HSE University LEGO Toy Investment Research Study

If you’ve ever had to justify your toy or LEGO purchases to a partner or loved one, now you’re in luck: a new study found that investing in these plastic bricks will bring better returns than if you had invested the same money in gold.

Led by Associate Professor Victoria Dobrynskaya at HSE Moscow University, a group of researchers examined more than 2,300 different LEGO sets released between 1987 and 2015 and found that “average yields of LEGO sets are 10-11% per year (and even more if the new set was bought on the primary market at a discount), which is more than stocks, bonds, gold and many collectibles, such as stamps or wines.

Importantly, they also found significant variation in these returns, which ranged from -50% to a whopping +600% per year, but your average kit still performed better than many traditional investments. Themed sets dedicated to pop culture, seasonal holidays and famous architecture did particularly well, with the most expensive sets including the Millennium Falcon, Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer from star wars, the Cafe on the Corner and the Taj Mahal.

Explaining the phenomenon, the study pointed to three main reasons behind the “rapid growth” in prices. For starters, sets that have been produced in limited quantities have naturally higher demand due to tight supply, especially if they’re based on a popular icon/movie. Second, when these sets are retired, their quantity on the secondary market is often quite low as many owners either refuse to sell their kit or don’t see much value in them and simply throw them away. Finally, with LEGO having such a long history, many enthusiasts are now financially independent adults who have money to spend on nostalgic items, much like what we see with Pokemon cards.

Of course, as profitable as investing in LEGO might be, Dobrynskaya also warns that – as previously stated – “not all sets are equally successful, and you have to be a real LEGO fan to sort out the nuances of the market. and see the investment potential in a particular set.

Elsewhere in the toy world, Sean Wotherspoon and atmos unveiled a [email protected] collaborative corduroy.

Paul N. Strickland