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9492 TIE fighter: Quality Issues?

sureshsuresh Member Posts: 3
edited March 2012 in Collecting
Getting back into legos after a long break. My first new set was the 9493 and it is awesome. To pair up with it I wanted a 9492. I was so excited to get my 9492 set and to put it together. Then I started seeing the issues. I have opened only packet 1 but almost ALL the grey bricks have some discoloration on 1 of the stubs. The Lego logo is also not fully printed on this specific stub. Some of the bricks have some discoloration on the side. The bricks do not fit together. I am pretty sure that this is not counterfeit as I purchased it from a legit Canadian online retailer. Anyone else see these issues, or is this the new quality level for legos?


  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,157
    I have this set. I'm from the UK and I assume all 9492 sets, no matter where they go are made at the same factory or same set of factories (for the components on an individual basis). I had no complaints with mine, except the Death Star Trooper's helmet was missing. Also on my 9493 set the sticker sheet was missing. As these are both licensed parts it's a long winded process for getting replacements. I have to prove my ownership of these sets by getting some code off the back of the instruction manuals and supplying it to TLG before they'll replace. Fair enough - but I've stashed the boxes and instructions up in the loft and will have to get the ladders to get them out again.

    I did have issue with a series 1 planet set for the Tie interceptor I bought recently. The bricks went together very loosely to make up the base, almost no "bite" to them at all when putting them together. Some common bricks between the 2 sets have issues?

    I hear more and more about Lego complaints and experience missing pieces that I never did as a kid. Almost every other set I have bout in the last 2 years has been missing something.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited March 2012
    Probably chinese made and some people like @Huw are easily able to tell the difference. Chinese made bricks tend to sneak into more and more sets, but the way to stop it happening is to tell Lego about the problems youre having.
  • chrisdojochrisdojo Member Posts: 169
    I would sure complain to LEGO - and demand a replacement (etc). I'm all about keeping cost down, but not at the point where the quality of the pieces are compromised.
  • bellybutton290bellybutton290 Member Posts: 453
    ^here here
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,059
    It's not normal to have Chinese parts in regular sets, other than specialist heads, heads etc., although they are creeping in more and more for other complex parts/prints, like Wonder Woman's legs.

    I don't know that LEGO even makes normal parts in China...
  • legoDadlegoDad Member Posts: 529
    I'm not surprised they 'sneak' in more parts of lesser quality. Gotta' complain to Lego when you see it...don't let them off the hook. I noticed some bricks being slightly discolored. Not alot but one or two here and there. Can't remember the set but it's a 2012 kit. And the clutch seemed weak too.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 700
    edited March 2012
    ...almost ALL the grey bricks have some discoloration on 1 of the stubs. The Lego logo is also not fully printed on this specific stub...
    Speaking as an engineer who works with injection-molded parts: Is it possible that this particular part was a "short-shot" out of the mold? If the molding process isn't operating to specifications, the injected plastic does not fully fill up the mold cavity. If the stud in question is on the opposite side of the part from the "gate" (where the plastic enters the mold cavity; look for a divot or otherways slight imperfection in the part; all molded parts have them), then this area is the last to receive the molten plastic during the injection process. This condition is known as a "short-shot", because the plastic falls "short" of its intended shape in the mold. The discoloration could be due to uneven cooling of that short-shot area (because the mold itself acts as the cooling agent for the part after the plastic fills the cavity). (The molding engineers among us could offer up much more detailed explanations I'm sure...)

