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DISplay is worse than play?!
has anyone else experienced their sets on display that have never been taken apart before CRACKING for no apparent reason? I've heard of a ton of explanations so before you tell me another one of them let me say something first.
i have all my lego sets displayed in a room away from sunlight with no air fresheners or any other chemical in the air. i take care to wash my hand every time i use the bricks and the room is never below 40 degrees. in the summer it only gets about up to seventy. i have heard that A.B.S plastic gets brittle under extreme cold and heat. OR if the temperature in the room changes drastically all the time. that is not the case in my room and 40 degrees does not sound like extreme cold.
i take so many probably unnecessary precautions to keep my parts from cracking as this has happened to over 200 of my brand new parts. i now display mini figures with their legs off and turn their hands around over and over for a while JUST to prevent this! if lego is supposed to be such great quality and I'm so careful WHAT am i doing wrong?
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Recent discussions •
I find it really sad that people are starting to accept this as the norm. This had NEVER happened to LEGO from the 70s and 80s. It is a new phenomenon that only started in the last decade. I know a number of LEGO fans who only buy old parts for this reason. Even if they are bit nicked, or scratched, they are still a lot better than todays pieces that crack just by looking at them wrong.
That we have to worry about temperature fluctuation, washing hands, handling our LEGO with gloves, keeping them under special light and protective display cases is simply ridiculous. I can assure you that generations who grew up in the 70s and 80s never had to worry about any of this. Not even minifigs had cracks! (Except for Benny's chin strap, but that was just a bad design.) The LEGO my parents had, passed down to my generation, and generations younger than me. Cracking LEGO was never even heard of until recently, and we didn't handle our LEGO kindly.
BTW, this issue has been brought up on the LEGO Ambassador Forum numerous times, and we are always told the same thing; report it to customer service. They will document the issue and send you new parts. But what's the point if the new parts are also low quality and going to crack? Very frustrating...
More seriously, I have found it is mainly cheese slopes (and 1x1s only, not 2x1s) and minifigure arms and occassionally legs, especially ones attached to polycarbonate parts like Iron Man on his blue jet things. The odd clip and so on have broken, but that is often down to force breaking them on construction.
Old minifigure arms did crack too - is this due to play or do it happen with just display, I don't know as all my old stuff was played with. I never had a problem with the backs of legs cracking on old minifigures, but the only new ones I have ever had crack are Iron Man displayed on the polycarb pieces, something I never did with older ones.
A cheese slopes are relatively modern and didn't exist way back then. So is it down to old vs new or just one bad modern design, the cheese slope?
I have had cracks on all types of 1x bricks. so 1x1, 1x2, 1x3, 1x4... etc. Right out of the box, assembling the set only once. Also plates! Especially reddish brown. They simply crumble like dried up clay! In fact I just had another one do that yesterday, from a brand new set.
This is getting very common, but my understanding is that it mostly effects North America as we get our bricks from the Mexican factory. Interestingly, I never had anything crack from the Chinese factory (i.e. Collectible Minifigs and minifig accessories).
I don't understand why this is happening to LEGO's plastic. I look around my house at other plastic items, and I have literally never seen plastic crack like LEGO pieces. Also, it is worth adding that none of my MegaBloks pieces ever cracked. Or anything from customizers. It is only LEGO that can't keep up their quality control. :(
@Brew that's interesting about replacement pieces. Now that you mention, the ones I got also came from Europe and they didn't have any problems. But I only contacted customer service a few times for replacement parts. I remember reading that if you call them too many times, they will deny service. So I only use it when I don't have replacement parts already.
The good thing about cracks (at least in my experience), is that they usually appear pretty fast after assembling the set. So even the rarer parts should all be in production if you need to call in for replacements. Pieces crumbling seem to take longer, so it's harder to catch early, but so far I have only had that happen to common plates and I never asked for replacements, although I probably should.
If it ever is talked about publicly I can only imagine it being framed as "We've now made our bricks even more durable than ever!" Or, perhaps more likely, they'll just not say anything and let us notice in our own time that it's been 2, 5, 10 years since The Great Rash Of Cracked/Crumbling Parts. Here's hoping that's soon.
so its just something i have to accept?!
thats stupid! what kind of "quality assurance" do they think they have?
