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I was reading Huw Millington's review of set 70700 Space Swarmer on brickset, in which he states:

The box is almost square and this being from the USA, like all US boxes but unlike European ones, it states the number of pieces on the front. I'm guessing that it's some sort of requirement to do so in the USA, but I wonder why LEGO don't print it on European boxes. It's useful information for the consumer, after all.

Which I think is a very valid question.

Are there indeed such requirements in the USA? Are there other countries with similar requirements?

And I guess this will be harder to answer, but why doesn't LEGO just state it on all boxes anyway?

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I wonder how this US requirement to accurately state the number of pieces sits with this statement from LEGO customer services: "When it comes to spare parts, it is random what pieces are included in which sets", relating to the spare parts included with each set. They must mean the parts are random, but the count is consistent. From this post by @Ambo100 in another LEGO Answers question. –  mcqwerty Feb 25 '13 at 18:24
    
Which if you ask me is a bit weird considering the extra parts seem to be extremely consistent –  Joubarc Feb 26 '13 at 7:48

1 Answer 1

up vote 11 down vote accepted

There is indeed a requirement that packaged products sold in the US must indicate the weight, volume or quantity plainly on the package. This is regulated by the FTC, which says in its requirements,

The net quantity of contents (in terms of weight or mass, measure, or numerical count) shall be separately and accurately stated...

Canada has a similar law that says the net quantity of packaged products must be on the label.

The European Union's product labeling requirements do not appear to make the quantity a mandatory part of the product label. I do not think it actually prohibits putting the number of pieces on the packages, so it may not explain why The LEGO Company leaves that information off their European packages.

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Thanks, that's at least one important part of the question answered - and I fear the rest won't be anyway. –  Joubarc Feb 25 '13 at 7:51
    
Being an EU-based company, TLG design may well design their boxes for local EU-based markets first - where there is no need for a piece count - and then adjust the designs for other markets later. This is pure speculation, of course. –  Kramii Feb 25 '13 at 14:12
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We can only guess, but in my experience dealing with other large companies, the philosophy seems to be not to exceed the legal requirements. They are advised by their legal departments to do what the law requires but no more than that. –  62Bricks Mar 18 '13 at 15:15

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