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What are service packs?

happyskunkyhappyskunky Michigan Member Posts: 133
I am noticing service packs on Brickset.  Can someone tell me more about them?  Why did they make them?  Are they still making them?  Something they stopped doing? 

Thanks!!

Mr.Curious :D

Comments

  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,894
    edited April 2016
    You can see some pictures of service packs on the catalogue scans archive:

    http://brickset.com/library/catalogues

    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they did stop making them, I assume because the Pick A Brick and various iterations of their online spare parts service superseded the need for service packs...
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 553
    Service packs are basically spare parts packs.  When Lego starting selling bricks this was the way you could buy just the extra elements you needed or want without buying a whole extra set.  Think of as an early version of PAB, but with a high minimum on the number and types of parts you had to buy.  Limited color palette and limited part palette made this possible.  In the late 70s or early 80s these moved out of the retail stores and into [email protected]  PAB more or less killed the service packs.  Currently the Power Functions accessories are the major remnant of the service packs.

  • happyskunkyhappyskunky Michigan Member Posts: 133
    Service packs are basically spare parts packs.  When Lego starting selling bricks this was the way you could buy just the extra elements you needed or want without buying a whole extra set.  Think of as an early version of PAB, but with a high minimum on the number and types of parts you had to buy.  Limited color palette and limited part palette made this possible.  In the late 70s or early 80s these moved out of the retail stores and into [email protected]  PAB more or less killed the service packs.  Currently the Power Functions accessories are the major remnant of the service packs.


    Interesting, thank you for telling me

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    edited April 2016
    Here's an example of service packs as found in LEGO catalogs.  This example shows the service packs that were available (mail-order) from British LEGO Ltd. in 1979.





    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.  ;-)

    catwrangler
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    In earlier times (earlier 1970s) Service Packs were shipped to retailers in bulk, and the retailer would package them in plastic bags.  Then in 1980 Service Packs came out in universal pre-packaged 4 digit numbered bags.

    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.


    catwrangler
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the West (US)Member Posts: 2,442
    Are they similar to Lego Mindstorms Replacement packs?

    https://education.lego.com/en-us/products/lme-replacement-pack-1/2000700


  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,326
    Yes they are!  ;-)
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 668
    What do you mean by your guide soon to be a closed edition?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,482
    Ahh, the old days. I really wish I could have found those in stores in the US, but TRU and Child's World (the large toy stores near where I lived) did not have such packs.
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