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Questions and Concerns for TLG


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#1 CopMike

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 11:56 AM

Hi!

In this topic you should post your questions regarding quality issues, shipping & handling concerns and other things that you think TLG needs to address.

Please try to be constructive and describe what you mean - it's way easier then to get a good answer :sweet: !

Fire away!

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#2 JimBee

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 09:11 PM

I have a question for TLG:
Why are so many LEGO bricks dicolored? I have seen this very frequently latelt, especially with the brown pieces. When I'm trying to build woodwork (out of LEGO bricks), there are always light, milky looking pieces here, and dark, solid brown pieces there. I am not talking about the different shades of LEGO bricks, like Dark Brown, Brown, and Tan, I am talking about one color, but some pieces' colors are different. Could you please explain if this problem is from a molding issue, or the plastic was running out when the different poeces were made, or something else? Thanks in advance.  :classic:

I have a question for TLG:
Why are so many LEGO bricks dicolored? I have seen this very frequently latelt, especially with the brown pieces. When I'm trying to build woodwork (out of LEGO bricks), there are always light, milky looking pieces here, and dark, solid brown pieces there. I am not talking about the different shades of LEGO bricks, like Dark Brown, Brown, and Tan, I am talking about one color, but some pieces' colors are different. Could you please explain if this problem is from a molding issue, or the plastic was running out when the different poeces were made, or something else? Thanks in advance.  :classic:

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#3 Pencoin

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Posted 29 June 2008 - 09:38 PM

Q: why does the shipping cost so much
impulse sets cost more to ship then the set itself!  :sceptic:
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#4 jonwil

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:40 AM

I too wish to know why its so expensive to ship to Australia. I would be happy to pay those kind of prices if it meant I could get the item in a reasonable time (my last order of books from amazon.com took a week or so IIRC)

#5 Deinonychus

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 02:50 AM

As far as quality, distribution, and case assortments go I don't have any issues.

But I do have issues with the packaging. It seems ever since the boxes have changed from the "pizza box" style, where they opened via a top flap to the recloseable, side-access "cereal box" style the instruction books have been bent, crushed, accordionated, and just generally mangled. I'm not sure if this is due to the boxes, or the packing process or what, but it is the one area that I have seen a substantial dip in quality.

Other then that, I've got nuthin'  :thumbup:

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#6 CP5670

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 05:04 AM

I've talked about the brick color issues here before, but this looks like a good thread to gather all of my observations in one place. The problem is that for the last year or two, most pieces in certain colors have looked somewhat faded, as if the plastic is less dense than it should be. In some cases, they look like a distinctly different color than what they're supposed to be. Among the basic colors, yellow and red seem to be the most heavily affected, and white is as well to a lesser extent. Black, blue, and both blays are unaffected. With red in particular, the difference in the old and new bricks is often as noticeable as light gray and light blay.

If you hold these bricks up to a light, you can tell that they're slightly translucent compared to older ones, which don't let any of the light through. The shadows that studs normally cast on a brick's surface are fainter due to the thinner plastic, and the Lego logos on the studs are also less pronounced and harder to see than usual. Finally, these new pieces don't have the same coupling strength that the older ones did and tend to come apart more easily than they should (this actually applies to the black pieces too, even though their color looks fine). I can provide pictures of all this if needed, although you've probably seen it yourself.

I first noticed this with a Bricklink parts order about 18 months ago. It was apparently a result of TLG's switch to clear ABS pellets instead of colored ones, but at the time there was some talk that it was only a temporary problem and TLG had plans to fix it soon. However, it has been quite a while since then and nothing has changed.

I would be interested to know whether there are still any plans to address this issue or if it's something we should come to expect, looking forward. This issue has nearly put a stop to my Lego set purchases during the last year, despite the great sets that TLG has been coming out with lately. :sceptic:

Quote

But I do have issues with the packaging. It seems ever since the boxes have changed from the "pizza box" style, where they opened via a top flap to the recloseable, side-access "cereal box" style the instruction books have been bent, crushed, accordionated, and just generally mangled. I'm not sure if this is due to the boxes, or the packing process or what, but it is the one area that I have seen a substantial dip in quality.

I've seen this too, mainly with large sets. I guess it's to be expected, as those trays in the old boxes had the side effect of keeping the instructions in place. It seems that a simple way to deal with this would be for TLG to shrinkwrap the instructions, which would keep them straight and protect them from most kinds of damage from being tossed around in the box.

