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DISplay is worse than play?!

dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 100
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? 
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Comments

  • CM4SCM4S United StatesMember Posts: 1,111
    Yep. I hate it. I guess it's just.. what time does. 
    LuLego
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,881
    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: 966
    @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: 959

    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: 181
    ^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: 959

    @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: 1,558
    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: 100
    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: 123
    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: 479
    *whispers* I bet lepin doesn't crack.

    *Pandemonium*

    (I was joking please don't hurt me)




    Switchfoot55YodaliciousBumblepantspharmjodOldfanbandit778GoldchainsLEGO_Dad77
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,881
    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: 1,558
    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: 1,714
    I've only noticed it on my helm's deep set so far. imported from the US.
  • willobee498willobee498 CanadalandMember Posts: 263
    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: 628
    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.

    dutchlegofan50gmonkey76catwranglerGalactusLEGO_Dad77
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,881
    ^ 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: 221
    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: 1,714
    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: 430
    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.
  • CaptainLegoCaptainLego FloridaMember Posts: 121
    I must be very lucky as I've not encountered this cracking problem. I have run into clutch issues among a few minifigures, as well as hands, heads and hair pieces being looser than normal, but, I have not had any pieces actually crack/disintergrate yet.
  • ecmo47ecmo47 North CarolinaMember Posts: 1,874
    Some colors are more susceptible to cracking then others. I've had issue with dark red. 
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,265
    I bought a Creator tiger polybag and over 40% of the pieces were cracked after building. I spend time with the inventory and listed how many per part were cracked. They just sent me replacement parts for the whole set.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 405
    CCC said:
    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.
    I've never really had any CMF crack. Whatever plastic they're made of is somewhat better than the normal minifig stuff. As long as my pieces still hold together, I don't care if they crack...well, if a minifig cracks and his arms go all floppy, that's no good. I'd have to do something about that.
  • mh3490mh3490 Hiding from wife under a pile of legoMember Posts: 167
    Personally I have never had any piece or minifigures crack or break and  maybe one factor to consider is humidity or lack there of 
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 848
    Well, by nature plastic will crack, especially if any force is placed on it.

    Could you imagine what lego would cost if they made them from a plastic that was 100% crack proof?  Im guessing here, but what would we say, 98-99% are pretty good?  I'm not paying to see we get that other 2% perfect.  Same thought applies to packaging...some boxes will get damaged...the cost to make it 100% perfect is too great.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 1,894
    I have a huge collection of LEGO from 1975-95 that basically remains segregated from the more modern items.  Of all that LEGO only the 1x1 round trans-clear polycarbonate bricks show any cracking at all.... at the base.  No other bricks show cracking... and the parts have been in all different temperatures and humidity conditions.
    madforLEGOoldtodd33
  • YodaliciousYodalicious DagobahMember Posts: 1,265
    Finally had my first few cheese slips crack. Noticed 6-8 of them cracked on the Parisian Restaurant yesterday. 
    SumoLego
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,077
    ryjay said:
    Well, by nature plastic will crack, especially if any force is placed on it.

    Could you imagine what lego would cost if they made them from a plastic that was 100% crack proof?  Im guessing here, but what would we say, 98-99% are pretty good?  I'm not paying to see we get that other 2% perfect.  Same thought applies to packaging...some boxes will get damaged...the cost to make it 100% perfect is too great.

    Istokg said:
    I have a huge collection of LEGO from 1975-95 that basically remains segregated from the more modern items.  Of all that LEGO only the 1x1 round trans-clear polycarbonate bricks show any cracking at all.... at the base.  No other bricks show cracking... and the parts have been in all different temperatures and humidity conditions.
    IMO LEGO used to be 'indestructible', I mean you could do little to break it, let alone having pieces stuck together over a period of time. I also have LEGO from the 70s/80s that sat in a storage locker with no environmental controls for about 10 years and it was fine. Even in old LEGO lots I think the only part I ever saw stresses in were 1x1 trans parts, and 1x1 tile would crack, but that was from usage (not display). I'm sure LEGO had to change their formula for whatever reason over the years, but if it was for cost, then they should take another crack at their formula as IMO parts should not be breaking by just displaying them.  I can understand some of the more specialized parts, like cheese slops, 1x1 tile, or 1x1 round tile (and only after hard play), but 1x1, 1x2, 1x3 and other such brick? That should not be acceptable to LEGO's QA dept.
    LEGO_Dad77
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,714
    ryjay said:
    Well, by nature plastic will crack, especially if any force is placed on it.

