17 March 2022

Bricks & Pieces joins Pick a Brick: New elements are unavailable

Posted by Admin

Pick a Brick and Bricks & Pieces were two different ways to obtain loose LEGO® bricks directly from the company, and as you may be aware the two services have just been combined into one


There are many advantages and improvements to the new system, which LEGO have been very communicative and transparent about with the fan community. However, there is a major change which renders the service largely useless to many, especially those of you who read this site: new elements are not currently available. And it might stay that way.

Complex internal discussions have been going on at the LEGO Group and were still underway at the time the new service went live this week, and so they erred on the side of caution in the meantime and new 2022 elements are not currently available. Depending how these discussions go, it may become the rule  that there is some sort of delay before they are added; we don't yet know.

Neither do we know quite what the definition of a new element will be – new moulds, decorated elements  and recolours of existing elements, or just some? How long will elements be held back? We've asked for answers via the AFOLET team, who have the often unenviable job of reflecting AFOL views back to the rest of the company. They will let us know once it is decided, and we will pass it on to you.

Of course, new elements can still be bought within the new sets, but I don't need to explain to you the issues with that! And with time, they will become available on the third-party sites like they always have.

Various other issues are being raised by the community too, such as price increases on elements. We won't delve into all that here, as the single issue of not being able to get new elements truly is the overwhelming issue for us. How about you; will this affect you, and how?

39 comments:

  1. This is a complete disaster!!! I love coming on this site to get the low-down on the elements and recolours each month, to see what I can get (often in large quantities) on the BnP site. This brought me sooooo much joy!!! Hopefully, this changes very soon!!!!

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  2. BnP has basically become useless for me, as I only order new elements. And with availability low, the prices on other sites like BL will go up as well.

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  3. :(

    This will save me quite a bit of money buying parts I don't really need but want to experiment with, but it is a major let down. I can understand that they might not want people buying 200 sheep, making BNP a weird siphon for limited stock to fall into the hands of lucky traders, but a cap of 10 pieces for each item over €1 would achieve a similar goal.

    Of course if it's just to steer us towards buying complete sets, I might start using explatives.

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  4. I wonder if the lack of new elements has anything to do with the current backlog of orders. Maybe it's just a temporary measure to help them get back on track to the posted shipping time estimates?

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  5. For the past year I've been buying recolors in China, originally not to use them in my MOCs (it's kinda breaking the rules) until Lego officially released them. That way I didn't have to wait until Lego was ok to sell them to me, and then wait another month for them to process the order.
    Really, there's competition out there, Lego shouldn't make it even harder to buy from them.

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  6. What's the point now? I agree a "limit" on new in-demand elements could ease any strain the robots have fulfilling orders and alleviate the issue of Lego making more money off items that cost less than pennies to manufacture though. BrickLink sellers now have more reason to part out multiples of new sets and charge a premium.

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  7. My main issue is that there is no more difference between "not in stock" and "not for sale". So it's hard to day if I should come back to try again or not.

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  8. This is so very sad. Getting the new pieces at B&P was one of the main joys of the hobby for me. I am a complete part monkey opening that bag of never seen pieces was so exiting. TLG please don't do that, that means so much for so many of us!!!

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  9. Hmm, that's a bummer, even if new elements often have been sold out or not added yet when I have tried BNP earlier...

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  10. Yet another kick in the teeth for the AFOL community! I can’t think of any other manufacturer that prevents valued customers from buying their products! It’s all about trying to sell more sets because of the vast profit margin. Selling parts is more labour intensive and therefore less profitable.

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    1. It is actually a well known policy in many tech companies, so I am not entirely surprised.

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  11. As an AFOL who's collection is more limited by space than cost, this is a huge setback me. I've been slowly dusting & sorting my entire collection and filling in the gaps with B&P orders, with the goal of having a small number of every common system part in every currently produced solid color so that I always have the pieces on hand when I build small creations.
    I don't mind waiting a few months after parts come out, but it was really nice being able to buy new pieces all together from the Lego company rather that placing many orders with 3P sellers...

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  12. Thanks Lego, the new parts I need to finish my MoC, purchased via Bricklink, will have to come from sellers in three different countries and the total would come to £86 including delivery, around 4x the B&P price just before the site vanished. That's before the sellers realise that they can ramp up their prices even more for scarce parts. I do hope that this is just a temporary administrative catch-up rather than a deliberate attempt to ration new parts. Do you want me to give up my hobby?

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  13. I am quite frustrated by this change. Bricks and Pieces wasn't terribly well known outside of the AFOL community, and it offered influential member of the community to buy brand new parts and start exploring how to incorporate them into models (ex: JKBrickworks), or in my case - deciding which new parts are versatile enough to add to my LEGO Brick Labels collection right away.

    It's not realistic, or environmentally responsible, for TLG to suggest that the only way for serious fans to get their hands on new parts is to buy a bunch of sets.

