Is the LEGO 123 Sesame Street (21324) a Good Investment Set?
22nd May 2022
Time is running out until 123 Sesame Street (21324) enters the LEGO archives. By the end of this year, it will be consigned to LEGO’s extensive back catalogue, giving you a little over 7 months to pick it up. So without further ado, we take a look at whether adding it to your basket could make for a fruitful investment...
I’ll admit, I was very excited when I first saw this set announced, as its another one of those Ideas sets that brings us something a little different from the traditional. The façade of the 123 Sesame Street and Hooper’s Store are striking, with the two buildings being among the most colourful creations LEGO have ever produced. The set packs in so much detail, both inside and out, that fans of the TV show will love. To achieve this, LEGO have made use of some clever construction techniques and re-use of parts normally associated with other themes. The build isn’t perfect, as there is the omission of a fifth window above the door to accommodate the decorative portico and the lack of interior walls, as well as some other inaccuracies when comparing the set to the TV show. However, overall LEGO has done an impressive job.
In terms of value for money, the set retails for £104.99 / $119.99 / 119.99€ with a piece count of 1,367, leading to a price per piece of 7.7p / 8.8c. This is at the high end when compared to other licensed LEGO Ideas sets that have come out in the past couple of years, but still well-priced when compared to other licensed themes, such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.
For such a prominent design, it’s surprising that the set only includes two completely new parts. However, it does make use of several pieces that have only previously appeared in one set, such as the blue 1x1 tiles with rounded sides (previously exclusive to 41919 Power Bracelet) and a green sack (previously exclusive to 4002019 Christmas X-Wing), and well as containing some other uncommon pieces. The low unique piece count is in part because stickers have been favoured over printed tiles. We have seen sets with far more unique parts so most of the value in this set for collectors comes from the minifigures.
The minifigure blueprint has been pushed to its limits in the Ideas range in recent years. Characters from Winne the Pooh, Sonic the Hedgehog, and the Flintstones have all posed challenges for the LEGO designers to accurately capturing their likeness. The Sesame Street bunch is another such example that required a bit of lateral thought and some completely unique moulds, as their profiles don’t lend themselves easily to the classic minifigure form.
We get six minifigures in total, all of which are exclusive to this set, seeing as this is the first time LEGO have created anything from the Sesame Street franchise. Because Ideas sets are developed around fan submissions, most are one-offs, meaning the exclusivity of Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, and Oscar the Grouch is pretty much guaranteed. Whilst it’s possible we could see something else from LEGO with the Sesame Street branding, 123 Sesame Street is the primary location in the series, with other locations being much less prominent, meaning they are less likely turned into LEGO sets. If LEGO did have this in mind, we would have expected 21324 to have a modular style build so that other buildings could be connected to it.
Turning back to the minifigures themselves, each have their own merits. Elmo and Cookie Monster are certainly the least exciting, as it would have been nice to have seen some texturing on their torsos, rather than being left as plain red and blue. The most detailed, and standout minifigure in this set, is Big Bird. For a start, the traditional minifigure arms have been replaced by wings, which is something we rarely see (although this has been criticised by some). Then there is the height and impressive texturing on his body. I feel Big Bird has the makings of a highly desirable minifigure in the future.
There are some notable absentees from the line-up, such as Count von Count and Grover, which begs the question whether LEGO have a collectible minifigures series planned, like we have recently seen with The Muppets. However, I fear that there are not enough other well-known Sesame Street Muppets to warrant this, but who knows.
Looking to the future
As we’ve mentioned before, the popularity of a theme or sub-theme is crucial to a set’s chances of rising in value once it leaves LEGO stores, and it’s important to consider how its popularity will change over the length of time you plan to hold onto the set. Sesame Street is a highly successful and much-loved show that appeals to both young and older audiences. It’s classic status amongst children’s TV shows, is in large part due to its charming cast of Muppets that are recognised and adored around the world. If you needed proof of this, Big Bird was named a Living Legend by the United States Library of Congress in 2000. This longevity means this set will appeal to both current and future collectors.
Investment opportunity: GOOD
123 Sesame Street packs a strong nostalgia punch, which alone is going to be enough to make many people want to buy it and display it. Combine that with the worldwide fame Sesame Street has achieved, and its high popularity, especially amongst the older demographic who have grown up with it, and you have the starting ingredients for a strong investment set. You then have a distinctive and exclusive set of minifigures, as well as a high-quality build. The box is sometimes an overlooked component, but it can definitely help a set’s rating amongst investors. Here, LEGO’s 18+ branding looks clean and sophisticated and allows the brightly coloured build and minifigures to pop off the black background. Furthermore, on the basis of online reviews, the set has been received positively amongst the LEGO community. The RRP is affordable for most and we have seen some generous discounts on the RPP in the UK. For all these reasons, we think this is certainly a set to pick up, one of maybe two of, and store away for a rainy day.
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