ELMAS wrote:Well, statistically I haven't bought thousands of sets. I have a very small % of what they manufacture. So, maybe I got the "lottery" on this one, maybe not... time will tell If we see more of this mishaps.

I think the lottery is getting easier to win.

I've been keeping tabs on how many sets I've gotten that have contained errors, and yes, it's gone up in recent years. For missing pieces, I've gotten:

- 1 set in 1999 (missing 1 piece, 1 extra)

- 1 set in 2004 (missing 1 piece)

- 4 sets in 2006 (missing 4 pieces, 1 extra, one of which was an egregious oversight)

- 2 sets in 2007 (missing 2 pieces)

- 3 sets in 2008 (missing 2 pieces, 4 extra)

- 1 set in 2009 (missing 1 piece)

Now, the funny thing is that I've actually bought FEWER sets starting in 2005, so my numbers for 2005 onward should be lower than previous years (my prime years would be 1998-2004, since that's when I was collecting rabidly). And prior to 1999, I've never received a set with a packing error (although I did get a 1998 set which had two deformed elements), which goes back to my first sets in roughly 1981 (but much lower volume until 1998 or so).

In addition to the sets missing pieces above, I've also had:

- 1 set from 1998 with two deformed pieces

- 1 set from 1999 with a broken element

- 6 sets from 2001 with incorrect elements (this was the Guarded Inn re-release that initially came with the Native American horse by mistake, not really a packing error)

- 1 set from 2008 with an extra bag (24 pieces)

- 1 set from 2008 with a deformed piece

For a rough idea of what that translates to percentage-wise:

1998 - 0/114 with missing pieces, 1/114 with deformed elements

1999 - 1/182 with missing pieces, 1/182 with a broken element

2000 - 0/357 with missing pieces, 0/357 with broken elements

2001 - 0/156 with missing pieces, 0/156 with broken elements, 6/156 with other errors

2002 - 0/196 with missing pieces, 0/196 with broken elements

2003 - 0/179 with missing pieces, 0/179 with broken elements

2004 - 1/234 with missing pieces, 0/234 with broken elements

2005 - 0/105 with missing pieces, 0/105 with broken elements

2006 - 4/94 with missing pieces, 0/94 with broken elements

2007 - 2/89 with missing pieces, 0/89 with broken elements

2008 - 3/64 with missing pieces, 1/64 with a broken element, 1/64 with other errors (extra bag)

2009 - 1/43 with missing pieces, 0/43 with broken elements

So, from 1998 to 2005: about 0.13% of sets I purchased had missing elements, but from 2006 to present, I've had about 3.45% of sets that had missing elements. If Lego were still at their previous quality levels, it would be astronomically unlikely that I'd get 10 sets with errors. Roughly a 68% chance that I'd have no errors, 26% chance that I would've gotten 1 set with an error, 5% chance of getting 2, and about a 1 in a million chance of getting 6. I'm not even sure of the ridiculously low chance that I'd conceivably get 10 with mistakes. As far as I'm concerned, it's sufficient evidence to show that Lego's packing facilities are more error prone now than 2005 and before.

[edit]Ahh, there we go, got a spare minute-- about a 1 in 100 billion chance that I'd get 10 with missing pieces if nothing had changed, and assuming a normalized distribution. I will point out that I typically buy

NEW sets, almost immediately when they're freshly available. This may mean that I personally have a higher likelihood of purchasing something that's in the first production run of a given set, and that first runs are more error-prone than later ones. It's a long shot, but it's possible.[/edit]

DaveE