Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.comAmazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Quality issues / broken parts

123578

Comments

  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 182
    For whatever reason, I never was interested in buying the TB. It's nice looking, but never felt the pull.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,003
    Check seals if you want to know where they come from. S is Europe. R is Mexico. I don't know if you can assume all parts will be made there but I would suspect that a high percentage of standard type bricks in the set would be mfgd at that site. 
  • mustang69mustang69 North CarolinaMember Posts: 544
    So I finally just got around to putting my #40139 Gingerbread Houses back together after getting the replacement parts I requested (I got them a while ago just had put off building them). Well wouldnt you know, I should have waited to make sure I didnt have any more broken parts. Three of the 1x1 white round tiles with the red swirl are cracked as well as 3 of the 1x1 tiles, one each in pink, yellow and green. 

    This time I am going to wait until I build them both to make sure I have final tally of what is broken so I can get everything at once. I just hope they dont give me a hard time about making a second request for the same set.

    I actually considered just living with it but remembered what some of you had said here, that the more we point out quality issues the better chance TLG will take notice and make improvements.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    mustang69 said:

    I actually considered just living with it but remembered what some of you had said here, that the more we point out quality issues the better chance TLG will take notice and make improvements.
    I imagine they know, but just haven't worked out what the problem is because they don't have enough data.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 15,095
    I've built three TBs, no cracks in any of the pieces.  One has been on display for three years.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    edited March 2016
    Don't tell me you all store your mini figures with the arms attached to the torsos?  C'mon we all know about the effects of expansion and contraction on two tightly positioned parts? ;)
    But possible this is why the softer plastic wears better, it can absorb that minor force better.

    Also, I don't know much about LEGO's recycled content in plastics, but with other plastics the amount, and types, of recycled materials can cause problems with quality and shrinkage.  I would be surprised if Lego isn't facing greater pressures to use more and more recycled resin in their products.   And if they are not, they should be.


  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,758
    ^
    "If they aren't making an inferior product that wastes plastic by breaking, they should." ?
    ;)
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ryjay said:

    I would be surprised if Lego isn't facing greater pressures to use more and more recycled resin in their products.
    Recycling is a bit a of misnomer because, for many materials, the recycled product doesn't end up being used in the same way as the original - it doesn't go round a cycle, but moves on to a different life. Even something like glass, which can literally be recycled, often isn't, ending up as something like building aggregate.
    And if they are not, they should be.
    Why? The issue with recycling is not so much that raw materials are consumed but that products with a relatively short life are then discarded. It is the second part of that which constitutes a waste of resources. TLG proudly claim that 90-odd percent of their own waste is recycled - it's not discarded. Their products aren't generally discarded either - they're reused by different people and never actually thrown away. Yes, TLG, and its customers, consumes natural resources, but doesn't waste them. It doesn't have a duty to mop up the waste from other industries - something that's much more appropriate for other types of products.

    Nor would you want them to. Recycled plastics full of contaminants - especially something like ABS which has an RIC code of 7 "other", so often isn't even pure ABS. You don't want to use material like that in many applications - most notably food containers but also things like children's toys. It's simply not appropriate to say that TLG ought to use more recycled material.

    Using recycled materials is not the problem; it is the actual recycling. If you could somehow force TLG to increase their use of recycled plastics, the same amount of raw material would still be used - just by an application that doesn't actually require it and for which recycled material would be adequate.
    catwranglerkiki180703Galactus
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,156
    Recycling doesn't make much sense financially right now, with oil prices as low as they are. I was recently working for a well known Danish company that specialises in disposable food containers (the worst job I have ever had by a long stretch, woefully understaffed at the site I was at), and they extruded their own PET sheet reels for thermoforming, a lot  of the material coming from externally recycled "jazz" PET grinds. They had a dilemma on their hands whether to ditch the Jazz and go virgin, the price differences are currently tiny and the virgin stuff is a lot more predictable to handle when extruding and thermoforming.

    There's a big difference between externally sourced recycled material and recycling your own offcuts/skeletal waste etc in terms of ease of handling and processing.
    catwranglerkiki180703
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    In recycling terms, it is called pre consumer waste and post consumer waste.  Recently Lego has begun, from outside pressures, to change the fiberboard materials they use in external packaging.  I can only expect these same forces to apply pressure on the plastic resins being used.  I'm sure we have all noticed the managed forest claims on the boxes and the change in litholam process being used, I think the boxes are now 100% recyclable, before just liner board and flute were. 

