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The declining quality control of the LEGO product

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The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by NoShelfWear on Thu 07 Oct 2010, 5:39 pm

Thought I would raise a topic that might get a few people offside but I have really started to notice the decline in quality in some of the newer LEGO sets.

I first noticed the quality decline in the LEGO Technic Ferrari (set number doesn't come to mind) especially the inconsistency with the red colour throughout the model. Overall there would have been 4-5 shades of red in the same model something I grew up never expecting from LEGO.

When in Denmark I noticed that the battle packs and fridge magnets on sale in the gift shop had a horrible red colour also, it was as if whoever was manufacturing it hadn't indexed their colour palette. The red in these packs was also almost translucent and just looked absolutely horrible. When put next to a red hardhat from the mid 80's the hardhat looks far more vibrant and solid in colour.

I have also found in the vintage minifigure collections that the colours seem dark and the plastics for the red are somewhat translucent (on some minifigs) and the yellow heads also aren't the solid vibrant yellow when compared to older LEGO items.

The cheapness of the packaging is another big one, you hardly ever (if at all) get sets with lids + clear windows, and they never have the plastic liner inside the box... it seems now days it's OK to just dump all the pieces in a few bags and have them floating around loosely in the bottom of a single ply cardboard box. In the 80's - 90's the set's packaging oozed quality.. with the bigger sets having the lift up lids, items set in trays (like wheels / axles / beams in technic sets).. why don't they do this now? LEGO is a premium toy they should maintain their premium appearance and quality.. opening a box now just doesn't have the same feel of the well packaged older sets.

Finally my biggest gripe with LEGO quality control is molding marks! LEGO stood apart from the rest because the precision meant that you would not see any injection molding marks on the parts. I was looking at a set recently and not only did pieces of the set have injection molding marks, some of the pieces (nose cone of plane) were warped and didn't sit flush with the other bricks.

Keen to hear others' thoughts. I have a collection bridging a wide range of years and it isn't very flattering for LEGO to compare the older sets to those I am buying off the shelf today.

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by TazManiac on Fri 08 Oct 2010, 7:42 pm

Yeah times have changed but LEGO is no alone here many old trusted products have cut corners to turn a bigger profit and usually it's the packaging that is the first to receive the chop, but it seems that it has past that with LEGO and now they seem to be letting us down with design, maybe it's all the "fleshies" out now stealing "Old Yella's" budget.
While I'm on a rant ......PotC LEGO?.... really?... they drop classic pirates for Disney crap! don't get me wrong PotC has it's place I just feel it was best left over there with the Mega Blocks...excuse my french,
They are gunna want to be some pretty spiffy ships to win this little black duck! legonothanks

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by BrickTango on Wed 13 Oct 2010, 11:24 am

Quality issues I cannot comment on, as much as I am recently out of my dark ages and bulk of the stuff I bought recently is still in boxes so haven't had a chance to inspect most. I suspect the quality control issue is partly due to manufacturing in multiple factories in multiple locations/countries. I am sure they are aware of this and working to sort it out. I think, when bulk of the stuff was manufactured in a couple of locations, manufacturing and quality control was much more straight forward.

As for packaging though; I support LEGO 'trying' to do the environmentally right thing and getting rid of unnecessary packaging! Please don't get me wrong here NoShelfWear, but people who keep their sets MISB shouldn't really care about the trays and such in the box as they never open it up to see it anyway! And for others like myself who open the sets to get at the contents; the box gets flattened and/or chucked into recycling anyway!

I still think some of the boxes are larger than they need to be though.

Just my 2 bricks worth...

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by Lightningtiger on Wed 13 Oct 2010, 2:16 pm

Yep, they could shrink the Star Wars boxes couldn't they ! legolaugh

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by NoShelfWear on Wed 13 Oct 2010, 5:49 pm

Please don't get me wrong here NoShelfWear, but people who keep their sets MISB shouldn't really care about the trays and such in the box as they never open it up to see it anyway!

That's just the point, in the 'old days' you could lift the lid and look into the box through the window without opening it... great for selling product!

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by BrickTango on Thu 14 Oct 2010, 10:07 am

NoShelfWear wrote:
Please don't get me wrong here NoShelfWear, but people who keep their sets MISB shouldn't really care about the trays and such in the box as they never open it up to see it anyway!

That's just the point, in the 'old days' you could lift the lid and look into the box through the window without opening it... great for selling product!

Ah! I see, I didn't think of that! That's a good point! Most kids would want a set based on the pretty pictures outside of the box though! That's probably why they changed the boxes! Don't know!

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by TazManiac on Thu 14 Oct 2010, 11:28 am

yeah I miss the old windows Like with the BSB packaging you knew what you were getting so to speak...... did the re-release BSB have the original packing ? I know the box art was slightly different but was it windowed and have the yellow insert tray? just interested seeing as it was re-released as a special edition would be funny if it was less special than the original

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by NoShelfWear on Mon 07 Oct 2013, 10:55 pm

3 years to the day have passed and this is still bothering me (although I open a lot of LEGO now). legoeyeshutlaughing 

What brought this back to the front of my mind was the hilarious 'LEGO seat with sprue mark' variant that I found when buying up on Bricklink. The fact that the sprue mark is so obvious is pretty depressing legosad
http://brickowl.com/catalog/lego-seat-2-x-2-with-sprue-mark-in-seat-4079

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by Lightningtiger on Mon 07 Oct 2013, 11:21 pm

Wow, now this is a bump up of an old topic......it just goes to prove that even Lego are not perfect.legowink 

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Re: The declining quality control of the LEGO product

Post by jigsaw on Tue 08 Oct 2013, 6:30 pm

ive noticed they are shrinking the sets, whilst keeping or increasing the prices. they latest models are becoming leaner than the ones they replace.

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