LEGO Group to build factory in China

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"The LEGO Group has announced plans to build and operate its own LEGO factory in China. The factory will supply products for the growing Asian market. Construction is expected to begin in 2014." says the press release published today.

This is of concern to us here because we know that, currently, ABS parts made in China are 'different' to those made elsewhere due to LEGO being unable to import its usual supply of ABS granulate into the country, resulting in it using a locally produced alternative.

That may well change, of course, when this factory opens, but if it doesn't we might end up with two different qualities of product.

The press release does go on to say that "All products made in the new factory will be sold in Asia" so maybe those of us in Europe, USA and Australasia need not worry unduly when buying new products, but what about buying in the aftermarket? And what about those of you in Singapore and other countries in the region?

Now, when you buy, say, a Toy Story alien from BrickLink there's no way to know if you're buying a Chinese-made one from a magnet set, or a non-Chinese one from a regular LEGO set, which is a nuisance because one is 'different' to the other, as you may recall seeing in my comparative photos a while ago.

So, in future, if new sets made in China have regular parts made from Chinese ABS and they do end up being 'different' to others, you'll need to take extra care to determine the provenance of sets and parts before buying on the aftermarket.

I'm probably worrying unnecessarily, but it's food for thought...

Please note, before I get flamed, I am not saying 'stuff made in China is rubbish': I haven't actually said that it is, but ABS LEGO products made there are 'different' to the trained eye for the reason stated above).

76 comments on this article

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By in United Kingdom,

Huw maybe your wish for lego to reduce the prices is coming true LOL :-)

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By in United States,

I'll say it...

Things made in China are trash, garbage, rubbish.

As long as these pieces don't get mixed into the EU or NA sets than whatever. But I'll be disappointed if we all have to pay more and more for less and less pieces just to get more pieces that are cheaply made.

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By in United States,

If the factory will truly only be making product for the asian market, I wonder what those products will be. We saw earlier this year a set for the year of the snake, which I believe was only sold in China:
http://www.brickset.com/news/article/?ID=5605
Perhaps more sets like that are to be made. I would have guessed though, that the new factory would also make CMFs for other markets, since those are already made in China. Who knows.

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By in United Kingdom,

I am not up in arms over items being made in China, just as long as it is kept to an understandable level, for instance extremely complicated or intricate moulds (like the Dwarf hairpieces from The Hobbit).

However, I would be very disappointed to see those tell-tale translucent bricks finding their way into sets as we saw with the Monster Fighters theme a few months ago, but since I do not live in Asia, hopefully this will not affect me.

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By in United States,

Glad to see that things are moving in this direction. Hopefully this means that the Chinese part production TLG currently contracts out to other factories can be internalized and quality control can be made a bit tighter. And who knows; perhaps this might have an effect on prices in markets like Australia that currently get their sets shipped from Europe.

And @The Green Brick Giant, if stuff TLG produces in China, in a factory they own and operate themselves, turns out to be crap, then that means TLG is to blame. There are plenty of products produced in China that are generally regarded as high-quality-- for instance, Apple products produced in China tend to have very good production quality, though their design quality naturally depends on your taste in electronics and has nothing to do with where they're manufactured. There's nothing about the country that inherently prevents quality products from being manufactured there-- companies just need to know what they're getting into and maintain a certain standard of quality control.

Of course, I'm fully expecting to see a lot of criticisms of this move, some less valid than others. In particular I'm going to be wary of people who claim that Chinese parts aren't ABS (as you rightly point out, Huw, ABS comes in different formulations, and TLG is hardly the only company to use it) or associate non-ABS plastics like polycarbonate or rubber with poor-quality Chinese manufacture. Overall, though, the AFOL community is already a lot more educated about this than they were years ago, in part due to increased outreach from TLG to set certain matters straight. I hope that trend will continue. So I imagine that many of the concerns that come up regularly in discussion will be of real merit.

