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Crumbling parts from the Sandcrawler

RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
I have been taking apart my sand crawler and when it came to take off all the clips. Almost all of them crumbled and fell apart. They seemed really brittle and I could squeeze them in my hand breaking them. They have been out on a shelf with some direct sunlight. Any idea what may have caused it? 


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Comments

  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 5,972
    "They have been out on a shelf with some direct sunlight"

    That won't have helped, but it's still pretty shocking....

    I'd suggest getting on to LEGO Customer service ASAP.
    madforLEGOLego_Starkiki180703BuriedinBricksAdzbadboyTheBigLegoski
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    It's possible but nothing else on that shelf has been effected. I'll drop them a line and see what they say.
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,395
    edited January 8
    You're probably one of the lucky houses that gets hit with the cracking part problem.
    madforLEGOkiki180703
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    edited January 8
    Hurray! It has so far been ten of the clips. I must admit this is the first time it has happened but boy is it happening a lot on this model. Oddly all the older clips from the other sets are fine. 
  • GremerGremer The Commonwealth of VirginiaMember Posts: 82
    Oddly enough, it's been happening to me too and only with the Sandcrawler. Most of the clips on the top of the model have broken without me doing anything to them.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    @Gremer that was exactly where all of mine went as well. I am wondering if it was a set wide thing. 
    Gremerkiki180703
  • arathemisarathemis sometimes here, sometimes thereMember Posts: 135
    edited January 8
    I`m expencting my new sandcrawler to arrive sometimes next week.....Please don`t tell me this could happen to me as well :(
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,002
    I wonder if it has something to do with the color of the plastic as much as the environment. As @drdavewatford said, sitting in the sun (even partially) likely did not help though.
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 3,920
    Some of my kids brown clips like thst have broken but they came from other sets. Perhaps whole batches of them were brittle.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    It might be the case that batches were brittle. @madforLEGO it maybe but Lego can bugger off if I am going to have to conduct my hobby in a dark room. How can I spot old dark grey from new dark grey then?
    madforLEGOkiki180703snowhitie
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,002
    It might be the case that batches were brittle. @madforLEGO it maybe but Lego can bugger off if I am going to have to conduct my hobby in a dark room. How can I spot old dark grey from new dark grey then?
    I hear you. I guess LEGO just likes the idea of sending free parts in perpetuity for those who have this issue then because it appears they are not going to fix how the parts are produced.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 593
    Just by looking at the photo I can tell you it's an issue with the product. You don't help your LEGO by exposing it to UV radiation, but since I don't see the typical aging discoloration I don't think these pieces were affected by that.

    But what I see doesn't mean the mix was bad necessarily. Could have been the temp it was created under too. It's just a bad product batch that was allowed to go through what is usually a better Quality Control process. 

    Is this Sandcrawler I or II? I'm asking cause I have the second and I may build it soon and I will test those parts before I start.
  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 725
    blogzilly said:
    But what I see doesn't mean the mix was bad necessarily. Could have been the temp it was created under too. It's just a bad product batch that was allowed to go through what is usually a better Quality Control process.
    Yeah, one theory I heard is that ever since LEGO exploded in popularity, they have been producing so many more parts to keep up with demand, and thus possibly didn't allow adequate time for them to cool before going on to the next step, causing issues with their structural stability.
  • nexandernexander Glasgow Member Posts: 698
    ^doesn't sound right. I would say its more likely a problem with a batch of brown abs pellets that's causing it to be slightly weaker than normal. Put that into a clip which is under stress and put it in the sun and I can see why it splits.
    gmonkey76
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 776
    edited January 9
    I had that problem with the 1x2 jumper plates in #79003 An Unexpected Gathering. The stud broke when i was taking the carrot stems out. I wonder if it was a problem with the brown pellets?
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580

    @Blogzilly its the second Sandcrawler it has only been on the shelf since November. I cant really do much about the light sadly my room faces south so I have the sun in my room all the time. In the summer it gets very hot quickly.


    I am still waiting to hear from Lego about it.

  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 593
    @Redbullgivesuwind My room faces south. My new one. Currently two curtains are tacked down flat over drawn blinds. No light gets in. But I gotta believe there is something we can put on the windows to block out UV. I mean, some kind of NASA shit.
    Redbullgivesuwindkiki180703
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    That would work but I am loathed to use it. As I like seeing the day light and hate working in the dark unless its night. Which, I realise makes me sound like Batman. There is probably something that does it. But I would rather lego fixed the issue than anything else. Although to be fair it is a lot better than it used to be.
  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,731
    I've had a couple Reddish Brown 1x4 plates break in the past year. In both cases, it was the "sidewall" when stress was put on them using a brick separator.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    @binaryeye that is why you always use your teeth. 

