Star Wars lego is the most expensive in the LEGO range due to licensing to lucasfilm etc.
Therfore there are two ways to look at these items.
If you just want to buy it for your own fun
Its always best to check out what second hand items are for sale as they can be far cheaper than the new ones. For example a hoth rebel base maybe $120. but a new one fetches as high as 200 or more. This is mainly because it comes with 7 minifigs (only two or three sets come with that many) and they are a collectors item being a limited edition release. if you are not fussed with new then second hand is a financially economical choice. There are ebayer sellers of star wars lego who take great care in their items and its as though you are getting it brand new!
I think incomplete sets are a great start as they are obviously far cheaper than new but if you need missing pieces there are websites that sell any lego part youll ever need. Many people use these sites to complete their sets. This way you can have that set you want for a franction of the price - or even re sell it on ebay! As we all know complete sets get the cash sales! I once bought all the parts new from a lego parts site and it cost me under 25 dollars to make my own Jango Fett.. Jango sells for a minimum 85aud and as high as 160aud.
One example. The Millenium Falcon 4504 second hand and incomplete sold for just over 100aud as there were no minfigs and a few pieces were missing. Ebay has many minfigs for sale and so many to choose from you can buy them and the pieces you need and have a complete set that is worth around the 260 dollar price range second hand for almost half the price. Considering a new 4504 falcon is selling for over 300. You dont need to spend that much if you buy and shop carefully as i have mentioned.
Another point which is obvious to many but true in practise is to look for items that end duirng the early to mid week. Even if they finish early in the morning when many would be still sleeping or late at night. Less traffic means you have a greater chance to secure a bid without a bid war. If you bid on an item you really want that finishes on a friday night around 8pm or so, you could find theres many waiting to bid as well. Avoid a bidding war and disappointment.
Or if you want to collect it
If you want to collect this item its a great start to pick items from the original series as this is where (i honestly believe) the value in the lego lies. Keeping them for another 5 years mean you could be holding onto a lego antique - and could be worth $$$$$ dollars.
The true value (i believe) lies in the sets where the minifigs are rare. Eg ( k-3po - the hoth rebel base 7666), (Detailed Boba Fett from Cloud City -10123) which are very rare as theyre only found in one set - same as Greedo and Jango Fett etc.. If a minifig is found in one set only. chances are that item will fetch big dollars and hold its value.
Original yodas were being sold for 45-50 dollars each until the new star wars clone wars series came out. Still to this day the original series are worth more because they arent made anymore - and slowly as people buy whats left, and open them the price of those which are left. will increase.
I also believe that sets from the orginal series will always fetch more than others. All sets released in 2007 are worth holding onto as well. In the USA the Lego company decided to surpise their consumers with a Gold metallic C-3PO minifigure in random sets. (except the battle packs) I think there was around 13 sets released in 2007 yet millions of these sets were also made. Only 10000 gold c3pos were produced and with the many opened already, you never which set from that year may have one inside. This is another valuable lesson in star wars lego. And for collectors. To buy a gold c-3po starts at around 200aud. Imagine if you happen to have a set or buy one that contains one. Youre already on a winner! Such sets from that year were the Motorized AT AT 10178 - Jedi star fighter with hyper booster ring 7661 - sith infiltrator 7663 - naboo fighter 7660 etc etc...
Be on the look out for the UCS series Millenium Falcon - it is not made anymore and soon the retail stores in the US will have sold out shortly- the price will sky rocket for this item as its the biggest lego star wars set. i remember seeing one at target a few years back selling for $599. they were sold in one morning! Now there hovering over the 1200aud range. Again this set was released in 2007!
Re sellers are those who know the value of every star wars lego item and sell them for the current market value. Though there are more and more people realising the value of minifigs they can even buy any set and open it up and sell the figures new seperately from the ship or rest of it and maximise their profit. Remember its the demand for items that drive the price up. When the market is flooded the prices are down. Sets which have rare minifigs will get the biggest dollars - example - Mos Eisley Cantina 4501- which has Greedo. No other set has Greedo. Cloud Ciy 10123 has the fully detailed Boba fett and Lando Calrissian - again rare minfigs. Cloud city was retailing as low as 90 dollars back in early 2004. Now you cant find one new for under 500!
I think a good way to see what an item is worth is to do your homework. Check what the item retails or retailed for (note the year too)and see what a reseller sells it for or a shop is selling as an opened complete set.. if a new turbo tank retails for 239 dollars and a reseller sells it for 220 and then again a second hand one in top class condition sells for 150.. you know roughtly between 180 and 200 is a great deal to buy one new. When it is a collectors item you have to really have patience and the money to decide what you ant and why? One of the rarest items to own is Droid Escape 7106. It was simple basic and has two minfigs you can buy for a few dollars. So why should it cost 100 dollars new factory sealed when you can buy a c3p0 for cheaper? or an R2 D2 for less? Its the fact that that was one of the first sets to come out and unopened means its rare. the price is justfied for its rarity even though its such a small set. The idea for a seller is to sell at the right time or however you want as long as you accept the sale when the time is up. If youre a collector find the right sets that will be valuable and again timing in buying and selling makes the difference. if youre a buyer do your homework. Theres many re sellers who stock many of their items and theyre happy to assist for a item you may be looking for.
