LEGO 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier is one of the largest sets currently produced by The LEGO Group. It was released relatively recently, but could it be retiring soon? Some might find that idea laughable, but there are valid reasons to stop and consider the possibility of an early retirement for this large, Marvel superheroes exclusive set.
The LEGO Helicarrier is a detailed recreation of the airship featured in the Marvel Avengers films. The set itself is massive by any metric, with 2996 pieces and 17 minifigures included in the sizeable retail box. There are five full-sized minifigures: Hawkeye, Maria Hill, Black Widow, Nick Fury, and Captain America himself. The other 12 included figures are “microfigures” — smaller figures that are better suited to the scale of the ship, and can be placed inside the detailed interior. These figures include Captain America, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Iron Man, and eight SHIELD agents. The constructed model is 31 inches (80 cm) in length and 17 inches (45 cm) wide, and working lights and rotors can be added with the purchase of LEGO’s power functions products. The display value of this UCS set is undeniable, and its appeal to super heroes collectors is obvious.
Could LEGO 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier Retire Soon?
I know what some are thinking right now: “What? Of course the Helicarrier isn’t retiring, it’s too new of a set.” Most people would probably agree with that sentiment, and turn their focus to older sets such as 10214 Tower Bridge and 10218 Pet Shop. And sure, those sets are safer bets for retirement — they have been sold for many years now and will have to retire sooner than later. But consider another UCS superheroes set, 76023 The Tumbler, which shocked LEGO collectors everywhere by retiring after slightly more than a year of life. Approximately one year before that, we saw another superheroes exclusive in 10937 Batman: Arkham Asylum Breakout retire after less than two years of life. 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier was released in March 2015, so retirement at the end of 2016 would be a big surprise, but it would also be similar to the lifespans of the Tumbler and Arkham Asylum sets.
From an investment perspective, the Helicarrier is an interesting set. The retail price for 76042 is a hefty $350 USD, which deters resellers from stockpiling it early, so secondary market supply will be limited. The fact that the set is so new also means it will not be heavily stockpiled. So if this set does retire unexpectedly, it will greatly benefit anyone who has already purchased it. The potential upside is significant: Expensive sets historically perform well after retirement (because the price tag limits supply), and every year there is always at least one surprise retirement that makes for a better investment than many of the more predictable retirements. Examples of this include the retirement of 10224 Town Hall in 2014 and to a lesser extent, 76023 The Tumbler at the end of 2015. There is risk in investing in a younger set like this, but there is also the potential for significant reward. For those looking to minimize risk, perhaps the Helicarrier is not for them at this time, but for any investor looking to diversify their portfolio beyond Pet Shops, Ewok Villages, and others, 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier represents an interesting retirement possibility with the potential for great returns.