LEGO Sydney Opera House Retiring: Is the Fat Lady Singing?

LEGO 10234 Sydney Opera House is the most recent entry into LEGO’s lineup of large creator expert landmark models (at least until the rumored Big Ben arrives later this year), but it could also be the next one to retire. There certainly are signs to suggest this, and if it indeed retires this year, collectors and investors could be very happy with the potential appreciation in value on such a large set. LEGO’s Sydney Opera House set is a gigantic model by any metric. It consists of 2989 pieces, and measures over 60cm / 2 feet in length. Like the other models in the creator expert landmark series, it does not include any minifigures. Some people wonder about the quality of the build, since there are many repetitive elements to it, such as the roof and the stairs, but this is really a non-issue. All similar models feature significant repetition, such as 10214 Tower Bridge, and 10181 Eiffel Tower but those sets are still very desirable. In fact, 10189 Taj Mahal is one of the most valuable LEGO sets in existence and it is an extremely repetitive build, but that’s just the nature of faithfully modelling these structures. The most important thing to buyers is that the model be large and accurate.

When is LEGO Sydney Opera House Retiring?

LEGO 10234 Sydney Opera House will be three years old in 2016, since it was released back in September 2013. As a general rule, any set can be considered to be at significant risk of retirement when it has been out for three years or more. 10181 Eiffel Tower and 10189 Taj Mahal each lasted approximately two years before retiring, though newer sets such as 10214 Tower Bridge have had longer lifespans. One key factor with the Sydney Opera House, however, is that it was one of a select few Creator Expert sets that did NOT receive a box redesign in 2015 which is potentially a strong indicator that 10234 is on the way out later in 2016. The lack of a new box, and the age of the set, are enough to suggest that retirement risk is high, and anyone with an interest in owning this future classic would be wise to purchase it sooner than later.

Retiring Sets


    • I wouldn’t be surprised if 75% of SOH sales were to investors who have them sat in stock rooms.

      I think this will make money in the long term but nowhere near Taj Mahal or Eiffel Tower but the days of quick flipping sets for decent money post retirement are gone.

      • Agreed, the days of the Taj Mahal or UCS Millenium Falcon are over. But as we’ve seen with other sets, there is still money to be made on newer sets, and particularly the bigger, more expensive ones.

        • True as long as people know they’re in for a longer term hold. I think quite a few new investors think that the Exclusives can be flipped the day after retirement for decent profit. Can see lots currently disappointed that tumbler prices haven’t jumped, certainly this is the case in the UK anyway.

    • Seriously, I was wrenching my teeth to get one. Anyway, it was less repetitive built than most other set and I can careless about minifigure. It’s just my opinion.

  1. Sidney opera ? Can lego retire both the opera ans tower bridge ?

    Big ben and towerbridge in 2016 . 2 UK sets ? Impossible .

    Sidney opera still alive in 2017 :p

    • Nope, wrong guess. Sydney Opera House is now officially RETIRING SOON (European S@H stores all show this now).

  2. I have two and I am planning on keeping one. I read the reviews and I got convince that it is worth keeping one. One thing I noted is that the set does not have many reviews as other big sets. So I am concluding that it was not that popular due to the price, not too much demand out there at the moment and to my understanding lego has to pay more fees for this set when compare to tower bridge. I dont think it will be out there next year. Neither the ewok village and the sandcrawler.

  3. What is TLG playing at?
    All of the hard to find ( if they really are are to find) were limited to 1 per order. Now there back to 5 per order! Don’t they realize that people only want what they can’t get. There generic offerings from each theme are becoming rarer and more sort after only 2years of being available rather like the VW Camper which is seams to be sticking around for much longer than a Hard To Find set should ever be!
    Come on Lego it you will end up damaging your own lines. Hard to find should be just that ! and the longevity much reduced.

    • I noticed the other day that many exclusive items increased from 1 per order to 2, but as Tim has said 5 now! For me that’s a dampener on the secondary market value after retirement..
      Unless the Lego end of year is looming and they need to increase sales? For the all important end of year figures?

  4. As it is out of stock now, I’ve emailed customer support. Their answer:
    “Fortunately I can help you out there by telling you that it will be back soon! The current date I have for its return is June 8, but this is not entirely set in stone. I would suggest you just keep a close eye on the website around this time and you’ll be able to catch it. We’re expecting a large shipment of Opera Houses to the warehouse so it’s unlikely to sell out immediately, you’ll definitely get your chance.”

  5. I just got one!! yay, stock now available on lego shop online

  6. It is a very bad sign that this set is still around. It seems to me that this set has not been sold too often and they have a large amount of these sets in stock with the old package.

    • On shop@home Lego uk site it currently says will ship in 30 days… You can still order though.
      So stock cannot be that high..

  7. Lego has been retiring sets at a quick rate. Although I don’t have one, I would advise to get it while you still have the chance. They prices will go up every year on eBay and Amazon. I wanted the Grand Emporium, and soon gave up on it. I now realize that was a mistake because I really would like to have it but the prices are too high. I’m telling you, you won’t regret your decision if you get the sets before they retire.🐼

  8. As an Australian, I would have bought the Opera House long ago: had I been satisfied of the rendition: but from what I saw it looked really clunky: Lego is meant to do parabolic sections, etcetera.
    I have no qualms about buying “Big Ben” to match with the Tower Bridge: sooner, rather than later.

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