Disappointing brick quality in Monster Fighter set

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Transparent bricks!Translucent bricks and plates are nothing new: it's been an intermittent problem for several years, in particular white plates, some of which look translucent when held up to the light. The reason for it, apparently, is that insufficient dye is introduced as a cost-cutting measure.

However, it looks as things have taken a turn for the worse. Chris McVeigh (Powerpig) sent me this picture and writes "I just picked up Monster Fighters 9466 (Crazy Scientist and his Monster), which I was excited about because of the new/rare parts in medium blue.

"Well, that excitement was short-lived. Upon opening the set I discovered that almost all of the medium blue bricks were of poor quality.

"The bricks seem to weigh less, have more sheen, are much less opaque, and the colour is slightly warmer than standard medium blue. I suspect these bricks were made in China. It's very, very disappointing, and I can only hope this is a one-off, and not the start of a new trend.

"As far as I can tell, the only medium blue bricks in the set that are of standard quality are the 1x2x2 slopes. Everything else is the poorer plastic."

Now I don't have this set to see for myself, but if you do, did you notice this problem? Does it worry you?

Update: This has proven to be a hot, emotive, topic! Clearly the quality of LEGO is something we are all passionate about.

An unofficial LEGO spokesman has explained in the comments why the bricks may look like this: "Current 2x4 bricks are thinner walled then those made about 5 years ago, this led to more consistent clutch power and in natural light they are supposed to look the same, but of course if you back light them they will be more transparent - in any colour. I'd like to know if the 1x2 or 2x2 had similar issues. Either way if you are not happy, call consumer services. One thing though - not one of these is made in China."

154 comments on this article

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By in United States,

I would be interested to hear more about this. I'm about to buy the entire set for my collection.

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By in Germany,

Ive got the Set several weeks ago but i did not notice this problem. When Iam back home
I will look into it.

PS: Did you already notice that Lego raised the price for "haunted house" from 150€ to 180€...
thats 20%!

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By in United States,

This is very interesting...I've been on the fence about collecting this theme...if this is widespread, it might push me towards not getting any (except for possibly the Haunted House).

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By in United Kingdom,

It seems trendy to automatically assume/suspect that poor quality Lego parts must have been made in China!

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By in Canada,

You're correct, paul_merton; there is nothing specific to indicate that the bricks were made in China. However, it's generally accepted that second and third tier products like keychains and magnet sets are of inferior plastic and are "made in China," so that's why I assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that these bricks must share the same origin.

I would be very surprised if this were an random error, as it affects all but one type of medium blue brick in the set. So that's the 1x1 brick, 2x4 brick, 1x2 technic brick, 1x2 plate, 1x4 plate, 1x6 plate, both types of curved slopes, and the wedge brick, too. :/

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By in Canada,

^ I suspect the cause is cost-cutting on the dye added to the uncoloured ABS again. The good slopes may have been made at a different time/factory.

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By in United States,

why does lego need to cut costs? isn't it making enough already? i think i read over somewhere that its made over £660 million in profits this year? and 1 billion last year?? please advise.

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By in United Kingdom,

^I think the "cost-cutting" is to keep the cost of sets down rather than generally increase their profits. Producing new elements and colours can push the price of a set up.

I'm guessing that LEGO are attempting to provide attractive new colours/pieces in sets without having to raise their price brackets, but if the result is a drop in quality, then it's something they need to address quickly before AFOLs stay away.

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By in United States,

Hmm wanted to get that one for my daughter. She's been asking for it. Would like to hear if others have noticed the same, especially up here in Canada. I hope its just a "one of" or else i'll have to pass. I'm gonna check the other monster fighter set I purchased for her and post if it contains any inferior quality bricks

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By in Germany,

^^^2010 lego reached a profit of 496 million Euro. For 2011 I could not found any source.
Anyway: "More is more and still not enough"...

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By in Australia,

To me, a brick is a brick. As long as it does what it's meant to do, I don't have a problem. I understand a number of dedicated AFOLs might vigorously disagree, but yeah.

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By in United States,

I would also like to hear more on this from people who own the sets. I will be getting the haunted house for sure. I have had a hard time committing to the Monster Fighters set, because most of the sets are so little and fragmented. (I like big solid builds.) I mainly like the MF sets for their minifigures. My favorite holiday is Halloween, so I have really been having an internal battle as whether or not to get these sets or not. Thank you for bringing this information to light. :)

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By in Canada,

^ I have a number of other Monster Fighters set, and so far, the only quality issue is with the medium blue in set 9466. However, I'm wondering if the quality of the sand green slopes in the castle set will also be an issue.

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By in United States,

^ Have you contacted Customer Service yet, to see if they're aware of the problem?

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By in Canada,

Yep, I contacted them this morning. Just waiting to hear back.

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By in United Kingdom,

Bjarke V. Schønwandt, the 'Senior Manager Consumer Perceived Quality' for Lego, said at AFOLCon that they take these kind of quality issues seriously - so I'd suggest complaining to Lego customer services. It may have been a manufacturing problem, as others have suggested.

NB Bjarke also claimed that the quality of bricks made in China is equal to those made in Europe, in terms of tooling quality - it's just that the plastic is slightly different, which is partly down to difficulties in importing plastic into China...

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By in Canada,

I started noticing the quality of lego peices were going down hill right around the series 7 minifigures. The bricks dont feel as strong, they almost feel like megablocks. This is very disappointing and obviously a measure lego has taken to become more cost effective. However megablocks are cheaper. If i wanted cheaper blocks then i would purcahse them and not pay the premium lego charges for their product. I havent seen any of the monster sets as of yet, but this is not where the problem started for me.

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By in United States,

Ah, that's too bad about the translucent bricks. I was going to order two sets (in addition to the swamp creature I already own).

"Unfortunately that's not the only quality issue in this series, the swamp creature's head printing does not align with the mask as seen here"

I don't really see that as a quality issue. It lines up just fine on my set.

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By in United Kingdom,

"I don't really see that as a quality issue. It lines up just fine on my set."

Surely that is a quality issue if it lines up fine on your set but not on someone else's...

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By in United States,

^ The provided picture seemed fine to me...

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By in Canada,

I just sent a complain to lego customer service. This same quality exists in the series 7 minifigures as well as the new lord of the rings sets.

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By in United States,

Every company is looking to cut costs. I had a Watto completely mis printed on one of the eyes but I didn't complain. I'm going to contact customer service on that and if everyone gets on the horn and emails...Lego needs to know we spend a lot of money on them and expect a quality product all around.

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By in United States,

As for those that took affront to the assumption that bad = "Made in China," well, y'know, for decades things "Made in China" have been bad, cheap, easily broken and otherwise crappy. China has a LONG way to go and a LOT of ground to make up before they are not the automatic scapegoat when it comes to poor quality.

That said, I've always wondered when the time was that "Made in China" flipped from being exotic and cool, to being cheap and worthless. Somewhere in the 1800's I'm sure people were showing off their stuff that was "Made in China" with pride. When did that turn around?

As for the topic at hand, Lego, you better get your head out of your butts on this one. You've got some serious damage control to deal with here.

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By in United States,

^When Nixon opened China in 1972.

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By in United Kingdom,

That is very odd, I have checked my set and I have the same problem. I thought there was something a bit off about a few of the bricks in that set but I had not put my finger on what it was so thanks Chris (and thanks Huw for posting an article about it). I cannot say I am too bothered by it, but I would much rather see a return to better quality bricks of course, with Lego you pay for quality, and if that quality is not there, it is somewhat off putting. I like the set as a whole however.

