Better protection for instructions and stickers

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Super Car

Super Car

©2011 LEGO Group

Gareth M. reports that his 8070 Super Car came with the instructions and stickers sealed in a plastic bag complete with a thick piece of corrugated cardboard to stop them getting bent. Let's hope this becomes the norm especially for the larger sets or where there are several books of instructions.

51 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I hope so, I'm tired of bent books. Does it also have easier to read instructions as well? Sometimes I can't tell the difference between grey and black.

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By in United States,

YEAH!

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By in United Kingdom,

Diagon Alley sets are also apparently now being shipped with similar protection for the instructions. :-))

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By in United Kingdom,

I had the same in the 8043!

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By in Netherlands,

This is what a LEGO representative said about the issue in a Q&A session in December 2010:

"1. Instruction booklets come loose in the boxes. They sometimes get damaged during transit. If they were tightly packed in polybags, it could prevent such damages. Stickers also get wrinkled, they could be packed with instructions.

a. Yes we know and we have started to package building instructions, labels and textiles in all sets with more than 1000 pieces in a poly bag. The current solution is a quick and dirty one. Version 2 will be ready with-in the first 3 month of 2011."

I have bought several sets in the past couple of months with protected instructions/stickers. Grahame, I wonder whether this is version 2 of the packaging you are reporting about? If so, how does it differ from version 1?

TooMuchLEGO, the subject of distinguishing colours in the instructions was also mentioned:

"2. Fans are having hard time choosing colors from instruction booklets. Black and dark grey are especially very hard to distinguish.

a. It is not only fans that have the issue. All of us have. The last 4 years we have tried to optimize this 2 or 3 times by adjusting the printing technique with no luck. For 2012 second half products we will introduce an out-line for black elements – cross fingers that it will help."

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By in United States,

It's about time! Thank you Lego!
@Teethgrinder- Thanks for the news about the change in the black in the instructions, it is very useful information!

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By in United States,

Good news. However is it only sets with over 1000 pieces?

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By in United States,

Great! I've never had a set with the stickers bent, but I have had my instruction booklets bent (specifically, my Battle of Endor and Slave I and a few other I can't a the time remember). I can't believe it's only for sets with 1000+ pieces though, both The Battle of Endor and Slave I are less than 1000 pieces, I think it should be decided by the size of the instructions. As for distinguishing the colors of bricks, I had a major problem with that in the past (especially with The Battle of Endor), so hopefully the change Teethgrinder mentioned will help.

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By in United States,

Woot! Thank you LEGO! :D

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By in United States,

This is great! I think the 1000+ piece limit is fair. I've had stickers completely mangled on a couple occasions (Town Plan was the worst, the letters for the Cinema came completely loose and were unusable) and they've both been on large sets. This combined with a smaller box size across the board should cut down on some of that I hope.

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By in United Kingdom,

It is indeed good news. The first set I saw them was in the Space Shuttle http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=10213-1 at the back end of last year. I don't think there have been too many 1000+ part sets released since then: Diagon Alley as Dr. D mentioned and now this Technic set. What about the Imperial Shuttle and Tower Bridge? Do they have them?

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By in United States,

@natro220 - If you read my post I said that a my Battle of Endor and Slave I sets both had the instructions bent, which made it much more difficult to build and neither of the are 1000+ pieces. As I said Lego should decide if they should put instructions in poly bags depending on the size of the instructions.

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By in United Kingdom,

The stickers in my recently opened 7930 and 7931 sets (T-6 and Bounty Hunter ships) were completely mangled. I think this 1000 piece limit is daft. ALL stickers should be packaged with a card backing. Why should I have to put up with not being able to completely build a set with the stickers? I've lost count of the amount of sets that have been like this over the last few years. I'm quite sure Lego Customer Services are getting tired of me requesting replacements for free. They send the replacements in a card envelope, so why not cut out the middleman and do it in the first place!

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By in United States,

I noticed this last year as well. Both my Emerald Night and Motorized Excavator had the instructions and stickers packaged in clear plastic with cardboard backing.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is how my Mechanical Excavator (8043) was packaged when bought from Argos in December '10.

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By in Canada,

This is why I feel no shame in spending every dime I have on my Lego collection... The Lego company is just awesome! I bought the Farm set a while back and one of the stickers had seperated from the sheet while inside the sealed box. I looked at the sticker sheet and thought "Is one missing?", but I found it partly stuck to one of the bags. That's not a common issue, but having bent stickers is. Glad to see Lego is working hard to improve their product.

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By in United Kingdom,

They started this last year when I received the Modular Fire Brigade as a xmas present

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By in United States,

Hooray! :) I hope this starts happening with smaller sets too!

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By in Netherlands,

Yup, I have a few sets that had the cardboard + sleeve solution, which is nice. But also the occasional set with mangled stickers. At the risk of being sour though, this used to not be a problem, as large sets came with a cardboard insert which a) fixated the instructions and stickers (allthough the majority did not have any stickers) on the bottom of the box and b) supported a tray with significant parts, visible through a window in the box. Ahhh, memories...

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By in Italy,

Yes! This is just nice. My 8453 (http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8453-1) has a rather bent instruction booklet! I think this is part of Lego's plan to revolutionise their boxes! This will help with especially cramped boxes!

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By in Italy,

@Teethgrinder, I agree with you. Once I spent half-an-hour looking for a Technic piece that was dark grey, but I thought it was a black piece! The set was this one: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8141-1.

