average collector won't mind. Overall, the amount of pieces is average, but the set unfortunately lacks any exclusive elements.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

Construction of the set is short, but makes a little use of SNOT techniques so you won't get bored. Unfortunately, since some of the smaller elements of the set are contained within a second bag in the polybag, "bag building" (a popular polybag build method involving building a set without opening the packaging), is not possible. While the build is too short to be tedious or mundane, it is also too short to generate any real satisfaction once the finished model is built.

Once completed, the model is pretty accurate to the Z-95 Headhunter, and features some nice details like landing gear made from black "tooth" pieces. The model is barely big enough to be swooshable, and works best as a mini display piece. That said, should duty call, the set will hold up under semi-rough play. While the play value is not stunning, I would say it is about the best Lego could do without a minifigure and with a limited amount of pieces.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 8

See the chart below to see how the set compares in value to other Star Wars sets:

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Price Per Piece
30240 Z-95 Headhunter 2013 54 $3.99 7.38c/piece
30241 Mandalorian Fighter 2013 49 $3.99 8.14c/piece
30059 MTT 2012 52 $3.97 7.78c/piece
30054 AT-ST 2011 46 $3.99 8.67c/piece

The chart shows that 30240 continues the trend of non-minifigure poplybags having decent, above average price per piece values. At 7.38c/piece, the set is an incredible value that rivals the PPP ratios of large Star Wars sets (it even beats 10179 UCS Millenium Falcon which sits at 9.62c/piece in value). That said, many of the pieces included in the set are small and take up little plastic, plus no minifigure is included. Overall, the polybag offers a suprising amount of value for part enthusiasts, but lacks the rare/expensive pieces to make parting out the most profitable option.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 8

The Star Wars theme has been under a lot of scrutiny from investors recently, due to some suprising failures in the previously solid original trilogy theme, and a below average CAGR at 9.27%. While some of this low valuation is due to bad performances, a good chunk of its is falling because the old sets aren't gaining any more, lowering the CAGR of the theme as a whole. Some more good news for the theme came in the form of Lego's 2012 Annual Report, which found that Star Wars is still one of Lego's big earners, after all these years. The theme has longevity like no other, and Star Wars will never be seen as a fad - its still alive and kicking, more than 30 years after the release of a the first film.

Being branched under the Clone Wars would be a curse for this set had it not been a minature. Typically, Clone Wars sets are viewed as weaker earners, but the Mini Building subtheme has performed extraordinarily within the theme.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 8

In US, the set was available at Walmart in February 2013, and at some Toys R Us locations across North America shortly after that. A promotional item for the early 2013 wave of Star Wars sets, the model was fairly hard to come by in stores, and while it is currently seeing about 80 sales a month, that number will likely be down to less than 20 per month in a year. Much of the set's value is going to be based off its rarity in the future; right now the market is pretty saturated as the set was just recently out, but in coming years it will be a hard-to-find gem.

PACKAGING | Score: 7

Polybags for me, will always symbolize easy storage, shipment, and a unique novelty-item feel. While the plastic used for this polybag is the thinner kind, it is still unlikely to break, even under pressure. The front of the bag features the 2013 Star Wars banner with Yoda, and the set along a deep space background, with red lasers slipping past the starfighter's wings. Star Wars sets are known for their high quality box graphics, and this set doesn't disappoint. Perfect for enticing buyers and easy handling for investors.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 6

The chart below displays the growth of the set and similar indicators thus far:

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Current Price (US) CAGR
30240 Z-95 Headhunter 2013 54 $3.99 $5.38 34.83%
30241 Mandalorian Fighter 2013 49 $3.99 $6.16 54.38% 
30059 MTT 2012 51 $3.97 $5.36 35.01%
30054 AT-ST 2011 46 $3.99 $6.47 27.34%
8031 V-19 Torrent 2008 66 $3.99 $9.94 20.03%

Data from Brickpicker (Jun/25/13)

The chart shows that Star Wars Mini Building Sets are usually great earners, especially the most recent ones. It appears the "Clone Wars = Low Profits" myth doesn't apply here, as 30059 MTT has been a better earner than 30054 AT-ST, a set from the Original Trilogy. So far, 30240 has been blessed with a high CAGR of 34%, over triple the Star Wars theme's average. However, the data for the set is relatively new and a drop in value is likely in the next couple of months is likely to slow down the growth of the model, before it reverses and makes steady gains again.

The model is unique, features good value, and is suprisingly accurate to the Z-95 while using only a handful of pieces. With a small investment that has a larger counterpart, there is always a risk that if the big model doesn't do well, the small one won't either, but the example of 7930 is encouraging. While 7930 Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship is notorious among Lego investors for its failure in the investment world: a -19% CAGR and current value of just above $30. The Bounty Hunter Gunship's mini model counterpart (Brickmaster exclusive), however, is earning a cool $10.31, pretty good considering the set is tiny and contains no minifigures.

Taking into account the above factors, I am estimating that this set will grow with a 13% CAGR for the next five years, resulting in a investment worth $7.35 at the end of that five-year period in 2018. While this is above the Star Wars theme's average CAGR, I would suggest that you place your investment dollars elsewhere unless you can find the set for below retail. If you are paying retail, don't buy more than 3 and just use them to diversify your Brickfolio. Combining with set 30241 will make for an easier sale, but may sacrifice profits.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 7

The set is small, but will reward those who come for a closer look, with all kinds of details to make the model more accurate to the Z-95 Headhunter as featured in the Clone Wars series; including black detailing near the cockpit, the thrusters, nose fins, and landing gear. All these little extras add to the simple yet sleek feel of the set, and make up for its miniscule size. Overall, the model achieves the overall feel of the ship while using less than 60 pieces, and makes a great desktop model.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 6

I wish I could say that 30240 Z-95 Headhunter looked to be a stellar investment, but the information provided just can't support such a claim. It will most likely be an above average earner, but won't see the coveted returns that made Star Wars icons like 10179 UCS Millenium Falcon famous. 30240 it seems, flies at just above average speed.


30241-1: Mandalorian Fighter
30241-1: Mandalorian Fighter
Reviewed on: Jul 4, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

6.60

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

30241 Mandalorian Fighter is the minature version of 9525 Pre Vizsla's Mandalorian Fighter, which was released in 2012. This 2013 polybag lacks minifigures, but has  a decent part selection and replicates the shape of the Clone Wars starfighter well. The color scheme is appealing and the ship's rotating cockpit feature is present, however in "vertical wing mode" the set is obviously one-sided. Despite a couple hitches, the set makes a stunning first impression, and were the starfighter more well known, the set would no doubt be extremely popular.

