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Which Lego set is considered to be the most valuable set to own?

I'm not talking about the most expensive set, and clearly it has to be out of production already, but when trying to collect complete sets from LEGO history, there must be one or a group of sets that are prized possessions for collectors.

Which are they?

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This question seems to be more likely to be specific to a particular collector then something that would have much of a consensus. For example, Castle fans would probably value the older Castle sets more then the Space sets and a Classic Space fan would probably value the opposite. Heck, I know someone who values the Samsonite sets more then others, but that's his thing and it's interesting to see his collection. –  Nathan Stohlmann Jan 4 '12 at 2:51
    
@NathanStohlmann Everyone has their favorite set, but that doesn't mean it's worth a lot in the collector's market. Some older sets are worth more than others simply because of high demand vs low supply — I'm simply interested in knowing what those sets are. –  LarsTech Jan 4 '12 at 3:32
    
As a rule of thumb and as can be seen in the various answers, unopened sets will usually fetch a higher price (which makes next to no sense to me, but I'm not much of a collector myself) –  Joubarc Jul 4 '12 at 6:27
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5 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I believe it's the Ultimate Collector's Edition Millennium Falcon (10179).

With a $500 MSRP, it was already one of the most expensive sets available when it launched in 2007. In 2012 it is rare to see it for less than $1500 used but intact, and closer to $2000 if you want it new. There may be some smaller sets that have a greater percentage gain (a set that was $2 going to $20, for example), but I suspect at $2000 and a $1000-1500 difference, this is the largest magnitude.

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Expensive Star Wars sets in mint condition are generally a good investment. The only non-Star Wars set that comes close would probably be limited edition sets like the 10182 Cafe Corner, 10184 Town Plan and 10189 Taj Mahal. –  Ambo100 Jan 5 '12 at 12:46
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I thought about the Taj Mahal when writing my answer and looked it up - it's not even close. $300 MSRP and you can still find it for under $1000. –  user23 Jan 5 '12 at 12:53
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Why oh why did I not put that set on my Christmas list years ago. –  LarsTech Jan 6 '12 at 14:59
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If you look at what a box is worth compared to the original price, I would say 3724 LEGO Dragon. It went for $99, And now you can not find it for less than $350, up to $800 for a mint in box version.

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Hi Dirk, welcome to bricks.se, nice to see you and your expertise here! –  Joubarc Jan 9 '13 at 5:10
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I think by actual worth sometime down the road, the most valuable set will be Lego Castle 6075, known to fans as "Yellow Castle".

http://www.classic-castle.com/sets/archives/0375.html

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My sister and I saved our pocket money for Yellow Castle. How cool if that prediction comes true. Still have most of the pieces amongst the kilos of lego I hope :-) –  user568 Jan 7 '12 at 3:20
    
Certainly sentimental value, at the moment they are going for around £150-£200, which is probably an order of magnitude more. –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jan 7 '12 at 8:42
    
brickset.com/detail/?Set=375-2 has some for sale –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Jan 7 '12 at 8:50
    
Just out of curiosity: is there anything unique about this set on a piece basis? I never followed the castle series, but it looks like I can duplicate it (mostly) with just the bricks from my collection. Minus the stickers, of course. –  LarsTech Jan 8 '12 at 3:21
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@LarsTech: The biggest issue would be finding pieces in the right color - e.g. yellow Slope Brick 75 2 x 2 x 3 Double Convex was only used in one other set even though the piece is common. On the other hand, nostalgia aside, it would probably look nicer in the modern mixture of grays and red highlights used for Castle sets. –  user23 Jan 8 '12 at 16:02
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I feel I need to represent the Classic Town and Train fans with the following sets:

6399

6399 Airport Shuttle

Bricklink items for sale

  • The only town monorail released by Lego and one of only a hand full of monorail sets in total.
  • As is the case with many classic sets that are hard to find 100% complete, it includes many stickers that easily become lost or worn over the years.
  • Includes at least one element unique to this set - 2619 Red Monorail Motor Cover

1490

1490 Lego Bank

Bricklink items for sale

  • Rare limited release set
  • Many stickers unique to this set and almost impossible to find

7750

7750 Steam Engine with Tender

Bricklink items for sale


----UPDATE----

In terms of increase in value over original purchase price as a percentage, it may be hard to beat the Collectible Minifigs Series 10 'Mr Gold'.

From the original price of $3 to prices of $500+++ that is a seriously valuable 'set'. Mr Gold

Only 5000 were produced and so completing a series 10 collection is expensive if you were not lucky enough to find one.

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7750 was also one I could think of, and indeed the 4 new ones on sale now are priced quite high (which isn't a guarantee they'll sell). By the way, although it's the only set that contained the large train wheels, these were also available as spare parts. –  Joubarc Jul 4 '12 at 6:25
    
@Joubarc - Thanks, I should have mentioned the spare parts. They are also very expensive considering they are just two sets of wheels per pack. –  mcqwerty Jul 4 '12 at 16:07
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I must say, a very valuable one would be the exclusive Maersk container ship. the original 2004 set (not the 2011 reissue!) is worth a lot of mone, considering they only made a handful. other than that, the Unitron Monorail can go for quite a bit MISB nowadays.

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