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By in United States,

I think the bigger issue here is more than likely if you can see through the parts, they are cheaper quality and less likely to last the test of time.. Say what you will about LEGO from the 80s, but most parts are still very sturdy and less likely to crack or break (brick Im talking about in this case).
But how much do you ant to bet LEGO will see these parts crack more with usage of a year or more?
Bad and a horrible time bomb IMO. If LEGO does not realize this now, they may realize it after it is too late.
One thing that has always separately LEGO with Megablocks is that their quality was above reproach. If they lose that they want is the difference really between MB and LEGO?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Well, lego's quality of deisgn is also superior but I see your point.
It seems that this was the catch to the lower than expected prices. I'd rather pay the normal prices for the usual standard of bricks. This has kind of put me off the theme - has this happened in any other set from the theme?

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ too true. I associate Lego with quality, even though its plastic. It takes decades to build that brand strength and loyalty, but a lot less time to lose it.
Take my dad, he associates all plastic toys and figures with poor quality, as he grew up in the 60s where everything was metal or wood. Lego need to keep my generation!

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By in United States,

Now that this has happened I'm pretty sure the translucent bricks in the ninjago sets aren't up to par either

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By in United States,

I think we should let LEGO know about our displeasure with these poorer quality bricks.
It must stop before the bricks descend to a level below the competitors. I wouldn't mind paying more for sets if as long as the quality level is maintained.

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By in United States,

Like lots of people here, I was planning to get this whole series including the Haunted House. Things like this will put my wallet back in my pocket very quickly, though.

I'll be keeping an ear to the ground for more news about this. For the amounts that Lego charges and the loyalty that they've built over the years, the quality had better be there to warrant both.

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By in United Kingdom,

This is slightly worrying, I've always relied on Lego for quality, but I don't think this problem will continue for long hopefully.

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By in United States,

The Mummy set from the MF line obviously has this problem too. Look at the inward facing studs on the side of the "helicopter" and Ann Lee's "harpoons."
http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=9462-1

I am definitely worried about this trend. In CMF I'm fine with it since it requires a multitude of new moulds, but in actual sets this is EXTREMELY disappointing.

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By in United States,

I don't have this problem with my blue bricks in the set. The Swamp Creature's face I have from the other set, however, is misaligned as mentioned above. Misaligned printing is very annoying, because unlike stickers, it cannot be corrected.

The worst issue I've had with a recent set was that a number of the 1X2 bricks and jumper plates in the Empire State Building set began to split. I contacted Customer Service and they were all replaced. The replacements have not exhibited the splitting problems.

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By in Belgium,

@schwarzkopf , I did not notice lego raised the price. I was looking forward to buying this set just to signal lego that it's appreciated to have fair price conversions between USA and all other countries in the world. Instead the premium that has to be payed on licensed sets when one does not live in america sickens me. Now that this set has been raised in price I'll have to think again about buying it.

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By in United Kingdom,

I ordered dark red and dark blue plates in 1x4 and 1x2 from TLG last year. They have the same issue with appearing translucent when held up to the light. The PAB bag they get delivered in specifies they are made in Denmark/Germany/Czech Republic and Mexico I think. It definately does not say they are made in China. Very disappointed in the quality, especially as I paid a high price for their PAB. I have no issue where the bricks are made as long as the quality is high.

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By in United States,

I can't remember who, but someone once said, "Only the Best is good enough..." I wish I could remember who to attribute that to...

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By in United States,

This is very disappointing, but it's nothing new - the downward spiral in Lego's quality has been in the works for a while. I've already drastically cut back on my Lego spending, but stuff like this will keep all my cash from going to Lego.

I agree with the others who have already stated this: I buy Lego for its quality - if I wanted cheap, I'd go for another brand.

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By in Canada,

@Andrew85: I agree that as long as the quality is high, I don't care where they are made. I just hope Lego concentrates their effort to improve the quality of the bricks at sites where there has been difficulty in the past.

Your comment suggests that this isn't so much a "Chinese" plastic issue, and may be an issue related to manufacturing else where with this color (as alluded to above)

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By in United States,

I built this last week. I didn't notice anything...

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By in Norway,

This worries me a lot. Color differences and poor plastic. I used to buy some Chinese clone of Lego just to compare the quality. Too bad that the difference might be less and less visible in the future.

BTW: If any of the parts are made in China, it should be printed on the side of the box.

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By in Hong Kong,

Whenever there is quality problem for LEGO parts or minifigs, it always follows to blame to China, but not to TLC which is NOT headquartered and managed in China. What is the logic?

Also, China factories, as subcontractors I believe, used by TLC are mostly for producing special parts or minifigs, but less frequently, if ever, to be known for producing generic parts like 2x4 bricks. Anyone familiar with the situation can shed more light on the division of labour?

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By in United States,

@bigmike2k3: Ole Kirk Christiansen. And I was about to say the same thing! I thought only the best was good enough...

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By in Canada,

@Alywin — You're absolutely right, and please don't read too much into my presumption that the parts must have been manufactured in China. It was a link that I made with limited knowledge, and a few hours later, I'm much more informed. :D

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By in United Kingdom,

I think we need to understand a few things.

China may not be wholly to blame. when lego set up in china it had one clear aim to continue the profitability of the brand. 2012 is turning out to be one of the busiest lego has had with so many new lines introduced.

Moulding in china is cheaper at this moment in time. but the brand is huge therfore it must have in place quality controls these are controls which will be company wide from country to country. Limits set so that products are in line with their own production standards.

controls such as

shot weight (the amount of plastic each cycle has)
colour (plastics can be pre mixed hence giving a consistant colour or MASTERBATCHED colour is added to a base material CLEAR to create the colour needed)
measurment (individual parts are measured on a digital machine within tolerances set)
Fit & function (check a number of part/s out of the mould run to a master sample to see how well they work)
Light bleed test (place the parts on a lit back ground along side the master sample) this is probably not something they do because generally lights are not used in lego products.
First off/Last off (the first & last part is checked against a master sample off the mould run ie 10,000 parts)

But these are all things governed by MAN ie the quality control man. Maybe the China produced parts are not the problem of the chinese production team but the problem of the Denmark team that set up the facility in the first place. Like many companies they will go through cost cutting exercises and this can have good and bad effects maybe the chinese plant would benefit from more training on how to produce the products they are producing and better understanding of the brand. I think it is time lego looked at its global quality because it will no dout need to produce more as demand goes up. Most major moulding companies are now looking to move to new continents in the future as prices in china creep up also.

If you are not satisfid then it is your right to complain. Maybe nothing will come of your case but lego will know exactly how many complaints come in and how it is affecting there biseness.





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By in United States,

I'll talk with the folks in my LUG and see if anyone else had this issue as well. Might as well nip it in the bud if we can. "Only the best is good enough..."

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By in United States,

What a shame. Just the other day my gf was going down the aisle to pick a birthday present for her little brother and said that LEGO prices were to high for the amount of brick when compared to MB. I then informed her that the quality behind LEGO is 10x better than MB and she decided that was worth it for the extra $10.

If this low quality becomes habit then I am afraid there will be no stopping the average LEGO fan from buying different brands. LEGO has always had quality over everyone, I would hate to see that go.

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By in Canada,

I just forwarded this information to my LEGO rep. and let her know everyone's concern. Will keep everyone posted, Jack.

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By in Poland,

In case anyone at Lego is reading this: I am going to change my hobby and switch back to n-scale models if the quality of the bricks goes down. That is simply unacceptable.

