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  • 06/23/17 - Carl E. Ocker...   06/23/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   06/22-23/17 - Bird In Hand Auction...   06/24/17 - Rene Snyder...   06/24/17 - Rentzels Auction Service, Inc....   06/24/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   06/24/17 - Zettlemoyer Auction Co. LLC...   06/24/17 - 3 Seasons Auction...   06/24/17 - Bodnars Auction Sales...   06/24/17 - Goodrich Auction Service Inc....   06/24/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   06/24/17 - Tom Lorah Auctions, LLC...   06/23-24/17 - Miller & Siegrist Auctioneers LLC...   06/24/17 - Wiederseim Associates, Inc....   06/24/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   06/25/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   06/25/17 - Ron Rhoads...   06/25/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   06/25/17 - Earl Macilwain...   06/26/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   06/26/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   06/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Delaware Estate Sales...   06/28/17 - Allen & Marshall Auctioneers & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Martin's Auction Service...   06/28/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   06/28/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/29/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28-29/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   06/29/17 - George Miller IV Auction Co....   06/30/17 - Bostwick Auctions and Gallery...   06/30-7/1/17 - Chesney Auction...   07/01/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/01/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/01/17 - Wagner Auction Service...   07/01/17 - Blums...   07/02/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/02/17 - George Gibney...   07/04/17 - Doug & Vickie Hardy...   07/05/17 - Diefenderfer Auction Company, LLC...   07/05/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/06/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/08/17 - Howard B. Parzow...   07/08/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/07-08/17 - United Auctions & Antiques & Rentzels Auction...   07/11/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   
  • 06/23/17 - Carl E. Ocker...   06/23/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   06/22-23/17 - Bird In Hand Auction...   06/24/17 - Rene Snyder...   06/24/17 - Rentzels Auction Service, Inc....   06/24/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   06/24/17 - Zettlemoyer Auction Co. LLC...   06/24/17 - 3 Seasons Auction...   06/24/17 - Bodnars Auction Sales...   06/24/17 - Goodrich Auction Service Inc....   06/24/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   06/24/17 - Tom Lorah Auctions, LLC...   06/23-24/17 - Miller & Siegrist Auctioneers LLC...   06/24/17 - Wiederseim Associates, Inc....   06/24/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   06/25/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   06/25/17 - Ron Rhoads...   06/25/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   06/25/17 - Earl Macilwain...   06/26/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   06/26/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   06/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Delaware Estate Sales...   06/28/17 - Allen & Marshall Auctioneers & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Martin's Auction Service...   06/28/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   06/28/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/29/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28-29/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   06/29/17 - George Miller IV Auction Co....   06/30/17 - Bostwick Auctions and Gallery...   06/30-7/1/17 - Chesney Auction...   07/01/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/01/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/01/17 - Wagner Auction Service...   07/01/17 - Blums...   07/02/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/02/17 - George Gibney...   07/04/17 - Doug & Vickie Hardy...   07/05/17 - Diefenderfer Auction Company, LLC...   07/05/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/06/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/08/17 - Howard B. Parzow...   07/08/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/07-08/17 - United Auctions & Antiques & Rentzels Auction...   07/11/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   
  • 06/23/17 - Carl E. Ocker...   06/23/17 - Witman Auctioneers, Inc....   06/22-23/17 - Bird In Hand Auction...   06/24/17 - Rene Snyder...   06/24/17 - Rentzels Auction Service, Inc....   06/24/17 - Milestone Auctions Gallery...   06/24/17 - Zettlemoyer Auction Co. LLC...   06/24/17 - 3 Seasons Auction...   06/24/17 - Bodnars Auction Sales...   06/24/17 - Goodrich Auction Service Inc....   06/24/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   06/24/17 - Tom Lorah Auctions, LLC...   06/23-24/17 - Miller & Siegrist Auctioneers LLC...   06/24/17 - Wiederseim Associates, Inc....   06/24/17 - Leaman Auctions Ltd....   06/25/17 - Costea's Auction Gallery...   06/25/17 - Ron Rhoads...   06/25/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   06/25/17 - Earl Macilwain...   06/26/17 - Toomey Auction Service, Inc....   06/26/17 - Robert H. Clinton & Company, Inc....   06/27/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Delaware Estate Sales...   06/28/17 - Allen & Marshall Auctioneers & Appraisers...   06/28/17 - Martin's Auction Service...   06/28/17 - Embassy Auctions International...   06/28/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/29/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   06/28-29/17 - Barry S. Slosberg, Inc....   06/29/17 - George Miller IV Auction Co....   06/30/17 - Bostwick Auctions and Gallery...   06/30-7/1/17 - Chesney Auction...   07/01/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/01/17 - Horst Auctioneers...   07/01/17 - Wagner Auction Service...   07/01/17 - Blums...   07/02/17 - Cordier Auctions & Appraisals...   07/02/17 - George Gibney...   07/04/17 - Doug & Vickie Hardy...   07/05/17 - Diefenderfer Auction Company, LLC...   07/05/17 - Wilson's Auctioneers & Appraisers...   07/06/17 - Alderfers Auctions & Appraisers...   07/08/17 - Howard B. Parzow...   07/08/17 - Kimberly Hemingway...   07/07-08/17 - United Auctions & Antiques & Rentzels Auction...   07/11/17 - Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc....   
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The Incredible Collectible Lego Minifigure
The Incredible Collectible Lego Minifigure