The biggest hope I have is that TLG will maintain a strong ethical standing in their treatment of employees. "Moving products closer to markets" is obviously a noble goal, but Asian manufacture almost invariably has an additional goal of cost-cutting in terms of labor, and while that's all well and good in a global marketplace, it is unacceptable in many widely-reported instances where that cost-cutting means underpaying workers and putting them in unethical working conditions. This happens even among companies that have a great deal of prestige in the global marketplace. Thankfully, I know from TLG's past ventures that we can count on them to maintain a strong reputation as an ethical employer, so hopefully that reputation will not be tarnished in this new location. And since this isn't a matter of outsourcing to another manufacturer, I'm counting on TLG to exercise a greater level of control over their workers' conditions than many who do business in China.

@CapnRex101: While those translucent bricks may still appear in other sets, there's no reason to make a connection between that issue and this story since those bricks were not made in China.

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By in United States,

My collectible minifigs always have a funny smell to them. Hasn't anybody else noticed this? Outsourcing production to China is a terrible idea.

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By in United States,

Lego will have no control were these go in the aftermarket. I see many sets and minifigs shipped from Asia on Ebay and Bricklink, (and purchased some myself). I'm not really concerned, but to believe these sets or there respective parts will remain in China is unrealistic.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm mixed by this news. Hopefully it will only cater for eastern countries and the quality will remain the same.

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By in United States,

Yay, LEGO pumping more dollars into a communist regime. I'm ecstatic!

If LEGO wants to produce things in Asia, they need to do it in Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. These are reasonably free countries with good labor laws - no killing of Christians or dissidents in general, etc., here.

And, I wouldn't also be glad if they introduced these to the US market. Just no Mexico, China, or other Bad Countries™, please. Period. LEGO, get out of those countries.

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By in United Kingdom,

@The Green Brick Giant, I totally disagree with you.

iPhones, iPods, etc etc are all made in China, are they rubbish?

Probably the keyboard you used to type your message in was made in China! Without China, you are paying much more expensive products!

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By in Denmark,

I'm pretty sure LEGO will continue to strive for top-quality. This is a temporary and short termed issue.

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By in Denmark,

But lets face it... March has not really been a good month, newswise!

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By in United Kingdom,

Well I hope this makes is easier and cost less for FOL in Asian counties. I have got no problem with buying Lego from Asia as long as the staff are being treated the same as those in Mexico, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

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By in United States,

NOOOOOOOO!

LEGOs are quality toys, not trash!

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By in United States,

I wouldn't mind the high prices (like the ones we have now) so much if I knew the product I was getting wasn't made in China. Things made in China are never as good as products made in Europe or the USA. Plus were just helping China's communist government and economy grow by sending all the jobs there while not doing much good for our own limping markets.

One of the main things that has separated LEGO from its competitors is their higher quality. If LEGO keeps making more parts in China you can say goodbye to their motto: Only the Best is Good Enough.

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By in Canada,

I'm hoping that this is an attempt to improve the quality of bricks produced in China. I was not aware that the factories currently producing bricks in China were subcontracted (and not owned) by Lego. Surely if the company is building its own factory, it will have far greater control over all facets of the production, and that will mean a general improvement in the overall quality? Fingers crossed, anyways.

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By in Canada,

Sorry we live in a global economy. The fact there are web sites selling products to all over the world proves it. I have personally bought and sold items on every continent with the exception of Antarctica over the past 6 weeks alone.

While LEGO may have the best intentions by producing packaging and instructions in the languages of the area I would expect that those items will be on selling sites the same day and distribution all over the world in just a few weeks.

I can tell the difference in LEGO and other companies products as soon as I pick them up just by the feel of the plastic. If that is the same with new LEGO the reasons not to buy other companies products may be reduced, and this is not an idea I want to contemplate.

For now I will wait and see as China has had some experience in building long lasting quality bricks before with that little wall they have.

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By in United States,

As it is I see variations in parts I get, sometimes even in the same set. I've already given up trying to keep track of it all.

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By in Australia,

The day all Chinese sets are sold in Australia is the day I will stop my LEGO hobby.

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By in United Kingdom,

For a moment I thought the heading said 'LEGO Group to build factory in Chima'.

