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A set or not a set, that is the question.

SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,607
edited April 2016 in

Today as I do every now and then I went to look at my 'Sets collection analysis' and was again impressed at how many graphs there were telling me all sorts of useful things about how many sets I have, in which theme and in which year. And again I was disappointed by the fact most of this data (except 'Value') was heavily skewed by collectible minifigures and to a lesser extent by polybags.

I would like to be able to have some control over what I consider a set to be or what type of set I want to analyse. It would be great to have a tick box so that we could choose which sets are included in both our sets owned total and also the analysis of these sets. The tick box could be as simple as “only include normal box sets” or it could allow the user to choose which types of sets to include:

  • Box Sets
  • Ploybags
  • Collectible Minifigures
  • Other*

*Other would include: books, magnets, baseplates, blister packs and so on (or you could give some of these their own tick box). There will always be a question over what constitutes a ‘normal’ box set, something like 70743 which is a Ninjago flyer, it comes in a box and was a normal retail set or 9574 which is almost the same thing but comes in a blister pack.

The point would be to draw a line and it wouldn’t really matter which side these sets fell into as being able to take CMFs and Polybags out of the total would make a big difference. I understand this would involve a lot of work but I am sure there would be volunteers including myself that would be happy to help and I think it would be worth the time.



  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    When is a set not a set, that is the question... 

    As you suggest, everyone's definition is different. At the moment the analysis includes just 'normal' items, so gear, books, items with non-numeric numbers and product collections are excluded. So, polybags and CMFs are in and personally I think rightly so. but that could be because my full set (-1) of CMFs account for less than 10% of my total so the numbers are not that skewed.

    Personally I don't think packaging is the right way to differentiate although it's certainly possible to cut the figures in that way given we record that data, albeit not complete.

    If you'd be willing to help fill gaps for packaging I'm certainly happy to provide more options for cutting the graphs.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,607
    edited April 2016

    Thanks @Huw I am more than happy to help to fill in the gaps. I have had a look though and once again I have seen how incredible the brickset database is, most of the packing data is there already. There are some sets like 10212 Imperial Shuttle where it is missing but 99% of the time it is there for normal sets, polybags and foil packs. There are some areas where it is missing completely like Dimensions but this could be a good thing in that they are not really full sets.

    Adding options to what sets are analysed could be used in other ways too, maybe you could choose from a drop down menu:


    • All Sets
    • Normal Sets Only (default setting)
    • Box Sets only
    • Polybags only
    • Foil packs only
    • Books only (ok maybe we don’t need this one)

    When analysing all sets at the moment you can see graphs “By Theme” and “By year” you could also add “by packing” so that you can see 20% of your sets are polybags.

    But the figure that really bugs me (not sure why) is at the top of the home page where it says I have 880 sets. Let’s break it down brickset says only 760 of these are unique, only 589 have a retail price so that takes out most polybags and 152 are CMFs so that leaves 437. But that number still includes 30 books and 22 gear so we are down to around 385 “real sets”. Would it be possible to use something like packaging to break this number down. It would be great to see you have 880 sets, 760 unique, 350 are box sets, 200 are polybags, 200 are Foil packs (Maybe not all on the front page but on the sets owned page).

    Also a question about minfigs analyses, can you use set type to exclude excusive minifigs from being counted in the % of minifigs owned so that not having SDCC figs does not mean you don’t have 100% (a tick box option maybe).

    OK almost done “71010-1: Wolf Guy” wrongly has 100 parts, not sure what’s going on there.

    Thank Huw for your time, top man.

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    edited April 2016
    Here's a query that shows the sets you own with the packaging not specified:

    I'll create a page to enable you, and others, to fill the gaps.

    Parts inventories for CMFs are a problem because of the way we have different entries for each but LEGO doesn't. I have no solution that doesn't involve manual work yet.
  • SMCSMC UKMember Posts: 1,607

    Thanks Huw more sets than I thought but that query makes them easy to find.

    Do you want to make a query for all sets, I am happy to go year by year starting with the most recent and see how far I can get.

    Let me know when you have created that page and I will get started.  

  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,897
    edited April 2016
    Not really up on this sort of stuff, but just for the CMFs, could the inventory of parts not come from Bricklink as I think they do part lists for individual figures? 
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,384
    Bricklink does not allow the use of its inventories, unfortunately.
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,897
    Fair enough, just thought I would ask the question.
    Is a shame though as that would also be helpful for the main site set listings to get a complete parts list but enable you to highlight which parts are no longer available from TLG from their set lists.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    bandit778 said:
    Is a shame though as that would also be helpful for the main site set listings to get a complete parts list but enable you to highlight which parts are no longer available from TLG from their set lists.
    That gets hairy when parts are superseded by others. The original is usually no longer available, but the acceptability of the replacement is subjective.
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,897
    I understand that, it was just something that crossed my mind after seeing certain sets with less than 100% parts list. 
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    As a variation on that, has anybody ever tried lifting inventories from the PDF instructions?

    I know that doesn't apply to all sets, but it is an official and accurate source. It ought to be possible and, by comparison, ought to indicate what is and is not available from TLG.
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