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By in United States,

While I may not be as educated as some of my fellow AFOLs I too have been concerned that some bricks, especially the series minifigures, FEEL different, cheaper. Not to beat the same points into the ground but quality is the reason we can take pride in our collections and enjoy the product. My son doesn't know the difference or notice but being the person that purchases these I find it greatly bothersome. As much as he loves the morphing robots I have been reluctant to purchase any of those after the initial set i bought exhibited much of the substandard quality...even the stickers are poor....if you don't get it right the first time you're out of luck if you peel that sticker off it's not going to stick again and Lego stickers can be on for a duration and I can peel them off and fix a boo-boo in alignment and it will restick just fine. Although that reminds me a more recent set...hogwarts castle some of the brick detailing grey stickers only 1 or 2 the edges are peeling (and i don't believe they were repositioned) what do you folks do in that occurrance? clear tape? seems a horrible solution. maybe i should contact for new stickers since the set is current. I apologize, i've run off topic.

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By in United Kingdom,

It reminds me of M***B*****. Need I say more?

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By in United Kingdom,

Ha ha ha!!! Hilarious! I had to lend my mum a piece (2x3 medium blue) from the privet drive set as she sold ten but only had 9 so she miscounted. but the funny part was when I found a 2x3 medium blue part on the top of my computer and I started laughing when I held it up to the light, it showed the same as the picture. How very strange!

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By in Canada,

I don't understand how the weight can be different... if there's enough of these "lighter" bricks the set would get flagged at the factory. Doesn't Lego weight sets to calculate whether they're missing pieces or not? I'm just thinking that if these bricks were less weight, they'd be pulled out of the production line anyway.

Lego knows better than to make sets in China... and I'm positive they're not going that direction either. The NinjaGo tops, which used to be made in China, were later re-located elsewhere.

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By in United Kingdom,

I had the same kind of problem with a plate in the 4184 Black Pearl, very shiney on the bottom and bendy. I did notice this while unpacking and presumed it was Chinese!

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By in United States,

It is kind of worrisome overall. However, I am not even remotely interested in the Monster Fighters series of Lego's. I visited the LEGO store in Ontario, California on Monday and they had the whole theme on display and it looked very boring to me. The Haunted House is a bit more tempting but I would probably only bite on that if I were able to find a damaged box discount and purchase it as a stand alone set for Halloween. My guess would be that the poor color quality is a result of a new color run and will most likely be addressed by LEGO. Isn't LEGO required to reveal somewhere on their packaging if any products were produced in CHINA?

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By in United States,

I have 9466 put together in a footlocker as I ran out of room for display. I'll check it out with the LED Flashlight when I can get into my closet later.

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By in United States,

Goddamn outsourcing...it's getting worse. I'm seeing more and more LEGO sets with pieces made in China. I know LEGO has outsourced to other countries (Hungary, Czech Republic, etc.) but now I'm seeing it as the only country on some sets, like ALL of the collectible minifigures and some of the recent Marvel sets. LEGO is really lowering their standards here....I can only HOPE that they never sink to the level of Coko or Enlighten. X(

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By in United Kingdom,

As noted before the only time I have noticed the problem is in the CMs, what a same lego has gone down the cost cutting route to make poorer products.

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By in United States,

The only problem I had with that set was a pair of missing pieces for the car... otherwise, mine appear to be just fine.

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By in United States,

I would hope LEGO would resolve this quickly, but I don't know. Like some others have pointed out, I have not done extensive testing, but I certainly have subjectively concluded that some stuff just is not as sturdy as it used to be: case in point, I have many old minifigures that have seen many years of action and are still completely intact. My son has quite a few Star Wars minifigures (from the cheaper sets) that have cracks under their arms after less than a year of play...oh, and he's been playing with my old stuff as well, so it's not just that.

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By in United States,

Does anyone else find it funny that everyone overreacts when one set has a few bad pieces? Then freaks out and starts comparing it to filth like MB? Lego isn't that close people... a lot to go until that.

Either way, that is a bit disappointing. Wasn't gong to buy them anyway, though.

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By in United States,

This isn't anything new - I've been collecting for 25 years and the odd, slightly mis-colored piece or three pops up from time to time. Always has, always will. Same thing with "brick quality" or rare lack thereof. Even back in the 80s I occasionally got a piece that just didn't hold right or a minifig hand that randomly broke. If anything I've noticed this happening LESS frequently with modern sets, and I buy them with greater frequency now than I ever did. Maybe I'm just lucky?

So let's just chill for a second everyone. Yes it's disappointing that these made it into sets, but TLG has always demonstrated a commitment to customer satisfaction. If you bring the issue up to them, they'll fix it.

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't know why but this really does put me off buying more sets, the whole thing is a sneaky little manovuer on the part of TLG IMO and as shacken my trust in them slightly. I do not want to pay a premium price for what is supposed to be a grade A product only to have things like this crop up. The situation is slowly getting worse last year we had the odd brick in a set then minifig pieces for important figs such as wonder woman if I recall now entire colour collections of bricks in a set are affected.

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By in Canada,

^ Unfortunately, it's not just one or two pieces. It's 35 pieces in the Mad Scientist set I purchased, and I've just confirmed a similar quality issue with most of the medium blue bricks in the new Creator Seaside House (7346). Perhaps it's a permanent change, perhaps it's an error. Hopefully, I'll get an answer one way or the other from TLG.

And I would like to stress that calling attention to this issue is not an attempt to vilify the company; Lego is our passion, and we all want the company to thrive.

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By in United Kingdom,

All I Can Say Is This Is Soon Nearly All Lego Could Be Made In China AAAA WHat Has The World Come To ?!

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By in Netherlands,

That's a very bad brick :o

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By in Romania,

I've noticed poor quality plastic in the Technic 9392 Quad Bike. The axels feel funny and the seam from the plasic molds is too much...

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By in United Kingdom,

I'd even take rubbery bricks over light plastics. The point is if you like to pay a bit more for a higher quality product, this is an unacceptable quality for the price. And call me out of touch (maybe I got spoilt with too many good deals) but aren't the Monster Fighter sets overpriced anyway?

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By in United States,

Not in the U.S. they aren't, they're priced much better than licensed sets.

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By in Hungary,

TLG's motto: "only the best is good enough." LEGO? Should we - the customer - be reminding you - the manufacturer - of your heritage?

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By in Netherlands,

Yes, indeed it is a problem for me. Simply because LEGO stands for quality bricks affordable to everyone. I understand that LEGO is looking for ways to reduce production costs, and have bricks and parts produced in China. Nevertheless I think it is a wrong decision as it jeopardizes with the LEGO quality standards. First of all its clear that LEGO parts made in China are still of lesser quality than elsewhere. Furthermore how does LEGO differ itself from all Chinese brands who claim to produce so called building bricks that look like LEGO? Secondly the reduction of cost by producing bricks and parts in China is only short term. Already there is a trend that production costs and mainly salary costs are increasing in China, and what to think of the continues rise of fuel costs to transport all bricks and parts back to Europe. For a while now I do not understand decisions made by LEGO marketing department, but now I also start to have doubts about their operational decisions. Herewith I like to give a clear message to LEGO; You have done a wonderful job to overcome severe losses and become profitable again by bringing great innovations to the LEGO community. Nevertheless success never lasts long and the continues increase of prizes of LEGO sets has reached its top. LEGO becomes unaffordable for whom it was initially intended. This business model of greed is not sustainable.

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By in United States,

Whoa. I'd like to add in some opinion. I have not gotten a single 2012 set this year because I'm poor, but my theme is Star Wars. I've never noticed such a thing before other than pieces cracking after rebuilding sets and using parts for MOCs and such, but that's normal. I am quite surprised to see such a thing happen though.

