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Lego Quality

TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
I recieved a VW Beetle #10252 today. And the Mrs is now building it. She has notice that two of the 1x4 tiles are scratched, one of the 1x2 slopes is scratched and another piece has a nick in it. 

The instruction booklet was also bent up in the box.

Is the quality of Lego parts on the decline?

Or is this just bad luck?
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Comments

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UK / KLMember Posts: 3,511
    Just bad luck. It's not as if they have a guy in the warehouse whose specific job is to scratch parts and bend instructions books all day long...
    SprinkleOtterbobabricksbeemoBaby_Yoda
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,688
    ^at least not any more...
    SprinkleOtterchuckpbobabricksBaby_Yoda
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,479
    I*nstruction books being bent up happens unless the instructions are on a cardboard piece (not sure if they do that anymore). Call LEGO CS, they are pretty good about resolving such issues
    josekalel
  • calumheathcalumheath Member Posts: 24
    I agree: it's just bad luck.

    Think of all the other billions of pieces that AREN'T scratched.
    beemo
  • josekaleljosekalel Rio Grande Valley, TexasMember Posts: 680
    Regarding bent instructions or bent stickers, I think LEGO should try to do something about it, especially in smaller sets where stickers are important.

    Maybe they can tape both the instruction booklet and the stickers together to the inside of the box? I don't think it's lack of quality or quality control, they are just overlooking at the fact that paper gets damaged in transit. 
    Charmiefcb
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    To be fair it was the number of scratched and notched bricks that shocked me. I had never noticed that before in a Lego set and it made me wonder if a specially poor quality plastic had been used!
  • quir0zquir0z Member Posts: 20
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,742
    quir0z said:
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
    It has been decades since they were 100% Billund made...
    VorpalRyustluxAanchirClutchPower
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,823
    quir0z said:
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
    It has been decades since they were 100% Billund made...
    Yep, Samsonite manufactured LEGO bricks in the United States from 1961 to 1972. LEGO opened their own factory in Switzerland in 1971 and their own factory in the US in 1973. https://www.lego.com/en-us/legohistory#manufacturing

    And for the most parts sets actually DO cost much less than they did back then! Let's rewind fifty years to 1966 when Samsonite released the #375 Medium Basic Set with 375 parts (383 if you count wheels and tires separately, as BrickLink does) for a mere $8.95… or, in today's money, $67.83. Whereas this year you can get the #10705 Creative Building Basket for $59.99 with 1000 pieces.
    SprinkleOtterdavetheoxygenmanBobflipbeemo
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    It is also noteworthy that the the blue bricks and slopes are a different shade to the modified bricks and plates. Guess the parts are made at different factories.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    Oh and the whites are different shades too! Wow i sound like a moaning mini!
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,688
    Maybe it was a Lepin infiltrator trying to sabotage the credibility of Lego product... 
    TheFew
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,281
    With the way Lego is packaged, it's not a shock, anything sold loose in a bag can be prone to getting minor scratches & marks, but if they changed packaging methods, it would drive up the cost. It's not the biggest issue, considering TLG will happily replace damaged & missing parts, even on sets like event exclusives (I've had missing parts with two sets so far, both were event exclusives).
    TheFewSprinkleOtter
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    edited December 2016
    I'm clearly becoming too much of a Victor Meldrew as I age.. :-)
    VorpalRyu
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,281
    Not familiar with the character so I had to Google it, but you're not alone there, I think it happens to all of us, to one extent or another.
    TheFew
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    VorpalRyu said:
    Not familiar with the character so I had to Google it, but you're not alone there, I think it happens to all of us, to one extent or another.
    Wow, you have missed out. It was really funny TV (in my opinion). Perhaps a bit dated now however! 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,142
    edited December 2016
    quir0z said:
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
    How do you know which (system) parts are made where? Quite a few of the Chinese (minifigure) parts are still individually bagged.

    And it is the handling afterwards that is important, not where they are made.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,505
    CCC said:
    quir0z said:
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
    How do you know which (system) parts are made where? Quite a few of the Chinese (minifigure) parts are still individually bagged.