*Although no price or piece count is available on Brickpicker, I know for a fact that the set has 49 pieces and retailed for $3.99 USD*

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 4

At 49 pieces, the set is filled with several interesting pieces, including dark blue tiles and wing plates, white wing plates, and a two-way technic connector in light grey. The set doesn't really have any rare pieces (other than a dark blue 1x1 tile which appears in four other sets), and while many elements are useful, an above average score isn't be warranted here.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 7

For a polybag, the build of the set is suprisingly fresh and interesting, albeit short. A bit of SNOT is used to give a thruster effect, but where the set really shines is in the use of the technic pieces that allow for the wings to rotate around the cockpit (or visa versa, depending on your point of view). The fact that this defining feature of the ship is captured using only a few pieces, is impressive and well deserving of a little NPU (Nice Part Usage) shout-out.

In terms of playability, while the set is still swooshable, it is pretty obvious they sacrificed stability for the cockpit feature, and the build can break under a little pressure. That said, the rotating cockpit is a fantastic feature; about as good as you are going to get in a non-minifigure polybag.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 6

See the chart below for a comparison in value to similar SW polybags:

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Price Per Piece
30240 Z-95 Headhunter 2013 54 $3.99 7.38c/piece
30241 Mandalorian Fighter 2013 49 $3.99 8.14c/piece
30059 MTT 2012 52 $3.97 7.78c/piece
30054 AT-ST 2011 46 $3.99 8.67c/piece

Show by the chart, the value offered by the set in comparison to other SW polybags is quite mediocre, being the second worst in terms of value. It should also be noted that the set carries no value in the form of exclusive pieces. That said, 8.14c/piece is well below the "average" of 10c/piece, making it an above average value.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 8

The Star Wars theme is an interesting case. While it was widey regarded as the best investment theme in the early days of Lego investing, it's current CAGR is a mediocre 9.27%, well below the average CAGR per theme of about 11%. That said, the theme has remained popular throughout the ages and was still one of Lego's best earners in 2012. The set is part of two subthemes within the Star Wars theme; the Clone Wars subtheme and the Mini Building Set subtheme.  The Clone Wars theme is a somewhat negative factor for the set (as the series is not as well known or appreciated), but being part of the minature line is a huge benefit as the subtheme has enjoyed solid performances, especially for recent sets.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 8

In the United States, the set was available for a short amount of time in early 2013 at Walmart, and at some select Toys R Us stores throughout the North American continent. Being a promotional item that saw few sets produced is a huge benefit as it will create scarcity, but often promotional sets such as this are targeted by investors, and despite their rarity, can become saturated early on (the set saw an incredible 75 sales in May, but sold numbers have fluctated largely across the months). A lot of the set's aftermarket value will result from its exclusitivity.

PACKAGING | Score: 7

The set is packaged in a standard-thickness polybag decorated with the 2013 Yoda banner. As with most Star Wars sets, the packaging features beautiful, high calibre, graphics. Due to a superb background of stars and a planet, I would venture to say the set's packaging is even more inviting than that of its cousin, 30240. As always, a polybag means easy storage with little chance for damage, and simple shipping.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 6

The chart below shows the performance of the set and similars:

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Current Price (US) CAGR
30240 Z-95 Headhunter 2013 54 $3.99 $5.38 34.83%
30241 Mandalorian Fighter 2013 49 $3.99 $6.16 54.38%
30059 MTT 2012 51 $3.97 $5.36 35.01%
30054 AT-ST 2011 46 $3.99 $6.47 27.34%
8031 V-19 Torrent 2008 66 $3.99 $9.94 20.03%

We can see several things from this chart. First, just because the set is from the Clone Wars doesn't mean it will perform badlt - the only set from the Original Trilogy is 30054, which also happens to be the second worst performer. Next, looking at the set's current CAGR we see that it is an incredible 54.38%.

The model features interesting functions for a mini-model, and an appealing color scheme. Whilst the set is pretty accurate to the Mandalorian Fighter that appears in the Clone Wars universe, the ship is rather unknown, and for that reason, the growth of the set may lack longevity. The performance of the polybag thus far has been spectacular, but a quick flip will only result in a ~50% profit. Look for the set's value to dip in the near future before it begins making consistent profits again.

The set's rise in value may be slow, but it is not unlikely. I predict that by the end of a five year holding period, the set will be worth at least double US retail. If you have a few extra dollars lying around, you may want to invest in the set, but otherwise, I would suggest you sink your investment dollars into a more sizeable venture that will result in more profit for about the same amount of work. Combined selling with multiple polybags or its counterpart, 30240 will sacrifice profits.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 7

The model was made for display, and takes on that role convincingly. With a sleek body and subtley beautiful colour scheme, the only hitch in terms of display is that with the wings placed in vertical mode, one side will look unattractive and the set will be hard to balance. A great little model, but definitely not the best out there.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 6

30241 is a great model immortalizing a rather unknown, but nonetheless sleek and appealing, ship from the Clone Wars series. While the set is likely to continue to see healthy gains, there is little chance of its value rising to the point of it being a worthwhile investment in terms of time spent selling each set. There is nothing to fear about the Mandalorian Fighter, but there isn't too much to welcome either.


9390-1: Mini Tow Truck
9390-1: Mini Tow Truck
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

7.70

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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 8

The little orange tow truck that many of you have probably seen, but never paid much attention to is dubbed by many as the "mini unimog". In fact, the set has an uncanny resemblance to its well-known brother, 8110 Unimog. The alternate instructions allow you to build a sleek racecar. And, with rare parts and a two great models, its a wonder that this gem has remained under the radar this long. The model is cute, fun, and looks like the makings of a great investment.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 7

The overwhelming majority of pieces included are Technic pieces, with only a couple "real bricks". But, that doesn't mean the set can't be filled with rare pieces:

  • Technic Triangle, Black (appears in 14 other sets)
  • Technic beam 4x2 Angular 90 Degrees, Bright Orange (appears in 4 other sets)
  • Technic 3M Beam, Bright Orange (exclusive)
  • Tube W/ Double 4.85, Bright Orange (appears in 13 other sets)
  • Technic Lever, 3M, Bright Orange (exclusive)

And that's just a taste of the many rare elements that make up a good chunk of the set's 136 element spread. The piece selection is small, but the interesting elements make up for it. It should be noted that "purist" brick collectors will not find many uses for the large amount of axles, beams and levers found in the set, yet if used creatively, they can enhance a creation or add functions. As with all recent technic sets, not figures are included, and the builds are not scaled to Lego minifigures. Piece selection won't be a huge factor in the set's performance.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 9

The construction of the set's two models is spread over three small instruction booklets (two for the first model, and one for the racecar alternate). I wouldn't rank the build of the set hard by any means, especially compared to bigger Technic sets, in fact I would say it is just right difficulty to be a perfect entry set for new builders while being satisfying to experienced technic engineers. The method of construction doesn't use any really unique approaches, but the click-and-snap construction makes for a refreshing change from the normal Lego set.