Now, as it being for cost reasons, well then LEGO needs to stop doing what they are doing or they will end up like they were in the mid-noughties (2000's) and stablize. I think that the Collectible Minifigures are good, but I think they're making too many new molds. This also goes for minifigures in all sets that need specialty parts made. In the mid-noughties, LEGO was making way too many new molds that cost a lot of money to create and they needed a splash of water on they're faces to realize this was not going well. Now I like all these nice new minifigures as they are accurate, same with regular pieces, but they are slowly making LEGO not seem like LEGO anymore. I would say that it is because LEGO is making all these new figures with all this printing is creating this need to create lower quality bricks.

Why is printing the issue? Well, as all of you know, the printing has become phenomenal, but they need new dyes to make the printing and what I think LEGO is doing is when they make all these great figures, or even new colors, just to get collectors and MOCists to buy the sets. Not a bad move, but with all these new molds, printing, and colors, especially all within most of a year's time, it's creating too much debt. They are compensating by making the prices go up, which is also helping the problem. If LEGO was to back off and make sets that look good with ingenuity in using pieces than making new ones, make minifigures more simplified and more LEGO like, and not make so many new colors in the printing and actual pieces, they can give us the quality they feel we deserve.

The point is just too become aware of some of the problems and think. If you guys want to whine that your quality is not up to par, think about these other factors. It may not seem like it's a good plan and I'm not telling you to agree with me, but for those of us who MOC or Collect, you can see the difference over the years. Change always happens, but instead of whining about the problem, think about why there is a problem.

Instead of complaining only about quality, share your thoughts about what could also be done to help the alliance between LEGO and its consumers strong.

Sorry for such a long comment by the way.

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By in United States,

It's a sad day... I hope TLG recognizes that.

"Only the best is good enough."

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By in United States,

The quality issue seems pretty random to me. Sometimes I buy multiple copies of a set from different stores or different parts of the country, and sometimes a few bricks will be "off" somehow. I first noticed this on white and red parts in the Mars Mission and Exo-Force lines. I still find bad white parts occasionally, but overall I have noticed a huge improvement lately, especially with the 2012 sets, including the 3 small MF sets.

Now I'm curious and want to pick up the Frankenstein set to see for myself. I bet it's random, though. For some the parts will be fine, for others they won't.

Surely the problem exists with someone, though. Somewhere, someone let a bad batch of parts out that didn't meet specs, and now they're out in the world. LEGO has got to own up to that and stop issuing the same tired line that "they're aware of the problem and are working to fix it."

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By in United States,

I'm sure if I caught anyone else saying this, but why do people blame China? Isn't the Lego group making the final call in what goes into their product?

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By in Netherlands,

As a side note, in my experience, ALL dark red bricks up until last year or so are translucent when held up to light. I've never considered this a problem. Recent bricks 2012 don't have this, i.e. City Forest bandit models. What IS annoying, is that the colour is also slightly different. A little more brown.

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By in Poland,

Somebody mentioned poor quality of blue bricks in the Seaside House Creator set. I do not own it yet but the problems are so visible in the review on Eurobricks:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7230/7226313344_4369c66019_z.jpg
It's clear that there are different versions of the same colors in the same set. The wall does not have a consistent color at all.
And I'm having exactly the same problem with red bricks in my 3677 Red Cargo Train. The locomotive clearly contains red bricks of different shades. It's very clearly visible and is kind of disappointing.

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By in Germany,

Just complain at the customer service for all defect / poor quality bricks and you'll get a replacement. That's the only way to change something; you have to report it! First of all this "hurts" Lego economically and second: only if the compliant figures rise, Lego management will move into increasing quality of the bricks and maybe changing the supplier. Otherwise nothing will ever change in our favour...

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By in United States,

Wow bellybutton290, no need to accuse TLG of doing this on purpose... That is just plain stupid. It's not some scheme by them to sell crappy bricks to everyone.

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By in United States,

If Lego's lose their quality, I'm out. One of the only thing that differentiates Lego from Mega Blocks or any other block based building product is Lego's plastic quality. Honestly without that they're just another toy company that is selling out to licenses. I'm upset enough about the CM, but now that they're leaked into sets? No. Hopefully they'll see that the Lego community knows a Lego brick from a ordinary brick.

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By in Denmark,

Current 2x4 bricks are thinner walled then those made about 5 years ago, this led to more consistent clutch power and in natural light they are suppossed to look the same, but of course if you back light them they will be more transparent - in any colour. I'd like to know if the 1x2 or 2x2 had similar issues. Either way if you are not happy, call consumer services.

One thing though - not one of these is made in China.

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By in United States,

^Thanks for chiming in, Nabii! Good to hear it from LEGO's point of view.

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By in United States,

Wow, LEGO. You were pushing it a bit too far when you introduced the Chinese pieces with minifigures, but I learned to live with it. Now bricks, though? This is taking it too far!

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By in United States,

I did *not* have this same brick problem with my copy of 9466 acquired at TLG in Tigard, OR.

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By in Australia,

I love how some people are certain that the problem is Chinese bricks. How can you tell? Do you taste them? Do they *sound* different when you shake the box? I also love how you can pick up a tiny piece of plastic and can instantly tell that it's lighter than it should be.
OK, rant over. Here's the serious bit: I have a mid sized collection of Lego - about 120,000 pieces, from the late 90s to today. In that collection I probably have less than 50 pieces that are off-colour - mostly blue, some dark red and a bit of yellow. I also have exactly two pieces which were poorly moulded.
I don't know of any manufacturer in the world - let alone a toy manufacturer - who has maintained quality that high. Last year I bought two sets where some of the yellow bricks were distinctly the wrong colour. I used the comments form on the Lego website and ***they sent me replacement sets*** free of charge. You want customer service? Lego is giving me customer service!

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By in Malaysia,

I've been having bricks that are slightly off every now a then. Try looking for the LEGO logo in your bricks and you can see sometimes they're different, which I think means different batches made at different time. But one thing that I'm positively sure of is that brick quality is not what it used to be in the 80s and 90s sets. I just only broke the side of minifig's torso, under the arm, while just only pulling the legs which I may have twisted slightly but I was flabbergasted how easily it just broke. Now I really have to handle all my bricks with care. Flags are also very easily broken at the clips. And now that we know it's not "made in china" 's fault, surely it must be TLG itself? Do they readily admit indeed quality had gone down?

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By in United States,


I wish I could say I was surprised. I was comparing some of my newer bricks (2011-2012) to my older ones (and I mostly own older ones), and the quality was horrifyingly different - and not in a good way.

In fact, the difference is so marked that I've almost considered not buying any new LEGO, and trying to be an activist for change instead. LEGO is killing themselves. :-/

As a note: these two sets (Log Cabin and Car and Caravan, 2011 and 2012, respectively) do not have Chinese parts, however, they do have Mexican parts.

This needs to stop. For moral, economic, and quality concerns, I wish that LEGO would move all manufacturing to Europe (and, as I'm an American, USA, too; they used to manufacture quite a bit here).

I've been a LEGO fan for about a decade and a half; I don't want to see them die.

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By in Canada,

I can not express how much I hate LEGO for switching to Chinese plastics.

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By in Canada,

Well all i can say is that Lego needs ALL OF US to remain successful in the unstable world market. (check the euro)

I am only willing to pay outrageous prices for a kids toy if the quality is worth the value, I would hope we are all capable of walking away if quality continues to drop even when given a much larger quantity of unique elements.

