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I remember you used to get the leaflets inside sets; never actually bought anything from them but it was reassuring to know that you could, if something broke/got lost, or if you had an MOC idea that demanded more of a specific piece.
Edit: meant to say that yes, they did stop making them, I assume because the Pick A Brick and various iterations of their online spare parts service superseded the need for service packs...
Interesting, thank you for telling me
Most European countries (and Australia) had similar numbered service packs available (in 1980 they became identically packaged). Some countries (Germany) had the service packs available at the LEGO retailer, while other countries had them available as Mail-Order only (UK, Netherlands, Italy).
I have an entire chapter devoted to LEGO Service Packs and individual parts sales in my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.... soon to be a closed edition. ;-)
Here we have the rod/piston set (as found in the 396 Thatcher Perkins Locomotive).... and from their introduction in 1977 they were unnumbered in bags, and had different numbers in different countries. In Germany they were in-store as "19" for in store sales. In Britain (above) they were packaged as "Sp.19" for mail-order. In the Netherlands and Italy they were numbered "S.19", also for mail-order.
Then in 1980 they were universally packaged in Denmark and shipped to each country with the 4 digit "1119" number. Even though these packs had 1977 copyright dates... they were introduced under the 4 digit numbers in 1980. This causes confusion among online databases.
Here we have an assortment of in-store German 19/1119 Rod/Piston Service Packs. The ones without numbering are the pre 1980 ones. Those with 1119 date to the early 1980s.
The entire range of Service packs were renumbered again in 1986, and again later. Today (as with spare parts pack boxes), we don't see Service Packs all that often.