The ultimate collectable minifig barcode decoder

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LEGO Minifigures Series 1 {Random bag}

Grogall has produced an excellent PDF version which combines the North American and the rest-of-the-world barcodes on a single sheet. You can download it exclusively at Brickset. Print it out, keep it in your pocket and it'll be handy for wherever in the world you happen to go!

Update: just to be clear, credit is due to http://bricks.inof.de for the original European one and our very own yellowcastle for being first to the post with the North American one.

Update: There's an interesting discussion about the 'morality' of using the cheat-sheet at Brothers-Brick, go and chip-in and let them know what you think :-)

36 comments on this article

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By in United States,

thank you, much easier to read than the other one.

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By in United Kingdom,

Has anyone seen the backs of the series 2 blue packets yet? Do you think they will follow the same format with identifiable barcodes, or will they learn, remove the barcodes and make it totally random?!

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By in United States,

The barcodes will be used for internal identifying purposes to ensure the correct mix in the box. I would imagine series 2 is made and packed and on its way round the world back from China by now: there won't be any change.

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By in Sweden,

Don't want to be like that, but right should be right: The Barcode identifyer was first published allready in April by a german site: http://bricks.inof.de/docs/minifig-barcodes/
So I wouldn't agree you can download it exculsively from brickset.

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By in Canada,

@ superkalle10: I guess you did not read the post. This post, with the "Brickset exclusive", refers to a new pdf file that COMBINES the North American AND rest-of-the-world barcodes. This means you get two different sets of barcodes on one sheet. BTW this is also not the first time the barcodes have been posted here.

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By in Belgium,

Does anybody know if it's essential to see the barcode? I mean: are the numbers below the barcode also is usable (in a way you don't need to know the barcode)? Because if so you'd just had to look at the number...

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By in Canada,

The funny thing is it kind of doesn't matter since everytime someone finds a box, they buy the whole thing! Isn't that what pretty much happened in Europe!?

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By in Germany,

I added the barcode numbers for the reason that if your in a store and don't have access to the internet when using an Android or iPhone app. some scanning app's will at least read of the numbers to you! Yes the second series will also have an identification code on the back of the packages. and no I don't have the codes to series two yet.

Edit* I wanted to add something about barcodes, first the first 2 lines and last two lines are actually not numbers they are there to tell the scanner where to start and where to finnish. besides that bar code lines are very similar to roman numerals example I II III IV V VI VII etc small numbers have small bars and when the get larger the bars get thicker or have more lines.

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By in United States,

For those of us without a super duper smart phone, barcode identification on the minifigures has mostly been a visual thing. Having just picked up a few new figures the last couple of nights, I actually found it quite helpful and speedy to simply assign a numerical value to each of the 16 barcodes. Don't forget that the first 2/3 of each barcode is always the same so you just need to look at the last part. When looking at just the last part of the barcode, this mnemonic simply relates the number of thick lines to "trailing" thin lines. Besides being faster, I found that just trying to match the pictures can become a headache and that using any kind of sheet was frowned upon at some places.

Additionally, this is based on the actual barcodes from the North American figures as noted in the North American barcode key link available on the home page. (I've only spot checked the combo pdf above so I can't vouche for it)

If this is useless to everyone, please disregard. :o) I can only tell you that it made minifigure identification for me a breeze.

EASY ONES

Robin Hood - 22 (2 Thick Lines Total, 2 Thin Lines at the end)
Clown - 27
Indian - 33
Diver - 42
Cheerleader - 44
Magician - 52
Wrestler - 53

MODERATE ONES

Caveman - 34.2 (3 Thick Lines Total, 4 Thin Lines at the end, Last Grouping of Thin Lines is a double)
Robot - 34.3 (3 Thick Lines Total, 4 Thin Lines at the end, Last Grouping of Thin Lines is a triple)

EXTRA MODERATE ONES

Ninja - 32 Big (3 Thick Lines Total, 2 Thin Lines at the end, There are only "BIG" Thick lines)
Skater - 32 Small (3 Thick Lines Total, 2 Thin Lines at the end, There are only "small" Thick lines)
Cowboy - 32 Mix (3 Thick Lines Total, 2 Thin Lines at the end, There are both "Big" and "Small" Thick lines)

