Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Dark Bluish Grey tiles - serious variation in colour

PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,531
For my current project I've used a lot of Dark Bluish Grey elements - bricks, plates and tiles, as well as a few others. When I say 'a lot', I mean thousands upon thousands of pieces - probably approaching 10k. Using this amount of bricks, I've noticed minor colour variations here and there, but nothing that has overly concerned me.

However, I recently placed an order with Lego's Bricks and Pieces service, which included 200 1x4 Dark Bluish Grey tiles. Yesterday I came to use them, and was quite shocked to discover that they were significantly lighter than any other DBG parts I have. The difference is so noticable that I've had to take apart part of my project to 'hide' these lighter pieces where they will be least noticed.

I've included below some comparison photos. In the first one, I'm sure you can see what I mean. However, it's not a great photo (a bit blurred).



The second photo shows two of the darker tiles and two of the lighter tiles. From this, it's obvious it's not a trick of the light or anything like that.



The third photo shows a Light Bluish Grey tile (left), with a normal DBG tile on the far right, and a lighter DBG tile in the middle. The difference in colour is so much that it could almost be an entirely new colour - a 'Medium Bluish Grey', if you like.

Has anyone else had this problem with DBG? I'm not talking slight variations in colour (we've all had those), but serious variations, where it could almost be a new colour.

Comments

  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    wow.  just wow
    LegoboyJennikiki180703madforLEGObobabricksBrickDancerGalactus
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,361
    you're sure there's only blueish grey, and not old light grey and dark grey?
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,531
    I'm sure. I know what old grey looks like, and this isn't it. Secondly, these came direct from Lego.
  • RevBluesRevBlues Member Posts: 117
    edited September 2015
    Had this problem on Medium Stone Grey recently.  Appalling variations not only on shade, but also size.  I built a wall out of 1x2s which was as wavy as hell with some gaps big enough to slide through a piece of light-grade paper.

    I'm sorry, but Lego is turning to utter crap.  Soon, they'll be no better than the cheap Chinese knock-offs.

    Profits are higher than ever.  Now we know why.  The 49th version of the same Star Wars set, and cheap as hell materials and manufacturing processes.
    Sethro3
  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 182
    Maybe its environmental... ;)
    bobabricks
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,839
    I've never seen anything like that especially to a full batch of 200 like that. I guess you could try to work with it, I can see some interesting textures happening if you use those with the darker DBG pieces.
  • aldreddaldredd United KingdomMember Posts: 203
    Not seen it with DBG, but seen it a lot in other colours, particularly yellow - My #42009 looked like Elma the Elephant
    kiki180703
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    I've never seen anything like that especially to a full batch of 200 like that.
    If I understand correctly, the batch is consistent with itself. But the entire batch is not consistent with other Dark Stone Gray pieces. I've seen differences in shade with DSG pieces, though not to this degree. I seem to recall them being tiles but that's probably confirmation bias.

    In my experience, Medium Stone Gray, White, and Yellow are the worst for color variation. Many of my large-ish (e.g. 6x6 or larger) MSG gray plates don't match; some are darker, some are lighter, some are more blue, and some are more yellow. There is variation in my basic bricks, as well, though not to the degree I've seen in plates. The variation in white is very noticeable. As with MSG, it ranges from a blue tint to a yellow tint. I have Yellow pieces that range from a light "canary" yellow to a darker, more orange "goldenrod" yellow.

    I originally thought colors were consistent within a set, but this is not always the case. I have two copies of #75003, each bought at a different store. In both, the left wedge plates and bows are one tint (e.g. yellowish) while the right wedge plates and bows a different tint (e.g. bluish).

    I understand LEGO is now coloring the ABS themselves rather than using pre-colored ABS. This could have something to do with the variation. But when it comes down to it, this is a quality control issue, which is unfortunate. It seems obvious to have a spectrophotometer on the production line to reject any coloration outside tolerances, but perhaps they don't do this (or their tolerances are too high).
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    binaryeye said:

    I originally thought colors were consistent within a set, but this is not always the case.
    Two parts in a set which you might expect to be identical may not even be the same design, let alone exactly the same colour. You certainly can't expect two different parts to match in colour.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    True. I've most often seen that with 1x2 jumpers (with and without groove).
  • Lego_StarLego_Star ... in a galaxy far, far away.Member Posts: 2,147
    @Paperballpark I'd say feed this back to CS via email with the pictures. All the better if you know where/when you roughly acquired the comparison tiles that were not from the order. There will be numbers printed on the underside of the tiles, I should imagine a close up shot of the same tiles upside down for reference would be helpful.