(I was joking please don't hurt me)
That said, I don't think I have ever had a problem with a real lego Chinese CMF cracking.
My experience is that most of the parts that crack easily are the Brown & Reddish Brown ones.
One thing I noticed between toys from the 80s and now is that there is a trend to improve on safety with regards to the chemicals used in the toy materials and plastics. So thoughout the years refinement in the plastic material chemicals kept improving to pass the stringent safety requirements of present days but probably fail in the durability aspect. Another reason for change is to reduce cost as some chemicals may be more expensive than others.
This also applies to electronic products whereby those built in the past 10 or so years tend to breakdown much more frequently and at a faster rate than those from the 80s or 90s. Conspiracy theories would tell you that the manufacturers intentionally make products in a less durable form so we can keep spending money and buying new replacement products at a higher frequency.
Could you imagine what lego would cost if they made them from a plastic that was 100% crack proof? Im guessing here, but what would we say, 98-99% are pretty good? I'm not paying to see we get that other 2% perfect. Same thought applies to packaging...some boxes will get damaged...the cost to make it 100% perfect is too great.
IMO LEGO used to be 'indestructible', I mean you could do little to break it, let alone having pieces stuck together over a period of time. I also have LEGO from the 70s/80s that sat in a storage locker with no environmental controls for about 10 years and it was fine. Even in old LEGO lots I think the only part I ever saw stresses in were 1x1 trans parts, and 1x1 tile would crack, but that was from usage (not display). I'm sure LEGO had to change their formula for whatever reason over the years, but if it was for cost, then they should take another crack at their formula as IMO parts should not be breaking by just displaying them. I can understand some of the more specialized parts, like cheese slops, 1x1 tile, or 1x1 round tile (and only after hard play), but 1x1, 1x2, 1x3 and other such brick? That should not be acceptable to LEGO's QA dept.
the few cracked pieces I noticed on sets having not been played with so far amount to less than 1 in 10000.
Maybe we can do a poll to confirm this, but it does seem that the North American market members here report it far more often than the European market members (maybe the Mexican Lego plant does things a little differently in terms of manufacture from the Danish and Czech plants?). I have seen 1 cracked cheese wedge in my own collection, my biggest quality concern with my own collection is inconsistent colouring (I have black pieces that look half way between black and DBG, white pieces in 5 distinct shades of white etc.).
Never had a 2x4 brick fail. Even after I chewed on it for awhile.
Over 500K pieces and so far only about 10 bricks affected that I've found.
When I take sets apart I try to check all cheese slopes, 1x1's & MF arms/legs etc.
And others seem to have sets just loaded with quality issues in regards to cracking.
I'd wager that this is production related - quality of the ABS, dyes, improper cooling, worn out moulds...
Also LEGO is producing at maximum capicity for so long now (late 2000's onwards) that they might catch quality issues at a point where 1'000s of affected parts have landed in bins for packaging before they became aware of any defects.
Who knows - and LEGO is certainly not addressing the issue publicily, as I believe it is a regular question posed on the ambassador forums, except to say report them/send them in.
I can't remember ever breaking a brick. We lost them as they would fly everywhere and get stuck behind furniture and who knows where.
Trying that with someone Lego knock off set however instantly cracked bricks and we never did anything like that with them again.
They were pretty much all 1x and 2x full bricks, plates and wedges. Even then we were amazed at how strong they were, the only toy we couldn't break :D
now instead of the waist up, its now from the arm down.
Every Ninjago movie Llyod I own has done this after only putting him together once and then taking the same precautions as always.
keep the legs off while he's on the shelf, no sunlight, room temperature kept the same and no chemicals anywhere near the room.
after only two weeks the figure is ruined. without any use.
I have no idea how much more are like this in my 200 set collection.
countless I would imagine.
just got Knighton castle in the mail.
Was excited. Now I'm hesitant to even bother opening it......