Is the LEGO Icons Galaxy Explorer (10497) a Good Investment Set?

1st May 2023

LEGO Icons Galaxy Explorer set

The Galaxy Explorer was released in August 2022 as one of the sets commemorating LEGO's 90th anniversary. Surprisingly, the set is due to retire less than two years later, at the end of 2023. With this relatively short window of availability, we thought it timely to consider how well this set is likely to perform on the secondary market.

The Set

LEGO Icons Galaxy Explorer set

This set is a reimagining of LEGO's original Galaxy Explorer from 1979. That version is considered a classic for its beautiful design and colour scheme. The updated Explorer replicates this at 50% larger scale, but makes use of modern building techniques and LEGO's much expanded part selection to deliver a model with a far greater level of detail.

Some noteworthy improvements include the rear storage compartment for the moon buggy, the sliding airlock door, retractable landing gear, more detailed interior, and enlarged cockpit capable of housing all four of the included astronauts. The set also forgoes stickers in favour of printed parts, giving the build a premium feel. All these features make the set great fun to play with, and being built 1.5 times larger than the original, it makes for an impressive display piece.

The set is a fitting 90th anniversary set, as it encapsulates the classic look of LEGO Space sets from the 1970s and 1980s, but showcases how far the company has come since then. It takes an iconic set and improves upon it, whilst staying true to the original design, which was a tough act to pull off. It's a set that's very hard to fault and one that any collector should want to own.

Where to buy

Bricklink £64.74 Buy now
Amazon Check price

Value for Money

The Galaxy Explorer has an RRP of £89.99 / $99.99 / €99.99, leading to a price per piece of 7.2p / 8.0c / 8.0c. This is good value for money, especially in this day and age. When you also consider the size of the finished model, and the fact that there are no stickers, this set seems even more attractively priced.

The Minifigures

LEGO Icons Galaxy Explorer set

The set includes four minifigures, which are nearly identical to the astronauts in the original Galaxy Explorer, except for having a thicker chin strap. Because of the generic nature of these minifigures, they're not likely to be collectible on their own. Instead the value of the set is going to be driven by the quality of the main build.

Outlook

Space is a popular theme within the LEGO community, especially amongst older collectors who grew up playing with the classic sets. Although the brick-based galactic spotlight has been stolen by LEGO Star Wars, there is still a demand for the Space sets from yesteryear. This is evident as Classic Space was voted for by fans as one of the themes that should be the inspiration for a 90th anniversary set. Further evidence of this demand are the numerous Space sets in the list of 100 most expensive LEGO sets, and the large number of LEGO Ideas submissions inspired by the various factions of LEGO astronauts.

The demand for this set amongst AFOLs is therefore likely to be high after it retires. Combine that with the fact that this set is arguably one of the best LEGO have produced in recent years, and you have some strong investment potential.

TLDR

Investment opportunity: GREAT

We think the Galaxy Explorer is likely to be a great investment set for a number of reasons. It has a fantastic design, excellent build quality, short shelf life, is good value for money, and is based on a highly coveted set. The Galaxy Explorer is also rarely discounted, which is a testament to its strong sales. All these factors suggest this set will perform very well on the secondary market, so we recommend adding it to your collection.

Where to buy

Bricklink £64.74 Buy now
Amazon Check price

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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Posted by Graham on 1st May 2023

Graham is a passionate LEGO collector, who has a penchant for the Castle, Pirates, and Western themes. You can usually find him monitoring the latest developments and giving his opinion on what's hot and not in the LEGO world.