[FRC Blog] It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Posted on the FRC Blog, 12/8/2020: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc/blog/2021-its-the-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…

2020 DEC 08 | Written by Kate Pilotte, Sr. Kit of Parts Manager

…for the FIRST Robotics Competition Kit of Parts (KOP) team!

We know y’all look forward to Kickoff and then competing, but for the KOP team and those that help us, shipping Kickoff Kits is our adrenaline rush. We spend the year working with companies (thank you Suppliers!) to source material, tracking bulk shipments, working with our kitter to get Kickoff Kits packed and staged, and then we breathe a deep sigh of relief once FedEx starts picking them up and taking them to you (very generous in-kind support from FedEx)!

We’re pumped to report that Kickoff Kits started shipping yesterday. They’re not going all at once, and throughput is expected to be a few hundred Kickoff Kits out the door each (business) day. Once your Kickoff Kit has shipped Lead Mentors 1 and 2 can find the FedEx tracking number in the dashboard (reference images below).

Kickoff Kits are shipping to teams that have registered to participate, supplied an address, and secured payment with FIRST. If your team hasn’t completed these tasks, don’t worry, once they’re all set, your Kickoff Kit will be added to the queue.


Sizing & Contents

Kickoff Kits for rookie teams are comparable to past Rookie Kickoff Kits. Meanwhile, Kickoff Kits for returning teams consist of a more modest set of items due to the pandemic (mostly because of reduced budgets for FIRST and donors and the expectation that most returning teams will be working with already existing robots). Each 2021 Kickoff Kit Checklist is linked accordingly below.

Every team gets the “Everyone Box.” It’s 18 in. x 12 in. x 12 in. and weighs 25 lbs.

Rookie teams also receive the following:

One set of items that may seem like they’re in the wrong program’s kit is the contents of the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Into Orbit Challenge set. Our colleagues in FLL offered us their leftover inventory and we immediately snatched them up; we think they’re a great tool for ideation, initial modeling, and outreach. Thanks to our FLL friends for thinking of us!

Missing or Damaged Items?

What happens if you get your Kickoff Kit and it’s missing parts or parts are damaged? Let us know!

One of the first things you do when you receive your Kickoff Kit is to check its contents against the Checklists linked above. If anything is missing or damaged 1) we’re so sorry! and 2) you need to let us know and we’ll make it right.

The process we use to get information from you is built into the registration system and available starting today. Please know and understand that we will not process requests that don’t use this system.

Kits are shipped on a rolling basis this year, so it’s not appropriate to issue a single due date for missing/damaged parts reports. Instead, the due date is specific to your team and is five business days from your Kickoff Kit delivery date (e.g. FedEx tracking says your kit was delivered on December 15, your report must be submitted on or before December 22).

To report anything missing or damaged:

  1. Your Lead Coach/Mentor 1 or 2 logs in to your team’s account.
  2. Click on the “Payments and Product” drop down menu and select “Order Replacement Parts”

  1. Enter the shipping information for where you’d like the replacement parts sent.
  2. Use the “Subkit Container” filter to navigate to the parts you need to report.
  3. Click the “Add” button for the item that’s missing/damaged.
  4. Specify the quantity missing/damaged, include an explanation, and click “Save.” The list will auto save when you add an item, so you can come back to it later.
  5. Once your list is complete, hit “Submit Request.” You can only submit once, and you must Submit within five business days of receiving your Kickoff Kit.

Remember the Rest of the Kit of Parts

In addition to Kickoff Kits, teams also have access to FIRST Choice and the Virtual Kit. Many Virtual Kit items are live now, and FIRST Choice opens on Kickoff Day, January 9, 2021.

Consider bookmarking the KOP webpage for quick reference and easy access to important KOP dates.

Good luck this season, dig in, have fun, and stay safe!


This is the most expensive sticker pack I have ever seen.


Pretty much a battery and 3x game balls, stickers, and a couple et ceteras.

However, have to remind ourselves that FIRST Choice will be more extensive. So hopefully can get some nice extras there.


There a entire FLL kit in here.






Thanks. I guess I should read the blog post rather than just the PDF list.


Reselling the FLL kit might actually make your registration money back if you took the NASA grant and didn’t play last year. Considering how much LEGO sets retail for, this could actually be the most valuable non-control system KOP ever.

Edit: I looked at how many pieces the FLL kit has vs how much sets with similar piece counts sell for at MSRP, and it doesn’t come close to the registration cost. However, I’m not sure what a bunch of NIB FLL sets showing up would do to the market…
(I have no experience collecting LEGO anything)

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Since the same FLL kit is being included in the “Everyone Box”, there will be quite a few on the market, depressing the market value. I have purchased unused sets for about $100. I have also seen some on eBay for much more.

Your team may get more value out of the FLL kit by acquiring a Mindstorms kit and studying how to solve some of the challenges to up your Autonomous Mode game.

The better FLL teams will learn how to use sensors and other techniques to allow their robot to navigate complicated paths and score. Imagine an FRC robot starting at one end of the field, traveling under the color wheel to the other end of the field, shooting some balls into the middle goal, traveling back through the color wheel, then hanging in the middle, all autonomously. Quite a few of the alumni from the top FLL teams in our area have gone on to become the lead programmers for their FRC team.


Wait, so no one is getting AM14U4? I was under the impression that when we registered we would get a drivetrain.

Rookies get one, but I assume FIRST assumed that all the veteran teams built robots in 2020 and therefore had drivetrains already.

Yeah, we might try doing something with this if someone has a Mindstorms kit already. If anything, it might be cool for demos in cases where bringing a full scale FRC robot is impossible.

It’s also just occurred to me, with the FLL mat and the Innovation Challenge, we just need a few team building exercises and we’re back in FLL again!


You may be getting the LEGO FLL parts, but I’m pretty sure you’re not getting the playing field mat. That wouldn’t fit in a 18 x 12 x 12 “Everyone Box”. Or it would be folded up, making it fairly useless.

Yeah, I guess the language “The drive base kit/voucher option will not be available” confused me and made me think that everyone had to get a drive-train. It’s unfortunate because we opened our frame for last year, and now were redesigning a robot with an over the bumper intake.

It’s listed right after the set on the PDF. Unfortunately, I assume they did fold it as you suspect since seperate items can’t be a thing this year.

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You could just rebuy the front plate from AM

Yeah, that’s fair. But that’s $25 :frowning: Why can’t I get my AM14U4. Lol, but in all seriousness it’s only $25, and I think it might even appear in first choice.

With any luck, maybe they will put some AM14U components into the FIRST Choice. Like end and side plates, wheels, Toughbox Minis, hardware kits, etc, since they aren’t doing a wider distribution this year. But otherwise, you can order parts you need.

There are many levels of proficiency that teams achieve. Many teams never acquire the skills needed to solve the more difficult missions consistently. I find that many of the techniques and ways of thinking used by the advanced FLL teams are also used by the more advanced FRC teams. It’s probably faster and less expensive to learn them in an FLL game.


Any ideas for using the 3’ of link chain?

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First thing I thought is pit entrances, but too short.