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How LEGO went from toy to luxury investment…

lego pieces

…and why we're swapping gold bars for LEGO bricks.

Whether they've been gathering dust on your top shelf or sealed in original packaging, here's why you'll want to make sure you protect your LEGO bricks. A recent study found that the value of LEGO appreciates at a higher rate than stocks, bonds and even gold. But when did LEGO go from toy to wealth management strategy? Let's take a look…

 

The legacy of LEGO

Following the Wall Street crash in 1929, Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Kristiansen (1891 - 1958) was forced to reconsider his line of work. During the financial crisis, his customers, predominantly farmers and smallholders, couldn't afford to have carpentry work done. And so, controversially, he turned his attention to making wooden toys. In 1935, Kristiansen rebranded his business LEGO (TLG), a play on the Danish phrase 'Leg Godt' meaning play well. 

 

LEGO through the ages 

When Ole Kirk first asked his brother and sister for a loan to keep his business going, he was met by understandable scepticism. Child play was not yet taken seriously. But when World War II broke out, his sales doubled, proving just how important toys are to social and emotional development — children process emotions through play. 

In 1949 LEGO went from making wooden toys such as their best-selling wooden duck or steam engine train to manufacturing plastic toys, including the earliest versions of the bricks we know today.

Capitalising on this ability to be anything to anyone, TLG started manufacturing limited edition sets targeted at specific customer segments. It started small, with gender themed sets such as 'homemaker' aimed at girls and trains marketed at boys, but soon expanded into ‘pop culture’ themes.

 

Adult fans of LEGO

And as the 'franchise film' phenomenon exploded in the twentieth century, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Marvel, so did the demand for blockbuster themed LEGO sets and Minifigures - and not just from children. Taking a step into the world of Hollywood, TLG significantly expanded its appeal not only as film paraphernalia but as a pastime that adults could also enjoy.

 

Why is LEGO so valuable?

According to the study above, LEGO 'appreciated by 11% every year from 1987 to 2015.' But why? As with most markets, different factors come into play. 

One of the reasons people are prepared to pay a price for LEGO is its sheer scale. Some of the most extensive LEGO sets contain more than 10,000 bricks, including the Titanic and the Colosseum. 

Then there's rarity. TLG tends to discontinue collections after a few years, meaning there are only ever a limited amount available - and this diminishes over time. 

Throw in their high collectable value, especially those that are rare or based on a popular movie or TV franchise, and you have something that a lot of people want to get their hands on.

How to protect your investment

Whether you're in it for the nostalgia, the challenge or the ROI, your collection is valuable to you. The catch is that your collection is valuable to others too, and that's why it's worth considering the market value of your set. Should you need to replace it for some reason, would you be able to do so at the price you purchased it?

 

Resources such as Brick Economy and Brick Owl can help track your collection as an overall investment, search for sets and Minifigures on the secondhand market, and generally keep up to date with all things LEGO. 

 

However, a professional valuation will help you insure your collection at the correct level and avoid underinsurance. Chubb’s valuable articles cover is specifically designed with special collections in mind. For instance, it will pay out up to the total value of the specified collection if underinsurance is discovered at the time of loss and the items have been professionally valued within the last 2 years.

Chubb’s valuable articles cover is available to clients who insure their home contents with Chubb.

 

For more information on Chubb in the UK click here

All content in this material is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute personal advice or a recommendation to any individual or business of any product or service. Please refer to the policy documentation issued for full terms and conditions of coverage.