Dummy - 43 Big (4 Thick Lines Total, 3 Thin Lines at the end, There are only "BIG" Thick lines)
Zombie - 43 Mix (4 Thick Lines Total, 3 Thin Lines at the end, There are both "Big" and "small" Thick lines)

(cont'd below)

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By in United States,

TOUGH ONES (i.e. I had a terrible time telling them apart, even with the picture)

Nurse 17 (1 Thick Line Total, 7 Thin Lines at the end)
Spaceman 17 (1 Thick Line Total, 7 Thin Lines at the end)

Thus, it's very easy to find cheerleaders, clowns, wrestlers, robins hood, Indians, divers, and magicians. And you're on your own if you want some nurses and spacemen. :o)

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By in United States,

This is AWESOME! I'm so glad to see that you can now print out a barcode sheet! Thanks Brickset! :)

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By in United States,

@tedward, thank you. We link to the original source in the menu: the new combined one is the Brickset exclusive as you say.

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By in Germany,

Well thanks to the barcode printout and the ZBar app for my iPhone I was able to get the rest of the minifigs we needed today. I used the barcode printout first then scanned the ones I put aside to make sure they were the ones I wanted. Bring on Series 2!

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By in United States,

Huw makes a great point about why LEGO won't likely be removing these 2nd barcodes on subsequent series. Without this barcode to help LEGO pack the individual boxes, the distribution and availability of some minifigures would definitely become a problem. I have a recurring nightmare of coming across a minifigure box only to find it filled completely with crash test dummies. :o)

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By in United States,

NUMBERS! Sweet sweet delicious numbers sprinkled under barcodey goodness. Now i dont have to strain my eyes and just to get what i want! thank you! thank yoooou!!!

As for morality, i believe a good intention would be buy one of each of what i want, and army-build certain others like the zombie, robots, cheerleaders. the latter of which will give lego a lot of money anyway for my intention of multi-collecting.

this whole ID-ing thing however may be trouble for us now and the future when it comes to finding more popular ones and lego might have already taken word of our ways. i fear theyll take away the number codes at least

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By in United States,

well I think its more fun not to know what your getting

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By in Austria,

Since I am not 10 years old I want to know what I buy: I want 1 full set. That's it.

If I cannot cheat, eg if TLG removes the barcode in future series, I simply will not buy them.

(I made 3 mistakes with the codes, so I bought 19 to get 1 full set - that is still ok)

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By in United States,

I picked up the last one at my local Toys R Us, and managed to correctly guess that it was a cheerleader just by feeling the bag, so i think a combination of barcode analysis and feeling the bag could be combined into a relatively foolproof system. Each of the figures tends to have at least one part that would help in tactile identification.

Why my Toys R Us had only one in the ENTIRE STORE i have no idea...

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By in Canada,

Wow thank you yellowcastle that makes it alot easier

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By in United States,

Anyone finding these in Michigan? I live in the Detroit area.

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By in United Kingdom,

Are there any UK barcode reading bricksetters willing to swap/pick up a sealed skateboarder for me? I can read the barcodes, but I only have a blind-purchase store to buy from, so i have plenty of sealed swaps to exchange.

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By in United States,

My friend said a LEGO Store employee watched him like a hawk when he was feeling the bags to find out what was inside!

This was a great ploy by LEGO. Actually got me to buy LEGO at full retail price!

As for those of you who haven't got any figures yet and who stumble upon a newly opened box. Just buy 16 different bar codes and you'll get a whole set that way!

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By in United Kingdom,

Doesn't Mr lego mind people using this?

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By in United States,

If you can find them!!! My Lego store got 2 boxes in Thursday. (Limit 5 per person) They were gone in just a few hours before I could get off work to stop by! I picked some up in Scotland a couple of weeks ago tho. Seems to be hard to find them anywhere.

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By in United States,

My LEGO store has been sold out every time I've visited... they stated that they normally get their shipments in on Mondays, but that they're sold out by the next day... sometimes within hours. Arrrrgghhhh!

