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Curious how others feel about color discrepancies in grey bricks

I know I can't be alone in this problem that I've noticed for awhile. There is an issue with some of the light grey bricks being a shade lighter. It is difficult to notice unless you lay the bricks side-by-side. I first noticed the issue with the 10264 Corner Garage. At first I thought it was only the 1x1 bricks but there are others like the 1x6 stud tile. I only noticed the other bricks while disassembling the sets over the past few weeks (we are in process of trying to find a second home in warmer climates... one with enough rooms that I can have a dedicated LEGO room). I have since noticed the problem in 71040 Disney Castle and 10270 Bookshop. There is also a smaller City set that had the same issue with four bricks. It's the 2020 model with the long, cigar race boat on a trailer. The bricks with the issue are the "L" shaped ones that have 4x4 on one side and then 2x2 on the other. The kind used for creating studied surfaces 90 degrees from the original stud. 

Naturally I've reached out to LEGO for replacement, which they are always willing to take care of promptly. What I don't get is how a few of the customer service reps have had no clue what I'm talking about. I am wondering if I am being too sensitive about this issue? I kind of feel like these higher end sets are a collectible thing so they should be intact. I'm not as concerned about a $20-$30 USD product. The color variance is slight enough that in darker lighting, it is easy to overlook. This has been my problem as I tend to put sets together in the evening during colder months when the sun disappears quicker. I have requested replacement bricks twice for the 10264 Corner Garage and STILL have some that don't match. My next task is to go through every light grey piece in several sets and make an inventory of the bricks with the problem. 

So... with that said, has anyone else noticed this, and if so, does it bother you? I've been collecting since 1979 when I was 9 years old but took a break for quite a few years so I don't remember ever seeing this problem. Maybe this is normal. Colors do change. 


  • klintonklinton CanadaMember Posts: 1,085
    Honestly, grey bricks are usually used to represent stone or concrete in most builds. Inconsistencies in colouration kind of enhance the build most of the time, imho. The exception might be when constructing a spaceship or something where they're meant to represent a metalic surface.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 1,610
    I hate to be the one to tell you, but... it isn't just grey! There's a lot of variation in several colors. For me, it's just a minor annoyance, more than compensated for by the number of colors and pieces available these days. 
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 841
    This is an issue which Jang has brought up on his product reviews quite a few times recently. It seems as if the QC standards for colors has really laxed in the last couple years. It's not only gray (tough that one is often particularly bad) but also tan, dark red, blue, and others that it's been noticed.
  • mfsingermfsinger Member Posts: 8
    Hrmmmm.... well I haven't noticed it in other colors so I wonder what that says about me?! I had LASIK in October of 2019 and the colors of the world were "enhanced". Many of the sets were assembled prior to that. I get the concept of stone/concrete. Makes sense. And I do remember someone complaining about the color issues with the Ghostbuster's Firehall. I guess it just comes down to personal preference. If it bothers me enough, LEGO will send me replacements. It really only matters to me when I'm dropping $150+ on a set. Otherwise I can deal. Thanks for the input!
  • karritkarrit USAMember Posts: 129
    As others have said this issue isn't exclusive to any one particular color.  I dare say it isn't even a recent issue.  I have all my brother's old bricks going back to the 1960's.  The red ones in particular have a subset that while still opaque are definitely made of a totally different mixture as they are slightly translucent.  They have always been that way and it has always bothered me even way back then.  They definitely look like they aren't true Lego when used with the other bricks even though they are.  They are all different shapes including the very old style windows, doors, 1x2, 1x4, 1x6, 2x2, 2x4, 2x6 and even some corner bricks.  Nothing that I have bought in recent years or even going back to the 1980's or 1990's looks as off to me as those old red bricks do.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,144
    edited June 11
    ^^ That is because in the 1960s they used Cellulose Acetate as the plastic.  This is especially noticeable in red, yellow and blue Cellulose Acetate.  New bricks in that material are shinier than ABS plastic.  Red is more of a semi-transparent orange-red color, yellow is a lemon chiffon shade of yellow, and blue is a brighter shade.  TLG switched to ABS plastic in 1963. 

    However, Cellulose Acetate parts in red and yellow are known in some USA/Canada Samsonite LEGO sets as late as the late 1960s, while Europe switched over much earlier (1963-64).  I sometimes think that TLG shipped their remaining supply of CA pellets to Samsonite, since there is this large time difference. 

  • KungFuKennyKungFuKenny Deep in the Heart of TexasMember Posts: 1,103
    edited June 18
    pxchris said:
    This is an issue which Jang has brought up on his product reviews quite a few times recently. It seems as if the QC standards for colors has really laxed in the last couple years. It's not only gray (tough that one is often particularly bad) but also tan, dark red, blue, and others that it's been noticed.
    This issue is cropping up a bit with the dark red pieces in #40501 (pic from the main page review)...

  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 509
    Wow!  That's a about a bad I've seen in recent years.  Around 2007 and 2008 I remember there being huge discrepancies in colors with reddish brown and sand green leading the pack.  It seems like the issue had been resolved or at less was a minor issue until recently.  But this discrepancy with dark red is shockingly bad.  Lego's QC should be embarrassed by this.

