Is the LEGO BrickHeadz Gandalf the Grey & Balrog (40631) a Good Investment Set?
12th March 2023
The Gandalf the Grey & Balrog BrickHeadz set marked the long-awaited rebirth of the Lord of the Rings theme when it was released at the beginning of 2023. The set is only going to be on shelves for 12 months, which doesn't give much time to pick it up. In this article, we considered whether this is a set that you should be buying for your investment portfolio.
When the rumours around a huge LEGO Lord of the Rings D2C set started in late 2022, there was much speculation over what scene or location would be chosen. One of the strong contenders was Gandalf's standoff with the Balrog of Moria. While we didn't get the depiction of the Balrog that many people were hoping for, a BrickHeadz version was still welcome.
There are obvious limitations and challenges with the BrickHeadz proportions and styling, which made capturing the Balrog's gigantic, flaming form a challenge. However, LEGO have done a decent job and the end result is one of the most distinctive BrickHeadz figures.
Gandalf has also been designed well, with very good use of various curves and angles to recreate his long hair and floppy wizards' hat.
Overall, this is a nice BrickHeadz set that recreates a tricky subject matter well enough to satisfy LotR fans.
Value for Money
Gandalf the Grey & Balrog retails for £17.99 / $19.99 / €19.99, which is standard pricing for a set containing two BrickHeadz. However, given the Balrog's bulky size, the set uses more pieces than most BrickHeadz builds, so overall the set is good value for money.
Unique parts can add to a set's appeal as it means it can't be recreated from other sets. These usually come in the form of printed parts and this set does this by giving us the standard printed BrickHeadz eyepiece in light orange for the first time. Other interesting parts include the red whip, which has only appeared in that colour in a couple of other sets. While these aren't enough to boost the set's value significantly, they might help a little.
To say that Lord of the Rings is a popular LEGO theme would be an understatement. If you want to buy any LotR sets then be prepared to spend big. This is largely down to the quality of the books and movie trilogy, the large crossover between the LEGO and LotR fanbases, and the fact that the theme ended prematurely.
In addition, there's also a lot of BrickHeadz fans out there, as the sets are attractively priced, make for good display models, and lend themselves to being highly collectible. This means that you'll be hard pressed to find a licensed BrickHeadz set that doesn't now sell for more than its original RRP.
Combine this with the set's short shelf life and solid design and it's hard to see it not making a good profit on the secondary market.
Investment opportunity: Great
This set has a lot going for it investment wise. It combines two very popular themes, has a short shelf life, includes two nice builds, and is good value for money. If it does retire as planned at the end of 2023, I expect it to increase in value significantly when it hits the secondary market.
Disclaimer: This article or any others on brickranker.com should not be considered financial advice and investing in LEGO is risky.
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