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Worst designed LEGO part ever?

ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
edited April 2012 in Building and Techniques
So, as I've been fiddling around with Hero Factory parts in recent months, I keep finding myself saying, "What the &%$#$% were they thinking when they designed this piece?"

Don't get me wrong, I actually like HF quite a bit on its own terms, and in fact it was key in bringing me out of my dark age actually (much like Bionicle had been key in keeping me there, because that line really turned me off). But it seems like they went perversely out of their way in some cases to defeat any kind of possible interconnection with system or even technic. (I'm going to start a whole other rant on that issue at some point.)

But anyway, since I'm a newbie AFOL, I was wondering if old-timers had some memorable candidates for "worst LEGO piece ever." My nomination is:
http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=87841
It looks stupid even on the models it comes with - sets which I otherwise like a lot - and is almost impossible to reuse creatively. At least for my puny mind.
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Comments

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,086
    IMHO, the worst LEGO redesigned part was the new (2010) macaroni brick....

    TLG put cross supports on the underside...

    It went from being able to be staggered so that you could build columns with them... but not with the new redesign. Now you can only stack them on top of each other... not good for stable LEGO structures...
  • LegobrandonCPLegobrandonCP CanadaMember Posts: 1,908
    ^ And yet they teach kids to stagger the bricks for more stability in buildings.
  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    It's always hard to understand why companies "fix" things that aren't broken.
    Case in point: Gmail redesign, which customers have been complaining about for MONTHS. A couple of days ago, they finally forced everyone to switch to the new interface. Why not just listen to your customers instead? Doesn't bother me because I always hated Gmail, but it's a widespread problem. It seems to be a mentality of, "There are designers on our payroll. Therefore, we must find something for them to redesign!"
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    Lego also replaced the old 1x6 arch with this arch: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=92950


    In doing so they messed up the potential for the arch to fit as well with doors as the old one. Apparently the parts design team redesigned a bunch of old pieces to make them more stable in construction and fit better "in system", but without consulting the model builders. So these changes were as big a surprise to the set design guys as to us, but by the time they caught the problem, the investments for the new molds were made and so we are stuck with these less versatile parts for a few years.

    This problem is supposed to be rectified now, and set designers and builders are supposed to sign off on brick changes before they happen in order to avoid future problems like these.
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    edited April 2012
    I have looked deep in my box of broken LEGO-bricks, and apart from those that have been chewed by babies and animals, there are a lot of broken, or damaged oars - the classic part 2542, used since 1989.

    image

    Only just recently has it been redesigned to part no. 87585:

    image

    The new oar is reinforced - i.e. It doesn't have a weak joint, and doesn't break or bend. The old design was seriously flawed.
    Such a simple, yet effective change - why did it take more than 20 years?
  • FizzlemesexyFizzlemesexy Member Posts: 123
    The one element I can rant on about: Fire. The new fire is HORRIBLE!

    {rant}
    I am only upset with this one part. I've been tempted to call Lego to have it replaced because the packaging on sets for a few years had the old design, some sets came with both the BETTER Older design AND the new horrid monster [i.e. Ramses Pyramid] yet they phased in the new one. It's really upsetting when you miss out on blue fire during a dark period and they advertise on the box something that's not exactly there.

    I really, strongly dislike this new fire. You can't stack them. Unless you just want the one element, It's relatively useless to build with now. I would think it cost more to make, there's more plastic in it, but... uggg! {/rant.}


    And yes, I will gladly trade my new fires for the good old ones.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    I also don't like how they redesigned the tap (part 4599) into the new tap with no hole (4599b). Not the worst thing ever, but taps looked so much better with an opening.
  • minifiguresseriesminifiguresseries Member Posts: 17
    edited April 2012
    I have looked deep in my box of broken LEGO-bricks, and apart from those that have been chewed by babies and animals, there are a lot of broken, or damaged oars - the classic part 2542, used since 1989.

    image

    Only just recently has it been redesigned to part no. 87585:

    image

    The new oar is reinforced - i.e. It doesn't have a weak joint, and doesn't break or bend. The old design was seriously flawed.
    Such a simple, yet effective change - why did it take more than 20 years?
    I didn't like this. But you known I'm Lego freak and would love any Lego..The latest to add to my likes are the minifigures series 7. Just Super cool!
  • fyrmedhattfyrmedhatt Member Posts: 128
    edited April 2012
    The one element I can rant on about: Fire. The new fire is HORRIBLE!

