Inventory Sections: Regular, Extra, Counterpart, and Alternate

There may be up to four different sections in a BrickLink inventory. Each one of these sections has a special purpose.


Definitions
Although the following definitions refer only to sets in their text, the definitions apply to everything in the BrickLink catalog which can be inventoried.

  • Regular Items - Parts required to build the main model and any secondary models plus any other parts on the official parts list. In the absence of an official parts list, the official parts count, the instructions, and/or images on the packaging are used to determine as closely as possible the contents of this section. Refer to Additional Information About Regular Items for further details.

  • Extra Items - Parts included in a new set that do not meet the definitions of the other sections. These are typically small parts such as 1 x 1 plates or tiles. Refer to Additional Information About Extra Items for further details.

  • Counterparts - Parts which are either assembled from or permanently changed from parts in the Regular Items section during the process of building a set according to the instructions. Examples include parts with stickers applied and cut pneumatic hoses. In the absence of instructions, exceptions may be made. Refer to Additional Information About Counterparts for further details.

  • Alternate Items - Parts from the Regular Items section that differ from one production run of a set to another. These are typically mold variations of parts. A match ID number is entered alongside the part or group of parts in the Regular Items section and the part or group of parts in this section to identify that they are matched with each other. The match ID number in each inventory starts at one and is incremented by one for each match. Refer to Additional Information About Alternate Items for further details.


Additional Information About Regular Items
  • Sticker Sheets - Complete sticker sheets are always included in this section.

  • Parts on Sprues - Complete sprues are included in this section unless some parts from the sprue are used in minifigures. In that case, the parts from the sprue that are not used in minifigures are included in this section.

  • Parts in Multipacks - Complete multipacks are included in this section unless some parts from the multipack are used in minifigures. In that case, the parts from the multipack that are not used in minifigures are included in this section.

  • Part Assemblies - Complete part assemblies are included in this section when they come preassembled as a norm in a new set and not just for display purposes.

  • Sets within Sets - When a new set contains other sets within it, the constituent sets are always included in this section instead of all of the parts contained within those sets.

  • Books and Gear as Regular Items - Books and gear are always included in this section when they come in a new set.

  • Catalogs as Regular Items - Catalogs currently cannot be included in this section due to a lack of site functionality.


Additional Information About Extra Items
  • Adding Extra Items - Extra parts are only added to this section when they have been confirmed in a new set. Exceptions may be made for older sets based on convincing evidence.

  • Removing or Changing Extra Items - Extra parts can vary depending on when and where a set was manufactured, meaning that some new sets may include them and others may not. The quantity of these extra parts can also vary. Extra parts are typically not removed or reduced in quantity unless it can be determined that they were originally added or increased in error.

  • Extras of Alternate Items - Extra parts for parts in the Alternate Items section are given additional entries in the Alternate Items section with new match ID numbers. These additional entries match, when applicable, to parts in this section.


Additional Information About Counterparts
  • Adding Stickered Parts - Stickered parts must be added to the BrickLink catalog before they can be added to this section. To add a stickered part to the BrickLink catalog, first submit the stickered part for approval here and then upload an image of the stickered part here. The uploaded image must show the stickers applied to the part exactly as shown in the instructions. After the stickered part has been approved to the BrickLink catalog, submit an Inventory Change Request to add the new part to this section.


Additional Information About Alternate Items
  • Adding Alternate Items - Alternate parts are only added to this section when they have been confirmed in a new set. Exceptions may be made for older sets based on convincing evidence.

  • Regular/Alternate Placement - Part variants confirmed in the earliest version of a set should be placed in the Regular Items section and later variants should be placed in the Alternate Items section. There are a number of exceptions to this rule, however, so check with an Inventories Administrator for clarification if you're not sure where to place a particular variant. Some of the exceptions are:

    1. The International versions of sticker sheets are placed in the Regular Items section.
    2. When the scarcity of the earliest variant is high enough that it is unlikely to be found in a sealed set, then it may be placed in the Alternate Items section.
    3. Part variants in sets close to the time of transition between variants and outliers may be handled differently than stated above.

  • Double Alternates - In most cases each alternate match pairs up only two parts, but there are cases where a part may have two possible variants. In these special cases both variants in the Alternate Items section are given the same match ID and paired with the part in the Regular Items section, for a total of 3 lots connected by a single match number. Strictly speaking, this would mean the set could have either the regular variant or both the alternate variants together. However, BrickLink convention interprets this configuration to mean that the regular part could be replaced by either variant, but not both at once. As an example, see part 4085b/c/d in the Green Grocer inventory (10185-1).

  • Alternates in Minifigures - Alternate parts cannot be added to minifigure inventories due to a lack of site functionality. Therefore, if alternate parts for a minifigure are present in a set, they are given additional entries in this section of the set inventory with new match ID numbers. These additional entries will not have corresponding matches in the Regular Items section of the set inventory.

  • Redesigned Sets - Sometimes a set is redesigned during production. To be considered a redesign the changes to the set must be reflected in the instructions and involve a change in quantity or color for at least one part in the Regular Items section. If the redesign is significant, the set is given two entries in the BrickLink catalog. However, if the redesign involves only a few parts in the Regular Items section, the changes are indicated in that section and this one with match ID number 99. The earliest version of a set is always included in the Regular Items section.