Ask a LEGO Fan

LEGO Set Numbers

Posted in General Questions by lfanquestions on August 27, 2009

Dave writes:

Is there any rhyme or reason to how TLG assigns numbers to sets?  For instance, 1989’s Forestmen’s River Fortress is numbered 6077 while 1993’s Dark Dragon’s Den is numbered 6076.  What gives?  Also, it seems like set numbers can vary between 3, 4, or more digits — is this related to country of release, age, exclusives, etc?

Thanks,

Dave

Dear Dave,

There are patterns of LEGO set numbering but they are not always followed by TLG.  Sets from the 1960’s have two or three digits.  In the 1970’s most sets had three digits.  Around 1980 sets with four digits began to appear.  Current retail sets have four digits while LEGO exclusives usually contain five or six digits.

Each theme had a range of numbers that most of its sets belonged to.  Castle was 6000, Space was 6800, and so on.   Every year a theme usually had five or six new sets.  The last two digits of the set number were based on the size of the set.  Check out the 1984 Castle sets: http://www.classic-castle.com/sets/oop1984.html

A small set like 6010 Supply Wagon received a low number while a large set such as 6080 Kings Castle had a high number.  Lego gradually filled in the missing numbers with new sets in a theme over the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Eventually they had to move themes to new number ranges.

Some sets do have different numbers depending on the country where the set was released.  This is most common with small boxed or polybag sets such as the Wizards Cart ( http://www.classic-castle.com/sets/archives/1736.html ).

A few sets even share the same number.  6077 Forestmen’s River Fortress shares a number with the North American version of 6077 Knight’s Procession ( http://www.classic-castle.com/sets/archives/0677.html ).

The numbering system has changed in recent years.  Now new sets in a theme tend to be in numerical order.  The five Lego Pirates sets found in all retail stores are numbered 6239-6243 while Pirate exclusive sets and impulse sets have higher numbers.

Sincerely,

LFan

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