It should be stressed that the set's purpose is not for play, but despite that, both the tow truck and racecar offer enough features to warrant vrooming noises. The tow truck features a moving crane winch and a steering function that argueably works just as good as the larger Unimog's. The racecar feels like a secondary model and is a bit more sparse, but nonetheless is a fun model to "ride". For a cheap Technic set, the playability is simply legendary, and rivals brick-built sets. Both the play value and fun and fresh construction will add value to the set on the aftermarket.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 9

Let's look at the value of the set in comparison to some other small Technic sets, and the set's cousin, 8110 Unimog:

Set Name MSRP (US) # of Pieces Price Per Piece Weight (kg) Price Per Gram
9390 Tow Truck $11.99 136 8.82c/piece 0.2kg 5.99c/gram
9392 Quad Bike $24.99 199 12.55c/piece 0.4kg 6.24c/gram
9891 Tracked Crane $19.99 218 9.17c/piece 0.28kg 7.13c/gram
42002 Hovercraft $19.99 170 11.76c/piece 0.27kg 7.40c/gram
8110 Unimog $199.99

2048

(2047 on some databases)

9.76c/piece 3.16kg 5.53c/gram

Data from Brickset and Bricklink.

Surprisingly, in addition to all the rare pieces, the set also hosts the lowest Price Per Piece ratio out of the sets I compared it to (its even a better value in that respect than 8110), and is the second best value in Price Per Gram after the Unimog. Considering that it is the smallest set on the chart, its values are very impressive and the comparison to 8110 Unimog shows that the set has what it takes to compete with larger Technic sets. Its Price Per Piec value of 8.82c/piece is well below the welcomed "average" of 10c/piece.

Furthermore, the set is packed with value in the form of the two, well designed models. Model value is often overlooked as it isn't a tangible measurement and can't be plotted on a graph or table, but it is nonetheless important, without it, the high score in this category wouldn't be warranted.

Despite the good PPP value, I wouldn't recommend parting out the set as Technic pieces, particularly the small connection pieces, are not valuable and you would have a hard time selling off the pieces to make a profit.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 7

The Technic theme is often dismissed by investors who would rather sink their capital into brick-built sets. However, Technic is undeniably popular; the line has been going strong since 1977, making it one of the longest-living themes around. Keeping that fact in mind forgives the theme's below average CAGR at 9.43%, as usually the longer a theme is around, the lower its CAGR gets. Think of it this way: the theme has been around for 22 years more than Star Wars (considered by many as the gem of Lego investing), and still has a better CAGR average than it. That is no small feat. Overall, the Technic theme offers longevity and the assurance of few investing failures.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 6

The set is not a Lego or retailer exclusive, and is still widely available at all stores that carry the Technic line (not all stores that carry Lego have Technic sets). As of the writing of this review, it has been available for over a year, so retirement is in the forseeable future (small Technic sets usually have 1-2 year release periods). Exclusitivity for the set is average, and won't affect the set's aftermarket value significantly.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

Unfortunately, the boxes of Technic sets are trapped between the sophisticated looks of the packaging of the Architecture theme, and the regular, high contrast boxes of Lego sets. The result is a dark, mildly techy and sophisticated set featuring the main tow truck model that is appealing, but won't stand out. Being a smaller set, it features the punch-hole opening method, which will prevent box tampering. As with all Lego boxes, the set is vunerable to shelf wear and tear, and isn't the most convienent item to ship.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

In order to predict the investment potential of this set, we have to look at the performance of past Technic sets, the set itself, and what could go wrong. We will start out with a chart outlining the performance of similar Technic sets thus far (chart info taken on 3/7/2013):

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Current Value (US) CAGR
9390 Tow Truck 2012 136 $11.99 $17.87 49.09%
9391 Tracked Crane 2012 218  $19.99 $27.11 35.62%
9392 Quad Bike 2012 199 $24.99 $29.13 16.57% 
42002 Hovercraft 2013 170 $19.99 $27.36 36.87%
8045 Mini Telehandler 2010 117 $10.99 $20.00 22.09%
8259 Mini Bulldozer  2009 117  $9.99  $25.33  26.19% 
8291 Dirt Bike 2008 248  $24.99  $57.27  18.04% 
8110 Unimog 2011 2048 $199.99  $181.24 -4.8%

 Data from Brickpicker.

The chart clearly depicts that the most recent small size Technic sets have performed extraordinarily well, with CAGRs ranging from 17% to the 49% that 9390 is currently enjoying. While most of these Technic sets are seeing only a couple sales per month, the target audience is obviously dedicated enough to pay high aftermarket prices. While some would consider the Tow Truck's stellar perfomance thus far as preliminary hype, it hasn't significantly declined since its release and is currently on an upward trend.

The main model is fantastic, with the secondary creation just adding bonus points. An interesting factor to watch in the next couple months will be looking at how the performance of the set's big brother, 8110, compares to the perfomance of this set. The popularity of the full-size Unimog will no doubt help propell the value of  9390 forward, reeling in customers and collectors. The set itself is fantastic, but being a Technic set, is unlikely to appeal to part collectors.

I can't forsee many problems for this set in its near investment future. Unless the large Unimog fails on the aftermarket (the most likely cause of such an event would be saturation as the set has become a mainstream investment from an "indie" theme) and drags 9390 down with it, almost nothing will cause a drop in value for the set. A long release period may harm growth, but the set is quite under the radar, so won't be affected too much by such an event.

The Verdict

Taking into account the above factors, I'm predicting the set will have a five year CAGR of 25%. While it is profitable right now as a quick flip, if you wait the full five years and it grows at 25%, it will be valued at $36.59 at the end of that period, over 3 times the retail value. The set is just so unique and brilliantly executed that I am doubtful that anything will slow its growth substantially. It's similarity to 8110 will only add to its profits. Forget broken down cars, this tow truck will reel in plentiful profits!

 

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 9

Despite its small size, the set offers fantastic display value and is the perfect definition of a desktop model; the mini Unimog is spiked with pockets of high-contrast orange, and true to the Technic theme's tagline, it "looks like the real thing". I find the hood is especially impressive, how it was integrated into the cab and the rest of the vehicle. The little movable features such as the crane and steering will reward friends or coworkers who come in for a closer look, which considering the stunning aethstetics of the model, is a high possibility. The model appears cute, athletic, and powerful all at the same time, and the inclusion of a second model, the racecar is just an added bonus. For $11.99, you can't get much better in terms of display.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 8

9390 Tow Truck has already shown off its power; earning it a CAGR many times higher than its larger brother, 8110 Unimog, in just a year. The set has avoided the investing limelight for all its retail life, sitting in the shadow of the Unimog, but with two amazing and functional models, is set to be the surprise winner of the 2012 year. As the Technic theme is often avoided by Lego investors, the set is also a great way to diversify. Small is powerful, and 9390 Tow Truck has waited in the shadows long enough. It's time for it to take the Lego investing world by storm. And trust me, you will want a couple (dozen?) copies when it does.


