Ratings and Reviews for 79000-1: Riddles for the Ring

79000-1: Riddles for the Ring

Overall Score

5.70
View Price Guide Review this Set
  • First Impression Does the set "WOW" you? 6.00
  • Unique Parts/Minifigures Unique parts? Increase resale? 5.00
  • Playability/Build Experience Is this a "FUN" set to build? 6.00
  • Value for money (NEW) "Bang for your buck"? 7.00
  • Theme Popularity Will theme help with resale? 9.00
  • Exclusivity Unique production aspects? 4.00
  • Packaging Does this set stand out? 6.00
  • Growth Potential Possibility of revenue growth? 5.00
  • Display Attributes Does this set stand out? 4.00
  • Conclusion Your final analysis.. 5.00
Review from: Fcbarcelona101
Reviewed on: Jul 2, 2013
Avatar for: Fcbarcelona101
Join Date: 01/13/2013
# of Reviews: 51

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FIRST IMPRESSION | Score: 6

This set is the smallest one of the entire first wave of The Hobbit theme, and that helps make it the less impressive one of the bunch as well. Most of the set consists of a "rock" structure and small boat along with the couple of minifigs included that even if fun, they really don't make this set iconic or one that could be one of the centerpieces of your LOTR/HOBBIT collection.

Something that this set may have going for it is that it recreates one of the very first scenes where Gollum appears in the new trilogy, as well as being the scene where Bilbo initially gains control of the One Ring. For a hardcore LOTR collector this may very well be one of the most important pieces.

UNIQUE PARTS | Score: 5

The set comes with a little over 100 pieces and the only really exclusive parts are a couple of reddish brown 4x2 roof tiles used to build most of the boat. The rest of the bricks are a combination of mostly dark, medium stone grey and black pieces, without any of them being particularly rare or hard to find.

The minifigures included are Bilbo Baggins and Gollum. The Bilbo fig is a variation that appears in one ther set other than this one (Barrel Escape), while Gollum is mostly the same as in Shelob Attacks other than a different printed face expression, so kind of exclusive. These small sets are usually bought for the minifigs included, and therefore they will be carrying most of the investment performance of this set in the secondary market over their "shoulders", I just don't think they are that impressive to really boost growth too much after retirement.

PLAYABILITY/BUILD EXPERIENCE | Score: 6

The build experience is pretty short as you can imagine, and very similar to building the rock formation included in Shelob Attacks. There is really nothing especially interesting when it comes to playability features, again because of its size, but there are a couple of things. There is a compartment where the Ring can be hidden and the boat, along with some accesories that include the Ring, bones, a fish for Gollum and Sting.

VALUE FOR MONEY | Score: 7

Let's take a look at the value for the money charts:

Model MSRP Number of Pieces Price Per Piece (Retail)
 9469 - Gandalf Arrives  $ 12.99  83  $ 0.16
79005 - Wizard Battle $ 12.99 113 $ 0.11
79000 - Riddles for the Ring $  9.99 105 $ 0.10

As you can see from the table above, Riddles for the Ring is the cheapest of the comparable sets in its same theme. The newly released Wizard Battle is very close in PPP ratio, while Gandalf Arrives is by far the most expensive of the three. We will need to see if these differences are explained by the weight of each set. For now, when we take into consideration PPP alone and we remember that all of the sets showcased above had the same quantity of minifigs and similar amount of pieces, I think we can safely say that 79000 is actually a pretty good value for the money when considering PPP ratio in isolation.

Let's now take set weight into account:

Model Price Per Gram (Retail)
9469 - Gandalf Arrives $ 0.100
79000 - Riddles for the Ring $ 0.082
79005 - Wizard Battle $ 0.076

You see that taking into account price per gram puts 79000 in between the other two sets, with Gandalf Arrives once again being the most expensive. The difference between Wizard Battle and Riddles for the Ring is not really that significant, and seems to suggest once again that the set was "fairly"priced when considering comparables.

What you have to remember when considering a set like this is that most of the price you are paying is for the minifigs rather than the pieces. The two included here are not that special, but are still main characters that will be easily sold for close to the original MSRP themselves.

THEME POPULARITY | Score: 9

The Hobbit theme can be easily considered an extension of the LOTR as far as LEGO is concerned. The popularity of both can be therefore assumed to be very similar, so I will go ahead and analyze it from that perspective.

