How to identify a valuable piece of Lego
Lego is one of the most popular children’s toys of all time.
Even if you don’t have kids of your own, it’s almost certain that you (or your parents) will have a big box of it tucked away somewhere.
You might be surprised to learn that some pieces have become very valuable over recent years.
Here’s our guide on what to look out for.
Yes, individual pieces of Lego can be worth a surprising amount of money!
There’s even a website (Bricklink) to link collectors with people selling individual pieces from old and out of issue sets.
For instance, this black 1x2x2 window from the rare 7760 Diesel Shunter train set (1980) regularly sells for $12 a pop.
However, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to identify a valuable single part by sight alone (most are completely worthless).
You can trawl through older sets (anything pre-2005), as these are more likely to be out of production.
Then you simply check the box number on Bricklink using the Inventory function. This will tell you exactly what each part is worth.
Lego introduced its iconic Minifigs in 1978. They were an instant hit and since then thousands of limited edition varieties have been introduced.
The most valuable are issued in gold and can go for tens of thousands, Star Wars figures in particular. A 14k gold Boba Fett (one of 2) has a guide price of close to $20,000, while a 14k gold C3PO (one of five) is valued at $18,288.
While you’re extremely unlikely to have one of these without knowing it, other figures issued in the past have proven very valuable.
Keep an eye out for pieces from popular franchises (eg Star Wars or characters from the Marvel Universe) as they command a premium online.
Darth Vader minifigs, for example, can go for anything from $19 to $200 depending on their rarity.
Most of these licensed figures were sold individually (not as part of a set) and so are mainly the preserve of dedicated collectors.
However, regular issue figures can be valuable too.
The astronauts that appeared in the 1980s are in high demand and regularly go for around the $11 mark in good condition.
Meanwhile the pirates that were released in the early 1990s sell for a similar rate online.
The market can be mainly attributed to nostalgia rather than rarity, but I'll bet if you grew up in the 80s or 90s your parents will have a few of these in their attic.
If you possessed the admirable self-discipline to put your Lego back in its original box (or preferably never took it out) then you could be in luck.
Some sets have become extraordinarily valuable in recent years.
Again Star Wars is hugely popular – the 2007 Ultimate Collectors’ Millenium Falcon regularly sells for over $3,000 in mint condition.
Have you got a boxed, mint 1989 Lego Pirates Black Seas Barracuda? Lucky you - they’re going for around $1,500.
How about a 1984 Community Buildings set? That could be worth over $400.
There’s a wealth of information out there that you can access simply by typing in the name of the set and its serial number into eBay.
So do you have a piece of Lego that you think might be worth something? Let us know in the comments.
Just remember, most collectors are after mint condition sets. Condition will dramatically affect the value.
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