Information: Frequently Asked Questions (proposed)

If the answer you're seeking isn't listed here, then contact a Catalog Administrator about possibly adding it.

Catalog: What is the BrickLink Reference Catalog and how do I find the latest catalog news?
The BrickLink Catalog is a reference guide of a vast array of well-known and obscure LEGO products spanning over half a century. The catalog is structured with catalog entries which can be used to list items for sale and populate wanted lists.

Learn about Buying.
Learn about the Wanted List.
Learn about selling on the Store page.

To see what's new with the catalog visit the main catalog page and look for the What's New section. Or from here you may:

Catalog: What are additional notes?
The additional note field is a place where further information about items may be included. They are located directly below the item information field and the image on the catalog entries which include them. These notes are used for a wide variety of reasons and can provide detailed information too lengthy for item titles. To emphasize their importance, these notes are used sparingly. Additional notes may be requested in the discussion forum using the Catalog Requests topic.

For an example of an item with an additional note, see this part.

Catalog: What are alternate item numbers?
Alternate item numbers are added to a separate field linked to items and are numbers used for increased search functionality. For example, BrickLink uses a specific numbering system for books, but nearly all books also have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number). Our number is used as the primary item number for a book and the ISBN is added as an alternate item number. This allows the book to be found by searching for the ISBN. A book may also have an identifying number assigned by the LEGO Group and this number can be added as an alternate item number in addition to the ISBN.

Multiple alternate item numbers are separated by a comma and a space and are listed in ascending numerical order. For an example of an item with alternate item numbers, see this item.

Catalog: What are co-brands?
Co-branded items are items which have another brand name, logo or trade dress on the box, in the set contents or in the set name. Co-brands may also be added for licensed partners of the LEGO Group. A co-brand category is created for each brand.

All item types can be tagged as co-branded except parts. Under parts, only items in the Brick, Promotional and Duplo, Brick Promotional categories can be tagged as co-branded. If the item box, set contents, or set name do not show another brand, then the item is generally not considered co-branded even if it was only available for sale at a specific location. This includes wholesale exclusives available only at a specific retail chain.

Licensed product lines such as Star Wars or Indiana Jones which already have their own category are not tagged as co-branded. There may be exceptions to this if there is a licensed line and the brand also appears in other sets which are not part of that line (Ferrari, for example). In such cases a co-brand category is created and all sets containing parts with that brand are tagged.

You may view the complete list of co-brands and licensed lines by visiting the Co-Branded Items page.

Catalog: What are duplicate catalog entries?
Duplicates are two catalog entries for exactly the same item. Two catalog entries should not exist for the same item and if duplicate entries are discovered, then they are merged together. If you discover a duplicate entry, then report it using the Catalog Requests topic in the discussion forum.

Catalog: What are years for items and how do they function?
Sets, Books, Gear and Catalogs item types in the reference catalog contain information for which year they were released. Original boxes and set instructions inherit their year of release from sets.

Parts and Figures item types inherit a timeline depending on which items they appeared in and this timeline is updated once a day. Since some sets may not yet be inventoried, the dates for parts and minifigures may not include all years of appearance.

Catalog: What do certain terms used in the catalog mean?
What follows is a glossary of words, acronyms, and other terms used within and when referring to the BrickLink catalog:

