What's wrong with the X-Wing?

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A couple of days ago it seems that 75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter was withdrawn from sale at shop.LEGO.com on both sides of the Atlantic, and I believe it is being recalled from brand, and possibly other, stores too.

On Hoth Bricks and elsewhere it has been reported that the cause is the canopy, which some people have found does not close properly.

I have just built the copy that the LEGO CEE team sent me to review, but as you can see from the image, I don't have this problem: the canopy fits perfectly and is perhaps the highlight of the set, so maybe the issue is limited to certain batches.

Have you built it? Have you noticed any problems?

This is the latest in an increasingly long list of quality control issues this year:

  • A design flaw in Ant-Man Final Battle resulting in delays and a modification.
  • An issue with the hinges in Wall*E's neck which has prevented the set from being made available from shop.LEGO.com in North America. The parts in question do not address the set's main flaw though, its floppy head: that is still to be addressed, if indeed it ever will be.
  • The erroneous 'Includes exclusive Darth Vader minifig' text on this year's Star Wars Advent calendar, which is preventing it from being sold from shop.LEGO.com in Europe. I'm told that retailers are being sent stickers to cover it up.

Of course in the grand scheme of things they are minor issues but I guess because the track record of LEGO when it comes to quality control is usually so high we are not used to seeing them. I wonder if the cause is that the company is spreading its resources too thinly, or trying to do too much. What do you think?

Expect to see my review of 75102 Poe's X-Wing Fighter in the next few days. CapnRex101 will be posting a review of 75099 Rey's Speeder later today.

68 comments on this article

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By in Singapore,

Eh wot, I literally just ordered this from Amazon like an hour ago =O

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By in Switzerland,

I've been curious to get into something from The Force Awakens merchandise, but everything just seems to be so wonky, rushed or just way below regular quality, it just kinda puts me off the whole thing.

There's been quite a few reports of different Lego TFA sets with ill-fitting parts and barren or unsightly build structure.

I want to get excited about this stuff, but it's not interesting enough and it feels too quickly pushed out. Maybe Lego has over-extended themselves.

Scooby Doo still looks good to me, I'll put my money there.

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By in United Kingdom,

I do feel that Lego's been making a lot more stuff than usual lately, they're probably sweating their assets quite a bit and this is the result.

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By in United States,

It didn't stop the original UCS X-Wing set, that unhinged canopy was molded poorly and tended not to sit flat on the model.

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By in Malaysia,

I wonder if anyone had issues with the black briefcase that came with the Zombie Businessman from Series 14? Mine decided to split into 2 when I opened the briefcase after it came out from the pack! The weak spot was apparently the very thin hinge joint at the bottom of the briefcase. Apparently many of us here who bought the Zombie Businessman is facing the same issue.

Thankfully Lego is sending a replacement after I complained to them, but to have a part that was produced since the Classic Town era fail in such a fashion fresh from the pack tells alot about QC on Lego's end. The briefcases that came with the old Classic Town sets that my parents bought for me is still in 1 piece even after all these years.

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By in Netherlands,

Not sure if it fits the topic here, but there is something I found annoying.
Not a real production fault but IMHO an error in the Grand Hotel from Friends.
In the middle part under the columns there is a 2x2 plate. However I think it should be white it is in fact one white and one grey on the other side.
See:
http://lego.brickinstructions.com/41000/41101/062.jpg
http://lego.brickinstructions.com/41000/41101/083.jpg
http://lego.brickinstructions.com/41000/41101/107.jpg

Does anyone share this opinion?

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By in United Kingdom,

I don't know about problems, but I find that photo of the canopy weirdly beautiful, Huw!

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By in Germany,

@ paanjang16: I didn´t have a problem with the briefcase splitting but the handle seems to be moulded completely different. My figures can only hold it straight down the side of their torso but when you want to angle it in their hands even a little bit it falls out completely.

I am pretty sure Legos quality is slipping due to too many people buying their stuff because of the Lego movie putting them into the public eye again. And there are many designs that came out this year that apparently were rushed through the design process. Rebels and SW7, all the Marvel stuff, the new Lego Movie wave (that´s also out of production after only 6 months)

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By in Australia,

Another set that made it all the way to shopfronts, that has to be recalled because something's wrong with it that Lego never noticed at any point prior?

I agree, this does seem to be happening a lot, lately. And for a company that's always prided itself on quality control, I think there's a problem, somewhere in here.

Maybe I'm misremembering, but I don't remember this happening too often over the last few years.

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By in United Kingdom,

No problems with the fit, but my canopy was scratched when it was freshly for the bag. My set was also missing 1 1x2 grill plate needed for the top of the spring loaded shooters. It was not an issue as I didn't include the shooters anyway!

