• Is the LEGO Eiffel Tower purchase worth it?

    Right now there are a couple of nice offers for purchases over a certain amount on the LEGO.com website. I scanned through the sale list and either have already stocked up on the items or am passing on them. So I pick something from my wish list that’s over $150 to take advantage of the offers that are available. I choose the Back to the Future Time Machine. (What, can’t we say the word Delorian?)

    That’s some pretty sweet swag for one item.

    The perks, if sold might come to maybe $75 or $80 right now.

    Before hitting the checkout button, I check the prices for the “time machine” elsewhere. Amazon has a sale on it right now for $169.99. Argh. That’s $30 cheaper, but if I buy from there I don’t get any of the swag. Back to my wishlist though. Maybe there’s something that… oh. There’s one thing on the offers page that I didn’t qualify for. Eiffel’s Apartment if I were to buy the $629.99 newly released Eiffel Tower. That would then come with all the previous swag as well as what I think should be a pretty limited set that might gain some good value.

    Eiffel’s Apartment set 40579

    I really hope my wife never reads these posts. I press buy and add 4,095 VIP points to my account, and all of these perks. Big picture, I don’t yet know the answer to the post’s question. But the number of freebies that came with it — especially Eiffel’s Apartment (which is currently selling for $100 on Ebay) and the 4,000 VIP points are worth about $30 in free LEGO later.

  • Target LEGO buying strategy – Dec 1, 2022

    I go to Target.com and then search for “LEGO“. Below the advertisements and above the results, I select “Deals” and then “Weekly Ad“. Right now LEGO VIP is offering 1 VIP point per dollar spent at Target when you upload a receipt. I did it and it worked. BUT $10 spent at LEGO.com usually means about 65 VIP points. Buying through Target and uploading a receipt knocks that down to 10 instead of 65. It’s also worth noting that Target has a pretty painless price-matching program. I have not used it against other retailers, but it worked to get a refund from sets that went down in price on Target’s website.

    Anyway, here are the sets that are more than 20% off (my usual threshold for considering a purchase) right now.

    Set #NameRetailTarget’s% OffBE?PiecesPPP
    76231Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar$44.99$23.9947%G268$0.09
    76155Marvel The Eternals in Arishems Shadow$59.99$35.4941%493$0.07
    76179Batman & Selina Kyle Motorcycle Pursuit$14.99$8.9940%149$0.06
    41706Friends Advent Calendar$34.99$20.9940%312$0.07
    76404Harry Potter Advent Calendar$44.99$28.7936%334$0.09
    10279Icons Volkswagen T2 Camper Van$179.99$120.9933%G2207$0.05
    41954DOTS Adhesive Patch$5.99$4.1930%95$0.04
    41955DOTS Stitch-on Patch$5.99$4.1930%95$0.04
    75317BrickHeadz Star Wars Mandalorian & The Child$19.99$13.9930%G295$0.05
    41956DOTS Ice Cream Picture Frames & Bracelet$29.99$20.9930%474$0.04
    60307City Wildlife Rescue Camp$99.99$69.9930%503$0.14
    10291Queer Eye – The Fab 5 Loft$99.99$69.9930%974$0.07
    76190Iron Monger Mayhem$39.99$29.9925%479$0.06
    43195Disney Belle and Rapunzel’s Stables$49.99$37.4925%239$0.16
    60302City Wildlife Rescue Operation$89.99$67.4925%525$0.13
    31202Art Disney’s Mickey Mouse$119.99$89.9925%G2658$0.03
    21173Minecraft The Sky Tower$59.99$45.9923%G565$0.08
    60294City Stunt Show Truck$69.99$53.9923%420$0.13
    December 1st 2022 Target LEGO sets on sale at more than 20% off.

    BrickEconomy is predicting that 5 of the sets will be a good investment, so let’s start with those.

    21173 The Sky Tower

    From the bottom, 21173 the Minecraft The Sky Tower set is 23% off retail and puts the price per piece at about 8 cents. Some Minecraft LEGO sets have had huge increases in their resale value. None seem to be selling for less than their retail value so this seems like a solid purchase. But the price right now on Amazon is $41.99 at 30% off and knocking another cent off of the PPP. This set does have the Pilot minifigure which is unique to the set. My move: Buy from Amazon.

