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Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

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Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby buhs » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:00 pm

I really hope this posting doesn't come across as snarky or snide, but I really mean it to be sincere. I checked the terms of posting in this section, and hope I don't get flamed again... as I think it will meet the requirements of this section... if this is answered somewhere else in the forums, please forgive the ignorance of a newbie to this website. Now that the disclaimers are done... here's my question for Steve:

I was just wondering what LEGO is planning on doing about the quality control of the sets? First off, let me say that I have been collecting LEGO since 1978, and I have never had a set with a missing piece... until this past year. Up until 2008, the sets have had a perfect record of quality control; ensure no pieces were left out.

I have purchase 10 sets during the past 12 months, and 10 of them have been missing at least one piece. This is extremely frustrating, as each time I now purchase a set my first thought is “I wonder which piece is missing this time?” and my second thought “given that at least one piece is missing, I hope it won’t be a piece that prevents me from finishing the model.”

As I have experienced this issue in so many models that I’ve purchase, I can deduce that this is not an isolated experience. In fact one of the models I purchased, then returned to the retailer, and obtained a replacement kit for was missing the exact same pieces.

I know Ole Kirk Christiansen prided himself on quality and value in his products above all else. I hope this is a philosophy which will return to the LEGO group. “Det bedste er ikke for godt”… “only the best is good enough” should still be the LEGO motto.

I can only assume that this lack of quality control has something to do with the contracting out to a third party company. It's my understanding that LEGO will once again be taking over these factories? I must also say that LEGO has been extremely helpful in replacing the missing pieces with the LEGO.com order form, but getting missing pieces a week or two after starting to build a model is extremely saddening.

Anyway, just hoping things will improve soon... thanks for taking the time to read this Steve.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby Draykov » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:07 pm

I know you're looking for Steve's take on this situation, but I have to say that my personal experience lately has been fewer problems, not more. Perhaps you and/or your region are the victims of a fluke. My trips to the LEGO Customer Service order form have been much less frequent these days compared to a year or two ago.

buhs wrote: I must also say that LEGO has been extremely helpful in replacing the missing pieces with the LEGO.com order form, but getting missing pieces a week or two after starting to build a model is extremely saddening.


Not to make light of a frustrating situation, but it beats the industry standard 6-8 weeks. ;)
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby Iare Tosevite » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:11 pm

It probably is a fluke.

I had a set that come with two hoods and no vadar helmet and couple other missing parts. It would have made set box too light and should have been caught, but didn't.

I also had another set with wrong color part, but that's it in over a decade.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby dWhisper » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:03 pm

It seems like a very odd fluke. I saw a bit of a surge in part problems a couple years ago, but with the Clone Wars sets, I've had only a few missing parts, and they were all in the same set.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby theJudeAbides » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:22 am

Personally, I've had 4-5 sets with missing or mangled pieces over the last couple of years. I usually don't complain because their customer service turnaround is so good. However, like he said, it's frustrating not to be able to complete the build right away. I think there was even a time when I got like 2 sets in a row like this, and I really began to wonder if each new set I'd pick up would have these problems. However, it was probably a fluke as most of the sets I purchased after that were fine.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby BigBenKenobi » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:21 pm

In my years of collecting lego, I've only come across one set that had a missing part. My 7665 Republic Cruiser. Instead of giving me a Qui-Gon Jinn head, they gave me an Obi-wan Kenobi head from the Jedi Starfighter w/ Vulture Droid set. It wasn't that big of a deal though...just called TLG, and they sent a replacement to my house. That has been the only issue I have ever had with lego besides have a Stromtrooper Battle Pack box semi crushed when they shipped it to me. But, I have heard many other complaints with missing parts and quality control. Thankfully, it hasn't really affected me over the years.

*By the way...cool title. I wonder if anyone else caught Vietnam War era song it's based off...
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby bigospedros » Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:29 pm

I'm not sure I've ever had a missing piece in a new set. Once or twice I've had a few mis-formed pieces, but they were quickly replaced and I've had crumpled sticker sheets but again, they've been quickly replaced.

The incorrect Qui Gon head was a common error in the Republic Cruiser set ... but again, it was soon fixed :)

Overall, I think Lego's quality control is pretty gorram good and the customer service is excellent. A more pressing quality control issue is probably colour variation, but that's another topic.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby buhs » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:28 pm

Thanks BigBenKenobi... you win extra points for noticing the reference... when will they ever learn... when will they ever learn ;)

P.S. glad to hear I appear to be in the minority... hope my "luck" changes with my next few sets (thanks for all the replys by the way!)
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby speaknspell » Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:39 pm

Buhs,

I'm sorry to hear you've had a rough go of it. i too build a lot (I mean a lot a lot a lot) and the only times I had consistent missing pieces was during 2006. since then the actual issue has mostly gone away for me.