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By in United States,

Maybe they'll carry this over to the smaller sets (say 500+) eventually once they see the response from these sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

@modena Cripes! And I thought it was just me who did that. I had to rebuild the Winter Toy Shop from scratch because I'd used red bits where they were supposed to be brown. Or was it the other way around?! Or are they even red or brown, I kept thinking. I can't tell, because I'm colour-blind. A lot of the new colours actually look the same to me (if I'm building my own stuff, I stick to the primary colours!). I agree especially that the difference between the dark grey and black print in the instruction manuals is darned near impossible to distinguish. For me, it's as difficult as trying to find those numbers in the coloured dots at the opticians... :)

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By in United States,

This is about time, again probably another product from the survey, smaller boxes, and protection for instructions. I wonder what else will come out of this. Thanks LEGO.

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By in United Kingdom,

Yes! Finaly the Lego group listens to are prayers! I got 7622 with the first three pages in half, 7079 without the front and back pages and, even though its a polybag, 30010's instruction's torn in half.....

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By in United States,

@HUW, Bought the Tower Bridge (set 10214) at the beginning of February. The directions came wrapped in a comic-book polybag style :) with cardboard backboard. The corragated cardboard was narrower on the edge than in the middle, to limit cardboard-style paper cuts. Also, the cardboard was approximately longer and wider than the instructions by one inch, or 2.5 centimeters.

@everyone - This made me really happy! Now reading this news thread makes me happy, too :) First major-sized set I've purchased. I thought the poly-bag action was unique to this set. Glad to find out it is not :) Did I mention :)

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By in United States,

I was shocked to see the cardboard and plastic sleeve in my Diagon Alley set. nice job, Lego!

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By in France,

Finally!!! Good news! Now Just hope LEGO add an inner boxe for the bigger sets and everything 'll be OK.

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By in United States,

The Winter Toy Shop i got last month had a cardboard packaged instruction booklet, but the Winter Bakery did not.

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By in United States,

Glad to hear of the improvements. Here's to hoping for better adhesives for the stickers as well!!!!

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By in Spain,

I have the same package in the 10197 Fire Brigade, which seemed to me a nice addition in a set i didnt expect since i think it may have reached his final life by end of this year. Good for TLC!!!

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By in United States,

My Winter Bakery came with bagged instructions, this is a great trend. Thank you LEGO.

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By in United States,

Never really had a problem with that...but good idea nonetheless.

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By in United Kingdom,

The Emerald Night I ordered last month came with it too!

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By in United States,

sounds like when I recieve stickers in the mail

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By in United States,

@Teethgrinder - Ah. Thank you.

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By in United States,

So that's what they're doing with the extra cardboard from the smaller boxes. :P

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By in Australia,

Love your thinking Orange Lemons. :)

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By in United States,

See? Lego isn't so dumb after all... ;-)

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By in Canada,

This is great news. The thing I love about LEGO, other than the fact that they come out with great sets, is that they listen to their fans and consumers (and treat us as valued customers). Now only if they would lower their prices...

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By in United States,

A bit off topic, but have you noticed that LEGO stickers are waterproof? I had the stickers on my Penguins Submarine stay on after a few very rough times in water. Still are on and are not even peeling,

This is great though, because My sticker sheet in my Speed Racer was magled, and all of the little stickers of him were mangled to death. The worst I've ever had with instructions are that they are slightly bent in the middle and its harder to keep them open.

This is why I buy Lego, MegaBloks are terrible pieces of cow dung that people shouldn't waste valuable time and money on. They'd never do that, only Lego would.

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By in Australia,

I think this a fantastic move and I'm sure the packaging will improve more as time goes on. They just started to implement the changes.

On the note of having a hard time to figure out colors in instructions, I find it problematic too and find I have to be very careful when deciding what color it is supposed to be. A color key might be helpful. They could print a 1x1 plate in each color in the set and label with the name of the correct color. They you would have a useful reference because even if it doesn't look like the color of the actual brick, the printed color is consistent throughout the whole booklet.

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By in United Kingdom,

I purchased 10198 Tantive IV the other day and it's instructions were packaged like this, which given how full the box is (for once), was a pleasant surprise. Probably the only kit i've bought so far where I wish the bags were actually numbered though!

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By in United States,

Finally! I'm sure many of us complained to LEGO about this, I know I did both online and in person. I was interviewed by a LEGO Customer Insights Rep back in October and this was my 1 complaint I had. I know from talking to other fans that they reached out to LEGO to complain about this too. It is nice to know that such a big company still listens to customers!

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By in United States,

The instructions to the 10193 Medieval Market Village that I have were also protected with cardboard ; i do hope this becomes a norm for larger sets.

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By in United States,

The Shuttle Adventure set I received for Christmas had this treatment, but I've heard of those that didn't, so it was a running change in the production run on that set. I think Diagon Alley was the first one to have packaged instructions/stickers from the get-go.

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By in Ireland,

I've posted this elsewhere as well:
I don't think the piece count should determine whether the instructions are wrapped. In my experience it's not sets with many bags where booklets get damaged, but sets where the box contains loose parts like train bases and other large items.

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By in United States,

Yes this happened with my recent purchases of Medival Market Village and Diagon Alley. I was very pleased!

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By in United States,

@Duq - well, we've seen them reduce the size of the box in some cases as well, so maybe this is a two-pronged approach: package the instructions and stickers with cardboard in large-scale sets, and reduce the amount of space inside the box of smaller sets in an attempt to assuage the issue of the bags flopping around and crushing the instructions. Sadly, I don't think the smaller sets will get the wrapped instruction treatment, as it's an additional cost that's just not worth it for LEGO. I'm sure the margin of profit on smaller sets is not as good as it is on the larger sets (even though the value for the buyer is better on the larger sets - 1000+ pieces for $100!)

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By in United States,

They did this for the Tower Bridge too.

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