Brick Bucks
Legos appreciate 11 percent annually, outperforming stocks, but patience is key for big profits. YouTube Screenshot / Brick Bucks

For 35-year-old New Jersey native, Shane O'Farrell, buying and selling Lego was never considered a lucrative option to earn extra cash. For him, getting an unassuming Fort Legoredo was a chance to reconnect with his childhood in Ireland, with the set holding a special place in his memories and eventually fueled his passion to collect.

Two decades later, seeing the Fort Legoredo set selling for hundreds more than its original $85 price in 1996 sparked a business idea for the enterprising individual. Shane O'Farrell swiftly dove into the thriving online market for buying and reselling coveted Lego sets. The very set that sparked his childhood joy now commands a staggering $2,405 on Amazon.

This tech expert isn't alone. More and more people are investing in Lego sets, which are like gold these days! A 2022 study showed that Lego's resale value is growing way faster than stocks, bonds, and even gold – by 11 percent yearly.

From Plastic Bricks To Big Bucks

The trend of investing in Legos aligns with a 2023 study called "LEGO: The Toy of Smart Investors." This study suggests Legos can be a surprisingly good investment, potentially beating out traditional options.

"I started trying to invest in stocks and realized the 8% a year that I'm making in the stock market is not really going to work. It's not really going to get me where I want to go," O'Farrell told The Post. "It would take decades."

In just the last two years, O'Farrell's Lego flipping has brought him nearly half a million dollars. "The time it takes is very minimal, so I can do it on top of my full-time job and create a supplementary income," he said.

O'Farrell's passion for his Lego side hustle extends beyond profits. He even shares his knowledge with aspiring investors on his YouTube channel, "Brick Bucks." O'Farrell says getting started is simple. You will need a storage space for your Lego collection and a keen eye for spotting trends.

He further recommends researching Lego's annual financial reports and following news about upcoming set retirements. This information helps him predict which sets might become valuable in the future.

Once Lego stops selling a set, the opportunity opens up for resellers like O'Farrell. Take the Lego Star Wars TIE Fighter Pilot helmet, for example. "It was $60 before being retired in 2021. Then, by about a year and a half of it being retired, it was $350," O'Farrell said. "You're talking about a 400% return on investment in a year and a half's time."

Not all Lego sets are gold, even with famous franchises. Big names like Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Marvel don't automatically mean a high resale value, according to O'Farrell. Instead, rarity is the key. Sets sold exclusively at one store, with likely fewer produced, are the best bets.

These limited-edition sets become more valuable after they retire because of high post-retirement demand. Even mini-figures, the little Lego characters, can be hot sellers. They're so valuable that thieves recently stole over $100,000 worth from California stores.

O'Farrell noticed a jump in demand for minifigures from the $460 Lego Lord of the Rings Barad-dûr set. "Lord of the Rings" mini figures are in extreme demand. People were selling just the minifigures from the set for $250," he said of the towering Eye of Mordor model.

The future looks bright for those little hobbits and their companions. Over time, mini-figures like Frodo, Sam, Gollum, and the rest of the Lord of the Rings crew are likely to become even more valuable, The Post reports.

The Lego Hustle: A Patient Game

While O'Farrell makes Lego flipping sound appealing by saying, "values just go up over time," it's important to remember it's a waiting game. "You could just buy the stuff, put it away somewhere in storage, and just wait for the price to go up," he said. "The workload is quite low."

Another Lego reseller and YouTuber, who goes by DG Bricks for privacy, likens the process to running a wine cellar. "I'm purchasing products available today. I'm storing them safely in anticipation of some future customer, years down the line. It's a waiting game," he told The Post.

This 27-year-old videographer may have flipped $20,000 worth of Lego sets, but it wasn't all smooth sailing. Out of his massive collection, only one set – a $12 Disney Frozen set that sold for a measly $10 didn't rise in value.

Despite his success, he warns against seeing Lego reselling as a guaranteed money-maker. It takes knowledge and strategy to navigate the market. He believes this new trend might be the perfect way for Gen Z and Millennials to turn a profit.

Adult toy sales are also booming, with Lego flipping becoming a surprisingly lucrative side hustle. Data shows adult toy demand surpassed that of preschoolers for the first time ever, reaching $1.5 billion in sales between January and April.

"For a young person like me, I have an abundance of time on my hands, but what I lack is significant capital," he said.

"I think, for young people starting out in that position, you would take that trade-off. I will put more work in in exchange for a higher return on my investment."