One thing you do need to consider is that LEGO is doing more volume than ever before right now and suddenly that percentage of sets with mistakes in them, while not changing as a figure, includes a larger number than it did before. 5% of 10 million is significantly larger than 5% of 2 million (these numbers are just examples to make a point).

it may sound funny, but more mistakes recently are actually a symptom of success as opposed to failure, as strange as that may sound. It is something we're constantly trying to work on though so please know that its not an issue that we just say "whatever, we can't win em all" to. We would prefer perfection, but man, the odds on that suck.

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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby Teekay » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:17 pm

BigBenKenobi wrote:I wonder if anyone else caught Vietnam War era song it's based off...


I got it. (Where have all the bricks gone... long time ago) :p

On topic: That is just weird. I have never, ever had any problems, other than the 7665 Qui-Gon head thing. Other than that, NOTHING.

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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby meeotch » Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:57 pm

I've had two problems before, and it seems that neither are ones that I've heard brought up as ones effecting entire lots of sets: the first was with my MTT, I got two of the left-handed angle pieces (instead of one left and one right) that are used in the little vehicle you build in the beginning; and with my motorized AT-AT, I got the wrong colored lower body for my AT-AT pilot. Luckily for me, neither of these problems prevented me from completing my build, and Lego Customer Service was stellar both times.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby Bertramtalespinner » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:07 am

The thing that mitigates it however is Lego's handling of any such issue. They win, hands down, for best customer service. As Steve says, they want to be perfect, and if it ain't, they'll maker it perfect. I think the occasions where they have offered service packs for sets are a great example.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby findyourfix » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:13 am

I have had several parts issues in the past year. I had two mangled pieces in a CW Anakin's Starfighter, A few non-connecting tiles in a Coast Guard boat set, and a 16 stud long white axle that would not stick in my V-19. TLG moved rather quickly to resolve the issue, and even gave me a freebie piece I had lost from an original SW kit. THey have clearly admitted to having sub-contractor issues, and have since either resolved them or gave them the boot. All in all, TLG is doing well IMHO, and I can't wait for August!
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby BrickSith206 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:14 am

Wow! I have yet to experience a missing item. HOWEVER, TLG did err in my favor and included an extra Clone Trooper accessory bag (you know, the rangefinder, etc) in each of the Republic Gunships I bought.

Disclaimer: All were acquired at the same time/location.
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby lordvader208 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:49 pm

I've had two problems with two sets that I have bought in the past. The first is the Clone Turbo Tank, in which instead of using a 2x2 upward slope two 1x2 upward slopes were included, so I asked them to fix this problem. There was an extra little sheet of paper inside the box that told me to substitute the 2x2 with the 1x2's but I felt that I wanted the set like it was really supposed to be. The other problem with this set was that instead of getting 1x2 trans-light blue grilles, I got just normal light blue grilles. I asked them probably 5 times for trans-light blue, but i kept getting normal light blue, but finally they sent me the correct ones. Now this is definitely GREAT effort by TLC to satisfy customers. I really thought they would just think I was trying to steal pieces, but it turns out that they kept sending the pieces to me until I got the trans pieces. Kudos to Lego. XD I think the reason for this was because they made a mistake in parts production or just ran out of trans-light blue grilles.

The other problem was with my V-19, in which I never got a sticker sheet. I asked customer service for a sticker sheet and there it was in my mail, only about 10 days after I requested it.

As far as mangled pieces go, I haven't experienced that. The only thing that occasionally happens is when the minifig printing is pretty off, like in my old ep2 clone from the 7163 RGS. The helmet is printed from two sides and the black printing from the left and right side of the helmet did not connect together in the middle. But overall it looks fine and there's no reason to have to ask for another clone.

But anyways, I really appreciate TLC's efforts to be as perfect as possible as they have already done such a good job.

I wonder if I could get replacement stickers for my 7163 RGS that peeled off like 3-4 years ago...? :shock:

By the way, the stickers from newer sets (starting from my 4504 MF) really do seem higher quality as I have not experienced any problems with them
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Re: Where have all the bricks gone... long time passing?

Postby Gumby » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:38 am

lordvader208 wrote:I wonder if I could get replacement stickers for my 7163 RGS that peeled off like 3-4 years ago...? :shock:

If they had it in stock, I don't see any reason why they wouldn't send one to you. Yes, an unused 7163 sticker sheet is worth a pretty penny on the secondary market, but LEGO doesn't care about that!
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