I opened my mailbox a couple of days ago (my actual mailbox, not my email) and was delighted to find the latest LEGO catalogue. Since then, I have spent some time scouring its pages, and putting together my analysis of trends in the catalogue. I like to do this to get an idea of the current average cost of LEGO, which helps with my set reviews. Having done this now with the past few catalogues, I am also starting to see overall trends in LEGO pricing. Before I delve into the review, I will point out that this analysis has been completed with the Canadian Summer 2017 LEGO Catalogue, which will be different from that seen in other countries. All prices are, naturally, in Canadian dollars. Now, without further delay, here is what I am seeing!
As far as the size of this catalogue goes, it is a bit smaller than the last one. The January catalogue featured 131 sets (click here to read my review). This time around, there are 85. I found this a little disappointing simply because there are so many new sets being released this summer, and many of them did not make the pages of this advertisement. I would rather see new stuff in the catalogue than things that have been seen already. The brunt of the ads went to Creator, Star Wars, and BrickHeadz. Dropping quite a bit in terms of coverage were DC Comics sets. DC Super Heroes and DC Super Hero Girls were entirely absent, and only DC Brickheads and LEGO Batman Movie sets made the cut. Classic, Nexo Knights and Ninjago were also notably absent.
The average cost of a set in the catalogue is $99.07. This up from January ($81.33), but still down from the Christmas catalogue ($129.43). This isn’t really a great indicator of any pricing trends since it is completely dependent on which sets LEGO chooses to include in their ads. At the same time, it shows that LEGO is pushing larger sets this time around as there is a marked increase in the average cost of a set across almost all themes. Elves, Marvel, and Star Wars are the only ones to show any decrease when compared with the January catalogue.
This next one is one of my favorites. I use it to help me determine a value score in my set reviews. It is also interesting to keep an eye on when considering the cost of LEGO as a hobby. When I first started analyzing the LEGO catalogues a year ago, the average price of a brick was at $0.11. In the Holiday catalogue, it went up to $0.12. At the time, I figured that might be just a fluke based on the sets that were selected for the ads. However, in January, the cost of a brick jumped again to $0.13. Now, the upwards trend has continued, and the average cost of a LEGO brick sits at $0.14 for the summer. City remains one of the most expensive themes, but was dethroned by Juniors as the most costly this time around. Juniors featured sets from the latest Cars movie in this catalogue, and each one clocked in at $0.24-$0.26 a brick. Ideas earns the spot of best value, but that is based on only one set, the new Saturn V rocket. I would venture that based on an analysis of multiple sets, Creator gives the best overall value of a theme.
Another criterion that I used in my reviews is the brick-to-Minifigure ratio. In my opinion, this gives a nice indication of the value of a set based on Minifigures. Let’s face it, we all buy sets occasionally just for the characters that come in them. Or, maybe you just need more people for your growing LEGO city. Sadly, the ratio of bricks to Minifigures has gotten worse in this catalogue as compared to January’s. The lower the number in the chart above, the more Minifigures you are getting. The overall average this time around is one Minifigure for every 201 bricks in a set. In January, that number was one for every 157. City and Marvel are your best bets here for getting Minifigures. Just keep in mind that City has the highest per brick cost too.
Just as a fun conclusion to this article, here are some fun facts about the Summer 2017 catalogue. If you bought every set advertised, it would cost you $8,322.16, but you would get 74,411 LEGO bricks and 260 Minifigures/dolls. I have a few more articles planned based on this catalogue, so be sure to check back soon! As always, feel free to let me know what you think of LEGO’s catalogue and pricing in the comment below.
Until next time,