    LEGO can only do something about it if they know about, so it makes sense to tell them.
    Daragh
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,100
    edited September 2015
    Hehehe..... I love that phrase "LEGO can only do something about it if they know about it".... and yes they will do something about it.... replace your parts.... PERIOD.

    TLG has been having issues with color batch variations since they've brought pellet coloration inhouse.... and long before that, but to a lesser degree.  In fact over the last 60 years there have been so many LEGO part and color anomalies, I could write a book about it.... oh wait.... I already have..... ;-)

    TLG has never thrown away any parts... and aren't about to do so now.  They know that bringing the color process inhouse causes issues.  But it's cheaper for them to continue doing so and make things right for the small percentage of FOLs that complain... and leave the status quo for the large percentage of kids that don't make a fuss.

    It's cheaper for TLG to make things right for those who complain... than it is to fix the source of the problem.... the inhouse mixing of colors.  I remember that was an issue with violet LEGO bricks with the first Harry Potter Knight  Bus set 4755 back in 2004.... and it's still an issue with some parts today.

    Heal the patient?   Why bother when a cheaper route is to pass out a lot of Band Aids... :-(
    Galactus
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,215
    Istokg said:
    Hehehe..... I love that phrase "LEGO can only do something about it if they know about it".... and yes they will do something about it.... replace your parts.... PERIOD.


    They will, but of course they won't care if the ones they send out have the same problem.

    There was the same problem with the BTTF "sheild" piece. I dread to think how many incorrect spelling replacements they sent out when people complained about the incorrect spelling.
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,531
    Actually, those photos were taken at night, under artificial light. In daylight, it's not as noticable. It is still noticable, just not as much or to the same extent.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    This happens with many things, not just legos. Real bricks and tiles...ya know the ones we use to build houses...vary from lot to lot, carpets and fabrics, too.  Anything with a color can vary from lot to lot for a variety of reason, some are not in legos control.  The down side to a toy, it's not  built like a swiss clock.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ryjay said:
    This happens with many things, not just legos. Real bricks and tiles...ya know the ones we use to build houses...vary from lot to lot, carpets and fabrics, too.  Anything with a color can vary from lot to lot for a variety of reason, some are not in legos control.  The down side to a toy, it's not  built like a swiss clock.
    On the contrary. A swiss watch is made with a precision of 0.01 mm; LEGO 0.002 mm.

    As for colours, the real point is that it was a lot more consistent when they used pre-coloured ABS - it can be done, just not by TLG.
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 786
    TigerMoth said:
    ryjay said:
    This happens with many things, not just legos. Real bricks and tiles...ya know the ones we use to build houses...vary from lot to lot, carpets and fabrics, too.  Anything with a color can vary from lot to lot for a variety of reason, some are not in legos control.  The down side to a toy, it's not  built like a swiss clock.
    On the contrary. A swiss watch is made with a precision of 0.01 mm; LEGO 0.002 mm.

    As for colours, the real point is that it was a lot more consistent when they used pre-coloured ABS - it can be done, just not by TLG.
    The problem with them using pre-colored ABS is that it was only really consistent if they only bought from a single supplier, which carries heavy risks for a company Lego's size—any setback in the supply chain would have a cascading effect on Lego's own production schedule. The shift to colorless ABS and dye wasn't a cost-cutting measure so much as insurance against those sorts of risks. While this means that there will occasionally be minor color inconsistencies, it also means that Lego can continue to produce the volume of sets needed to supply the world market and continue to do so on schedule.
    Galactus
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Lyichir said:

    The problem with them using pre-colored ABS is that it was only really consistent if they only bought from a single supplier
    Which they did, and believe they still do. And it is/was worse than that because it is/was a proprietary (to TLG) version of one of manufacturer's (LANXESS) standard products (Novadur).

    But it didn't seem to cause any problems for 40 years or so. Perhaps TLG just didn't like the fact that the LANXESS has become independent of Bayer and perceived that as a bigger risk.
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 141
    TLG don't care shit. They've been dedicated to the clear pellets/diy injection process for more than a decade. Which is complete crap compared to the old BASF/etc way of doing it. But they will honour you with loads of more tiles. In various bluish tints ... sigh

    Remember the motto :

    "Only the biggest profit is good enough"

    (Also in the danish news today ; The LEGO family now has a fortune north of £10billion)

    Wonderfull, eh?

    Cheers,

    Ole
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.