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neck blotch / neck spot

mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
In another discussion, the characteristical "neck blotch" / "neck spot" on minifigures (the black spot in this image) has been mentioned. Which reminded me that I always wondered what it's good for. Does anybody know?

I thought that maybe it's to distinguish front from back without the arms on, or it's a test print to see if ink sticks to plastic, etc. etc. etc. But does anybody know for sure?


  • caperberrycaperberry LondonMember Posts: 2,226
    I don't know for sure but believe it was so the machines knew the back from the front in order to print on the torso.
  • chrisdojochrisdojo Member Posts: 169
    I have always thought that the little bit of paint on the neck helps the head stay on better. If you have older minifigs without the paint, the heads go on / come off and turn easier compared to the "painted necks".

    I have a few late 70s minifigs (non painted necks) that have been well played with and the heads are loose, though not to the point of falling off when held upside down.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    My understanding is that for older machines the little paint on the neck was used to properly align the minifigures in the assembly process. For newer machines (like the ones used at the China factory) the paint is not needed as they have other ways to align the torso.
  • Dread_PirateDread_Pirate Member Posts: 184
    The paint is used to locate the front or back of a torso. When the torso comes up for assembly a camera in the machine looks for the black (or white on black bodies) and if it finds it then the fig stays if not a little shot of air throws the torso back into the drum for another round. There is a video on youtube that shows how this process is done. Search for how Lego is made.
  • legomasonlegomason Member Posts: 190
    Isn't it for putting the arms on the right way?
  • just2goodjust2good Member Posts: 247
    I think it's also to keep the head on tight. CMFs and other China-made figures don't have it because I think it's more expensive.
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