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Brick Fatigue (or cracking) when model remains assembled too long?
I just received a thoughtful comment
on my LEGO Storage Guide
about potential damage to LEGO bricks by leaving them assembled, or storing unused parts in stacks.Nathan asked: "I store my common bricks in stacks as a way of color sorting and being able to do quick counts due to the consistent stack size and haven’t noticed any reduction in clutch, but then I’ve only had them in stacks for maybe 5 years... Is [brick fatigue] something there is actual research on or just something everyone knows?"I do not think there has been a definitive study on this topic, but it there is, please let me know!
I have always believed that LEGO bricks can become fatigued or damaged if they remain assembled for too long.
In my personal experience, I have seen quite a few relatively new LEGO bricks which cracked after remaining assembled in a model for just a few years. Specifically, I've seen about 100 cracked bricks in the past three years, most of which were white bricks: mostly 1×1 Cheese, 1×1 Headlight Brick (Erling), and standard 1×1 Bricks. (I have a lot of White bricks, and it's especially easy to see a crack in a white brick.)
Even if there hasn't been a definitive study on this - what have you experienced?
- Have you found that bricks which were stacked became weaker than bricks which weren't?
- What about cracked bricks - has it happened to you?
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Recent discussions •
It happens to other pieces too, but it tends to depend on colour.
Good job you can't stack cheese slopes to store them! ;)
The only damaged ones I have (aside from kids play damage) are 1*1 cheese.
But all of the bricks and parts in my MOCs were made of some European LEGO with Bayer supplied and colored ABS pellets.... and mostly American LEGO with (I assume) Borg-Warner supplied and colored ABS pellets.
Before the current century.... LEGO cracking, or reduced clutch power, were both unknown to me, and I had 500K+ parts.
The yellowing of white parts was however always a problem with my collection.
This is actually one of the main reasons I'm exploring more brands of blocks. So far, I haven't seen them disintegrate like lego does.
No cracked pieces at all in my household [as far as I know], though...
bricks that became weaker or lost clutch power: as a child I built many ships and put them into water. I experienced that clutch power became significantly less. But this is a memory from about 1973.
Having said this: I feel that red bricks (2x4) always have and had less clutch power than other colours.
The couple of sets I have from the 80s are also fine, apart from white discolouration.
Not seen any issues with sets from the last few years, but probably too soon to tell.
My paranoia is that I won’t buy lego from the US, as it seems most complaints about bricks are from there.
My earliest Lego pieces are from 1976. I have some MOCs on display with pieces from the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s, and none of them show cracks, even those where the Models have been on constant display for several decades.
My newer sets on display are from 2009 onwards, and none of them show cracks either.
The only Lego pieces I have ever had that displayed cracks or that broke were those that I used to force apart as a child in the pre-Brick Separator days, where every means was used (teeth, forks, knives, other bricks or various "tools").
there are countless explanations and excusses but there are a few undeniable facts,
This problem is most frequent in the USA for some reason AND LEGO has now become the worst quality toy on the market in the US.
no toy from Hasbro, Mattel, Fisherprice ect, has EVER crubled to dust like LEGO does.
Hell, I'd say that $100 and 5 years more than meets the "got your money's worth" standard.
How many minifigures do you own? I understand that one cracked torso is one too many, just wondering how many cracked figures you have as a percentage of the total you own, since it seems you have a lot more cracked figures than most other people are reporting.
.....WOW...i stand corrected. i have never heard of that...and YET!..i have had LEGO gold plastic crumble the same way. i actualy sent that part to them so they could study it....I never got a replacement.
Thats the only explanation i have! lol! its only because I touched them that they broke.
Actually I'm getting rather annoyed by this discussion. Please send proof and also mention how the affected parts were stored: temperature, humidity and so on. If you can not post clear pictures, please stop complaining......
(Send in your down votes.)
i cant say the same for the old room..
(check the link) Pictures of this "problem" .....have been posted multiple times on multiple threads.
I myself have already stated, "how the affected parts were stored: temperature, humidity and so on."
If you are "Annoyed by this discussion" I suggest you quit reading it and prevent any more "annoyance"
as you stated, this affects people from the USA only.
I'm very glad you don't have to deal with this problem, or maybe you wouldn't be concerned with it anyway but its attitudes like that that make it so nothing gets any better.
pretending the problem isn't there just because YOU haven't seen photographic proof does not deem it "complaining about a nonexistent problem".
Anecdotally my experience with other bricks from the era is that stacked/unstacked doesn't seem to matter. 15ish years ago I stacked all my tan bricks and stored them; last summer I took them all out and built with them; they were fine. I didn't notice any issues whatsoever. I've noticed that minifig hands get accustomed to what they're holding... if there's an object in the hand the hand gets loose, if there's an element attached around it (via an anti-stud connection) the hand gets tight. This happens over a period of months and goes away if you just let the minifig put down its items.
I have had 15 Different colors of plastic all crack the same way without any use.
all from LEGO......thats sad.....
Time ages things. That’s it’s role in the universe.
Every Minifigure torso (and several bricks) cracked in the following:
like I said, that's only some of them.
I'm spending some money to further study this problem and actually try to help some folks by doing something about it.
I'm exposing brand new parts to different conditions to isolate just what the deal is.
I really could use some help doing this though if we want to get anywhere.
to prevent torsos from cracking, since 2015 I have left my figures with their legs off when I'm not using them.
right now I'm going to leave a brand new figure together through the month of December and see how it reacts.