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Thursday, December 31, 2015

FAQ: Is Disney licensing jacking up LEGO Star Wars & Marvel set prices?

Q: Is Disney licensing jacking up LEGO Star Wars & Marvel set prices?

  • A: That's a major (though common) misconception. Actual data shows that on the whole LEGO spreads license costs across their entire product range; licensed sets on average have nearly identical price/part ratios to non-licensed, original themes. You can research the numbers for yourself on Brickset. A quick example search for 2016 shows 60108, a fire helicopter set, at $0.156/part with 3 figures, compared to 75139 Battle on Takodana (which is unquestionably expensive for what it is) at $0.147/part with 5 figures. City police 60128 is $0.136/part with 2 figures, compared to the SW Resistance Transporter at $0.108/part with 4 figures. The reality is, LEGO sets are becoming ever more complex with ever more parts, and prices are growing with that complexity. Take the 1999 X-Wing, with 266 pieces ($0.16/part adjusted for inflation), compared to the current one, with 717 ($0.11/part).  For a fascinating, purely objective, data-based exploration of this phenomenon from a few years ago, see the Reality Prose article "What Happened to LEGO."