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Missing Piece Counts

meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
edited May 2011 in The Database
I posted this inside another discussion thread, but never received a reply. So I thought it would be worth a topic of its own.

It seems like most of the 'sets' I own that are missing piece counts are collectible minifigures. It seems like this would be an easy fix, and not make my piece count look so scary ("you own 244 sets... we have piece counts for 139 of them). Out of the sets that I own, only 4 with missing counts aren't collectible minifigs.

Also, is that calculation broken (or at least poorly worded)? The number of sets I own includes duplicates (with the number of unique sets in parentheses), but the number of sets with piece counts and the sets with retail prices aren't counting duplicates. Could you use the same formatting as above (244 sets, 194 different sets)?
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Comments

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    Yes we do need piece counts for the collectable minifigs. If anyone is up for working them all out, it would be greatly appreciated!
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    I'll do it. A question though, do any spares that came with some of the earlier series tally in the piece count? How would you like the information?

    Are there many piece counts missing across the database? Is it worth perhaps organising a bit of a community effort on filling in missing piece counts across the entire database. People could export their set lists sort by those that are missing a piece count, fill it in and send it back to you? I've just done it with mine, and it is made up of the CMs, key rings (piece count of 1 I guess), books, video games and a few polybags.

    Edit: I guess this would result in a lot of duplicated piece count submissions, so maybe not the best idea I ever had!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    edited May 2011
    ^ I think such a community endeavour is an excellent idea - there seem to be quite a few missing piece counts. Unless someone's willing to keep a 'master list' of sets with missing piece counts which people could refer to and update as data came in, I agree there'd potentially be some duplication of effort, however.

    Regarding extra pieces, I'm not sure what the convention is. I'd personally NOT add them to the piece count - extras aren't a necessary part of the set, and they're missing from many used sets that people buy anyway.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited May 2011
    Even where we have piece counts, I wouldn't consider them to be 100% accurate; the piece counts have come from a variety of sources over the years, and if you take a detailed look you'll find many discrepancies between Lugnet, Peeron, Bricklink, Brickset & the collector's book. Even LEGO's own piece counts aren't always 100% accurate.

    My choice would be for the piece count to include spare parts, but exclude sticker sheets, instructions & promotional fliers. Where there are multiple elements in a cardboard envelope (e.g. elastic bands, minifigure fabric capes, etc.), I'd include the total number of individual elements in the piece count (but not the envelope). A minifig torso (i.e. body, 2xarm, 2xhand) should count as one element; minfig legs (i.e. hips, 2xleg) should likewise be considered 1 element.

    There are less clear-cut issues - the 2x2 turntable used to come pre-assembled in sets (1 element), but now usually comes as two separate elements ... should we always consider it as 2 elements, or should it depend on how they were originally shipped?

    I think this would be great as a long-term community project, to go through & check/validate all the set piece counts using a consistent set of guidelines.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    ^ Interested to know why you'd include the extras in the count, given that they're not part of the build - is that what the likes of Bricklink, Peeron etc. advocate, or just a personal preference ?
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited May 2011
    They are bricks included in the box, simple as that. Whether they are include in the instructions is, to my mind, irrelevant. If I want to know how many elements I have, then I want to know how many elements I have, not how many I have minus some arbitrary exclusions ;-)

    As to what the other sites do, it's complicated ... let's take the Emerald Night ...
    - LEGO box says - 1085 parts
    - Peeron says - 1085 parts in the summary, 1107 parts in the inventory (including extras & the sticker sheet)
    - Bricklink says - 1052 parts in the summary (excludes minifigs & extras, but includes sticker sheet). Records that there are 15 extras. Separately reports that the figs are 4, 4 & 5 elements respectively.

    Frankly, if we're going to do this, it doesn't fundamentally matter what we decide to include or exclude, as long as we're clear what the criteria we're using are & we stick to them.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I'm with @bluemoose on this one:

    Spares - Yes
    Sticker - No
    Instructions - No
    Promotional Flyers - No
    Cardboard Protective Slips/Elastic band Holders/Spoke Wheel Holder Thingies - No
    Elastic Bands - Yes
    Capes - Yes

    I'd never even considered counting minifig torsos or legs as more than 1 piece, so obviously I agree that they should only count as 1 each.