    Cost of resin & oil prices are not always the driving factor.  Governments subsidize recycling programs and want to see that the items we recycle, ie: paper, cardboard, bottles, plastics, etc all get reused and complete the circle.  Toys are not exempt from these pressures.  Lego, if it is a factor of too much post consumer materials in their plastics...a term we call "dirty"... will in time figure it out and make  the adjustments, we all do....and I believe a company like Lego will become very good at it.  Then they will be encouraged to increase post consumer waste materials some more, and the quality adjustments will start all over again.

    Now, again, I don't know the details of Lego plastic, but in other plastics we sometimes add vinyl to the mix for strength and durability, but in recent years have begun to remove it because it can not be separated from the plastic in the recycling process.

    Why I said they "should be" is that toy companies are not exempt from doing their part in the recycling game and they are a good destination for recycled post consumer materials.

    BTW, dyes and coloring being used will also be effected in terms of quality.   Bricks that held their color for years may be replaced with bricks that fade much quicker, only time will tell, and adjustments will need to be made.
    catwranglerkiki180703
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001

    Recycling doesn't make much sense financially right now, with oil prices as low as they are. I was recently working for a well known Danish company that specialises in disposable food containers (the worst job I have ever had by a long stretch, woefully understaffed at the site I was at), and they extruded their own PET sheet reels for thermoforming, a lot  of the material coming from externally recycled "jazz" PET grinds. They had a dilemma on their hands whether to ditch the Jazz and go virgin, the price differences are currently tiny and the virgin stuff is a lot more predictable to handle when extruding and thermoforming.

    There's a big difference between externally sourced recycled material and recycling your own offcuts/skeletal waste etc in terms of ease of handling and processing.
    Food packaging materials use very little post consumer waste material compared to the non food industry  I bet you used no more then 10-15% post consumer waste material.  Non-food packaging is being pushed up to 50%, and in paper materials Green Seal is asking for as much as 60% for certification.   At 60%, the product will suffer, but improvements will be made.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ryjay said:

    I can only expect these same forces to apply pressure on the plastic resins being used.
    The buying public expect to see, and look for, recycled paper; they don't look for recycled ABS. In fact they probably rarely come across it because what they see and touch won't generally won't be.
    Why I said they "should be" is that toy companies are not exempt from doing their part in the recycling game and they are a good destination for recycled post consumer materials.
    But there is an overriding consideration - the safety standards. There is absolutely no point in producing a toy made from recycled materials if you then can't sell it because you can't prove it contains traces of banned substances.

    If only for that reason, they are not "good destinations" and there are others that are better suited. As I said, it serves no purpose to force recycled materials into unsuitable applications - it's not as if there's a surplus that ought to be used.
    Lego, if it is a factor of too much post consumer materials in their plastics...a term we call "dirty"... will in time figure it out and make  the adjustments, we all do....and I believe a company like Lego will become very good at it.  Then they will be encouraged to increase post consumer waste materials some more, and the quality adjustments will start all over again.
    That's not the direction TLG is heading. They're looking at PLA as an alternative - you don't recycle it; you compost it. And grow some more corn. Seeing as they think that's only about 10-15 years away, I don't imagine they'll do anything else in the interim, especially if it's likely to cause problems - unless PLA looks like being a dead-end. If anybody questions their environmental credentials they'll just show off their PLA bricks (they already exist, but lose their clutch after a few days) and say they are working towards a much better solution.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 1,001
    Plant based products are everywhere now, not 10-15 years away.

    Ok, I just suggested some reasons why we could see less then ideal quality in the plastics, didn't say it was the reason.  

    So now we are back to LEGO just being a poor company that cant produce the quality of bricks the paying public wants....so sad
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ryjay said:
    Plant based products are everywhere now, not 10-15 years away.
    Not in the way that's required by TLG.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,156
    ryjay said:

    Recycling doesn't make much sense financially right now, with oil prices as low as they are. I was recently working for a well known Danish company that specialises in disposable food containers (the worst job I have ever had by a long stretch, woefully understaffed at the site I was at), and they extruded their own PET sheet reels for thermoforming, a lot  of the material coming from externally recycled "jazz" PET grinds. They had a dilemma on their hands whether to ditch the Jazz and go virgin, the price differences are currently tiny and the virgin stuff is a lot more predictable to handle when extruding and thermoforming.

