What's the most numerous piece in any one set?

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I'm currently building 21046 Empire State Building (look out for my review soon) and was astonished by the number of tan 1x2 grille tiles it contains: 684 of them in fact.

That got me thinking, is that a record for the quantity of a single piece that appears in a set? It's actually not that easy to find out...

The reason it's not so easy to determine is that the inventories that LEGO publish max out at 200 of any one piece for some reason, so our inventory data, which we obtain from there, won't help.

I therefore headed to BrickLink to do some research there. The community-generated inventories there tend to be more accurate but I don't think there's a way to find out what I'm looking for without having some idea of likely candidates and manually checking.

I recall that 10214 Tower Bridge contained hundreds of tan 1x1 cheese slopes, but how many? 556, it turns out, so that doesn't beat 684.

Large Technic sets often contains hundreds of pins, particularly the black 2l friction pin, so there's another place to check. It's easy to see which sets contain the most by sorting the list at BrickLink and it turns out that 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator, the second largest Technic set to date, contains 724 of them, which might therefore be the record.

Unless, that is, you know better? Can you think of any other sets that contain hundreds of the same piece? More that 724? Let us know in the comments.

69 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I can't think of any...
But geez, almost 700 of one piece? that's painful.

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By in United States,

It's not the record-holder by far, but I wanted to call out the 1x1 trans blue round plate from Ship In a Bottle (21313), just for that hilarious page in the instructions where it basically says "eh, just dump 284 of these suckers in there." :D

That at least has to hold the record for "most parts used in a single step of the build," right?

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By in Belgium,

40179 has more identical pieces. 900...

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By in United States,

@BrickSantorium I know, right? That page was hilarious. Also, as I was building it, my dad asked "What happen if you accidentally put an extra one in there?" Uh oh... :)

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By in United States,

I think Robie House had a piece with close to 800 of them. So, excluding mosaics, that's likely way toward the top...

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By in United Kingdom,

I doubled the amount of trans-blue in the Ship-in-a-bottle using BrickLink - 284 looked meagre. An extra 400 did no damage to the structural integrity of the model.

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By in Germany,

At least 3450 Statue of Liberty comes close with 504 Brick 2x2 Corner

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By in Ireland,

Err.... Huw, can't you find this with a simple sql query?
Maybe ask you bot alter ego ;-)

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By in United States,

Robie House and the 1x2 dark red plates is the example I think of. Eiffel Tower and Taj Mahal have a few in the 300s but not more.

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By in Belgium,

^^ Huw has no access to the Bricklink database, and the Brickset database is not usable as detailed in the article...

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By in United States,

^ Besides his bot alter ego would probably just return Clickits.

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By in United States,

How about what's the largest piece found in vast quantities in any set? I know that's much more subjective but I wonder if they've ever gotten into the hundreds on a more substantial brick.

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By in United States,

Blue studs from Ship in a bottle, 1x2 blue tiles from Ninjago City, and this one piece in the 2018 Roller Coaster set

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By in Canada,

530 white 2x2 round bricks in the roller coaster set

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By in United Kingdom,

The Taj Mahal has over 200 of five different pieces. The most numerous is 388 1x1 trans clear plates which surprised me.

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By in Canada,

If Lego's database would allow for quantities greater than 200 this would be easy to see. Would be interesting to know why they the database can't handle number >200.

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By in United Kingdom,

@luckyruss, good call: 21010 Robie House has 771 dark red 1x2 plates.

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By in United States,

It's definitely The Dino Mosaic. It has 1170 white 1x1 plates.

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By in Canada,

@Shaase The maximum they will allow you to order at one time of a single part is 200 so that may be why.

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By in United Kingdom,

I guess the top answers here will have overlap with my question but:

‘Which set contains the highest proportion of a single piece?’

(excluding minifigure polybags, because otherwise ‘sets’ like TC-4 would have 33% each piece!)

This changes the game a little, as 21046 Empire State Building would now be on 38.7% (tan 1x2 grille tiles), but 42055 Bucket Wheel Excavator is now only on 18.4%...