    I'd wager we'll never achieve consistency between sites, but achieving more consistency on Brickset against a set of guidelines is an admirable aim in itself.
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    With the collectable minifigs, for example the Mime, I would count the pieces as follows:

    1 x hat
    3 x heads
    1 x torso
    1 x legs
    1 x baseplate
    = 7 pieces.

    Agreed?

    I wouldn't mind pitching in on counting up the collectable minifigs once we have established what we're including!
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    "If I want to know how many elements I have, then I want to know how many elements I have, not how many I have minus some arbitrary exclusions ;-)"

    Problem is that most of us do not get old sets MISB - we buy them used from eBay, Bricklink etc. - and most used sets do NOT include the spares so you will consistently overestimate how many elements you have ! That's why I'm against including them....

    Otherwise I agree with you and @atkinsar - parts (minus spares !), capes, elastic bands etc. definitely yes, leaflets, sticker sheets, cardboard caddies for elastic bands and capes no. What about the old plastic elastic band holders ? I'd say yes - these can actually be used for building ! Minifigs - torso INCLUDING ARMS AND HANDS = 1 piece, legs all one piece.

  • CrackseedCrackseed Member Posts: 90
    Well the other interesting point there Drdave is that older sets didn't often come with spares while alot of the sets past a certain point definitely do have some extra elements. So it's probably a good idea to just leave spares out of the picture IMO.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ^^ Whilst I agree entirely that most 2nd-hand sets purchased will not include any spares that were present, I would say that technically, you have a few pieces missing from the inventory that the set came with. Therefore, I don't see it as any different to counting pieces that you may have missing from the main set for this purpose.

    What I'm trying to say is, that for those people who have missing pieces from their sets but still log them on Brickset, their piece counts will be overstated anyway. I would have thought the primary goal was to have an accurate piece count for the set, with the goal of telling you how many pieces you own in your inventory being secondary (but still important).

    As for the elastic band holders, I'm on the fence, but a little over the side of not including them.
  • pyrokldpyrokld Member Posts: 11
    What about making use of the fancy new Advanced Collection Manger and include a checkbox for "Extra Parts", with the option to have it default checked or unchecked when you add an item to your list.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited May 2011
    @Dr.D - I've got hundreds of sets, bought new many years ago, that did include extra parts, as the manufacturer intended. I don't get the logic that says that the extra parts shouldn't be included in the parts count because some people bought the sets 2nd hand, missing some of the original contents. If we go down that route then those people who bought the sets new, in original condition, will have their parts counts consistently understated.

    To me the 'accurate piece count' will always be the one that includes the contents of the set as it shipped from the manufacturer, regardless of how it might have been provided by any one of a number of different secondary market resellers. But that's just me :-)

    The ideal solution would, obviously, be to include it as a option - include extra parts, or not, depending on whether you bought the set new or old. But in order to do that, we need to keep track of the extra parts. If we don't record it, then we can't use it. My position is not that we pick one number over the other, but rather that we record both. My preference would be that the 'all the elements in the box' number would be the headline parts number, rather than the 'all the elements in the (primary) model' number, but that's just a preference.

    As part of the 'LEGO Markup Language' I've been thinking about, keeping track of both numbers would be a priority.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    "Both" definitely works for me - I genuinely like to know how many pieces are included in a given MODEL rather than the actual box, so a count with and without the extras would satisy everbody in this regard.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,289
    ^^ Echoing bluemoose, I think the ideal solution would be capturing all the numbers: total piece count for the set, total piece count for the main model, and extra pieces. Obviously one of these numbers can be derived from evaluating the other two.

    As previously mentioned, it's going to be difficult, if not altogether impossible, to get this complete information for older sets, though.

  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    What about around 2004/5 TLG included the minifig head on the torso, as you can see here (http://cache.lego.com/upload/contentTemplating/AboutUsPressRoom-ImageLibrary/images/pic9DCDFFB08D521051B84E2336D8BBC2B6.JPG) and in the inventory of set 7236 - TLG think this is the element (http://us.service.lego.com/en-US/replacementparts/showBrick.aspx?item=4261528&lod=5&size=2)
    Does that count as 1, 2 or 6 elements?
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    I don't get too hung up about accuracy. I'm not expecting 100%, +/- 1 or 2% is close enough for most people, surely.

