Jun 07, 2024

A Guide to Buying Rare and Retired LEGO® Sets

Every fan of LEGO® sets knows that the life of every set is limited, after they have had their time in the limelight they are swiftly retired and added to the long list of archived builds. But if you are a true LEGO® set fan then you'll know that retirement is far from the end for a lot of sets. When a LEGO® set is retired from the high street shelves it enters the next stage of its life, the hall of fame you stage you could say. It’s in this afterlife that a set’s exclusivity and value are determined by the fans rather than the LEGO Group itself.

The world of LEGO® sets is extensive and vibrant. It enables fans all over the world to unleash their creativity and bring their imaginations to life. But beyond the creative expression that building them offers, LEGO® sets have an appeal that has captivated the hearts of millions, collecting. The collecting community is full of like-minded fans with an insatiable thirst for rare and valuable kits and the market for this kind of LEGO® set is constantly evolving and is nearly always reliant on second-hand bricks. As we mentioned earlier, sets that have been retired and moved on to the collectability stage of their lifespan are no longer being made new. Therefore, collectors must rely on people who already own them to pass them on and sustain the rare LEGO® set trade. Now Let’s look at how and where you can get your hands on rare or valuable second-hand LEGO® sets and what the benefits are of investing in the second-hand market.

How to Buy Rare and Retired LEGO® Sets

When it comes to getting hold of retired LEGO® sets, it might surprise you to see how easy it actually is. Unless you are lucky enough to find an independent shop with some leftover sets, your best chance of finding a retired set is through the online second-hand market. Unfortunately, there is an assumption that second-hand LEGO® bricks are always poor quality, but this isn’t always the case. Of course, not everyone buys LEGO® bricks to collect them so there will be some sets on the market that have some wear and tear from years of use, but the majority of collectors take the conditions of their sets very seriously. As a result, the quality of the LEGO® sets available on the second-hand market is often to a very high standard.

Buying Rare LEGO® Sets Online

Rare LEGO® set guide - buying LEGO® sets online.png In your search for Retired LEGO® sets, the best place to start is online. Thanks to sites like Bricklink and Brick Owl, the search for rare sets has become much easier. No matter how obscure your LEGO® set desires are, sites like these will be able to help. LEGO® set forums are also a great way to get the down-low on the second-hand market - providing crucial information or leads to follow on your hunt for the rarer LEGO® sets. And of course, there is the old reliable eBay. Finding your retired sets on this second-hand buying platform might rely a little bit more on luck but it’s definitely worth checking out. For more tips on how and where to buy second-hand LEGO® sets online, check out our Where To Buy LEGO® Sets Online blog.

Buying Rare LEGO® Sets Offline

Rare LEGO® set guide - buying LEGO® sets at a LEGO® Store.png Online stores and forums aren’t the only places to quench your thirst for rare LEGO® sets - shows and personal connections are another great way to source your bricks. There are a multitude of shows that take place all over the UK and they are a prime opportunity to get your hands on some of the most elusive LEGO® sets. Shows like the London Brick Festival and the Great Western Brick Show give attendees the opportunity to pick up some of the rarest and most sought-after LEGO® sets out there. You could also try your local LEGO® set club or even a local car boot sale to see if you can find any hidden gems, but again, this may just rely on potluck.

Is Investing in LEGO® Sets a Good Idea?

Rare LEGO® set guide - buying LEGO® sets as an investment.png The reasons you have for collecting LEGO® sets will tell you whether it is a valuable investment or not. LEGO® sets hold their value in different ways for different people, for example, if you collect rare LEGO® sets so you can experience the joys of building and displaying it, then your investment may hold great sentimental value. However, if you are more interested in buying sets to keep them sealed in their boxes, then buying sets becomes more of a financial investment. Here are some of our favourite discontinued sets:

Architecture - 21027 - Berlin Architecture Berlin Set - 21027.png

Ideas - 21310 - Old Fishing Store Old Fishing Store - 21310.png

Ideas - 10185 - Green Grocer Green Grocer Set - 10185.png

And that draws our guide to buying rare and retired LEGO® sets to a close. So, if it’s the retired 2016 Star Wars Death Star that you are after or the 1980s LEGO® castle set you are after, follow this guide and watch your collection grow.

If you have some LEGO® bricks lying around that you don't know what to do with, jump on the WeBuyBricks app and we will make you an offer for it in a matter of minutes, it couldn't be easier!

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