In December 2008, after years of unrequited desire, I bought myself a second hand Lego UCS Imperial Star Destroyer, kit 10030. Because it was missing a handful of pieces, I got it surprisingly cheaply, for the ridiculously cheap price of £160. (That’s the £145 that I bid, plus £25 P&P, minus a tenner that the vendor very kindly unilaterally refunded on finding that it was less expensive to post than they’d thought.)
I topped it up with 77 pence worth of spare pieces from Lego’s pick-a-brick facility (plus £3.25 P&P) and suddenly I had a whole Star Destroyer for £163.25:
That thing is a monster. It’s a huge, huge kit, and has remained the benchmark for what it’s possible to do with Lego. It’s made from more than 3,000 pieces (most of them very small admittedly), and comes out very nearly a meter long. It’s also very beautiful, and a wonderful evocation of the ship we know and love from the Star Wars films.
I have rebuilt my 10030 almost every Christmas since I bought it, and at the same time watched the price of complete sets gradually rising on eBay.
Finally this year, I felt the time had come to let it go, and to use the money to buy a new kit: the UCS Super Star Destroyer, kit 10221. This kits has even more pieces (3,152) and builds to a longer (though correspondingly narrower and less deep) model.
Annoyingly, I mistimed this process: the kit is now sold out from all regular outlets, so I had to pay over the odds for a re-sold MISB kit on eBay.
Still, I was able to sell my old kit (for £565.98, which is three and half times what I paid for it). Even after eBay had taken their painfully hefty 10% cut, that left me enough to buy the new kit (for £469 including postage) and have a little bit left over.
Right now, both kits are in transit — so the old one is gone from my life and the new one hasn’t yet arrived. It feels weird to live in a house without a Lego Star Destroyer.
The moral of this story seems to be that big, old Lego kits keep their value well. I like the idea that I had the pleasure of owning the 10030 for five and bit years and it didn’t, in the end, cost me anything. I hope the same will be true of the 10221, and that I’ll eventually be able to sell it for more than I paid. We’ll see. But the real win here is that my Christmas is all sorted out!