71001-15: Decorator
71001-15: Decorator
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

5.90

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MEMBER OWNS SET: YES     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: YES


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

71001-15 Decorator offers a brilliant depiction of a hardworking painter who seems just a bit partial to medium azure based off the multitude of stains on his shirt. Equipped with a paint bucket and roller, the minifigure is more than ready for duty on the streets of any brick-built town, or among the ranks of Lego's collectible minifigures. What it lacks in size, it makes up for with intricate details. The latest and greatest modern-day occupational collectable minifigure? It just might be.

 It should be noted that there is a lack of eBay data for Collectable Minifigures in general on Brickpicker, so for that reason charts are not included in this review.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 9

Nearly all the parts of the set are exclusive; the decorator's hat only appears in one other set (and in a different color at that), his pants, head, torso, roller, and light grey bucket are also restricted to the set. The collectible minifigure series' signature black display plate is also included. The piece spread is small, but expectably so (all CMFs have subpar piece counts), and enjoys a host of unique pieces. Plastic quality is often questioned with collectible figures, but the decorator's pieces aren't noticeably lacking here.

The painter has an unshaven face with a couple medium azure paint splotches, a printed (front and back) overall with some more medium azure splotches, and finally white legs. And yes, there are medium azure splotches on that too. The minifigure is instantly recognizeable as a painter, perhaps in part thanks to his bucket and roller. While he lacks the high-octane looks of action-oriented minifigures, the decorator is nonetheless a figure that any Lego fan wouldn't mind having.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 5

Alone, the set offers extremely limited playability options. Unfortunately, today's generation has a hard time playing without acting out a conflict, which is something the weapon-less decorator lacks. Paired with other minifigures or better yet, a building, the painter can be an effective roll player, but by itself the set is by no means impressive in playability. The build experience is not surprisingly brief and simple. Neither of these factors will add much value to the set's aftermarket price.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 5

Retailing for $2.99 USD and including 9 pieces, the set is on the better end in terms of value for CMFs, but is still sitting at a disappointing 33.22c/piece (10c/piece is considered respectable). Such low values are to be expected with CMFs due to their low piece counts and high proportions of rare/exclusive/printed pieces, and when compared to other minifigures, such as the Chicken Suit Man (series 9) who contains 5 pieces, the set seems like a mediocre value at least. It is important to note that the value of CMFs does not come from the number of pieces, but rather the rareness of them and the printing.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 6

The Collectable Minifigure theme is an interesting one in that while it is wildly popular (TLG has already released over 160 CMFs, with more on the way), the demand is met by huge production numbers. The collectability aspect of the series helps garner interest from dedicated minifigure collectors, but overall, the main drivers of the theme are kids. There will be a decent amount of buyers for the set, but there will also be a decent amount of sellers. Being part of Series 10 may help the set in some respects, as the Mr. Gold minifigure is expected to increase sales of the series.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 4

The collectable minifigures theme is one of the most popular, and highest produced branches of Lego sets. A huge amount of sets go through many retail stores, and the sets are by no definition hard to find. Based off Eurobricks data, supposably four decorators are put into every box of sixty series 10 minifigures, so randomly choosing a figure, you would have a 6.67% chance of getting a painter. This is considered average rarity for a series 10 collectable minifigure.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

The set is packaged in the hard plastic polybag signature to the Collectable Minifigure theme. The bag is opaque and doesn't allow view of the minifigure, although it can be identified by some through feeling or other methods. The package is gold keeping with the series 10 theme, but the minifigure is not featured on the printing. The "surprise" nature of the packaging will mean that most sales of the set will be of the set in open condition.

What to feel for if you are looking for the Decorator

The Decorator doesn't really have a single, defining element, as many pieces can be confused for other accessories, or even minifigure heads. The initial heads-up suggesting that you may have found a painter will be either his hat, or the precense of 3 cylindrical objects (them being the head, paint roller top, and bucket). If you want extra assurance, try to find the roller body, it should feel like a twisted out rod and be a bit flexible.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 4

Collectable minifigures have been below average performers in general with exception to a couple success stories such as the first series' zombie. Unfortunately, due to the (obvious) lack of a significant painting fan base and average exclusitivity of the set, I don't see it becoming a very worthwhile investment. Despite the limited information regarding eBay data on CMF, it is quite apparent that many of the minifigures, including this one, seldom sell for much above retail. In terms of CAGR, it won't be much (it may even be negative).

The Verdict

As a long term investment, it will likely break its MSRP, but I wouldn't recommend investing unless you can score it for at least a third off ($1.99 USD).

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 7

Despite being a depiction of a argueably boring occupation, the set has high display value because the minifigure is easily convincing as a painter and the medium azure acts as a welcome accent to the otherwise bland colours of the minifigure. It lacks size, but has the details to be an above average display piece. Minifigure collectors will almost undoubtably be pleased with the interesting accessories and hardworking vibe of the figure.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 6

Fantastically detailed and featuring unique parts, the set is a great personal buy, but based off the lacklustre performance of previous minifigures, it doesn't appear to have what it takes to be a powerhouse investment. If you are any level of minifigure collector, you should consider adding one to your lines of CMFs, but otherwise, l would stay away from it at retail.


71001-2: Medusa
71001-2: Medusa
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

6.20

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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 6

Much to the delight of Greek Mythology fans, the merciless creature known as Medusa has finally been immortalized in plastic form. And, with the help of unique pieces and not one, but two killer faces (upon a double-sided head), the set's future looks to be better than the average collectable minifigure. Just don't look her in the eyes...

 It should be noted that there is a lack of eBay data for Collectable Minifigures in general on Brickpicker, so for that reason charts are not included in this review.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 9

Four out of the five elements included in the set are exclusive, including the much anticipated, specially moulded, snake hairpiece. Similar versions of the snake bottom are included in two Ninjago sets, but they are not identical. Likely due to the large size of the snake bottom piece, no accessories are included. That said, the minifigure doesn't really need accessories as it is already fantastic.

The snake bottom slithers up to a hideous torso, where Medusa's love of snakes carries onto her clothing. Her head is double sided, one side with green eyes, the other with red (according to Greek legend she could turn people to stone with her gaze), but what is really stunning about her is her hair, made up of little snakes. The hairpiece is fantastic, but doesn't quite fit with the other pieces (it's a different material). The unique pieces will be one of the main drivers of value of the set.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

Despite the lack of accessories, Medusa offers decent playability (pretending to get turned to stone by a minifigure, anyone?), which is increased with the inclusion of other sets. Several other CMF fit with the set's mythical theme, including the Spartan Warrior and Minotaur. A near-perfect recreation of a classic monster, the set offers solid playability. The build is short and forgetable, but that should be expected with collectable minifigures.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 4

The set comes with five pieces for a price tag of $2.99 USD, earning it a terrifying 59.8c/piece ratio, almost six times the welcomed norm of 10c/piece. While some allowances should be maken given the set's small size, number of exclusive elements, and large snake piece, the value of the set is undeniably bad. Don't buy it hoping to get your value in the form of lots of plastic; if you do you will be left disappointed. Keep in mind that the whole CMF theme is plagued with bad PPP values, so the set's value shouldn't be affected too heavily in that respect.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 6