    There's a big difference between externally sourced recycled material and recycling your own offcuts/skeletal waste etc in terms of ease of handling and processing.
    Food packaging materials use very little post consumer waste material compared to the non food industry  I bet you used no more then 10-15% post consumer waste material.  Non-food packaging is being pushed up to 50%, and in paper materials Green Seal is asking for as much as 60% for certification.   At 60%, the product will suffer, but improvements will be made.
    Jazz content (a mixture of PET grades and colours) was as high as 55% on the black trays (the kind you get your supermarket ready meals and prepared veg in), but pretty low on the other colours. I did an audit at the place we bought our Jazz from, and it stunk to high heaven on the way in (think of a gallon of sour milk that someone has emptied their bowels into), but was acceptably clean on the way out (with Microorganism testing to back that up. The extrusion process would undoubtedly kill any living thing on it or in it.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    monkeyhanger said:

    The extrusion process would undoubtedly kill any living thing on it or in it.
    That's not the problem; it's the toxins, particularly for something like PET which can migrate to fatty foods at high temperatures.
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 798
    BTW, dyes and coloring being used will also be effected in terms of quality.   Bricks that held their color for years may be replaced with bricks that fade much quicker, only time will tell, and adjustments will need to be made.
    Adjustments made by who?  TLG?  Or consumers who see a product that lasts a fraction of the time it used to before becoming brittle and structurally failing?
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 741
    edited March 2016
    This was in my new set opened today (an Angry Birds set).
    I think this 1x3 brick has a problem that qualifies as an...issue :-)




  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,616
    I guess a bird got angry and just smashed into it
    DeMontesLyichirmithridatemafon
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    DeMontes said:
    This was in my new set opened today (an Angry Birds set).
    I think this 1x3 brick has a problem that qualifies as an...issue :-)
    It's things like this that make you realise what is an acceptable problem. It's acceptable because it's clearly a one-off. It's one of the 18 in a million pieces that's faulty. (And TLG will replace it without batting an eyelid.)

    What's not acceptable is when the same problem occurs repeatedly, almost frequently.
    mithridate
  • SirBenSirBen In the Hall of the Mountain KingMember Posts: 589
    Today while building #60130 Prison Island with my son we found that we were missing a 2x2 black slope, but had Kylo Ren's helmet in its place. 
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 15,095
    ^ Eh?
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 2,347
    ^^ *** Episode 8 exclusive.***
    Kylo Ren loses head while in prison.

    VorpalRyucatwranglerSprinkleOtterSumoLegoSirBenkiki180703BumblepantsOmastar
  • Coolguy5000Coolguy5000 Ireland Member Posts: 1,574
    SirBen said:
    Today while building #60130 Prison Island with my son we found that we were missing a 2x2 black slope, but had Kylo Ren's helmet in its place. 
    Does this make the helmet an unlicensed  part hence we should  be able to buy on bricks and pieces?  ;)
    VorpalRyuSumoLegoSirBenkiki180703OmastarGalactus
  • Bricklover18Bricklover18 PA, USAMember Posts: 722
    I ordered series 15 CMF's when they first came in stock at [email protected], I ended up recieving the animal control officer, but instead of the leg piece, I recieved 2 of the hair pieces instead.
  • tecjamtecjam Germany / SwitzerlandMember Posts: 255
    I've not noticed any broken / cracked bricks in any of my new or used sets so far, nor in any of my childhood lego.

    One brick that did break though, was probably due to having too much clutch power. It literally exploded when I tried to put it on a stud:



  • monstblitzmonstblitz Hornell, NYMember Posts: 634
    Bought a set online that had almost every single modified 1*1 brick with headlight cracked.  I had never seen cracked bricks before I started buying used pieces and now they are giving me nightmares. 