  • BURP or LURP - Refers to Big Ugly Rock Piece or Little Ugly Rock Piece.
  • CA or IA - Refers to Catalog or Inventory Administrator.
  • Catalog Entry - Refers to a distinct page on which details of an item are stored which may be used for buying or selling that item.
  • Design - Refers to a printed, stickered, or molded decoration or pattern. Also refers to combined design methods (molded and printed, for example).
  • HP - Refers to Harry Potter.
  • Item Number (Parts) - Refers to a BrickLink term for the TLG term Design ID. Parts might not have a molded Design ID.
  • Marked for Deletion - Refers to an item that could not be immediately removed from the catalog, but which will be removed at some point.
  • Merge - Refers to a process whereby catalog administrators can combine two catalog entries into one catalog entry.
  • Mold - Refers to the large metal box with hollow spaces in its interior into which liquid plastic is poured to form a LEGO part or other item.
  • Molded Design - Refers to an item with a decoration or pattern which occurs as the result of a molding process.
  • PCC (Part and Color Combination Code) - A BrickLink term referring to the TLG term Element ID.
  • Plain - Refers to an item with no pattern.
  • Printed Design - Refers to a plain item with a decoration or pattern directly applied at the factory, usually with ink.
  • Stickered Design - Refers to a plain item with a decoration or pattern applied with a sticker.
  • Style - Refers to a certain similarity between items. Town, castle, and space are styles of sets. This word has some overlap in usage with the word theme.
  • SW - Refers to Star Wars.
  • Theme - Refers to a name on the packaging, typically stylized as a logo. The stylized word CITY on town sets since 2004 is a theme.
  • TLG - The LEGO Group.
  • TRU - Refers to Toys R Us.
  • UCS - Refers to Ultimate Collector Series.
  • Undetermined - Refers to catalog entries which do not distinguish between mulitple versions of an item.

Catalog: What is a PCC?
A PCC (Part and Color Combination Code) is a six or seven digit code used by the LEGO Group to identify parts in a specific color. PCCs can be found in the parts list in set instructions for sets since around 2007. This code is unique for a part and color combination and should not be confused with an item number, which is a unique number of the mold.

The same part in the same color can have several PCCs. These codes can be viewed on any catalog entry for parts by clicking the Color Images link to the left of the image. PCCs can also be found by performing a search by PCC number.

To add or change a PCC use the Change Item form. Multiple codes for the same part and color combination can be entered by selecting a different sequential number. If a code already exists under that sequential number, then the addition will overwrite the existing code. To delete a code, leave the code field blank and select the color and sequential number of the code to be deleted.

Catalog: What languages are supported for items?
Books and catalogs in the reference catalog are tagged with the language in which they are written and each book or catalog can have multiple languages. Some gear can also be tagged with a language, but should only be those that have writing or a sound recording in a language other than English.

A language is defined in the system if there are any LEGO items with words or sounds in that language. The following are all languages and their codes currently defined in the system:

  • Afrikaans (Afrikaans) - AF
  • Arabic (العربية) - AR
  • Bulgarian (български) - BG
  • Chinese (中文) - ZH
  • Croatian (Hrvatski) - HR
  • Czech (Čeština) - CS
  • Danish (Dansk) - DA
  • Dutch (Nederlands) - NL
  • English (English) - EN
  • Estonian (Eesti) - ET
  • Finnish (Suomi) - FI
  • French (Français) - FR
  • German (Deutsch) - DE
  • Greek (ελληνικά) - EL
  • Hebrew (עִבְרִית) - HE
  • Hungarian (Magyar) - HU
  • Italian (Italiano) - IT
  • Japanese (日本語) - JA
  • Korean (한국어) - KO
  • Latvian (Latvijas) - LV
  • Lithuanian (Lietuvos) - LT
  • Malay (Bahasa Melayu) - MS
  • Norwegian (Norsk) - NO
  • Polish (Polski) - PL
  • Portuguese (Português) - PT
  • Romanian (Română) - RO
  • Russian (Русский) - RU
  • Serbian (Srpski) - SR
  • Slovak (Slovenčina) - SK
  • Slovene (Slovenščina) - SL
  • Spanish (Español) - ES
  • Swedish (Svenska) - SV
  • Thai (ภาษาไทย) - TH
  • Turkish (Türkçe) - TR
  • Ukrainian (Український) - UK

Catalog: Why are there two catalog entries for the same set?
Some sets are changed during production and sometimes they are changed several times in different ways. This means that you can buy the same set and receive different parts and different instructions depending on when and where it was manufactured. For sets with minor variations the set inventory is adjusted to indicate those variations. For sets with major variations a new set entry is created with a different sequential number (1000-1 and 1000-2, for example).