I feel as though this is even trickier to study, but gives a bit more insight into some of the ‘least varied’ sets in terms of repetitive pieces!

***UPDATE***
The highest one that immediately comes to mind is the 21008 Lego Burj Khalifa set from 2011... The set is only 208 pieces but contains a whopping 112 of 1x1 light-bluish grey round bricks, meaning that they comprise 53.8% of the part count- What a horrifically dull build!

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By in United States,

I love stats like this...very cool. Made me wonder what the largest example would be in a set I built. The treads on the UCS Sandcrawler came to mind, which comes in at 304. That's just off the top of my head, but possible the answer for me.

It'd be easy enough to just start checking my largest sets on Bricklink to see if there were any larger piece counts.

Fun to think about.

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By in Belgium,

Interesting thought and discussion!

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By in United States,

@Johnny _Thunder97

Another architecture set that jumps to mind is 21008: Burj Khalifa

It has 112/208 (`53.8%) of Light Bluish Gray Brick, Round 1 x 1

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By in United Kingdom,

Fascinating topic! I wonder what an 'outsider' would make of this analysis & conversation...

A different perspective on it could be how the number of a single element is 'perceived'. Whilst building 42055 BWE it didn't feel like there were hundreds & hundreds of the same part because they were spread out through the build, but I can imagine it would be a different story when placing hundreds of 1x1 tiles or cheese slopes in a row and having to get them all to be square to each other (10214 Tower Bridge, I'm looking at you; even in official images the cheese slopes aren't lined up!)

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By in United Kingdom,

@sbpyrat

I updated my comment at almost the exact same time as you posted that...
Great minds think alike eh!- and surely, surely there can't be many others that top 50%!

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By in United States,

@Johnny _Thunder97 Yeah, great minds haha

I just remember when that set came out and just seeing it all as basically the same piece. I've never built it, I almost would have guessed it was even a higher percentage just at a glance of the picture.

Probably not many will top 50%...At least sets with a significant number of pieces.

I wonder if anyone else can think of others that top it or are close.

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By in United States,

I was unaware of these mosaic sets.

I’m intrigued, are these designed for use in interventions for people with a serious LEGO addiction? Because I can’t conceive of a build more likely to put me off every touching another piece of LEGO for the rest of my life.

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By in Latvia,

Interesting trivia. Can you do more of these interesting articles?

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ Originally https://brickset.com/sets/3443-1/LEGO-Mosaic was released in y2000 along with a website that allowed you to upload an image that would be turned into instructions and shipped with enough bags of the appropriate coloured 1x1s to build it.

A few years later sets like the dino one linked to above were released which were much the same but with a pre-designed image.

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By in Denmark,

k34432-1: Mosaic Dino is owned by only 3 Brickset members - WOW!

Most tedious set ever?

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By in United States,

While it may not be the overall winner for most of a single part, The Taj Mahal definitely gets the award for greatest number of different pieces with a count of at least a hundred of each. (With six of them being greater than two-hundred)
~102 Tan Brick 1 x 2
~104 Tan Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Light - Thick Ring
~100 Tan Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Door Rail
~172 Tan Plate, Round 1 x 1 Straight Side
~388 Trans-Clear Plate 1 x 1
~216 White Brick 1 x 1
~156 White Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Headlight
~240 White Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with Grille (Flutes)
~276 White Brick, Round 1 x 1 Open Stud
~108 White Panel 1 x 1 x 1 Corner
~236 White Plate 1 x 1
~174 White Plate 1 x 2
~208 White Turntable 2 x 2 Plate, Base
Making this quite possibly the most repetitive (or tedious) LEGO set ever produced.

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By in United States,

What about the inverse? What's the least amount of parts used in a set?

If we exclude brick separators and standard extra parts, I would like to make mention of the 4 green 2x2 plates that are used to create the dish in #10143-1 Death Star II, and then removed to no longer be part of the final model, and to be honest, they're not even that necessary in the building process. I count that as -4 parts.