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By in United States,

In the US has anybody seen them at anywhere BESIDES TRU like
WALL MART
TARGET
KMART
ect....
anybody??
my TRU sells out very fast as well and I'm tired of biking all the way over there :(

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By in United States,

And the hoarding continues. Series 2...gee if you can't even get Series 1 what's the point. "Mystery" bags. There is no more mystery factor with all the barcode information and decoding apps. These haven't even been evenly distributed across the US, when you talk to the management at TRU and they tell you how many boxes are going to each DC/State. With the barcode information there is no stopping people from grabbing and hoarding the more popular minifigs and leaving say all the crash test dummies on the shelf.

Lego missed an opportunity to make even more money off these. They could have sold them in sets of 8 each with No Mystery as to what your getting. Lego and everyone else know which minifigs will be the most popular and they could have spread them between 2 packs of 8 or 4 packs of 4.

Series 1 Pack 1 (8 minifigs) $20 = $2.50 each
Series 1 Pack 2 (8 minifigs) $20 = $2.50 each

OR

Series 1 Pack 1 (4 minifigs) $10 = $2.50 each
Series 1 Pack 2 (4 minifigs) $10 = $2.50 each
Series 1 Pack 3 (4 minifigs) $10 = $2.50 each
Series 1 Pack 4 (4 minifigs) $10 = $2.50 each

And everyone wants these so they could have been distributed to more stores other than the Lego Store and TRU. The more stores you could put them in the more sales. Just look at EBay and how much people are willing to pay for Minifigs. Series 1 is going anywhere from $4 - $10 each on EBay in the US before adding shipping and tax. Other minifigs can pull in even more money depending on the Theme and its rarity. Go after those more popular themes.

Look at the Lego Battle packs which end up being around $3 each minifig. There could even be more packs with themes like City, Construction, Heroes, Space, Pirates, pretty much endless possibilities like Legos themselves but accessible by more.

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By in United States,

Perhaps Lego should hire you for marketing and sales? ;)

Seriously, this was a pilot trial and they had no idea on what type of market and appetite was out there for these. There's no theme attached, no playset attached, nothing. It was their first go around and they appropriately targeted their main Brand stores and TRU as a wide area test area.

It seems that they allowed small retailers a chance to order, to which they haven't delivered any product to date--EE and others are still awaiting confirmation of their shipment for June delivery.

All in all, I believe that Lego was looking and targeting small mom-pop stores for appetite of these figures to start enticing the card trading/collectors into Lego--not stoke the wild fires of lego fandom. They misjudged that since it was priced too low to ignore and build a unique set of minifigures.

I don't believe that they'll make the same mistake in Series 2. They may or may not decide to go back and reissue Series 1. As we all know, Lego does things their own way, but my wild guess is that they'll let series 1 go and reissue in a few years if the series has legs and call it Series 1-A with some variation of the figures. ?color scheme perhaps....like a different cheerleader squad!

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By in United States,

Cheaters.... :)

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By in United States,

this is going to help a lot! Thanks Huw for showing us!

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By in Poland,

I can see SOLD OUT at shop.lego.com. They at LEGO need a psychiatrist. Immediately!

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By in United States,

The small family-owned toy shop in my neighborhood has had 2-3 boxes for the last couple weeks. TRU and LEGO stores are not your only choices.

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By in United States,

Not happy! So is all I want to know, will they be sold @ Target or Walmart? The nearest Lego store is 10 hours away and then my TRU is only 2 hours away. They were sold out when I was there last week. Will I ever see them, or is it off to Bricklink?

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By in United States,

I have a question for our European members, how plentiful is this first series of Minis? Are they still hard to find in stores or can you pretty much find an open box of em at any given retail outlet? (Which would be expected to carry this product) I'm trying to figure out if this is a really rare item or if the current scarcity of the minis in the US is just distribution latency (whether intentional or not).

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By in Germany,

I was placing an order on S@H and decided to order the CM as well, just to see what I'd get. Bummer! I got 3 Cowboys and 2 Forestmen. And I got them out of the box in that order, weird

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By in Netherlands,

I just wanted to say: Thank you very much for putting the trouble in making a nice list. :) I've got an army of Robots, Spacemen, Ninjas and Clowns now. ;)

When checking the barcodes, I noticed that the 'random' thing is very badly done.

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