That said, it is an absolutely brilliant set, and the little ground crew transport and ladder add a lot to the set when displaying.

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By in United States,

Anyone notice that all of the sets that have had defects this year have all been licensed under properties owned by Disney?

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By in United States,

The new LEGO movie wave is not out of production.

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By in United Kingdom,

The canopy on my Benny's Spaceship doesn't sit quite flat.

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By in Australia,

Yup. The canopy on my X-Wing doesn't close fully. It's not a big deal though, it's only lifting up by less than half a millimeter.

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By in United States,

^There will always be people that are okay with a fault and others who demand perfection. Obviously you pay a premium for this "toy" and yet it consistently has flaws. I always have tons of cracking pieces and color mismatches. As far as I can tell, that is what LEGO is, but I keep buying it because of nostalgia and I have no other hobbies...

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By in United States,

As long as we are commenting on Lego lack of quality control, how about the Back to the Future Delorean misspelling of the word "shield" on the flux capacitor. I guess no recalls for I before E except after C.

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By in United States,

All it says on the site is "Out of Stock: Will Ship in 30 Days." I just assumed that meant it was popular.

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By in United States,

Huw, are you sure that this is a recall? In the US all it says that the set is out of stock and will ship in 30 days, along with several other of the new SW sets. I can't imagine the canopy not closing fully could be a cause for a recall. The canopy on Benny's Spaceship also has this problem, so is the LEGO Galaxy Squad Bug Obliterator. The hinges just have tight fits and that's it. I don't see why LEGO would recall the most popular set from the new SW line for this. It doesn't make any sense. Did LEGO actually make a statement that this was a recall?

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By in United Kingdom,

^ No, much of it is conjecture at this stage but someone was told that the reason his brand store in the UK didn't have any was because they'd been taken off the shelves due to "a moulded element error". Hopefully we'll get more information in due course.

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By in United Kingdom,

I bought this today and can see an incredibly minor problem in the closing of the canopy, but I don't think it's anything to fuss about

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By in United States,

Bought this yesterday at my local Target -- had 5 more in stock still.

Haven't assembled it yet, but I sure am liking the black/orange color scheme and BB-8.

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By in United States,

I have the Phantom set from star wars and mine had the same problem. I got it to shut once and kept it closed ever since. I pulled it out not to long ago and opened up the canopy. Now it closes just fine.

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By in Australia,

I just checked mine and the canopy barely, BARELY springs up a bit when you close it. I never would have noticed it or thought it was a problem otherwise, but maybe others have it worse.

I think it's a lovely set with a great shape that really captures the proper X-Wing feel, and the canopy piece is a big part of that. My only problem with it is the top and bottom wings overlap instead of sitting flush with eachother. But then I'm sure we'll see re-dos of this set for years to come.

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By in Canada,

This explains why when I ordered a bunch of TFA sets a couple minutes after becoming available, they sent an email a few days later saying the X-Wing will arrive later than the rest.

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By in Singapore,

Lego has released over 300 sets this year and it's a record production. I think manufacturing side can be over-stretched to cope with the record numbers, and to keep the profits up and shareholders happy.

As for the x-wing, i am not bothered by the very slight defect in the canopy. On the contrary, I am more concerned about the rubber bands. I just hate them.

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By in United States,

The canopy is just fine on my set, certainly not as big a problem as the canopy on Benny's Spaceship, as others have mentioned. The only problem I've noticed so far is that BB-8's grip strength isn't the greatest, and he has a tendency to fall out of his socket since he's only held in by a single stud.

On the contrary to all the whinging about rushed designs, I was really impressed by the X-wing. It's built incredibly solid, with clever design elements and a really sleek finished look. It'd be a real shame if some minor inconsequential issue delayed people's enjoyment of it.

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By in Canada,

I bought the X wing on force Friday and everything was satisfactory. The only thing that was a little weird is that the studs for the "proton" stud shooters are included in the first bag and built onto the maintenance sled. The instructions don't show that those studs are supposed to be used for the protons, but it is the only thing that makes sense. Otherwise, the minifigures are great and the X-wing is incredibly strong.

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By in United Kingdom,

Some firings required in the TLG QC department. Shocking.

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By in Australia,

Maybe the problem isn't in the cockpit. I've been having issues with the thrusters. The part that keeps the rubber bands in place covers a lot of space and prevents the axle from being fully inserted into the brick, causing the thrusters to fall out when handled incorrectly. Has anybody else had this problem?

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By in United Kingdom,

May be some of these quality control issues are down to an over reliance on computer aided design software rather than real bricks. Some issues only become obvious once actually built. Not sure what balance Lego has between them in product design dept. Presumably they must build a real physical version at some point.