    Lego didn't say much (unsurprisingly) just sorry, they will pass the comments on (they won't) and they sent replacement parts out to me. To be fair that is the most they can do. I just have to hope these replacements don't break!
    Sethro3
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 832
    blogzilly said:
    @Redbullgivesuwind My room faces south. My new one. Currently two curtains are tacked down flat over drawn blinds. No light gets in. But I gotta believe there is something we can put on the windows to block out UV. I mean, some kind of NASA shit.
    https://www.amazon.com/36-ft-Blocking-Window-Film/dp/B000KWRQA0

    I have no experience with it, but there are certainly products out there that claim to block UV. That might help IF the cause of the problem is UV exposure. 
  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,639
    I just took two of the clips off mine, and although the bar and clip really didn't want to come apart, the clips stayed intact when they did.

    A couple of things struck me about them though. Firstly, they're all clipped to 6L bars, and they're all the old design of the clip.

    I wonder if LEGO found a problem with the old design of the clip, which resulted in them introducing the new design? It strikes me that the clip on the new design is rather more flexible than the old design, because it has more freedom to move.

    The old design is very rigid. Maybe they found that over time it had the potential to break if stressed. It's also possible that the old design is stressed just by being clipped to something, in a way that the newer design isn't, or at least is less stressed by.

    I'm just theorising here. Obviously LEGO won't do anything, because it's happened to the old design of the part, which they've now phased out.
  • dspigeldspigel HonoluluMember Posts: 397
    I've yet to build my sandcrawler. I wonder if I'll have the same issue.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    @Paperballpark I think that maybe the case. When I took them out of the 6l or off the baseplate they were attached to that is when they broke. So if they were too ridged it would put stress on either the side wall or the clip. Which is where they were damaged. I am hoping the parts they send out have the new design as I don't want to be contacting them again. 
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,477
    edited January 9
    blogzilly said:
    @Redbullgivesuwind My room faces south. My new one. Currently two curtains are tacked down flat over drawn blinds. No light gets in. But I gotta believe there is something we can put on the windows to block out UV. I mean, some kind of NASA shit.
    https://www.amazon.com/36-ft-Blocking-Window-Film/dp/B000KWRQA0

    I have no experience with it, but there are certainly products out there that claim to block UV. That might help IF the cause of the problem is UV exposure. 
    Glass blocks out UVB - you'll never get a sun tan by looking out of a window - UVA on the other hand, is cut down quite a bit by a typical double-glazed pane, but is still the factor that causes carpets and curtains to fade, and presumably causes certain Lego pieces that are highly stressed (like these little clips and 1x1 cheese wedges - which have almost no flex in them) to crack or break.

    Makes me want to pull a few pieces off my Sandcrawler to see if I have the same issue. Cracking pieces does seem to be reported here far more often by US/Canada based members than European ones - different manufacturing site? Different ABS formulations?
  • GremerGremer The Commonwealth of VirginiaMember Posts: 82
    edited January 9
    I've tried to keep the Sandcrawler out of the light, and I don't think the top has ever been hit directly by sunlight. Even so, almost of the clips have cracked so paperballpark might be correct.

    Unlike redbull's, the actual clips crack off, but the base part of it is fine.
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 609
    Nothing to do with exposing to sunlight, all brown (or reddish brown) parts are more brittle than other coloured parts, for some reason only known to TLG. They probably mixed different chemicals to produce the brown parts.

    I have encountered broken pieces throughout the years and yes, all of them are brown parts.
    gmonkey76Sethro3
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    @Monkeyhanger seems unlikely they would have different formula for different countries. Although, I know little about the US safety regulations they seem more relaxed there than in the UK.   
  • Aerros1Aerros1 California, USA Member Posts: 22
    Recce said:
    Nothing to do with exposing to sunlight, all brown (or reddish brown) parts are more brittle than other coloured parts, for some reason only known to TLG. They probably mixed different chemicals to produce the brown parts.