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By in Sweden,

LEGO having its own factory in China is way better for quality than them outsourcing production to other Chinese companies. Anyone arguing against that is a fool.

If that bit about the plastic is true though, I do hope that LEGO has made some kind of arrangement with the Chinese government to allow them to import the same stuff they use everywhere else. It'd be odd if they didn't make any such deal, seeing as they're bringing jobs into China.

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By in United States,

So in what way (besides color) are China-made Legos different than other-place-made Legos? I looked at the Toy Story alien pics. Not too much for me to worry about there.

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By in Australia,

Everyone in the financial report it says this: "Having full control of the production process is essential to deliver products of a consistent high quality and safety and in harmony with our values” says Bali Padda, COO." It also says: “The new factory will be built and run with the same technology, automation and standards for employee safety and product quality as our LEGO factories in Denmark, Hungary, Czech Republic and Mexico, and it will have a distinct LEGO look and feel.” says Michael McNulty, Senior Vice President, Procurement."

So in terms of quality is should be fine as LEGO will have 'full' control over the company. It is interesting to notice that it does say 'Manufacturing in Asia only' and goes on to say that there has been a growth in the Asian market which will be far more efficient and effective building a factory to supply to the Asian market, so I don't think it will effect the LEGO's quality standards or sets but it will be interesting to see what happens, what they produce and the actual quality and sets.

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By in Canada,

I agree with Huw, and yes I too am a bit worried.

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By in United States,

The problem is not the production process, it's can LEGO get the good quality ABS into China and if they can, will they...

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By in Australia,

Hopefully this will reduce the prices in Australian stores.

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By in United Kingdom,

I see this as inevitable; without it Lego is basically locked out of the Chinese market, and it can't ignore that forever. Lego in China is ridiculously expensive and average incomes are still very low. Since it is currently an imported product, which makes it expensive, I see no alternative for Lego if they want a slice of the China pie.

Jon (in China since 06)

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By in United States,

Well, looks like we Americans won't be getting any more Chinese LEGO than we have been getting. But I feel bad for the Asians, having to put up with cheap Chinese LEGO. :P

I don't think that all Chinese-made stuff is junk. For example, I am a Transformers fan. Transformers are made in China. But they seem to vary in quality. If I buy one at TRU or another reputable place, it will probably last a good long time. If I buy one at Wal-Mart, it is more likely to break. Like I said, not all of it is junk, just some of it.

@ caperberry: I thought that too. Guess I've trained my eyes to see 'Chima' so I can go on a rant against it. :P

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By in United States,

Not a fan of this idea. Too much "made in China" is junk (and yes I include Apple's "quality" products -- 5% DoA memory in FOUR THOUSAND sticks of ram -- and that's not including other DoA or died-early-for-no-good-reason parts. Oh and let's not forget the Apple raid controller with bad ram -- that was FUN to debug.), and unless lego has someone really trustworthy on the ground you can bet a few of their old molds will go "missing" rather than the usual entombed in concrete route.

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By in Malaysia,

I love this 'Things made in China are trash, garbage, rubbish.'.
Does anyone here own an iPad, iPod or iPhone? Are they crap?
You DO realize that they are made in China, don't you? And I would say a lot more complex than your average Lego brick.

Get used to it, many of your products are made in China and before long MOST of your products will be coming from there simple because we aren't willing to pay a premium for local Western manufacturing.

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By in United States,

If someday the US gets all Chinese bricks and sets I WILL stop buying new sets.
Now, although this worries me, as long as the sets are only sent to the Asia market and doesn't make it's way to the US I'm fine. Although, I feel sorry for the FOLs in Asian countries.

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By in United States,

On second thought, if the factory is maintained as good as say, the Mexican factory then that's a lot better. But still, I don't fully trust the quality of Chinese LEGO even if the factory and ABS is identical to TLGs other factories. Go ahead and call me paranoid…

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By in Indonesia,

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

That's it for me a gold-printed minifigures...