    The cat is out of the bag, this is our new expectation - How about replacing it with a subscription service where we receive a bag of brand new parts every 3 months for a modest fee?

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  14. Tom's suggest of a subscription service to all new parts every three months sounds like a fantastic idea.

    I would happily pay a premium for such a service. That would be much more environment, time, and space friendly than the remaining alternatives.

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  15. The idea that new 2022 elements are not available in Pick a Brick is of course not true. I took the January list from NE, picked some designs and checked availability. Many elements from this long list are not available, true, but some are, like 77808 (two of three colors available) and 86996 (medium nougat available).

    The statement "new elements will not be sold via B&P" cannot be true. How long is 'new' defined? Most elements will be available over time I guess, it's just gonna take some longer than we were used to. So the real question is: how long will it take for a new element or recolor to show up in B&P?

    One thing that bothered me (and Minifig Man) from the start of the fusion is the difference between 'not in stock' and 'not for sale'. The dutch version of B&P now has a switch button for that. It doesn't seem to work however. I happen to know that design 86996 (plate 1x1x2/3) has been available in the past in olive green, but it's not on the site now and the not-in-stock button doesn't show any difference.

    The idea of a subscription service seems attractive. On second thought, it would be problematic as well. I'm not interested in new Duplo elements, nor in swivel plates just because it's a new mould (with no real difference from the old mould). I am interested in technic elements, but others might not. I would like the Porsche bow (design 77180), but no more than 2 per color. And I'd like at least 16 of the technic beam 3x19, please. After all, the decisions which new parts are versatile enough to add to your collection is a highly personal choice.

    Have we AFOLs made use of B&P too much? Did we let slip the secret to too many fans? I don't think those questions are valid or constructive. I think TLC is struggling to adapt its processes to its growth and that leads to temporary inconvenience.

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    1. Yes I agree. I don't personally want all new elements, just specific ones so I'm not sure a subscription service would work for me. I'm wondering if it's become so busy for Lego now to pick all the B&P pieces for orders that it's becoming too time consuming for them and eating into profits. Lego did almost go bus once and they'll be careful to make sure they don't get into this position again

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  16. Those pieces you mention (77808 and 86996) in the colors available on PaB offically came out in 2021 in the Lunar New Year Sets.

    This past week with the worldwide launch has seen big changes in what is available. A LEGO employee who has been working on this project has stated on discord that "anything not on PaB is not supposed to be there" i.e. the decision is 100% intentional, so those pieces that were there but no longer are (even ones that are not 2022 releases) are not supposed to be. Thats not to say they won't return, just that for now they have been removed. The OOS tracker had some bugs in the first days but now appears to be functioning properly.
    Some are speculating this is temporary to allow TLG to catch up on the order backlog. But until LEGO releases a statement about this we simply don't know why.
    I do agree with you that this is a result of TLG trying to adapt its processes to growth. Its just that right now we don't know how successful it will be - as some have pointed out they don't always have the best track record with new implementations. I'm still hopeful though

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  17. I could understand that it's hard to plan their over-production runs of pieces, not having any market research to help them gauge required quantities as they likely have for sets. But you can't get that data without actually making the items available for sale and then building trendlines.

    I don't imagine purely relying on some sort of "wishlist" feature (mold, color, quantity) would get them the required data, it's just too easy to game. On the other hand, allowing pre-orders (so you put your money where your mouth is) would mean customers waiting unpredictable amounts of time while they decide that it's worth producing the inventory -- or never deciding and eventually needing to refund customers? -- and then you have shipping issues as just some of your preordered items become available but others are still weeks away from production but the scheduling isn't nailed down well enough to drive "wait to combine shipments if more parts will be available within X days" rules.

    ... and we can't expect them to just over-produce everything "just in case". So yeah, I get it, but I'm still also disappointed because I do often use B&P just for new molds and new colors, so I can start exploring "what's possible with this part" without buying a whole set, of which 99% is redundant to me, or waiting for parting-out to happen on BL, which often has difficulty supplying "24 of this tiny part that might make a cool pattern in large quantities".

    I sure hope they figure out a solution. I, for one, am okay with delays if it means getting cool parts -- speaking of which, it looks like my P&B order from Feb 4 has finally shipped. Yay!

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    1. Any excess parts can be sent to Pick-a-Brick walls, easy.

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    2. Pick-a-Brick walls aren't a one-size-fits-all solution for excess parts—those also have to be tailored to consumer demand, arguably even moreso than online where a wider variety of parts can be offered without running out of physical display space. In particular I know that in the past having less "basic" parts on Pick-a-Brick walls has led to confusion and dissatisfaction among casual customers, which is part of why things like Technic parts are uncommon there.

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  18. If this is true then the service is useless

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  21. Thanks for this article! Finally someone is discussing this disastrous topic!

    This is exactly what i was afraid of, when they announced the merge of the "BnP" and "PaB" pages. It's horrible. I'm totally upset!By the way, i am using Lego Germany.