    Could you imagine what lego would cost if they made them from a plastic that was 100% crack proof?  Im guessing here, but what would we say, 98-99% are pretty good?  I'm not paying to see we get that other 2% perfect.  Same thought applies to packaging...some boxes will get damaged...the cost to make it 100% perfect is too great.
    that would mean 1 or 2 pieces would break on average in a 100 pieces set, which would probably cause a massive outrage.
    the few cracked pieces I noticed on sets having not been played with so far amount to less than 1 in 10000.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 848
    Fauch said:
    that would mean 1 or 2 pieces would break on average in a 100 pieces set, which would probably cause a massive outrage.
    the few cracked pieces I noticed on sets having not been played with so far amount to less than 1 in 10000.
    Then that would suggest it is even a lesser of a problem then some make it out to be.  
  • 12651265 Member Posts: 857
    My buying habits, along with my interest, have significantly gone down over the last year due to Lego material quality.  I'm now considering selling off my collection.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 819
    edited June 4
    ^if you do sell im sure a lot of us will want your sets if they are still like pics you posted in the new carpet post. I for one would like to call dibs on the original Batman sets.
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,512
    ryjay said:
    Fauch said:
    that would mean 1 or 2 pieces would break on average in a 100 pieces set, which would probably cause a massive outrage.
    the few cracked pieces I noticed on sets having not been played with so far amount to less than 1 in 10000.
    Then that would suggest it is even a lesser of a problem then some make it out to be.  
    OK, so we're not talking about pacemakers here, but if it is 1 in 10,000 pieces affected, for the complexity (or lack thereof) and function is very poor in QA/QC terms. This is a pretty recent issue with Lego - they've been makng very resilient pieces for decades, and in the last 5 or so years we're seeing this happen on pieces that have been built just once and left displayed.

    Maybe we can do a poll to confirm this, but it does seem that the North American market members here report it far more often than the European market members (maybe the Mexican Lego plant does things a little differently in terms of manufacture from the Danish and Czech plants?). I have seen 1 cracked cheese wedge in my own collection, my biggest quality concern with my own collection is inconsistent colouring (I have black pieces that look half way between black and DBG, white pieces in 5 distinct shades of white etc.).
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,714
    I think I only noticed cracks in LOTR /hobbit sets I imported from the USA. my pirate ship ambush from the danemark seems fine.
  • ryjayryjay Member Posts: 848
    We've had these discussions before, but I still think in this day and age more and more recycled resins are finding their way into Lego plastics that were not there in the past, and just how much recycled resins you can get away with and not suffer in quality and don't think has been mastered yet.
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 7,849
    I also happen to think that the wide array of the types of pieces plays a role as well.  If there were no cheese wedges, I wouldn't have experienced any pieces cracking.

    Never had a 2x4 brick fail.  Even after I chewed on it for awhile.
  • RecceRecce 10,171km away from BillundMember Posts: 628
    Check out the thread on broken parts for more information. Many reported their cracked parts on that thread. 
    SumoLego
  • gratefulnatgratefulnat SwitzerlandMember Posts: 152
    This issue seems so arbitrary to me.

    Over 500K pieces and so far only about 10 bricks affected that I've found.
    When I take sets apart I try to check all cheese slopes, 1x1's & MF arms/legs etc.
    And others seem to have sets just loaded with quality issues in regards to cracking.

    I'd wager that this is production related - quality of the ABS, dyes, improper cooling, worn out moulds...
    Also LEGO is producing at maximum capicity for so long now (late 2000's onwards) that they might catch quality issues at a point where 1'000s of affected parts have landed in bins for packaging before they became aware of any defects.

    Who knows - and LEGO is certainly not addressing the issue publicily, as I believe it is a regular question posed on the ambassador forums, except to say report them/send them in.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 865
    I have to wonder if the older bricks really held up better, or did kids simply discard broken bricks back before the days of the internet? I only vaguely remember the sets my cousins and I played with back in the late 1970s and early 80s. I really doubt we would have tried to get LEGO to replace broken bricks back then, so broken parts would have ended up in the trash, and the only lasting evidence would be their absence when inventorying a set.
    MattDawson
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 1,714
    I had many pieces break when I was a child. mostly clips and hinges, I guess due to being played with a lot. and most chrome pieces have at least a bit of the chrome rubbed out. (why don't they make the 1995 longsword anymore? with modern colors)
    LEGO_Dad77
  • dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 100
    SumoLego said:
    I also happen to think that the wide array of the types of pieces plays a role as well.  If there were no cheese wedges, I wouldn't have experienced any pieces cracking.

