Meet the world's most expensive Lego

The solid gold brick was given as an employee appreciation gift decades ago. And one of them just found a new owner.

By Kim Peterson Dec 3, 2012 2:44PM
Credit: Courtesy of BrickEnvy.com
Caption: Solid Gold Lego BrickWhat's the best gift from the boss ever? A solid gold Lego brick would rank pretty high for me.

That's exactly what some lucky Lego employees received from the company nearly 40 years ago. From 1979 to 1981, the brick was awarded to certain workers who had put in at least 25 years at the Lego factory in Hohenwestedt, Germany.

And what a gift. The 14-carat gold Lego weighs 0.8246 troy ounces. And one of those bricks was just sold for $12,500.

The brick was sold by avid Lego collector John Hughbanks. He tried to nab the brick about nine months ago when it was auctioned at a German site, but lost out to another bidder. He found the bidder later and negotiated a price, and then put the brick up for sale on eBay (EBAY) and on his brand new website, Brick Envy. He priced the brick at $14,449.99.

When the Lego piece started getting some attention, Hughbanks received a bid on eBay for $12,500 and decided to sell it.

"It was a tough call for me, to be honest, because I really didn't want to sell it," Hughbanks said in an interview. "It was one of those things, what do you do?" But the customer had purchased some high-end items from Hughbanks in the past, so Hughbanks knew it was a solid deal.

Hughbanks estimated that the meltdown value of the brick is only around $920. What makes it special, he said, is the story behind it.

"Somebody had to work for 25 years to get that little gold brick," he said. "A lot of people, they put themselves in those shoes and the story just goes from there."

He said the brick reminds him of the gold watches that workers sometimes get from their bosses. Some people just store it in a closet for a while and eventually sell it or throw it away. But those gifts are a symbol of someone's career, and many years of their life.

"That's dedication," he added.

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16Comments
Dec 3, 2012 10:55PM
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I've been told by employers that by staying in any job longer than 5 years, you are considered to have no ambition and not likely to be hired by other businesses.  No joke.
Dec 3, 2012 7:47PM
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I think thats about how much I spent on legos for my son back in the 80's
Dec 3, 2012 7:04PM
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Recognizing employees for their longstanding service is such a terrible business practice.  That would really cut into the shareholder profits and drive the stock price down.  And everyone knows what a better world we live in now that everything is dictated by the stock price.
Dec 3, 2012 5:12PM
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We still give gifts every 10 years, and a pin every 5.  (CEO of a community bank, been around 120 years)

Dec 3, 2012 4:18PM
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My company still gives out service gifts for every 5 years of service. We get to pick out of a catalog and the options obviously get better the longer you are there. For my first one I let my wife pick something for her. Figure I wouldn't be where I am without her so she deserves the award.
Dec 3, 2012 3:45PM
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Gold watches, Leggo gold bricks...Not anymore. Today's employers would just as well see you dead than hand out an "appreciation gift" to anybody for years of faithful service.
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