Lego a ‘better investment than shares and gold’ – Telegraph

Average Lego set has increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium, providing a better return than mainstream investments

Source: Lego a ‘better investment than shares and gold’ – Telegraph

The Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today

The Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today

It may appear as no more than a popular children’s toy, but investors were able to secure a better return buying Lego sets over the past 15 years than from the stock market, gold or bank accounts, a Telegraph analysis found.

The value of the FTSE 100 is no higher than it was in February 2000, meaning the average annual return to savers over the past decade and half is just 4.1 per cent once dividend payouts are included.

By contrast, Lego sets kept in pristine condition have increased in value 12 per cent each year since the turn of the Millennium, with second-hand prices rising for specific sets as soon as they go out of production. Modern sets are performing even more strongly, with those released last year already selling on eBay for 36 per cent more than their original price.

The analysis found none of the main investments favoured by savers matched returns on the plastic building bricks.

Savers who invested in gold received a 9.6 per cent annual gain over the past decade and a half, while those who went with a savings account or Isa generated 2.8 per cent, according to investment company Hargreaves Lansdown.

Some Lego sets that once sold for less than £100 now fetch thousands on the secondary market.

Lego can only reach a top price if it has been kept in it's box, according to Ed Maciorowski, founder of BrickPicker.comLego can only reach a top price if it has been kept in it’s box, according to Ed Maciorowski, founder of

Many of the highest prices are for old sets based around films such as Star Wars or landmarks or brands such as the Taj Mahal in India or the Volkswagen Beetle. But data from investing website BrickPicker.comshowed even sets based on everyday scenes such as police stations and town roads are soaring in value.

The largest percentage rise in price for any Lego set has been on “Cafe Corner”, a model of a hotel which went on sale in 2007. The set, which has 2,056 pieces, originally sold for £89.99 but the price has risen to £2,096 since it went out of production – a return for investors of 2,230 per cent.

Ed Maciorowski, founder of, said the top price would be fetched only if the Lego had been kept in its box, in perfect condition. Used Lego is less valuable, but can still be worth hundreds of pounds more than its original price.

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“The neat thing is that all sets are retired at some point, and several hundred are retired each year a movie run ends, a licence expires or the Lego company wants to refresh its range,” he said.

“That means anyone with a set at home – large or small, it doesn’t matter – could have quite an investment on their hands if it’s in good condition, as this stuff appreciates very well in value.”

Most second-hand Lego is traded and bought on eBay. BrickPicker pays eBay for a breakdown of sales and compiles its own database of values and growth rates.

Mr Maciorowski said tens of thousands of investors across the world were pushing up prices of rarer sets.

He said the growth rates would continue. “Lego investing is not hitting bubble-like status,” he said. “That is partly because the Lego company doesn’t promote the secondary market, it wants to sell direct to customers.”

deathstarDeath Star II sold for £249.99 in shops, but is now worth £1,524, according to BrickPicker

Price rises can be disrupted if Lego restarts production of sets it had previously retired – but usually the effect is temporary as investors snap up the new stock, Mr Maciorowski said.

The most popular type of Lego is Star Wars themed, accounting for 10 of the 20 most expensive sets.

The Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon is the most expensive, having gone from a retail price of £342.49 in 2007 to £2,712 today.

Two slightly earlier models, the Death Star II and Imperial Star Destroyer, which were released in 2005 and 2002 respectively, also fetch more than £1,000.

Mr Maciorowski said the new Star Wars film, Episode VII – The Force Awakens will give the old sets a “new life” in secondary market.

“Demand is going to be off the hook,” he said. “Sometimes when the next instalment of a film comes out it boosts interest: the new Fantastic Beasts films, for example, should also see demand pick up for some of the recently retired Harry Potter Lego.”

Laith Khalaf, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The returns from Lego look pretty awesome, but investors need to beware that the value of collectables can be vulnerable to fads.

“There’s absolutely no harm in buying some pieces as a hobby, and you may well make some money, but as a main building clock for your retirement I would suggest sticking to more traditional shares and bonds.”

