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FBTB Parts Drafts: General Discussion

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FBTB Parts Drafts: General Discussion

Postby Inzane » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:44 pm

Hey Guys and Gals,

Have any of you heard of a parts draft before? This is a concept that I stumbled on by accident a few years back when I looked up a site for a local LUG (lego users group) here in Northern Alberta.

I have not met those folks or participated myself in one of these events but let me explain the concept.

1) A particular lego set is picked as the subject of the draft, and everyone participating buys the set in question. So if there are 20 people, 20 copies of set # xxxx is bought.
2) Then everyone gets together and breaks open the sets and sorts all the parts by lot type. (e.g. if each set comes with 5 red doors, a pile of 100 red doors would be sorted).
3) Once all parts are sorted, the total number of unique parts lots are determined (and possibly some combined).
4) A random draw/draft order is determined for the participants, and similar to a sports draft, each person in turn picks a particular 'lot' of parts they want, and they get all of it.
5) Continue until all participants have had their turns and all parts lots are claimed.

That's it in a nutshell. Basically a given set is canabalized and you have the potential to go away with a whole stack of 'same' parts of hopefully something you wanted. Depending on the type of set, it may be the best way to get lots of a particularly rare part in one shot. Maybe one person's working on a train project, one dude is on a house/castle project, one has a space project, etc.. each goes away with parts focused on whatever their project goals were.

It sounds like an awesome idea. And it got me thinking. Is there any way to adapt this concept to work for us on our forum here? Obviously due to geographic separation we wouldn't be able to all get together in one place to do this. And it wouldn't be practical for 20 different members to sort parts independently and then all mail them somewhere from 20 different locations. What we'd probably need is a dedicated few volunteers who live in close proximity to each other (same city, ideally) who would be willing to buy x number of the set, sort all the parts lots at a central location, and then mail the parts out to the lucky winners from one place. Each participant would owe the same amount of money to cover the cost of one copy of the set, plus their individual cost of shipping to their own location.

Unfortunately I'm in Canada otherwise I'd be all over this from the volunteer standpoint. However it probably makes the most sense for this to be based out of the US. For a couple reasons. Majority of our members live in the US, and there are generally better prices on lego sets in the US (not to mention all the insane SALES AND DEALS going on right now).

Anyhoo.... what do you guys and gals think? Is this something that we might want to entertain doing sometime, right here on FBTB?

Jason
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Chief » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:51 pm

This could be very fun. I do drafts all the time with Sandlug, Lugola, and Blockolug and they are one of my favorite AFOL activities. There's even a bunch of SW and other sets half off at Legoland right now that I can pick up for this purpose.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Inzane » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:05 pm

Chief wrote:There's even a bunch of SW and other sets half off at Legoland right now that I can pick up for this purpose.


A set like the TIE Defender would be *PERFECT* for it. A good sized parts count, and lots of parts that could useful if obtained on mass. Even the minifigs are perfect, given they are army builders in their own right.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Jargon » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:17 pm

I'd be up for it, especially if we go with the half-off sets Chief mentioned. Prince of Persia would probably get my vote.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby meeotch » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:21 pm

I find the idea of doing a strictly online draft quite fascinating. Of course, there are some logistical issues to consider for this type of draft when compared to one done where everyone is physically present. The first draft I ever participated in occurred where one member of my LUG couldn't be present, so he drafted via Skype, which was pretty interesting. The biggest issue was that he wasn't aware in the same way that the rest of us were which items had been selected all ready, so all the later turns he had to ask, "Are the x pieces still there?" He did have an inventory pulled up on his computer, but he couldn't really remember some of the earlier selections. I think the best way to address this would be if everyone had an inventory in their possession, preferably printed, so that items could be crossed off as they are selected.

The other issue might be a limit on Skype's ability to connect enough people through a party line. I've only used Skype once and it was one-on-one, so I don't know if it's still an issue, but the last that I had heard, Skype had a limit on connecting I think 6 people together in a conference call. A chat room would add more time to a draft (and in person, they take our LUG at least a half hour to draft, not counting the sort) because of all the typed communication, and I don't even want to think about how many weeks it would take to happen via the forum, though it could be a really fun interesting experience, like playing chess via the mail.
Last edited by meeotch on Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby GIR3691 » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:40 pm

I'd be down for one of these.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Inzane » Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:54 pm

Meeotch,
You raise some good points. However, for our online draft there's no reason it'd have to be done in "real time". It could be "turn based", something a forum is perfectly suited for. If someone has the ability to randomly generate the picking order (similar to how some of our FBTB prize draws are done), each person in the draft could in turn post the part lot they want. Since its turn based, everyone is free to consult their copy of a set inventory at their leisure (available on brinklink, peeron, etc.) until its their turn.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby meeotch » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:29 pm

I fully agree with you. It was that turn-based model that I was referring to when I said,

meeotch wrote:... and I don't even want to think about how many weeks it would take to happen via the forum, though it could be a really fun interesting experience, like playing chess via the mail.


My point was (and I didn't necessarily detail the specifics of what I was thinking) that it could potentially take a REALLY long time. To keep things moving along, you'd have to impose some sort of time limit for the next person to draft. If you're taking all interested parties, I'd think that you'd have to say that one has 24 hours from the last person's turn for you to make your pick. I know I couldn't possibly do it with any more guaranteed speed than that, since as a parent of 2 kids with a job that doesn't really allow for checking in online from work, I have a few hour window in the evenings that I can do my thing, and that's assuming no emergencies come up. And since there is actual money and value being dealt with here, you can't just pass someone up and say "Tough beans, you miss a turn." Life happens, and sometimes people lose their internet access for whatever reason for a few days.

