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The LEGO Wall: New site for tracking Pick A Brick (PAB)

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Comments

  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    I meant to say it would NOT be a ton of work to add support for the online PAB wall
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,382
    TBH I've never bought from online PAB. I always found it in the most part more expensive than BL, so don't bother checking anymore.
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,031
    Went to Bluewater today and updated WAB. Well, I say updated it, I don't think it had ever been filled in before!
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,031
    I've got one hole to fill but I'm struggling to find it on WAB. It's for a lever, Bricklink ref *298c04 - Lever Small Base*

    Light Bley base with Black lever. Can't seem to get it at all. Anyone help?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,382
    Yup, I think so. try searching for 'Mini Antenna' with the colour as medium stone grey.
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,031
    ^That's got it. Thanks.
  • FrictionPinFrictionPin Member Posts: 144
    dwalton76 said:

    @FrictionPin I can expand the activity page so that you can see beyond the last 100 changes

    Thank you @dwalton76 that is greatly appreciated!

  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140

    TBH I've never bought from online PAB. I always found it in the most part more expensive than BL, so don't bother checking anymore.

    It takes an inordinate amount of cross-checking doing it, but if you are careful to select pieces that are in very few sets and this expensive on Bricklink, and combine your online PAB with an order that yields free shipping, you can come out far ahead of bricklink. I have done this many times. It takes me several hours to put an order together this way. Any automation tools to compare PAB with bricklink, notify of new parts on PAB, etc, would save massive amounts of time.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    Yes there are definitely bricks on online Pick-a-brick online, which are cheaper than BrickLink, or available in decent quantity at similar prices.

    What would be useful is a better way of reviewing the parts, and particularly for seeing what's been added, or had prices change.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,382
    I tended to use Lego's Bricks and Pieces site rather than the PAB area, as I found that a lot of things were cheaper, and there was a larger range.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Bricklink is going to be releasing an API soon so that could open up some doors for a "I want the following list of parts, go figure out the cheapest way to buy them" feature. Then you could compare against brickowl, bricklink, and the online PAB parts. Is there a way to see all the parts/prices for the Bricks and Pieces stuff? I couldn't find one.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    edited January 2014
    ^ Brickset has a tick to show an element is available from Bricks and Pieces in the list view inventory, so it must be possible somehow from scraping Lego.

    ^^ It's definitely the case that some elements are cheaper on online Pick-a-Brick too - more so when you consider sales tax is excluded and you get place PaB orders normally (hence you can get free shipping, VIP points).
  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    Would be awesome if you could add parts to a want list like sets, and have bs autogenerate an order form for BnP. Because I'm sure Huw is looking for more work to do right now...
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Ok I found how to tell if they have a part on BnP but haven't found the prices yet
    coachie
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    The prices are not on their website at the moment - that might affect your ability to scrape/parse - they're menat to be back on 15th Jan.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    edited January 2014
    I just checked in some changes:

    Color Filters
    I only show first 8 colors now in each color group on Parts Search. You can click on "More Blue Colors" to see the corner-case colors. I did this to keep the screen from being so tall...you no longer have to scroll down to see search results.

    keyword search improvements
    - Can now search on multiple keywords. Ex "lattice snap"
    - I now search all colors. This is because sometimes it is hard to tell which shade of grey a part is or sometimes parts have multiple colors (antenna). You can still filter by color by specifying the generic color group as a keyword, for example "Brown Brick" or "Red Apple".

    Wall Activity ( @FrictionPin )
    - you can now filter by store
    - you can see more than the last 98 changes to the wall by adding the following to the end of the url
    &limit=200
    That will show you the last 200. I didn't put this in a form on the page because I don't think this would
    be used that often and I don't want to clutter the page too much. The max supported value here is 1000.

    LEGO Online PAB
    Only the very basics are done (this doesn't update automatically yet, no prices yet, no linking to the online PAB site yet, etc) but I did screen scrape what parts they have and created a "WWW" country that holds the "LEGO - Online Pick-A-Brick" store:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/pab-display.php?country=WWW&pab_store_id=133

    So now if you view a set:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/set.php?set_to_build=7633-1
    and click on the "Only Show Parts Available On Pick-A-Brick Walls" checkbox there is actually a decent number of parts available.