At the moment theres great value in the 8097 slave 1. You can find one for around 100aud. Same as the clone turbo tank 8098 and the Mon Clamari station 7754 are good buys at the moment. Wait a year or more however, and then it will increase...
SECOND HAND? NEW? NEW IN BOX? .....WHATS THE DIFFERENCE??
I dont understand the smoke free home - statement that people make on their lisitngs.Its uneccessary in my opinion. Collectors take care of their items and do not need to list things like this.
To the point - If an item is opened its classed considered and rated - SECOND HAND! its the same as a pack of chips or lollies. There is no way around that.
If an item is MINT - this should mean it has not been played with so the parts should be shiny new and the minifigs should be stiff in arms and legs and no fading ink on details. Mint is as close to new.
NEW IN BOX - can mean its new - doesnt exactly mean its factory sealed new. Always ask if its been opened before or is it factory sealed new!
SECOND HAND - is just that however it should not mean - you get mixed body parts that are not authentic to the minifig. Ex- storm trooper body on a rebel soldier legs. If youre buying a set - make sure you dont get non lego pieces or wrong bits. Ask if its all authentic - not just complete. I see many people state their listings as "look at the photos what you see is what you get". Id rather buy second hand where i know im getting what the set says it includes! If you dont mind then no problems.
I go by the term FACTORY SEALED NEW. this to me means it IS new not resealed with tape or EVER been opened at all. New like it left the factory. All my stock has come direct from the factory except collectors items where i sought after them from other collectors. When i state factory sealed - im the first owner - i didnt buy from other people who could have tampered with it. I expect to sell an item that way i bought it from the factory! new.
Always ask questions like - whats the box condition like? It is understandable the some sets being years old will have shelf wear but as long as you are assured that the factory seal is in place or if they are the first owner - OR it has been well looked after yet, youll be sure to know that the item is bonafide.
I have had the misfortune of buying a lego set that was advertised as brand new never opened. And once i received it, it seemed fine. I checked the box and seals and everyhting looked intact. Once day when i was moving my lego and re packing my own lego i noticed the box had opened. To my surprise i had seen that the flaps had been stuck with double sided sticky tape. So i lost the value already of this item. Its a learning curve but this is why i say and ask if its factory sealed then youll have no problems - even when it comes to making a claim or a return. if its properly stated - youre covered. I sometimes even ask sellers if they have bought this item themselves or did they buy it from someone else who possibly had bought it from someone else? There is nothing more frustrating than a seller who says "i didnt realise, i bought it like that"- if theres a discrepancy with an item.
Another great thing is to get sets with free postage. I see some ridiculous charges for postage which is a farce. One item has postage of $10.95 and another same item from someone else has their postage as $25? To be honest, it isnt cheap to bubble wrap and cardboard box big sets - as the wieght determines that cost - some things are simply expensive to mail and courier. But theres a big difference between 10 and 25 dollars noticeably. Free postage for an item is a sure winner. If you do buy an item new - make sure when they describe their postage details to let you know if theyre simply putting your new item in a courier bag with no protection or a courier express bag with no bubble wrap ... make sure you know how you item will be posted to you. And i always opt for registered post. This way nobody can argue they never got their item and make a claim. Registered post is only 2.60 more and well worth it.
In the end this is why i post all my lego items free postage with bubble wrap and carboard boxes for protection where it is needed and registered post. No matter what. At times i have used tonnes of bubble wrap for some items until it looks like a ball. before you buy always ask the seller how theyre going to mail your new item to you?!
My picks and Great buys for the following - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Clone Wars Series are coming down in price. This is odd yet not surprising. Ive seen v-19 torrents come down from 120 dollars to 50 dollars!!! Republic fighter tanks too... be on the look out as theres some great affordable sets around.
General Grevious 10186 was a set that was not widely released in Australia and so it is soon becoming harder to find. This will be a collectors set for sure and as time goes by youll see prices going up and up. All Collectors series fetch top prices after couple of years.
be on the look out for the 2007 Motorized At-At - this is fast becoming a must have as its price will enter the 300aud and stay there despite the newer AT AT release this year(8129). It is the only star wars lego set to have a motorized action with the use of batteries and a rare minifig General Veers. (recently since the newer AT AT release this makes it two sets that contain General Veers now however theyre still quite rare.)
Sets from 2007 are my special picks - (from the USA)
2011 AND STAR WARS LEGO IS TAKING A FEW TURNS...
Star Wars and its lego contract was originally from 1999 -2009 - its since been extended to 2012 and who knows what will happen after that.
I feel that more sets could be made without re relasing old sets again.
so far theres been 3 versions of the At At - 4483 the first edition, then the motorized 10178 and now another new version this year 8129.
Theres also a second edition of Slave 1 boba fetts ship. General Grevious'ship not mention many others.
Id like to see sets from scenes of the original series actually produced. Like the medical room where Luke was in on hoth after his rescue.
AN actual Ewok Village set to accompany the newer long awaited battle of endor. A Dagobah training scene with the cave where luke first learned about his father.
I could go on, but simply re releasing sets is one thing. making new sets is another.
I will update the reviews and news avery month. be sure to look out for my items im selling over the course of christmas. And good luck !!