June 15, 2017

The Incredible Collectible Lego Minifigure

By Shawn Surmick

Printer

The Lego Group scored a massive lucrative licensing deal in 1999, when the company was granted the rights to produce toy building sets based on everyone’s favorite galaxy far, far away. The first Lego sets to premiere that featured the coveted Lego “Star Wars” insignia were extremely crude by today’s standards, but each set contained miniature “Lego-size” figurines (called minifigures) of some of the most beloved characters from the “Star Wars” universe. Due to licensing agreements already in place with toy maker Hasbro, the Lego Group was contractually prevented from selling Lego “Star Wars” minifigures separately. As a result, collectors who just wanted to start a collection of minifigures from the highly prized Lego “Star Wars” line were forced to either buy each and every set they came in or turn to the secondary market and pay an inflated price to acquire their beloved plastic treasures. Ironically, it was the popularity of the Lego minifigures based on the “Star Wars” universe that helped catapult the Lego “Star Wars” franchise to unrivaled success that is still going strong today. Best of all, the Lego minifigure in its current form was actually conceived in the 1970s as a way to bring basic Lego sets, then based on either generic city or space themes, to life.
Today, Lego enthusiasts covet Lego minifigures more than the actual building sets they are packaged in. It was this discovery from the Lego “Star Wars” franchise that caused Lego to explore a plethora of other pop culture licensing themes. Also, today, Lego minifigures are being produced from some of the most popular (and obscure) properties to ever grace pop culture. There are Marvel and DC comic superhero minifigures, a line of Lego Batman minifigures, Scooby-Doo minifigures along with sets to match, “Lord of the Rings” minifigures, “Dr. Who” minifigures, and even minifigures based on the popular animated series “The Simpsons”! Most of these minigifures can only be purchased in complete building sets, but there are exceptions. In 2010, Lego decided to release an original and exclusive series of 16 assorted minifigures that came blind packaged in sealed poly bags. This started a series of collectible minifigures that grace retailers’ shelves and retail for $3.99 each. The series is still going strong and is currently on series 16. If you happen to own the first series brand new and factory sealed, a complete sealed set of 16 minifigures has been recorded as being sold for more than $400 on eBay.
Both toy enthusiasts and Lego collectors cannot get enough of the infamous Lego minifigure. There are secondary websites that track the value of each and every minifigure produced, and today’s children collect them just like the baseball cards, Pogs, or Beanie Babies of my day. Even mass-produced fakes and fantasy pieces exist and are readily available on sites like eBay and Amazon.
Lego products, especially licensed themes in particular, have been engulfed in a speculative bubble for several years now. The secondary market is finally starting to show signs of weakening due to a glut of new product constantly being released to retailers on an ongoing basis. Even the coveted Lego “Star Wars” sets have regularly been placed on clearance by big box retailers like Walmart and Target, which are so desperate to make room for all the newest sets that the Lego Group continues to release several times a year. I have written about the Lego secondary market in previous articles. That being said, the infamous Lego minifigure continues to dominate the hearts and minds of collectors alike. But, with high-quality fakes being released and manufactured in China, how long can the craze last? There are now literally thousands of different Lego minifigures just from the Lego “Star Wars” line alone. A lot of these minifigures are updated versions of popular characters like Boba Fett, Darth Vader, and Yoda - who each have several different variants and designs. This is causing chaos in the secondary market as collectors cannot possibly care to own every single different variant of each character released. Lego even sells a line of hard plastic display cases for $29.99 that hold 16 minifigures and connect with additional cases in true Lego fashion so collectors can expand their ever-growing displays of minifigures. The cases can then be either wall mounted or simply stacked on a flat surface. This is causing some critics to accuse the Lego Group of exploiting the popularity of the Lego minifigure at the expense of oversaturating the market, but to be fair, demand for minifigures based on popular licensed properties has never been higher.
Speculators and collectors are urged to use extreme caution when attempting to invest in this sector of the market. Ten years ago, the Lego minifigure was a unique novelty that held value due to the Lego Group having a tight grip on the supply of its popular products. Today, due to an increased speculative bubble and general awareness surrounding the perceived value and popularity of the expensive children’s toy in question, Lego has loosened its own tight control of the market, and as such, a glut of overproduced sets and minifigures has flooded store shelves. This is now causing demand to soften as smart speculators take a wait-and-see attitude to determine if the secondary market can truly digest the increased supply. Still, in the hearts and minds of collectors, enthusiasts, and children everywhere, the Lego minifigure has cemented itself as one of the most popular collectibles ever produced!