Economics of LEGO Pricing

By Norman Chan

Turns out, LEGO hasn't gotten more expensive over the years.

$100 for a pirate ship? $200 for a B-wing? We all know that LEGO kits can get pricey, but there is a feeling among LEGO enthusiasts that the price of LEGO has increased over the past twenty years, especially with licensed products like Star Wars and Harry Potter sets. But when Andrew Sielen used data to analyze the historical price of LEGOs, he found that the inflation-adjusted price per piece had actually not risen since 1980. And the data showed that licensed sets don't command a statistically significant premium. In fact, what has really increased is the average number of pieces per set and total number of sets released per year. That, combined with an online secondary market with high LEGO prices have driven the perception that LEGO has inflated the price of its bricks. In reality, it's more likely that LEGO only seems more expensive now because your parents aren't buying them for you.