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Does piecing together a set from PAB and Bricklink count as "owning" a set?

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  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    edited April 2014
    Personally, I'm still rather partial to brickmatic's quantum theory of set owning. In this case, I suppose boxes and instructions would be a bit like taking a measurement of part of the collection, thus determining that you own those sets and removing their pieces from a state of quantum superposition.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    edited April 2014
    So, you go to Rebrick and log your set number and Rebrick tells you how many other sets you can make out of that one set. You are telling me that if you can make 10 sets out of the one set you logged in, you therefore have 10 sets?

    That's great, because I can list that set on EBay and explain that not only are you buying this set, you are also buying these other sets. I can charge more and make a fortune!!
    piratemania7
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    edited April 2014
    Not exactly, at any given time you can only "own" as many sets as you can make out of the pieces. However, if you just have them sitting as a pile of pieces, you could own any set (or sets) made from those pieces. Like in quantum physics:
    If entangled, one object cannot be fully described without considering the other(s). They remain in a quantum superposition and share a single quantum state until a measurement is made
    Once you've "taken a measurement" by building some of those sets or setting it aside with the box, the pieces that make it up cease to be in a state of quantum superposition and cannot be used to count towards "owning" another set.
    pastelnerd
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    I have enough bricks and materials in my home to make all the houses in my neighborhood, so therefore I must "own" every home IN my neighborhood according to Bricklink logic.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    I think we should talk more about the idea of the Ship of Theseus, that's one of my favorite concepts of all time. Then there's my grandfather's axe.
    binaryeyeemmtwosix
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    Pitfall69 said:

    I have enough bricks and materials in my home to make all the houses in my neighborhood, so therefore I must "own" every home IN my neighborhood according to Bricklink logic.

    No. By that logic, you'd have the material to own any one home.
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    edited April 2014
    Not must own (since that implies that you do own every house/set at once) but rather could own since from those bricks you could make any one of those houses.
    (Note that for the sake of your example I'm ignoring the fact that owning a house also includes the land)
    Edit: Ninja'd by binaryeye
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,085
    Ok I'm falling off course here with all this talk of "logic". I'm pretty sure this was one of the original points - bricks are bricks and what matters is what came with the set. It doesn't matter how many you have or what you "can" make.

    Sure, let's expand this, if I somehow acquired every single type of brick, and in fact multiples thereof I in theory own every single LEGO set ever made! It. Just. Isn't. Logic.

  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651
    edited April 2014

    Sure, let's expand this, if I somehow acquired every single type of brick, and in fact multiples thereof I in theory own every single LEGO set ever made! It. Just. Isn't. Logic.


    You could own any set ever made, but not every. This is because once you set aside those pieces (physically or mentally) as belonging to set "x", you can't use those same pieces for set "y". Until that point, however you could own any possible combination of sets that could be assembled at the same time from those pieces.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited April 2014

    Sure, let's expand this, if I somehow acquired every single type of brick, and in fact multiples thereof I in theory own every single LEGO set ever made! It. Just. Isn't. Logic.

    Taking things like boxes and instructions out of the mix, since you wouldn't be able to differentiate "actual" sets from those you created with your dream horde of bricks, then yes, I think you would own every set ever made.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    Ahhhh. There we go. "Could" own and physically "Own" are different. I can deal with that. If we all used this much mental energy toward solving world problems, life would be much better. Lego makes everyone's life better :)
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    Sure, let's expand this, if I somehow acquired every single type of brick, and in fact multiples thereof I in theory own every single LEGO set ever made! It. Just. Isn't. Logic.

    What is illogical about it? If you had infinite quantities of every element ever produced, and instructions for every set ever produced, then you'd be able to build every set ever produced.

    The point of contention seems to be the provenance of parts. Is a set a set if it wasn't sold as a set? The answer depends on what your collection means to you.

    To me, the provenance doesn't matter. My entire collection is mixed together, sorted by part type. If I decide to build a set from my collection, it won't be built of the exact same parts that came in the box. Does that mean I don't own that set? To me, no. To someone else? Possibly.

    Where it gets interesting is when someone with my belief sells a "used" set. The parts are unlikely to be those same parts that came in the box, yet the seller may not make that known. Thus, the only way for a collector that believes a set is only a set if it was sold as a set to collect such sets is to buy sealed sets.