    Never had a 2x4 brick fail.  Even after I chewed on it for awhile.
    I've had a tan 2x2 brick crack right down the side. :(
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 1,906
    @datsunrobbie  My Lego bricks were exclusively from the 70's and I NEVER had one break at any point. Any breakage was from abuse.
  • bluedragonbluedragon United StatesMember Posts: 431
    Same here. The only damaged bricks in my collection from the late 70s and 80s were plates cut to measure. Please don't judge. I was young and sometimes I really had to have a 1x5 plate or such so a kitchen knife was part of my MOCing tool kit :-).
    SumoLegoLEGO_Dad77LuLego
  • FSealFSeal San Digeo, Ca.Member Posts: 8
    edited June 14
    Hehe, in the early 70's we were utterly brutal with our Lego brick play. One of our favorite things to do was to build airplanes then throw them like they were flying and watch them hit the ground and explode. Another bit of fun was to build these largish catamaran like things, built entirely sideways so that the smooth edge of the bricks were downward on the carpet. After an hour or so of building our masterpieces, we'd get on either end of the living room and HUCK them sliding down the carpet as fast as we could get them to go towards each other till they exploded on contact in the middle.

    I can't remember ever breaking a brick. We lost them as they would fly everywhere and get stuck behind furniture and who knows where.

    Trying that with someone Lego knock off set however instantly cracked bricks and we never did anything like that with them again.

    They were pretty much all 1x and 2x full bricks,  plates and wedges. Even then we were amazed at how strong they were, the only toy we couldn't break :D
    catwranglerLEGO_Dad77
  • dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 100
    well, of course, the Dragologer curse continues with more cracked Minifigure torsos.
    now instead of the waist up, its now from the arm down.
    Every Ninjago movie Llyod I own has done this after only putting him together once and then taking the same precautions as always.
    keep the legs off while he's on the shelf, no sunlight, room temperature kept the same and no chemicals anywhere near the room.  
    after only two weeks the figure is ruined. without any use. 
    I have no idea how much more are like this in my 200 set collection.
    countless I would imagine. 
    just got Knighton castle in the mail. 
    Was excited. Now I'm hesitant to even bother opening it...... 
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,265
    I think I posted this already but I had a Creator Tiger poly (85 pieces I think) and almost half of the pieces had cracks. They just sent me replacement parts for the whole set.
  • dragologerdragologer U.S.AMember Posts: 100
    yah. I just wish that the replacements weren't just a cheap as the first copies. 
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 240
    FSeal said:
    Hehe, in the early 70's we were utterly brutal with our Lego brick play. One of our favorite things to do was to build airplanes then throw them like they were flying and watch them hit the ground and explode. Another bit of fun was to build these largish catamaran like things, built entirely sideways so that the smooth edge of the bricks were downward on the carpet. After an hour or so of building our masterpieces, we'd get on either end of the living room and HUCK them sliding down the carpet as fast as we could get them to go towards each other till they exploded on contact in the middle.

    I can't remember ever breaking a brick. We lost them as they would fly everywhere and get stuck behind furniture and who knows where.

    Trying that with someone Lego knock off set however instantly cracked bricks and we never did anything like that with them again.

    They were pretty much all 1x and 2x full bricks,  plates and wedges. Even then we were amazed at how strong they were, the only toy we couldn't break :D
    My parents' backyard had a place that would flood during heavy rains, so my brother and I would build ships out of bricks/plates (no hulls) while it was raining, and then when it stopped, we'd set up our ships on the newly created pond. We would each load up on clumps of mud, stand about 40 feet away, and lob the clods until only one person's ship remained afloat. 
    LEGO_Dad77
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 27
    I've only had pieces break because I played too rough with them as a kid, but that was usually small gears (too much torque) and thin bits (levers, antennas, sticks/poles). The only brick piece I ever had break was a 1×1×2 gray slope that snapped in half mysteriously. I did post a thread recently about my sets warping and not fitting right anymore, but now I hear they can shatter just from age?! ACK! How common is this and should I be concerned?
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