There's also an instance in another set that I can't remember, but a sting with the studs on the ends is listed in the inventory for a set in the instructions, but the part is not included in the set, and is absent from BrickLink inventories. Do we assign the imaginary number designation to that, so it's actually i or -i parts?

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By in United States,

MetalBeards Sea Cow and the Silent Mary have loads of pearl gold studs

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By in United States,

I know Ninjago City and Ninjago City Docks both contain about 400-500 trans blue 1x2 plates, but I don’t know of any other sets, at least I my collection, that contain a ridiculous amount of one piece.

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By in United States,

@clb204 when I was was first thinking about my personal experience, the pearl gold studs in Silent Mary came to mind..."only" 124 I think it said. The interesting part is that it was in the pearl gold transitional phase, so that same set came with a mix of old pearl gold and new pearl gold.

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By in United States,

@KentuckyKat I checked NCD when I first read this, "only" 301. Just checked NC and it's "only" 219.

This is such a fun topic for me. Glad to know there are others out there that can be interested in stuff like this.

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By in Poland,

21010 Robie House - contains 771 bricks numered 4539097

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By in Australia,

I was vaguely considering trying to build the Empire State Building from my collection but if its got that many grille tiles, I may as well not bother trying and just save up to buy the thing :)

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By in United States,

@Glacier Phoenix:
The most they _try_ to allow you to buy is 200. I once needed to order ~1000 2x2 black tiles (or was it 2000?), and found that while I couldn't type any number higher than 200, I could +1 the total as high as I wanted. And after placing the order, and complaining to my LUG's e-mail list, someone else informed me that this creates a "bag" in your shopping cart, which you can then order in larger quantities.

@Johnny _Thunder97:
You need to exclude more stuff than just polybag minifigs, or I'm going to list every single-packed baseplate, every Mindstorms accessory, the various brick separators...

@Phathead:
Congratulations, you've stumbled upon the secret to how it managed to beat the first UCS MF by ~1000pcs while costing $200 less.

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By in Romania,

Thank you for this statistics ! I believe almost all was already said.
So now, because we Brickset members are also passionate for creating our own ideas, how about:

What was the highest number of the same part, in our MOCS???

Please everybody write only about their own, and not about creations found elsewhere.

We sometimes criticize LEGO in terms of "repetitive building", but when we need a big number of the same part for our MOC, the satisfaction is high if we managed to obtaining those parts.

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By in United States,

Cheese slopes? For some reason, I personaly don't have that many; especially in colors such as clear, since I prefer to use them for vehicle lighting. And as for black Technic pins, I have tons. So much, to the point I find them in places Lego should not be around the house. I think I even somehow found one in my toolbox once.

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By in United States,

This prompts the question, “which set has the highest number of unique parts compared to total parts?” Or in other words, which set has the fewest repeating parts?

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By in United States,

For my Stranger things the Christmas lights scene, I used about 400 gems of various colors, mainly red, and about 400 1x1 studs with holes, for the lights.

I think I went overboard :)

Also no I do not use the correct names for bricks, I'm not that much of a nerd.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is an interesting discussion - it would be good to know the top 5-10 sets with the most individual different colours in the elements. And perhaps the sets with the highest colour:piece ratio but that could be very difficult.

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By in United States,

If nothing else, this discussion has reignited my interest in learning SQL.

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By in United States,

@Felix Mezei:
My modular Flash trail consists of a grand total of 51' 6-3/4" of "motion blur" trail for the Flash. If my count is correct, it contains 13596 pieces and 24 Flash minifigs, with 6609 trans-red 1x2 plates. I think it's safe to say that's my record, as I think those trans-red 1x2 plates outnumber the total piece count of anything else I've ever built.

For smaller stuff, it's not a very big number, but the one that really caught my attention was realizing that, in its original configuration, one of my minifig-scale cars (6-wide 2-seater sports car w/ racing stripes) used 42 cheese wedges. When double-cheeses finally became available, I ended up swapping out 10 singles for five doubles because it looks better, but it was cool while it lasted...