    And it is the handling afterwards that is important, not where they are made.
    Vast majority of electronics for sale these days are made in China. I'm always amused when people rag on Chinese manufacturing quality while showing off their new iPhone.
    VorpalRyuAanchirLyichirstluxsid3windrbeemoBaby_Yoda
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,142
    CCC said:
    quir0z said:
    Made in China. Sadly, Some Lego elements are now manufactured in places where quality is second to quantity. However, Lego is not getting any cheaper than it was when they were 100% Billund made.
    How do you know which (system) parts are made where? Quite a few of the Chinese (minifigure) parts are still individually bagged.

    And it is the handling afterwards that is important, not where they are made.
    Vast majority of electronics for sale these days are made in China. I'm always amused when people rag on Chinese manufacturing quality while showing off their new iPhone.
    Yep. And not just the big price stuff. I get 4-5 aliexpress packages through my door most days containing 50p-£1 orders for parts.
  • Sven_FSven_F CroatiaMember Posts: 17
    Even though the Jiaxing factory is now operational,  I highly doubt any pieces from that set bought in US were made there. (not that I would imply this would be noticeable) I don't know the extent of damage,  but tiles and slopes particularly are very prone to surface scratches and if minor could be considered  a normal occurrence in new sets. You can contact customer service for replacements. 
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    So i have just been building my Saturn V and I am amazed by the number of scratched parts. So of the marks seem to have occurred by peice on piece rubbing in the box once packed. Other marks are systematic such as those in the below pictures which occur on all parts of that type. Am i just unlucky or are are Saturn V sets made from seemingly inferior parts?





  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 2,653
    Either the parts on all my sets are perfect, or I need to examine them a bit more closely as I build! I don't have the Saturn V set so I can't help you @TheFew - sorry.
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 904
    I*nstruction books being bent up happens unless the instructions are on a cardboard piece (not sure if they do that anymore). Call LEGO CS, they are pretty good about resolving such issues
    Indeed, here's mine.



    Charmiefcb
  • darthdcdarthdc Member Posts: 228
    I'm just wondering whether there is any risk of Gold Plastic Syndrome with some pieces. I've heard how gold plastic has a tendancy to decay over years, and I've heard how some toys from the 80's and such, have suffered from this. Just looking at one prime example - the Flying Warrior from CMF Series 15. You don't get much golder than him.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,657
    TheFew said:
    So i have just been building my Saturn V and I am amazed by the number of scratched parts. So of the marks seem to have occurred by peice on piece rubbing in the box once packed. Other marks are systematic such as those in the below pictures which occur on all parts of that type. Am i just unlucky or are are Saturn V sets made from seemingly inferior parts?





    Scratches are kind of unavoidable and they don't really mess anything up. Cracks sometimes can, but scratches won't.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 626
    @TheFew:  Is that green part in your second picture a standard 1x2 tile?  If so, it looks like a mold-flow issue, the part doesn't appear to have filled out completely to the middle during the injection molding process.  I've never seen that type of issue in 1x2 tiles, are there really two injection points on opposite sides of this piece?
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    Oldfan said:
    @TheFew:  Is that green part in your second picture a standard 1x2 tile?  If so, it looks like a mold-flow issue, the part doesn't appear to have filled out completely to the middle during the injection molding process.  I've never seen that type of issue in 1x2 tiles, are there really two injection points on opposite sides of this piece?
    Ir is a 1x2 cheese slope... if that description means anything to you!
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,500
    Well two of them side by side!
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 626
    TheFew said:
    Well two of them side by side!