I love Lego, but i also love a quality product that makes Mega Block look like a joke toy.

If this quality issue continues, I have no problem walking away.

The day I look at a picture of a mixed collection of Lego and megablock and cant tell the difference between elements is the day I lock the door to my collection.

Just remember we will always be able to buy doubles and triples of old sets to continue large builds with our own imaginations.

I say we all BLACK LIST 9466, Lego reads these forums and if we can cut sales on this set that should send a clear enough message.

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By in United States,

With all due respect to the forum members here, I find this article and the comments posted a bit excessive. I have purchased thousands of dollars worth of Legos and own sets from 1976 to the latest Lord of the Rings and have NEVER had a quality problem with any of my bricks. And if I did, I would know that the unparallelled customer service of Lego is standing behind their product ready to replace any inferior bricks I might come across. Are you lifelong fans really ready to walk away from a hobby that most of you seem to be so passionate about just over a so called inferior dye found in one color brick in one set? It all seems a bit excessive if you ask me.

Now if you want to complain about the cursed sticker sets, that is a topic that I would find worthwhile to discuss;)

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By in Canada,

What are you talking about yellowcastle? Those bricks look awful! If Lego keeps this up they may as well call it "dollar store building toy!"

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By in Singapore,

I sincerely hope that this was due to a bad batch that somehow just slipped through QC. However I did encounter just the same thing with the green baseplate in the Pet Shop modular set. I wasted NO time in writing a nice long email to Lego. They responded with a similar email posted above and promptly sent 2 replacements. Now I have absolutely no qualms about that for sure. I just hope that they are not knowingly churning out some reformulated/diluted/pariah ABS bricks all in the name of corporate streamlining, cost cutting due to rising/falling euro, inflation of oil prices, what have you. As one of post above have stated, I'd loathe to see the day Lego take the road down to MegaB town. Not at the prices I'm paying for sets nowadays.

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By in United Kingdom,

@kenhew: You're absolutely right, and @djmangunz: I respectfully disagree. I have a number of CMs of very poor quality. For example, I have a caveman with a mis-moulded hair/beard piece. Half the beard is missing and part of the back of the hair is as well. I started getting Lego before minifigs were first sold and you would never get parts of such low quality back in the '70s.

I don't mean to sound like an old curmudgeon, but the quality of all goods seems to be declining. It would be a terrible shame if TLG followed that general trend and allowed its quality standards to slip. It's not too late to save the brand's reputation if TLG wants to, but the company has to act decisively if it does.

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By in United States,

This is really dissapointing. I wasn't planning on getting on any of the monster fighter sets anyway, but I hope this quality doesn't seep into other themes as well. Anyway, speaking of decreasing quality, I have noticed that my newer minifigs have arms that are looser then some of the figs that I had years ago.

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By in United States,

No repoets of bad parts have EVER came from Mexican parts in the 15 months I've been on here.

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By in United States,

Maybe they raised the price of the Haunted House when they came on here and read 190 comments of people going batsh*t for it, screaming "TAKE MY MONEY!!!!".

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By in United States,

Thank you, djmangunz, for saying what I wanted to say in a much nicer way than I could have ever said it. I'm in the same position. Although I was born in four years later, my LEGO collection began in 1975 when my older brother was born. I'm not going to let this shake my 30+ year love of the toy. I like LEGO.

This comment log is shaping up like the scene in Disney's Beauty and the Beast where Gaston rallies the townspeople to attack the enchanted castle.

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By in Australia,

Well that's a set I won't be wasting my money on. "fuelbreak" is right the set needs to be "black listed" if it is of a poorer quality than we expect from Lego.

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By in United States,

No reason to cut these cost. Lego is booming business

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By in United States,

I'm disappointed in this overreaction. I've never noticed any bricks do this, it seems this set is one of the only ones that have them, and you guys are acting like LEGO is just doing this to spite us. Really, people? Some of these reactions would be fine if it was most of these parts were made in China, not if ONE set has a few bad pieces.

Also, everyone complains about CM's having bad pieces, yet if they were mad from high-quality pieces, you would all through a fit that they would be $5-6 each. You can't have it both ways, people.

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By in United States,

^ Exactly my point.

Now, I wasn't here when they changed plastic quality in 2004, but was the response bigger than this?

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By in United States,

I contacted LEGO customer support last year for a similar issue with Dark Green plates on the winter village post office. Never even got a reply. Best of luck though . . .

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By in Australia,

In a review I did of set 4208 I pointed out that some of the colours, especially 2x2 brown cylinders, were pretty markedly different from each other. I hope they nip this in the bud

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By in United States,

Lol... Some really stupid funny comments here.

I flash lighted my 2x4 and it is transparent. Yet, while building this set last week, I couldn't notice a color difference, clutch difference, rigidity difference. Other than it being see through when shining a light through it, I notice no issues. Maybe I'll go run over it and a "normal" brick with my car and see how they fair.

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By in United States,

Amazing how one photo can induce mass panic. Some of you seem ready to boycott Lego altogether. I have set 9466 and guess what? All my bricks look great. Color, sheen, texture - everything checks out. I couldn't be happier with it. That goes for every other set I've bought this year - The entire MF line, The Sopwith, All the Marvel & DC sets, Kingdom's Joust, Everything in LOTR, etc. Not a bad brick in the bunch. It's gonna take more than one suspicious brick to turn me against Lego.

I thought Nabii's comment was among the most valuable here and worth repeating;

"Current 2x4 bricks are thinner walled then those made about 5 years ago, this led to more consistent clutch power and in natural light they are suppossed to look the same, but of course if you back light them they will be more transparent - in any colour. I'd like to know if the 1x2 or 2x2 had similar issues. Either way if you are not happy, call consumer services.

One thing though - not one of these is made in China."

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By in United States,

Even IF Lego is slightly reducing the quality of their plastic, then it is still EONS above any of its competition brands. I admire Lego for doing as good a job of maintaining quality as they are in today's cutthroat market.
In terms of the described phenomenon, I noticed something similar in dark red pieces I have had for years, and they have never given me any issues at all (I did not even really notice it until someone mentioned it tonight). I am not really concered by this, and still fully intend to get this set (I am a sucker for Mad Scientists... I probably watched too much Young Frankenstein.) I have been a fan of lego since I was 2.5 years old, and after 18.5 years, Lego has never given me a reason to doubt them, and I still believe Lego is of excellent quality. I will continue to purchase their product and support them unless the quality takes a real downturn.

@roseproto: Good point about the photo, our AFOL community must seem like a hair triggered firecracker at times.

The only boycott I intend to support is against Mega Blocks, and other Lego Clones, though the only time a toy line ever made me angry enough to boycott it was Knex, when it started cloning Lego.

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By in United States,

I did get a pale/translucent and waxy feeling red flag piece in the 6863 Batwing Battle. Very very weak clutch on it. I need to write in for a replacement. I hope they're not all like that now (flag pieces in other recent sets have been fine).

I have built the Seaside house and did not notice any color or quality inconsistencies. Same with Vampyre Castle :)

Also, my Swamp Monster DOES have the misaligned face printing. I noticed it as soon as it was assembled. Same with the Batman Jetski polybag :\

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By in United States,

If it is poor quality material, this is very sad. What happened to "only the best is good enough" I wonder?

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By in United States,


Did a bit more light personal research by breaking out a set from 2000 (6578 - a small Arctic set); I'm convinced the quality is higher than even my 2007 Skeleton's Prison Carriage, which had all parts made in Europe (Denmark, Hungary, and the Czech Republic).