    I have encountered broken pieces throughout the years and yes, all of them are brown parts.
    This problem is Not only known to Lego. Along with Lego I also collect vintage transformers some of which are known to have this problem. In the TF circles we call it Gold Plastic Syndrome(GPS). It effects a wide range of gold and brown plastics. I'll leave you with a bit of reading if you'd like to know more.

    http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Gold_Plastic_Syndrome
    LegoboyricecakecatwranglerstluxMaffyDKingAlanI
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    Well the parts haven't turned up. I think I am going to be sending a frustrated email to Lego.
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 609
    Aerros1 said:
    Recce said:
    Nothing to do with exposing to sunlight, all brown (or reddish brown) parts are more brittle than other coloured parts, for some reason only known to TLG. They probably mixed different chemicals to produce the brown parts.

    I have encountered broken pieces throughout the years and yes, all of them are brown parts.
    This problem is Not only known to Lego. Along with Lego I also collect vintage transformers some of which are known to have this problem. In the TF circles we call it Gold Plastic Syndrome(GPS). It effects a wide range of gold and brown plastics. I'll leave you with a bit of reading if you'd like to know more.

    http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Gold_Plastic_Syndrome
    It doesn't debunk the fact that brown lego parts for some reason are prone to breakage regardless of whether they're from an old set or the most recent set. 

    Interesting read on gold plastics, though, especially when I collect Transformers toys too. 
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 1,622

    Going off-topic for a second: I have some Transformers with gold parts, and they have all shattered on those parts, without much playing (I'm a grown-up). I've recently bought a brand new Superion and he's got a lot of gold on one of his constituent parts, so I worry about Quickslinger quite a bit now. At least I have a spare Alpha Bravo!

    Sorry, back on topic: I have yet to have a part break on me in modern usage, but I suppose I'll see eventually. The predominance of grey/black in my purchased sets (Star Wars and Superhero) may help here...

  • PaperballparkPaperballpark UKMember Posts: 2,639
    Well the parts haven't turned up. I think I am going to be sending a frustrated email to Lego.
    Parts from LEGO can take a while to turn up. Two weeks is not unknown.

    Patience, young padawan...
    gmonkey76MattDawsonRedbullgivesuwindKingAlanI
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 806
    In the end, everything breaks. I have tons of random pieces and colors that have broken just from being clutched. No there is no sunlight entering the room. Typically I have seem tan the most though.
  • snowhitiesnowhitie BelgiumMember Posts: 1,793
    About the parts not  arriving,  I have got to agree with @Paperballpark. Especially at this time of year it might take them even three weeks to arrive.

    About the UV film on the window. I have put a film over mine and I don't think it makes it that much darker. I can't tell you yet if it's working, I did it for my books mostly because my lego is somewhere else. I just got one of these sticky things from Amazon.
    RedbullgivesuwindClutchPower
  • Aerros1Aerros1 California, USA Member Posts: 22
    Recce said:
    Aerros1 said:
    Recce said:
    Nothing to do with exposing to sunlight, all brown (or reddish brown) parts are more brittle than other coloured parts, for some reason only known to TLG. They probably mixed different chemicals to produce the brown parts.

    I have encountered broken pieces throughout the years and yes, all of them are brown parts.
    This problem is Not only known to Lego. Along with Lego I also collect vintage transformers some of which are known to have this problem. In the TF circles we call it Gold Plastic Syndrome(GPS). It effects a wide range of gold and brown plastics. I'll leave you with a bit of reading if you'd like to know more.

    http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Gold_Plastic_Syndrome
    It doesn't debunk the fact that brown lego parts for some reason are prone to breakage regardless of whether they're from an old set or the most recent set. 

    Interesting read on gold plastics, though, especially when I collect Transformers toys too. 
    Ya I'm not trying to debunk anything. I'm backing it up. I'm just trying to say it's not only a Lego issue. Hasbro is aware and it hasn't been an issue for modern Transformers but I am always a bit more cautious with them. The most recent Hasbro toy that I've had crumble in my hands was the Transformers/Star Wars Crossover Han Solo Chewbacca Millennium Falcon. Poor Chewy. But the plastics they used in that line were substandard to what I've seen in the TF main lines. Lots of Yellowing with zero sun light
  • thenosthenos Member Posts: 301
    Happened with the same color brown bar/clip things in Santa's Workshop for me. 
  • Aerros1Aerros1 California, USA Member Posts: 22
    thenos said:
    Happened with the same color brown bar/clip things in Santa's Workshop for me. 
    Ya I had to replace my Wife's workshop clips last year.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    Well the parts haven't turned up. I think I am going to be sending a frustrated email to Lego.
    Parts from LEGO can take a while to turn up. Two weeks is not unknown.