    OK, thanks for clarifying.  That makes a lot more sense to me than what I thought I saw...
    sid3windrbeemo
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 987
    1x1 bricks in Medium Stone Grey, from #70836 
  • Addicted2OxygenAddicted2Oxygen Somewhere behind all the boxes of LegoMember Posts: 377
    ‘Natural’ variation 
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 987
    IMHO, unacceptable from a company that claims that only the best is good enough...
  • Addicted2OxygenAddicted2Oxygen Somewhere behind all the boxes of LegoMember Posts: 377
    Agreed. What I meant is that it is like when you get things made of real stone. There is always a note that it has natural variations. Given it was stone grey it made me think of that.  It was funnier in my head, where it should have stayed. 
    560Heliport
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 987
    ...now, if the individual bricks were marbled in those two colors... that would be awesome!
    Addicted2OxygenLittleLoriM1J0EBaby_Yoda
  • lowleadlowlead USAMember Posts: 42
    Until recently, I was an avid believer that, when it comes to LEGO, there's no such thing as the missing part.
    Then along came 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer - it was made for ME!  I love this monstrosity of grey glory!  The set, however, wasn't without some oddities.  I was missing 1 of the domed bridge deflector shield pieces.  After tearing apart the room, moving furniture, and going through all of the discarded plastic bags to find where it was hiding, I finally had no other explanation - it wasn't included.
    Then to REALLY confuse me, there was a random dark red wedge plate in the pile that doesn't even belong in the set!  WTF?? =oD
    Finally, the instruction book skipped a bunch of steps between 707 and 742, rendering me incapable of building the aft walls of the bridge section!  Thank goodness for online instructions!!
    I'm still waiting for my replacement part from TLG.  After a few weeks, I gave up and bought a couple on Bricklink...which is now also...The LEGO Group.  *sigh*  I didn't even bother mentioning the instruction book. 
    FizyxmadforLEGOBaby_Yodamafon
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,142
    There will always be some variation in colour in parts because of the way LEGO produces sets - parts are made, stored then picked. Different batches will have slight variations, much like paint or cloth. For all parts in a particular set to come from a single batch would imply that LEGO should make smaller batches at a time as each set is produced which would cost more due to more frequent switching of colour and the need to track much smaller batches. Personally, I don't think this is an expense worth paying, as we would be billed for it. Although as I mainly MOC, it would be of no benefit to me anyway, as I would still get bricks from mixed batches.
    catwrangler
  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 767
    lowlead said:
    Until recently, I was an avid believer that, when it comes to LEGO, there's no such thing as the missing part.
    Then along came 75252 Imperial Star Destroyer - it was made for ME!  I love this monstrosity of grey glory!  The set, however, wasn't without some oddities.  I was missing 1 of the domed bridge deflector shield pieces.  After tearing apart the room, moving furniture, and going through all of the discarded plastic bags to find where it was hiding, I finally had no other explanation - it wasn't included.
    Then to REALLY confuse me, there was a random dark red wedge plate in the pile that doesn't even belong in the set!  WTF?? =oD
    Finally, the instruction book skipped a bunch of steps between 707 and 742, rendering me incapable of building the aft walls of the bridge section!  Thank goodness for online instructions!!
    I'm still waiting for my replacement part from TLG.  After a few weeks, I gave up and bought a couple on Bricklink...which is now also...The LEGO Group.  *sigh*  I didn't even bother mentioning the instruction book. 

    Had a similar part substitution in the Welcome to Apocalypseburg set this year. For the large 3x8x2 wedge slopes used for the shaping of the face and robes of Lady Liberty, I accidentally got one too many of the right and one too few of the left. Luckily I got my replacement from Lego within a week or two, and since it was an exterior detail part it didn't stop me from completing the rest of the set without the correct one.

    In my case I can't easily hold it against Lego—the right and left halves of the part would show up identical in weight checks and even if the set's parts were being personally monitored on the assembly line it'd be quite easy to mix the two parts up unless you were sorting entirely by hand. Plus now that I've got the correct part I get to keep the extra right-hand slope that came with the set!

