A Canadian Traveler’s Guide to Buying LEGO – Conclusion
For the last week, I have been running a special series of blog posts on the international cost of LEGO. Today marks the final post. If you have missed one or more of the earlier installments, you can read them using the following links:
- Part I: The average cost of a Jungle theme set around the world
- Part II: The cost of the Air Drop Helicopter around the world
- Part III: The cost of the Jungle Exploration Site around the world
- Part IV: The cost of the Mobile Lab around the world
- Part V: The cost of the Jungle Halftrack Mission around the world
- Part VI: The cost of the Cargo Helicopter around the world
In addition to the larger sets that I have already reviewed, there are also two smaller Jungle Exploration sets; the Jungle Starter Set (60157) and the Jungle Buggy (60156). The Jungle Buggy is not available in North America (yet) or South Korea. The Starter Set is available worldwide, with the exception of South Korea. The Jungle Starter Set comes with 88 pieces, three Minifigures, and a crocodile. In Canada, it costs $12.99, while internationally it averages about $15.44 CAD. This translates into a cost of $0.15 per brick here at home, and on average, $0.18 per brick worldwide. You get a brick-to-Minifigure ratio of 29:1 without including the crocodile, and 22:1 counting the crocodile. Domestically, that is not a terrible value for a set, and it has an excellent number of Minifigures. Internationally, it is more on par with City sets in general in terms of value. The real draw for this little set is that it is the cheapest way to get a crocodile.
The Jungle Buggy is an even smaller set. It is not currently available in Canada, but will be on August 1, 2017. The kit contains 53 pieces, one Minifigure, and will retail for $7.99 in Canada, and about $9.07 CAD around the world. It will cost $0.15 per brick in Canada, and $0.17 per brick on average everywhere else. This is on par with City sets in general, but overall not that great. The brick-to-Minifigure ratio is, obviously, 53:1.
In terms of the Jungle Starter Set, you are actually better off just buying this one at home here in Canada. The only place where it is marginally cheaper is in the United States, and the difference is not enough to warrant a trip across the border (unless you are already going for another reason). Currently, the best deal on the Jungle Buggy can be found in the UK or Czech Republic. You will pay the most for the Starter Set in Denmark, and the Jungle Buggy will cost the most in Hungary. Out of all of the sets in the Jungle Exploration subtheme, these two are the most consistently priced around the world with standard deviations of $1.86 and $0.57 for the Starter Set and Buggy respectively. Once the Jungle Buggy becomes available in Canada, it will actually be cheapest right here at home.
So, now that we have gone through all of the sets in this theme, what are some overall trends in the data? The UK currently has the best prices for LEGO in the world. Out of the seven sets that I reviewed, the UK had the best price for four of them, and was in the top three for two more. It also had the lowest average price per set in the Jungle Exploration subtheme. Denmark and New Zealand tied for the most expensive LEGO countries, each bottoming out the list for three sets. The other Nordic European countries were also consistently near the bottom of the list for each set. When looking at the average cost of a Jungle Exploration set though, Denmark is the clearly the most expensive country to buy LEGO, followed by Finland, Norway, and Sweden (oddly enough, New Zealand sets were not consistently priced higher than everywhere else.)
Speaking of consistent pricing, my review also shows that sets are clearly not priced the same from country to country. The bar graph above shows the average cost of each set around the world in blue, and the standard deviation in price in orange. Remember, the standard deviation is a measure of how widely the cost of a set in each country varies from the average cost of the same set in all countries. The higher the standard deviation, the more the cost of the set varies around the world. The trend in the graph above shows that as the set gets smaller, the price varies less from country to country. Conversely, the larger the set, the more the price varies. So, when buying LEGO internationally, you are generally not saving much by buying small sets. The best savings will come by finding the cheapest country in which to buy a large set. Keep in mind that I only looked at part of the City theme with this review, so I am not sure how these findings carry across other LEGO themes.
I hope that you have enjoyed this series on the international cost of LEGO. I certainly enjoyed making it. As always, feel free to leave your observations about the international cost of LEGO in the comments space below.
Until next time,