Seven Lego investing tips from a pro

Ed Maciorowski from says:

1 If you are interested in a particular Lego set, buy one to build and one to save for a rainy day. Even used Lego sets can appreciate to values higher than the retail price. Putting away a few large and exclusive sets to resell in years down the road can be very profitable.

2 Limited edition and seasonal sets do very well in the Lego secondary markets. Any sets with short production runs usually appreciate well. The rarer, the better.

3 Invest in Lego sets that were released after 1999. Pre-2000 sets were not really great investments. Many sets were basic and uninspiring. There are a handful of vintage sets that are viable collectables, but most have plateaued in value and many are in poor condition.

4 Keep the Lego boxes, pieces and instructions in excellent condition. Save all the components of a Lego set. Keep them in a dry and dark storage space. No sun … no moisture. The better the condition, the more the set will sell for in future.

5 Stack Lego boxes vertically like books. Horizontal stacking causes boxes to crush and seals to break.

6 Size doesn’t matter. Both small and large sets can appreciate very well percentage wise.

7 Lego mini figures are very valuable.

Most expensive Lego sets

Set – release date – pieces (mini figs) – retail price – current value

1 Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon – 2007 – 5,195 (5) – £342.49 – £2,712

2 Cafe Corner – 2007 – 2,056 (3) – £89.99 – £2,096

3 Taj Mahal – 2008 – 5,922 (0) – £199.99 – £1,848

4 Death Star II – 2005 – 3,441 (0) – £249.99 – £1,524

5 Imperial Star Destroyer – 2002 – 3,096 (0) – £249.99 – £1,467

Lego sets with biggest rises in value

Set – release date – pieces (mini figs) – retail price – current value – growth

1 Cafe Corner – 2007 – 2,056 (3) – £89.99 – £2,096 – 2,230%

2 Market Street – 2007 – 1,248 (3) – £59.99 – £698 – 1,064%

3 Holiday Train – 2006 – 965 (7) – £49.99 – £574 – 1,048%

4 Rescue from the Merpeople – 2005 – 175 (5) – £14.99 – £168 – 1,018%

5 The Batboat: Hunt for Killer Croc – 2006 – 188 (2) – £14.99 – £167 – 1,011%

Airbnb Lets You Sleep in Ikea for the Night


SYDNEY — You can now live your own version of the movie 500 Days of Summer — by staying a night in an Ikea store. For real: you could be sleeping on the beds, cooking with fake ovens, eating all the meatballs.

How? In what may well be the partnership of the century, Airbnb has coupled with everyone’s favourite Scandinavian flat-packing store for one night only — August 31, at one store in Sydney.

The promotional rooms at the Ikea in Tempe, Sydney boast an ideal location near the airport with city skyline views and will be home to three families of lucky winners. There are three options to choose from: rustic charm, inner city living or modern elegance.

The cost? A mere 12 Australian dollars.




“Airbnb gives people access to the most unique listings around the world from treehouses to yurts to villas, and now we’re adding Ikea to the list,” Eva Ross, Local Operations Lead at Airbnb Australia, said in a statement. “The experience is sure to thrill any guest.”

There’s one proviso in the fine print: “By entering, you agree to be part of an event that will be covered by the media,” it says. “Oh, and that you will be woken in the morning in a remarkable way. Nothing frightening — we promise!”

For anyone who has ever dreamed of sleeping in the giant blue box store without assembling the bed first, your moment has arrived — so long as you’re O.K. with surprises.

Le paradoxe du Chief Digital Officer: le profil idéal du CDO d’aujourd’hui ressemble étrangement au profil… du CEO de demain

Le paradoxe du Chief Digital Officer.

Installer un Chief Digital Officers au sein d’un comité exécutif serait une fausse bonne idée pour Pascal Cagni, l’ancien vice-président d’Apple Europe.

