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Bad clutch on some new parts.

I did a forum search for "clutch" combined with a few derogatory terms before I posted this and didn't find anything. I just finished a couple of sets I had picked up and was greatly disappointed, and a little concerened, about a few pieces. Specifically:

Set #79104 The Shell Raiser Street Chase - the 1x2 yellow slopes and the 1x16 brick have almost zero clutch power. Before I had the upper layers complete, I could not keep this thing from falling apart. It just would not hold. The slopes just about fall off on their own. I have never seen this in a set before. But then:

Set #70006 Cragger's Command Ship - I don't know what you call them, but the little 1x1 domed pieces with the little black driving levers have EXACTLY zero clutch power. They fall off if you even touch them - the levers cannot be moved because the piece just falls off.

Both are new sets. I've never encountered this - I have a ton of sets. I think clutch has decreased somewhat, but combine this with the weird (I mean it looks COMPLETELY out of place for LEGO) hull piece for #70006 and it just made me feel a little concerned about LEGO.

I just noticed this hull appears in three other sets....

Comments

  • BustinBustin Member Posts: 286
    I have encountered the joystick type pieces doing this quite often lately. (1x1 dome with lever). It is quite annoying, usually there is a spare in each set containing one though.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    This may be intentional. When I was a kid in the mid-80s, these had more clutch and were notoriously difficult to remove in some cases.
    Oldfan
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,546
    I've heard elsewhere (can't remember where now) about some people saying the Chima parts don't 'feel' the same, a bit soft around the edges or something. But i don't know, having not bought any.

    Maybe its part of TLG's master plan, to slowly introduce some crummy standards so we don't notice the sudden drop off the proverbial cliff edge when they ramp up full scale production in China! LOL
    :oS

    (Just being facetious/not to be taken seriously)
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    I've kind of been wondering if the LEGO brand quality is slipping as I've seen this myself. Most notably in #6860 The Batcave. About 1/3 of the pieces felt slightly 'lighter' than I thought they should and had a very weak clutch. It kind of felt like I was building a LEGO set mixed together with partial LEGO 'knock off' pieces. Really unsettling, actually. I almost called CS to complain, but then never did.

    I'm not sure what is going on with this.
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    I've only noticed a few pieces with weak clutch power. One was a 1x3 arch from a small pink bucket, another was a piece from a Superman vs Power Armour Lex set, inside one of the trans-clear domes on the back there's a small piece that slots into an axle hole on the 2x2 round brick and it kept falling out of the brick - just wouldn't hold. I swapped the round brick over with one elsewhere in the model and it was fine so not a huge disaster - I have 2 of these sets and the other set was fine.

    What I've also noticed is a very noticable variation in colour. In the Ninjago fire temple the log pieces are quite different in colour even though they are supposed to be reddish brown - I tried to group them together as much as possible so it was less noticable. More recently in #60003 Fire Emergency I noticed some of the red bricks in the fire truck were a different colour of red - the 1x1x3 bricks with clips that hold the yellow bars are a very noticably different colour.

    Mostly though I don't mind as long as they clutch well and they usually do.

    As for that hull, it is a strange piece for that set indeed but it's used in the fire boat and also city harbour too - they float and I could see for MOCs of military vessels that it could be desirable because of its colour. I don't mind them so much because there's a reason for them being one big piece at least.
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,546
    Colour inconsistency is definitely on the increase, in fact i can't remember the last set i built that didn't have some 'range' issue across the 'same' colour pieces. I guess it's entirely down to the way they introduce and mix in the colour now, rather than using pre-coloured abs.
  • margotmargot Member Posts: 2,310
    Definitely complain!!! Lego needs to know people are noticing a drop in quality.
    madforLEGO
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Yes this should be brought up by the Ambassadors on behalf of all AFOL's.
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    ^^ I sent a complaint about the piece from the pink box. Lego got back to me very quickly and thanked me for the information.

    Another thing I noticed was 2 pieces from #7066 Earth Defense HQ, part 4596 (Grey Plate 1X2X4 w. Tube) the tube bit has split in both of the pieces for the UFO. I only noticed this recently - the plastic for these just 'felt' cheaper to be honest. It's not a huge deal but annoying all the same since they are easy to come by and I do have a few spares although probably not in lt. bley.
  • truktruk Member Posts: 46
    The yellows in the Dino sets are noticably lighter than older pieces, both in color and weight. I have not really seen a decrease in clutch though.

