Guidelines: Item Types

Items in the catalog are categorized into one of six main item types and then further classified by category. Definitions for item types are listed below and category definitions can be found on the Guidelines: Item Categories page.


Item Type Definitions:
These are the basic definitions of item types and more detailed information for each type is included lower on this page.
  • Sets - Parts packaged together which can be combined to build a model or models. Some sets do not include instructions for building any specific model.
  • Parts - Individual elements and selected assemblies of those elements which are typically used during the process of building models.
  • Figures - A single part or part assembly that represents a living or mechanical entity.
  • Books - Printed bound works consisting of multiple pages. Single-page items are not usually considered books, but there are some exceptions.
  • Gear - Accessories intended for use by humans such as key chains, watches, clothing, video games, etc.
  • Catalogs - Printed works depicting items for sale at or around the time of printing.
Additional Item Types:

  • Instructions - Printed directions for using parts from sets to build a model or models. Instructions entries are automatically generated for the Sets item type and cannot be directly added to the catalog. Some exceptions are made for instructions, but these exceptions are added to the Books section.
  • Original Box - The cardboard box, plastic bucket, polybag, or other similar packaging which contained the items in a set. Original box entries are automatically generated for the Sets item type and cannot be directly added to the catalog. Some exceptions are made for original boxes, but these exceptions are added to the Gear section.
  • Unsorted/Custom Lots - The ability to list custom lots may be used for items which would not be included as official entries in the catalog (a container of unsorted parts, for example).


Additional Information About Sets:
  • Categorizing Items As Sets - Sets are categorized as such when they include a collection of building parts, but certain items which include parts or even a model may be categorized as gear. If an item includes a mixture of parts and gear, then the general rule is to categorize by whichever item type is represented in a greater quantity. The distinction between sets and gear is open to interpretation and we are always willing to reconsider categorizations.

    Sets which contain parts which would not be added to the catalog, such as certain fast food toys, are categorized as gear. Items which contain no actual building parts should never be categorized as sets.


Additional Information About Parts:
  • Categorizing Items As Parts - Parts are typically individual elements used for building models, whether a specified model as shown in the instructions or models left to the imagination of the builder. Some exceptions have been made for items like brick separators and HO scale vehicles which are not technically parts because they are not used in the building process. Informational booklets or papers should not be categorized as parts.


Additional Information About Figures:
  • Categorizing Items As Figures - Parts and part assemblies are categorized as figures when they directly represent a human or humanoid shape, a licensed character, a robot, an alien, or a statue. Animals, even those with names, are not generally categorized as figures. Parts or part assemblies that depict photographs, holograms, video screens, or other similar items are not categorized as figures. The definition of figures is open to interpretation and we are always willing to reconsider categorizations.


Additional Information About Books:
  • Categorizing Items As Books - The Books item type includes books, magazines, newspapers, brochures, leaflets, guides, and other printed materials. If an item is more than a single sheet of paper, then it is typically categorized as a book. Supplementary or bonus instruction manuals which are not automatically linked to sets are also categorized as books. Major exceptions for books are educational items: single-page activity cards and other similar items are considered books for the purpose of keeping all these items in the same place.


Additional Information About Gear:
  • Categorizing Items As Gear - The Gear item type is intended for human accessories. However, it is also used for any items added to the catalog which does not fit naturally into other categories. Some storage items like plastic buckets which are automatically added to sets as the Original Box item type might also have catalog entries as gear.


Additional Information About Catalogs:
  • Categorizing Items As Catalogs - Items categorized as the Catalogs item type are single pieces of paper, leaflets, bound items resembling books, or other similar items which depict a range of products for sale. However, it is not uncommon for set instructions to include features similar to catalogs and these should not be added separately as catalogs.