Les CDO (Chief Digital Officer) semblent avoir déjà gagné la bataille du management et des comités exécutifs, où ils siègent chaque jour plus nombreux : selon le cabinet américain Gartner, 25 % des entreprises devraient avoir leur CDO d’ici à 2015.

Leur rôle ? Augmenter l’« intensité numérique » de toutes les fonctions de l’entreprise, faire passer les organisations de l’ère de la méfiance numérique à celle de la performance digitale.

Il y a urgence : toujours selon les experts de Gartner, il y a 12 ans, les dépenses consacrées au numérique étaient équivalentes à 20 % du budget des systèmes d’information géré par le directeur informatique (CIO). En 2020, ce montant devrait être équivalent à 90 % du budget IT !

Séduisante pour beaucoup, l’idée même du CDO est à mon sens l’archétype de la fausse bonne idée, à peu près aussi pertinente que la nomination d’un CEO (Chef Electricity Officer) au moment de l’invention de l’électricité.

Car le virage numérique n’est pas une option tactique mais bien un impératif stratégique. Il doit irriguer et impacter la structure même de l’entreprise et la sensibilité de tous ses dirigeants (opérationnels et fonctionnels) et de tous ses administrateurs.

En attendant le changement de génération et la prise de pouvoir, inéluctable, par les « natifs numériques » (« digital natives »), les CDO continueront donc à travailler paradoxalement à leur propre perte, en préparant avec enthousiasme, à tous les niveaux de l’entreprise, ce jour probablement pas si éloigné où le numérique ira de soi.

A moins qu’ils ne préparent leur propre triomphe ? Après tout, le profil idéal du CDO d’aujourd’hui ressemble étrangement au profil… du CEO de demain !

Pascal Cagni est administrateur de sociétés, investisseur et ancien vice-président d’Apple Europe.


Trends 2014 – onboard technology ex: Audi’s New Dashboard Gives Us Beautiful Information Overload (

Audi’s New Dashboard Gives Us Beautiful Information Overload | Autopia |


The new dash of the Audi TT will be fully configurable, with a choice of a map view or traditional gauges. Photo: Audi

The new dash of the Audi TT will be fully configurable, with a choice of a map view or traditional gauges. Photo: Audi

Dashboard gauges are so 20th century. The dash of the future is a flat, high-resolution, and fully customizable. And that’s what the next Audi TT will have when it lands in showrooms later this year.

At CES Audi showed off a full-sized mockup of the TT’s new interior, and the crown jewel is a 12.3-inch LCD screen behind the steering wheel that can toggle between a traditional tachometer and speedometer and a massive map with infotainment and navigation displays flanked by small virtual gauges.

Inputs are handled through Audi’s next-generation Multi-Media Interface control knob mounted behind the stick. It has fewer buttons but gets the latest iteration of Audi’s touchpad that allows you to write characters with your finger rather than endlessly scrolling through the alphabet.

The other notable bit is the removal of the traditional climate controls in the center console. Instead, the driver and passenger can change the interior temperature by twisting a knurled metal knob in the center of the vents, complete with a TFT display showing the fan speed and air temp.

Climate controls and temperature read-outs are exactly where they should be: in the vents. Photo: Audi

Climate controls and temperature read-outs are exactly where they should be: in the vents. Photo: Audi

The Post-it Note Goes Digital on Evernote – Digits – WSJ

The Post-it Note Goes Digital on Evernote – Digits – WSJ.

Rather than fight the digital revolution, the time-tested Post-it note is joining it.

3M Co.MMM +0.10%, which makes about 50 billion of the sticky paper notepads each year, is set to announce a partnership on Thursday with personal-organization app Evernote Corp. Together, they’ve made software that will allow people with smartphones to photograph, store and organize pictures of their Post-its.

Evernote’s software will be able to recognize the sticky notes’ distinctive colors and help organize them within the app. In other words, Evernote’s 75 million users may soon say goodbye to the legions of Post-its hanging from bathroom mirrors, car dashboards and computer screens in favor of thumbnail photos of their scribblings.