  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97


    It takes an inordinate amount of cross-checking doing it, but if you are careful to select pieces that are in very few sets and this expensive on Bricklink, and combine your online PAB with an order that yields free shipping, you can come out far ahead of bricklink. I have done this many times. It takes me several hours to put an order together this way. Any automation tools to compare PAB with bricklink, notify of new parts on PAB, etc, would save massive amounts of time.

    I've been thinking about exactly what to do with the LEGO online PAB and LEGO Bricks and Pieces data on wallofbricks. Displaying the parts in the same way that I do for a typical store is a lot of images to load and this probably won't scale at all for Bricks and Pieces. It also wouldn't scale for parts that I hope to be able to see via the upcoming bricklink API.

    This raises the question of what do users want to do with this data (I doubt it is to load 10K images on a single page)? For me personally, I like to take what parts I already own and buy the parts that I am missing from other sets so that I can build those sets. I could see doing something where I generate a wishlist of parts on wallofbricks and then calculate the cheapest possible way to purchase those parts. This would involve comparing prices from the LEGO online PAB, LEGO Bricks and Pieces (once they put the prices back up) and hopefully brickowl (I haven't looked into their API yet) and bricklink (API should be available in Feb).

    What do you guys think? What other things can you think of that would be cool to do with this data?



  • FrictionPinFrictionPin Member Posts: 144
    Wall Activity ( @FrictionPin )
    - you can now filter by store
    - you can see more than the last 98 changes to the wall by adding the following to the end of the url
    &limit=200
    That will show you the last 200. I didn't put this in a form on the page because I don't think this would
    be used that often and I don't want to clutter the page too much. The max supported value here is 1000.
    Thanks for the update and adding the option to show more bricks. But when I tried it I get a 404 not found message. http://www.wallofbricks.com/wall-activity.php&limit=200
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    ah, it only works if you select a specific store from the dropdown:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/wall-activity.php?country=UK&pab_store_id=104&limit=10

    I'll change it with the next release so that you can change the limit for all stores.
  • programmerdanprogrammerdan Member Posts: 27
    Great updates, @dwalton76. I agree that displaying the much larger inventories of the online PaB doesn't work that well in the same layout as the store-bound PaBs -- perhaps simply adding pagination would help ease the initial hit on # of images loaded. Also, it might help for WWW to show the filter box first, instead of after all the brick buckets, as a typical use case (unless I'm badly mistaken) would be searching based on a specific brick type, to see what what colors and/or variations are available online.

    As for the parts question -- I like the wishlist idea. If this could tie into rebrickable somehow, that would be even better (perhaps import wishlist from the "lost bricks" section). Another could be, when viewing a MOC or set that rebrickable computes you have x% of parts available, to have a link to the tool you are building where the "wishlist" is composed of the parts you need to finish the set.

    As a standalone tool, it could be useful for activities like "parts drafts" for LUG's -- just put in the set #, number of sets and number of people, and could easily compute average retail value of each part within the set. When the LUG meets, the group could then use a drag-and-drop interface to rearrange parts into relatively equivalent buckets of "worth". Not sure if such a tool exists, but from what little I've been reading of LUG activities, that sounds like it could be useful.
  • BuzzsawBuzzsaw UKMember Posts: 79
    I cannot find the 1x1 tr.Green round brick - not the cone.
  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    dwalt, you are a freakin genius. My vote is that the massive wall of PaB inventory is just fine, oneof the most annoying things about [email protected]'s PaB interface is the inability to just scan across it all visually, you have to set a zillion filters and scroll a zillion times and it just sucks. Your inventory one-stop overview is a revolution! Please don't change it! But I can see how it would not scale to the full BnP level of inventory...in that case, I would suggest imposing one high-level category by default: by color, or by part type (as per PaB categories), and then people can slice and dice how they like by changing that parameter.
    The wishlist and price matching tool sounds incredible, and like a lot of work. For me a key criteria is "how many sets has this part appeared in?" That's a proxy for how unlikely I am to get those parts in the course of normal set buying, so I stock up via PaB on infrequently-appearing parts. So some way to search on that would be appreciated.
  • BuzzsawBuzzsaw UKMember Posts: 79
    no, its the tr.green round brick 1x1. Like this: http://wallofbricks.com/brick.php?id=306228 , but transparent.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Planned changes...feedback welcome.

