The Best Performing LEGO Sets of 2021
27th April 2022
There are many of us out there who, in addition to buying LEGO sets for the pleasure of building, will decide to purchase a set in the hopes that it will become highly sought after once it leaves shelves, and prove to be a lucrative investment. Knowing which sets to speculate on, and which to ignore, can be difficult, especially if you are relatively new to LEGO. And with some sets fetching hefty three figure sums, it's a decision you'll want to get right.
Like any investment decision, its helps to know your market and do your research. Therefore, in this article we look at the current value of all 276 sets that retired at the end of 2021, to see if there are any trends that can be spotted to help inform these decisions.
It should be noted that while 4 months have theoretically past since these sets were available, the reality is not so straightforward. Although 31 December 2021 is the retirement date, some sets will have still been available to purchase from retailers in the early months of 2022, due to leftover stock, while some sets will have sold out a while before the end of December. Nevertheless, we took the average sale price on Bricklink of each set for the first 4 months of 2022, looking at only “new” condition sales. We then compared it to their RRP to see which sets have appreciated most in value.
Another point to bear in mind is that a “new” condition sale on Bricklink generally means the set is unopened, but this can include boxes in various states. Some will be in mint condition, but others will have varying degrees of damage. So if you have a perfectly crisp box with no marks on it, you can expect to be able to sell it for more than the average figures presented below. The data collected also includes sales across all countries, but sellers in certain territories are likely to charge more than others. Therefore, buyers wanting to avoid international shipping charges and taxes by purchasing from sellers in their own country, are likely to be willing to pay more than the averages presented below.
Of the 276 sets that retired, 41 were now selling for more than their RRP. The breakdown of this 42 is as follows:
- Marvel - 7 sets
- Monkie Kid and BrickHeadz - 5 sets
- Creator Expert - 4 sets
- Seasonal and Star Wars - 3 sets
- Architecture, Batman / DC, Jurassic World, and Ideas - 2 sets
- Harry Potter, Ninjago, Disney, City, and Speed Champions - 1 set
Top Ten Performing Sets
10. (40500) Wizarding World Minifigure Accessory Set
RRP: £13.49 / $14.99 / €14.99
Percentage increase: 20.16%
The only profitable Harry Potter set is this minifigure pack, which was only available for the last 7 months of 2021. It includes a Harry Potter minifigure and three other wizards and witches, as well as a tawny owl. All four minifigures are unique to this set and therefore are a valuable addition to any collection, or anyone looking to expand their wizarding world build. As many LEGO collectors are only interested in minifigures, and will pay large sums for a single figure, minifigure packs are always worth looking out for.
9. (40494) Polar Bear & Gift Pack
RRP: £8.99 / $9.99 / €9.99
Percentage increase: 20.19%
Very narrowly edging into 9th place, is this seasonal set, which became available for the last four months of 2021. It features two small builds that could be hung as decorations on a Christmas tree. Christmas themed sets have long been favourites, with previous festive sets in the Creator Expert theme, such as the Winter Village series, being very expensive to now pick up.
8. (80107) Spring Lantern Festival
RRP: £89.99 / $119.99 / €99.99
Percentage increase: 20.68%
Another seasonal set makes the top ten. This one is a part of the Chinese Traditional Festival sub- theme, which have proven very popular over the years, with past sets in this theme now commanding a heavy price tag on the aftermarket. This is in large part due to their incredible design, and also because of their modular design. Compatibility with previous sets increases desirability, which is evidenced by the popularity of the Creator Expert modular series. As with other sets in this sub-theme, they also have a short shelf-life, being only available for a year.
7. (40436) Lucky Cat
RRP: £9.99 / $9.99 / €9.99
Percentage increase: 22.65%
Although not to everyone's taste, the BrickHeadz theme appears to be highly collectable and appears several times in the most profitable sets of last year. Being all of a similar size, BrickHeadz look good side-by-side and lend themselves well to impressive displays, which may explain their appeal. This set depicts a cute Chinese style lucky cat.
6. (21055) Burj Khalifa
RRP: £44.99 / €39.99
Percentage increase: 26.39%
The mini-scale version of the world's tallest building is nicely depicted in this set, although I can think of plenty of other architecture sets which have been better from design perspective. However, it's a very iconic building, and for lovers of architecture, it surely has to rate highly in the popularity stakes. What also likely contributes to the healthy profit margin on this set, is it's limited available. This re-released Burj Khalifa was only available for purchase in the UK and Germany.