  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,758
    Common problem. Be afraid. Very, very afraid.
    monstblitzkiki180703Galactusmafon
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 1,556
    I have a number of 1x1 tiles from a second hand #21102 Minecraft Micro World: The Forest set which have splits in them. Being so thin, one or two of the tiles are very close to breaking completely in half. They'll be easy to replace, but annoying nonetheless.
    I'm starting to get worried about my modulars, which are the only sets I have that are permanently built and on display.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 1,003
    Built my Ewok Village. They put the wrong string with stud connections in the box. Got 31L should have been 40L. Just requested it from [email protected] CS. 
  • TheMaker37TheMaker37 Norfolk,VaMember Posts: 496
    I bought a large recently and I assembled and took apart over 120 sets and had several pieces break in the process. They all had one thing in common, they were Dark Red. Large plates, headlight pcs and tiles mostly.
  • LeonCLeonC United KingdomMember Posts: 364
    Just took my UCS Sandcrawler apart and two 1x1 plate with upright holder (http://brickset.com/parts/6030720) snapped clean in two. Never had a problem with this part before, although I thought the 4l bar was a bit of a tight fit - clearly it was!
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,566
    I get that LEGO CS is great in replacing parts, but this is not all that should occur from their side. They really need to do a better job with their quality or they will lose customers buying their product. For one, people need to complain hard about it when they see it. Bring it up at major conventions as well especially when you have upper level execs that periodically appear at the shows. Also start making remarks about how this has not be heard of in brands like MB, maybe then they will get the idea to start upping their quality.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,616
    because no one gives enough of a damn when it comes to mb?
    SprinkleOtter
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    I imagine they know, but either can't trace the problem or can't work out how to fix it. If either of those is true, then they also can't really say much about it because it draws attention to the issue.
    catwrangler
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,758
    Fauch said:
    because no one gives enough of a damn when it comes to mb?
    They already expect cheapness.
  • paul88paul88 Member Posts: 169
    I put together a first order tie fighter the other day.  1 of the 1x12 black plates (page 65) was bowed as well as 1 of the 1x12 light grey plates (page 14).  I have a TON of sets waiting to be built and these are the things I worry about when I finally get around to building them...How many will have missing parts, broken parts or crinkled/messed up stickers due to the haphazard way sticker sheets are just thrown into the boxes.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,402
    ^ why worry about stickers? If you are going to build them anyway, then open them up and check the sticker sheets. If damaged, get replacements now.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    edited July 2016
    I've got over 100,000 pre 1995 LEGO bricks that have spent 15 years in the garage... where here in Michigan it can go to well below freezing in the winter to over 40 degrees Celsius in the summer.   I've been looking thru those parts recently... and not a SINGLE pre 1995 part has any cracking.  So I would rule out home environment (including humidity) as a reason for cracking... a modern phenomenom since the new millennium.

    Also... some of these parts were loose, others were in built structures (that I disassembled).
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,758
    Istokg said:
    I've got over 100,000 pre 1995 LEGO bricks that have spent 15 years in the garage... where here in Michigan it can go to well below freezing in the winter to over 40 degrees Celsius in the summer.   I've been looking thru those parts recently... and not a SINGLE pre 1995 part has any cracking.  So I would rule out home environment (including humidity) as a reason for cracking... a modern phenomenom since the new millennium.

    Also... some of these parts were loose, others were in built structures (that I disassembled).
    But that doesn't explain while some households have tons of cracking, and others have none.
    madforLEGO
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 10,566
    Istokg said:
    I've got over 100,000 pre 1995 LEGO bricks that have spent 15 years in the garage... where here in Michigan it can go to well below freezing in the winter to over 40 degrees Celsius in the summer.   I've been looking thru those parts recently... and not a SINGLE pre 1995 part has any cracking.  So I would rule out home environment (including humidity) as a reason for cracking... a modern phenomenom since the new millennium.

    Also... some of these parts were loose, others were in built structures (that I disassembled).
     I would say it is a combination of the latest production process plus environmental.
    SprinkleOtter
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 349
    That would be my guess as well. I own a dehumidifier which keeps my household at a steady humidity, and have zero cracking... so far.
    Oldfan
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 798
    Of my old stash, pre-90's, I have found various bricks and plates that are so brittle they shatter when built with.  And they are all blue.
  • CrownieCrownie WA StateMember Posts: 228
    I've always assumed this problem was due to the ever-cheapening of plastic in general. I know it's made with less oil than it used to be, and it seems to be more fragile across the board. Look at plastic action figures from the 90's compared to the ones made currently and you'll see the same trend. LEGO used to use high quality plastic - they don't anymore.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    Dedgecko said:
    Of my old stash, pre-90's, I have found various bricks and plates that are so brittle they shatter when built with.  And they are all blue.
    I once shipped a bubble mailer with small blue plates from the USA to the Netherlands.  They were all 1960s ABS Samsonite LEGO plates.  And yes... every single one of them shattered.  That is interesting that others have had a similar experience with old blue parts.  But I have not found this to be the case with other ABS parts from the 1970s-1990s.  Interesting.  Note: the strange texture is likely to do with the retooling of Samsonite LEGO plate molds.

