There's a story on ABC News about a Lego structure (pictured on the right) that was accidentally knocked over and destroyed (pictured below) by a small child shortly after it went on display at the Lego Expo in China.
Allegedly, the statue cost $15,000. Hmm... I'm not buying it.
Hypothetically, maybe there are $5,000 worth of Legos in that thing (which seems really high to me, there aren't any fancy pieces there, just a bunch of basic different-colored blocks--it also looks like the spine may have been built out of Duplo?). I want to say the pieces should cost $2,000 max, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.
As far as construction goes, what's the growing rate for assembling Legos? Twenty bucks an hour seems more than generous for something you could get the 10-year-old version of me to do for free. According to the report, it took the artist three days to put together. Even if the guy worked three straight 20-hour days, we're still only looking at $1,200 in labor costs.
Design, on the other hand, is a different story. I could see the architect (who in this case is probably the same guy) getting/paying himself $100 an hour to plan the whole thing out. But, then it would still take roughly 90 hours to hit the $15,000-mark in total.
Plus, the pieces themselves aren't actually broken, so their value is retained. Also, I bet it could be rebuilt in one day tops given home much is still intact.