Edited by CP5670, 30 June 2008 - 05:05 AM.


#7 Navy Trooper Fenson

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:29 AM

Why is the customer service so useless? It looks like two or three people are sitting at their table and doing their job and the others are reading books. Many of the questions aren´t very good answered or were never answered. Best example is here:

The dwarves mine came out in America. I wanted to know when it will be released in Europe, so I wrote an E-Mail.
The first E-Mail got no answer and three weeks are enough waitingtime, or?
The second E-Mail got an answer that said "It will not be released in Europe and is an exclusive set for America."
The third E-Mail had no answer.
The fourth E-Mail got finally a normal answer like "I am not legitimated to say something about new products".

After all this E-Mails it was to stupid  for me and I read from an Ambassador that the mine will be released in March.

The customer service needs a better organization. What is this for a service that is answering just every two questions?

Then I am asking me the whole time: Why were the prices for nearly every set that was released in 2007 elevated in 2008? I knew that the oil reserves will end in a few years, but aren´t you earning enough money from the sets? I can´t belive that I must pay 10 cents for a brick, and that in a set with stupidly little pieces like the 1x1 plate or technicbolts. And why weren´t the 2008 sets concerned by this change?

Oh, by the way: prices like 13,49€ or 50,99€ look very stupid. Prices like 49.99€ have prices at their ends, because it should look like 40€. With prices like 50,99€ everybody can see that it´s 50€. It doesn´t make sense!
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#8 Dfenz

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Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:59 AM

I've two questions, the first more a wish than a complaint.

I regularly use LS@H for orders and wonder why its not possible to add new sets to the site in batches. I find it annoying to have ordered a bunch of sets on a Friday night to find another new (typically exclusive) set such as the new VW up later in the weekend. If this is not possible it would be very helpful to have an 'add to order' feature on the website whereby an order by a registered user can be supplemented/ added to online,  provided it has not reached a certain stage of processing, this stage being clearly marked on the order status page. This would give the person the opportunity to include (not delete) an additional item before the sets got packed, say within 24 hours of placing the order.

There was one complaint that I had in the past year and that concerned items listed as available on the website but actually not available. I appreciate it may have been a special case but last years lego furniture sale was a disaster in that people had orders cancelled left right and centre. The problem appeared to be that the website was not updated in real time as the stocks were depleted. If this hasn't been fixed it should. Clearly in today's era of modern technology, it is unsatisfactory once an order has been accepted to receive an email at a later date saying that some or all of it has been cancelled (especially without any compensation  :classic: )

Finally, I'd observe that I've found Lego customer service to be among the best there is when it comes to concerns regarding the product itself. Replacement parts are issued without quibble. I don't expect a customer services rep to know when a set will become available or back in stock because if his/her computer doesn't have the information then that's just it. If Lego wanted callers to have this type of information I'm pretty sure there would be a list of upcoming releases somewhere. Even then if such a list existed they would probably receive complaints for any slippages in timetable. For news of upcoming sets the best source is Eurobricks not a rep from LS@H.



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#9 The Cobra

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 11:53 AM

Why aren't some sets available in Italian shops? (though they are available through Shop@home)

- Aqua Raiders did not came out in 2007. And from January, last year's sets are only available in one toy store chain, not in shop malls chains.
- 7009 The final joust hasn't been available (and still isn't!), but the rest of the 2007 castle line was.
- To the best of my knowledge, Advent calendars have never been available. They should be this year (both castle and city)
- The first eight Impulse sets were available, but it looks like the new ones (5618 to 5621) won't (I might be wrong on this one, and I hope to be wrong!)

Edit #1: Mars mission: last year, only 4 of 7 sets were available, and we were missing the cheaper two.

And why isn't Lego Club Magazine available to Italy? I'm not asking to translate it, I could read the English version and I'm surely not the only one!

Edit #2: According to the new Italian catalogue, no New Impulse, no Troll Batlle Wheel and No Mars Mission at all. At least, both Advent calendars have been confirmed.

Edited by The Cobra, 07 August 2008 - 02:37 PM.

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#10 Shoc

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 05:46 PM

Why does TLC have warning for not shooting a missile in someone's face, in sets where the missiles hardly do anything when you flick them except fall out of their things, like for the ones in this set? Two small pieces joined together falling down is hardly going to hit someone...  :hmpf:

Another question, regarding flick fire missiles: I'm not referring to the new version flick fire missiles, but in some of the sets before this year, as I have mentioned above, the flick fire missiles do not fire but just fall out, so why are they in the set?!  :tongue:

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#11 maiq the liar

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 01:26 AM

@shoc:
never underestimate the stupidity of some humans.

