Investing in a Lego set could give better returns compared to traditional assets such as gold, stocks and bonds or art, a new study by Moscow's Higher School of Economics (HSE) has revealed.

The researchers sought to study financial returns on alternative collectible investment assets such as toys, using LEGO sets as an example. For the study, they took into consideration the prices of 2,322 unopened Lego sets from 1987-2015. Select Lego sets had an average annual return of 11 percent, with some generating returns as high as 700 percent.

“Lego investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold, and other typical ‘hobby investments’ such as wine or stamps,” a statement from the researchers reads.

Factors such as limited edition sets, collectors’ special edition releases and unavailability in the secondary market contributed to the high collectible value. Additionally, smaller and larger Lego sets were more valuable than medium sets.

Among the more valuable Lego sets are Millennium Falcon, Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars as well as the Taj Mahal. Lego sets based on architecture, television and popular movies saw more lucrative returns, according to the study.

“We are used to thinking that people buy such items as jewellery, antiques, or artworks as an investment,” says Victoria Dobrynskaya, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economic Sciences, 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.”


Image: Imperial Star Destroyer from Star Wars (Credit: Lego)