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By in Netherlands,

@Brikkyy13: this is exactly what I was thinking. The four rear thrusters that one makes in step 97 of the instructions are only held by 2-length axles which don't entirely go into the 1x2 modified brick, due to the parts that hold the rubber bands. It makes for a very weak connection. It's fixable with the bricks provided, but it's definitely an annoying design problem, which should have been fixed in build-testing. I have to agree with @Bricklunch: perhaps the designers have become too reliant on CAD.

BTW, I have no significant problems at all with the canopy...

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By in United States,

The only problem with my X wing is the engines' attachment point.
Really does seem that LEGO is overdoing itself and then screwing up.

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By in United States,

Anybody got a clue what's up with LEGO and quality issues this year? This is the fourth major set issue this year, which is more that I can ever remember.

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By in Netherlands,

Now I am nervous. I have just bought the Poe Dameron black X-wing this week but I haven't had time to build it yet.

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By in United States,

And the film that this set is based on is still over three months away from even being released. I'm not too worried about a delay now, as there is plenty of time.

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By in Netherlands,

@ReZourceman: yup, that's a pretty convincing gap, even if my canopy doesn't have that problem.
I see your review also mentions the thrusters just a little later, at 4:49. I'd hope they fix both problems at the same time.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thank you @ReZourceman, that demonstrates the problem perfectly. The loose fitting thrusters annoy me too but what annoys me more is that problems such as them, and Wall*E's head joint, are passing through LEGO's design review process , given the green light and make it to production.

Can you see which part of the canopy is 'catching' on the rest of model and preventing it from closing? What's the mold number under the studs? Mine is 3-01.

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By in New Zealand,

Problems with x-wing cockpits are not new. When I had a 7191 UCS X-Wing, the back of the cockpit, a plate-like 1x4 that attached to the craft was slightly malformed so the cockpit didn't close properly. Very annoying but I resisted trying to bend it with heat... The effect was the same as outlined by ReZourceman in his video above.
Attributing production issues to poorer standards, or Disney are off the mark. Lego has always had these kind of issues. With the far greater variety of sets and, especially, untested new parts, the likelihood of there being problems simply increases accordingly. However, as Huw points out, there are design issues with the composition of sections of sets, so a design issue rather than just malformed pieces, that have been causing problems. The pressures of so many sets coming out all the time will always have its drawbacks I guess.

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By in United States,

I was in my Lego Store today and noticed that they had every TFA set (I think) except the X-Wing. I asked if it had been recalled, and they said nope, they just happened to be sold out.

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By in United States,

Soooo... Review?

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By in United States,

This whole quality control streak is worrying.... I really hope that it does not continue to be a problem.

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By in Belgium,

My canopy doesn't close by some millimeters. No big deal but maybe will contact LEGO service. I'm moduling this set because:

1. No stickers on this set. (maybe buy a paintbrush)
2. I don't like the spring load shooters.

Tom

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By in Australia,

Bought this in Australia and built it a few days ago - no issues observed.

Canopy closes fine for me.

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By in New Zealand,

Cheese slopes are the worst for quality issues with Lego pieces. They crack so easily, I wish Lego would address that.

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw my one is 2-01! And I didn't even realise that molding numbers were a thing. Does that refer to a different batch code or something?

Near as I can tell, it's the very top of the angle that runs flush with the 1x2 slop that is causing the problem. It's hard to see though. When pushing it the resistance isn't all that much.

I completely agree with you on the recent problems. I don't know how any problems at all are getting through the process, let alone several recently.

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By in United Kingdom,

The number refers to the position in the mould that the part was made in. A mould will typically make multiple parts at once, I would guess 4 in the case of a part this size.

Will be interesting to hear if others with the problem have number two, too.

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By in Germany,

2-01 here too, not closing properly.

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By in United Kingdom,

Never noticed a problem with the canopy. However, I wish they hadn't used those blue elastic band things on the back of it.

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By in United Kingdom,

4-01 and after hitting it a few times, the canopy closes perfectly

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By in United Kingdom,

@lujho: The wings are supposed to overlap... Do people really think that Lego would have that big of a flaw in their sets?

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By in Netherlands,

@pagani88: Lego usually only has very preliminary material (photo's, sketches) to go by for their designs when working on licensed sets for new films, so in fact 'flaws' are almost inherent. Take Kylo Ren's Command Shuttle for example, which (according to the trailer) most probably should have had wings that can angle into a V-shape, but instead has fixed wings in the Lego version.
Hasbro's version of Poe's black X-Wing does in fact show the S-foils NOT overlapping, but behind one another.

