What are the older modular sets worth?

The prices quoted for the older modular buildings in Singapore leave me speechless… you see, ahhyi from S0937 forum had spotted a10182 Cafe Corner at a local store (SC Parkway) going for S$1100 (approx US$860 or GBP530)…

Seriously??? S$1100??? Seriously??? (imagine the entire cast of Grey’s Anatomy saying that ad nauseum…)

A quick check of the current Bricklink price guide for Cafe Corner:

Hmm… it is REALLY expensive now huh?  Even tho the BL prices aren’t as shocking as SC’s, it still costs half an arm…

And what about 10190 Market Street?  Based on the current pricing & availability on BL, I’m guessing the prices will jump even more soon…

Makes me wonder if the modulars are really that popular, or is it a tulip mania in the making? 

And how does that affect me?  Well, luckily I already have my modular street (and the pic below is outdated, realised I don’t have a pic that includes the mirrored green grocer).

And I have at least one MISB set of each of the modulars so far.  Yeah… that’s a few thousand dollars sitting in my shelf…

Tho I never got the sets with the intent to sell… At these shocking prices, I have to admit I’m starting to get tempted (to sell).  But as I described to one of the store owners, it’s really nice to have both displayed sets and another MISB set to look at, kinda like my own personal store.

For the newer readers, I bought extras in case I want to expand the modular buildings vertically, before deciding somewhen around Fire Brigade that I didn’t want to build them taller after all (went ahead to mirror the Green Grocer tho).  I decided to continue getting at least 2 of each modulars so I can continue to maintain one built set and one MISB set.

What do you think? Would you sell the sets if you have spares?

29 Responses to What are the older modular sets worth?

  1. Mond2 says:

    Nope… wun sell at least for another 20 years… makes good retirement funding if there is no children to inherit them… >p

  2. OCK says:

    makes me feel even harder to open up my one and only CC and GG…..

    am so glad manage to fix up a MS from scratch…

  3. I agree with Mond2; don’t sell just yet – unless you have to. There is a little bit of a gamble, in case LEGO does re-release the set, but other than that you are sitting on a goldmine. The longer you hold on to it, the more it is going to be worth. Even if they do re-release it, you should be able to make a nice profit, jsut maybe not as much as if they never release it again.

    I doubt that this is a tulip-mania. Actually, this is true for all LEGO; if you bought your original sets when they were first came out – not to speak of if you buy them when they are on clearance sale – you should always be able to sell it for AT LEAST what you bought it for, and extremely likely; for a lot more. And you can always part them out too, in case the set is not that desirable – making more money.

    There was a discussion on the Bricklink Forum recently where long-term LEGO fans were sharing that none of their stocks, bonds, or other investments ever performed as well as their investment in LEGO.

    There has to be a little bit of basic common sense – you know; don’t make mistakes like sell high and try to sell higher – but other than that, investing in LEGO does make sense.

    I myself have been following Nannan’s (from Brothers Brick) advise for some years now. I buy sets, sell the minifigs and keep the rest. Yep, that’s free LEGO! I’m not making any extra on top of that, but as a LEGO fan it does make sense to me; I own $10,000 worth of LEGO free and clear! 😀

    • rekseah says:

      I personally believe that lego wise is a smart investment. you buy it, you play with it, and when you get tired of it, you can sell it for your money back. \(^o^)/

      but this situation with cafe corner, i believe is a tulip mania. The term “tulip mania” is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble (when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values).[5]

      Currently, the price of CC is being driven by the market and it has ballooned to 4 times it’s initial retail price and dont know how many times its cost price. When the market decides that it no longer needs CC, the bubble will burst.

      • amodularlife says:

        @Rekseah: I’ve to take your word for it, since I haven’t tried selling.
        Sigh, now I know you dun read my posts… *sob*
        My view on the demand for modulars is that it’s also dependent on how nice the new modulars are (and that the modular series will continue). If the new modulars are nice, and manage to attract a pool of new LEGO fans, then an AFOL who’s a completist and MUST get all the modulars, AND who have deep pockets will emerge to shell out the money. Plus I personally think the CC is a really nice set lar…
        Or… if a celebrity AFOL mentions that he/she loves modular series, then the demand will sky-rocket, much like what Beckham did for the Taj Mahal set.
        Eh, I never build my castle sets yet leh… slippery slope. My HP n City sets keep me busy enuf.

      • rekseah says:

        got read la. but when i read on the phone, some of the parts of the post gets masked.

        then have to go to a PC to properly read.

        We’ll KIV, i’ll try to think of something fun.

  4. Daibouken says:

    as of last week i overherad someone reserving CC at SGD599 at a local lego shop, before 10% off that is. And last year i think i got GG at very expensively..Seems like this modular buildings is better investment than the stocks in my portfilio….

  5. Nick Yap says:

    I would definitely sell extra sets (if) I own. No offense, I just don’t see the point of owning extra full Lego sets unless I do have the space. If the need arises to get something extra to complete the ‘scene’, would get a second hand set/ parts. Yeah, I know the condition might not be 100% top-notch but as long as I’m playing with it, who else would notice right?

    I have to agree with TheBrickBlogger, don’t sell yet until you have to. Heh heh, then suckers like me wanting some older sets would buy it! 😉

    Just a short digression: has anyone purchase anything from the Bricklink before? Am eyeing the used Order of the Phoenix Castle. Is the shopping from the various retailers smooth?

