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Why did Lego use the same number for two different sets?

For example, 324 Ricky Racoon on his Scooter and 3605 Ricky Racoon and his Scooter appear to be identical in every way but the set number. So why did Lego use two different numbers?

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marked as duplicate by Ali Maxwell, Ambo100, pcantin, Zhaph - Ben Duguid Dec 5 '11 at 13:52

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My first Technic set (and last LEGO set before the dark ages) was the 852 helicopter, which had number 954 in the US. lego.wikia.com/wiki/852_Helicopter –  starblue Oct 28 '11 at 7:48
    
This is exactly the same question. –  Ambo100 Nov 29 '11 at 18:28
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The two questions are different. This one is "one set, two numbers" while the other is "two sets, one number". –  Joubarc Dec 5 '11 at 7:56
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

In some cases, there were different numbers for the USA and the rest of the world, but I don't know if that's the case with Ricky Racoon.

LEGO also extended from a 3-digit numbering to a 4-digit numbering around that time, so maybe some sets were renumbered. At the time, LEGO didn't seem to care that much about set numbers (and as you've noted, reused some).

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The Space sets also released first in North America in 1979 while Europe got Castle. The Idea Book 6000 came out in 1980 depicting the full range to both sides. In 1981 the distribution crossed over after Castle had test-marketed in a few cities in the US. The Castle sets like 383 Knights Tournament got new 60xx numbers assigned at that time too. –  Erik Olson Oct 28 '11 at 7:23
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