The Value of LEGO Dimensions - An Analysis

published on 2015-10-01

logo After I posted how much purchasing a console and ALL the sets for LEGO Dimensions on Facebook, my buddy asked “Yes, but how many hours of entertainment will it provide? If you completely neglect all of your responsibilities and assign a ridiculously high value to recreation, it’ll pay itself off in days”

My response: That’s how I typically do my calculations. My typical “entertainment” value is the movie: $15/100 minutes or ~$9.00 per hour. That’s easily “worth it” to me, because I have no problem dropping that $$ for a movie. At that level, for the “worth it” break even level, I’d have to do nothing but play LEGO Dimensions for 87.6 hours.

However, this is not all. No, not by a long shot.

See, LEGO is also worth it just to have as a collector’s piece, apart from its “time to assemble” value. For assembly value, let’s take three models I have which I know a) cost and b) time to assemble: the new Darth Vader (1 hour, $30), the Tumbler(5 hours, $200), and the Millenium Falcon UCS (16 hours, $500). Assuming a single assembly, this gives us an entertainment value of $30/hour, $40/hour, and $31/hour, respectively. Average this, call it $34/hour is “acceptable entertainment value” for assembling LEGO. Assuming half of the cost is collectors cred as opposed to assembly entertainment, and to limit the ability to amortize the cost of the item by assembling it multiple times, we’ll go with $17/hour as an acceptable entertainment value.

Again using those three models, we’ll get a basis for how many pieces we can assemble in an hour. Doing the calculations, we get an average of 285 pieces/hour (160/1 hour, 1869/5 hours, 5195/16hours). This brings it to ~$0.06 per piece of entertainment value.

base set

Now, much of the $788.78 is LEGOs; in fact, only $299 is not. Well… there is the video game in the starter kit; video games are usually ~$60. So, call it $359 for the video game + console, $429.78 for LEGO. $359 as entertainment, I’d have to play only 39 hours to “break even”; that’s much more likely. I’ve seen reviews of people who weren’t done with the base game who have clocked 28 hours. Plus, it will be both Cora and myself playing it; double the time played per hour, and it becomes only 19.5 hours. Now, assuming there’s at least 28 hours of game play without adding the expansions, and that’s a steal! Call it 42 (remember, both Cora and I playing, but Cora only half time) * $9 = $378. This is split evenly between the console and the game, so $315 to the console and $64 to the game.

Now, comes the LEGO portion. The base kit is 267 pieces: less than an hour of assembly. At our total LEGO cost of ~$34/hour, that’s a little steep (remember, $99 - $60 for the game = $39). BUT. Let’s look at the rest.

levelpack The first level pack I’d get

There are three level packs which not only have LEGO but unlock more game play (all of the LEGO expansions to this add some amount of game play; the level packs add the most). At around 90 pieces per set and $30 per set, this is waaaay outside the sheer LEGO value zone; it’s almost 3x. So we have to rely on game play. Unknown what the amount of game play is, so add a couple hours. $18 for game play + 10.54 for LEGO entertainment + collector value = $28.54. Okay…. not far off.

teampack I’d have these guys on my team

How about the Team Packs? These are a gadget, a vehicle, and two characters, typically around 100 pieces. And they’re only $25. BUT, there’s not the additional game play, just augmented possibilities. It’s hard to put a game time onto this, but since it’s just replayability, call it 1 hour. That seems generous in some ways, really conservative in others, so I feel okay with it. That’s $9 game time + $12 LEGO value; $21 total. That’s off by ~16%, which is a little steep, but there are only 2 of these, so we’ll eat it.

funpack Definitely looks like a pack of fun

Now on to the Fun Packs: 1 minifig, 1 vehicle/gadget. $15 each. Call it ~50 pieces, half the replayability, half the value: $11.5 total. This time, it’s only 76% of the value…. but one has to consider that minifigs are typically ~$3.99 each. We’ve accounted for some of that value, so add $2 to the total value: $13.5. Again, short of the $15 asking price. Since there are 15 of these, that’s a bit of an impact.

So, total value: 15 * $13.50 = $202.5 for the fun packs 2 * $21.00 = $42.00 for the team packs 3 * $28.50 = $85.50 for the level packs 1 * $98.00 = $98.00 for the dimensions game 1 * $314.00 = $314.00 for the console

Grand Total of the value: $742.00. That’s short by $47.

So, you heard it here: LEGO Dimensions: not worth it. UNLESS you collect them all, which automatically doubles the value because you’ve finished a collection.