    Thanks @atkinsar for volunteering to do this.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    edited May 2011
    ^^ 2
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    Maybe this is a stupid question but are the extra pieces in each set always the same?
  • thesinisterpenguinthesinisterpenguin Member Posts: 96
    I'm pretty sure they are the same in each set - they are generally the smallest parts (the easiest to misplace!).
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    ^^ Yes - extras for a particular set are indeed the same. Sites like Peeron and Bricklink even list out the extras you can expect to see.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    edited May 2011
    I am against including extras in the piece count. Actually, I would like to have the official LEGO piece count listed and if unavailable then use a manual count.

    Extra pieces are described as being extra: more than is due, usual, or necessary. Therefore extra pieces should be excluded from the piece count because by definition they are outside the scope of the set.

    In light of the XML markup scheme, multiple entries would be great too. I would suggest a manufacturer piece count, a model piece count, and a set inventory count. The later two should follow some sort of standard guidelines.

    Technically the piece counts are accurate just not precise. But as Huw pointed out, a level of precision within 1% should be acceptable to most people.

    For those people who are looking to use the Brickset database to inventory their elements, I would like to point out that Brickset is a database of *sets* and not *bricks*, unlike say Peeron. If Brickset adds a database of elements, then keeping an inventory of parts you own would make more sense.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    @meyerc13, If ye ask, ye shall receive (within limits and time constraints allowing!). You should find all the CMFs (series 1-4) have piece counts in the database now.

    Sorry, @drdavewatford, but I did include spares (the only spares came in series 1 and 2 interestingly, none in 3 or 4). I have kept both counts though, so if in the future we can track both counts then they can be added, I'll keep them safe until that day.

    http://www.brickset.com/browse/themes/?theme=Collectable Minifigures

    If you spot any glaring errors, let me know and I'll get it sorted.

    Now, back to my polybag bricklists!

  • 12651265 Member Posts: 954
    edited May 2011
    @brickmatic - I also agree with not including the extra pieces for the reasons you state. But, it's really not an issue I lose sleep over.

    @atkinsar - Nice work!!

    I will also submit a list of discrepancies I found and noted in my database.
  • EricEric Queensland, AustraliaMember Posts: 376
    I'm with Huw, probably doesn't matter about 100%, extra pieces or not, we must have some sort of piece count for every set.
  • GalactusGalactus NLMember Posts: 255
    "Regarding extra pieces, I'm not sure what the convention is. I'd personally NOT add them to the piece count - extras aren't a necessary part of the set, and they're missing from many used sets that people buy anyway."
    In my opinion extra's are part of the set, not of the model. And since this is Brickset, I think the extra's should be included in the piece count. But I prefer bluemoose's solution:
    "The ideal solution would, obviously, be to include it as a option - include extra parts, or not, depending on whether you bought the set new or old."
    "Problem is that most of us do not get old sets MISB - we buy them used from eBay, Bricklink etc. - and most used sets do NOT include the spares so you will consistently overestimate how many elements you have ! That's why I'm against including them...."
    All the second hand sets I bought did include the extra parts. With some orders I received free sets of which some were missing a few parts. I still include those sets in my Brickset list.
    "My preference would be that the 'all the elements in the box' number would be the headline parts number, rather than the 'all the elements in the (primary) model' number, but that's just a preference."
    The primary model doesn't always include all parts. And I'm not talking about the extra's here, just look at some sets like 5763 for instance.
    "For those people who are looking to use the Brickset database to inventory their elements, I would like to point out that Brickset is a database of *sets* and not *bricks*, unlike say Peeron. If Brickset adds a database of elements, then keeping an inventory of parts you own would make more sense."
    I agree. Wether or not the extra parts are in the piece count, my loose bricks are still not counted for the total piece count...
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    @atkinsar - Thanks much! 194 Different sets... piece counts for 191 of them!

    @Huw - is there any way to change the way this displays so that it is clear that the piece counts for 191 of them refers to the '194 different' and not to the 'You own 244 sets" part of the count?

    I'm amazed how much great discussion this has kicked off. When it comes to extra pieces or not, I find the bricklink list of extra pieces useful - if I end up with the same extra pieces when I'm done building a set I know I haven't made any mistakes. As for whether they are included in my piece count here or not, it doesn't matter to me. My kids have lost enough small pieces, and I've bought thousands of pieces via pick-a-brick that I haven't inventoried. So I'm not that worried about the handful of extra pieces showing up in my count or not.