  • vanvonfullvanvonfull washingtonMember Posts: 78
    i've seen issues with the light yellow fiat. is this the type of thing that will be remedied as manufacturing continues for that set? I'm wondering if i should wait to buy.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,958
    i've seen issues with the light yellow fiat. is this the type of thing that will be remedied as manufacturing continues for that set? I'm wondering if i should wait to buy.
    I suspect, due to this being a continuing issue with multiple colors, that there is no point waiting. TLG certainly won’t fix the problem just due to how it looks in one set.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,570
    This is a problem LEGO has had since they went away from the pre-colored pellets. It's not gonna go away with the factories mixing the color in before they need the plastic. If I remember correctly the plastic for the China factory has to be made in China. Let's not even think of what's gonna happen when they move to the plant based plastic. Yes LEGO will replace off colored bricks, but there's no guarantee it will match better. I also wonder how many times LEGO will let you get new parts before they block you.
  • FodderFodder AustraliaMember Posts: 314
    I had a few white 1x2 and/or 1x3 bricks from my Superhero Airport Battle set that look almost pale blue with a strange translucent sheen to them. Since I bought the set mainly for Giant-Man I didn't bother trying to seek replacements from Lego.
  • mfsingermfsinger Member Posts: 8
    So that red color difference you see is as bad as the light grey I was referring to. I never got around to doing a comparison photo but feel like I should. It's one of those things you wouldn't notice if you had the bricks laying in piles with other colors. It's not until you stack them up that you realize there's an issue. 
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 1,610
    I suggest you all go to the main site and read Huw's review of #40501, particularly what he says about the variation in dark red.
  • im2cre8ivim2cre8iv Utah, USAMember Posts: 120
    edited June 19
    I suggest you all go to the main site and read Huw's review of #40501, particularly what he says about the variation in dark red.
    Where he says “I suspect people will comment on it”, instead of calling LEGO out on it?
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 1,610
    No, I meant the bit about it looking far worse in photos than in normal light.
  • mfsingermfsinger Member Posts: 8
    I'm thinking that with the "wooden"duck, variations would lend to the painted wood look. I guess my point with posting was whether or not it bothered anybody else. In sets like Corner Garage and the Disney Castle it annoys the heck out of me. High dollar items with collectible value. I am super sensitive about certain things but also realize I can be a bit "high maintenance" at times. This leads me to question myself and to feel "bad" about requesting replacement bricks. I don't want to be that a**hole customer. 
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,318
    edited June 19
    Exactly. What Huw was pointing out was that he had only noticed the colour variation when looking at the pictures, and not when he was putting the set together:
    To be honest, I did not notice until I looked at the photos which make it look far worse than it does in normal light.

     Which of course some people have to interpret as "Huw is shilling for TLG" 🙄(Paraphrasing here)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    I often find I don't notice a colour difference when building, but do when I stick the final model under some LED lighting to display it.
  • im2cre8ivim2cre8iv Utah, USAMember Posts: 120
    Sand green is another color that has terrible variation. I got my hands on a Haunted House and was struck by how much variation there was.
  • im2cre8ivim2cre8iv Utah, USAMember Posts: 120
    edited June 20
    I think most people realize they don’t have a voice for LEGO to hear - I doubt that LEGO crawls through these message boards or the comments on the reviews left on the home page. However, if an unbiased reviewer did mention the frequency of the color discrepancies in a review (instead of mentioning that people will complain about it - as if the problem is with us instead of the product), I think it would be well-received. 

    I would applaud an entire article dedicated to the quality control color issues over the last few years. I don’t know if calling LEGO out like that has implications for getting “cut-off” from getting free sets to review, but it would certainly improve the “unbiased” image. Feedback like that, coming from a major review site will have a much bigger impact than someone just blogging or tweeting about it.
  • mfsingermfsinger Member Posts: 8
    Well if it is worth anything, I did send some comments to LEGO about it. Along with specifics and photos. What started all of this is when I would call to get replacement parts, the rep would say they have never heard of this problem. That made me wonder if they are trained to say that because there's no way I am the ONLY person out there with this problem. I don't know what good it will do. If I get the impression this is one of those things they are quite aware of but choose to pretend they don't know about, you can bet I'll comb through EVERY set I have and request replacement parts. I'll work with you if you admit you have a problem. BS me and pretend nothing is wrong and I'll be "that guy". Let's face it, these sets aren't cheap. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,725
    If they have never heard of it then they are probably either new or not telling the truth. If multiple reps say they have never heard of it, then maybe they are following a script. Poor colouring matching has been around for quite a long time. I doubt LEGO cares too much about it, as kids will still play with the sets they make and parents probably don't notice or care enough to contact LEGO about it. If there core market doesn't complain, and the costs of servicing the small number of adults that do complain is small, then they have no incentive to change. Presumably enough fuss was made over the easily cracking parts in reddish brown to make them actually do something about it.
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