    • Nick, I regularly shop in BL. Hundreds of transaction. LOL! Shoppin’ too much! 😉
      Just make sure you check the seller’s feedback, and their store terms.

      DO NOT BUY from 0 feedback sellers who has too-good-to-be-true offers. BL has been having problems with these recently. But if a seller has at least 50-100 positive feedbacks, you should be good.

      It is also a good idea to send the seller an email. Ask something about shipping, or the condition of the set or something. Or just say that you are new and want to feel more comfortable with them. It is perfectly normal to do this.
      You get an idea about the seller’s customer service and professionalism by their response. Sometimes I do this on eBay too, when I’m not sure. It saved me from getting into transactions that could potentially turn sour, and I also made great friends.

      Ask for a tracking number for your order. Most sellers automatically include this for free, but some sellers may not. So, it is a good idea to check and make sure. This service costs 19 cents, but again many sellers just include it for free. It helps them track the package too. 🙂

      If you are still not sure, let me know who the seller is, and I will check for you. Also, very likely I had personal experience with them – as I said, I shop there way too much! 😀

      • Nick Yap says:

        Thanks for the advice!

        Am a total noob on this and have been relying on ebay too much.

        BL looks really really enticing…. my wallet is gonna be BLOWN!


        Thank you once again!

  6. rekseah says:

    Ever heard of the tulip manic?

  7. Ahhyi says:

    Yah.. really shocked when the sales girl tell me the price ytd.. but last week at TS the uncle son tell me he sold one at 1k couple of weeks back.. even commented that i am lucky to buy it at 750….

  8. amodularlife says:

    @teikxenogears: Was at Bricks Empire, but I think sold out quite soon after a bro reported on the S0937 forum.

    @Ahhyi: Erm, I was already shocked when I heard ppl were buying at S$750… now at $1k? *shakes head* As much as I like my modulars, I don’t think I can bear paying S$1k for one set… but then again, I’ve read that a rare MISB Kenner Star Wars figure can go for a few k. Mabbe it’s a mindset, I see LEGO as a toy and not as a collectors item. 😛

    @rekseah: What’s a tulip manic?

    @Mond2, OCK, Akunthita, Daibouken, Nick Yap: LEGO as investment/for sale? Hmm… I dunno, right now it’s just a really expensive hobby seeing how much I spend on them. I’m too busy at work to think about selling them off not to mention parting them out. I do have tonnes of minifigs I don’t need tho.

    • Mond2 says:

      Just my 1 cent…. its not really an expensive hobby… this is by far my cheapest hobby… so i m not complaining… and i am the buy first regret later type…

      As for what you are going thru… Its actually a cycle most AFOL (AFFOL in your case) goes thru… its call the accumulation phase… where one simply have not time to play other than go to the shop to grab that couple of newly released sets on the way home… following this its either you go into dark ages or you start opening most of them up to play… build… moc…

    • rekseah says:

      paisei, typo. my phone went crazy on me while replying. and i didnt read your full post also. >p

      anyway, how about castle theme this friday? we need to pull wyvern knight out of her dark ages.

  9. Mond2 says:

    movie props / replicas…. and some other wierd stuff… >p

  10. Nick Yap says:

    @amodularlife: Tulip manic/mania would, I assume, refer to the when Tulips prices were high soaring due to crazy demand and suddenly went pop. Read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania

    Aiya, what no time to sell? Sure one day got time one lar. If not, your future kids would have a very happy childhood. Otherwise, you could always sell it to us… please? We can always prolong our very happy second childhood 😀

    For other movie replicas, you can always try Popcornpop @ esplanade. Friendly staff and they are very helpful. They once had mini Light Sabers, just ask them.

    • amodularlife says:

      @Nick: Is ok lar, for now I don’t need the cash so no hurry. I travel quite often for my work so it’s not conducive to setting up a BL store… plus I also can’t decide which sets I can bear to part with. That’s the hoarder in me speaking of course. 😛

  11. Mark says:

    I just bought a Cafe Corner for SG $750, and a display model Market Street for SG $400. Been eyeing it sitting in the shop window for some time, and when I read this article and saw the price changes on BL, decided to grab it.

    Spent a good hour dismantling the set ready to enjoy building in the future : )

    • amodularlife says:

      @Mark: Oooh… have fun! Try to play with MS 1st? The build is quite simple so it wasn’t as fun as CC. I actually built the modulars in sequence i.e. CC then MS. After building CC, the MS just wasn’t as satisfying.

      Hope I didn’t cause the prices to raise further. Am going to browse BL now. 😉

      Update: No significant changes… maybe prices are at resistance level? But $400 for an MS seems to be a good deal.

      • walsh klien says:

        Wow! Enjoy Mark. Now this kinda makes me feel better when I bought all the 4 Modulars (excluding MS) at around 1K =)

      • Mark says:

        Nice one walsh Klien! I came out of the “dark ages” (who came up with that phrase) a few months ago – and was amazed to discover Modular buildings. I’ve managed to find all 5 of them though and so far I’ve built Green Grocer and Fire Brigade… I’m planning on rationing out CC, MS and The Emporium over the year, although it’s difficult seeing them sitting in my study everyday!

      • amodularlife says:

        @Mark: Haha…. rationing? You must have a lot of self control!

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