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Retrieverfalcon

New inventory category - "Non-Build" ignorable parts

Question

As I've been working to add my collection to Rebrickable over the past few months, I've came across a repeating issue that I think may warrant an overall change to the site as a solution. One of the first steps I frequently use to see if an inventory is complete is comparing the Rebrickable part count against the one on the box in my hand. When they don't match, it is often only by one number - and this is frequently either a brick separator or a sticker sheet but could also be a special poster or some other promotional item. Currently, I submit CRs to move these parts to the main inventory but I know there is a school of thought opposed to that idea since it prevents the "Build" function from getting to 100% for many folks based on parts that aren't really needed to build the model. 

I would like to propose adding a third category to the inventories - besides the main inventory and spare parts. Perhaps a name of "Non-build parts" would work. Parts in this category would be included in the set's part count - allowing the combination of main + 'non-build' parts to equal that on a Box while not including these parts in the main inventory and corrupting the site's "Build" calculations. 

I'm sure this would have any number of fallout impacts to the site's design but this would, in my opinion, be a better solution than either on the table currently - either having an inaccurate part count for an official set or preventing the "build" option from working as intended. Obviously, a flag to include or not include these "non-build" parts in the "build" algorithm would make sense. Adjusting existing sets to this approach would obviously need to be crowd sourced for speed but some things could be quick - brick separators and stickers for example.

There are some edge cases that would need to be resolved whether they belong in the main inventory, "non-build" or spare parts. For example, many Speed Champions sets come with 8 wheel hubs (2 different designs of 4). Only 4 of these 8 are needed to build the model completely but part inventories wouldn't consider the other 4 as spare parts. Another example is that most sets that use a stud shooter (Star Wars Microfoghters for example) included spare studs as "ammo" and these parts are included in the set's partcpunt but aren't needed to build the model. 

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You know, I think this is a good idea and well reasoned, but I think it might add a layer of complexity that is not needed.

An example - if I apply my stickers, then do I have the sticker sheet or do I not have the sticker sheet? I don't usually find sticker sheets in the back of the instructions listed as a part if I'm checking a set in the box vs the instructions..

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There is no question this would add a layer of complexity and like every database there are bound to be odd edge cases that make everyone debate the appropriate solution. My thought is that we should do this since it will still be more accurate than what we have in 95%+ of the cases. Individual edge cases can either be debated or left to each user to implement as they choose.

To answer your question concerning stickers, I agree that they are rarely (if ever) included in the part listing at the back of a set of instructions. However, if you add up the parts shown in that listing and then compare that number to the number of pieces on the front of the box, you will often find the sticker sheet has been included in the count for the box front. Arguably, this is something that LEGO should standardize but that won't help us for the sets already released. If a user applies the stickers, they still have the choice of using the "Is Stickered?" pro function if they add the part individually to their part lists (already an issue since this stickering isn't taken into account in the build calculations). I would argue that whether you consider the sticker sheet as something you own or have "lost" is a personal choice of each user. However, the sheet itself would always be a "non-build" part - even if you've applied all the stickers and all that remains is the backing sheet that most (myself included) then throw away. This does emphasis the need for ensuring that "non-build" pieces can be "lost" so users can manage this level of detail however they choose.

Stickers are even more complex than you propose however. Look at set 5002145 Rocket Raccoon as an example. As you can see on the packaging photo, this set came with a sticker sheet. That sticker sheet is not included in the instructions anywhere. However, that sticker sheet is part 13 to match the "box" part count (this is a polybag, but thats symantics). Currently, we would store this sheet in the main inventory. But these are stickers just for fun. None (zero) of them are ever applied to the built model. If someone ran this set through the Build system and didn't own this sticker sheet but owned all the other parts they would only report 12/13 parts being available (92.3%). That is likely not the desired outcome for most of us. Under my proposal, this sticker sheet would be included as a "non-build" part. The set's part count would remain at 13 (12 main parts, 1 "non-build") which would be accurate for comparision against the box count and for use for checking against purchases and the like. The same part would be in a section of the inventory for a user to mark as "lost" or not at their own discretion. When the Build was ran, however, in the user would now report having 12/12 (100%) of the needed parts to build the set which is the correct answer for that side of Rebrickable. 

No question this is complex - Rebrickable serves many roles, often for the same user. It is a database of sets and parts. It is an inventory system of owned elements. It is an algorithmic engine to determine if spare parts we own can be built into other official sets or MOCs. It is a link to sales information. These odd-ball items (stickers, brick separators, spare "ammo", etc.) are currently making those sometimes contradictory uses of the site difficult to do correctly. I think my proposal works to help remove some of that confusion.

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There is a setting to exclude Stickers and other gear as well as minifigure parts from the  Build Function.  You can toggle it on by going to the ME drop down menu, choose Settings and then the Building Tab.

The Ignore Sticker category was created fairly recently.  Before that stickers were placed in the spares to keep them out of the Build Function.  We are still working on changing many stickers that use the stk in the part number, and moving them from the spare parts to the regular inventory.  The goal is to have the box total match our inventory as much as we can.  There are going to be cases where this doesn't happen because packets/sprues of small parts are listed as 1 item in the instruction book inventory.  Rebrickable lists these individually.  

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14 hours ago, thea said:

There is a setting to exclude Stickers and other gear as well as minifigure parts from the  Build Function.  You can toggle it on by going to the ME drop down menu, choose Settings and then the Building Tab.

The Ignore Sticker category was created fairly recently.  Before that stickers were placed in the spares to keep them out of the Build Function.  We are still working on changing many stickers that use the stk in the part number, and moving them from the spare parts to the regular inventory.  The goal is to have the box total match our inventory as much as we can.  There are going to be cases where this doesn't happen because packets/sprues of small parts are listed as 1 item in the instruction book inventory.  Rebrickable lists these individually.  

This is excellent news! I have played around a little with this new setting and it seems to achieve most of what I was hoping for. I have no problem with set inventories being slightly different based on packets/sprues - if anything, I think that's better for more accurate personal inventories. Consider this request withdrawn as "already done".

It does appear that some things like extra hubcaps for Speed Champions or ammo for SW Microfighters are calculated and arguable aren't needed for a build but they are in the set's Official setup and this being left to individuals to debate for sets that are in the high 90% build range seems a fair compromise between inventory accuracy and build functionality.

I had actually seen this setting before but incorrectly figured it simply converted stickered parts to their non-stickered variants much like the "ignore prints" option if a part was marked "stickered" in the Pro settings for a part's notes. 

For clarity, what is excluded when "Exclude Non-Buildable LEGO parts such as stickers, gear, etc." is selected?  I've tested stickers, "Non-LEGO" categorized parts such as posters and brick separators. Is this driven by part category or is there a blacklist of part IDs that are excluded?

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4 hours ago, Retrieverfalcon said:

For clarity, what is excluded when "Exclude Non-Buildable LEGO parts such as stickers, gear, etc." is selected?  I've tested stickers, "Non-LEGO" categorized parts such as posters and brick separators. Is this driven by part category or is there a blacklist of part IDs that are excluded?

Since I'm not sure about this, I'm going to bring it to @Nathan 's attention

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