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As the title asks, how is the easiest way to find when current sets on the Lego website will be retired and no longer sold.

For example, the 10197 Fire Brigade has been around since 2009, same as 10193 but both are still selling. While Ninjago is currently changing and set 2258 suddenly is no longer for sale in the Lego Store at Disneyland and not available online. Yet that series only came out this year.

So how can I find out when sets are retiring.

(side question: why does drop items off my wish list without notifying me)

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In your question you mention 10197 twice. Was one of those supposed to be 10218 (Pet Shop) instead? – Nathan Stohlmann Jan 1 '12 at 13:26
I think the bigger question is why does remove products from it's index instead of just saying they are not sold anymore. Links at say, will link to products on that are not there anymore. – tooshel Jan 1 '12 at 18:20
Bigger, maybe but a different question. I would imagine why they remove them entirely is because by leaving the items in and just marking them "sold out" or whatever would be confusing to non-collectors or would solicit a ton of "When will you get more X?" questions. – Nathan Stohlmann Jan 2 '12 at 15:19
@NathanStohlmann No I meant 10193 - Medieval Market – Josh Weissbock Jan 2 '12 at 23:57
Ah, got it. FYI - the Market was introduced at the beginning of the year and the Fire Brigade was introduced in the middle of the year. I would be shocked if the Market was still on shelves in 6 months, but I could be wrong. – Nathan Stohlmann Jan 3 '12 at 4:06

The LEGO Shop has a page where you can see which sets are marked as 'retiring soon'.

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I'll take a stab at starting to answer this one, but I'm pretty sure it's going to need some refinement as it goes along since the answer does not appear to be quite consistent across all themes.

In general you can assume that a particular set will only be available for one year after it has been introduced.

The exceptions to that general rule seem to be:

  • Basic brick sets seem to stay mostly the same from year to year, though occasionally there is a tweak to the price or part assortment for whatever internal reason.

  • Sets over US$100 appear to stay in production for around two years.

You can find out when a set went into production by checking Peeron, Bricklink, BrickSet, or any number of similar fan databases.

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It is very hard to tell as the production and sales levels generally dictate the shelf life of a product.

If you want a particular set, it is best to get it when you can afford it instead of waiting for it to retire and then paying more than RRP.

If you find yourself in that position there are a couple of websites selling retired sets for way cheaper than eBay or Amazon. You can try in the US or Brick-a-brac-uk in the UK.

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