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Quality Issue: Cracking white bricks on 10231 Shuttle Expedition

mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
edited June 2013 in Collecting
Anyone seeing this problem with their Shuttle Expedition?

Comments

  • asksolasksol Member Posts: 101
    No but on my UCS R2-d2, they cracked even while building it. 30% of it is cracked at this point, and only the white pieces.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I've seen cracking with other bricks as well, but not to this degree. I'm going to have to contact Lego about this. I keep my sets in a finished room in the basement so there shouldn't be any environmental issues.
    AdeelZubair
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,422
    I wonder if white parts may have a major problem. Earlier this year I filled my Xmas PaB boxes with white 1x8 and 1x4 bricks. I stacked them to store them and when running my finger up and down the sides of the stack, the bumpiness was quite noticeable. I did this to some part stacks from a couple of years ago and everything was smooth.

    Seems like Lego is cutting more and more corners these days.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I can tell you that I don't see any cracking with any of my Futuron sets. The white bricks feel more solid.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Anyone who has a built SE also seeing this, or are yours ok? etc.

    @mathew do you still have the box? Can you tell us the sealing label codes?
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    I bought #31006 a few months ago and nearly all the cheese slopes and a couple of 2x1 plates a now cracked, all white. I've never seen this in any other sets. I've got a photo somewhere that I took to send to TLG, but I never got round to it.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,939
    Nothing on my UCS R2 cracked in the build and I cant see anything wrong with it right now.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    Cheese slopes are notorious for cracking. I'm really surprised there's not more out cry about this considering the collectable nature of Lego.
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    Many of my white pieces on the White House are starting to crack toward the bottom, which is odd considering that its not even built as I've parted it out
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Sometimes internal stress tensors will cause an item to break on its own. I.e. just the very formation of the object results in stress within it, even though no external forces are working on it. It's likely stretching as the plastic cool, which eventually results in a crack when it reaches a fracture point due to weakness from age, UV exposure, etc.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    ^ Thing is that I just built this a few months ago.

    My guess is that it's partially due to stress from handling. I don't play with it per se, but I have picked it up numerous times by the hangar doors. Handling it this way would be pretty common I would think even if Lego doesn't recommend it.

    I still don't think it excuses the poor quality of white Lego bricks as evidenced by other people's problems. It's a problem with 1x1 (various colors), cheese slopes (various colors) and I've even seen it on 1x2 bricks.
  • leppgleppg Member Posts: 45
    I built mine about a week ago, just checked the box for a run number but there is not visible number on the seals that I could find. I will definitely have to keep an eye on it.
  • pumbaughpumbaugh Member Posts: 23
    This thread made me go dig our SE out of the top of my son's closet. It was purchased and assembled shortly after its original release. All the bricks are still pristine-no problems. Unfortunately his box is stashed away somewhere in the attic or I would go check the seals, but was bought in the first few months of release. That looks dreadful--Just curious why would you pick it up by the hangar doors? The natural way to carry to me seems from its "bottom" with the hangar bays closed. Not that the bricks should look like that by any means....
  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,113
    Wow that's some serious manufacturing malfunctioning? Maybe it was a whole run of that particular set and perhaps if enough people contact CS they will do something similar to a recall on a vehicle? Just a thought but definitely worth a try everyone!
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    edited June 2013
    pumbaugh said:

    This thread made me go dig our SE out of the top of my son's closet. It was purchased and assembled shortly after its original release. All the bricks are still pristine-no problems. Unfortunately his box is stashed away somewhere in the attic or I would go check the seals, but was bought in the first few months of release. That looks dreadful--Just curious why would you pick it up by the hangar doors? The natural way to carry to me seems from its "bottom" with the hangar bays closed. Not that the bricks should look like that by any means....

    Did your son play with it a lot? There really isn't a good area to hold onto it from the bottom unless you hold it from the front like a paper airplane.

  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 182
    tensor said:

    Sometimes internal stress tensors will cause an item to break on its own.

    Nice accurate application of your user name.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    Brew said:

    tensor said:

    Sometimes internal stress tensors will cause an item to break on its own.

    Nice accurate application of your user name.
    Heh, yeah, the life of an engineer.
    jasor
  • HarryPotterLoverHarryPotterLover Member Posts: 238
    Update- also several 1x1 orange bricks have cracked as well from some Spongebob sets
  • LegoRoccoLegoRocco Member Posts: 100
    Same with my #10225
  • tsitsi Member Posts: 34
    I've the problem with nearly all red 1x2 bricks of the red passenger train 7938.
    I wouldn't imagine that this could happen with rare expensive bricks of some sets.
  • asksolasksol Member Posts: 101
    edited July 2013
    I called Lego customer service about my R2-D2, and they told me to ship them the broken pieces and they will send me replacements, part by part...