    I was more worried that one of the sets without piece counts might be sufficiently large that I was missing a few hundred pieces from my set counts, but when I exported my inventory I noticed that they were almost all minifigs, hence the original post. I suspected that others might be similarly worried that the database was missing piece counts for larger sets... those last three sets I'm missing by the way are 2172, 2173, and 66373.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    As a side note, I'd be pretty peeved if someone bought a new set, noticed one of the extra pieces was missing, proceeded to complain to TLG and have them send out the missing extra piece. I would be peeved because in my eyes the whole point of TLG including extra pieces is to avoid having to send out missing pieces on the off chance one of the small ones is missed in packing.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    ...those last 3 sets I'm missing by the way are 2172, 2173, and 66373.
    I'll see what I can do, or if you have the piece counts, just let me know.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,164
    edited May 2011
    Piece counts with or without the extra parts is opening a Pandora's Box....

    So many older sets came with Alternative models to build. They might be needed for the alternative models.

    And many old sets come with multiple "packing variations". I've seen MISB boxes opened to find that the models on the box top cannot even be built with the contents because some items were temporarily out of stock... this is especially true for North American sets where the specialty replacement parts from Denmark hadn't arrived yet.

    My favorite set is the 700/1 Basic Set (the first LEGO basic set) of 1949-65. At last count it comes in 11 box variations and 17 packing variations.... probably a good thing that it's out of the range of the Brickset database.

    But whatever you decide... you should make sure that what holds true for 2011 sets... fits the bill for 1970 sets.... because in earlier sets.... there were always extra parts...
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    I was more worried that one of the sets without piece counts might be sufficiently large that I was missing a few hundred pieces from my set counts, but when I exported my inventory I noticed that they were almost all minifigs, hence the original post. I suspected that others might be similarly worried that the database was missing piece counts for larger sets... those last three sets I'm missing by the way are 2172, 2173, and 66373.
    Apparently the database only has piece counts for 769 out of my 962 sets so even though a number of these 'missing' sets are probably in fact 'Gear' or similar I still fear a potentially signifcant shortfall in my total piece count........ Probably time to export my collection so I can see which 200 or so sets don't have piece counts I guess.

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,164
    One other thing... believe it or not... not every LEGO set actually came with plans for a buildable model...

    That #90 Super Set (1975-77) talked about in another thread... I believe it came with no specific building model in mind.... just a bunch of LEGO parts in a wooden box. It may have had a LEGO ideas book included (most LEGO wooden box sets did have that). But the idea booklet had absolutely no relationship to the parts in the box. This was very common for most LEGO wooden box sets. At last count there were about 80 different between 1957-77 (most are country specific and not mentioned in most online LEGO databases).
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    Apparently the database only has piece counts for 769 out of my 962 sets..
    605 out of 606, my OCD tendencies have been satisifed for another day :-)

  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    Thanks for adding these @atkinsar.

    There are some improvements I can make to the display of totals, as suggested above, and also I could exclude 'gear' from the totals which will sort out DrD's issue.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    edited May 2011
    ^ Yep - good idea. You could certainly consider excluding clothing, key chains, books which don't include actual LEGO elements etc. from the parts count. More controversial, perhaps, but still worth discussing is also removing glued minifigs from the parts count.

    It's still nice to know the total item count including this stuff, but maybe they shouldn't count towards the parts total.

    [edit] Having quickly skimmed through my list of sets, I'm really struggling to see what the 200 sets with missing piece counts actually are ! I can only find a few. I will have to investigate further this evening.........
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    ^ yep, that's the problem with Huw's suggestion of excluding all gear, the DK Brickmaster books that come with pieces and those books that come with minifigs.
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 190
    @meyerc13 - I always thought that the missing count was based on the "different" set count, rather than the total set count, so I've been reading it wrong for a long time.

    The sets for which there are piece counts has always been less than my number of different sets, and a lot less than my total sets, so it's never been obvious.
    Seeing the numbers that Dr. D reported and checking his Brickset set list, I can now see that there are piece counts for more than the number of his "different" sets.

    @Huw - I would like to see an additional figure, showing the number of different sets without piece counts.

    Thanks.
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 190
    ...and looking at this again...
    The text, "Using that data ...", should have told me that it was the total number of sets with piece counts that was being used.
    I'd still like to see the number of different sets with piece counts, although I know I can export the data and inspect it that way.
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    Just exported my setlist. As far as I can see there are barely ANY items I own without an associated piece count. All I can think of is that the system counts any set with a piece count of 1 as 'missing'. That might explain it. Otherwise I'm mystified.
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 190
    Ok, ignore my previous posts!!