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By in Germany,

@paanjang16: The suitcase from my zombie business man also was broken in the bag. I'm sad yet relieved to hear I'm not the only one.

I do not know if TLG is overreaching, or cutting corners, or is obliged to deliver a flawless product every time, but I do know that in the last few years I've had more elements broken than ever before.

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By in United Kingdom,

Quality control where you can't check every item before it goes out can be a problem.

I work in an industry where production runs are tested - properly according to best practice and legislation - at every stage. If a problem occurs with only a few tubes, and none of those faulty tubes are sampled in the QC stage, then its unnoticed until it reaches the end user. At that point the only thing to do is remove the faulty tubes from the supply chain through a recall. If you've found the original cause and are sure you have eliminated it and the likelihood of a re-occurrence, then you can replace the withdrawn stock with a new batch. Or check a larger percentage of the replacements.

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By in United Kingdom,

LEGO has been pretty damn good with QC, and I feel these events are relatively minor coffee rings on their record. This latest issue seems to be particularly nitpicky compared to the stability of Ant-Man and Wall-E, as there are a number of sets in the past that have displayed the same 'issue' and were not withdrawn (UCS X-Wing, Benny's Spaceship).

While the line might not have been everyone's cup of tea, this doesn't even remotely compare to the quality control issues of Bionicle and Hero Factory from 2008-2011. Remember lime green pieces crumbling to dust? Remember the new socket design which would inevitably crack right down the middle after X uses?

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By in United Kingdom,

@alldarker: From what I've seen in the trailers, the wings aren't meant to close perfectly behind each other or perfectly on top of each other like the original, but, as in Lego's model, they are in a staggered arrangement, still overlapping slightly, but I'll take a closer look.

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By in Australia,

what about everybody's BB8, mine has a very loose clutch on the bottom.

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By in United Kingdom,

Just built my X-Wing set and no problems with the canopy at all, fits perfectly.

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By in Switzerland,

Canopy is fine on mine (mold 1-01).
No problems with the thrusters although I see the issue people are mentioning which annoyed me while building. Just didn't insert the axles all the way into the liftarms (which is still a nice tight fit) so it would go all the way into the 1x2 brick with axle hole - holds fine.
The loose clutch power on BB-8 is the most annoying issue for me.
All in all, an awesome set, thouroughly enjoyed the build and love the finished model.

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By in Turkey,

I was planning to build it today. Bought at force friday. Let me see if there is something wrong.

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By in United States,

Mine is perfect. The number on the canopy is 3-01. Got it at WalMart in Florida.

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By in United Kingdom,

I was one of they unlucky few who have this problem. With the piece I got with this set, the part that connects to the hinge piece looks like it is bent upwards causing this piece to sit unevenly on the rest of the set. I have contacted Lego over this and they have said they will be sending me a replacement piece in the post in a few days.

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By in United Kingdom,

I definitely feel that quality control is slipping lately, what with all the missing parts and split elements, and not to mention the obvious spelling mistake on the DeLorean Flux Capacitor piece!

I think that these kind of articles are a good idea, as they not only spread the word about the flaws, but are popular enough and have enough exposure to reach TLG, so hopefully they'll see these articles and do something about it for the future! They certainly need to step up their quality control though, especially seeing as how they're a brand that is well-known for their quality

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By in United States,

I had a major problem with my 8037 Anakin Y-wing canopy not closing correctly. There was a huge gap when trying to close it. To me this a just another reason the click hinge is a terrible piece.

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By in United States,

Not buying the QT thing. LEGO has always had problems. I think what is happening here though is many adults are coming back to the toy. When you're a kid or early teen you don't notice or care about these things. Adults seem obsessed these days with what LEGO is doing and are focused on it. I didn't want this set because of the rubber bands they used. Nit-picky I know but it was enough for me.

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By in Netherlands,

Just finished building the X-wing and no problems here. A really nice looking X-wing.

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By in United States,

I ordered one from shop.lego.com on Force Friday, and mine still hasn't arrived. I just got off the phone with Customer Service, brought up the rumors of a recall, and they said it was the first they were hearing of it.

Still annoyed that mine hasn't shipped yet though, especially when it's readily available on the shelves in stores.

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By in United States,

@ paanjang16 I was going to post a similar question to yours. My zombie's briefcase also broke the first time it was opened after coming out of the package.

@Navy Trooper Fenson The limited briefcase grip angle is something I noticed as well. It's unfortunate because when the minifigure is standing on a plate, it's not possible to put the arm straight down since tilting the case slightly outward causes it to pop out of the hand.

How about the Super Jumper parts that mangle Minifigure legs?

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