Just a couple of weeks ago, an article has been circulating on "Lego a 'better investment than shares and gold'". Basically the article point out that an average Lego set has increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium. If you are wondering if the article is true, I would say yes. it is true. So all of us should now spend our money to buy LEGO set as many as we can afford and wait for a year or so to sell online to earn some profit. Yes you will earn at least 12%. That mean if the set of LEGO was bought like $100, you earn $12 the very next year. Isn't that great?
Wow $12....what can you get for $12? How much can you get for just $12 of your earning?
In a economical point of view, this is all about market speculation of supply and demand. Toy collecting is not an old economy, I don't think it even reached to 100 years of history.
As a season toy collector myself, this is my 2 cents experience to share with you and hopefully if you are an investor or going to be one, this may change your mind. For that let me bring you to where popular toy collecting begin in the late 70s or early 1980s where Starwars begin.
Starwars is one product line that has been around and it really hot especially in the late 1990s where young adult is looking to get back their childhood toys mint in packaging. During those period, Kenner started to release a new line of Starwars toys and it just ignite the fire. Some figures just flew out of shelves and went high in the secondary market. Stormtroopers is worth more than 3 figures prices and being a minor character suddenly in full demand.
It went on to the release of Episode 1 to 3 of Starwars and looking back, how much are these figure worth now if you still keep it mint in box? Some say you can google it and you may see some prices there but at those prices the figure will be listed there for a long time and some may not move at all. Good luck to those who invest a lot at that time.
Next let's go to Transformers. This is one hot toy line that was also hot in the 1990s where the G1 mint in box are highly sort after. Guess what? Within the next 20 years, Hasbro and TakaraTomy feed the fans with refresh products and now how much are these G1 MISB figure worth? It does give sincere Transformers fan a chance to own their collection and to play with it tho.
At the turn of 2000, Japan anime figure start to be popular and that is where Bandai, Good Smile, Max factory, Kaiyodo and others came in with Gundam, Figma, Nendoroid and all those products are demand. Remember the picture below? How much does it worth now?
Well in the recent years where Marvel and DCcomic start to have their movies, adult collector wanted something more realistic and Hottoys came into the picture offering their high end toys starting from close to $200 and today easily reached $300 to $400 per figure when it release. How many regular Joe can afford that price when it goes to secondary market?
Now let's go back to LEGO. It do offer fun playtime and good playset but the price to begin with is already not that affordable for some set. You could easily spend over a hundred to get a decent set and to think they will be others to buy from you for your profit? Hm....
What do you think the toy company will do when they know their toys sold out? They will make more of that set as a re-release because the first shipment was sold out fast thanks to the investor. Not to also mention like some incident last year, some of LEGO set was having some delay or recall due to some error and guess who are holding the first batch of the toys? The "investors".
*Above LEGO set already US $349.99 in retail...
In recent years, Toy makers around the world already getting the best of it's profit from the customer direct as they jet up the retail price making less room for secondary market too.
Looking back to the short history above? What is the conclusion for investing in toys? Financially sound people would advise you spend the money on other investment as such investment cost your logistic and storage issue and for that profit, it simply may not be worth it in a long run which you make a lost selling it way cheaper than your cost because you have to clear it for space.
The worst thing is that you are robbing other genuine kids who just want to open and play with the toy.
If you are set to invest then go ahead as it personally will not affect me as a selective collector who open my toys to play. However please do yourself a favour to do some homework and market research.
In the end, Toys are for playing not for investing.
PS: I am not a toy investor and I don't have extra set as Mint in Seal Boxes. :)