    Patience, young padawan...
    snowhitie said:
    About the parts not  arriving,  I have got to agree with @Paperballpark. Especially at this time of year it might take them even three weeks to arrive.
    I'll try...

    I did sent an email and they called to apologised as the person who initially dealt with the email was based in America; so they would not know there is a delay. As a gesture they have sped it up and dispatched them. Which is fair enough - just wished it was mentioned. If I knew it was the same people who do the brick orders wouldn't have been as annoyed. But hopefully it's sorted now. It means someone else will get my angry email. Probably an idiot at work :-)
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 1,622
    Aerros1 said:
    The most recent Hasbro toy that I've had crumble in my hands was the Transformers/Star Wars Crossover Han Solo Chewbacca Millennium Falcon. Poor Chewy. But the plastics they used in that line were substandard to what I've seen in the TF main lines. Lots of Yellowing with zero sun light
    That's my worst one too! Both arms!
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 609
    Aerros1 said:

    Ya I'm not trying to debunk anything. I'm backing it up. I'm just trying to say it's not only a Lego issue. Hasbro is aware and it hasn't been an issue for modern Transformers but I am always a bit more cautious with them. The most recent Hasbro toy that I've had crumble in my hands was the Transformers/Star Wars Crossover Han Solo Chewbacca Millennium Falcon. Poor Chewy. But the plastics they used in that line were substandard to what I've seen in the TF main lines. Lots of Yellowing with zero sun light
    While we're on the TF topic, I'm wondering should I start scanning through my TF toys that had gold plastics. As can be seen from below pics, looks like there are quite a few of them. Plus more that have yet to be opened.





    One thing to note is that my TF toys are all from Takara, not Hasbro. I understand there are differences between them though not sure if it relates to the GPS syndrome.
    ClutchPowercatwrangler
  • GoldchainsGoldchains Member Posts: 690
    I have had the same problem with the hook pieces cracking and breaking on my Sandcrawler.  I have noticed that the hooks are a little tight around the dowels, and it takes a bit to click them into place.  I am wondering if there is too much stress from the dowels cracking the plastic as well.
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 966
    The only part that I have had break on me, so far, is http://brickset.com/parts/4544525 from #79003 An Unexpected Gathering. I was clipping it onto http://brickset.com/parts/4225823 and the clip just broke in two. I'm sure that I wasn't applying too much pressure when doing so.
    Anyway, LEGO CS sent a replacement fairly quickly.

    I have never seen anything as bad as what you posted @Redbullgivesuwind. That's shocking. 
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 731
    edited January 20
    @Recce - they're all made in China anyway, and I've never felt any real difference between the plastic on Takara or Hasbro editions of the same figure.  @Aerros1's link to the tfwiki page on GPS is quite informative!

    I've not seen my Han Solo/Chewwy MF TF for ages.  Could be because the whole thing has disintegrated to dust in the storage box!

    @MaffyD - the same article confirms in q quote from the designer that CW Quickslinger should not be subject to the same issues - sounds like you're safe!
    MaffyD
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 1,622
    Before a mod steps in to quietly nudge us, I think we ought to get a thread started in off-topic if we want to talk about TF any more. Although I have to say that's an impressive collection @recce and nicely presented - good enough for Lego! :-)
  • MouseketeerMouseketeer Member Posts: 57
    Aerros1 said:
    thenos said:
    Happened with the same color brown bar/clip things in Santa's Workshop for me. 
    Ya I had to replace my Wife's workshop clips last year.
    Mine were broken too - the clips on Santa's chair. Didn't realise it was so common.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 609
    Some of my broken pieces from past 2 years. 


  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,580
    ^Ouch that really isn't great at all. Again, it seems to be the brown pieces are most liable to break. So it would suggest, as others point out, there is an issue with the pigment. I wonder why Lego haven't looked into this more? Or if they have and can't do much. 
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,347
    It might be a sensible business decision that replacing damaged parts is easier than chaing production. Even though it's most common on brown, maybe it still affects a relatively small amount of brown.
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,680
    brown or reddish brown? the sandcrawler would suggest reddish brown, right?
    KingAlanI
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