LEGO - The Toy of Smart Investors

42 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018 Last revised: 22 Nov 2021

See all articles by Victoria Dobrynskaya

Victoria Dobrynskaya

School of Finance, HSE University

Julia Kishilova

RB Partners; Independent

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2018


We study financial returns on alternative collectible investment assets, such as toys, using LEGO sets as an example. Such iconic toys with diminishing over time supply and high collectible values appear to yield high returns on the secondary market. We find that LEGO investments outperform large stocks, bonds, gold, and alternative investments, yielding an average return of at least 11% (8% in real terms) in the sample period 1987–2015. LEGO returns are not exposed to market, value, momentum, and volatility risk factors but have an almost unit exposure to the size factor. A positive multifactor alpha of 4%–5%, a Sharpe ratio of 0.4, a positive return skewness, and low exposure to standard risk factors make the LEGO toy and other similar collectibles an attractive alternative investment with good diversification potential.

Keywords: Alternative Investments, Collectible Assets, Emotional Assets, LEGO, Portfolio Diversification

JEL Classification: G12, G14, G15

Suggested Citation

Dobrynskaya, Victoria and Kishilova, Julia, LEGO - The Toy of Smart Investors (April 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Victoria Dobrynskaya (Contact Author)

School of Finance, HSE University ( email )

Julia Kishilova

RB Partners ( email )

Smolenskiy Blvd., 40/2
Moscow, 119034

Independent ( email )

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