Starwars Lego Collecting

The craze for Star Wars figures, ships and other assorted memorabilia started soon after the cinema release of the original “Star Wars” trilogy in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These early items have become modern collectibles and rare items have become serious investments. At the same period in time the popularity of the Danish Lego company was also ensuring that it was becoming a household name.

Initially “Star Wars” and Lego were two exclusive brands, and although Lego briefly tried to cash in on the popularity of the Lucas films with a range of their own space fleet, their products performed poorly against the original Kenner “Star Wars” action figures. Owners of Lego were therefore left to try and create their own “Star Wars” universe through the variety of Lego bricks available.

Lego and the “Star Wars” franchise though were destined to become a combination when in 1999 George Lucas allowed Lego to start manufacturing “Star Wars” figures and vehicles based on the original trilogy and the soon to be released Phantom Menace. Since 1999 Lego has continued to produce figures and sets based on the Star Wars universe, as a result there is a wide range of items for the “Star Wars” Lego collector to seek out.

Someone new to the world of “Star Wars” Lego has an easy place to start their collection off, as many sets are still available in toy shops around the world. There have been over a hundred different sets produced by the Lego Company in the past decade and these sets cover the main scenes from the first six films. If you are after a TIE fighter, an AT-AT Walker, or Imperial Drop Ship then you should have no trouble finding an unopened model set.

Collectors are of course always after the rarer items, and so the collector’s friend, eBay, is an invaluable source of Star Wars Lego toys. It is now easy to find individual figures in large numbers. Condition though is important and the most prized sets will come complete with the instruction manuals.

The trouble of course in collecting Lego, in general and “Star Wars” specifically, is that Lego is in essence a child’s toy and so packets have been opened and models made. As a result unopened sets are normally in the hands of collectors who invested at the outset, and so bargains are going to be few and far between. It was a problem that Lego recognised and sought to cash in on, and did so by producing the Ultimate Collector Series.

The Lego Ultimate Collector Series was designed for models to be produced so that they could be displayed rather than continually played with. This resulted in expensive, but much larger and more detailed sets. Large sets making up such things as the Millennium Falcon or Death Star were produced. The Millennium Falcon though comprises over five thousand pieces, and think how this compares with a normal Lego “Star Wars” set that may comprise only a couple of hundred Lego bricks and pieces.

Prices for these sets vary considerably although a Lego Imperial Star Destroyer comprising of over three thousand pieces was recently auctioned by Absolute Radio for GBP2000, this though was for charity and thus resulted in an inflated price.

It is probable though that mint sets will attract prices comparable to the mint and carded Kenner figures from the 1980s, and as a result are well worth investing in. Remember though that quality is important, and of course sets should be complete and with their manuals. Even if as an investment growth is small, it is always good to consider that Lego Star Wars can be used as a form of escapism where you can create your own Star War universe.