    If anything, the worst I've seen are from the early 2000's Star Wars sets that I've been picking up (major dark age from 1997-2006, then slowing building back to full-on obsession). Some of those, especially the old dark greys, might as well be wooden alphabet blocks.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,271
    I would say that if people are noticing poor quality then they need to take it to LEGO CS and not just gripe about it on forums.
    The more complaints they get then the more they should take it seriously.
    Just be kind, to the point, but do not use derogatory, or abusive language language and be descriptive.
    If more people do that then LEGO should figure out that they need to knock up their QC a few notches
    plasmodiummargotchrisdojoMorkMan
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 615
    ^^That's interesting, I never noticed any clutch issues with my old gray bricks in the SW sets. Maybe your used bricks saw a lot more wear and tear than mine (which were not disassembled/reassembled more than 10 times IIRC)?
  • tamamahmtamamahm Member Posts: 1,938
    I have to agree about contacting Lego CS.
    The one time I had a quality issue, I contacted them and they really went out of their way. They sent me an envelope to send the defective part back, to better understand the issue, and sent me a new piece.
  • truktruk Member Posts: 46
    Oldfan said:

    ^^That's interesting, I never noticed any clutch issues with my old gray bricks in the SW sets. Maybe your used bricks saw a lot more wear and tear than mine (which were not disassembled/reassembled more than 10 times IIRC)?

    Yes, they'd all been purchased used, but oddly, each from different sources.

    Aside from from some yellowing, I don't think any of my original pieces from the 80's are anywhere near as bad (and they got played with a lot!), but it's probably a combination of heavy use and slightly less durable ABS on the Star Wars pieces.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I noticed this with some new sets I've bought since I started collecting Lego again in 1999 (it never happens with second-hand sets). Noticably Market Street (those grey plates which go around the middle of each floor) and the arches in that new Pirates Imperial fort. It's not just 21st century sets either. There's a Pirate hideout from about 1997 which includes a shipwreck. No matter what I do the pieces of the shipwreck (black beams and inverted slopes) just refuse to stay together. I've also noticed the same problems with some of the pieces on the back of the submarine in the Aquazone base from 1998, the main floor plate in the re-issue of Guarded Inn, the radar dishes on that big light-and-sound spaceship from the 1980s, the cylinder-shaped support pieces in a castle from the mid-1990s and the arches on that 1990s Pirate Trading Centre.

    I'm pretty sure when I used to collect Lego back in the 1980s I never came across anything like this.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515

    I noticed this with some new sets I've bought since I started collecting Lego again in 1999 (it never happens with second-hand sets). Noticably Market Street (those grey plates which go around the middle of each floor) and the arches in that new Pirates Imperial fort.

    They are meant to be loose, so you can easily remove each floor as a whole without breaking the model.
  • plantmanplantman Member Posts: 97
    I find myself wondering if LEGO is letting some lower tolerance pieces make their way out of end-of-life tooling to maximize profits on the molds. I know where I used to work it was company policy to do this. As tooling wears and reaches end of life we would track variance trough QC sampling (can't check every part - unless it's military). We always knew that parts held tighter tolerances with new tools, and started to drift as the tool wore out. The trick was pulling the tooling before the process was out of control - but it wasn't always successful - some non-conforming parts would make it out (to my embarrassment - I usually ended up having to go to companies and apologize when this happened).
    LEGO faces the same issue, but it always seemed their controls were far tighter than those I was used to - more like standards utilized in the electonics industry and companies like Toyota. I was just worried when I first posted on this problem that maybe LEGO had loosened their standards a bit. I never had a bad part before.
    After first posting on this, I got the idea to start displaying all my minis (they were unhappy suffocating in bags) - and noticed another issue. The legs on quite a few of my newer minis are much looser than the older ones and the plastic seems entirely different.
    Well, that was a long post, time for a nap...
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    CCC said:

    I noticed this with some new sets I've bought since I started collecting Lego again in 1999 (it never happens with second-hand sets). Noticably Market Street (those grey plates which go around the middle of each floor) and the arches in that new Pirates Imperial fort.

    They are meant to be loose, so you can easily remove each floor as a whole without breaking the model.
    Yes, but the grey plates (the ones I mean are 2 studs wide) are surely not meant to fall off or refuse to stay connected to the main floor plates.
  • adventure_aladventure_al Scotland Member Posts: 243
    Having suffered a long dark age... my purchases in the last months have been nostaligic pieces. Bricks from 80s and 90s... I've now dabbled in more recent stuff. Having been out of the game for a number of years not being subject to gradule changes I can say 100% the quality across the board has changed. In clutch and colours. Maybe not by much (Lego is still a quality product) but its certainly changed. I got a Pharoah Quest set and the clutch on some pieces is poor and the yellow of the characters head looks very cheap in comparison to my older figures.
  • StuBoyStuBoy New ZealandMember Posts: 623
    My beef is with 1x1 cheese slopes - my son has tons of these that have split up the middle on sets that have only been assembled once and remained intact. I'm almost afraid to look closely at my Tantive IV, it has quite a few white cheese slopes.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    In my experience those 1x1 flat transparent plates often seem to crack and break in half. Sometimes this happens with 1x1 one-stud transparent plates as well. Maybe it's something to do with the transparent plastic being weaker or thinner.
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