Lego David

Why are LEGO Elves sets so Sought After?

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So, when Elves originally came out, I just dismissed it as just another "Girl Theme", and didn't pay much attention to it. But recently, having taken a more in-depth look at the theme, I became a big fan of it, and really want to get some of the sets. But, for whatever reason, the prices for the Elves sets (the Dragons especially) have skyrocketed since the sets were retired. For example, buying a used copy of 41179 Queen Dragon's Rescue is gonna cost you around 120$ at the cheapest, and a sealed one probably twice as much.

What exactly happened that caused the sets to became so expensive on the secondary market? 

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I don't think there's anything special going on here- seems like pretty typical appreciation to me when a set gets retired, especially when it's still new enough that someone who is a completionist or looking for a specific minifig (minidoll in this case) may still be willing to pay a premium.  The the prices will dip a bit, then as it ages it'll be less common to find the complete set and it'll go back up in price.  Since these sets also are interesting to begin with (vs just another police car with a generic police officer from City - that kind of thing) and have animals and specific characters in them, they tend to remain at more of a premium.  Take a look at some of the old Vikings sets, Ninjago, etc. - not at all uncommon for them to range from 2x to 5x the original retail price.  Maybe a more direct comparison would be Friends sets: stuff from the last few years is 1-1.5x for generic vehicles or "scene" sets, but when you add a specific theme or interest (like sets with horses, veterinary sets, etc.) they prices jump back to that 2-3x range.  I think you're seeing general market forces + timing there more than any other specific factor affecting price.

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I feel like a lot of us were sleeping on that theme.

I only got one set, but the theme at large was perfect for fantasy mocs, at least parts wise. There are a few standout location sets, plenty of colorful foliage, and the hair, hood, and cape pieces could be useful as well.

I imagine now, more people are retroactively interested, so they're becoming rarer to acquire.

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Posted (edited)

I loved the theme, but for me the timing wasn't right as I was collecting Nexo Knights at the time.

In 2016, I just returned to LEGO after 15 or so years.

Now, in hindsight, Elves did get amazing location based sets that could fit in any colorful fantasy world.

Also I can imagine that themes like LEGO Movie 2 sets might have introduced more people to the world of Minidolls, including me.

Maybe if I had a chance to re-do it, I'd collect Elves instead , but I still don't regret the Nexo Knight sets.

I always look forward for new sets and themes, instead of buying retired sets, since I skipped 15 years of LEGO, which maybe made that mindset easier.

I didn't expect to collect Ninjago, but season 13 changed my mind for that theme.

Harry Potter seems to fill some of the gap for a fantasy/magic theme, as there seem to be a lot of female fans for that license, I don't think it's purely random that it re-appeared right after the last Elves wave.

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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Essentially, everyone is realising how good the theme was and they want the sets.

We have not had a long enough time pass for the children who have the sets to get to an age where they want to sell them on.

In a few years, a lot of the children who were the target market will have new things that they need money for (trips, tech and treats. Different hobbies etc) and that will prompt the sale of the LEGO.

As you possibly can tell, I play the long game :laugh:

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This is the part where I get to feel smart for buying Elves stuff while it was available. :tongue:

In all,seriousness, though, I feel that. I only got into the theme in 2017, and managed to pick up a couple of 2016 sets (the Starlight Inn is one of my favourites and it has pride of place in my fantasy display) but some, like the Dragon School and the Fire Bakery, I do regret missing. I’ve looked around the aftermarket for deals on them but at this point I think I just have to let it go. I don’t really have space for them anyway, I suppose. :shrug_confused:

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The additional interest from Fantasy MOCers is a good point - certainly could add a bit to the resale value above and beyond normal factors.  I also agree that the theme was underrated (as you touched on in the topic post, Lego David) and I'll admit that while I didn't discount it at the time, looking at the sets again now I see several more that would have been nice to have!

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Posted (edited)

The line had so many unique bricks and colors, plus great character designs, animals and fantasy builds, I bought multiples of most of the sets so I would have extra bricks for MOCs and parts to mix and match to make unique minidolls.