Now that I'm much older, I certainly do have higher standards than I did as a young child; but this is more than just that.

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By in Philippines,

@Seagull: I do believe that the motto now is "I will make money for the company", or something to that effect. I just forgot which article I read it from.

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By in Canada,

Huw, can you highlight or prioritize Nabil's post? It doesn't seem like any of the posts afterwards read it. From LEGO itself, not one of those bricks is made in China (and here is the reason why they might feel different).

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By in United Kingdom,

How bright does that back light have to be to make it translucent? As shown, it is so bright that you cannot accurately tell the colour of either brick anyway. Does anyone light their bricks in such a way, under such bright light at so close a range? I imagine leaving them in such bright light would do them long term damage.

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By in United Kingdom,

"If you are not happy, call consumer services"
Ha - good luck with that. You'll be written up as having a set with damaged pieces and an identical set of poor quality parts will be sent to you. If you're lucky. If you're unlucky, they'll want proof of purchase and start interrogating you about where you keep buying all these sets with 'missing' pieces. The last thing they're interested in is acknowledging a quality issue.

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By in United Kingdom,

I also found this quality issue with set too and am very worried about the future of LEGO quality.... I contacted LEGO regarding this quality and this is what they said:

"Thanks for getting in touch with us in regards to set 9466."

"We appreciate you taking the time out of your day to write to us in regards to your new LEGO® The Crazy Scientist and His Monster set. We apologize that you were unhappy about a few things in this set."

"We value our fans and their concerns in regards to our product. As the LEGO® company motto states "Only the best is good enough" this saying is at the heart of all we do as a company. We want to ensure you enjoy our product for many more years to come! I will pass on your comments and concerns to the team in charge of this area."

"Happy building!"

"Lyudmila
LEGO Direct Consumer Services"

There is no mention here about any quality issues on the production lines... She also doesn't mention that they are not made in China. If I worked for LEGO I would make it clear to customers if LEGO is not made in China so this is even more worrying...

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By in Singapore,

Egg on everyone's face for immediately blaming China when something goes slightly wrong with one of your toys.

Not that people with a blind hatred of China will listen to anything anyone says, of course.

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By in United States,

@Legoguy29: Which goes back to what Nabii says. Thinner walls, better clutch.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Lewis24 She also doesn't mention that they are not made in China. If I worked for LEGO I would make it clear to customers if LEGO is not made in China so this is even more worrying...

Did you bring up China? If not, I am not surprised it is not mentioned. Did she mention it was not made in Mexico, Czech Republic or Poland either?

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By in United Kingdom,

This is not a quality issue nor is it new and the country of origin is not relevant. This is how they have been designed and unless you want to make LEGO blackout curtains it is not an issue.

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By in United States,

Re:
***********************************************
Posted by SI Builder in Canada, 20 Jun 2012 20:19

What are you talking about yellowcastle? Those bricks look awful! If Lego keeps this up they may as well call it "dollar store building toy!"
***********************************************

FYI - We were discussing the Swamp Creature helmet.

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By in United States,

Interesting. I had noticed very poor clutching power with the 1x6 bricks over the past year and a half. This was especially bad in the Pet Shop set. We're talking catastrophically imploding when I tried to lift it off a shelf. However, very recent, in LEGO store, Pick A Brick purchases have yielded better quality. I received blemished with the windows on the Town Hall, similar to this http://www.flickr.com/photos/24166730@N07/6812216744 . LEGO Customer Service was wonderful in fixing that.

My experience with Customer service has been outstanding. I have to rank LEGO as one of the best companies in the world for customer satisfaction. I tend to think/hope any lapses in quality are isolated and temporary instances.

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By in United States,

I think Mark's (Nabii) comments are reassuring. Out of curiosity, though, I inquired with LEGO customer service to see if they could lead me to information about which products are produced in which facilities. Not surprisingly, they couldn't, but they gave me a nice response anyway. Here's the part that addresses my inquiry directly:

========================================================================
Since there is the possibility that any given part could have been manufactured in several different locations, it is not possible to tell you where a particular part was made, and by law each country where we manufacture elements must be listed on the packaging. What we can do, is to reassure you that when you buy a LEGO set you are purchasing a toy that complies with all national and international safety standards. The LEGO Group is proud of its reputation for producing a quality product that parents can rely on and that children enjoy.
=========================================================================

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By in United States,

personally , myself and daughter love the set. the car holds together well, the sliding seat is a fun feature.
and since I don't hold my bricks up to a light or shine a flash ligh thru them....I really dont care.

The one time a new set was missing a piece right out of the box, Lego had a replacement to me in a few days.

did the set build what is stated it would - yes
did we enjoy the build and playability of the set - yes
do I feel I got my $$ worth - yes

love Lego, love this theme......

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By in United States,

Only the best is good enough. as Ole Kirk said. but if he knew how displeased we are, he would be turning over in his grave.

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By in United States,

What wrong with all you people? Don't you realize the only important thing here is for Lego to make more money!

-So they started cutting cost my using less printed bricks and more stickers... You still bought them!
-Then they started making mini-fig parts in China... You still bought them!
-They raised their mini-figs series from SRP of $1.99 to $2.99 ...You still bought them!
-now they are making cheaper quality bricks (but don't worry those cheap bricks are NOT made in China...Whew!)
You still bought them!

What are you chumps complaining about? You have proven to them time after time you will take what they dish out.

People Lego likely saved 10's of cents on each of these large set, and that is very important! The important thing $$$. Quality... Shmolality. I am going to sleep better tonight knowing that Lego bottom line is fatter this year. Well done, Lego...Well done! And remember us Lego loving idiots will keep coming back no matter what you do!

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By in United States,

Well said vamproe. There is a lot of overeacting here. Also, about the swamp creature, it's obviously not a misprint, since every swamp creature looks the same. You can't tell from the box how the eyes meet the headpiece due to tye angle of him, but every fig I've seen of him are the same.

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By in Germany,

What's wrong with all you people? Don't you realize the only important thing here is for Lego bricks to:

- connect correctly and repeatedly thousands of times
- keep their color for a long time
- not warp and deform over time

I cannot see the issue here and many of the extreme reactions not only make me uneasy but are outright shameful.
We have had the discussion before (and I did chime in) and we did get information from TLG concerning quality and pretty much everyone was happy.
Oh, and didn't we agree before this was not a problem with either $CHINA or China?
*Shakes head and walks away to adore monster sets*

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By in United States,

^exactly why Lego keeps sticking it to us with Junk and higher prices, people keep taking it with a smile and shouting "thank you sir, may I have another!"

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By in Germany,

Junk? I have not seen any junk in a Lego set for a long time. Why is this piece suppossed to be junk? If it connects correctly and keeps its form, why is it junk if you can shine a light through it? I would very much like to see a definition of "junk" here.
As for the prices - right, nothing is getting more expensive, only Lego is! It is an outrage! And they force you to buy their increasingly worse sets, too! Erm... right.

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By in United States,

Judging purely by the attitude given by some of these comments, Lego has shipped all of its production to China, removed all non-liscenced themes and reduced the quality of their plastic to the level of Mega Blocks.

Also, if this IS a cost cutting measure to reduce the cost of sets, WE as AFOLs may be more willing to dish out more money for a set, but the parents of an 8 year old child looking for a birthday present may not be willing to pay so much. Lego does a great job accomodating AFOLs, but we are not their core consumers. Lego is a toy after all, and in order to stay relevant in today's competitive toy market (where there are at least 2 Lego Clones in most toy stores I go to now), you have to have competitive prices. I think Lego is doing their best to maintain quality AND maintain competitive prices. If Lego starts getting too expensive, those hypothetical parents I mentioned may instead decide to get their child a Mega Blocks set (THE HORROR!). As I stated before, I have had no issues with the dark red parts I have that exhibit this property, so I really don't think this is a big issue, especially to Lego's core consumers, who will likely never even notice.

