LEGO improves its online inventories

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You may recall that in August I introduced a feature to the site to extract set inventories from the LEGO.com customer services replacement parts page (here's the announcement) and display them on the set details page in a form that is more useful to us.

At the time, as you can read in the comments, it was considered to be about as useful as a chocolate tea pot because the LEGO inventories were very incomplete, and included only basic parts.

Over the weekend, shaase emailed to say that he'd noticed that they seemed to have been improved and recent set inventories now include nearly every part, so today I re-ran the script that imports them and he's right, they have been significantly improved. This means the Parts tab on the set details pages is far more useful. Here's an example showing minifig parts, new canopies and everything.

The reason some parts are in the last 'New/Unsorted' section is that the list obtained from LEGO.com is cross-referenced with another list I have that gives colours for each part number. It's a bit old though, which is why new parts are not on it, and why they thus appear in this section.

What this also means is that it would now be feasible to 'crowd-source' the missing information: to cross-check the data at LEGO.com with that in the back of the instructions and add missing parts and colours and also, most importantly, to gather part quantities, which are not provided at LEGO.com.

Don't expect that to happen overnight, but watch this space...

12 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

The feature is creeping in the right direction, but without the quantity of each part and a feeling of confidence that all parts are included in the listing it remains a tantalising work in progress. Let's hope LEGO complete the job they started with these inventories and give us the remaining info in due course.

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By in United States,

I'd say the user interface is not much better.

On a side note, does anyone know whether the CAD drawings of the parts are public use? As much as I appreciate the community effort that contributed images in BrickLink, there is a wide degree of inconsistency in the images. It would be nice, if allowed by TLG, to refresh the fan database using Lego's high quality CAD images like the one below.

http://www.dadsafol.com/Images/6020547.jpg

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By in France,

This is a very usefull feature. Now I won't spend hours trying to decode those bad quality PDFs for a part number.
(On a side note, about a year ago I was checking BrickSet once in a while, but now I use it every day. BS is every week better. Thanks for all your good work !)

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By in United States,

Can you order all the special parts such as Amidala's skirt?

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By in United Kingdom,

^as its a 'replacement parts' inventory I'm guessing they only list the parts that they can replace? So common elements remain whereas specialised or out of production pieces are not shown?

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By in Ireland,

I wrote a tool that can pull set lists down from Peeron/bricklink and is quite effective. It was for my own use. It saves the resulting data in an XML file - was bored and supposed to be working on some offshore drilling software at the time.
I'm not sharing it with everyone but it could be useful to fill in some blanks....

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By in United Kingdom,

The problem isn't writing a tool to access inventories from Bricklink, it's getting permission from Bricklink to use their data....

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By in Canada,

@sloopsjohng, indeed, but then that is an old set. It seems it's only recent ones that have been improved.

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By in Ireland,

@DrDaveWatford Yup, I know, hence not making it not freely available. It really was just for fun but then it may be useful.

Anyway, I have a parts list for a couple of sets I inventoried at some point or other with quantities, extras and bags which the parts came in too (which may/may not be useful) which I'm happy to share.

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By in United States,

Still a better user experience than peeron set inventories (with the exception of the quantities, of course) but as soon as the quantities start showing up, this feature will be invaluable to me...

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By in Canada,

Have people not heard of open data? its to bad we have to almost start from scratch, but its nice to see people trying to figure ways to save time. When you guys are ready to implement complete inventories, I'm willing to help out in nay way I can.

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