    This is only the second time I can recall having to order a replacement part for a set. The first was the Ninjago Movie Ice Tank, in which two of the four brand-new 5x10x6 half cone pieces I got were molded improperly on the bottom, which wouldn't have kept me from building that particular set but would cause a problem if I wanted to reuse the parts in a way that had the anti-studs all attached to a large base. Luckily Lego was quite responsive then as well, sending me two factory-fresh ones as replacements. I've kept the mismolded ones as well since they'd still be useful for any MOC where having all of the anti-studs usable isn't essential.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,291
    The only times I've ever had mistakes with the included parts is when a particular left- or right-oriented element was replaced with its inverted counterpart - and that's only happened once or twice for me. I guess I'm just lucky. Though according to Brickset, I've only gone through 55k parts worth of sets, which isn't so much experience in comparison with others on here.
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 818
    I've had only once where I got an incorrect part. A different coloured tile had slipped into the bag and replaced the correct one. It was very recently, actually. Up until this past month (I think?) I'd never had an issue. :)
  • BrickByBrickBrickByBrick Massachusetts, USAMember Posts: 646
    I had a spare spear in the tlnm water strider instead of Kai's head and a spare skeleton body instead of a 2x2 wedge plate in the dragon pit
  • CharmiefcbCharmiefcb SydneyMember Posts: 177
    I've had extra parts replacing the parts that should have been in that bag. Happened with the new Y-Wing just the other week. Poe Damerons gun was replaced with a clamp piece that wasn't even used in the set so no idea how that happened. It's not something I would contact Lego over as I have thousands of spare guns but with me it always happens with Star Wars sets. I had a run where I had 3 SW sets in a row with missing pieces.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,142
    In our HP advent calendar, we are missing Hermione but have two McGonagalls. I always check them for missing figures, before the kids start them.
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,281
    My history with missing pieces inspired a friend to make a meme about it, the majority of the sets I've had it happen with have been SDCC ones.
  • daewoodaewoo TexasMember Posts: 367
    I've only ever had a missing piece once, and Lego sent me one promptly when I called about it.  It amazes me that they have so few errors considering the millions of elements they have to produce, store, and package every year.  
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 616
    This amazes me too actually as thankfully I’ve never had the issue of incorrect parts in a set, even sets with a thousand or more pieces.  I’ve had a few red & brown plates break per the usual known issue there, but not yet encountered a set error.  

    I actually wonder how much more improved set packaging on the manufacturing side is responsible for the golden age of LEGO that we're in now.  I think it probably has a lot more to do with it than we might give it credit for.  

    I just recall as a kid (going back 30 years now), a 'large' set would've had 400-500 pieces & cost $40-$50.  Nowadays that same size set costs the same amount (in today's much less valuable dollars) so we would consider that a small to medium set today, with improvements in system to have much more detail & improved building techniques requiring more, albeit often smaller, pieces.  I grant they also save a little on packaging nowadays, whereas vintage sets of even a couple hundred pieces had nice plastic inner trays, & flip top boxes.  Small sets that at one time would've been boxed for 50 or less pieces are now a polybag.

    But holding the line roughly on price across decades wouldn't be possible at all if it wasn't for some kind of vast improvements in manufacturing & packaging.  Sets with thousands of pieces would not be economical to produce decades ago with what must have been a relatively higher cost of accurate set packaging.  



    AstrobricksLittleLoricatwrangler
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,341
    when building the lloyd's mech from this year, one bag had an extra 2*4 bracket. the next bag was missing this same piece.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,688
    As has been previous discussed, I've recently run into a number of crumbling Reddish Brown pieces. Several clips that have just disintegrated, tiles that have snapped in half, and about 10 cheese slops that have cracked nearly through. 

    I've also had a number of LBG bricks and slopes that have cracked this year too. 

    That Reddish Brown color seems to be notorious for issues. I've contact Lego CS, so hopefully they'll continue to replace.  
    KungFuKenny
  • M1J0EM1J0E Calgary, ABMember Posts: 616
    ^ that’s probably what I should’ve done & will remember to do for next time.  I did submit a parts order (can’t remember whether it was B&P or PaB, not sure I know or understand the difference anyways), but it got lost about the time they did the site switchover.  So for the few cents, I just threw them on a BrickLink I was doing anyways.
  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 818
    M1J0E said:
    ^ that’s probably what I should’ve done & will remember to do for next time.  I did submit a parts order (can’t remember whether it was B&P or PaB, not sure I know or understand the difference anyways), but it got lost about the time they did the site switchover.  So for the few cents, I just threw them on a BrickLink I was doing anyways.
    PaB is the "Pick a Brick" section of [email protected], found here: https://www.lego.com/en-ca/page/static/pick-a-brick
    B&P is the replacement parts section, found here: https://www.lego.com/en-us/service/replacementparts
    Bricklink is a network of private shoppes found here: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/main.page

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