Investing in Lego more lucrative than gold, study suggests

Market for secondhand Lego also rises at a better rate annually than stocks, bonds, stamps, art and wine

Last modified on Fri 10 Dec 2021 05.22 EST

Investing in Lego is more lucrative than gold, art and wine, according to a study.

It found that the market for secondhand Lego rises in value by 11% annually, which it says is a faster and better rate of return than gold, stocks, bonds, stamps and wine.

Researchers at the Higher School of Economics in Russia said that there could be lucrative gains to be made from investing in “more unusual goods whose purchase might seem less serious”, such as Lego sets, Barbie dolls, superhero mini figures, or model cars and trains.

“We are used to thinking that people buy such items as jewellery, antiques or artworks as an investment,” said Victoria Dobrynskaya, an associate professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences at HSE. “However, there are other options, such as collectible toys. Tens of thousands of deals are made on the secondary Lego market. Even taking into account the small prices of most sets, this is a huge market that is not well known by traditional investors.”

The most expensive sets include the Millennium Falcon, Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars, as well as the Taj Mahal.

The study, which looked at the prices of 2,322 Lego sets from 1987 to 2015, said that factors such as a limited production run, collector special editions, and scarcity on the secondhand market have served to significantly boost prices over the years. Only sales of new unopened sets were selected.

“Sets produced 20-30 years ago make Lego fans nostalgic, and prices for them go through the roof,” Dobrynskaya said. “But despite the high profitability of Lego sets on the secondary market in general, not all sets are equally successful. One must be a real Lego fan to sort out the market nuances and see the investment potential in a particular set.”

Last month, Lego, the world’s largest toymaker, awarded its 20,000 staff three extra days holiday and a special bonuses after reporting a bumper year of revenues and profits as its sales soared during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.

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