Nathan

Part Numbering Changes

14 posts in this topic

Changes

 

As some of you are probably aware, Bricklink recently tried to enforce their ownership of the LEGO part numbers by threatening BrickOwl with legal action if they did not remove their inventories. BrickOwl responded by renaming all parts with random numbers. I have been discussing this with the other Rebrickable admins, and friends from other popular LEGO sites and have come to the conclusion that we will change Rebrickable's part numbers as well. Note that Bricklink have NOT contacted me about this, but I feel it best to separate Rebrickable from any potential conflicts that may arise.

 

The old inventories on Rebrickable were sourced largely from Bricklink. I painstakingly acquired permission to do so from hundreds of Bricklink contributors at the request of their admin, which at the time was more of a courtesy than anything as the data was free for use. Since their threat against BrickOwl, we immediately stopped using any Bricklink materials. It is a shame that they took this action, but I guess inevitable after the acquisition. One of the great things Bricklink achieved was creating a (mostly) single source of truth for part naming/numbering and set inventories. However, that seems to be threatened now by disallowing anyone else to use them. So while I feel forced to create a new numbering scheme, I hope it will remain similar enough to not cause confusion and maybe even gain in popularity.

 

Note that mostly Bricklink specific parts will be changed, and some others to improve the consistency. It will be nowhere near as drastic as what BrickOwl did - who were under time pressure to do something quickly. Most of the old part numbers came from Peeron/LUGNET anyway, so the changes should be minimal. While it is tempting to create a brand new standard from scratch to clean up a lot of naming inconsistencies, we have tried to keep things as similar as possible so all those part numbers you've memorised will still work :) And of course all known part numbers are noted in the database so that searches for an old number will still show the new number.

 

Some general notes for the naming of parts:

1. 'pr' is the new designation for a printed part and will replace p, px, pXY, pb etc.

2. 'pat' will be used for patterned parts - i.e. those with a molded pattern or marbled plastic.

 

New Parts

 

LEGO have recently started making more part numbering information available on their website. This has given us the Element IDs, Design IDs and colours and the ability to link them up with existing part ids where they are different. As new inventories are added, the Element IDs are also being recorded which makes searching for a part by any of the known numbers possible. It will also allow us to use the LEGO 3D images where we don't have any LDraw generated ones. Maybe... haven't made up my mind on that issue yet :)

 

New parts that are released will now follow the LEGO design id/decoration id wherever possible. There will be some slight differences because of the ways LEGO does things differently - e.g. different design ids for opaque/transparent parts (eg 4073/30057), and different design ids for printed variations of the same mold (eg 3626cpr0745/93619).

 

Some examples of new part numbers that have already been created:

* 3626cpr0745 (Old Part '3626' Mold variant 'c' Printed 'pr' with Decoration ID '0745' = LEGO Design ID 93619, Element ID 4611426 is Yellow)

* 3626cpr1282 (Old Part '3626' Mold variant 'c' Printed 'pr' with Decoration ID '1282' = LEGO Design ID 16220, Element ID 6057702 is Black)

* 4150pr0012 (Old Part '4150' Printed 'pr' with Decoration ID '0012' = LEGO Design ID '16277' Element ID 6057884 is Dark Bluish Gray)

* 15621 (New Part '15621' = LEGO Design ID '15621' Element ID 6055797 is Trans-Bright Green)

 

Minifig examples (because they are a pain in the butt):

* Torsos/Arms = 973prZZZZcXX

* Heads = 3626b/cprZZZZ (b/c being closed/open stud type)

* Legs/Hips = 970cXXprZZZZ

 

Where ZZZZ is the decoration ID padded to 4 digits and XX is the assembly number. Unfortunately the Torsos and Legs have the c and pr modifiers in different positions because of historical reasons. We won't change this now even though my OCD is screaming at me.

 

Old Parts

 

The biggest changes to old parts will be the handling of printed/patterned parts. Instead of the myriad of p, pb, px etc, we will use 'pr' for print and 'pat' for pattern.

 

Examples

* 4740pb09 will become 4740pr0006 [newish - Decoration ID available]

* 3626bpb720 will become 3626bpr0980 [new - Decoration ID available]

* 3009p26 will become 3009pr26 [old, no Decoration ID]

* 2546p02 will become 2546pat02 [old, marbled pattern, no Decoration ID]

* 6086pb01 will become 6086pat01 [old, marbled [co-injected], no Decoration ID]

* 2546p01 will become 2546pr01 [old, print, no Decoration ID]

 

Items where there is no LEGO Decoration ID information available will retain their current number [mostly pre-2002] but have the modifier denoting prints replaced by pr.

 

Thoughts

 

So let me have it... are we insane? Missed something obvious? Let us know what you think.

 

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well you don't mention how your going to deal with the old language, fontstyle bricks. or are you going to have multiple sets one for each language version of those bricks?