The collectable minifigure theme is undoubtably popular; Lego has released over 160 minifigures with more coming, but Lego has combated the massive demand with massive supply. Other than the first series, nearly every minifigure has come through as pretty easy to come by. Being part of the tenth series may be the set's saving grace in the respect that the precense of Mr. Gold in series 10 has renewed mass interest in the theme.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 4

As a part of the collectable minifigure series, the set has seen huge production runs and boxes of series 10 minifigures are quite common. However, as per Eurobricks data, only 2 Medusas are included in each box of 60 minifigures; meaning you have a tiny 3.33% chance of picking Medusa by chance. Even though it is one of the harder-to-find minifigures, it is far from being an exclusive. Plus, the large snake piece makes it one of the easiest minifigures to feel for.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

The set is packaged in the series 10 collectable minifigure polybag. The gold bag is opaque, but you can easily see a Medusa out of a pack due to the large snake piece. Polybag packaging is seller easy in that it offers  a durable, shippable, method of storage (compared to boxes), but sellers often have to open the packet to vertify the minifigure due to the mystery status of the series.

What to feel for if you are looking for Medusa

Medusa's large snake piece makes her one of the most recognizeable minifigures in series 10. Feel for her snake part first, then if you want extra confirmation, try to find her head, it should feel irregular.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 7

Collectable Minifigures are interesting investments as they require little capital to invest in, and have had a wide range of performances. Medusa is one of the most anticipated minifigures of series 10, and is also one of the rarest, with only 2 packages in every box of 60 figures. While those two facts suggest a bright outcome, the set suffers from the widespread accessability of CMFs, and is not really a "collectable" in the sense that it is rare. The set has been selling for around $6 USD on eBay.com, but that number is likely to drop before it can rise again. Unless a Greek Mythology theme is released, making Medusa no longer exclusive, I don't see the popularity of it waning drastically.

The Verdict

While $6.00 sounds pretty good as it is double retail, there is a considerable amount of work involved to sell small items, and you will have to sell quite a few to make a decent reward. You won't lose money with this minifigure, but you won't gain huge amounts either. In the world of Lego investing, unless you like working with small capital investments, you can afford to be a bit more ambitious.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 6

Collectable Minifigures are in general decent display pieces, offering detail but not size. Medusa is a particularly interesting example of a good display minifigure as she is unique and makes a terrifying monster. Thankfully, her head of snakes is big enough that it conceals her reverse face. The body piece and snake bottom don't necessarily fit together perfectly as the colours are different, but overall, the minifigure is wonderful, and will fit into (or stand out of) your ranks of collectable minifigures.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 8

Lego's highly anticipated Medusa figure is a solid addition to any Brickfolio, but an even better one to a collection. While the set is one of the more rare minifigures and is backed by fans of Greek Mythology, I don't see the value getting high enough to make it a great investment anytime soon. However, it does have the power to earn investors a couple bucks, should they be courageous enough to enter her lair. She may not be seen as a mythical investment powerhouse, but Medusa is undoubtably a legendary minifigure.


71001-13: Baseball Fielder
71001-13: Baseball Fielder
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

4.80

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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 5

The Baseball Fielder fills the sporting niche of the tenth series of Collectable Minifigures well and includes an exclusive glove hand. The minifigure, with a blue jersey, plays under the fictional "Stackers" team, and makes a great companion to the Baseball Batter released in series 3. Unfortunately, like many Collectable Minifigures, it suffers from widespread availability which may harm its aftermarket potential. Batter up!

 It should be noted that there is a lack of eBay data for Collectable Minifigures in general on Brickpicker, so for that reason charts are not included in this review.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 7

All the elements making up the minifigure are exclusive to the set including the grey pants with a printed belt, grey and blue shirt, face with cheek lines, and the baseball cap, featuring the Stacker's "S" logo. But perhaps most interesting is that the left hand of the minifigure is a specially moulded catching glove (the precense of the glove on the right indicates that the outfielder is right-handed). The glove attaches to the arm like a normal hand, and is one of the most unique pieces from series 10, in my opinion.

With front and back torso detailing, the minifigure is up to today's standards. The plastic quality is somewhat questionable if you look closely, but for most it should not be a problem. Instantly identifiable as a baseball player, the minifigure is very convincing, and isn't hard to imagine him making a fancy diving catch.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 5

Alone, the minifigure doesn't really offer any playability unless you have a really good imagination; especially since there are no accessories (other than the black plate included with every Collectable Minifigure). However, if matched up with more baseball players, and perhaps a little 1x1 white stud as a ball, the minifigure becomes part of a impressive game. The build experience is one of the shortest in the Collectable Minifigure theme.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 3

With 5 pieces and a price tag of $2.99 USD, the set's price per piece value comes in at a horrendous 59.8c/piece, well above the accepted standard. However, much of the set's value is found in the precense of the unique elements, so a PPP ratio isn't the most useful gauge here. That said, the set isn't a huge value in that respect either, and piece/minifigure collectors will be left feeling cheated.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 6

The Collectable Minifigure theme is quite popular in the retail market, but it is also one of the most produced lines, and readily available nearly everywhere. Series 10 minifigures are some of Lego's hottest sellers, pushed on by the potential precense of Mr. Gold in each package. Overall, the CMF theme offers a respectable title for the set's interests, and will help lure buyers.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 2

The Collectable Minifigure series is one of the most heavily produced Lego lines, and the accessability has harmed the value of previous sets many times over. To make matters worse, the set lacks rarity within the series 10 subtheme; data found that there are 6 Fielders for every box of 60 minifigures; meaning you have a 10% chance of randomly choosing a Baseball Player, the same chance as finding a Sea Captain, Honeybee or Medusa, combined.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

The set is packaged in the tenth series of Minifigure's signature gold mystery polybag, which prevents direct identification of any minifigure. This type of packaging is durable and far from being eyesore, but a packet will have to be opened to 100% guarantee the precense of a Baseball Fielder.

What to feel for if you are looking for the Baseball Fielder

The only definite identifying trait of the fielder is the glove hand. Find it, and you've got the Baseball Player.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 5

While the set appeals to the large fanbase of Baseball fans, as well as minifigure collectors, it suffers from widespread availablility and a high probability of finding one by chance (10%). Currently the set is selling for around $2.50 on eBay.com, with its precursor, the Baseball Player (batter) selling for about double that. While the performance of the batter suggests it will pick up in value in the coming months, the performance of the other series 10 minifigures (most of whom are bringing in above-average returns) leads to the conclusion that the batter is one of the more unpopular sets.

The Verdict

Based on the performance of the set thus far, and of the previous baseball player, I don't see this set being a very good investment anytime soon. As a quick flip, it will gain you no money (you may even lose money), and while the value of the set should pick up once it retires thanks to the exclusive glove, it won't be worth the effort. A surprise winner from left field? Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that way.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 4

The minifigure is small and has some interesting details, but isn't nearly as good a display piece as some other collectable minifigures, and won't stand out in rows and rows of minifigures. Don't buy it as a display.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 5

While the latest athlete of the minifigure series offers a unique and interesting glove, and opponent to the previous baseball minifigure, it just doesn't have what it takes to play in the big league, suffering from common availability and lack of popularity. Draft this sucker to the minors and stay away!


