You know your house has more LEGO sets than it needs because you keep stepping on the evidence, but you probably don’t realize that you’re stepping on a potential mound of cash. Over the last 15 years, investors in the U.K. have gotten a juicier return on resold LEGO sets than they have in stocks or even gold, according to a recent article in The Telegraph.
Since 2000, London’s FTSE 100 Index has paid out an annual return of just 4.1 percent; over the same time period, gold’s return has been 9.6 percent. Meanwhile, savvy collectors who have followed some basic rules — invest in sets made after 1999 and focus on limited editions like the film franchise or seasonal stuff — are seeing 12-percent gains on their sets, year-over-year. At the top end of the market, people are seeing 36-percent increases in a single year.
To be fair, all this data is specific to the U.K., which explains idiosyncrasies like the single best investment in all of LEGO according to the site Brickpicker.com: a 2007 model of a hotel called “Cafe Corner” which is about as bland as a British breakfast. That goes for £2,096, up 2,230 percent from its original sale price of £89.99. Still, if it makes you wonder whether your own kid’s current collection might actually assemble into a full college fund, here’s a simple rule of thumb to use going forward: Buy 2 of everything.