 

I really hope you setup images and similiar links so we can make finding patterns easier. Torsos,heads and legs is starting to reach a unmanagable amount of prints to only be filtered by a pattern ID. especially since you can't read that ID on the bricks.

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Everything will be linked back-end, and that will become plain.

If you check out the test case 70720-1 [which is still a WIP] you'll note all the new parts designations are there, they're mapped to Lego and also other sites, and that no part numbers are hugely different. That's the one thing we didn't want to do was to make part numbers so different they weren't intuitive any more. I've been using old part numbers for 30 years and didn't want a huge change; this was about the most minimal changes we could make and still be relatable.

As for old bricks they will still be obvious, and will have their printed modifier replaced, but we have discussed exceptions to the above changes, most of which will be older printed bricks esp lettered ones where we are planning on keeping the extra letter modifier. Otherwise there will be little or no change for much older bricks.

Older stuff will change slower, as we add new stuff it will be in the new format, with back-end relationships, and front-end mapping to the equivalent part numbers for LEGO, BL et al.

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So you will still not treat "Dealer" (English text) as the same brick as "Försäljning" (swedish text same brick). in rebrickable all these language, font, and color variation will endup with errors because they aren't attached to a specific set. because only one version is attached where in reality there should be several, font style and color changed during the year. and depending on country you bought the set the text was translated or in some cases replaced with some other type of sign.

 

If your not going to treat them as same part you need to make copies of each set with those language bricks, one for each generation and language. imo these are the same as mold differences, just applied to printed patterns together with molds in some cases. ie there is patterns that exist on both crssprt01 and 3008, or crssprt02 and 3009. for example and some of those are valid in the same set depending on the year you bought it.

 

we are talking of a quite large puzzle here. One that not even bricklink has solved yet.

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Very very old sets like that, with very very low ownership levels are really really low on the priority list. I think this is fair, as it will impact very few people. That said it WILL get sorted, and some of the old sets like 226-1 which had 6 international versions will get fixed and split into country specific variants, as I, and probably Nathan, hate alternate parts, they make listings messy.

 

Please don't fixate on the old parts, they won't even be touched for a few months...

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You know why I am fixating on old parts, it's because most of my parts are old. :P Besides you must make a system that works with both old and new parts, new parts are easy they are fresh and it's easy to find information about them, old parts on the other hand get harder and harder to get right. You are right that alternate parts make things messy, especially on bricklink who just add them ontop of each other so there is no way to know which alteration that belong with which other. there is sets that has 2-3 complete inventories in the alternate section.

 

Nathan it would be good if you revailed how the "close" match build is going to work in RB2. I mean it might take care of a few other issues.

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Further Updates

 

Where LEGO supply items on a sprue, these will be separated. This is to keep the sets and their parts fully Rebrickable. The parts will retain their part number, but will be added in the correct number [flippers and keys in pairs for example]. Flower petals will be added in threes, with the fourth petal a spare as now. Coins and other multi-part items LEGO give one part number [tool wheels, Star Wars trooper kit etc] will be split, as they are now, and given an alphabetical suffix to their LEGO or Rebrickable part number.
 
If you see any sets with items on sprues I haven't split yet please shout out in the 'Other Data' Forum.

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Just one thing if you guys are going to focus on new parts will that not mess up the numbering of decoration ID's. it makes more sense if the lower number is the oldest rather then in work order so to speak. and since there is more then one old naming standard there will be conflicts if you just attempt to move them over.

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Further Updates

 

9474-1 and 44011-1 are now fully populated with our part numbers [except for a chest badge, horse and skull which need some more fiddling].

 

Take a look and shout out any weirdness, but as you can see there's minimal impact and everything is cross-mapped to the hilt. Searching by Lego DesignID and ElementID, BL part number and our part number works for all parts in these sets. If you find any edge cases [and these will likely be really really early Peeron and LDraw numbered parts] let us know for the test sets.

 

Thanks!

 

 

Just one thing if you guys are going to focus on new parts will that not mess up the numbering of decoration ID's. it makes more sense if the lower number is the oldest rather then in work order so to speak. and since there is more then one old naming standard there will be conflicts if you just attempt to move them over.

This will happen naturally, and more parts than you might expect will keep an almost, but not quite, identical number. I hate change for the sake of it, and if you look at the sets above we've minimised this by A] Making any quite different part numbers visible by at least a good Lego picture and B] making the change as small as possible and mapping it to the nines.

I'll do an older set next with some old printed tiles.

Sorting much older brick types will be phase 3.

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Part numbers are not subject of intelectual property law, just like list of telephone numbers, or at least in most civilized countries (USA excluded - dangerous waters in most cases).

We appreciate your hard work :).

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Yeah, there's a few famous cases where part numbers have been shown to be not patentable and not intellectual property either. Surprisingly no-one fancies fighting a multi-millionaire son of a billionaire who'll fight the case in a country where IP law is slightly different.

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I doesn't even matter if you have the law on your side, the court will still judge in favour of the state or biggest cash party.

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