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DISplay is worse than play?!

dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 83
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? 

Comments

  • CM4SCM4S United StatesMember Posts: 721
    Yep. I hate it. I guess it's just.. what time does. 
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 895

    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...

    legomattGothamConstructionConicoyagomezRailscatwranglerLego_StarmadforLEGO
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,015
    You're not meant to open the boxes!

    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?
  • JudgeChuckJudgeChuck UKMember Posts: 919
    @CCC, I have had issues with 1x1 tiles, mainly in a second-hand #21102: Minecraft Micro World: The Forest and a number of other people have reported issues with 1x1 bricks, among others, so I'm not sure it's just the 1x1 cheese slope that's to blame.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 895

    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. :( 


    dragologer
  • BrewBrew New Mexico (It's an actual state in the US)Member Posts: 177
    ^My cracking problems are very similar to yours, along with minifig torsos cracking up the side to the arm pit. When I get replacement pieces they seem to come from Europe and these have not cracked as far as I notice. I've also bought a couple of sets from Denmark while visiting last year and those show no cracking. It seems rampant with certain sets and then nothing on others. I suspect it is isolated to one molding factory but I have no proof of that other than observation. Very sad. (Ewe, I sounded like Trump right there)
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 895

    @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.

  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,325
    I really hope that there's some top secret Lego bunker where they're frantically trying to determine the cause(s) and find a solution. I can see why it's not something they would tell us about (not exactly the stuff of good headlines: "Lego in race to solve crumbling brick problem") or want to admit is happening a lot when we request replacement parts, but the data must be getting fed back to manufacturing/r&d. 

    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. 
  • dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 83
    its almost to late for them the rectify this. at least for me. if they ever made better plastic i would want all my old sets to have it as well.
    so its just something i have to accept?! 
    thats stupid! what kind of "quality assurance" do they think they have?
  • dutchlegofan50dutchlegofan50 Zwolle, NetherlandsMember Posts: 85
    edited March 2
    I know I have bad eyesight but at the same time I don't recognise this problem. I would like to see close up pictures of the so called ''cracked" bricks. Anyone?
  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 387
    *whispers* I bet lepin doesn't crack.

    *Pandemonium*

    (I was joking please don't hurt me)




    Switchfoot55YodaliciousBumblepantspharmjodOldfan
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,015
    I have a few Lepin minifigs and none have cracked but it is only a small sample and none more than a year or so old. 

    That said, I don't think I have ever had a problem with a real lego Chinese CMF cracking.
  • catwranglercatwrangler Northern IrelandMember Posts: 1,325
    I know I have bad eyesight but at the same time I don't recognise this problem. I would like to see close up pictures of the so called ''cracked" bricks. Anyone?
    There's no 'so-called' about it, though. See @Recce's picture in this thread, or any number of photos in the cracked/broken parts thread. The problem is notably affecting people in the US more than elsewhere, which would explain why you haven't experienced it. 
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,451
    I've only noticed it on my helm's deep set so far. imported from the US.
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 210
    Only seen it on two sets I ordered from USA, but they are also two of the maybe five total pre-owned sets of mine.
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 442
    edited March 3
    I stay in Singapore which is near the equator with hot weather all year round and very high humidity.

    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.

    dutchlegofan50gmonkey76catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,015
    ^ the alternative is that if you are going to throw it away relatively quickly anyway, it's better to make it from cheap components rather than quality longer lasting. Take a smartphone, how long should they be expected to last? 2, 5, 20 years? 5 is probably ok.
  • elspankdogelspankdog TexasMember Posts: 79
    I found some brand new reddish brown 2x plates recently that spontaneously had the sides crack off in storage.  These were parts removed directly from sealed sets and placed in a Sterilite plastic bin in climate control storage (my closet).
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,451
    CCC said:
    ^ the alternative is that if you are going to throw it away relatively quickly anyway, it's better to make it from cheap components rather than quality longer lasting. Take a smartphone, how long should they be expected to last? 2, 5, 20 years? 5 is probably ok.
    advertising a new, slightly better smartphone like every year and making the previous one has-been is also considered programmed obsolescence.
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 80
    I found some brand new reddish brown 2x plates recently that spontaneously had the sides crack off in storage.  These were parts removed directly from sealed sets and placed in a Sterilite plastic bin in climate control storage (my closet).
    There is another thread somewhere about reddish brown clips in the Sandcrawler #75059 falling apart prematurely.
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