Review: 30340-1 - Emmet's 'Piece' Offering
What is my LEGO collection worth? I guess that question has bothered most of us, at some time or other, and it is not easy to answer it. LEGO has many different values, depending on age, condition, and most importantly, the type, being either individual part or complete set. How to determine those values, and what Rebrickable has to offer in assistance, that is the main subject of this basic review of the most simple of LEGO packages; the humble and underestimated polybag.
A couple of weeks ago I ran into a bunch of polybags at my local LEGO shop and they seem to be really cheap: €2,99 each. So I bought a few, and figured I could do a basic review on them. However, I always want to have something extra in my reviews; something you don't find anywhere else, and so, next week, I will do a review of 30527-1 - Lucy vs. Alien Invader and look into the history of polybags, and the different ways of collecting them; while this week, I am building 30340-1 - Emmet's 'Piece' Offering and I want to find out as much as I can about the value of that set and its parts. Let me start with some basic observations.
LEGO is commonly sold in five primary categories: bulk bricks, collections, sets, parts, and minifigures:
- Bulk bricks are mostly sold by weight, with prices ranging from $5 to $15 per pound (USA) to €7,50 to €20,00 per kilo (EUR). Small lots will usually be a little cheaper, as there is less demand for them.
- Collections are special; a LEGO minifigure collection with series 1 through 16 without Mr. Gold sold in October 2017 for $1,800, while a month earlier, the same collection with Mr. Gold sold for $2,281. The more complete a collection, the higher its value.
- Sets are sold in four different categories: MISB (Mint in sealed box), SIDB (Sealed in damaged box), Complete (opened, but with all the original parts, as well as the box, instructions, parts bags, stickers and sticker sheets, and minifigures) and Incomplete. The better the condition and the more complete, the higher the price. In August 2017 a 10179-1 - Millennium Falcon - UCS sold for $3,799, a month later 10189-1 - Taj Mahal switched ownership for $3,000.
- Parts can be New (when they have never been connected to another part) or Used (when they have...). The quality of used parts is determined by play-wear and scratches, cracks, discoloration/yellowing, teeth marks and other damage, and whether the parts are clean or dirty. Prices range from €0,005 (half a Euro cent) to $200 for a Light Bluish Gray 47996 - Boat Mast Rigging Long 28 x 4.
- Minifigs are highly collectible, and thus their value can be enormous. Especially exclusive minifigures, like the 2012 New York Toy Fair exclusive Captain America (only 125 copies ever made), the 14K gold C-3PO (5 made) or the 14K gold Boba Fett, handed out at the 2010 San Diego Comic Con (only 2 made).
In the remainder of this review, we will look indepth at set prices and part prices. We'll deal with minifigures at another time, because minifigures and their values really requires an article on it own.
This set was a give-away at some theaters during the early screening of The LEGO Movie 2 on January 26, 2019. A few days later the set became available for purchase at Target, Walmart and other vendors. Here's an overview of the 2019 LEGO Movie 2 polybags:
Now, if you click on this link the Rebrickable set details page will open in another browser tab.
In the side-bar on the left there is a section named "Buy this LEGO Set" that shows a selection of known prices for this set. The sources for these prices are Amazon, eBay, LEGO, Bricklink and Brickowl, and the prices information is recent, no more then three days old. However, the sources are only shown if recent price information is available, in other words, if a set is no longer available at the LEGO shop, the LEGO prices will not be displayed.
If you click on the "See all known prices button" (or the Buy Set Tab) you can see your current Buying Settings, and a list of shops based upon those settings. You can in- or exclude Bricklink, Brickowl, Independant, Amazon, eBay and LEGO stores; include stores from all regions, or just your own country, and in- or exclude used or 2nd hand sets. The Change default settings jumps to Profile > Settings > Buying. Pro Features include Favourite Stores and Blacklisted Stores.
For this set, when stores for all regions are included, the price ranges from €1,95 to €6,90, but here we see some of the problems with the automatic collections of set prices. One Brickowl seller is asking €10,77 for this set, and then there are two entries, an Amazon US offer of €37,16 and a German Bricklink store offer of €90,47, that really don't make much sense. Amazon is especially infamous for this, some folks asking outragious prices for common sets, which, in my opinion, is a scam. So before you buy anything on Amazon or elsewhere, do check Rebrickable to prevent a costly mistake.
One of the hidden gems of Rebrickable is the Price History Chart, that is available for each and every set in our database. You can access this chart by clicking on the "Add/Edit Set Watch" botton in the Actions section of the side-bar. The chart shows the historical cost of a set for the last 3 months, and it includes data from all known stores except Amazon and eBay. You can see Average Cost, Minimum Cost, and, if available, Average Cost Used. Hover over the chart to see the actual values for each day of the last three month.
One piece of essential price information, which is, as yet, NOT available within Rebrickable, is the MSRP, the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. For that price, we need to select the Brickset link in the side-bar, and look for the RRP. If available, Brickset lists this price in three different currencies, pounds, dollars and euros. However, as this set was a give-away, Brickset doesn't have a MSRP.