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By in Singapore,

a lego factory in China is more of a strategic business move. China is a huge market potential that Lego has done absolutely nothing about, and i believe they must push the brand further into China to kill off the copycat and wannabe brands. It's a wise move if u think about it from a business point of view. They can use lego moulds to produce consistent quality products to reach out readily to more provincial distribution centres and retail points, and any discussion of building a Legoland in say, Shanghai is much easier. A factory there is just the beginning of something more in China.

As a resident of Singapore, I have seen and bought Lego products from the US and Europe at retail points here. The buyers in Singapore will have more choices to pick from.

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By in Australia,

I can't say I'm a huge fan of this news.

"But are iPods trashy and terrible?" Yeah, some of them are. And wasn't there a story a couple of years back about insanely high suicide rates from workers in Apple's Chinese factories? Oh, there's something I want to support.

Sadly, this won't affect Australian prices in the slightest, will it? We'll still end up paying twice as much as the rest of the planet, and now, it'll be for substandard pieces. Great.

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By in United States,

It would be VERY easy for TLG to create an identification code in the plastic injection molds so that all parts could be discerned. Whether they will see the need, or actually do it....

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By in Indonesia,

--The press release does go on to say that "All products made in the new factory will be sold in Asia"--

I'm not sure TLG will keep that promise in the long run :(

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By in United States,

ipods, ipads, etc. are not popular because of their remarkable quality. They're popular because of apple marketing and the ios interface. The product itself is not really that well made. Drop and ipod (sans case) and see what happens on a tile floor. Products in China are mass produced by an underpaid work force.

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By in United States,

Over time it won't just be the Asian market. Those Lego Chinese parts will make their way into everyday sets all over the world once they see how much cheaper it'll be to slice off some quality and see the big profits in return. It's inevitable.
Johnny Tee is right. It's a big strategic move to a huge market and knock out as much as they can the knock off brands.
@Sabrejimmy. Drop just about anything on a hard floor and it'll cause damage.

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By in Philippines,

Can they knock-out the knock-off brands if the knock-off brands produce better quality bricks???

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By in Indonesia,

@alexkidd and @Orthobotrex; We will be the first victims of this change... I feel your pain.

And Orthobotrex, those armor were (unreleased) concepts for LEGO universe.

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By in United Kingdom,

I think i remember a certain someone saying:
"only the best is good enough"

As long as i dont get caught mith the chinese minifigures then i dont mind really.

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By in Malaysia,

Well, I do hope the Lego prices drop because I've been paying a premium on shipping costs since I started this hobby.

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By in Philippines,

@fikko3107: Thanks, man! I'm glad I was wrong about that one.

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By in Singapore,

Certainly a bad news for those living in my part of the region IMHO.. We have seen this for daily food products i.e. chocolates, Snickers in particular whereby China made Snickers are sold in most stores here.. to cater for 'this region'. But there are imports of Australia made and UK made Snickers too and usually are sold in many other good stores here (they are not priced that much more expensive too). Those in the know, will know to avoid China made products as much as possible. Not that we do not trust the manufacturer. But we all know that if it's made in certain country, the material of the product has to come from somewhere near the country. And this source is usually having a lower quality compared to the original place of manufacture.

What is the company trying to save by moving factory from one place to another? It's savings on the logistics of transporting goods from EU to Asia, it's also about the difference of labour cost in both region, and more so about the cost of material in both region.

I always see it as a discrimination to Asia when I see the place of origin of products differ when it's sold here, with the same branding. Unless they can prove that the products made are all the same, regardless of place of origin.

Else it will end up the same with Snickers, you will eventually see certain stores selling Made in EU Lego and certain stores selling Made in China Lego. And it simply means, those who wants a different quality of products please feel free to pay less, we still wants your business but we will give a cheaper version of the same. What a complicated world.

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By in New Zealand,

just my opinion, and somewhat agreeing with sabrejimmy's early comment, My experience with the CMF line is that they just smell TOXIC! I have to keep them separated from the other minifigures and rarely ever go near them. I certainly hope that anything else produced won't have the same smell as the minifigures that have been produced. In my +30 years of collecting, playing and sharing Lego, I have never come across a worse lego product that the CMF line as a result of it's smell, colour and texturing variations (when compared to the original lines).

