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Plated parts?

cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 261
I'm curious, why doesn't Lego use shiny plated parts like they did in the '80s and '90s? Now, most every metallic piece is a pearl color, save The Ring from Lord of the Rings (which I actually admit buying to fill out a Bricklink minimum order quota). 

Is it because it isn't durable and flakes off (and the coating is perhaps something toxic) or cost? 


  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,356
    I think it is both of those things (Except I would not call flaking toxic compared to other things, but probably not something you want kids eating). Plated parts are not impossible to find in sets, the LoTR and Hobbit sets have the one ring, if I recall and I think the pirate sets had chrome coins again
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 762
    Definitely cost was the primary motivator here. The shiny dye/coating was judged to be cost-inefficient for most pieces by around 2003 or 2004. I've still got a handful of chrome parts from one of the weird Jack Stone-esque Creator sets at that time.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 2,086
    What Lego doesn't do, others will. There are several cottage industries that will plate any Lego part for you. 
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,356
    mmm. Gold plated sausages
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,472
    I’ve got one of the chromed angle plates from the UCS Naboo fighter #10026 (I assume) which I found in a used lot I picked up. That was from 2002.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,815
    Also plated bricks and so on need to have a slightly different size to the base part, to account for the thickness of the plating.
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 897
    Not just Lego, through the years I've seen toys like Playmobil, Transformers, Sentai Force etc replacing chrome plated parts with grey coloured parts.

    They're basically trying to reduce manufacturing cost to maximise profit.

    Nowadays I think mostly those high end toys can afford to have chrome parts.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 378
    edited June 2018
    I have some newer (still pre-2010) plated parts like a gold crystal and such. Strangely, Brickset does not seem to list any sort of plated parts. In fact, there appears to be a lot of colors missing from the database entirely.

    EDIT: Harry Potter sets and space sets are some of the newer ones that can have plated parts that I've seen.
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 762
    There are some off exceptions to the removal of plating - not just the One Ring but also Count Dooku's Lightsaber hilt (which has always been chrome) and generally shiny things like treasure or gems/crystals. Imagine an 'Extras' poly full of 'treasure' parts - all the Smaugs out there would go bonkers!
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