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Same part, different part number/year

EepEep Member Posts: 3
edited March 2021 in Collecting
How am I supposed to tell the difference between a plate 1x1 round transparent bright green on and Most parts don't have years on them and, even then, that year is indicative of the year the part was made, just when it was copyrighted, I guess. Most, but not all, parts have other numbers like 1 or 2 digits (some with dashes "-" in between); are these numbers significant to tell an exact part #/year or something?

The same color can have 2 different part numbers and years. says 2014 and says 2017. I'm trying to inventory my parts but how do I tell if I have the 2014 or 2017 version of a plate 1x1 round transparent bright green? (Most of these parts are from bulk lots so I don't know what sets they belong to.) Confusing...and it affects being able to tell how many total plate 1x1 round transparent bright green parts one has... Why isn't there just a single entry for a plate 1x1 round transparent bright green?

I understand if the design is different, like older brick round 1x1 bright yellow with a solid stud (like in 197-1 Farm-Set, which I mostly have) vs. brick round 1x1 with hole but the same exact (as far as I can tell) part with a different year? Come on... (sort by color) for more examples of the same part numbers for the same color but with different years. Why differentiate years if the part number/design is the same? the part #s are so small, or non-existent, on these I can't read them even with a magnifying glass.

It's bad enough Brickset doesn't have integrated set inventories for older (<1990s) sets but to also have same-part-but-different-year inconsistencies is REALLY annoying/frustrating/irritating when trying to catalog/inventory one's part collection!


  • 560Heliport560Heliport Member Posts: 3,710
    This might not be what you want to hear, but... Don't worry about it. Probably most of the differences are too slight to matter; the parts are functionally identical. There might be a tiny difference in the mold that has no impact on using the part with other parts.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Administrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    If LEGO generates new and different design ids for what you perceive to be aesthetically similar parts, I don’t see how that becomes a Brickset criticism.  I’m sure someone more learned than me will chime in, but I imagine the part numbers denoted for each inventory are brought in via data dumps directly from LEGO or in its absence, another reputable source.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Member Posts: 5,433
    From what I’ve come to understand after about four years here, most of the data inconsistencies and missing data in set inventories is due to what comes from Lego itself. 

    Personally, I only care about identifying parts that are visibly or functionally different, even if they go by the same name. I’ve certainly never thought trying to inventory my entire parts collection was worth my time or the mind-destroying headaches involved. If it turns out I don’t have enough parts to build something, then I would go find the parts somewhere else.
  • bandit778bandit778 Member Posts: 2,370
    If you want more information on variances in the parts you are trying to inventory, give Rebrickable a look.
    The site is much more part orientated and will give you information concerning number differences, mold variations and the different ID numbers used between LEGO, Bricklink, Brickset, LDraw and Brickowl.
    Once you have inventoried everything it can even be used to search for which sets you can build which, when Built, can then be uploaded to a Brickset set list.

  • HuwHuw Administrator Posts: 7,075
    Ultimately, it doesn't matter what the difference is to 99.99% of AFOLs. They are functionally identical and most likely physically the same too.

    As others have said our data comes directly from LEGO and we republish it verbatim, so don't shoot the messenger :)
  • AleyditaAleydita Member Posts: 950
    edited March 2021
    In this case I believe the different numbers signify a different plastic, as the formula for transparent plastic was supposedly changed to help prevent pieces from bonding with each other. I could be wrong, though.

    Edit: I am wrong - the difference is shown in the images - slight modification to underneath the stud, probably to save on plastic.

    The more recent change to some transparent pieces will likely be reflected in the 6-7 digit numbers rather than the design ID.
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