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?