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By in United States,

Tower Bridge 10214 has 568 1x1 tan cheese slopes if anyone is interested.... about 500 too many

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By in United States,

Quiz Time ....

What is the set with the most pieces where the piece with the highest quantity is less than 100 (answer below)?

What is the set with the most pieces where the piece with the highest quantity is less than 50 (answer below)?

For less than 100, I believe that it is Assembly Square (10255) with 84 light bluish gray jumpers (it is the 15th largest set)

For less than 50, I believe that it is Fairground Mixer (10244) with 43 black technic pins (it is the 112th largest set)

Check out the set numbers ..... 10255 and 10244!

note: {Downtown Diner 10260 (50th largest set) has exactly 50 tan 1x1 tiles - not counting extras}

For less than 75, I believe that it is Welcome to Apocalypsebury! (70840) with 66 black technic pins (it is the 27th largest set)

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By in United Kingdom,

@Phathead I have to say I am lucky (in one respect) to have two large sets mentioned here, Tower Bridge and the 2nd edition of Taj Mahal but I think they were both rather boring, if not frustrating, I suppose its not Lego's fault. Tower is obviously two identical towers so repetitive but the issue for me was that whoever designed the bags was on something as at one point I had to open 4 identical bags to find the 4 pieces i needed (one in each bag) for one section. This continued. As its >4000 pieces I ended up having a large box with partially opened bags in so i didnt have to get 4000 pieces out (I dont build in one session it can take me 3 weeks to build a large set) And Taj was again by design 4 very similar sides to a building so days were spent building the same as yesterday.... at least the bags were ok, be interesting to know if that improved over the first release.

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By in United States,

The Robie House 21010, has 771 Dark Red 1 x 2 plates.

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By in Finland,

Another tricky question: In what set there are most pieces added in single step (with/without substeps)?
In general, you can pretty much ignore the newer sets, because LEGO has significantly reduced the pps (pieces per step) over the years.
The aforementioned Ship in the bottle may be the winner, but there's a reason for it. What motivated me to throw this question was 8865 Test Car - its motor is built in one step (albeit divided into multiple substeps) and the pieces-you-need info box has way over 100 pieces (can't remember the exact number) listed! That's pretty sick considering the set has 900 pieces in total!
The level of difficulty of instructions is an interesting topic. One could find very interesting scientific and socio-cultural aspects. Take a look at the old Hobby Set U.S.S. Constellation, for example. Would your child manage to build it, with its instructions? Of course, as the name suggests, they were not meant to be a typical bowl of cereals. UCS sets of the seventies? Or was it just so darn difficult to draw instructions they tried to make them as short as possible?

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By in United States,

aquarian, set 8865's step 18 necessitates 146 total pcs.

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By in United States,

I was hoping all 4 sets of treads of the UCS Sandcrawler were one step, but it's two separate steps each with 152 pieces.

I guess ship in a bottle retains that title for now.

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By in United States,

@aquarian You’re probably right about the Ship in a Bottle, but this question reminds me of the first few steps of the modulars where dozens of tiles and plates are placed in the first few confusing steps.

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By in United States,

What's the highest number of any one piece you've received as extras? For me it was in the first UCS MF, #10179. I had an entire bag that was nothing but left and right 2x4 light-bley wedge plates, and I only had to open the bag to get the last pair I needed to complete the model. All told, I had something like 23 extra pairs of the things. My guess was that they realized the 1st Edition was going to be short, and overcompensated to make sure nobody was going to complain that their pre-ordered $500 set was incomplete.