    Next is 31202 LEGO Art Disney’s Mickey Mouse. It retails for $119.99 but right now is on sale for $89.99 on Target. Like the Minecraft set above, Amazon has this set for less — $10 less at $79.99, which bumps the savings from 25% to 33%. If this set hits the retirement pop that’s currently predicted on BrickEconomy at between $146 and $160 in about the middle of 2023, then it could mean a double in less than a year. At the Amazon sale price, the price per piece is down to just 3 cents (though I know, they are almost all tiny!) My move: Buy from Amazon, or try a price match with Target.

    Next is the LEGO BrickHeadz of The Mandalorian and The Child. These were on sale back in early October for $11.05 compared to the retail price of $19.99. I stocked up on them then, and this is the same price that was available on LEGO.com during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals (but is back to $19.99 now). If I didn’t already have a few I’d be pretty tempted.

    10279 Icons Volkswagen Camper Van T2

    Now comes 10279, the Icons VW Camper Van T2. At $121, it’s at that 1/3 off price which is a good discount. Also, this is considerably below the price it is going for on Amazon. The lowest price in the “more buying choices” is $156 and the core price shown is $185. With a quick $35-$65 to be made, this feels like a good buy. My move: Wishing I could buy from Target.com or local stores, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere I have access to.

    Lastly, the Guardians of the Galaxy Advent Calendar set 76231. This selling at $23.99, or 47% off of the retail price of $44.99 seems like a really good purchase. Marvel will continue making movies so there will always be interest in giving one of these advent calendars. Currently, 4 of the minifigs that come with it are unique to the set. There is only the 2021 set to get a good comparison and it’s selling for $5 over last year’s retail at the rock-bottom prices that I can find. So, locking in 50% gains in one year should be a slam-dunk. My move: Buy from Target.

    A few thoughts on the other sets. I’m just not sure about Marvel’s Eternals set 76155. At 41% off, it seems like it could be a good buy. The movie was alright, but the LEGO sets all seem to be going on sale, so it seems like there’s not much demand for them. Like the LEGO Queer Eye set (30% off here) which seems to have been on sale everywhere for the past few months — if there’s not demand now, will there be?

    The Batman motorcycle set 76179 may be a pretty good buy. The price per piece is pretty low, it has 2 minifigures, and might almost double in price from Target’s sale to the “retirement pop”. The thing for me is that doubling $9, while still doubling your money, isn’t worth the amount of effort when it comes to having to later list, pack and ship it. Buying 10 of them and turning $90 into $180 sounds more attractive, but having to sell them 10 times compared to selling one set at $180 just makes more sense to me. I’m interested in small and low-priced sets that may really pop in value, but I can’t imagine that’s going to be the case with this set.

    The same goes for the DOTS sets. They have such a low price point that making a profit off of them won’t be a windfall, and probably not even buy me a celebratory beverage.

    Lastly, I want to point out that some sets have deceptively high numbers in the table. Like the two City Wildlife sets have PPP of .13 and .14, putting them quite a bit higher than the lows I prefer. But they come with some great animal pieces like elephants, which I have a hunch might end up selling for quite a bit even just loose sometime in the future. My move: Buy from Target.

  • First steps for LEGO investing

    Maybe you’ve realized that the LEGO sets you played with as a kid are worth a lot of money if you hadn’t, you know, played with them. Or maybe you’ve compared the change in the price of a pound of LEGO bricks to other precious items and think it’s an inflation-proof investment. Or maybe you’re just wanting to find good LEGO deals. This is where I think you should start.

    • Join the LEGO VIP program.
    • Check the VIP Home and Rewards>Featured Rewards areas for free perks.
    • Collect a few free points by completing their surveys like “What is your favorite theme?” for 5 points. (Those meager early points might earn you enough for a digital download. I *HAD* to have the Optimus Prime one.)
    • Click on Shop and then Offers & Sale. The Offers section will list things like promotional sets which may come free with purchase. Right now, a purchase of over $150 would earn three freebies with about 600 pieces total (some research shows LEGO pieces average at about 10 cents each) which means that the $150 purchase gets you $60 in free stuff. Some of the promotional sets sell for a bit higher than the 10-cent threshold.
    • Check in every now and then! During Black Friday-Cyber Monday sales you could enter to win one million LEGO VIP points, with a new entry costing you zero points and eligible to re-enter every 24 hours. They also run perks where points were doubled for online purchases and 5x for in-store purchases for the time period.
    One million LEGO points could be traded right now for 76 of the $100 discounts.