Do toys prove to be a better investment than gold, art, and financial securities?

Lego Space. Denmark. 1987. TVTA/Jaltesorensen.

Depending on condition, rarity and market demand, I would say yes, they could do. A study published December 3, 2021 by HSE University economists states that “Unusual ways of investment, such as collecting toys, can generate high returns.” One of the study’s authors, Victoria Dobrynskaya, says:

“We are used to thinking that people buy such items as jewellery, antiques or artworks as an investment. 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.” 

Read the HSE article here

Lego sets various. Autumn Bargains catalogue. 1986. UK. TVTA.

Time to break out your old Lego to see if you have anything of value to sell?

Hold on… to gain maximum profit you must first have something that is still in its original sealed box and in mint condition. Second, it needs to be an item that was popular and sought after (think Star Wars Lego sets) and produced as a limited run or as a special exclusive. Third, does the item have nostalgia and worldwide appeal value?

This is not to say that if you have a well-looked after complete Lego set which has been opened and played with, and with the original box and instructions still lying around somewhere, you won’t get a good return on what you originally paid. If you have just the complete Lego toy but no box and instructions however, then your return will be lower.

May The Toys Be With You

Star Wars 1978 Display Stand with First Twelve action figures. TVTA.

The same can be said for Star Wars toys and collectables made between 1978 to around 1985. Some items in mint and unopened condition can go for thousands+, but so too can certain items that are no longer packaged and perhaps not even in that good condition. Rarity is key. In 2010, I paid 100 USD for an all original 1978 Star Wars Display Stand including the ‘first twelve’ figures meant to be displayed. I’ve since updated some of the figures with better condition and rarer specimens (thus increasing its value). The figure accessories are all original and some are very hard to find. If I sold the set today I would make a mouth-watering profit on that original hundred bucks I spent.

Continue reading