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I know why there are extra pieces in the sets, but I'm curious to find out which pieces will typically have an extra.

I know that usually 1x1 plates (both square and round) will have an extra included in the set, as well as cheese wedges. But I was surprised to find an extra double cheese wedge included once (I don't remember which set it was, but no, it wasn't a piece I overlooked in the building instructions). I have other sets with double cheese wedges that didn't have an extra, so I wonder:

Is there a list of pieces that will usually come with an extra?

Are there other criteria used to determine whether a piece will have an extra?

  • 1
    The inventory of parts provided for sets on Bricklink show which parts are considered extra. It might be possible to calculate which extra parts are the most common across the database of sets. – Ambo100 Feb 23 '14 at 21:07
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    It's highly variable. I've had some sets with some of the smaller piece and ZERO spares. On the other extreme, the 2013 Star Wars advent calendar had up to THREE spares of the usual pieces and even bigger than usual (cups, beards) pieces, bringing the total number of pieces to nearly 150% of the number stated on the box. – gev Feb 24 '14 at 8:31
  • How did this end up in community wiki? I didn't tick the box, did I? – SQB Feb 24 '14 at 8:45
  • Not as far as I can see in the history. I've reverted it. – Zhaph - Ben Duguid Feb 25 '14 at 13:52
  • Back in the day, it was because some of the pieces such as 1x1 round plates or flower petals came still attached to the sprues -- 1x1 round plates would always come as a multiple of two, while flowers would come as a multiple of four. – Mark Jan 26 '18 at 5:51
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The ones that come with extras are almost always the smallest pieces in the kit that would be easy to lose and are negligible in weight.

From gizmodo article of LEGO FAQs:

Why did I always have pieces left over when I built my castle sets? Do they just do that to jack with kids?

For two reasons: first, because some pieces are so small that they weigh too little to be measured by their scale, during packaging (you will see this when I publish the factory tour. J.) Second, because it's better to have too many of those pieces than have one of them missing. Since we statistically know what pieces may get lost, we include some extras when appropriate.

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