Anyways...
i have to ask, why do the Liscensed themes have tan minifigs vs. the traditional yellow minifig? fleshies look out of place when paired up with traditional yellow minifigs, and i really don't like sharpieing them yellow (which seems to be my only option).
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#12 CopMike

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 02:55 PM

Thanks everyone so far for your input - I´ll be back as soon as I have something to contribute!

But as for maiq´s question:

View Postmaiq the liar, on Jul 4 2008, 02:26 AM, said:

Anyways...
i have to ask, why do the Liscensed themes have tan minifigs vs. the traditional yellow minifig? fleshies look out of place when paired up with traditional yellow minifigs, and i really don't like sharpieing them yellow (which seems to be my only option).
When we had the museum walk-about at the event we got the explanation for that.
When the licensed sets were coming out TLG took the decision to make the "real" people/characters look like in the real life (basketball players for example) and movie characters (Harry Potter etc). It would have looked strange otherwise. The non-licensed sets will always be yellow, if not another color is needed, like with black skeletons. Ergo - TLG is not redoing the classic yellow faces into fleshies in the future. BUT - if a  :classic:-face is needed in for example SW it will be in flesh because the rest of the basic heads in that theme is flesh.

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#13 maiq the liar

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 04:17 PM

oh well. i can still just sharpie 'em yellow. worked pretty well with jungle cutter.
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#14 jonwil

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 11:52 AM

I would like LEGO to do more about making sure that sticker sheets for sets arrive intact.
I bought the new Town Plan and the sticker sheet was a little damaged. I have had at least one set in the past (I forget which) where the sticker sheet was useless and LEGO sent me a new one. There has to be something that can be done to make it less likely that sticker sheets get damaged.

#15 Shoc

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Posted 05 July 2008 - 12:07 PM

I have a more complicated question regarding the fleshies, it may seem kind of stupid...

View PostCopMike, on Jul 4 2008, 03:55 PM, said:

When the licensed sets were coming out TLG took the decision to make the "real" people/characters look like in the real life (basketball players for example) and movie characters (Harry Potter etc).
What about in the Batman sets? These sets are not based on any one interpretation of Batman, and different versions have looked different. Therefore, the figures in Batman sets are not based on a specific version of a character, so why are (the relevant ones) not yellow?  :sceptic:  :thumbup:

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#16 Mirandir

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 10:46 PM

I don't think anyone missed the sudden increase in the Price for the 10188 Death Star set on the European and Australian market. While other sets, like the two factory space sets, have actually become cheaper.

What's the reasons behind theese shifts in prices. Should we be expecting sudden priceadjustments like this or is it something temporary?

#17 xenologer

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Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:15 PM

I suppose I'll mention that the following two pieces have fairly consistent quality control issues:
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About half of the time it seems the top and bottom halves of their moulds are misaligned, which causes their rod cross section to end up sort of rough and eliptical, instead of rounded.
This causes issues with actually clipping things onto them.


I'll also voice a concern regarding this piece:
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It seems that in recent sets, non-transparent cones especially have been replaced with a new mould.
Where now the cone is slightly less tapered to give a 'stopper' groove at the base of the stud.

What worries me about this is, the new part seems to be Much Much more expensive if LDD is any indication (37cents each instead of about 10cents). EDIT, no they fixed it, thanks TLC

On a personal note, the new grooved/fat cone causes problems with one of my 'design cliche's: the space thruster nozzle:
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Edited by xenologer, 06 July 2008 - 11:18 PM.


#18 Klaus-Dieter

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 10:52 AM

I have a question according to mainly the City sets:

Why does TLG not include some women and kids into the "normal" (meaning: not exclusive) City sets?
I mean:
Always only men is totally boring. Of course there are some sets where female and childish characters make no sense (e. g. in the cargo harbor set).
But when there are always no women and kids in some time the population of Lego City will consists of only old and ill people and they then will die. ( :cry_sad:  :laugh: )
There would be so much possibilities to include women and kids into some of the "normal" sets, too: What about a female police officer? A CG woman? A kid traveling in the passenger train? etc.
And the possibilities of fitting molds are there, too: About four female hair pieces (kids can use the female and male hair pieces, too), a female face (in the amazing Town Plan set), short pants for the kids (form the dwarves) and as faces for kids the classic face could be used.
Consequently I really don't understand why TLG doesn't include women and kids in some of the "normal" City sets.
Is TLG family hostile? - I don't think so. Did the set designers make bad experiences with their women and kids? - I don't hope so.
So what's the point?! Women and kids would bring much more live and playability into the City theme - and it would perhaps help to get girls introduced in a non-Belville theme, too!