    I've never exported the data before, so I gave it a try just now.

    From Brickset:

    You own 1892 sets (1102 different).
    We have piece counts for 1088 of them

    When I click on the "View the sets you own" link.
    There are 1100 listed, not 1102.

    The export also shows these 1100, not 1102.
    It correctly shows that there are counts for 1088 of them though, so I can see that my original assumption was correct, that the count of sets with piece counts is based on the different sets.

    I now don't know why the My Sets page says I have 1102 sets but will only list 1100 of them.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    Just exported my setlist. As far as I can see there are barely ANY items I own without an associated piece count. All I can think of is that the system counts any set with a piece count of 1 as 'missing'. That might explain it. Otherwise I'm mystified.
    I'm pretty sure it doesn't count sets with a piece count of 1 as missing. What you're saying is indeed a mystery as mine tallied up perfect, i.e. my count of sets with missing piece counts tallied perfectly with my exported set list. I'd be more than happy to take a quick at your spreadsheet if you want (you can remove the notes column first if it contains private stuff).
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    Having thought about it more, I'm wondering if the confusion is arising from the fact that the system generates the number of sets with a known piece count from the number of DIFFERENT sets that someone owns, rather than the total number of sets overall including multiples. So on this basis, I have 738 differents sets, and Brickset holds piece counts for 729 of them, i.e. only 9 different sets I own lack a piece count. Interestingly, piece counts for the collectible minifigs aren't appearing on my exported setlist BUT do appear on the set display page, and I don't think are counted as missing, so not sure what's going on there.....

    If I happen to have 100 multiples of one of those 9 sets, and each of those 100 multiples actually has lots of pieces, then clearly my estimated total piece count will be a gross underestimate. In reality, however, I don't think this is actually the case. Although interestingly, Set 920 Rocket Launch Pad is missing a piece count (and I have 2 of those sets) as is the Castle Chess set 852001. Peeron says 170 parts for 920 and Bricklink 171, so take your pick !!

    @Huw, once you've successfully negotiated with the Bricklink folks, the next step is to allow us to enter loose bricks into the database (pretty please !); then we can really start to nail down accurate piece counts.... Using Peeron for this is sooo slooooow PLUS it's getting more and more out of date so newer parts aren't even on the database....
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    I will take a look at the code later and let you know how the figures are calculated, and will take suggestions for improvements.
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 190
    @DrD. Aha! You just typed 729, but in your earlier post you typed 769.
    That's what threw me. All is clear now, except my 2 set discrepancy between the summary list and the full list.
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    edited May 2011
    Having thought about it more, I'm wondering if the confusion is arising from the fact that the system generates the number of sets with a known piece count from the number of DIFFERENT sets that someone owns, rather than the total number of sets overall including multiples. So on this basis, I have 738 differents sets, and Brickset holds piece counts for 729 of them, i.e. only 9 different sets I own lack a piece count.
    Obviously @Huw can give us the definitive answer after checking the code, but I strongly believe that, yes the sets with a known piece count is drawn from your different sets, hence I have 605 from 606, the missing one being a random series 4 CMF. The total piece count however, includes piece counts from all your sets, including multiples of the same set. This is certainly the behaviour that I have observed anyway.

  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    Interestingly, piece counts for the collectible minifigs aren't appearing on my exported setlist BUT do appear on the set display page, and I don't think are counted as missing, so not sure what's going on there.....
    Weird, because when I export, the CMFs have piece counts. When did you do the export? The CMF piece counts have only been in the db for a few days.

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,507
    About 20 minutes ago....
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    The 'random series 4 CMF' doesn't, and can't, have a piece count!
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,707
    I've checked the code and also played with a test account.

    It says

    You own 7 sets (3 different).

    We have piece counts for 2 of them. Using that data we have calculated that you own 139 pieces!

    The *2* refers to the number of unique sets that there are piece counts for, so in this test, only one of the sets I own doesn't have a piece count, which I think is how we'd expect it to work, isn't it?
  • jgadgetjgadget Member Posts: 190
    Yes, I'm happy with that.
    It was Dave's dodgy typing that threw me. :-)
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