    That is hours of work for me testing each piece to find the bad parts, and then how do I know the rest of the white pieces won't crack soon (some crack immediately, others after repeated use).

    It would have been ok if it was just a few parts, but in this instance the whole set is defect and clearly something was wrong in production (or alternatively while being stored at Lego/the Lego store)

    I called them two weeks ago, and I'm still not finished finding the bad parts, if I ever get the time to send them. Crazy of customer services to expect such a dedication to help them with a defect product.
  • XefanXefan Member Posts: 1,149
    Depends when you bought it of course, and where you are, but as a consumer in the UK at least you would have the right to just return the whole thing to them and ask for a refund or replacement.
    AdeelZubair
  • AdeelZubairAdeelZubair London, UKMember Posts: 2,651
    I just checked my: Diagon Alley, Fast Flyers, Malibu Mansion Attack and I sighted no cracks.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    I just checked mine and I have counted 17 pices with cracks. I'll get pictures and the batch number up tomorrow. I also have a sealed set which is the same batch :(
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,939
    Xefan said:

    Depends when you bought it of course, and where you are, but as a consumer in the UK at least you would have the right to just return the whole thing to them and ask for a refund or replacement.

    Send it all back as above - too much hassle looking for them all if the issue is widespread on your set. Speak to a CS rep on the phone to sort out return - I find they are far easier to deal with and sometimes have discretionary powers to maybe give you a goodwill gesture like a keyring or something.

  • piratemania7piratemania7 New EnglandMember Posts: 2,113
    Has anyone contacted CS yet? I am wondering what their response would be to some of this...
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    I went through the website and requested 20 replacement parts. If they decline I will call them.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    @mathew again, do you still have the box for this? Knowing the batch numbers from the sealing tags will allow others to check their stock for similar bad runs of plastic.
  • meyerc13meyerc13 Member Posts: 227
    I'm not sure that knowing the batch number would help much. Having watched the 1 hour special on the LEGO factory, it seems to me that a bunch of parts are made, stuck in bins, and moved to the warehouse. Then, when a set needs those parts the bins are pulled and sent to packaging. So the parts used in any particular batch are just random parts pulled out of a giant bin, and don't necessarily match to a production run of the part. Assuming the bad parts are a manufacturing defect there isn't really a guaranteed way to tie a batch number to faulty parts.

    In other words, it isn't like the parts go directly from the molding machine into a bag, and since that isn't happening the batch number isn't terribly useful.

    What would be useful is knowing specifically which colors and type of parts are cracking, because this set and others produce around the same time are likely to contain the parts made in the bad production run.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    tensor said:

    @mathew again, do you still have the box for this? Knowing the batch numbers from the sealing tags will allow others to check their stock for similar bad runs of plastic.

    I have the box, but it's broken down and buried under a few dozen other boxes. Like meyer said, I suspect that it more has to do with certain colors and brick types rather than a bad batch. I purchased it late Dec. 2012 from Amazon Warehouse.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    For what it's worth, the element ID is 4629913, White Brick 1X3X2 W/Ins And Outs.Bow

    Here are all of the other sets that contain that element:
    http://www.brickset.com/search/?part=4629913
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2013
    mathew said:

    tensor said:

    @mathew again, do you still have the box for this? Knowing the batch numbers from the sealing tags will allow others to check their stock for similar bad runs of plastic.

    I have the box, but it's broken down and buried under a few dozen other boxes. Like meyer said, I suspect that it more has to do with certain colors and brick types rather than a bad batch. I purchased it late Dec. 2012 from Amazon Warehouse.
    Seeing as there have been reports of those that aren't experiencing the problem you are, it leads me to believe that it indeed is a bad batch problem. While yes, the robots make it all mystical, but at the end of the day, these are physical things made up of physical components via physical processes. One day the batch of pellets may be substandard, or the temperature wasn't high enough, or the pressure too weak, or the robot was experiencing electronic dreams or any number of other problems.

    What it all comes down to is that if your shuttle was bad, made of bad pieces, then the other hundred or thousand on either side of it are also bad. The codes are what link them.

    My point is, the labels are very useful, nay critical to know. It's not the first time, nor will it be the last that those codes will let us know what sets are bad or potentially bad.
  • rancorbaitrancorbait Manitoba CanadaMember Posts: 1,850
    Almost all the white 1x2 plates and Angular Brick 1X1 from my #8096 are cracked.
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited July 2013
    tensor said:

    Seeing as there have been reports of those that aren't experiencing the problem you are, it leads me to believe that it indeed is a bad batch problem.

    That sounds very reasonable.

    Another thing(s) to consider might be environmental conditions to which the plastic is exposed. For example, maybe dry climates leads to more cracking, or maybe moist climates lead to more cracking. Maybe someone lives near a highway, and high concentrations of diesel particulates or other pollutants aid in the degradation/cracking of plastic. Maybe the plastic gets too much or too little UV exposure, etc etc.