    {rant}
    I am only upset with this one part. I've been tempted to call Lego to have it replaced because the packaging on sets for a few years had the old design, some sets came with both the BETTER Older design AND the new horrid monster [i.e. Ramses Pyramid] yet they phased in the new one. It's really upsetting when you miss out on blue fire during a dark period and they advertise on the box something that's not exactly there.

    I really, strongly dislike this new fire. You can't stack them. Unless you just want the one element, It's relatively useless to build with now. I would think it cost more to make, there's more plastic in it, but... uggg! {/rant.}


    And yes, I will gladly trade my new fires for the good old ones.
    This is one of the things Lego did in order to standardize connections, as they felt the tiny holes and pins in the old fire pieces did not fit in the standard Lego system. Using the same argument the also changed the old tap pieces with a tiny hole into the new ones that are completely solid.

    The irony is of course that Lego is still using the tiny hole connections in the Friends theme to attach accessories into the girls' hairpieces, so the change to the fire piece was completely unnecessary.
  • FizzlemesexyFizzlemesexy Member Posts: 123
    ^ I understood why they claimed they did it, I just disagree with it. I think there probably was a molding problem - the % of defects may have been higher. I want my Fire spewing crocodiles, magic casters, and the occasional fire snorting horses [depending on the horse] to live on!
  • prevereprevere North of Bellville, East of Heartlake, South of Bricksburg, West of Ninjago City Member Posts: 2,874
    Any of those strange Belville parts.
  • yys4uyys4u USA SoCalMember Posts: 1,092
    I really need pictures to understand the parts that people are talking about :)
    MrMonsieurGreen
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Those old road signs. The 1x2 bits at the bottom were always snapping off. I noticed in the re-issue of that old Town set with the hotel and the crane there were thankfully signs with newly-designed bases. Quite often when I get old sets the sign-posts are broken, and some sign-posts are rare and hard to come by. I know you can fit the broken ends into those 1x2 plates with the hole in the middle, but it would be nicer to have the signs as they were intended.

    Also those strings with a bit the size of a 1x1 round plate at each end. These were in some Pirate sets from the mid-1990s. The 1x1 bits are always cracking (though I'm not sure they count as proper Lego). And that 'raised baseplate' which comes with that recent Pirate set. Although I'm not sure that counts as proper Lego either. Ugly, cheaply-made, useless and ruins what might have been a nice little set.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217
    Raised 32 x32 baseplates while a novel Idea I think it was used to reduce the need for more brick and plate and they are flimsy as all get out... That is why they are so expensive now, try finding them without some stud missing or a stress mark or crack from too much weight being put on them.
    MrMonsieurGreen
  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    Those old road signs. The 1x2 bits at the bottom were always snapping off.
    Oh, I concur - how I concur ... I have broken so many of my old road signs, that I've had to learn how to repair them.

    Drop a bit of acetone (nail polish remover) on each part - 1x2 bottom, and the broken of stem of the signpost - and push them together for 20 seconds. Let them dry, and the sign is as good as new (which unfortunately isn't better than it'll risk snapping again.

  • ninjagolightlyninjagolightly Member Posts: 140
    Check out the new kingdoms chess set on Shop at Home... from the look of it the base piece sets a new standard in crappyness of BURPs. I can't wait to see somebody figure out a use for THAT in a MOC. Wow.
  • kufkuf Member Posts: 66
    I have looked deep in my box of broken LEGO-bricks, and apart from those that have been chewed by babies and animals, there are a lot of broken, or damaged oars - the classic part 2542, used since 1989.

    image

    Only just recently has it been redesigned to part no. 87585:

    image

    The new oar is reinforced - i.e. It doesn't have a weak joint, and doesn't break or bend. The old design was seriously flawed.
    Such a simple, yet effective change - why did it take more than 20 years?
    But it did double as a pizza peel. 6350 Pizza-to-Go It doesn't work as a pizza peel with the new design :-).
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Those 1x1 plates with a 'ring' for holding onto things like antanea were re-designed as well. Though I can see why and I'm glad, as the older ones were fragile and were always breaking. Likewise the early space helmets - the bit under the minifig's chin quite often snapped.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    The broken-off ring of the 1x1 w/ring is sometimes useful when broken-off. Its very useful blinging up guns!
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    The 1x1 bit comes in handy as well, as a 1x1 plate.
    bobabricks
  • GraysmithGraysmith Member Posts: 15
    They're probably not THE worst, but I hate those flimsy little weapons that come in the 6918 Blacksmith Attack set. Every time I look at them I think they're from some non-LEGO toy.
  • SilentModeSilentMode UKMember Posts: 541
    I'm going to nominate the ponytail hairpiece (http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=62696): while it looks great on figures, it comes off way too easily (especially the redhead version).
  • MinifiguresPlusMinifiguresPlus Member Posts: 152
    The worst LEGO parts are those that you could have made with two previously available parts:
    1.
    Slope 30 1 x 2 x 2/3image
    or you could have used two Slope 30 1 x 1 x 2/3 image, but I guess we don't like the little line in the middle? Why don't you just make a part for half a vehicle, if we use that logic? ;)

    2.
    image
    Same thing here. Self explanatory.

    I'm sure there are other examples, but when these two parts came out I was bewildered.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 614
    ^The debate over the use of POOPs (Parts made Out of Other Parts) continues...

    I would guess the logic of 1x1 vs. 1x2 cheese slopes is the same as for all the other slopes: interlocking capability and a minor part-count savings depending on the set design? The last part, I can see some usefulness in maybe having "overhanging" slopes, where the plate portion is embedded in the frame and the slope hangs out to create an angled effect.

    For either case I agree, like many other LEGO parts you can achieve much the same effect using existing, more "basic" parts if you so choose.

    (A more cynical answer is that there is a department in LEGO that is compensated based on how many new molds are used in a given year, but that's unlikely to be true...)
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,217
    ^^ OR the parts weight is lighter if combined as opposed to having separate pieces, maybe then saving weight of the sets and possible shipping and production costs
  • Jabba_the_TaffJabba_the_Taff Member Posts: 210
    Some people have complained about their cheese slopes cracking. The new plate with slope ^^^ may be a response to that and less prone to cracking.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Those transparent 'arm' pieces on some of the Aquazone sets. I think transparent pieces must be made of a weaker plastic, because the 'teeth' in the transparent ones are always breaking. Come to think of it the non-transparent teeth on the arm pieces in Aquazone sets tend to break off as well. This never used to happen with older models like Walking Astro-Grabber or Robot Command Centre.
  • mressinmressin Lego City... erm LondonMember Posts: 843
    ^last five posts:

    I, too, feel that some parts are nothing more than an amalgamation of already existing parts and should not have been created at all. However, the given examples are exactly NOT examples for that:

    Regarding the cheese slopes, according to that logic, there shouldn't be any 1x2, 1x4, 1x6, 1x8 etc. bricks/plates/tiles because those can all be made out of a 1x1 brick/plate/tile. Same applies to any slope element with a width of 2 or more.
    Obviously the 1x2 cheese slope allows for more interlocking capability.

    The slope with attached plate does not have the same inclination as the cheese slope and could not be built with a cheese slope and 1x2 plate. For a good and difficult-to-replace application of that particular element, see the canopy fixture of the fighter in Earth Defense HQ.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,411
    I disagree with the above too. The cheese + plate is not the same as a cheese and a plate. What if you want a cheese overhanging the edge of a building for example? And the 1x1 and 2x1 - what if you are creating a roof from them and want an overlapping tiled look, rather than all the joints in straight lines. And as noted above, anyone that has built anything like a wall or roof out of Lego knows that strength comes from overlapping rows which interlock. You cannot overlap 1x1 pieces.

    You could use your argument for bricks. Why have them at all, when you can make them out of plates? Builds would take much longer if you had to make your bricks from plates.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Just about any part with the 'clasp' on it. Especially those square-ish flags, some of which have printed designs exclusive to one set. They're always breaking. I've never had this problem with Lego Minifig hands, so why can't they make other clasps stronger as well?
    legomason
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    I hated it when they went through a phase of turning out Lego cannons without springs. I can't honestly believe anybody was ever injured by one of those little 1x1 cylinder bricks. It's just the nanny state wanting to wrap us all in cotton wool. The same thing happened with Zoids in the UK back in the 1980s - Gore (Iron Kong) and Krark (Salamander) had their working cannons removed and Slime (snail) had the spring taken out of its cannon so it couldn't be fired.