71001-1: Librarian
71001-1: Librarian
Reviewed on: Jul 3, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

5.10

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FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 5

The strict librarian is probably among the least anticipated minifigures of the tenth collectable series, along with the motorbike mechanic. That said, the minifigure offers an interesting take on a generic role and provides Lego fans with exclusive accessories, and a welcome female minifigure. Regretably, the minifigure is unimpressive and lacks the "wow" factor found in larger sets. While it is the minifigure will likely never see soaring profits, it makes a great addition to any city or collectable minifigure collection.

 It should be noted that there is a lack of eBay data for Collectable Minifigures in general on Brickpicker, so for that reason charts are not included in this review.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 8

All of the set's seven pieces save the  black display plate (included in every collectable minifigure) are exclusive. The printed coffee cup reading "Shhhhh" and book titled "Oranges and Peaches" are excellent add-ons that enhance the feeling of the librarian.

The minifigure is made up entirely of exclusive pieces, and if she looked a bit older, would be the perfect stereotypical librarian. Featuring a printed skirt, sweater and straightened brown hair, the minifigure appears very academically dressed, and somewhat reminiscent of the Big Bang Theory character Amy Farrah Fowler. The plastic quality is decent, and while she may not be the most popular minifigure of series 10, the librarian has been welcomed by many as a step towards filling the lack of generic female minifigures.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 3

Whether it is used alone or combined with other sets, playability is nearly nonexistant here. The set offers an interesting personality, but doesn't cater as a toy to any specific group. Call it judging a book by its cover, but trust me, the librarian is one of the worst minifigures for playability in series 10, offering fans with atmospheric, yet relatively useless, accessories including the book and coffee cup.

As expected, the build is short, simple, and not noteworthy.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 4

With 7 pieces and a price of $2.99 USD, the set's price per piece value comes in at a disappointing 42.71c/piece, over four times the accepted standard. This is about average for the CMF theme, which suffers from high PPP ratios due to small piece counts, printed pieces, and exclusive elements. Because of this, it is important to note that the set's value is largely found in the exclusive parts. If it were not part of the collectable minifigure theme, the value of the set would be considered lacklustre, or even terrible.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 6

The Collectable Minifigure theme is hugely successful in the retail market; filling the previously empty void of cheap Lego impulse buys. Unfortunately, the theme's popularity is met, or in often cases surpassed, by the supply put out by Lego. The gold boxes of the tenth series of minifigures (an eleventh is on the way), are a common sight in retail stores. In fact, many argue that the massive production runs of the line strip the collectable status out of the theme. Because of the commonplace nature of the minifigures, the line has yet to enjoy consistent profits. Being in the tenth series may be a slight boost to the set as Mr. Gold has created renewed hype in the theme.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 5

The Librarian is one of the harder to find series 10 minifigures. According to Eurobricks, for every sealed box of 60 minifigures, there are only 2 Librarians (meaning if you randomly chose a minifigure, there is a 3.33% chance it is the librarian). These low odds within a sealed box will help offset the otherwise widespread availability of the CMF series.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

The set is packaged in the gold mystery polybag unique to the series 10 minifigures. This packaging makes it difficult to tell which minifigure is being purchased (although through feeling it can be done), but is easy to ship being a small polybag and is resistant to shelf wear for the most part. While the packaging is interesting, it will have to be opened at least partially if it is being sold as a guaranteed minifigure.

What to feel for if you are looking for the Librarian

Find her hair first. It is somewhat similar to the trendsetter's hair so be sure to go for extra confirmation and make sure there is a coffee cup and book (should feel like a medium sized rectangle).

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 5

The collectable minifigure theme has yet to show series-wide growth, and the performance of previous minifigures has been largely disappointing, with many minifigures still selling below retail after their EOL. Currently, the set is selling for a respectable ~$5.00, but that number is expected to decrease as the series 10 continues its availability.

The Verdict

Bottom line, don't invest in the set unless you find it for below retail. While it offers unique pieces, the widespread availability and perfomance of past CMFs suggests nothing more than an above average future. As a quick flip, it will be profitable but a time-waster.

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 4

While the set is small, it does offer some interesting details that will reward people who come in for a closer look; including the book and detailing on the minifigure. The colors are a bit drab, but perhaps purposefully so (it's a librarian, of course the colors are boring!), and in fact the palette helps evoke a feeling of coziness that goes along with the library feel. Definitely not the best looking CMF out there, but by no means the worst either.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 5

71001-1 Librarian offers a much welcomed female minifigure and is currently selling for above retail on eBay.com, but the performance of previous collectable minifigures suggests a rather quiet outlook for the set. Collectors will be pleased with the printing and accessories, but are unlikely to drive up the price enough to make it a worthwhile investment. Nothing amazing really ever happened at a library (unless you've seen Ghostbusters). Don't expect this set to change that.


41020-1: Hedgehog's Hideaway
41020-1: Hedgehog's Hideaway
Reviewed on: Jun 26, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

6.60

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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 6

Hedgehog's Hideaway is one of the three second series Friends animal sets. Argueably the most "exotic" of the animals (the others being a bunny and poodle), the hedgehog is unique and the set is solid. Backed by the uber-popular Friends theme and the performance of the previous Friends animal series, the set looks to be a solid investment, perhaps the best out of the second series based on preliminary numbers.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 7

With a total of 34 pieces, the set boasts nine rare piece types that appear in 13 other sets or less. Those rarities are as follows:

  • Hedgehog No. 2, Tan (exclusive)
  • 1x2 Brick W/ 2 Knobs, Tan (appears in 6 other sets)
  • 1x2 Plate W/ Vertical Shaft (appears in 1 other set)
  • 1x6 Brick W/ Inside Bow, Bright Yellowish Green (appears in 2 other sets)
  • Bow No. 1, Lavender (appears in 4 other sets)
  • 1x2 Flat Tile, Light Purple/Pink (appears in 13 other sets)
  • 1x2 Plate, Medium Lavender (appears in 13 other sets)
  • Small Tree Leaf, New Dark Red (appears in 2 other sets)
  • Pitchfork, Reddish Brown (appears in 9 other sets)

The total amount of these nine rare piece types included in the set is 13 pieces. That means that over a third of the set's pieces are rare. The hedgehog is unmoveable, but has nice detailing including different fur colours and printing (it is slightly different than the hedgehogs that appear in othe Friends sets such as 3188).. The set includes the coveted dark red leaves, that only appear in one other set; 70008 Gorzan's Gorilla Striker. Since both sets contain 2 of this rare element and  Hedgehog's Hideaway is very cheap, it is likely that piece collectors will be turning to this set, rather than 70008 to get the element, increasing interest in the set. Overall, the small number of elements is slightly less disappointing given the good amount of rare elements, but the set is still not suitable for parting out.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

The build for the set is pretty short and simple (which is to be expected for a set of this size), but manages to fit in a bit of SNOT building to keep people interested. Strangely, some databases show the set's alternate model as the main image for the set (the one included in the instructions is the one shown on the package). The finished product is a little vegetated cave/hideaway for the hedgehog, with a bush made up of the red leaves on the side.

