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Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

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Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby Ye Olde Republic » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:34 pm

For a while now I've been somewhat concerned about the condition of the instruction books in my sets. Sometimes they really seem to just be shoved into the box and get bent and folded. This isn't usually a problem as the paper relaxes over time, especially when I put the book into a page protector and install it into it's proper binder. My kids do find it frustrating when they booklet won't lay flat because it's bent though. We'll deal with that though as it's just a minor nuisance to us but you can be sure that there are consumers and collectors out there that this is a HUGE deal for. I DO have a problem with the condition the sails for my Imperial Flagship came out of the box in though. These are the part of this set that truly make it a collectible and I want my sails to be perfect out of the box.
I reached in the box to pull out the sails, the first thing I went looking for were the sails, and lo and behold they were scrunched up! One side was fine but the other was folded up like an accordion. I think we'd all be a bit miffed if we opened a brand new set to find a long technic axle bent or a baseplate with a stress crease in it or a 6x16 plate bent in half so why is it acceptable for TLG to mash these sails into a box without some method of preventing this from happening. They are, after all, pieces of the set and I'm sure TLG will replace them* but I'm a little concerned by the possible reactions of the regular consumer. Please LEGO, just a bit of cardboard in the package will go a long way toward preventing this from happening.

*I will be asking for replacements, they don't look really great. If they became this way through play, that would be my own problem.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:01 pm

I find this to be a really big problem with the stickers also. Not that I generally use my stickers,I usually only use those on sets like Indy or even the Pharaoh's question line, but the stickers just float in the box and come in horrible condition. Sure I can ask for replacements, but I don't for stickers. I don't always ask for replacement of missing parts from sets either. But I do agree, some parts need a little more care in packaging.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby nanuck95 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:20 am

I haven't had that happen to any sails, but more than a few instruction books have come with permanent creases in them because they were jostled around in the box before. I'm sure it is added cost, but hopefully adding a piece of cardboard and plastic wrap isn't that big of a deal. Capes, string, and other small cloth elements come in those little cardboard boxes, so it can't be that hard.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby Athos » Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:53 am

I don't recall it happening to any sails. But I've had some sticket sheets that we so bent they were ruined and unusualable. I also just put together the Endor Base set and had a terrible time getting the instructions to lay flat. This was especially irritating, because the color-printing is also of poor quality it was hard to tell the dark grey from the black on wrinkled paper that won't stay flat.

I don't know why this has become such a problem lately. I don't remember any of my instructions being is such a sad state in the earlier sets.

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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby Kosh » Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Overall there are more colors in both higher and lower contrast tones as well as somewhat more complex shapes. Or at least a larger Quantity of more complex shapes and that does not help aging eyes pick out various parts from the visual mix on the printed pages....
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby rogue27 » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:47 pm

I have also been getting twisted instruction booklets in my boxes lately. King's Castle in particular, was especially mangled, and the stickers were curled up too.

I don't recall this ever being a problem in the past. Are the boxes just too full of air now, or did they change some part of their packing process? It would be nice to stop getting ruined instruction booklets.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby davee123 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:26 pm

rogue27 wrote:I don't recall this ever being a problem in the past. Are the boxes just too full of air now, or did they change some part of their packing process? It would be nice to stop getting ruined instruction booklets.


2 things, I think:

1) Up until roughly 2000-2003, LEGO included cardboard inserts in larger sets that would hold the instructions flat, preventing them from moving around in the boxes, even if the box was turned upside-down or what-have-you. Since then, cardboard inserts have been eliminated.

2) The instructions are more massive, with more steps, making thicker books, making them more likely to flop around when in the box. LEGO instructions used to be pretty thin-- and that's because LEGO used to do their instructions BY HAND until sometime in the late mid-to-late 1990's (IIRC). They did this by photographing each step, and then having someone TRACE THE DRAWINGS BY HAND. It was a lot more work, so they didn't include as many steps. Nowadays they do renderings in a computer, so it's much easier to add in more steps for a model, making it easier for kids to build. However, it has the added side effect of having gigantic instruction booklets.

It's been rumored that LEGO has started or will start including measures to reduce this happening in upcoming sets, although I'm not quite clear on how. Some people have said they'll be adding shrink wrap around the instructions (which might help a little), and I've also heard that they'll be shrink wrapped with a piece of cardboard, and also that they'll be shrink wrapped directly to the box. I haven't seen it yet, so I'm not sure what the actuality is. Maybe someone else has a better idea of the exact procedures that are in store?

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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby Aliencat » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:51 pm

davee123 wrote:It's been rumored that LEGO has started or will start including measures to reduce this happening in upcoming sets

More than rumoured, here's a picture of how instruction books for larger sets are now packed:

link

And here's the Quality deparment's explanation to the above picture:

Yes as off the 17th of July 2010 for all sets with more the 1000 elements the building instruction, labels and textiles are packaged in a plastic bag with the support of a cardboard sheet. This is done in order to reduce the number of building instructions that are damaged. Your pictures are showing version 1 and the project team is now working on a better and more sexy solution.

I hope the AFOL like this initiative

As you can see, this also includes textiles like the above mentioned sails.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby giellsworoth » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:55 pm

Just the other day when i opened up my diagon alley the instructions where in plastic with a cardboard support :D
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby eilonwy77 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:45 am

I came to this topic expressly to say that I just opened my Diagon Alley, and it was beautifully packaged with the cardboard insert for the instructions and stickers. I see other people have had the same experience, so I guess I just need to say, "Me too!" 8)

(Yay for new sets! It's half-Christmas, half-Valentine's Day, all exciting.)
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby rogue27 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:57 am

Looks great, glad this situation as been addressed.
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Re: Condition of non-brick parts of LEGO sets

Postby J_MAN » Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:52 pm

I have also had problems in the past with my instructions being badly warped. However, when I got my Medieval Market set the instructions came sandwiched together with the sticker sheet inside. I haven't bought any other big Lego sets other than the MM so I can't say for other sets, but I was really impressed with the way my MM was packed.
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