I look forward to seeing the products off the Chinese production line, but I certainly hope they don't turn out to be POISONOUS. (No offense Lego, but really that quality is shockingly far below par at best).

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By in United States,

I have a really bad feeling about this...

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By in Netherlands,

I work for a company that has their products produced in China; some of the above comments make me sad knowing how hard people over there work to fulfil our luxury needs.

As some people have pointed out before, it's not that Chinese manufacturers are not able to produce high quality products (Apple is just one of many examples), it's what we are willing to pay that defines the quality level. It's like buying a Lolex for a few bucks and then complain if it stops working after a couple of months. The only party that can be held accountable for 'different' quality of parts is TLG itself: if, for whatever reason, Chinese manufacturers can't live up to TLG's standards, they should stay away from them. If they do go there and accept this 'different' quality, notify TLG of your disapproval instead of posting blunt generalising comments.

Finally, personally I think the 'differences' are very acceptable, especially given that, in the end, LEGO is a children's toy; the 'differences' we're talking about here are mould numbers that are hardly visible and different sheen on plastics. I don't see any kids complaining about that...

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By in United States,

Thank you, Thunderburt. Good perspective.

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By in Switzerland,

Lego is not made from ABS plastic.

Lego bricks (DUPLO included) is made from Polycarbonate containing trace amounts of Bisphenol A (BPA).

Lego Group says:

Test of Polycarbonate for Bisphenol A (BPA)

In the LEGO Group, we have chosen to test our materials for the total content and migration of a number of chemicals, including bisphenol A. The tests simulate contact with both spit, sweat and stomach acid. This means that it has been taken into account that children put toys in their mouths, which young children do, and that, fortunately very rarely, a child regardless of its age swallows a LEGO brick.
The conclusion is unambiguous:
1) There are very low concentrations of BPA in the products (total content).
2) The migration after 24 hours in water and stomach acid is below the measurable limit.
This means that the amount of BPA in our toys is so low that it is immeasurable.

Why use polycarbonate in toys?

PC has some unique properties which make the use of it in toys particularly relevant. PC is very shatter-resistant, which means that it makes the toys very tough and resistant to breakage. Hereby, the toys remain safe during child's play. Obviously, this is a decisive factor in avoiding children cutting themselves on sharp edges, sticking themselves on sharp points or - even worse - inhaling or choking on the small parts.

Are there alternatives?

Perhaps. We are constantly working on finding the best materials for our products. Our challenge is that our products (luckily) have a very long life span. This means that a new material must comply with very strict requirements as they are to remain safe. Furthermore, they must be able to form part of our building system in which we utilise the unique properties in a number of different plastic types. Popularly speaking, this means that if we remove one type, the building system falls apart.
At this point, we have not identified other types of plastic with the properties found in PC.
Conclusion
If polycarbonate is prohibited, the toy producers will instead have to choose materials which are less safe because they result in a greater risk of breakage. To the LEGO Group, this means that most DUPLO boxes cannot be sold.

Facts about BPA

* BPA is a plastic ingredient that is used to make the tough, shatter-resistant polycarbonate plastic and versatile epoxy resins that are used in a wide array of products that have made our lives safer for more than 50 years.
* BPA can be found in products ranging from bicycle and motorcycle helmets to protective sporting guards, from eyeglass lenses to hospital incubators and components of many life-saving medical devices.
* BPA has been specifically chosen for use in toys because polycarbonate plastics can withstand the rigors of active children's play. BPA helps to make these products lightweight, highly shatter and heat resistant, extremely strong and reliable.

For further information about sustainabiliy, please see http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us/sustainability/the-topics-we-work-with/ where we have listed a number of topics concerning this matter.

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By in Singapore,

given how Lego retail prices are as good as uniformly fixed here in Singapore, I can only hope future quality is maintained, since I don't expect retail prices to go down.

as it is, we already have to shell out at least S$25 for a LSW battle pack - that's about US$20

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By in Malaysia,

Just recently Lego beat Mattel when it comes to profits and now they wish to have even BIGGER profits by moving stuff to China? How greedy.