    Online PAB page
    -I need to remove the "Wall Filters" options and just have it default to the "Filter Based On Color, Type, and Dimensions" interface. I'll put the filtering interface at the top and have the color choices take the entire width of the page since there are so many colors.
    -Will add the price to the display
    -When viewing the brick.php page for a brick I'll have it list the Online-PAB price and provide a link to this part on shop.lego.com
    -Update the wall content once per day
    -FYI there are 1500+ parts on this "wall"

    Bricks and Pieces
    Once they start posting pricing information I'll screen scrape this and build a wall for it in the WWW country. If it is too many parts to display in a single wall then I'll just present the user with the standard parts search interface and have it display matching parts accordingly.

    Wishlist
    - What lego sites have already implemented a wishlist? I know bricklink does (the interface is rough), does brickset? Just trying to figure out if I would be re-inventing the wheel here. If not....
    - I've avoided it for a while but I am going to have to implement accounts with login, password reset, etc. This will be needed so users can manage their wishlist.
    - Rebrickable...I use them a ton so adding support for them will be high on my list. Ideally rebrickable will tell me what parts I am missing for a set and I'll have a "add missing parts to my WoB wishlist" button.
    - Random Parts...I'll add an interface so you can search on a part and then add X of them to your wishlist.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Buzzsaw said:

    no, its the tr.green round brick 1x1. Like this: http://wallofbricks.com/brick.php?id=306228 , but transparent.

    gotcha, for some reason all of the transparent parts like that were missing "1x1" as their dimension. It should show up now but if not here it is:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/brick.php?id=3006848
    Buzzsaw
  • ljames28ljames28 Member Posts: 88
    We have Wishlists at Brick Owl which support parts. They don't have an API at the moment but we could create an endpoint for them.
  • programmerdanprogrammerdan Member Posts: 27
    All of this is amazing. Your dedication to this service is truly impressive, @dwalton76!
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Thanks :) It is a fun programming project so I am enjoying it. Tonight's changes:

    - When viewing the Online PAB wall the parts filters are at the top
    - Prices from Online PAB are now displayed

    - When viewing a set I added a "Parts Cost" section that shows you how much all of the parts from this set, that are available on Online PAB, would cost if you bought them all. Example:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/set.php?set_id=10144-1

    I'll be adding more to this section once I have pricing data from other places.

    - Fixed the wall activity bug so now you can set the limit of changes to display across all stores:
    http://www.wallofbricks.com/wall-activity.php?limit=15

  • programmerdanprogrammerdan Member Posts: 27
    Great update, @dwalton76 -- I like the end-of-page easter egg option "Only show parts available on PaB" -- nice touch. I can see how the "Parts Cost" section could eventually be expanded to include purchase options -- for now, the summary is great.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    Hi @dwalton76, are you able to put other currencies prices on the online view? Maybe as different "shops" by country under WWW?
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Once I finish adding accounts I can put a currency selector in the account settings.
  • FenrisAkashiFenrisAkashi Member Posts: 242
    dwalton76 said:

    P
    Wishlist
    - What lego sites have already implemented a wishlist? I know bricklink does (the interface is rough), does brickset? Just trying to figure out if I would be re-inventing the wheel here. If not....
    - I've avoided it for a while but I am going to have to implement accounts with login, password reset, etc. This will be needed so users can manage their wishlist.
    - Rebrickable...I use them a ton so adding support for them will be high on my list. Ideally rebrickable will tell me what parts I am missing for a set and I'll have a "add missing parts to my WoB wishlist" button.
    - Random Parts...I'll add an interface so you can search on a part and then add X of them to your wishlist.

    Wishlists with notifications for stores in your area would be amazing!
    FollowsClosely
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    @FenrisAkashi that should be doable
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    Hi @dwalton76, I found that the site was very slow and unresponsive yesterday. Took me several attempts to update a wall. Was there a problem?
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    Hi @leemcg , I host it via hostgator so they must have been having some issues. Let me know if it keeps acting up (just checked and it seems ok) and I'll open up a ticket with hostgator.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    I got some free time to work on the site and just pushed an update. Changes include:

    - Support for accounts/logins. There are too many potential features that depend on having an account on the site...it was time.

    - Must login to edit a wall. This is to discourage folks from making bogus edits to a wall and to make it easier to back out those edits. It is also to encourage users to create an account so they can check out some new features.

