4 Iconic LEGO sets you can break the bank to acquire

Back in 2018, LEGO released a promotional GWP (gift with purchase)  celebrating 60 years of the LEGO brick. The set included 4 micro versions of the most iconic LEGO builds of the past 60 years, comprising the awesome Airport Shuttle, famous Yellow Castle, Black Seas Barracuda and the Galaxy Explorer, plus a printed commemoratory tile.

LEGO 40290 Box and Build

In this post we take a look at what these 4 will set you back if you'd like to acquire your very own brand new, unopened sets. For some reason, the lucky holders of these items either had the foresight to hang on to them for 30-40 years with a view to cashing in on some hefty returns, or perhaps they bought them as future gifts, put them in the attic, and forgot about them for decades—we'll never know (because we didn't ask!)

1. LEGO 375 Castle

BRAND NEW $11,883 (US $8,500)

LEGO 375 Castle Box

When you think LEGO castles, you might not think yellow. You're more likely to picture the iconic castle sets made in shades of grey. But what about the first one? Why was it yellow and not grey like all of the others? 

To answer that, we need to go back to 1978 when LEGO introduced its Castle theme; a medieval life-themed line with castles and knights. LEGO had a limited colour palette at that time, so LEGO 375 was made from yellow bricks.

The set came with 14 minifigures, armed with axes, swords, shields, and two types of helmets. Sculpted animals were yet to appear at this point in LEGO's history, so the set came with brick-built horses.

The yellow castle was cleverly designed, and it included many clever features that would later become staples of the building block world. It featured well-designed hinge pieces that allowed the castle to open up fully. Its red drawbridge added a pop of color to the castle!

The LEGO castle theme has been out of shelves for the past few years, but its legacy remains. The 375 castle is one of the most popular classic sets because of its rich history and unique color.


2. LEGO 6399 Airport Shuttle

BRAND NEW $4,893 (US $3,500)

LEGO 6399 Airport Shuttle Box

The second item on our list is the LEGO 6399 Airport Shuttle. This set from 1990 is a part of LEGO's monorail theme and LEGO town theme. 

The concept of LEGO Town was one of those that would eventually become a core theme for the company. This theme centered on town life and included many different sets such as emergency services like police and firefighters. 

The Town theme was first released in 1978. Its release came after the successful Town Plan and LEGOLAND themes. After being officially discontinued for 12 years, LEGO Town resurfaced again under World City between 2003- 2005 before finally settling on simply "City".

The LEGO Town theme encompasses subthemes focusing specifically on certain areas, such as the airport. The 6399 set consists of a motorised monorail train and track, two stations, nine minifigures, accompanying buildings, and tracks. The train has two cars, each with a driver's cabin. 

The minifigures play the roles of a train conductor, airport employee, cook, pilot, and porter. The remaining four minifigures are regular passengers. 

The LEGO Airport shuttle is a must-have for any LEGO collector because it is the only LEGO Town monorail. Moreover, the 6399 set is one of the largest LEGO sets of the LEGO Town era.

3. LEGO 497 (aka 928) Galaxy Explorer

BRAND NEW $6,565 (US $4,960)

LEGO Galaxy Explorer 497 Box

The LEGO Galaxy Explorer is out of this world. Many people consider it the epitome of Classic Space. It is a part of the Classic Space theme that was first released in 1978. Unlike other space sets, the LEGO Classic theme contains sets with peaceful space explorers.

Released in 1979, this set contains 338 pieces, and it comes with four minifigures. The two red men have LEGO's typical smiling and unisex face and the logo of classic space on their torso. The white men, of which there are two, have a white body, and they come with air tanks and a helmet.

The Galaxy Explorer has a striking color scheme consisting of blue, light gray, and yellow pieces. A lot of the parts are printed, and the markings are highly durable.

The 497 set is a great collectible. It comes with an assortment of accessories, such as base plates, a communications dish, and antenna, that adds to its appeal as a collector's item.

4. LEGO 6285 Black Seas Barracuda

BRAND NEW $3,201 (US $2,290)

LEGO Black Seas Barracuda 6285 Box

The creatively named Black Seas Barracuda is a pirate-themed set that ran from 1989 to 1997. It's been lauded for paving the way for all the LEGO ships made since its release. The Black Seas Barracuda is so impressive that LEGO decided to relaunch as 'Legend' in 2001.

The Black Seas Barracuda has a considerable crew of minifigures who have some personality attached to them. The crew consists of a peg-legged pirate and seven other members of the crew. It even has a female pirate– an excellent step towards gender inclusion and balance in sets.

A lot of attention was paid to the ship. It comes equipped with four cannons and a beautifully designed deck. The cannons are just enough to defeat the Caribbean Clipper (the ship's imperial counterpart). Moreover, the ship has a mast, huge hull sections, riggings, a ship's wheel, and even a parrot and a monkey—because pirates are pet people too.

The set also comes with a few printed pieces; a treasure map and minuscule pirate flags.

The Black Seas Barracuda comes in a huge cardboard flap. The contents are stored behind a plastic window, and the cardboard flips open to proudly display them. Owing to its rich history and aesthetic appeal, the LEGO Black Seas Barracuda is a perfect set to add to your collection.

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