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The Downward Spiral - LEGO Quality Standards


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Yep, sealed bag, everything else in the box checks out totally fine. I've looked at the white/black bags of some of my other 10697's and the 2x4 and 2x6 bricks in those seem to be fine - really just this one off. Funny story is that this came from the only box I didn't buy directly from WM, but via eBay using an eBay coupon. Seals were all pristine, bags all sealed - it even had WM's own "$30" paper still taped to the front.

Wasn't planning on calling LEGO - will just brush it off as "operational loss".

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7 minutes ago, Phil B said:

Yep, sealed bag, everything else in the box checks out totally fine. I've looked at the white/black bags of some of my other 10697's and the 2x4 and 2x6 bricks in those seem to be fine - really just this one off. Funny story is that this came from the only box I didn't buy directly from WM, but via eBay using an eBay coupon. Seals were all pristine, bags all sealed - it even had WM's own "$30" paper still taped to the front.

Wasn't planning on calling LEGO - will just brush it off as "operational loss".

I'd call and let them know as they are very particular with these things; and may give you some free VIP points, too.  If nothing else, it'll make note to QC for sure.

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5 minutes ago, supergman said:

I'd call and let them know as they are very particular with these things; and may give you some free VIP points, too.  If nothing else, it'll make note to QC for sure.

Even if I don't have the seal code anymore? Perhaps I need to quickly dive into my trash can to get the seal code.

 

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1 hour ago, Ed Mack said:

I have noticed some issues with coloring on multiple instruction manuals.

Very true, and that has been a problem since I was a kid.  For some reason there are colors that Lego instruction printing  have always had a hard time with (I'm looking at you browns, grays and blacks).

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Anyone had issues with bricks cracking on the sides after a year or so?  I have several bricks from the latest Harry Potter sets that have small cracks on sides of 1x2 and 1x4 bricks.  Bad batch of abs plastic or a bad mold?  I can't say I see it on many other sets though.

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20 hours ago, Chack said:

Anyone had issues with bricks cracking on the sides after a year or so?  I have several bricks from the latest Harry Potter sets that have small cracks on sides of 1x2 and 1x4 bricks.  Bad batch of abs plastic or a bad mold?  I can't say I see it on many other sets though.

I've seen several complaints about 7639 Camper having that problem.  Never saw any consensus about the root cause of it. 

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  • 6 months later...

I don't believe in this downward spiral. I'm sure there were errors back in the day. I think people just notice this stuff more because there are more AFOLs and the news gets spread faster due to the internet.

There are also some parts that have been slightly changed over the years because they were prone to cracks.

E.g.:

4085a.png4085c.png

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I have had a number of hobbit minifigures, split, heads, necks, torso.  Pieces break when attaching.  The plastic is different than before.  In all the sets I had in the 80's and 90's this never happened.  I definitely think their process is moving downhill, it is especially disappointing when you consider the outrageous cost of these toys.

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Guest TabbyBoy

I've noticed that QA isn't what it was and I think that's the price you pay for extreme mass production. I also doubt that China has the quality ethic of the West and Japan. My main complaint from sets I've opened is the inconsistencies with colours and this really shouldn't happen at this price level.

LEGO... Get your act together as Mega Bloks are catching up fast!

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The two main quality drops are the following:

  • Different plastic used for some new molds, mainly special accessories. These are manufactured in China, but stop blaming the country since it is LEGO's decision to use that plastic which they could do anywhere, like Denmark. I heard that the reason is that you can create much cheaper molds for this kind of material and the Chinese factory is the one that is set up with the new machines.
  • Coloring process is different. Back then they were using pre-colored granulates. Now they use colorless and inject the paint. This is cheaper and reduces much of the logistics burden. The upside of this change is that they are capable to make a much higher variety of colors. 

So, overall quality has dropped, that is true. I guess this is the price we pay for wanting a huge number of custom molds and colors. 

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25 minutes ago, TabbyBoy said:

I've noticed that QA isn't what it was and I think that's the price you pay for extreme mass production. I also doubt that China has the quality ethic of the West and Japan. My main complaint from sets I've opened is the inconsistencies with colours and this really shouldn't happen at this price level.

LEGO... Get your act together as Mega Bloks are catching up fast!

Mega Bloks just don't stick together well, but I do like their designs.

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I have the opposite experience with Mega Bloks, at least with the Halo sets. Much better holding power, which adds to playability.


Mega Bloks was originally a privately held Canadian company but it was bought by Mattel in 2014. I think the parent company made some changes which resulted in the improved quality. Ed might still remember the old days...
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I remember 7166 imperial shuttle set with Royal guard figures, then few years later, Lego started making those 3-pack SW magnet figures, those first ones where you could separate figs from the magnet brick before (I believe) Lucas stopped this selling of Lego SW figures by themself. One of those magnet 3 packs included (red) royal guard minifig. When I first saw it I thought WTF, the color red was different in magnet sets and different in regular Lego construction sets (7166) it looked darker and cheaper to me, buy both and I think you'll agree with me, don't know if it was worse quality, but it looked like that to me.

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I don't believe in this downward spiral. I'm sure there were errors back in the day. I think people just notice this stuff more because there are more AFOLs and the news gets spread faster due to the internet.

There are also some parts that have been slightly changed over the years because they were prone to cracks.

E.g.:

4085a.png4085c.png


Has this joint been improved on all pieces? Like the joints of battle droid arms????

I constantly revisit my personal collection of star wars lego sets that spans back to 2005 and I am always heartbroken when I see that hairline fracture present.
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Mega Bloks was originally a privately held Canadian company but it was bought by Mattel in 2014. I think the parent company made some changes which resulted in the improved quality. Ed might still remember the old days...

I built a Barbie mermaid set for my daughter last year (present) and there was definitely a lot less grip overall. I can't say I checked the seal codes ;) but I wish she didn't like the pieces so I could make them disappear...
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