A typical draft that I've been involved with deals with a set in the 20 - 30 dollar range, and while I'm just throwing a number out there that may or may not be in the ball park, I'd guess we're talking a 150 - 350 piece set with probably at least around 100 unique parts / color combinations. So to extrapolate based on my figure of 24 hours per selection, you've got a draft that could potentially last 2 - 6 months. That would require a lot of dedication on the part of the facilitator to keep who ordered what organized for that long. And if you're planning on using your selected parts for a current project, forget about it, since it could take quite a while before you get them. You'd be better off going through Bricklink.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby SuperDave » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:34 am

I wonder if the concept of a parts draw could be combined with the well-established practice of forum-based parts jambalaya boxes?
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Chief » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:03 am

If you're suggesting the parts are mailed from person to person for every turn: no way.
If you're suggesting each person in turn takes a bunch of parts they want then adds others to it... just call it a jambalaya :P I'd be interested in doing one of those, too.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby onions » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:59 am

the issue of time that meeotch mentioned can be alleviated by using IRC chat. and for those that can't make it to the chat, they can send in a proxy list of the parts they want in the order they want them.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby ka.lego » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:27 pm

I think an online Parts Draft is a great idea. I've never been in a LUG, but was actually moved to research my local group as a result of reading this post. Reading about Parts Drafts, Jambalayas (still not 100% on how that works), and such gave me a concrete example of how joining one might be fun and worthwhile. With that said, I think the online version via the forum would be pretty fun. Sounds like logistically it needs some investigation and planning, but for what it's worth, this newb is interested. Thanks.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Chris.M.Piccirillo » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:04 am

I think that a "online" parts draft would be amazing.... Especially if we got a great sale.
What i was thinking was instead of each person shipping out 20 different packages. there could be a "Hosting LUG".
This would be a local lug that could change each time there is a draft. they would have all the sets. people would then pick their piece and some one at the lug would pull it and put it in their pile.... Also you could use like google or yahoo groups to all talk in real time, on the computer. also it should be a smaller set at first, like 20 price point, just to make things ez the first time......

~Chris~
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby mr_joshua » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:30 am

This does sound somewhat interesting. I believe a few of us live in the so-cal area and could get together for the first one (or two). This might help iron out any issues we have with 'proxy votes'. I know I won't be here in two years, so I would have to do this by votes too.

This got me thinking, we could schedule a future one around comic-con or the next Legoland SW days...

Food for thought.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Chief » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:40 am

mr_joshua wrote:we could schedule a future one around comic-con or the next Legoland SW days...


That would definitely be fun. This past SW Days at Legoland was a mini convention in it's own right: I had FBTB staff and members camped up in my home, and lots of people attended both days at the park. It was pretty awesome. Turning it into a springboard for more of an official FBTB gathering (with drafts and other festivities) is something I'd love to help organize.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby kyphur » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:37 pm

One option to make it quicker would be for each participant to submit a list ranking the order of the parts they desire (Proxy List) and once the Draft order is selected then you can run down the draft order selecting the highest ranked available lot for each participant's turn.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Striker » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:39 pm

Well I would definitely be up for a draft or jambalaya (which ever one is chosen). I've always wanted to participate in one, but because of my location, and lack of a LUG, this hasn't been possible. Hopefully like others have said some group of volunteers or a LUG could take the initiative and get this off the ground, if so, count me in!
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby chump » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:33 am

If you have ever done a draft you know that the sorting process is long even with all members present. With only one person looking for the set, purchasing the set, getting the participants, sorting the sets, administering the draft, then boxing and shipping all the stuff to each participant. Plus that person would really have to be trusted to do it right. The list method by proxy and a coded program could help keep the draft transparent if the lists are posted afterwards. However the amount of work by the one individual is enormous and unlikely would even the "carrot" of free participation in the draft be enough compensation to want to undertake this.

But since the purpose of the thread is to see if it is possible and not for me to be a buzzkill. Please continue discussions with that frame of mind.
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby MrCRskater » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:02 am

Just to echo others' sentiments, I would also be really jazzed about something like this as I don't have a local LUG, either. Never heard of this concept before, but it sounds like a lot of fun!
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Re: FBTB *Parts Draft*?

Postby Model Gal » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:25 pm

I'd be interested. I love parts drafts!

I have also done a LEGO Jambalaya. The way that works is you get a set of people (lets say 10) the first person in the group gathers a whole bunch of parts that they wanted to trade (we had a medium sized priority mail box) then they mail the box to the 2nd person on the list. The 2nd person takes out what they want from the box (as much as they want), and replaces it with similar in value and size parts so that there is roughly the same amount of bricks in the box. Usually each person takes pictures of what they took and what they added so that everyone in the group knows whats going on. Then the 2nd person mails it to the 3rd person and it goes from there. Once it gets to the 10th person they mail it back to the 1st person.

Now, as this was a lot of pieces, you have to be able to trust the people that you are mailing to and one person needs to moderate and have everyone's contact info.

It was also a lot of fun and I ended up getting a nice set of parts that way. :D
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