@Lego34s:
They may have used the sortation method that I believe was developed for 10179. Rather than numbered bags that would have made the build go _SO_ much easier, they did repeated bags that made the sortation on their end more efficient. They figured out how many times they could divide every quantity of parts, and just repeated the same bag multiple times to get the total needed. If an odd remainder didn't divide evenly, they had a couple bags to handle that. So out of a total of something like 80 bags, I believe the most repeated had nine copies, then either five or seven, and there were several that had 2-4 copies. I only found two bags that had any quantity of remainder parts, if you don't count the giant overage of 2x4 wedge plates (that had enough for the entire model, and no other parts). I spent about 18-3/4 hours building that model, with about 12-15 hours on the first day (ending with a throbbing headache from the fumes coming off the instruction tome), and wrapped up the last bit the next morning. If the bags had been numbered, I probably could have finished it in one day because I wouldn't have had to spend so much time hunting through the field of bags to find specific pieces.

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By in Norway,

I tried counting the number of grilles in the ESB when seeing the first pics, and got to 680. That's just 4 off, anyone who got closer?

Yes, the Robie House was the first model that came to my mind too, not only does it have the already mentioned 771 dark red 1x2 plates, it also has 268 dark red and 245 transparent 1x1 plates and 235 grey 1x1 tiles - that means 1519 (2/3) of the set's 2276 parts are those four types alone.

When it comes to number of parts in a single step you have step 25 of the Grand Emporium (the four ground floor pillars) with no less than 204 parts in six sub-steps.

I also think the 21042 Statue of Liberty is a worthy contender - even if it doesn't have the absolute most parts in a single step it sure must have the most steps with many parts. Flipping through the instructions I could find step 39 (upper base corners) with 132 parts, step 34 (upper base centers) with 96 parts, step 28 (middle base corners) with 80 pieces, and step 73 (statue core structure) of 60 parts. Considering these somewhat tedious steps and how easy it's to mix up the "baby bow" variants (I got three wrong on my first attempt), it's no wonder this set is labeled 16+.

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By in Switzerland,

Not counting mosaics (have those been real LEGO sets?), it's Robie House (21010), which has 771 Dark Red 1 x 2 plates as mentioned before. The count of that element seems to be wrong in the Brickset database.

Others are (based on analysis of Rebrickable database downloads), sorry for the lack of formatting ...

quantity part_num Rebrickable_Parts.name Rebrickable_Colors.name set_num Rebrickable_Sets.name
771 3023 Plate 1 x 2 Dark Red 21010-1 Robie House
724 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42055-1 Bucket Wheel Excavator
684 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42083-1 Bugatti Chiron
613 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42082-1 Rough Terrain Crane
556 54200 Slope 30° 1 x 1 x 2/3 (Cheese Slope) Tan 10214-1 Tower Bridge
530 3941 Brick Round 2 x 2 with Axle Hole White 10261-1 Roller Coaster
516 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42056-1 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
509 2357 Brick 2 x 2 Corner Sand Green 3450-1 Statue of Liberty
495 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42009-1 Mobile Crane MK II
460 3004 Brick 1 x 2 Dark Bluish Gray 10143-1 Death Star II
457 6558 Technic Pin Long with Friction Ridges Lengthwise Blue 42055-1 Bucket Wheel Excavator
451 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42043-1 Mercedes Benz Arocs 3245
432 6558 Technic Pin Long with Friction Ridges Lengthwise Blue 42083-1 Bugatti Chiron
427 2780 Technic Pin with Friction Ridges Lengthwise and Center Slots Black 42078-1 Mack Anthem
415 3001 Brick 2 x 4 Sand Green 3450-1 Statue of Liberty

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Excellent! That looks to be a definitive list if we exclude the mosaics. Thanks.

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By in United States,

@dvdweyer:
The mosaics were LEGO Direct sets, I believe. I don't remember much about them other than that they were treated as different sets. They were an offshoot of the mosaic generator, where you could feed a photo into their system and it would generate B&W instructions as well as determine how many bags of each color plate you needed to build it. The four pre-designed mosaics (Tiger, Dino, Johnny Thunder, and Cat) were a shortcut, and may have shipped in the same box as the personalized version. They did, however, have a distinct mix of bags and a unique instructions sheet. Around the time they were clearancing the mosaics, our LUG was looking into ballasting our train track. Based on the parts included in four mosaics, we ended up buying a bunch of Tigers. The Dino gave you a larger quantity of 1x1 plates, but they were mostly white. The Tiger had the second highest quantity, and it had a more even mix of colors.