    Bonus discussion: Given the possibility of missing pieces, and the difficulty of verifying no missing pieces when a set is sealed, do collectors of MISB sets truly own such sets? Should we start referring to them as cat collectors?
    Josephpastelnerdpharmjoddougts
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,085
    No I understand and I think underlying this is truth and honesty. If I piece a set together I can say hey I built X set. But under no circumstances should I bill it as, let alone sell it as owning set X.

    I find myself contemplating that as well. If a set is MISB you truly can't tell if it is "complete" being that it is LEGO we can always be 99.999999999% sure that it's complete but it's similar to the tree falling in the woods philosophy. If no one is around to hear it fall does it actually make a noise?
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734

    If I piece a set together I can say hey I built X set. But under no circumstances should I bill it as, let alone sell it as owning set X.

    Consider this situation: You purchase a set, build it fresh from a sealed box, and therefore "own" it. It sits on display for several years. In the process of packing it up to move to a new home, you drop it and break one of the pieces.

    If you replace this piece, do you still own the set?
    pastelnerdemmtwosix
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    ^ I see what you did there :)
  • scrumperscrumper UKMember Posts: 323
    If you have a sealed #10197 39R1 do you own the set?
    If you replace the mis-spelled tile in #21103 does it cease to be a set?
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,407
    If you take selling out of the conversation, then there is no issue.

  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    ^ Why is that? An current owner can have specific criteria just as much as a future owner might.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    binaryeye said:

    If I piece a set together I can say hey I built X set. But under no circumstances should I bill it as, let alone sell it as owning set X.

    Consider this situation: You purchase a set, build it fresh from a sealed box, and therefore "own" it. It sits on display for several years. In the process of packing it up to move to a new home, you drop it and break one of the pieces.

    If you replace this piece, do you still own the set?

    ^ I see what you did there :)

    I see what he did there too.

    Missing a piece here and there is really not the issue. Missing most of the parts or missing every part that defines the set is the issue imo. Do I really own a UCS MF if I'm missing the Radar Dish, the rigging, the stickers, the instructions, and every other rare or unique part that makes the UCS MF what it is?? Do I own Cloud City if I don't have the Minifigures?



  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    To answer the OT question. If you PAB or Bricklink a set (as long as the pieces are correct) then I will classify as you owning the set. The instructions and box don't need to be present, but all minifigures and parts should be present.
    pastelnerddougts
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    I was at the lego store today. I told the manager I wanted the town hall modular set. He brought one out NIB. I told him no, just the set. I told him I didn't need the box or the instructions, just the set. And, if some pieces were missing, I'd just replace them with something close out of my inventory. Told him to subtract the cost of the box and instructions. He laughed and called me a smart ass who spends too much time on Lego websites. I take it he's enjoying this debate, too.
    MorkManzipsforbananasjasor
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    It is funny really. Just as we think the debate is drawing near a conclusion, someone throws another log on the fire. I love this debate; I cannot lie :)

    I wonder what the cost of packaging a set with instructions is? I wonder if at some point, Lego might offer a set that you can only order through [email protected] that is just a box/bag of bricks and all you have to do is download the instructions to build. I know that over the years, many electronic devices and video games used to come with thick manuals and installation CD's. Now most devices are plug n play and manuals can be downloaded from the manufacturers website.
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    edited April 2014
    @Pitfall69‌
    What about 3D printers? Then all you would need is some official Lego ABS plastic, the correct Lego dyes & Lego approved color mixture, and with the Lego blueprints to print the pieces, potentially any set could be yours to own!

    (just adding a hypothetical log to the fire)
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    Maybe we should start a molded piece vs. printed piece topic, just to stay on top of things ;)
    Pitfall69
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited April 2014
    What if magical unicorns poop out Lego pieces? Clearly we can all agree that those would count towards complete sets.
    jasor
  • pastelnerdpastelnerd Member Posts: 34
    Joseph said:

    Not exactly, at any given time you can only "own" as many sets as you can make out of the pieces. However, if you just have them sitting as a pile of pieces, you could own any set (or sets) made from those pieces. Like in quantum physics:

    If entangled, one object cannot be fully described without considering the other(s). They remain in a quantum superposition and share a single quantum state until a measurement is made
    Once you've "taken a measurement" by building some of those sets or setting it aside with the box, the pieces that make it up cease to be in a state of quantum superposition and cannot be used to count towards "owning" another set.

