Quality Issues and Xmas GWP
You may have heard rumours about a delay in the Christmas GWP set Mr and Mrs Claus's Living Room (40489). TLG has now confirmed it will NOT be releasing this GWP. Here is their official statement shared on the LAN:
"We decided not to release this product as it didn’t meet our strict quality standards. Because we work so hard to provide the best possible play experiences, we never compromise the quality of our products."
There are also rumours other sets that were set to release in 2022 have now been cancelled though TLG has not confirmed if these are also quality related (we are waiting for a response on the LAN). This is interesting though, especially considering the quality issues found in 10279 VW T2 Camper Van. You can read the detailed review from Tips & Bricks. This has also been discussed on the LAN as it appears that poor customer reviews on LEGO Shop@Home have not been taken seriously.
Looks like they are offering 2x VIP points in lieu of the GWP this weekend in some countries. I have not been able to confirm if this will be offered in Canada or not. If anyone finds out, please share here.
Speaking of quality issues, I picked up one of 76154 Deviant Ambush yesterday and built it. The parts definitely have a different feel than Lego I remember.
Things I notice:
- Parts feel a little oily compared to older parts.
- The parts also feel a little brittle, even though they have good clutch power.
- They don't have the same flex that parts have had up until now.
This makes me think that they are attempting to mix their plant based plastics in with the standard ABS. I wonder if they are getting incomplete mixing of the plastics so that the properties of both components aren't actually homogeneous. It may mean longer mixing or staying at temperature longer could allow for more thorough mixing. It seems to need much more experimentation and testing.
It would partially explain what is happening to those sets that are having issues with breaking parts (ie. T2 Camper Van). I remember sometime in the early 90s, parts started to feel a little different as well. Older stuff from the 70s and 80s tended to be tough, but also rigid. They would not handle too much bending before breaking. In the 90s the parts started to get thinner and had a little more flexibility. Instead of clicking together, they tended to squeeze together more like a creek. I don't know if anyone remembers this or noticed this transition. Parts also got smoother.
@Krista, Do these comments get passed onto Lego?
@Ptrotter that's super interesting as that seems to be the opposite of what was found with the VW T2 Camper Van. The Tips&Bricks talks about how rubbery and overly flexible the parts were, to the point that they wouldn't clutch together. Here is there article which rated the set at 0/100, a first for them.
I can share your findings on the LAN but you can also email or call Customer Service to let them know. If you would like me to share on the LAN, could you provide a few photos as well as specific details around which elements (name, colour, ID) were particularly problematic?
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@Ptrotter I've read of PET+ABS but PE + ABS does not sound like a recipe for success...
I think this is still the mixing of the two plastics. They flex and bend easily because of the very flexible plastic that is infused. The ABS has likely already failed internally, which is why it stays bent/broken. That is a material failure in my books. It looks like they tried to compromise the two materials together by mixing them, any neither worked they way they are meant to. I'll have to message them later.
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@Ptrotter it would seem strange to me that they'd consider such a formulation as viable, but moreso, that they would release such material to the market without a lot of testing beforehand. Though I guess we've seen terrible quality plastics in the past so maybe my expectations are just unrealistic