LEGO, What Were You Thinking?

After more than two decades of LEGO Star Wars content, the developers know what fans want right? If you follow social media or listen to LEGO YouTubers you’d think that the answer is no. While it may be true that not all adult fans are pleased with every set that is put out for sale, LEGO has done a lot recently to cater to collectors.

So if we’ve acknowledged the good work that they are doing, what is it that we are complaining about now? Well, the answer lies in the minifigures.

Although the Ultimate Collector Series subtheme started in 2000, it wasn’t until the release of 10179 Millennium Falcon in 2007 that the first minifigures became included. There have been a few gaps since then, but the majority of sets have come with at least one minifig. Collectors have been delighted with a Boba Fett and TIE Pilot with printed arms and disappointed with an incorrect Clone Commander.

For a large subset of the LEGO Star Wars community, the minifigs are what drive their purchasing decisions. LEGO has to have a way to market their sets which at times includes releasing exclusive minifigures in expensive sets. As far as what minifigs come with UCS sets, it sounds like a simple case of taking the good with the bad.

Collecting can be a fickle game though and at times buyers can get burned. Take for instance the aforementioned Clone Commander. When released as one of the two exclusive minifigures in 75309 Republic Gunship, the average price was around $30 on the secondary market. Anyone who may have purchased the Gunship for the minifigs or anyone who bought the figures secondhand took a hit when it was released alongside two standard Clone Troopers in 40558 Clone Trooper Command Station which retails for $14.99.

Adding injury to insult, the Mace Windu included in 75309 was fairly basic while the Mace included in 75342 Republic Fighter Tank – a $39.99 set – comes with exclusive arm printing and is easily the best version to date.

The reality is that more minifigures are being found in only one set regardless of the price. With over 300 new variants added in the past four years, this makes it hard for minifigure collectors to keep up. Prices have also exploded for retired minifigures since COVID became part of our lexicon. In fact in order to purchase one of every variant in used condition at the average selling price it would take more than $18,000 to complete the collection. Minifigure collecting isn’t for the faint of heart.

If you can’t afford to buy them all or don’t have any desire to, then the alternative is to decide which characters are must haves and which can be passed on. As much as fans want to complain, figures like Aunt Beru and the new dual-molded C-3PO will continue to sell sets that otherwise might have to have slashed prices. This is what keeps new fans coming in and makes sure that LEGO stays on the shelves.

Circling back around to the original question then, what is it that we are complaining about now? Ultimately it’s that we’re all addicted to an expensive hobby!

Entertainment Earth

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