    I talked to my mom about this topic (she's not a LEGO fan but this discussion is SO interesting) and she came up with pretty much the same idea. She was so surprised someone had already come up with that; she never expects people to think the same way as her.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Speaking of thinking, we can also consider Aristotle's view of a what makes a "thing."

    Material cause: what is it made of? (plastic)
    Formal cause: how is it put together? (built)
    Efficient cause: what is the source of the putting together? (you)
    Final cause: the aim or purpose of the thing (a playset/display model)

    I'm still in the camp that if you got the parts, you got the set.
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    To me this is plain and simple. You only own the set if you purchased it as a whole as it came from the factory. This would include buying it at a store such as target, walmart, etc. Or if you purchased it from someone who built the set then resold it as a whole complete set with instructions, box, and original pieces from the set(those that came in the box before being opened). Otherwise you just have LEGO pieces.

    As a rebuttal to the opposition I probably have the pieces to build the likes of the green grocer and corner café but doing so would take away from me being able to build all of my other sets simultaneously. Hence, the GG and CC are Frankenstein's and not originals which means I do not truly own them. Not to mention I never actually walked into the store and purchased GG or CC.

    Sure there are some other fine lines involved but they are so minor and picky it's not worth going into. Just my two cents.
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    iancam33 said:

    To me this is plain and simple. You only own the set if you purchased it as a whole as it came from the factory. This would include buying it at a store such as target, walmart, etc. Or if you purchased it from someone who built the set then resold it as a whole complete set with instructions, box, and original pieces from the set(those that came in the box before being opened). Otherwise you just have LEGO pieces.

    As a rebuttal to the opposition I probably have the pieces to build the likes of the green grocer and corner café but doing so would take away from me being able to build all of my other sets simultaneously. Hence, the GG and CC are Frankenstein's and not originals which means I do not truly own them. Not to mention I never actually walked into the store and purchased GG or CC.

    Sure there are some other fine lines involved but they are so minor and picky it's not worth going into. Just my two cents.

    Yep, agreed.
    iancam33
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited April 2014
    I'm afraid it's not plain and simple. A couple questions to illustrate...

    1) If you took your "original" set and set it right next to someone's "parted" set, how would you be able to tell the difference?

    2) Using @binaryeye‌'s question, if a single piece of your "original" set breaks and you replace that one piece with another, would you still consider your set to be "original?"
    MorkMan
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    edited April 2014
    So then, to the people that think it is that plain and simple, as @scrumper‌ pointed out, what if you had purchased #10197 39R1 directly from Lego - would you own the set? It's never even been opened! Factory sealed & shipped straight from Lego to you...
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    ^the breaking piece thing is one of my "picky" fine lines.

    As far as telling them apart there are times when you can see the difference depending on when the piece was made.

    Also, you could go and buy every piece and the instructions and the box(if so inclined-this is not and end all be all of ownership) and you could "own" the set per se but it is not an original.

    Think of like this. I could go and find all the necessary parts to put together a Porsche Speedster. I could source the body panels, the engine, the interior lining, wheels, etc. I could drive around feeling great that I have my Speedster but it still is not the same as the Speedster that came off the showroom floor. I now have something that was put together from parts from around the world, from and made by god knows who. Appearances are not everything. Just because it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck does not mean it's a duck.
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,407
    ^ You don't have to put together the Speedster when you get home. It's not the same.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited April 2014
    ^ For #2, what if it were 10 pieces, what if it were 100? I'm not quibbling, I'm wondering where you draw the line between picky and material. For the record, much smarter people than us have debated this exact same concept for over two thousand years and not found a definitive answer yet.

    For #1 (which you answered after #2 - weird, anyway) I really don't think you can tell based on "when the piece was made." Color variations may differ, the same way they would differ during a production run over a couple years.