I would be very pleased about an answer.

Greetings


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Edited by Klaus-Dieter, 12 July 2008 - 10:54 AM.


#19 Shoc

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 11:05 AM

View PostKlaus-Dieter, on Jul 12 2008, 11:52 AM, said:

I have a question according to mainly the City sets:

Why does TLG not include some women and kids into the "normal" (meaning: not exclusive) City sets?
There would be so much possibilities to include women and kids into some of the "normal" sets, too: What about a female police officer? A CG woman? A kid traveling in the passenger train? etc.
I agree, where's the gender equality? All the workers in all the City sets are obviously male, where are the female police officers, firefighters, harbour workers, truck drivers, train drivers, pilots, builders and really any proffesions? I don't buy City sets much, but more female minifgs would give me more motivation to buy them.  :sceptic:

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Edited by Shoc, 12 July 2008 - 11:06 AM.


#20 The Rancor

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 02:08 PM

I got the Exo Force giant orange Tank for the good side and one of the exhaust pieces was badly distorted  :sceptic:
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#21 Tanotrooper

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 02:45 PM

LEGO,

are you planning on using the "light flesh" or "light nougat" colour in other parts than minifig parts?

Dark tan is a somewhat new colour, but can the smaller pieces be released in that colour too?

Anyway, here is a list of small pieces that would be great in light flesh, dark tan, dark brown and all new colours:

1*1 tile with clip

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1*1 plate

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1*1 plate round

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1*1 plate modified tooth

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Also, the "flesh" colour could be used in license lines for darker skinned people. (as this colour is still being used with DUPLO)

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#22 SkyOtic

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Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:15 PM

why are there so many LEGO stores in america and not in europe? i mean, in america there's like a LEGO store every corner! i have to travel to another country to visit one! really, TLC should open more stores in europe just like in america.
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#23 MoonCheese

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:19 PM

I found a lot more Lego being sold in Germany than in the USA...in metro Detroit it's mostly Mega Bloks and other clones.
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#24 brickzone

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Posted 17 July 2008 - 03:51 PM

I agree on the Lego shop issue. Sure Ireland is a small country, but surely there could be a Lego store in Dublin and/or Belfast (maybe Newry would suit to serve both NI and RoI) for people in the rest of the country to visit on the usual shopping day trips.

I also agree on the brick quality, but at the same time, Lego reducing costs does mean we get more bricks than ever for less money. Sure it's slightly annoying a non-uniform wall in say Café Corner, but only 5-10 years ago the costs for such a set would have been astronomical and I couldn't have dreamt of owning such a set. We are seeing more and more large amazing sets today partly cause they use cheaper bricks.

Lego shop at home shipping costs seem a bit steep considering they get the full profit margin on purchases rather than have a third party retailer have their cut (and the main toy chain here in Ireland sells at S@H prices, even before below-cost selling was allowed here, so it must include their profit margin). Considering the lack of actual Lego stores or even full range in the third party retailers, S@H is the only option for many sets.

#25 CP5670

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:43 AM

View Postbrickzone, on Jul 17 2008, 10:51 AM, said:

I also agree on the brick quality, but at the same time, Lego reducing costs does mean we get more bricks than ever for less money. Sure it's slightly annoying a non-uniform wall in say Café Corner, but only 5-10 years ago the costs for such a set would have been astronomical and I couldn't have dreamt of owning such a set. We are seeing more and more large amazing sets today partly cause they use cheaper bricks.

I'm not sure if they are passing on any cost savings from it to us. It's hard to compare the Cafe Corner with previous sets, but in general, the prices on similar sets in other themes haven't changed much in the last two years, although it could be that any price reductions were offset by inflation. Note that up until early last year, they were still using the good bricks everywhere (in terms of the color quality).

In any case, the brick quality was one of the main things distinguishing Lego from various clone brands, especially given that Lego is fairly expensive compared to them. If this change was intentional (which it actually may not have been), then I can see why they are doing it to stay competitive, but I certainly can't say I am happy about it. I'm picky about quality, but that's why I buy Lego instead of the clones.

Edited by CP5670, 21 July 2008 - 05:49 AM.




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