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?