5. (80018) Monkie Kid's Cloud Bike
RRP: £17.99 / $24.99 / €19.99
Percentage increase: 26.96%
The smallest set in the 2021 Monkie Kid line-up has appreciated the most in price, proving that bigger isn't always better. However, it was a surprise to see this set in the top ten, as there is nothing that particularly stands out about this set, albeit that the motorcycle builds are very nicely designed and the minifigures are all exclusive to the set. As Monkie Kid is not a licenced theme, it may be overlooked by many, but it's a very well thought out theme that has proven to be very popular amongst LEGO fans. So much so that five Monkie Kid sets were amongst the 41 profitable sets of 2021.
4. (76162) Black Widow's Helicopter Chase
RRP: £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99
Percentage increase: 28.75%
The Marvel franchise has always been popular, and its currently going through a golden age, with audiences lapping up each blockbuster movie after another. Therefore, its no surprise that this has spilled over into LEGO sets. This set was released in tandem with the Black Widow movie and contains unique minifigures of the two main characters and villain.
3. (40493) Spider & Haunted House Pack
RRP: £8.99 / $9.99 / €9.99
Percentage increase: 43.97%
Yet another seasonal set released in 2021 has increased significantly in value. This set features two small decorations of a haunted house and spider designed to be hung around the house at Halloween. Again, this set has unexpectedly performed very well on the aftermarket, given its unremarkable builds and lack of minifigures. The only reasons we can think of to explain this, is the set's limited shelf-life (5 months) and that it ties in well with the 2020 release of 854049, which contained a pumpkin and bat decorations. After all, if AFOLs love anything, it's a collectable series.
2. (76163) Venom Crawler
RRP: £24.99 / $29.99 / €29.99
Percentage increase: 47.26%
The Venom Crawler set comes in in second place and now has a value nearly 50% more than its RRP. This set contains a fantastic exclusive minifigure, Iron Venom, which as the name suggests is a cross between Iron Man and Venom. A truly terrifying combination. While sometimes one minifigure alone can be enough to command a high price, this isn't the case with this set. Instead, we attribute the price of this set to the popularity of the Marvel theme, the good value of the set when released, the quality of the Venom Crawler, and the cult status of the Spider Mobile.
1. (75274) TIE Fighter Pilot Helmet
RRP: £54.99 / $59.99 / €59.99
Percentage increase: 68.82%
Every Star Wars collectable comes with dollars sign attached its seems, owing to the legendary status of the franchise and its legions of die-hard fans. The Star Wars universe is also at the forefront of everyone's minds right now, with the latest trilogy hitting screens not too long ago, and the recently released character stories of Boba Feet and Obi Wan. A LEGO Star Wars set was therefore an obvious contender for the top spot. This set is arguably the most impressive looking in the new helmet range, thanks to the cleverly designed breathing tubes, which helps give it a suitably impressive value increase to match. There have been some mixed emotions about the helmet range, but like them or not, they make for some very nice display pieces. And once you have one, you really need to have them all, which suggests other sets in the helmet range may be worth picking up.
Top Performing Themes
To provide some further insights, we took the average increase in value of all the sets in each theme, so show what themes in 2021 were the most popular. Looking at the top 5, we would expect Creator Expert to be near the top, as LEGO produced some excellent models in this range over the past few years that appeal strongly to older LEGO fans. Also in the top five, are Monkie Kid and BrickHeadz, which aren't likely to be the first theme's people think of when looking for investment sets to purchase. It also slightly surprising to not see Star Wars higher up, as some sets, such as the UCS series have historically rocketed in value. This highlights that not every set is a winner, and it's important to consider each set on its own merits.
Things to look out for include the current and future popularity of the set's theme, the number of unique minifigures, the shelf-life duration, the quality of a set's design, whether there are any restriction on where the set is made available, and if it is compatibility with previous sets. Contrary to what most people may believe, this list highlights that its not always the most expensive, headline sets in each theme that are the best investments. Each set in the top ten was available for under 100 Dollars, Euros, or Pounds, which is a price point that most of us can afford. Smaller sets also have the added bonus of being easier to store and ship.
|Theme||Average Set Value (Percentage of RRP)|
|Batman / DC||80.22%|
We hope this article has been useful and happy investing!
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