If you have read some of my other reviews about the LOTR sets, you will remember that I really like to make the comparison between it and the Harry Potter theme. I do this because it seems pretty clear to me that both of these themes share some of the same characteristics, and with that we can safely assume that the LOTR/Hobbit theme will probably perform at least as well as HP.

Let’s summarize some of the similarities between those two themes:

  • Both Harry Potter and LOTR/Hobbit have their beginnings as a series of highly successful fantasy style books
  • Following the success of the books, both franchises then became the target of Hollywood producers, something that ended up with adaptations of the books being released on movie theaters
  • The popularity of these themes has been great over the years, especially during the period when the movies came out, as evidenced by the extremely similar box office numbers for all the movies.
  • Both themes caught the attention of TLG, who ended up producing sets under the licenses that so far have proven to be very successful with both investors and collectors.

Besides these similarities, there is one aspect that in my opinion gives an advantage to the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit theme, and that is the length of time they have been popular. Unlike Harry Potter, the LOTR/Hobbit have been around for well longer than a decade, more like half a century, and the fact that it has stayed popular up to this point gives me confidence when expressing my belief that those themes will be outperforming Harry Potter in the long run.

The Harry Potter theme, according to Brickpicker’s data, has an overall CAGR of around 16 %. That is an extremely good number when considering the large amount of sets that were released under the license. If we take that number as a base, I think we can probably expect that the LOTR/Hobbit themes’ CAGR could very well be a number around 18 % by the time production is stopped. That is a very great figure for themes with several set released and that span more than a couple of years. Investors should really be happy to be given another opportunity of what I think will be very good returns with minimal risk!

EXCLUSIVITY | Score: 4

This set is not exclusive to any retailer and as a virtue of its size it can be found pretty much on every brick and mortar store that carries LEGO in multiple quantities. The production run will probably follow that of the Lord of the Rings theme, so it may place this set on the shelves for aroun 1.5 years, a pretty average period of time.

PACKAGING | Score: 6

Packaging is pretty standard for a set this size and other than The Hobbit brand there is not really anything that would make this set stand out in the shelves.

GROWTH POTENTIAL | Score: 5

Let's take a look at the performance of some sets that could be compared to 79000: Data From Brickpicker

Model Release Date MSRP CAGR Market Value (New) HPR*
 4736 - Freeing Dobby  2010  $ 10.99  9.83%  $ 14.56  32.48%
 79000 - Riddles for the Ring  2012  $ 9.99  N/A  N/A  NA

*HPR: Holding Period Return, assuming the set was purchased at retail on the day of released and sold today.

Since I feel that Harry Potter sets are very comparable to Hobbit/LOTR, I found one set that has been retired fairly recently and that presents some similarities with the focus of our attention and that in my opinion will provide us with at least a guide of where this set may be going once it goes EOL. Both of this sets present similar MSRPs, number of pieces and include minifigures of important characters of each franchise, however, Freeing Dobby does include one more minifig than 79000, so take that into consideration.

Freeing Dobby has not done particularly well since it was retired, with a relatively low CAGR of 9.8% for a set that has retired recently and a HPR of around 32%. These small sets usually take a long while to appreciate unless they include a very exclusive minifig or some other unique feature. In case of Riddles for the Ring, none of these is present and for that reason I feel the set will be performing in a very similar way to Freeing Dobby. The current planned release of the movies may have some influence and give a slight boos to the set's growth, but for that of course we will have to wait and see.

Value Prediction: I see the set as being the worst performer of the first wave of Hobbit sets, with a probable 12% CAGR by the time the set has been retired for two years, and a more long term CAGR of around 10%.

 

DISPLAY QUALITY | Score: 4

As said on the first impression section this small set will really not be one of the most impressive pieces you will have on display. The set itself is basically a grey rock formation with some accesories and the brown boat, that even if interesting it is certainly not unique. The minifigs will help give this set the character it needs to be somewhat easily recognizable from the movie scene, but other than that I consider it to be the worst set to display of the whole Hobbit first wave.

CONCLUSION & FINAL ANALYSIS | Score: 5

I am not particularly fond of sets of this size, but there are usually some that I like more than others. In this case, even if the set recreates the scene it is based in somewhat decently, I can't seem to place it on my list of "good" small sets. The question mark on its investment potential is another black mark in this set's record, and even though it may be wise to pick up a couple to hedge your risk, I would not stock up on it unless I saw a crazy good deal.