On the playability edge of things, the set comes up a tad short as well. Unfortunately, the set doesn't escape the small sets and unmoveable creatures that plague the Friends animal series. Alone, the playability is pretty minimal as there is no minidoll included (although this fact allows for the set work with other themes that use normal minifigures), but it will enhance other Friends sets.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 5

Before we continue, take a peek at the value charts:

Set Name MSRP (US)  # of Pieces   Price Per Piece Price Per Gram
41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway (2) $4.99  34  14.67c/piece  12.47c/gram
41021 Poodle's Little Palace (2) $ 4.99 46  10.84c/piece  12.47c/gram
41022 Bunny's Hutch (2)  $ 4.99 37  13.48c/piece  12.47c/gram
41017 Squirrel's Tree House (1) $4.99 41  12.17c/piece   9.98c/gram
3065 Olivia's Tree House $19.99 191  10.46c/piece   5.26c/gram
3315 Olivia's House $74.99 695   10.79c/piece   5.43c/gram

 Data from Brickset, bracketed numbers refer to series number.

The chart shows that while the set has the worst value in terms of Price Per Piece value, all the 2nd series Friends animal sets have the same Price Per Gram ratio, meaning that Hedgehog's Hideaway contains less, but bigger pieces than its cousins. However, all the Friend's polybags are put to shame by the brick-built sets which have extremely low Price Per Gram ratios, and solid Price Per Piece values.

You should never be expecting great things in terms of value from a polybag, and this set doesn't deliver great things. That said, the high PPP ratio is unlikely to harm this set in the aftermarket.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

The Friends theme is currently the fourth most profitable theme by CAGR, sitting at 36.75% (CAGR). After only a year of its introduction, the theme has made suprising gains and surpassed Lego's expectations (something that few themes can say). One of Lego's biggest earners in 2012, the new Friends series took on the pre-teen girls market by storm, causing clone brands to kick themselves some more for not coming up with the idea first.

41020 is part of the second series (each series has 3 sets) of Friends animals, and the sets are obviously successful, because Lego has already planned a third line. Being collectible, the sets sell themselves on the aftermarket. The Friends theme will help make this set known to potential buyers.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 7

Not a retailer or Lego exclusive, the set's rarity will likely come from a short release period. The previous animal polybags were available for less than 6 months, so it can be expected that this series will be gone by the 2013 holidays. Short release periods like this are usually only reserved for special sets, like Collectible MInifigures, so the set will be uncommon heading into the aftermarket. Saturation and high competition is unlikely due to its limited availability.

PACKAGING | Score: 7

The packaging of this set is refreshing and unique to the Friends animals line. Utlizing the hard polybag plastic usually reserved only for Collectible Minifigures, the packaging is small, easy-to-ship, durable, and won't suffer shelf wear like boxes do. The printing features the signature lavender Friends banner with a slightly cartoon-like forest background to the set's image. Appealing and simple, the packaging makes the set even more desireable.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 8

To estimate the value of this set's aftermarket potential, we have to look at it and similar set's performance, the set itself, and what could go wrong. Starting off, is the values of the set and comparable Friends kits:

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Current Price (US) CAGR
41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway 2013 34 $4.99 $8.74 75.15%
41021 Poodle's Little Palace 2013 46 $4.99 $8.52 70.74%
41022 Bunny's Hutch 2013 37 $4.99 $8.33 66.93%
41019 Turtle's Little Oasis 2013 33 $4.99 $5.79 16.03%
3942 Heartlake Dog Show 2012 183 $19.99 $32.57 62.93%
3938 Andrea's Bunny House 2012 62 $9.99 $13.98 39.94%

Data from Brickpicker (Jun/25/13).

Right now, the set appears to be on track for stellar development at an unbelieveable 75.15% CAGR, leading the second round of Friends animals in price. However, this early hype is quite common nowadays and was seen with the first Friends animal series. 41019 Turtle's Little Oasis, for example, was previously worth over 12 dollars before dropping to $5.79 a couple months later. The high current price and likely future fall in value means this set is great for quick flipping. While a downward trend is almost inevitable in the next couple of months, it should pick itself up as it approaches its EOL and the holiday season.

The set has a handful of rare pieces, and Lego's first pre-moulded hedgehog, making it a must have. Hard polybag packaging makes it a seller-friendly item and the Friends theme is extremely popular and will no doubt attract buyers. The lack of a minidoll may even help the item sell, as its missing presence "de-genders" the set, making it attractive to male and female buyers alike.

Using the past performance of similar Friends sets as a guide, I predict that 41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway, will suffer some fluctations and downward spirals early on, but will come out with an average CAGR of 22% for the next 5 years. My reccomendation is that you flip it quick, or wait a couple years before losing it. My valuation of this set is a bit more conservative than that of the sets in the first series, because as the animal polybag line continues, it will lose it's under-the-radar appeal. That said, overall the set is a solid low-cost investment backed by the mainstream appeal of the Friends line that won't let you down.

Expected 5-Year Smoothed CAGR of the 2nd Friends Series:

CAGR

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 4

While there are some details up close, the set is far too small to be viable as a display piece. Display wise, it probably works better kept in the package, as you won't even notice it if it placed beside a bigger set (which is pretty much any set). The instructions provide views of alternate models and a combined model if you buy all three, and while the combined model looks a lot bigger, it is messy and obviously sacrificed design when bringing all the pieces together.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

Within the bright and cuddly Friends animal theme, its hard to stand out. But, with the help of an all-new animal and unique pieces like dark red leaves, 41020 makes a good impression. Already reeling in sky-high profits, the set may have to take a dip in earnings before it hits the stratosphere and its full potential. It's a little set, but big things come in small packages. Or should I say, big bucks come in small packages, specifically the packaging that surrounds the ever-solid 41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway?


