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Usually, the LEGO group doesn't seem to have much organisation; at least in the past. That's why you can find sets with two different numbers, or two different sets with the same number. Now the keyword here is "seem", as I suppose there was some logic to it even in the past. But nowadays there is some logic, and even if not all of it is understandable, ...


After zooming the image and identifying the windscreen, I searched the Bricklink catalog and found this in the list of sets using that windscreen in trans-black: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?S=4402-1 4402, Creator set, 2003. More details and instructions here: http://www.peeron.com/inv/sets/4402-1


I recall someone asking this to a Danish employee at a public event in the US around 2003. In a very humble voice the LEGO employee simply said "We forgot." LEGO employees were admitting before that to using brickshelf for old instructions because they didn't have digital company archives yet. It's possible they knew about the numbers and saw no problem ...


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 ...

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