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By in United States,

@Voypro - Do you work for Megabloks? If not, I wonder what you're doing here. You obviously have a problem with Lego.

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By in United States,

Title should be changed to:

"Disappointing brick quality ONLY when extremely bright light is shining where it usually isn't / Otherwise Looks, Performs same!"

I think this is more sensational than informative.

companies switch formulas all the time, just look at Sodas... Heck cars are updated too, some not good others better, but innovation exists for plenty of positive reasons.

If shining a light under your brick just make you rage, please donate the rest of your bricks to kids that would enjoy them more.

If the Blue brick is not like the original, good advice is to contact Customer support and notify them, get replacements. TLG will get a more clearer picture when they are sending people free bricks, instead of wading through a sensational post-fest.

I'm not trying to be offensive, but complain to complain just doesn't work, people/customers should also do something about it. Contact, Black List, or Move on are more constructive ways we can do for TLG and for ourselves.

[I'm not about to comment on the bricks themselves since I have not bought the set myself (I am going to soon)]

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By in United Kingdom,

True, Lego isn't the only thing more expensive nowadays, but it is

1. Much cheaper in the U.S
2. One of the few companies that is increasing profits massively at the moment.

So their standards need to be top notch, whatever, as they can afford to.

I love LEGO, their designs, innovation- and it's a testament to their brilliance they have such loyal fans, and such good quality 99% of the time. They just need to know it needs to stay that way.

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By in United States,

Part of the draw for AFOLs is that LEGO has had such high standards for such a long time. I have blocks from probably the 70's that were hand-me-downs in the 80's still in my big box of bricks. And almost all of them fit perfectly wi blocks made now. Up until the big color/plastic recipe change in the 90's you could buy new bricks and mix them with old bricks and wear was the only tell they didn't match. That's the stuff of childhood legendary toys... Like Radio Flyer, Tonka trucks, and Slinky.

It was mentioned earlier that the problem is probably getting their very old recipe for plastic into the Chinese mills. I'm sure the factory that makes it for them wouldn't be pleased, but the bigger issue is that China has a huge NIH problem when it comes to importing specific raw materials... They want it made there (so they can put your source out of business?) Lego is probably trying to find a replacement recipe using local plastics.

China makes good stuff... All the Apple stuff is made there and Apple is more picky than Lego. The biggest issue is probably cultural. Lego is very much a "post-industrial revolution" company. They are crazy automated in their home base... It's not a business that "throwing more bodies" will solve the problem... When you read how Apple can call up thousands of workers overnight to repolish all the packaged iPhones... Lego is a modern business. They have to set up production one time, run parts perfectly the FIRST TIME then make the next parts. Compared to auto manufacturing it's all piece runs... If a human has to touch the blocks at all, Lego just lost their margin.

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By in United States,

I think the quality control at TLG might be slipping a bit. If you remember about a month ago the 7939 Cargo Train was on sale from Amazon France at almost 50% off. I ordered one and when it arrived, all of the pieces that should have been in bag 1 were just loose in the box. Not that I cared, but that was probably why it was on sale. There were a couple of tiny pieces missing, but I felt like it was such a good deal that I wasn't going to complain. I would have complained it the pieces were cheap though.

I also bought a Chinese Santa Fe locomotive about 6 months ago from Hong Kong for $15 plus shipping. The quality of the pieces was pretty good. They weren't quite as good as typical lego bricks, but they were better than megabloks. They were of good enough quality that I considered buying some more train cars since they would have cost me 3x as much to buy even used. For what an average lego set costs, I would expect the highest quality.

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By in Australia,

This is news? It was 2006 when they moved from pre-coloured ABS to mixing their own colours and that was when the quality noticeably. Anyone who has bought a set with any amount of reddish brown would be able to tell you that. 6 years later and they still can't make one part the same shade as a different one! (Don't tell those buying MISB Cafe Corners on the secondary market how the bandy stripes on the middle floors will look!). Everything LEGO mixes themselves has variations, even with new colours. The only consistent colour parts we've had in the last few ones are dark red ones, and that's because the had so many problems mixing it themselves they reverted to pre-coloured ABS as an exception to their usual process. LEGO seems incapable of fixing the problem and since it probably doesn't register with their core market, don't even see it *as* a problem.

Yet despite the endless protestations from LEGO and their employees, I wouldn't be surprised if something has changed yet again a la powerpig's concern. The quality of medium blue in 10193 MMV is pretty good overall, and that is a post colour change set. But the medium blue pieces in the new Seaside house have the white translucent edging, soft appearance, translucence and multitude of shades that typify disappointing parts. Compare both to a pre-change set (such as the Harry Potter Merpeople set, which has a smattering of medium blue) and you will clearly see the difference. I don't think the problem is old stock mixing with new stock, just LEGO's inability to mix a consistent colour at all. The best quality pieces in the Seaside house are standard 1x2s but also the 1x1 with clips, which are a recent part in themselves. Hence I don't buy the talk of thinner walls etc.

Really, it's a colour lottery and not one TLG is particularly concerned by. Having not fixed it in the last 6 years, I don't think they will do anything about it soon.

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By in {Unknown country},

In my opinion Lego has a shift of direction since last year or so, where more licenced theme and more action based theme are introduced now and it will continue.. It's different 2 years ago, where for me the biggest draw to Lego is it's creativity in the sets design, in Creator, Technics, City, etc. These are educational sets, and modular enough to invoke creativity in kids through various combinations. However when I look at these mentioned lines in 2012, it looks as if creativity has dried up (I couldn't make myself to pick up any Creator 2012, none look impressive enough). All the focus are now shifted to 'action, and more action!'. With it 'probably' a shift to slightly lower cost parts due to excessive expenses in the front line. Will see if more of these quality concerns will surface. Hopefully not.

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By in United States,

Man, looks what happens when one is off the grid for two days... Odds on, most people won't see this, but I'll just write an opinion anyway. :P

Personally, I'd prefer for LEGO to keep making bricks the old way, with regular, classic bricks. What separated them from M*** B***** is that they previously didn't use such thin, wimpy plastic. While I'd like for LEGOs to cost less, but I'd also rather they not make the bricks "thinner". LEGO should just keep them made the same as they used to be, in a way that they are durable, and still hold together well. I have never had issues with the grip on classic bricks, and see no need for a change.

@audiobean: I agree, LEGO has found that simple sets with action features sell. Thus, the ones with real detail are left to UCS or Modular Buildings. At the very least, it would be nice to see some cool mini-builds in sets, like the little table in the Kingdom's Joust set. (I don't own it, but I have seen the pictures.) The table is built with frog pieces for legs, and it looks extremely classical while still being simple. Those little add-ons make any set...

Sorry if I'm rambling, I'm just really tired right now. :P My head is scrambled from not being home for practically all day...

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By in United States,

Let me just say this, if I'm paying Lego's above average prices, I'm expecting to get the best of the best, not just "Well it's still better then MB."

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By in United States,

Theres nothing wrong with the bricks. They are durable and hold together well. I didn't notice any difference while building the car. The bricks all felt and looked the same.

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By in New Zealand,

I have in front of me the Lego progress report 2011, so maybe I can add some facts to this discussion ...