41022-1: Bunny's Hutch
41022-1: Bunny's Hutch
Reviewed on: Jun 26, 2013
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Overall Personal Score

6.70

DIRECT LINK TO REVIEW:
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MEMBER OWNS SET: NO     MEMBER HAS BUILT SET: NO


FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 7

The third set of the second series of Friends animals, Bunny's Hutch features the same standard parts that characterize the subtheme; a cute exclusive animal, "home" for that animal and some extras. The set is not impressive, but has a unique feel to it; part cute-animal, part cute-set. Already bursting with investment potential, the set is likely to continue the chain of successful Friends sets that you didn't invest in. Unless you take my advice and do, of course.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 7

Despite only having 37 pieces, the set packs in quite a few rare pieces, including:

  • Bunny, Medium Grey (exclusive)
  • 2x3 Tile W/ Holder, Medium Nougat (exclusive)
  • 1x2 Profile Brick, Medium Nougat (appears in 9 other sets)
  • 1x4x1 Fence, White (appears in 6 other sets)
  • 1x4 Plate, Lavender (appears in 6 other sets)
  • 1x2 Plate, Lavender (appears in 13 other sets)
  • 1x3 Brick W/ Bow, Lavender (appears in 5 other sets)
  • 1x6x2 Arch, Tan (appears in 3 other sets)
  • Bow No. 1, Medium Azur (appears in 2 other sets)

All the rare and exclusive pieces contribute value to the set, but I would like to especially point out the 6 profile bricks included in the set, which are a relatively new piece that is hard to come by, and coveted by MOCers. The grey bunny just appears to be a recolouring of the white bunny that appears in 5 Friends sets, but that fact doesn't retract from its cuteness. The handful of rare pieces make up a huge amount of the set's parts, and while they make the set seem like a bit of a better deal, don't forgive the small number of pieces.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 5

The build, perhaps not surprisingly, is short, simple, and features no memorable techniques. Experienced and novice builders alike will finish in minutes and be left craving more.

Upon finishing the construction of the set, you end up with a hutch, carrot patch, and beam for the bunny to hop accross. The hutch is simple, but manages to fit in some profile bricks and a moving shader. The playability of the set is decent, but feels pretty static as the only character, the bunny, has no moveable limbs. That said, allowances expecting limited playability should be made when buying a set with no figures. The set is overly average in the section.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 6

The set carries average value among the Friends animal series, but when compared to "real" Friends sets, its Price Per Gram ratio doesn't hold up:

Set Name MSRP (US)  # of Pieces   Price Per Piece Price Per Gram
41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway (2) $4.99  34  14.67c/piece  12.47c/gram
41021 Poodle's Little Palace (2) $ 4.99 46  10.84c/piece  12.47c/gram
41022 Bunny's Hutch (2)  $ 4.99 37  13.48c/piece  12.47c/gram
41017 Squirrel's Tree House (1) $4.99 41  12.17c/piece   9.98c/gram
3065 Olivia's Tree House $19.99 191  10.46c/piece   5.26c/gram
3315 Olivia's House $74.99 695   10.79c/piece   5.43c/gram

Data From Brickset.

While the results of the chart may be disheartening, the value of the set is not found in the amount of plastic it contains, but rather  the quality and rarity of its pieces. Along with the rest of the animal polybags, 41022 has a large number of rare and exclusive pieces that will help offset its low value now, and after EOL. It should be noted that with small sets in the aftermarket, initial value, especially PPP value, is seen with disregard.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

Lego's first successful girl-oriented theme, Friends makes TLG's previous attempts at reaching out to the pre-teen girl market (Clickits, Belville) look awful. Overcoming critism, the theme has risen to be the fourth most profitable for investors, reeling in an average CAGR of 36.75%, and was the suprise topic of Lego's 2012 annual report. As the theme catches on, and more and more dedicated Lego fans drop their minifigures in exchange for minidolls, the popularity of the line can only increase.

The set is part of the second series of Friends animal polybags. They have been advertised as collectible, and are no doubt working for Lego as a third series has already been revealed. 41022 couldn't ask for a better theme to be headed under.

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 7

The set, while not an exclusive or hard to find, is likely to have a production run limited to 6 months like its predeccessors from the first series of Friends animals. Such a limited production run will more than likely create scarcity for the product after it retires, raising prices. Some Ninjago spinners were also only available for a short period of time, and most of them are exploding in growth in the aftermarket.

PACKAGING | Score: 7

Packaged in the Friends animal line's signature hard-plastic polybag with the light purple Friends border, the printing is obviously made to fit right into the girls aisle, but it maintains a more reserved, attractive feel than Barbie's hot pink. The set's picture is put along a background of a quiet farm area, and looks very welcoming. While it is not necessarily eye-catching, the colour combination of the comfortable emerald and lavender draws one's attention slowly and carefully. As an extra benefit, the polybag is small, light, and won't be easily damaged like boxes.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 7

Shown by the chart below, the set has already recieved stunning returns. However, a price drop in the comin months is inevitable, as this was the case with the first series of Friends animals, including 41019 Turtle's Little Oasis, which fell over six dollars since its release, where it was over $12.

Set Name Year Released # of Pieces MSRP (US) Current Price (US) CAGR
41020 Hedgehog's Hideaway 2013 34 $4.99 $8.74 75.15%
41021 Poodle's Little Palace 2013 46 $4.99 $8.52 70.74%
41022 Bunny's Hutch 2013 37 $4.99 $8.33 66.93%
41019 Turtle's Little Oasis 2013 33 $4.99 $5.79 16.03%
3942 Heartlake Dog Show 2012 183 $19.99 $32.57 62.93%
3938 Andrea's Bunny House 2012 62 $9.99 $13.98 39.94%

Data from Brickpicker (Jun/25/13)

The set has thus far enjoyed a period of high prices right off the bat since its release, but expect fluctations in the future. Perhaps the most encouraging piece of information that can be taken from the chart is that 3938 Andrea's Bunny House (which featured the less-rare white bunny) has made steady gains since its 2012 release, with a CAGR near 40% right now. Although the Friends theme has only been around for a year now, it appears to have the longevity to allow its sets to make continual gains in the coming years.

Alone, the set is unsubstantial, but being part of an ongoing series of collectible polybags means the desire for it as a collector's item will be there. Rare pieces will entice part-outters early on, but to maximize profits, keep it sealed.

Taking in the above factors for consideration, I am putting the set`s five year CAGR at 18%. There doesn`t seem to be as much initial excitement for this set compared to the other two from the second series, but uncommon pieces, a cute bunny, and the Friends theme will propel this set forward in the aftermarket. Based on the performance of previous Friends animal sets, flip it quickly before it loses value, or wait a year or two for the value to rebuild. Small is powerful!

Below is a chart outlining my predicted five-year growth for the  Friends animals (series 2):

CAGR

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 5

While it is one of the most substantial Friends animal models so far, Bunny's Hutch is still miniscule and will be dwarfed by other sets on a shelf. It is a cute build, and the hutch is interesting, but lacks the detail to reward close-up viewers. Don't expect anything big from this set in terms of display (literally and figuratively).

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 7

At first glance, 41022 Bunny's Hutch seems like nothing more than a cheap party favor. However, as its current aftermarket value has shown, the set has a tremendous amount of aftermarket potential, both as a short term flip and a long term investment. The set is largely ignored by investors, dripping with cuteness, and has a seller-friendly polybag package, and all for just five bucks. If the minidolls have scared you away from the Friends theme thus far (they are pretty scary, I'll admit that), then this may be the set that you have been waiting for. 41022 is already hopping its way to fields of plentiful greenbacks.


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