The whole reason I prefer Lego is the sheer fact the majority of the set comes from Denmark. Compared to Mattel and Hasbro where 100% of the product comes from China, Lego is something different that is offered in the market.

I do not think the prices will drop if production moves to China. I lived in Malaysia where the Lego prices are sky high, there is no VIP, no discount, pathetic selection etc. So bad we have given up on the local distributor and get our sets on our own. However for some reason although we are nearer to Denmark than Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, our prices are more expensive than HK, Taiwan and SK. So moving the factory closer to Asian markets to reduce the shipping cost is not true.

If the production is in China I can forsee more leaks and more knock-offs of Lego in a similar fashion to the leaks and KOs of Apple products no matter how tight the factory security is.

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By in United Kingdom,

@kingbrick. Most of the bricks made are ABS. Some of the transparent ones are polycarbonate, as "clear" ABS is difficult to make (it is more cloudy than clear). The reason lego have put out the warning about BPA is due to the health issues of children chewing plastics containing BPA. This is due to recent bans of BPA in things like babies' bottles.

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By in United States,

Thanks for the news.

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By in Switzerland,

@CCC

I too assumed that most Lego bricks are made from ABS. But a Lego representative told me they are not.

Where did you get your information?

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By in United States,

I truly hope that the quality from the Chinese LEGO factory improves from what is currently produced there. Battle packs that I've purchased that have been made in China are terrible. The minifigs hands are not strong enough to hold weapons very well.

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By in United Kingdom,

80% of LEGO parts *are* ABS. Those that aren't are usually those that can't be made from ABS or require flexibility or something.

From http://www.safbaby.com/lead-free-pvc-free-and-fire-retardant-free-toy-manufacturers: (not all of it is relevant)

Thank you for contacting us regarding the quality of LEGO® products.

Children’s safe and enjoyable use of our products is of utmost importance to us, and we make every effort to ensure that LEGO products are among the safest for children of all ages.

All LEGO toys are tested by independent third party labs and meet or exceed all mandatory toy safety requirements in the 130 countries where they are sold, including the current and future lead requirements of the recently enacted US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Additionally, our products comply with the voluntary toy safety standard ASTM F963, which will become a mandatory standard under the CPSIA in February 2009. This standard encompasses safety requirements for toys such as age grading, small parts, material composition, no sharp edges or points, and much more.

The majority of LEGO elements are made from ABS plastic (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), a high-quality plastic that meets our extensive list of safety and quality specifications. The colors and materials in ABS plastic do not rub off or leach and, in fact, meet the same material standards for safety that are required of plastic eating utensils. Tires and elastic materials found in some LEGO sets are manufactured from Styrene-Butadiene Styrene (SBS), a material commonly found in vehicle mud guards and shoe soles.

Categorically, LEGO elements do not contain PVC. However, PVC may be found in limited exceptions where no other practical alternative materials exist, such as in electrical wire insulation. It is critical to note, however, that those few elements which do contain PVC meet or exceed the regulations and standards for product safety. Phthalate plasticizers are not permitted for use in any LEGO element, and may only exist in trace amounts at or below the requirements of the CPSIA. We will continue to evaluate test results and use a PVC substitute whenever one is available.

And finally, we thought you would like to know that LEGO elements are tested in conditions that replicate what can actually occur during normal playtime. All of our materials are tested for heavy metals such as lead and cadmium and fully comply with global standards for safe products. All decorated elements undergo rigorous testing to be certain that they can withstand countless hours of playtime and maintain safety and quality.

Thank you again for contacting us. We wish your family many happy hours of creative building with LEGO brand toys in the years to come.

Christopher
LEGO Direct Consumer Services

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By in United States,


@Thunderburt, read below.
@Huw, and yet I know of many kids who complain about how there minifig printing wears off in sets made within the last 5ish years(Especially CMF, with normal child play) and how white pieces crack. I have PERSONALLY felt and compared battle packs to the minifigs they replicate that come in regular sets, there IS a noticeable difference(Especially Castle/Kingdoms battle packs). And that is why I refuse to buy any Chinese minifigs except CMF and the ones that comes in books/movies. And this modern printing quality issue is one of the reasons 90% of the time I wear blue-plastic surgical gloves.