    - Links to brickowl stores that carry a part. FYI, if you follow the link from wallofbricks to the brickowl store I do get some super small % of the sale if you purchase something from brickowl. Hopefully this will be enough to cover the hosting costs for wallofbricks and maybe a beer every now and then :)

    - Sets will now link to the online instructions manuals at lego

    - "Sets I Own" list - If you view a set that you own you can add it to your inventory

    - "Sets I Want" list...this is basically a wishlist

    - "Parts Cost"...I personally really like this one :) Once you've added your sets to "Sets I Own", the page that displays a set will calculate the cheapest way for you to purchase the remaining parts that you do not have. There will be an "Add To Cart" button for each brickowl store. The $$$ amounts will not be %100 accurate because I estimate $5 shipping and handling for each store but it should be very close.


    On the todo list:
    - import your sets inventory from rebrickable
    - import your sets inventory from brickset
    - A "watch this brick" feature that will email you if the brick is added to the pick-a-brick wall of your local stores.

    SilentMode
  • dmg111dmg111 Member Posts: 40
    Forgot to get photos from my visit today. None of the sites updated my store's PAB wall in years.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,382
    @dwalton76‌ can you make it so that we stay logged in to the site?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217
    Almost forgot, and not sure they will be there tonight, but the Schaumburg, IL. (US) PaB had articulated horses in their wall.
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,239
    ^ Awesome! Can fit like 1 per cup! lol
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217
    edited October 2014
    ^-I'm guessing you are speaking of the small cups. The large cups Im guessing could hold around 8-10. Considering they sell at LEGO for 5.65 USD per, I would say it is nice for those that have been looking for them at a bit cheaper of a price.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 3,382
    People have managed to get about 18-20 in the large cups, and I've managed to get about 10 (IIRC) in a small cup.
  • iso3200iso3200 97 miles from Brickset TowersMember Posts: 2,031
    Yes, @CCC posted a link on another thread about it

    http://www.dagsbricks.com/search/label/Pick A Brick

    After this I managed 18 with the lid fitting snugly.
  • dwalton76dwalton76 Member Posts: 97
    It has been a few months since I posted an update but I am still working on the site when I get time. I pushed an update tonight:

    - Added the remaining sets from 2013 and 2014
    - Added mulitple images for each set, the images will play in a slide show
    - Improvements to the Parts Cost calculator
    - Added several new stores:
    West Hartford, CT
    Las Vegas, NV
    Laval, Quebec
    Vienna, Austria
    Leipzig, Germany
    Newcastle, UK
    - 100+ stores from brickowl have signed up with wallofbricks via the affiliate program. You will see WoB link to these stores when viewing an individual part.

    On the short term todo list:
    - fix the ~2 hour login timeout issue...it annoys the heck out of me too
    - The ability to inventory what parts on on which page in the instructions of a set. This way when you find a random part for a set on the floor you can view the page(s) that have that part. The inability to repair my Death Star (the manual is gigantic) because I don't know where the part goes, is the driver for this feature.

    On the long term todo list:
    - The ability to "monitor" a part so that you will receive an email if it appears on your local pick-a-brick wall
    - Some social features such as the ability to see who has updated your local wall, maybe send them an email to coordinate who will update the wall when. I need to think this through some but at a high level that is the goal.

    Question for you guys, how can I improve the interface to make the walls easier to update? I've kicked around having the "brick search" for updating a wall only display the bricks that are currently on a PaB wall somewhere in the world. That cuts the number of choices from 25,000 down to about 500. That introduces the problem of handling the scenario where a brand new brick is made available on a PaB wall somewhere.

  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 612
    Regarding the last question, just set an option filter for "current bricks" vs "all bricks" with the default as current. If someone chooses a brick from the "all" list, change its flag so it moves to current.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,395
    Was in the Colorado Mills Lego Store the other day and they had orange 2 x 2 tiles which I thought was different so I bought a cup. 
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,004
    edited January 2016
    Is there a new BAM?   Haven't seen much news on this lately. 
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    awesome idea
  • marookmarook DenmarkMember Posts: 1
    Some feedback:

    1: Possibility to remember the users default Store?
    Having to change country and store everytime I switch between pages, is.. well.. a bit annoying ;-)

    2: Updating a wall.
    Confirming a brick is still on the wall, should [have an option to] update the date to confirm that the brick is still pressent.
    Many walls does not often get updated, and being able to confirm that the brick is still there, would make it a lot easier to show an updated wall.

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