MyElvesSmallerPic.jpg

Edited by Killian
getting pic to work

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Elves was not only underrated but look at the dearth of historical/fantasy products out now. Anything vaguely in that vein (especially designs as eye-catching as Elves) can easily surge for that reason, even if it doesn't have in-demand minifigs.

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The answer to the main question is - because they're awesome! I am pretty satisfied with the sets I got from the theme, it was very unique and creative. I do think it was underrated. I remember every year there is usually a "best and worst of the year" thread on here, and it seemed there was always a few people putting Elves as the worst theme. Not that many percentage wise, but a few. Which is just ridiculous to me, fine if it's not your thing but objectively it was a well executed theme. So probably some people who overlooked have gotten into it late. 

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I have a few Elves sets and some of the pieces are very unique, probably not found in any other themes. I bought a good number of them when they were on the shelves for my future kids (at the time I had no children yet); luckily I have a daughter now so maybe she'll get to play with them once she's older. I think people (collectors?) are going for the dragons. Any set with a dragon that is not the Evil Dragon from 41183 are fetching good money on secondary market like Mercari or eBay. Sets without dragons are worth significantly less relative to their MSRP. Overall I really like the theme and I never disregarded it. I hope one day something similar will carry on its legacy.

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Posted (edited)

Overall, it looks like demand for Castle sets is growing again.

Especially on IDEAS, some relatively new Castle-themed projects already made it to 2000-5000+ , and most are non-licensed.

I do hope 2021 will bring something new in the Fantasy lineup, by then Frozen II sets are probably retired.

I can see similarities in Disney Princess/Frozen II sets compared to Elves, for example the Tree House, but those Disney sets still look less interesting and are way overpriced imo.

 

 

Edited by TeriXeri

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I actually have a decent amount of elves sets.  I don't care much for the mini-dolls so I used the hair pieces for my custom figs.  I have the elvenstar tree set it's great really well designed and a couple of the dragons too.  I really like the goblin kings dragon, great color scheme and build.  I wish i had picked up some more of the sets.  The pieces and fig parts are very useful for my fantasy/castle world.  I even used the hood pieces with the elf ears on them for a custom faction of moon elves I have made.  The theme was very interesting just wish I also wasn't buying other themes at the time like Nexo knights, Ninjago, Marvel, and some DC and Star Wars sets.  

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Oof, with the price increase, maybe I should've ditched some sets to picked up more elves sets back in 2018 when they were still in store. It's definitely a really good theme. Was having the same feeling about it being just a girl's theme but with the addition of villains, my interest starts to be piqued and that was before I fully explored the theme in 2018.

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it was really an amazing theme. I felt weird purchasing the first set - it was the lime green dragon 50% off. But it was soo good. Afterwards I managed to purchase most dragons on sale - including the Queens dragon, in a store for only 30€, when the set was already sought after for large sumes...

Im thinking on selling them though since I will move and have lack of space. I live in Austria - contact me and I'll think about it. Queen's dragon would be a really hard sell though, it's for sure among the 3 best dragons ever.

What I liked most about the dragons is how fluent the colour schemes were - especially on the underside. No other theme did this so well.

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On 7/10/2020 at 1:24 PM, Peppermint_M said:

Essentially, everyone is realising how good the theme was and they want the sets.

We have not had a long enough time pass for the children who have the sets to get to an age where they want to sell them on.

In a few years, a lot of the children who were the target market will have new things that they need money for (trips, tech and treats. Different hobbies etc) and that will prompt the sale of the LEGO.

As you possibly can tell, I play the long game :laugh:

It's a good insight, and already happening. I bought some used Elves sets - well, some of the bags were unopened - a month ago, inculding the Queen dragon and the first fire dragon, for 40€. Given that some of bags were unopened, I think that the original kid's interest lasted less that the building time.

I don't collect sets, but if I would, I would collect elves. The most sets are coherent, solid and visually interesting. I've got some for their colourful pieces and exquisite prints to be used in MOCs.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure if those Frozen II and Disney Princess sets have same designers as Elves, but the Frozen II Tree House, and new Aurora's Cottage does give me Elves vibes.

However the prices are just crazy in comparison to what Elves had.

Edited by TeriXeri

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