LEGO toys have been the ‘building blocks’ of childhoods for dozens of generations, and ever since they came to the shelves of worldwide markets they were practically unavoidable. It’s pretty safe to say that every child, woman, and man knows what LEGO toys are, but what puzzles most people is why their sets are so expensive.
Today we are going to discuss why LEGO sets are so expensive, and ultimately, are they really worth as much as they cost.
- 1 Why are LEGO sets so expensive?
- 2 LEGO licensing – a major factor that pumps up the price
- 3 LEGO blocks and collection value
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
Why are LEGO sets so expensive?
There are numerous reasons why LEGO sets cost a small fortune, but all the answers pretty much revolve around the word ‘quality’. LEGO toys are built from top-shelf material, they’re incredibly flexible, and they’ve touched upon some of the most popular fantasy worlds theme-wise.
The quality of LEGO sets
You’ve probably heard of the popular curse ‘hope you step on a LEGO’, and there’s a bit of funny irony behind it. Namely, LEGO blocks are so sturdy that you’re more likely to break all the bones in your hand (or foot) than to break a single piece of LEGO.
There are numerous YouTube videos of people putting LEGO pieces against a hydraulic press, which show just how sturdy these little pieces of plastic are. Basically, most LEGO blocks only ‘deform’ a bit, but they retain their structural integrity until massive amounts of force are applied.
What’s even more surprising is that most pre-crafted LEGO contraptions have been able to withstand a force of several hundreds of kilograms before they would lose shape. Ultimately, even at the very end, the LEGO blocks will not ‘break’. They will just deform.
Cohesion of LEGO blocks
The quality of ‘cohesion’ of LEGO blocks is one of the main reasons why adults have as much fun playing with them as children do. Namely, when you put together a LEGO toy, you’ll need to pick it apart in the same way you pieced it together.
The blocks are practically incapable of separating ‘by chance’, which is the reason why you can craft a LEGO playing station and put a child to play inside without fretting of actually ‘destroying’ the construction.
While the vast majority of similar blocks do tend to ‘stick’ together, LEGO blocks can remain in the same form almost indefinitely. Again, LEGO blocks are made of practically ‘unbreakable’ plastic material, which means that the ‘connectors’ will not break or deform, even after enduring enormous amounts of physical pressure.
Versatility of LEGO blocks
What makes LEGO blocks unique is that they can be used in any number of ways. Once stuck together they are practically ‘gelled’ and will remain in that form until you decide otherwise. However, ‘un-gelling’ them is just as easy, and you can switch between themes completely seamlessly.
Quantity complements quality
LEGO block sets typically come in bundles of varying sizes. The average LEGO set is comprised of approximately 600-800 pieces, but there are bundles that feature more than 5,000 pieces. Obviously, the bigger the set is, the higher the price tag is.
Additionally, LEGO often manufactures their sets in such a way so that they are ‘open’ for further improvements and upgrades, which means that smaller sets can be coupled with other smaller and mid-sized sets to create a ‘huge’ LEGO block set. The ‘complete’ sets that are comprised of several ‘standalone’ bundles typically cost less, though.
LEGO licensing – a major factor that pumps up the price
The quality of LEGO toys is undisputed, but there are several ‘external’ factors that contribute to the final price that the consumer ends up paying. One of the biggest factors is ‘licensing’.
LEGO is a brand that regularly cooperates with other brands that may or may not be entirely related to their field of work. Just like we’ve mentioned a while ago, LEGO blocks have touched various fantasy worlds, including Star Wars, DC comics, Harry Potter, Marvel, and so on.
LEGO, as a brand, needs to pay a certain fee in order to use the image of characters that belong to other brands (license); in turn, LEGO also plays a part in the marketing campaigns of those brands.
LEGO blocks and collection value
Standard LEGO sets are consumer bundles that are available to the public at all times. However, certain LEGO sets were released as ‘exclusive’, meaning that they were only available for a certain period of time. These sets were manufactured in limited quantities, and after the last one gets sold, the price of all of the sets in the same line skyrockets.
Additionally, certain ‘exclusive’ sets are only available for purchase at official LEGO shops; trying to pawn them off on online marketplaces such as Amazon or E-Bay is illegal, and these are typically more expensive than ‘standard’ LEGO sets.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the biggest LEGO sets on the market?
Believe it or not, there are dozens of LEGO block sets that are comprised of several thousand LEGO pieces. The currently biggest LEGO set is the Millenium Falcon comprised of 7541 pieces and 10 miniature figurines released in 2017.
The second-biggest set is the famous Hogwarts Castle from the Harry Potter fantasy world comprised of 6020 pieces that was released in 2018. We should also mention the LEGO Taj Mahal that held the record for the longest time; it’s comprised of 5922 pieces and it was released back in 2008. The LEGO Star Wars Death Star holds the record for the LEGO set with the highest number of mini figurines (27).
Are there ways to get LEGO block sets for cheaper?
Generally speaking, you could try looking for cheaper sets on Amazon, E-Bay, and similar online marketplaces. Parents of children who ‘outgrew’ their toys are constantly selling toys that are no longer used by their youngsters.
What are ‘exclusive’ LEGO sets?
LEGO exclusive sets are special bundles of LEGO blocks that are not available anywhere but in official LEGO stores. These are typically sets of 1,000+ pieces.