    Just my opinion of course, but without a painstaking study taking into consideration a very wide variety of potential causes for cracking, it might be tough to discern the root cause.
  • asksolasksol Member Posts: 101
    @nkx1 If it was environmental then surely other sets would be affected too, and they aren't (only other problem I've seen is that all the light blue 1x2 tiles in my Quinjet has cracks). It could be environment in combination with a particular batch of course, but then it's still a production problem.
  • asksolasksol Member Posts: 101
    btw, there was also a thread about this on Eurobricks a few months back
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited July 2013
    asksol said:

    @nkx1 If it was environmental then surely other sets would be affected too, and they aren't...

    Maybe, maybe not, considering everyone's sets are probably stored in slightly different environmental conditions. I would think cracking from a production issue would result in more widespread deficiencies than cracking from environmental conditions.
  • bluemoosebluemoose Member Posts: 1,716
    For info, there was some discussion on this almost 2 years ago ...
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/21786/#Comment_21786
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    Here are some pictures of my set with cracks.

    #10231 cracked peices. by ljmlego, on Flickr">Lego Shuttle Expedition <a href=#10231 cracked peices." />

    #10231 cracked peices. by ljmlego, on Flickr">Lego Shuttle Expedition <a href=#10231 cracked peices." />

    #10231 cracked peices. by ljmlego, on Flickr">Lego Shuttle Expedition <a href=#10231 cracked peices." />

    I have contacted CS about the issue and advised that I also have a seald copy of this set that I am concerned will have the same problem.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    edited July 2013
    I just received an email from Lego that my replacement parts were being sent out. No questions asked. It was one of those generic form emails so I'm guessing that 20 replacement bricks are a drop in the bucket. I'm going to disassemble this set and put it up for sale so I won't be able to comment on the durability of the replacement parts.

    For what it's worth the box seal is marked: 36 R2
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    edited July 2013
    Well I received the replacement bricks and get this.... Lego has altered the piece in question. I included pics:
    In the first picture of the bottom side. The replacement brick is on the left. In the second picture you can see how the new bricks are slightly more bowed. I can't make out the numbers on the bottom but this is clearly a different mold. I will now have to contact Lego and have them send out replacements for the rest of the bricks because its makes an obvious difference in the model.
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    So no one finds it interesting that Lego has made changes to a mold for possible durability reasons?
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    edited July 2013
    I find it all 'horrifying' actually. I haven't cracked my Expeditions yet but this whole thread has me spooked. First because I don't know if my copies are affected. Second is that the fix is not right if I were affected too. What other sets use this piece in white?
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 647
    edited July 2013
    TLG has been experiencing these types of issues for some years now, based on threads like this one that have popped up on this site and others. As a manufacturer, the company has only a few methods available to solve the problem, and changing the molds slightly to accommodate the material is one of them. Another alternative is changing the materials (including moving back to the pre-mixed ABS if it exists); in this case anyway, it seems that TLG feels changing the molds is the less-expensive long-run alternative to solving the problem.
  • SchwallexSchwallex Member Posts: 121
    Why, the Green Grocer, of course. (^_^)

    And Obi-Wan's Starfighter, Hoth Echo Base, VW Camper, Imperial Landing Craft, Town Plan, Grand Carousel and 16 others.

    I only have three sets with this arch on display right now (Camper, Winter Toy Shop, and Cool Convertible), and have been ever since they came out; checked them all right now and everything's fine. Never had a single cheese slope crack, either — or any part, for that matter —, but if anything that makes such threads more horrifying to me, not less. Too many people reporting, I can't be that one lucky guy.

    @mathew LEGO makes changes to molds all the time, especially for possible durability reasons, but I must say I fail to see how this particular change would address your particular issue. (Though of course I am no materials engineer and can't say with confidence that changing that curve ever so slightly won't affect how the plastic cools down, resulting in better durability.)
  • mathewmathew Member Posts: 2,098
    Schwallex said:

    @mathew LEGO makes changes to molds all the time, especially for possible durability reasons, but I must say I fail to see how this particular change would address your particular issue. (Though of course I am no materials engineer and can't say with confidence that changing that curve ever so slightly won't affect how the plastic cools down, resulting in better durability.)

    Time will tell, but it is interesting that this particular brick that I'm having such a problem with is changed within such a short time. One consideration might be that since the new piece is more bowed that there will be less pressure on the clutch end.
  • MorkManMorkMan Phoenix, Arizona, USAMember Posts: 867
    I have the 10231 marked with 36R2 as well. I disassembled it about a month ago to build it again (this time with the stickers). I pulled out a few of the curves and I don't see cracking. I'll keep checking.
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 475
    Note that I have the Shuttle Adventure which has been built and on display since I got it in January of 2011. I checked it and no cracking whatsoever.
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