    USA Samsonite ABS plastic came from Borg-Warner's Marbon Plastics Division of Washington West Virginia.  I wonder if there was a problems with bad batches produced of blue ABS pellets in earlier years.



    catwranglerstlux
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Crownie said:
    I've always assumed this problem was due to the ever-cheapening of plastic in general. I know it's made with less oil than it used to be, and it seems to be more fragile across the board. Look at plastic action figures from the 90's compared to the ones made currently and you'll see the same trend. LEGO used to use high quality plastic - they don't anymore.
    That doesn't really hang together. ABS doesn't have a direct link with oil. Yes butadiene comes from oil and there are a few different variants, but it either is or it isn't.

    ABS is different. It's a whole family of plastics where the proportions of the constituents can be varied. TLG used to have their own formulation.

    Something that has changed is that, for many years, TLG used a single supplier; now they see advantages in multi-sourcing. However, I don't imagine that they allowed any variation from the standard formulation.

    The biggest problems are likely to occur at the time of moulding. Small environmental changes, particularly temperature and humidity, make a difference. Or tiny amounts of contaminants. There are also things like minute differences in the cooling time before the mould opens and, again, the temperatures involved, or perhaps the exact conditions in which a newly-moulded piece spends its first few minutes or hours. It's also likely to be a combination of all of those, and probably quite a few other factors which may only be measurable with sophisticated equipment - which means you have to know what you're looking for in the first place.

    TLG must know about this. If it was something simple like the quality of the materials, they'd have nailed that fairly quickly.
    catwranglerCrownieIstokgstlux
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 3,156
    ^ I wonder if the % of recycled material in the TLG blend has gone up if it isn't 100% virgin material. It is a complete PITA to limit contamination from recycled "jazz" multicoloured plastics. contamination is generally a bigger issue with thinner plastics - a tiny speck of grit in a reel of PVC/PET/PVDC sheet for extrusion into a thin thermoformed shape like a ready-meal food tray causes real bother when the thermoforming process really stretches the sheet/webas everything pulls away from the grit.

    Are certain colours more susceptible to cracking and breakage? I'd expect the very dark colours to be least fussy about what recycled materials go in - you can make a multitude of coloured recycled plastics become black when blended.

    I wonder if geographical location (and likelihood of supply source) are a key issue here? The North Americans seem to have more of an issue with parts quality than the Europeans here (or are we less vocal?). Does the European market generally get its bricks from different manufacturing sites to the North American market?
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ^ I wonder if the % of recycled material in the TLG blend has gone up if it isn't 100% virgin material.
    Unlikely. TLG used to claim that they crunched waste and added it back to the granulate. Now that the colour is added at the moulding machine, that doesn't really work.
    Does the European market generally get its bricks from different manufacturing sites to the North American market?
    Generally, products for Europe come from European factories, those for the Americas come from Mexico, and the aim is for Asian products to come from China.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,336
    Are LEGO elements for the North/South American market ACTUALLY produced in Mexico?  Or only packaged there?

    From TLGs own website.....

    2000....

    In November 2000 the LEGO Group announces its decision to close the moulding plant in Enfield and in future mould LEGO bricks only in Europe. Shutting down the moulding facility is a step in the LEGO Group’s plan to improve its financial results in the years ahead – preliminary accounting figures for 2000 are negative.

    The Enfield packing facility now receives LEGO bricks from Europe for packing and dispatching to markets in North and South America.

    2007....

    The Enfield packing plant finally closes in 2007. Its activities are transferred to the Flextronics factory in Juaréz, Mexico, under the austerity programme accompanying the CEO of the LEGO Group Jørgen Vig Knudstorp’s Shared Vision plan.

    Closure of the packing plant in Enfield also meant the end of the road for the LEGO distribution centre in the town. From this point LEGO products for the American market are then distributed from two new locations in the US: Memphis, Tennessee and Roanoke, Texas.


  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,722
    Well, it does list Mexico on the boxes as a location components are manufactured.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy Brickset.com

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. Sign in or register to get started.

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.