Number of major quality unconformities found at main Lego sites:
2009 = 0
2010 = 5
2011 = 1.
Number of major quality unconformities found at suppliers:
2009 = 3
2010 = 26
2011 = 33.
'Main Lego sites' does include Hong Kong.

Not sure whether bricks are only made at the main Lego facility in HK, or also at suppliers. I believe that suppliers make them too, and that these are particularly in China, but not 100% sure. Anyway, looking at those figures, suppliers are much more prone to quality problems.

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By in United States,

"Current 2x4 bricks are thinner walled then those made about 5 years ago, this led to more consistent clutch power and in natural light they are suppossed to look the same, but of course if you back light them they will be more transparent - in any colour. I'd like to know if the 1x2 or 2x2 had similar issues. Either way if you are not happy, call consumer services.

One thing though - not one of these is made in China."

Nabii's comment is the answer to this whole problem. The fact that you backlit it points out the truth that you were lookin for something to complain about. Aanchir's and Amset Rah's comments about this on Eurobricks point out the problem here, and it's not the bricks.

Aanchir's comment:

Saw this this morning, and I have to say the comments thread on that news article is just sad. So many people are going on about how it likely is related to Chinese production or some "trend" towards lower quality, while nobody's asking any meaningful questions.

If the parts are made in China, they'll have the same Design ID as all Chinese-made 2x4 bricks. If they're made elsewhere, then they'll be numbered 3001. At least, that's how it is if China has manufactured 2x4 basic bricks in the past, and I'm assuming they have (since the activity books which often include minifigures and basic bricks have their contents manufactured in China as far as I know).

All people are doing by speculating wildly is making sweeping judgments about TLG's quality over what could easily be an isolated incident-- probably not isolated to one person, but easily isolated to a certain batch of that particular part. As it is, the likelihood that this part was manufactured in China is extremely low, and there's no reason to think that TLG made any deliberate decision to ease up on their quality control for this theme.

Amset Rah's comment:

One set bought by one person has insufficient dye in some of the parts of one colour, and apparently "the quality of the plastic is poor" "Don't buy 9466, all those sets are poor quality" "Don't buy Monster Fighters, all the sets are poor quality" "All Lego released at the moment is poor quality" "I assume the sand green in the castle is identically affected" "All the swamp creatures have off printing" "Lego is no better than M*gabl*ks despite more expensive"etc etc...

Claims that quality is going downhill and you never have problems with pieces from 70s are balls. Ever heard of yellowing? Leave any Lego in the sun for 10 minutes and it would go yellow. Doesn't do it these days. Claims the old pieces never break, and old minifigs never have problems are also balls. Torsos and arms used to crack, all the joints would go loose and refuse to hold a pose. Heads would refuse to be removed from helmets and hairpieces. Plates could not be separated, and would crack easily. Clips broke easily.

I don't have the Frankestein's monster set, but I have 4 of the others from this line and have noticed NO problems with printing (including the swamp creature), translucency/opacity, colour consistency, brick softness/brittleness, clutch power too much/little, instructions wrong/difficult to read/scrunched... I paid reasonable money for excellent products. If anything, in general Lego is higher quality than it ever has been. Printing of minifigs is amazing, far better than it ever was before. True, every now and then something not-so-good creeps in, (eg pink Kingdoms knights, problems with early CMFs, ripped instructions, off-printing, incorrect gold bars, inconsistent colour: brown had a real issue for a little while) but TLG ALWAYS provides excellent customer service and fixes the problems.

So to sum up, don't hold off buying anything because of this. In the unlikely event of you receiving something you deem as not-good-enough, contact TLG's customer service and they fix it for free. What do you have to lose?

Honestly, I think the problem is that AFOLS are never satisfied. People on this thread overreact and always are whining about something.

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By in United States,

@itsaturkey: Completely agreed, with the prices we're paying, we'd better the best LEGO can offer.

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By in Canada,

Just because one bad batch of bricks (say that five times fast) slipped past quality control, it does not mean the theme is contaminated. The quality of LEGO bricks these days is in fact far superior to those bricks of the days of yore, and the law of averages says that invariably there will be some inferior, M**a B***s-ish product once in a while, but that's why TLG's customer service is there: to snuff out lousy bricks AT NO COST. They will gladly replace your bricks with better ones, and from what I've seen, they'll thank you for giving them the privilege.

People who cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war whenever one brick is poor quality, or one eye on a minifig's head is one picometre lower than it should be really bug me. Firstly, because they sound like your stereotypical whiny consumer with a false sense of entitlement, and second, because they are too quick to judge. Clearly, these people have no faith in the brand they claim to support, and we should question whether they're truly worthy of the FOL acronym.

I don't quite know what the heck I'm talking about anymore, but I think my point is this: LEGO is not in any danger of decline, so do us a favour and calm the M*** B***s down.

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By in United States,

"I say we all BLACK LIST 9466, Lego reads these forums and if we can cut sales on this set that should send a clear enough message."

Someone's overly dramatic. I doubt the few AFOLs here on Brickset could make a dent in sales of 9466 anyway.

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By in United States,

Just because its chinese plastic doesnt mean its crap. just be glad its lego and not M*** B**K or Crap-O

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By in United States,

That was a brilliant post, Mr. F. XD

Mr. Malfoy, I already ruined the black list thing. I bought it. Oops. :/

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By in New Zealand,

I'm sorry, but I am extremely embarrassed at the majority of the comments here - you sound like a pack of whinging little school kids - you are seriously getting upset because when a powerful torch is shone at a brick you can see light through it?

I mean, seriously? And besides that point, you all come across as a pack of racists - happy to label this as a Chinese problem even though you don't have any knowledge of what you are talking about.

I thought that this site was for fans of Lego - it sounds like none of you are in the least bit fans - more like spoilt little kids throwing your toys out of the cot.

The person who started this thread should hang their head in shame at creating so much unnecessary bad will and incorrect accusations at Lego, without actually understanding what they are talking about.

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By in Australia,

^ I completely agree. No offense intended, but this has caused fuss over NOTHING!

What LEGO has described is merely a small design change for better clutch power? The bricks are perfectly normal and still made in Denmark Hungary Germany etc. However when a torch is shone through the back with light surrounding the area and ... I mean honestly that is so ridiculous!

What a huge, huge debate over nothing!

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By in United Kingdom,

While there may have been extreme reaction to this intially, not least from myself, at least all this fuss prompetd someone from lego to respond and put peoples fears to rest which hopefully means people can have a more measured response the next time something like this comes to light. I for one am happy to eat humble pie on this one given nabil's explatation, though I will still be keeping a close eye on quality etc going forward but with a much more open mind to the potensial reasons behind perceived differences in elements. I for one have no issue with China and never have had. I do have an issue with drops in quality on a large scale such as what was suspected in this case at the beginning.

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By in United States,

@ legowomen1980p - No offense intended, but seriously? You're going to spend your money on 'better made' products that will last longer because Lego has introduced non-ABS materials into some parts? And by that you mean the occasional weapon or headpiece? Lego is still primarily made using ABS plastic - I haven't ever seen a rubber brick - and the quality has never been higher. Not to mention the sheer amount of wonderful new molds and increasingly detailed Minifigs. I'm not sure what better made products you are speaking of, but I dare say if you purchase any Lego set made this year - any of them - You'll be utterly delighted with it.

@antsbull - You absolutely said it. I'm amazed at some of the comments here, but it was definitely sparked by the original post. Statements like 'Things have taken a turn for the worse' instantly put everyone into pitchfork mode.

Anyone still outraged can send their ugly, unloved translucent bricks my way.

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