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By in Singapore,

Dear LEGO, a Made In China LEGO is just as good as a Made In China LAGO, LUGO, LEGA.. Think deeper, to what I'm trying to express by this.

Think about your core branding strength for the past 50 years vs the short term profit gain. Many has followed the China route and you are one of the very few, who has resisted it for so long. Why now? Why not 5 years back?

China people are buying up lots of Prada, Gucci, they don't buy China made products and pay a premium for it. How low can you go, no matter how, you can't beat the cost of mock ups. And you're throwing out the core branding of LEGO as a good Denmark family owned company into thin air! Bravo to the well trained MBA! Brilliant.

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By in United States,

Has anyone taken the customer survey on Lego.com lately? Toward the end you are prompted to select which comments (provided by other customers) you most agree with, and/or provide your own. At least 3/4 of the comments have to do with the cost of Lego. How can prices be lowered? China, China, and China. The million dollar question (literally) is whether more buyers of cheaper Lego will compensate for the loss of true FOLs for whom only the best is good enough.

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By in Netherlands,

@The_Creator, I believe you right away. I'm just saying that it's up to TLG to set and control their quality standards.

Maybe I should clarify: I'm not saying that products made in China are always top quality, I too have experienced the opposite. My point is, people are quick to 'blame' the Chinese for producing rubbish as if they were stupid, lazy or whatever when it's the companies outsourcing production that are still responsible for the quality. As numerous examples have proven, it's possible to produce high quality products just about anywhere as long as you're willing to invest in production facilities and people. Instead, most Western companies move their production driven by financial motives, trying to keep production and labour cost as low as possible; well, then rubbish is what you get and you have yourself to blame.

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By in United States,

@Thunderburt, ah ok, I see what your saying.
@Lw1980p, very good points. Although, I still dislike Apple. :P

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By in United States,

A Faustian bargain for Lego management.

Very disappointed to see this. Not only because they're moving production to a country that employs slave labor and/or pays slave wages to employees who are forced to work in compounds that (who in Apple's/Foxconn's case) require suicide nets.

As a concerned customer, this affects the way I view Lego (as a quality-driven, uncompromising, independent company). At a time when the Lego group is experiencing record profits, no doubt banking on a reputation that took decades to cultivate, they're greedily selling their souls adopting this globalist template of moving jobs from the 1st world to countries like China. I've lost respect for once well-regarded brands who've gone down a similar path.

As a parent who spends thousands annually on Lego, I try my best to give my kids the best. Chinese Lego? Not the best. This is going to bite you in the ass, Lego.

Please rethink this.

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By in Singapore,

For those whom are wondering if Singapore is part of China, the answer is NO.. We are NOT and we are far, far distanced away.. Just that we had tonnes of them arriving in our shores in recent years..

I agreed with many posters here, the route to China could spell the END of LEGO...

Please many many failure stories of how MNC get burnt by the creeps in China.

Look at their way of business ethics and practices... not for the feint hearted..

Re-collect your thoughts LEGO, especially having viewed your stories in animation don't bring it down tomorrow.

Good luck.

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By in Netherlands,

In an article from the Financial Times it is said Lego has stated the following about production in their factories:

"Meanwhile, the Mexican plant boasts just 43 defective pieces per million compared with 114 in the case of its Hungarian plant, and 350 in Denmark." http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2011/07/29/lego-is-not-afraid-of-mexicos-drug-violence/#axzz2O4ph4eUC

I think Lego is one of the most professional and quality sensitive companies in the world. When opening a factory in China I am confident they will manage to achieve the same quality standards as in the other factories.

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By in United States,

@Kingbrick: As Huw says, most LEGO parts are made from ABS, but you're right in that many are also made from polycarbonate. Specifically, almost all transparent parts are made from polycarbonate, since uncolored ABS granulate is inherently a milky white color. I believe some other parts are also made from polycarbonate for structural reasons.