3M says the app partnership is a natural evolution for people who prefer to jot things down — but are looking for more efficient ways to organize all those ideas. “Paper really is still the easiest way to write a thought down and remember it,” said Jesse Singh, vice president of 3M’s stationery and office supplies division. “This partnership seemed an obvious choice for us for the brand.”

Evernote’s CEO Phil Libin said he had long coveted the Post-it for its simplicity and ease of use, even as he has spawned a generation of digital-first obsessives. “The Post-it is something we aspire to be,” said Mr. Libin. “They have been a hero product for us.”

It remains to be seen if the new camera function will fully replace Evernote’s digital note-taking functions. It’s not Evernote’s first foray into the physical realm – last year it teamed up with Moleskine SpA to create a line of branded leather notebooks with pages designed to be easily photographed for uploads to the app.

St. Paul, Minn.-based 3M plans to begin selling packs of Post-it notes featuring Evernote’s elephant head logo and, for a short time, offers for a free upgrade to a premium Evernote subscription for 30 days, a $5 value. 3M doesn’t disclose annual Post-it sales.

Users can designate the Post-it notes’ unique colors for different tasks; pink can represent, say, grocery lists. Mr. Libin said that off-brand sticky notes would also likely work with the app.

Other old-line industries have tried to adapt to the digital age, for fear of falling victim to it. A slew of digital writing pads and pens that converted handwriting to bytes were unreliable and failed to catch on. Paperless Inc.’s Paperless Post sought to replace the greeting card with emailed digital versions. Though, conceding that old habits are hard to break, Paperless Post last year began selling printed cards.

“Paperless as a concept is stupid,” said Mr. Libin. “The goal is to get rid of stupid uses of paper.”

3M’s Mr. Singh said he hoped the company would benefit by selling more Post-its and appealing to a broader demographic than its core of working mothers.

As for Evernote, based in Redwood City, Calif., Mr. Libin said he hopes to see a jump in downloads. Both companies will share revenue from app downloads and Post-it sales as part of the partnership.

Companies that have been slow to adapt to the digital age, like wristwatch makers and point-and-shoot camera manufacturers have seen their sales slide. Just this month, Samsung Electronics Co. introduced a computerized wristwatch that, you guessed it, also takes photographs.

Unilever systématise la co-création

Unilever systématise la co-création.

Unilever systématise la co-création

Les clients n’ont pas qu’un avis, ils ont aussi des idées. Unilever est bien décidé à en systématiser la collecte pour l’aider à innover. Pour ce faire, il a signé un accord-cadre avec la plate-forme en ligne d’Eyeka, une start-up française qui fédère, dans 150 pays, quelque 250 000 membres prêts à participer à des concours de créativité. Les services marketing du groupe américain, en Asie-Pacifique (Chine, Japon, Australie), au Moyen-Orient, en Russie et en Afrique, pourront ainsi remonter plus facilement des idées de packaging, d’usages, voire de nouveaux produits, via la plate-forme. Les participants au concours envoient leurs créations sous forme visuelle (dessin, vidéo, animation…).

Les meilleurs projets sont récompensés. Une méthode éprouvée. Unilever a déjà mené une trentaine de projets de co-création avec Eyeka, pour 16 marques, dont Clear, CloseUp, Comfort, Lipton, Lux ou Pond’s. “Le rôle des marketeurs s’apparente à celui des magiciens : surprendre les consommateurs avec des idées innovantes et des produits qui les enthousiasment. Le fait d’inviter les consommateurs les plus créatifs à contribuer à cette démarche force Unilever à se réinventer constamment”, explique Rahul Welde, le vice-président média d’Unilever pour l’Asie, l’Afrique, le Moyen-Orient et la Turquie. C’est lui qui a décidé de systématiser l’usage de la plate-forme. Une première dans ce domaine. Et une consécration pour Eyeka, une entreprise de 35 personnes qui revendique plus de 500 concours pour 40 des 100 plus grandes marques mondiales.