Purchasing Legos could be a good way to construct a sound investment portfolio, a new study says.
There could be profitable gains made from investing in "more unusual goods whose purchase might seem less serious," such as Lego sets and Barbie dolls, researchers at the Higher School of Economics in Russia found in a study published last Friday.
"We are used to thinking that people buy such items as jewelry, antiques, or artworks as an investment," said Victoria Dobrynskaya, associate professor of economic sciences at HSE University. "However, there are other options, such as collectible toys. Tens of thousands of deals are made on the secondary Lego market. Even taking into account the small prices of most sets, this is a huge market that is not well-known by traditional investors."
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The researchers looked at the prices of 2,322 Lego sets from 1987 to 2015. The datasets only included primary sales and online auctions, and the sets had to be new and unopened. The most expensive sets in the dataset included the Millennium Falcon, Death Star II, and the Taj Mahal.
The study found that economic factors such as having a limited production run, being a collector special edition, and market scarcity boosted product prices over the years.
The researchers estimated the average return on Lego sets to be 10%-11% annually, a greater return than those seen on stocks, bonds, or gold. This value has little to no affiliation with the stock market, meaning that it would hold value during a recession.
For comparison, gold valuation has grown over the last 30 years and has shifted between 4.86% and 7.85% in return value.
The study notes a Lego set's value is only worthwhile if kept longer than three years. The sets will also incur higher transaction costs, namely delivery and storage, than investments in financial securities.
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The toy industry has made headlines for some of its liberal modifications. Lego announced in October that it was making an effort to "make Lego more inclusive" by removing gender bias from its toys.
Representatives for Lego did not respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.