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By in United Kingdom,

First thing i thought when i saw that was...Crap!
Lego are amazing, the best and they have the best quality plastic (ABS) ever! But i do have some bricks made in China including a yellow brick in the back of a Lego pudsey from the Pudsey Bear Polybag. Anyone else have that? Its a lighter shade of yellow and smells funny. Also, Lego Collectable Minifigures are NOT made of ABS and they are made in China. Both smell funny and are lower quality than normal bricks but i only get them because they are collectables and the pudsey bear.........well........It's cute! Lego, if you have any Lego made in China then think and make sure they don't do anything to the bricks (not offence canadians) Thankyou
-Connor (ThePolybagCollector)

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By in United States,

I have emailed TLG with my concerns, included a link to this article and comments, and encourage any of the likeminded to do the same.

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By in Singapore,

I have lots of MISB, not that many as compared to many of you, but good enough for me. I keep LEGO in MISB because the product quality is good. It's made in Denmark (most of the parts I presume), else in EU for the rest of the parts. I do try to keep away from sets which contains many unique soft plastic parts which are likely to be made in China.

Why I keep many MISB and not open them up for playing with my kids? Well, I do. I buy in multiple boxes, one for my kids, another few more to keep for the future, as I believe the sets are good and they are VALUABLE.

Do you see many other toy brands having such a large collector base as LEGO? Take a look at Bricklink newly added item list to see how many thousands of new sets are added every month and you will see. Dig into the database and you can roughly calculate how many available MISB are there.

People keep it MISB because the perceive value of LEGO is high, both in the eyes of the collector, and also in the eyes of the buyer. Without the collector base, you will lose a large portion of revenue already, not forgetting that the secondary market acts as a warehouse for the goods (crazily enough we converted some part of our house to become your warehouse), and (very importantly too) the secondary market is able to reach out to some customers and places, where no LEGO stores can reach out to.

Why are other toy brands not so much in collectors value compared to LEGO? Was it partly that we kind of believe already to certain extend, that if LEGO is made in Denmark and EU, it means higher quality? Is this a false believe, a fallacy? I don't think so, but if it is, let it be a fallacy then and try not to break it! Because it benefits you when people are buying in multitudes and keeps spending considerable large amount of money per individual annually!

I can be more than certain that, from the day if 'Made in China' is printed on the LEGO boxes, that is the day when no one will collect it anymore other than just buying one set for the kids, and they will only buy it when the kids demanded it, nothing more. The brand will be rooted from it's 50+ years of 'only the best is good enough' ideology, and the perceive value of the products will drop drastically.

Now in exchange with the China market, is it worth it?

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By in United States,

So I still haven't read why China Legos are so much worse. Someone said they remember hearing about some print wear and white plastic cracking. Hearsay. Some people say they are "lower quality". Define this. Quantify it. How are China Legos worse? Did anyone experience definable differences in quality? How do you know if it's a China or not-China Lego?

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By in United Kingdom,

Nice xenophobia we got going on in here, great job guys.

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By in United States,

^You are very mistaken. The issues are human rights and quality control, not ethnocentric protectionism.

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By in United States,

legowomen1980p

I have a super-ton of Legos from all eras and have not experienced any more breaking with one era over another.

Harder plastic does not mean more durable.

I don't see any evidence in your post that points to China Logos being of a lower quality.

I get the ethical standards argument, but I don't see anything in this discussion that explicitly states China-made Legos are less durable than other Legos. All these comments, and no one has had an experience of China Legos crumbling in their hands or anything like that? I just don't understand what all the fuss is about.

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By in United States,

Mmm, yeah, that wasn't my question. So seriously, no one can back up their claims of lower quality?

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By in United States,

There are some serious tinfoil hat answers here . . . I'll ignore that.

Apple is an example of how corporate policy can affect product output AND labor practices in China. Lego is in the same position; if they independently audit and force suppliers to a certain code of conduct, it sends several messages to the public here and abroad.

Additionally, if the lines are kept separate (as does GM for example) due to China's aggressive import policies, a low-cost/widely adopted market in Asia could serve as a halo to bolstering lower volume products (lego's current line).

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