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Where do unreleased/non-set inventory parts on Bricklink come from?

chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
Sorry if this has been answered before, but does anyone know where the parts on Bricklink in non-production colors originate from? For example, this minifig shield part, 3846: http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/catalogitem.page?id=726#T=C

The shield is available in Pearl Gold, but according to the "known colors", Pearl Gold shields were not available in any set. I have seen this before with other parts and like the 3846 minifig shield, they are often available from Bricklink sellers in Germany in large quantities. Does LEGO GmbH do low quantity test batches for unreleased colors? If so, how do they get out? Does LEGO make them available in the PAB walls in German stores? 

Any info on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Comments

  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,842
    These parts usually come from model shops and from what I've heard they kinda find their way out the back door.
    chuckp
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    edited May 2016
    Thanks for the reply. I kinda thought that would be how the parts would find their way into the wild. So, I guess that means that the LEGO model shops have the ability to do their own small part runs?
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    chuckp said:
    Pearl Gold shields were not available in any set.
    But they were. #8822 and #8823 for starters. There may be more.

    In those sets, they were printed - so they have different part numbers which makes finding them tricky. That means two things. First, that they were produced in that colour, so it's much less significant that they're in the wild (a totally different colour would require extra work, and downtime for the moulding machine). Secondly, even if no plain parts were released, there's nothing to stop somebody removing the print from a printed one.
    chuckp
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,366
    Lego occasionally dump unused unprinted parts through the build a minifig stands in stores. I've uncovered a few and added them to the BL catalogue in the past.
    chuckp
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    ^, ^^ Ah, that would certainly explain a lot. I could see the logic behind LEGO producing extras of certain part and not printing the entire run. Makes sense to me. 

    I thought I've come across this with other parts and maybe they were of the unprinted variety too, but the only other example I can think of right now is the red hair used for the SDCC Jean Grey: 
    http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/catalogitem.page?P=85974&idColor=5#T=C&C=5

    It was never in a set, besides the SDCC fig and again the majority of the Bricklink sellers with the highest quantities are in Germany. Maybe this isn't a widespread as I previously thought and there is a simple explanation for each piece such as the printing or a small run for a promo, etc. 

    Thanks for all the info everyone. 
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,332
    A few years ago, all the 1x1 round bricks in Maersk Blue came from the Windsor England Model Shop, I do believe that is still the case, even though the Bricklink stores seem to say otherwise.  Many BL sellers are reselling them from other buyers.

    http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/catalogitem.page?P=3062b#T=S&C=72&O={"color":72}

    As for German sellers getting a lot of rare parts... some do seem to have "inside" connections... from Danish LEGO employees... as well as the model shops.
    chuckp
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    Thanks @Istokg . I kinda thought with all the LEGO research you've done you might have come across these types of parts before. Do you happen to know why the LEGOLAND model shops get unreleased parts? Would it be a situation where they need a specific part in a specific color for a park model, so they request a batch from LEGO to manufacture? 
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    chuckp said:
    Thanks @Istokg . I kinda thought with all the LEGO research you've done you might have come across these types of parts before. Do you happen to know why the LEGOLAND model shops get unreleased parts? Would it be a situation where they need a specific part in a specific color for a park model, so they request a batch from LEGO to manufacture? 
    Yup, here's a great example from the LEGO Store in Downtown Disney Anaheim.  Aladdin and Jasmine are built out of flesh bricks, which "don't exist" in the wild.


    chuckpraygunncatwrangler
  • DadsAFOLDadsAFOL USAMember Posts: 617
    And Captain Phasma built out of Pearl Light Gray bricks...

    chuckpcatwrangler
  • chuckpchuckp NYMember Posts: 684
    edited May 2016
    ^ Wow, those are really cool, especially that Capt. Phasma. I did a quick Bricklink search of 2x4 bricks to see if there are other colors like the light flesh and light pearl gray that could be LEGOLAND specific. I did find this one, the Milky White 2x4 :
    http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/catalogitem.page?P=3001&name=Brick%202%20x%204&category=%5BBrick%5D#T=S&C=60&O={"color":60}

    This is all starting to make a lot more sense. Again, I really appreciate all info provided. 
  • happyskunkyhappyskunky Michigan Member Posts: 133
    I also want to know how parts are listed as 300 in stock when you only have 2 sets that have the part and they came out that year.
  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 555
    He sorry to throw another question in but I'd rather not add another thread to the forum. Where do the massive amounts of certain parts come from? Example- Aayla secura head is like .10 and her hair(?) Is like 20. I was wondering how people get the heads in such bulk that sellers have hundreds of them.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,332
    edited May 2016
    I wish I knew more about the process that model shops have to go thru to get specific parts in specific colors, but I have very little in the way of anecdotal evidence to prove anything one way or another.  One would think that producing a run of parts in a particular color for model shops would require quite a small production run of parts.

    But it does get more complex than just asking for a run of parts for a model shop.  As an example, look at the 10152 Maersk Line ships of 2004, 2005 and 2006.  These were 3 different sets, with slight changes to sticker sheets.  But when the 2006 version came out, it appears that TLG was running low on the 2x4 bricks in Maersk blue.  There were 4 per set, but the factory inventory was getting low.  Rather than produce another batch of these, TLG did something I find unusual... but perhaps is more common than we realize.  They asked the model shops for extra inventory of these bricks, which had never been found in any LEGO sets besides the 10152.

    Well it seems that the model shops came thru with the needed inventory of Maersk blue 2x4 bricks to complete the 2006 run of the 10152 sets.  However, to the surprise of "observant" set owners... the 2x4 bricks that were included in some of these sets were 3001old bricks (no tube cross-supports on the underside) in Maersk blue....  These bricks were produced pre-1985, and sat around in model shop inventory for decades, many of the making their way to parted out via 2006 versions of the 10152 sets, as well as possibly being released out of the model shops.
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?P=3001old&colorID=72

    I also think that sometimes folks are able to get old replacement parts inventory that was freed up from some countries replacement parts services.  One example from about 2 years ago was 100 of these black 2x2 windows (dating from 1980-83) were sold by one BL seller for $10 each.  One buyer purchased the entire 100 piece inventory...
    http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?P=7026&colorID=11

    So there is no single way for rare or never-found-in-sets parts to get out into the secondary market.  And the folks who do get the opportunity to get these seem to not want to share their secrets very easily!  :-(
    MattDawsonandhechuckpbandit778
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,744
    chuckp said:
    I thought I've come across this with other parts and maybe they were of the unprinted variety too, but the only other example I can think of right now is the red hair used for the SDCC Jean Grey: 
    http://alpha.bricklink.com/pages/clone/catalogitem.page?P=85974&idColor=5#T=C&C=5

    It was never in a set, besides the SDCC fig and again the majority of the Bricklink sellers with the highest quantities are in Germany. Maybe this isn't a widespread as I previously thought and there is a simple explanation for each piece such as the printing or a small run for a promo, etc.
    I picked up three of these in the 'Build-a-minifig' section of a lego store in the UK.
    I'm guessing it's not economical to do a short run of a piece just for an exclusive set, so the remainder find their way to the public through ways like this, or contacts that certain Bricklink sellers seem to have.

    I bought a few non-production items (a black old style polar bear, and a white 'paradisa' foal) from someone on eBay who claimed they had done an art project with TLG a few years before that. Whether that was true or not I don't know, but they had a variety of old pieces in non-production colours (orange C-3PO parts, and a few other belville animals from memory).
    chuckp
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