The bag measures 172 x 194 x 15 mm and weighs 43 gram. It contains 44 parts and the build instructions.
The instruction booklet (BI - Build Instructions 6268288) measures 20.2 x 27.3 cm and contains 2 pages and 16 steps.
The pdf can be downloaded here.
The set contains 44 parts and no spare parts, in 7 different colors, and 8 different categories, with a total of 18 unique parts/color combinations.
Main colors are:
Main categories are:
There are no unique parts or rare colors.
For new sets, the POV, the Part-Out Value, the combined value of the individual parts, is higher then the Average Cost, or even higher then the MSRP. This makes sense, of course, because sellers of new parts have to buy new sets to get their parts, and they will sell them at such a price that they can make a little profit.
However, the LEGO parts market is essentially Keynesian; the market is completely open and tranparent; for new bricks there is no quality uncertainty, and thus price is fully determined by supply and demand. So if many sellers buy new sets to sell new parts, the high supply of the most common parts will drive their prices down, which has to be compensated by raising the prices of less common parts. The result is that the price difference between common and rare parts, or better, common and rare part/color combinations, is exaggerated, and constantly in flux, especially when LEGO releases large new sets with many rare part/color combinations. The same applies for the development of demand; if a new MOC goes viral and it uses some rare part/color combinations, the price for those particular parts can double or triple within a few weeks, and crash again a few month later when supply catches up again.
Looking at the inventory of set 30340-1 - Emmet's 'Piece' Offering, the approximate cost of the parts within this set is €10.64. This is the Rebrickable Part-Out Value of the set, based on new bricks. Note that for one part, 3626cpr9896 - Minifig Head Lego Movie Emmet, Dual Sided, Lopsided Smile / Frustrated Print [Hollow Stud] the system doesn't have accurate price information.
One problem with the Part-Out Value is the condition of the bricks, whether to use new parts or used parts in determining the POV. This issue has been discussed several times on the Rebrickable forum, and some people feel that the Part-Out Value should be based upon used parts, and not, as it is currently, on new parts. There are good arguments for either position; if you buy mostly new sets, you are probably more intersted in the new POV, whereas if you collect mostly old sets, you might want to know the used POV. Additionally, not all parts are available in new condition, and neither are all parts available in used condition. So which ever system we choose, there will always be parts without price information.
However, the Bricklink Price Guide does allow us to choose the condition of the parts, and it also allows to in- or exclude the instructions, the box and the extra parts. For this set, using "Average of last 6 months Sales", we get the following results:
- New, Parts including Minifig parts: US $9.84
- New, Parts and whole Minifigs: US $10.45
- Used, Parts including Minifig parts: US $5.32
- Used, Parts and whole Minifigs: US $3.78
The culprit, in this case, is the Orange 2357 - Brick 2 x 2 Corner. This part is currently NOT available in used condition, and the new price, according to Bricklink, is €0.84. As the set contains six of these, their value alone is €5.04, which is more then the Average Cost of the entire set.
With an Average Cost of €3,99. my polybag of €2,99 was decently cheap. Price per part is 9,1 ct (average) or 6,8 ct (discount). However, there is one minifig included, with an average value of €2,59. If we take that into account, the PPP drops to 3,5 ct (average) or 1,0 ct (discount).
The set depicts the opening scene of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, when Emmet again assumes his hero role by offering a brick-build heart to the Duplo invaders. The heart itself consist of 40 parts, and the above mentioned Orange 2357 - Brick 2 x 2 Corner are used to strenghten the build, which means that the back side of the heart looks different then the front side.
We also get an Emmet minifigure, in his somewhat worn Apocalypseburg outfit:
This minifigure, known on Bricklink as tlm142 (Emmet - Lopsided Smile / Angry, Worn Uniform ) has an average value of €2,59 (new), and has appeared in the following sets:
- 70821-1 - Emmet and Benny's 'Build and Fix' Workshop
- 70831-1 - Emmet's Dream House / Rescue Rocket
- 70842-1 - Emmet's Triple-Decker Couch Mech
- 30340-1 - Emmet's 'Piece' Offering
Considering that I didn't have this particular minifig, which has a value of €2,59 (new), I actually paid 1,0 ct for each of the parts. Even when buying bulk bricks, which obviously are used, in my experience, it is not so easy to get below 1.5 ct/part. Which shows that even a humble polybag can be a treasure chest for a real LEGO fan.
As to the value of any LEGO collection: no matter how you look at it, any value will always be an average estimate, and as the market changes, so will the value of your collection. Use it as an indication, not as an accurate measurement. After all, most of us are not doing this to get rich, right? And by the way - this particular heart is a tremendous gift, especially when given to a loved one. The emotional value of such a gift might be, well, in one word, matchless.
Parts- and build photographs by Simon (© 2019 Rebrickable)