There are no defined rules on when a set is split into two entries, but the general rule is when an inventory reflecting the differences would be considered too complex or confusing. Sequential numbers for sets are also used to identify other differences between sets such as region, additional items included with one set and not with another, and instances where the LEGO Group uses the same set number for different sets.

Catalog: Why doesn't BrickLink compensate contributors?
We'd love to be able to reimburse the time and effort of everyone who has contributed to and who continues to contribute to the building and maintenance of the reference catalog. We're not quite big enough to be able to do this at the moment, but we are working toward it.

We do deeply value your contributions and we keep a public record of them. The Catalog Credits page lists all members who have contributed approved items or changes to the catalog. Click any username to see a list of items or changes that person has contributed for that category of contributions. Contributions are also recognized at the bottom of every catalog entry.

Catalog Item Contributions: Where may I see or delete my pending contributions?
You can find these on your My Activity Overview page. They are under the Non-Commercial Contributions heading and to see them click the Pending button there or simply click Pending right here.

To learn how to modify pending contributions, see the last entry on the Add Catalog Item or Image page.

Catalog Item Contributions: Why am I getting an error message saying the item already exists?
Someone has already submitted an item using the same number and it is pending approval. If you used an actual item number, then do not modify it to be able to add your item. If the item is a set, then check your submission information and the catalog to see if you have selected the next available BrickLink suffix number. The LEGO Group has produced different sets using the same number, so you may need to select a higher suffix (-2 instead of -1, for example).

Catalog Item Contributions: Why are there comments in a pending item title?
During the approval process we may add notes or questions about your submission directly to the item entry. These are communications between administrators about your submission. You are welcome to respond directly to the notes or questions yourself through the title or by contacting a Catalog Administrator. The author of a remark will typically use the initials of their real name or username at the end of the remark.

Catalog Item Contributions: Why do catalog approvals take so long?
When an item is submitted to the catalog we must:

  • Determine exactly what it is and verify its existence.
  • Verify that is has been officially released or that release is imminent.
  • Determine the accuracy of the title and modify if necessary.
  • Make sure it has the appropriate BrickLink item number.
  • Make sure it is in the proper category or categories.
  • Check that it isn't already in the catalog.
  • Verify that the image matches the item.

We try to move through this process quickly, but it sometimes results in extended discussion among administrators. Our turnaround time for decisions on submissions will never exceed three months.

Image Contributions: Are there onsite tools for image processing?
Yes, we have tools for image processing. Once you have chosen an image to upload and it is initially accepted by the system, then you have the option to perform some basic editing operations. Click the Edit button on the lower left corner of the image to use our editing features. Available operations include crop, rotate, sharpen, brightness, and contrast. Click the Save button once you have finished editing the image and then complete the upload process.

Image Contributions: Was my image resized when it was approved?
Your image may have been cropped, but it was likely not resized. For images approaching the upper size restrictions the BrickLink system automatically creates a display version somewhat smaller than the original to help with issues of uniformity. To view your image at original size select the image on the catalog detail page and click again to magnify the image.

Image Contributions: Where did my uploaded image go?
Check the Newest Images Log to see if it was approved. You can filter and sort the log to help search for your image.

If it was approved as an additional image, then it will show up in the scrolling panel on the left side of the catalog detail page image viewer for that item. If you can’t find it in either of those two places, then the image may have been lost. Contact a Catalog Administrator to see what went wrong.

Image Contributions: Why am I getting an error message about the file type or size?
The BrickLink system does not convert file types, nor does it provide a means to resize images to conform to the site's upload requirements. If you are having trouble uploading your image, then there are free downloads available on other sites such as Irfanview which are excellent tools for resizing and file conversion.