Sean Gallup / Getty Images
If you’re looking for a good investment to end the year, you may not need to look any further than the Christmas tree, especially if you have a Lego set there.
Researchers from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow found that selected, unopened, Lego kits on the secondary market had an average annual return of 11% – that’s more than gold and some stocks in large companies.
Victoria Dobrynskaya is a researcher who worked on the study. She said it all started because of her son’s hobby. And the 11% increase is just the average market return.
“First of all, there is a volatility over time,” Dobrynskaya said. “So some years Lego delivered higher returns than other years. So 11% is the average over time. There are some Lego sets that gave a return of 700%, others generated negative returns.”
There are many reasons why some lego sets are valuable – special editions like the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, and limited production to name a few.
But despite some of the big returns, budget-minded fans of the colorful bricks do not have to despair. They can create their own potentially valuable sets through the 2008 fan collaboration project called LEGO Ideas.
People submit ideas for production, and if their design is chosen, they get 1% of royalties. Brent Waller from Brisbane, Australia is one of those people. He designed and submitted a Ghostbusters’ Lego set in 2014.
“I can not think of any other company that has this type of collaboration with its fan base where a fan can, for a brief moment in time, pretend to be a Lego designer,” Waller said.
Waller’s latest creation was inspired by another pop culture favorite – the NBC sitcom Seinfeld.
“I saw that Friends The TV show had a similar set made through the same process and the like Seinfeld fashion, I thought it was outrageous there Seinfeld was not represented in the same way, “Waller said.” I thought I would take it upon myself to try to build my version of Seinfeld apartment to present two-layer ideas to potentially become a real set. ”
Waller’s 30th Anniversary Seinfeld Lego tribute required more than 5,000 hours to watch the show. And it took a weekend to recreate Jerry’s apartment layout, and a few extra days to get the features of each character exactly.
“I basically had a screen that looked at reruns of Seinfeld and another I had pictures of the floor plan of Jerry’s apartment that people had put together online over the years,” he said.
Although a higher return than gold sounds good, both Dobrynskaya and Waller warn if it is not guaranteed.
So remember, it’s not just about the money – Lego is an abbreviation of two Danish words that together mean “play well”.