    Oh, and I hated pre-fabricated palm trees. How can you build a tropical scene with them? They'd all look identical.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    @Stormsworder, that's interesting, because I've never had a flag break, but I have had minifig hands break!
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    They're probably not THE worst, but I hate those flimsy little weapons that come in the 6918 Blacksmith Attack set. Every time I look at them I think they're from some non-LEGO toy.
    I think those were originally for use with the Heroica line, which explains a lot about them.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    How about double sided mini figure heads? Especially when you can see the other face, or half of it because the hat or helmet on partially covers the back face. Most of them the hair covers the other face, but i'm getting quite a few where you can see the second face...
  • mattheww888mattheww888 Member Posts: 87
    ^Actually, I think that was kind of a good idea. Makes the minifig head more functional.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    Only good when the other face is covered, but many come with a hat that doesn't cover the back face.
  • OdinduskOdindusk Member Posts: 763
    ^The debate over the use of POOPs continues...
    I just got out of work, sat down at my computer with a bowl of Corn Flakes™, and this was the first post I read. Corn Flakes almost proceeded to be projectiles. Yes, I'm 12 sometimes.


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,411
    Only good when the other face is covered, but many come with a hat that doesn't cover the back face.
    Which ones come like that? Are these in official lego sets, or ones you have made yourself? I can understand it if you put a cap on a double sided head, but do lego actually supply any like this?
  • SilentModeSilentMode UKMember Posts: 541

    Which ones come like that? Are these in official lego sets, or ones you have made yourself?
    The Community City Figures set is one example of where this happens.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,411
    ^ You're right, that looks terrible! I had never looked at that set beyond the price and what you get. I make up a lot of my own figs, it's way cheaper to buy parts and get the figures I want.
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    Most of the world racer "referees" are like that, 8899 is the worst with 3 figs with back faces showing. Despite that I love 8864!
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    edited June 2012
    Finally took a pic... Cool jacket art on back, is that a neck tattoo?

    I just saw one of the figs in the new jabba palace has this problem too.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,411
    It's really poor design. Some of the new SW figs are like that too. If they want us to have the option of faces for a minifig but short headgear, supply two heads, not one double printed. Strange that they supplied three heads for the CMF mime, when they could have used a double sided head to give us just two options (and a rubbish back view). I guess then there is a lack of accessories though.
  • StormsworderStormsworder Member Posts: 107
    Does anyone remember those two pre-fabricated front/back train pieces that came with that passenger train about five years ago? They didn't even fit properly. Amazed they got past Lego quality control.
  • muffenmanmuffenman Member Posts: 75
    Ok so maybe not a worst part more annoying invention, found on 90% or so it feels of Lego SW sets, and this is my personal pet hate....

    'The flick fire Missile'

    WHY?

    On A number of sets it is just but ugly stuck on an end or top or side! Many sets you could not flick it even with four year old size fingers and often you flick it with enough force for it to fly more then 2 inches you take a chunk of the set with it!!
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    but @muffeman when you have a batch that rapidfires like on 8097 then it makes it all worth it (it was the set that returned me to Lego aside from the new ambulance and calendar, and my intro to flick fires)
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    I have to agree with @muffenman. The only time I've ever seen flick-fires go more than 2 inches is in the Lego Star Wars video game...
    rancorbait
  • mrseatlemrseatle Member Posts: 410
    I agree, and would rather see realistic looking missiles like the early Space sets had. ...with tail fins...
  • vynsanevynsane Member Posts: 179

    image
    Same thing here. Self explanatory.
    I disagree, I think this pieces is fantastic, allowing you to use a 45° angle slope but using tiles to keep it flat on top. As others have pointed out, it's not a combination 'cheese slope and 1x2 plate', but really a modified 1x2 slope brick which has had two plates removed from the back.

    In fact, I want to see 2x2 through 2x10 versions of this piece, as well as other angles of slope bricks in this fashion.
    bluemoose
  • tvihtvih Member Posts: 92
    Heh, yes, flick-fire-missiles... I don't know about the worst-designed, but based on my experience with the TIE Defender, I just don't see the point. You sure as heck can't launch them with just a flick. You have to push with force even as an adult. Which just makes the missile fall off rather than fly. You'd have to seriously wear down the pieces for them to properly launch with just a flick, and even then they'd be more trouble than they're worth to actually use. Compared this to pirate cannons and castle catapults that obviously work wonders. Can't wait to get QAR to get some new cannons in addition to my two childhood ones, with which I had a lot of fun ;)
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