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Minifig Numbers


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#1 bamaker

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:00 PM

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I did a search for a similar topic but couldn't find any.  Also, I'm not sure if this would be better served in one of the general forums.  My interest is for Star Wars minifigs, so I decided to put the topic here.  If it needs to be moved, please do so (I left the topic title generic enough that it will fit in anywhere).

Anyway, for those familiar with Bricklink or with Brickset (which I believe uses some Bricklink images), I'm sure you've had a chance to view the minifig database available at each site.  My question is where do the minifig numbers used for identification come from?  Are they official numbers from LEGO, or are they unofficial numbers generated by Bricklink (or somebody else?).  If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, the numbers are similar to set numbers but for minifigures, e.g. Barris Offee is identified by its minifig number sw269.  

Also, why are some numbers skipped?  For example, there are no minifigs for sw098, sw119, sw185, sw186, sw216, sw226, and sw254?  If the numbers are official LEGO identifiers then I assume these were for minifigures that were at one time going to be produced but for whatever reason were scrapped.  If they're unofficial and created by AFOLs at Bricklink, then why skip a number?

Anyway, if anybody can help I'd appreciate it.  I've been putting all of my minifigures in a spreadsheet and my curiosity has been piqued about these identification numbers.

#2 Legorski

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:12 PM

They seem to be the official numbers, both sites have the same numbers, and the skipped numbers also indicate scrapped figures as you mentioned, but I could be wrong, I suggest contacting Huw at brickset to find out. I can try as well if you want. 8D

#3 Rufus

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:13 PM

I don't know whether these are official Lego numbers; I doubt it as I imagine Lego index them by their individual part IDs.

More likely these numbers are created by the bricklink database (eg. an autonumber function) and probably represent the order they were added.  The missing numbers probably represent deleted entries (most databases 'remember' deleted numbers to prevent indexing problems).

I'm just speculating, but I hope it helps.

R

#4 Svelte

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:20 PM

Brickset's relatively new minifig section sucks its data directly from bricklink, so I don't think there's any significance to the numbering being the same on both sites :wink:

I also don't believe they are official numbers. Catalogued and inventoried sets (including figures!) often appear on bricklink before they are officially on sale from S@H, and I don't see LEGO feeding that data to anyone pre-release. Remember, LEGO only *just* released an official colour chart after how many years of BL and peeron being in operation? :tongue:

In the BL forums there's a whole lot of discussions about inventory items etc, and you may be better exploring there to find out how exactly it works.

#5 bamaker

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:31 PM

Thanks for all of the replies, so far.  

I don't poke around too much in the BL forums, but I may do that just to see what info is there.

#6 Seijitai

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 10:55 PM

View Postbamaker, on Feb 1 2010, 11:00 PM, said:

I did a search for a similar topic but couldn't find any.  Also, I'm not sure if this would be better served in one of the general forums.  My interest is for Star Wars minifigs, so I decided to put the topic here.  If it needs to be moved, please do so (I left the topic title generic enough that it will fit in anywhere).

Anyway, for those familiar with Bricklink or with Brickset (which I believe uses some Bricklink images), I'm sure you've had a chance to view the minifig database available at each site.  My question is where do the minifig numbers used for identification come from?  Are they official numbers from LEGO, or are they unofficial numbers generated by Bricklink (or somebody else?).  If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, the numbers are similar to set numbers but for minifigures, e.g. Barris Offee is identified by its minifig number sw269.  

Also, why are some numbers skipped?  For example, there are no minifigs for sw098, sw119, sw185, sw186, sw216, sw226, and sw254?  If the numbers are official LEGO identifiers then I assume these were for minifigures that were at one time going to be produced but for whatever reason were scrapped.  If they're unofficial and created by AFOLs at Bricklink, then why skip a number?

Anyway, if anybody can help I'd appreciate it.  I've been putting all of my minifigures in a spreadsheet and my curiosity has been piqued about these identification numbers.

These are the unofficial numbers used by bricklink to inventory the new items/minifigs. Most of the parts have a number engraved somewhere on them. That number is used in bricklink database... But minifigs doesn't have any numbers.... So we simply add the new minifigs from the different themes, and the catalogue administrators verify and validate the new data. For example, check this : http://www.bricklink...tem.asp?M=sw268 . It's the new TIE Defender Pilot minifig that I added some weeks ago... I simply followed the numbers...

To the question "why is there some numbers skipped ?". It's simply because some minifigs are deleted or never released... Two examples : 1st example, the 10188 Death Star had two Death Star troopers in it. The minifig was added to bricklink catalogue as "sw208" . Then, in set 8038 Battle of Endor, that same minifig was named "Imperial trooper". So a new entry, the "sw254" was created. The minifigs were 99% the same, excepted for a tiny black circle on the belt... After a verification with TLC, it appeared that the original sw208 from 10188 Death Star was a missprinted items and that the standard minifig was supposed to have that black circle... So the two minifigs were merged and sw254 is now empty...

2nd example : people who submit new entries sometimes commit mistake... There is currently a "sw278" Ki Adi Mundi minifig pending approval. There is no TLC Ki Adi Mundi... But the item is pending approval until there is a proof of a real minifig... When we will add new minifigs, if we reach sw278, we will simply either push back the "Ki Adi" one, or name the new minifigs sw277,... sw279, sw280...

I hope that helps ! :wink:

Edited by Seijitai, 02 February 2010 - 06:02 PM.


#7 Big Cam

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 04:30 PM

Awesome answer, I was going to take a shot in the dark, but that sums it up.

Thank you!

#8 bamaker

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 07:15 PM

Yep, I do believe that is an A+ answer if I've ever seen one.   :thumbup:

Seijitai thanks for the great insight into how the numbering works.   Since you seem to know quite a bit about this subject, I have another quick question, is there any rhyme or reason why some skipped numbers are returned to for new minifigures?  The silver stormtrooper is a good example; its number is sw097, a number that had been skipped at one time.

#9 Big Cam

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 08:00 PM

View Postbamaker, on Feb 2 2010, 12:15 PM, said:

Yep, I do believe that is an A+ answer if I've ever seen one.   :thumbup:

Seijitai thanks for the great insight into how the numbering works.   Since you seem to know quite a bit about this subject, I have another quick question, is there any rhyme or reason why some skipped numbers are returned to for new minifigures?  The silver stormtrooper is a good example; its number is sw097, a number that had been skipped at one time.
That seems simple enough, why not?  The number is there, might as well use it up.



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