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By in United States,

This is a very interesting article and comment thread! While some people might find this much repetition in a set tedious or discouraging, I think it’s often a helpful factor to think about with regard to why sets’ prices might not seem evenly proportioned to their sizes or piece counts. A set with lots of the same few elements will often be more efficient in terms of logistics (and thus, cheaper to produce or pack) than one with the same number of more varied elements.

For example, #42055-1 had considerably more pieces but a slightly lower price than #42056-1. Besides the latter’s licensing costs, premium packaging, and premium instructions, it also had a more complex inventory with less repetition — 229 unique elements (11.8 of each element on average) vs 168 elements (23.4 of each on average).

Since the LEGO Group’s manufacturing facilities have a finite amount of production lines, warehousing space, and openings in any one production line’s schedule, there’s a big logistical incentive to keep set inventories simple and efficient whenever possible by making copious use of a more limited variety of elements, thereby freeing up production lines to be used for other sets and themes.

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By in United States,

What about which pieces (and in what colors) show up most often across all sets?

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By in Canada,

Skimmed most of the conversation here, but there were a few who were close to the right number and set. Apparently there are 2 versions of the Dino Mosaic. I went to Rebrickable and "borrowed" their downloadable data for parts and inventories. I am a bit of a database fanatic and my DB of choice is MS Access.

After importing and querying the data I found this:

set_num ID inv_id part_num clr_id quantity
k34432-1 495666 14469 3024 15 1440
k34433-1 502624 14686 3024 15 1170
40179-1 581436 18438 3024 15 900

So the largest single part quantity in a set goes to the other version of the Dino Mosaic. Notice too that it has almost double the next best contender to the 2 Dino Mosaic set parts. If you look up the sets on Brickset you will find some pics too. :D

PS, Dang editor won't get the spacing right...
PS, Copy and paste it into excel or word...

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By in Switzerland,

@Purple Dave: thanks! @Aanchir: I think weight and complexity of the bricks as well as overall package play a bigger role in pricing. Then there is the cost differences due to licensing and probably some "what is the market willing to pay"

@Royweeezy: I'll look into the most common part/element question.

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By in United States,

Not the highest piece count by a long stretch, but the Maersk ship containers in 10152 are some of the most tedious I have encountered with 88 stickers being applied in 2 steps. 78 stickers are used in 10241 for the container modules, but those are spread over quite a few consecutive steps.

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By in United States,

@dvdweyer
Labor, overhead, and shipping play a much bigger role than the more vocal AFOLs are willing to give credit to. In fact, shipping costs enough that it basically wiped out any labor savings with producing parts in China to sell in the European market (still their largest combined market). And if you've seen pics of the molds they use, the overall volume of a part doesn't seem to make a big difference. So, aside from a miniscule difference in the cost of raw materials, it might cost the same to run cheese wedges as it does to run 2x4 bricks. An old photo shows that they were running 2x4 bricks on 8-up molds, but they released an image in the last year that shows them on a smaller mold, maybe a 4-up.

Set pricing is decided up front, and the models are designed to those price points. Sometimes they really push how much they can fit in, and other times they may fall well short. Sometimes the types of parts they use may reduce the maximum number of parts they can accommodate, like if they use chromed, painted, or printed parts.

SW sets do tend to be running high compared to other themes' pricing, but I would not attribute that to a "licensing fee". People have been complaining about how expensive SW sets have gotten for years before they ever started inching above the $0.10/pc ratio. But flipping through the latest US [email protected] catalog, I see several licensed themes that range well below that price point. Bigfigs obviously jack that ratio up, as does packing in a ton of minifigs, and large quantities of a few elements seems to bring it back down. International pricing often makes zero sense, with people complaining that Set A costs the same in two different markets, while Set B costs twice as much for them. That alone shows that pricing isn't fixed to any concrete cost structure, at least not in every market.

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