    They not only break all best pratices for good web-services, like they always do (i had a lot of parts in a shopping basket on "BnP“, which were deleted without any warning or notice!), but they also remove a service, which was widely used and quite perfect, except the idiotic button to "show further …".

    It was such fun to roam through sets for hours or lookup parts directly on "BnP“, just to see which parts are existing, which are new, or which i even didn't know of before, especially in older sets. Now the service has become totally useless for me. Seems, i can not order anything at Lego.com anymore. Usability on this new "PaB" page is also worse than before on "BnP" for me.

    Unfortunately Bricklink is no replacement, since many parts are even more expensive there (especially new ones), or you have to order in 5 different shops to get all parts you need, and often you have to deal with minimum order limits and very high shipping costs.

    By the way: I emailed Lego about missing parts in the new "PaB" 1-2 weeks ago! I was about to order a lot of parts in the new "Vibrant Yellow" color (which then were all deleted from my shopping cart), but can you imagine what they answered!? They asked for an example, which parts i could not find (didn't i write that i was missing all parts in "Vibrant Yellow"?). And that i should maybe try again. So i just got a fully generic answer, instead of an honest one. They could've said that this is intentional, but all they do is pretend everything is ok and we - the users - are too stupid to use the search properly.

    Also. I don’t know for you, but before, when i ordered at "BnP", shipping costs in Germany were 1,80 Euros, now, with the "improvements", shipping costs went up to minimum 3 or 3,50 Euros. What a nice improvement!

    Funny: In the middle of January i ordered already about 150 parts in "Vibrant Yellow" over "BnP", and i was about to order the newly released parts now, when the site changed. My order was delivered at 13th March (about 6 weeks delivery), about the time the parts were disappearing in the new "PaB". What an irony.

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  22. "subscription service to all new parts every three months"
    Yes! This would be brilliant for AFOLs

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    1. Yeah but every month, not every 3 months (it would still be more efficient to order manually)

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  23. LEGO previously advised that, along with this merger, they would be bringing Build a Minifigure to LEGO.com. Have there been any updates as to when we can expect this rollout? I love some of the BAM-exclusive pieces but do not enjoy trying to pick them out while in-store.

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  24. According to StoneWars, there's been a three months waiting period implemented for new parts. (I.e. the unlicensed parts that were added to the Bricks And Pieces service earlier, I guess...)

    ----
    I’m sorry to hear you’re unhappy that new/novelty parts aren’t available from the service. These parts will be included but they won’t be available to purchase until 3 months after their initial release. This change has been introduced for us to be better able to manage our stock availability for quality replacements after new sets are launched.
    ----

    https://www.stonewars.de/news/lego-pick-a-brick-neue-teile-nach-drei-monaten/

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    1. Isn't this sort of saying that warranty claims on set purchases have gone through the roof?

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    2. It could be a way of reducing the request for poorly rewarded menial work for a service that used to be relatively unknown. It seems to be a service that never was particularly lucrative for the company.

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  25. On a positive note, the user interface is much more intuitive than it was before. Also they have counterweighted bricks (6094053)!

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  26. Like everything TLG touches, this is just another disaster!
    Can't imagine how many other ways LEGO will find to hurt their products' real fans, or the AFOL community in general... :(

    On my end don't even think I'd buy more sets, just bacause LEGO refuses sell the new elments. I've unlimited patience and can buy those whenever TLG decides to sell them...

    And pay attention... at least in my case TLG aways forget to credit double VIP points to parts orders, when they where purchased under such promotion.
    Starting to believe it is intentional... or maybe because the insane time these take to deliver.
    As mentioned I've unlimited patience, so it just takes a phone call to complain, get the stolen points and a good amount of extras for the incovenience!

    Thank you LEGO, your're the best...

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  27. I placed an order for some items that were in the UCS At-At (only a few days before the PAB change) Those items were quietly axed from my orders. I think they're trying to prevent the inflation of a secondary market (for example, the new 3x19 frames are probably going to be big resell items on bricklink and brickowl). I still can't believe what an atrocity the BAP and PAB sites were, are, and continue to be after relaunch. SWING AND MISS TLG!

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    1. Doesn't make that much sense, actually. If so, the inflation would only be postponed for a few months. I can't see the secondary market for parts being of much interest for the company. Of 'themes', quite possiby, but rarely for particular parts.

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    2. Or, I mean, it could be a way to divert the attention into purchasing sets rather than single pieces, or perhaps trying to control the demand for the parts by planning a release when the interest is perceived to have waned, and so. But I personally don't think it's about the secondary market of parts, per se.

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  28. Hi all. I've reached out to Lego Customer Service and expressed my concerns regarding the issue. They replied that the service is still in a testing phase and they gathering the feedback from the users to guide the potential changes. So for all the part monkeys out there please contact them and express your opinion!

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  29. MrTartiflettePower20 May 2022, 21:25:00

    Not only the new parts are unavailable but any part that was on B&P and not on PAB is not there here.
    ie. parts specifics to the Stranger Things: none is listed

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