    This situation, if this is really what is happening, is a manufacturing quality issue. At the tight tolerance specifications of the LEGO brick shape, it probably doesn't take much of a hiccup in the mold machine to churn out a few dozen short-shot parts. Definitely let TLG know about the problem, as others have mentioned; it's tough to trace such a quality issue back to the source, but if it happens over and over, then someone will start an investigation and maybe uncover some hidden root cause.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,234
    I myself would like to see pictures of these issues before rendering judgment.
  • TheCoryJihadTheCoryJihad Member Posts: 26
    I've had some issues similar to @suresh with a couple of my sets looking like the bricks have been chewed on around the corners. I haven't had this exact issue, but rest assured, you're not alone.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,357
    Looks a bit too Mega-Blocky for my liking, I think we might have a serious case of Chinese plastic here... Definitely worth calling Lego up about a replacement. Good luck!
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 564
    The stud with the badly logo is not an error or mistake. It's pip. This is the point where the plastic is injected into the mold. The old pips were on the side. I don't remember when this change happened, I think the 80's.

    As for the bricks not fittings, that sounds very odd. I've had a couple of short shots, badly cooled or melted bricks, but they're rare. I've never had more than one bad brick in a given set.
  • Jonn420Jonn420 Member Posts: 267
    i agree, they scream of mega block quality
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    hmm, the quality and tightness of the fitting in some of those pictures looks very worrying. I really hope Lego don't forget what makes them great.

    You get what you pay for, and you can only cut costs so much before you cut quality, i.e. like some of the recent minifigs.

    By far the worst quality minifig I have in my collection is the ceremonial Han Solo that came free with the character encyclopedia, the legs were loose from the outset.
  • sureshsuresh Member Posts: 3
    @LusiferSam I can assure you that the same kind of bricks in my 9493 set are perfectly well formed on all the studs (The lego logo is also clearly printed on all the studs). And they fit like a dream.
  • The_Brick_BuilderThe_Brick_Builder Member Posts: 658
    edited March 2012
    LEGO quality is really beginning to diminish.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 542
    I don't think this is a case of poorer standards, per se. This is really an anamoly (sp?). I wonder if it sat too close to a heater or something before it was boxed. That is very odd, but I am not going to call LEGO quality "diminished" yet. I agree with a post above that LEGO will probably send you a replacement set with haste.
  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    Comparing the quality of the newer bricks to the fairly old ones, I's say the clutch power has indeed diminished. Whereas before I sometimes cursed at how hard it was to take off plates and bricks together (before I discovered the brick separator), now everything comes off easily, and so I miss the clutch power of yore.

    Still, there is no need to compare LEGO with MB, as I have found the plates I sometimes get from buying lots get broken when you separate them from other pieces.
  • YpresYpres Member Posts: 200
    I find it very hard to believe someone bought a set to discover the majority of pieces are low quality. If this were indeed the problem it would have set off several other alarms throughout the Lego company's complaint service... to which they would've already responded. Chinese pieces are around, but they're not taking over. I personally don't really like to compare new Lego bricks to old ones. I've never had problems with new bricks, nor have I had them break while assembling a model. Old bricks however have long since lost their lustre and are beginning to fade. HECK, I discovered that all my old exo-force sets had gone yellow (What generation are those anyway; considering they're not too recent, nor too old?).

    Sorry, but this whole topic seems to be bordering on pure superstition. For all I know (or care) this could just be a case of somebody who hasn't transitioned from grey to "bley" yet. I REALLY don't believe a modern set could have the majority of pieces in such poor quality. Contact Lego, see if they care.
  • OrthobotrexOrthobotrex Member Posts: 165
    edited March 2012
    ^ So what would be your oldest set, then?

    It's not the LEGO plates that break, it's the MegaBloks plates. Some LEGO parts will have cracks in them with time, but they never break with use when they are new.
  • LusiferSamLusiferSam MontanaMember Posts: 564
    @suresh We must be talking about two different things. Every Lego element must have a pip. On bricks, it's normally a single stud and that stud has a a 'E' and 'G' that isn't readable. I've seen other variations, but you're photo shows a standard pip on the stud.

    Looking at you photos I think I see the issue, but I'm not sure. Is it possible to for you to post a photo of the side discoloration and the bricks not fitting together? From the earlier photos it looks like the bricks are fitting together fine, exempt for one or two places. Also just a pair of bricks not fitting would be good, rather than a brick not fitting in the built set.
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