    My point is that I'm not seeing how you're defining a set being "original," except that it came out of a factory sealed box. Once it's out of the box, however, it can't be original, because at that point, you can't create irrefutable proof that it's an original anymore. Basically, your argument is floating towards the concept that it's original because "you know in your heart" it's original. I tend to be more scientific.
    emmtwosix
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    edited April 2014
    Take my 10190s for example. One has all of the original parts and the instructions but no box. One has all of the original parts with the box and no instructions. To me, I have the makings of one complete set and a great start on a second. It's not like I couldn't find the white railings and substituted something that I rationalize as looking just as good. All of the parts are as listed on the instruction books inventory page. If the resident puppy of the house eats one of the minifigs and I go to the Internet and find the exact replacement, I still have the original set. To say anything less is getting rather esoteric. But, we've probably already crossed that line.
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    Cars are probably a bad analogy. Anyone what to offer up reasons as to why?
  • rancorbaitrancorbait Manitoba CanadaMember Posts: 1,850
    ^ One reason is because most car's parts are built exclusively for that model.
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78
    @iancam33‌ But if the parts are all Porsche made, what's the difference? If you have a muffler fall off your Camaro and you buy a new, original muffler manufactured by Chevy and have it installed, do you no longer own a Camaro?
  • iancam33iancam33 Member Posts: 407
    edited April 2014
    ^I'm talking about building one up from bare bones.

    @thelonetensor: my order choice as based on what was fresh in my head from what I had last read. Yes, some of it has to do with "knowing in my heart" what is original or not and the other comes back to my statement about making a set out of the parts I have all the while robbing another set of its parts and claiming I own it(reference my GG/CC comment). Yeah, there never will be a right answer. Here's to another two thousand years. Cheers.

    Sure, the car scenario might not be the best analogy but it is what popped in my head first. I'm sure I could come up with a few others albeit obscure ones in time.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited April 2014
    Like most unresolvable philosophical debates, it comes down to what's important to the individual. If what you think about what you have makes you happy, that's all that really matters.
  • emmtwosixemmtwosix Member Posts: 78

    My point is that I'm not seeing how you're defining a set being "original," except that it came out of a factory sealed box. Once it's out of the box, however, it can't be original, because at that point, you can't create irrefutable proof that it's an original anymore. Basically, your argument is floating towards the concept that it's original because "you know in your heart" it's original. I tend to be more scientific.

    Exactly. I was thinking the same thing. It seems to be more of a point of pride, even though it was merely chance that those parts ended up in the same sealed bag in the same set.

    Unless we can come to a universally agreed upon definition of what a set is, complete set, etc., we're never going to come to a conclusion.

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391
    The final ruling to this debate is in this book. Once this guy gets done reading it, he will tell us.
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    Yep, this is getting more difficult to understand than the new healthcare law. Not that I haven't added my share of mud, both relevant and irrelevant, to the pond.
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    edited April 2014
    I find it interesting that some people believe you need the box to have the set. In that case, I have exactly zero sets.
    pastelnerdbinaryeyedougts
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,391

    I find it interesting that some people believe you need the box to have the set. In that case, I have exactly zero sets.

    Yeah, I don't understand that. Maybe they meant exactly what came inside the box and not that you have to have the box.

    Yodalicious
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 857
    I still have the air that came in the box from all my sets. Does that count?
    pastelnerdLegoboyYodaliciousTheLoneTensordougts
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,720

    I find it interesting that some people believe you need the box to have the set.

    Whereas I can't see past the end of my nose. The product that left the factory is what's required to own a set. I really can't consider it being anything else.

    What I find interesting is to see that most people's view is being determined by their own situation; a bit like those without a #10179 claiming it will be re-released. ;-)
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,720
    I should clarify, it's okay in my book to source a damaged or lost part on a like for like basis.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,020
    Being a builder rather than a collector, I don't really care if I own a set or not. The important question that I care about is can I build it?
    Yodaliciouspastelnerdbinaryeye
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,366
    Legoboy said:

    Whereas I can't see past the end of my nose. The product that left the factory is what's required to own a set. I really can't consider it being anything else.

    Which is fine. To each their own. This is definitely a case where it could be right either way. I don't consider the boxes part of the set because to me they're just packaging. I collect what's inside and dispose of the box as I do with all non-LEGO items I purchase as well.

    It's all about how we each choose to collect. For me, if I purchased a set and know I can assemble the bricks to make the model that was intended, then I own the set.
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