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Missing pieces from lego sets


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#1 Lego Wargammer

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:04 PM

Last night I was finishing up the roof to the Corner Market Modular Building and a piece was missing. or I guess I should say the wrong piece was there. I needed a 10 peg by 4 peg panal piece to finish the bulid but all I had that was close was a 12 peg by 4 peg panal piece.

This got me to thinking the last few big Lego Set's I got all had a missing piece or two. the ultimate Death Star was missing a 2 by 4 grey slope and the base of a swivil chair for the comfrance room. the Factory Star Skull's set I got was missing a small piece (which isn't a big deal because I got the set kind of cheaply directly from Lego)

I guess I'm not that upset, so far all the missing pieces have been common pieces easily replaced on Briklink. it's just that the bulid was comming together it looks amasing and right before I'm done...I have to stop because the piece dosn't fit.

I do appreciate the logistics it must take to package one of these boxes. I mean some of them have several thousands of pieces in them. and it dose baffle my mind when they can get all thouse pieces right but it is disapointing when a piece or two is missing.

So is this common or am I the only one that is experiencing brick discrepancy's in there purchased Set's

#2 L-space

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:19 PM

It happens to all of us from time to time.
If you look at how many sets they are packing and how many are bought just by the EB community alone it isn't that common at all.
TLG has an almost perfect record for the customerservice by the way. E-mail or call them and missing pieces will be replaced within a couple of days.
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#3 Cardinal Brick

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 07:50 PM

It happens both my Fire Brigade and Grand Carousel had the odd bit missing, but when I thnk just how many sets I buy the rate of problems is very very low and it's never been anything as important as a minifig.
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#4 MetroiD

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:29 PM

You know, I was just going to start a thread about this a few days ago!!! Good to know I'm not the only one, but that said, it's even more unpleasant when thinking about TLG's quality control...

In all these years I'd never had a missing piece in any set - as a matter of fact, I never thought there was a possibility of that happening. Not with the "weight control" system which TLG so vigorously maintained as being "perfect". Well, apparently it isn't...

I bought one of the last Cafe Corners and had it delivered from the UK... you can imagine how happy I was that I was finally going to have the original three modulars side-by-side. When we finally sat down with my girlfriend and started building it, I was in for a nice surprise - no slightly different colours or colour accents in any bricks, uniform brown and tan bricks all over - that was a relief, given the concerning statements of LEGO fans who'd bought the Cafe Corner last year. We were almost finished with the set when we noticed a missing part in the tower... now, if it were in black or white, it would have been no problem. Tan, however, is a problem, since I don't own any of those corner bricks in tan. I could hardly believe my eyes, but the small gap in the wall was staring me right in the face - yes, LEGO had forgotten to add that specific brick - and instead, they'd added an extra grey 4x2 plate. I'm pretty sure those don't come as spares ever, so I guess that must have been the misleading factor which helped that super weight control machine overlook the missing brick in my set.

The problem is - what do I do? I'd be more than willing to take back that spare 4x2 plate and receive my tan brick 2x2 corner instead - but that's simply not possible, not here in Bulgaria. For starters, LEGO's official distributors for Bulgaria (LEGO don't have an official store here) don't import any of the exclusives and if I'd call them with this problem, they'd just slam the phone - their customer service is absolutely appaling. Besides, I bought the set from the UK, so there's no way I can do anything about it. I admit, it's not the rarest brick in the set, but it's still rather annoying. If it were a tiny 1x1 plate or tile, I guess I could have easily replaced it and I'd probably forget all about it, but I just can't accept a missing 2x2 corner brick as something normal.

So I totally understand what you mean there Wargammer, and I think TLG need to do something about that -- especially seeing as those missing bricks are most probably going to occur most often in the exclusive sets, given the size of those. I really don't like moaning, but since I'm paying those prices (let's face it, exclusives aren't cheap), I would really like to receive the entire set and not have to place additional BL orders so that I can have a complete Exclusive...
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#5 simonjedi

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 09:53 PM

A) Wrong section

B) Contrary to what people like to think Lego isn't perfect and given the amount of sets they make and package every day, there's bound to be a few slip ups. Just call customer services up and get the part sent. No need to make a thread about it.

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#6 MetroiD

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:01 PM

View Postsimonjedi, on Nov 14 2009, 10:53 PM, said:

A) Wrong section

B) Contrary to what people like to think Lego isn't perfect and given the amount of sets they make and package every day, there's bound to be a few slip ups. Just call customer services up and get the part sent. No need to make a thread about it.
When B is not an option, threads such as this one turn out to be the only thing one can do. I don't see what's wrong about the section it belongs to though?
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#7 simonjedi

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:18 PM

It should really be "Lego general news and discussion"

Fair enough about it being the only thing you can do, but complaing on an internet forum won't really help. Have you tried emailing Lego's replacement brick service? i'm sure they'll  send the brick overseas.

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#8 Peppermint_M

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

I bought Spped Racer vs Snake Oiler and a single white cheese slope was missing.
Its not much of a bother with common parts and I was able to replace the missing piece from my collection.
Uncommon parts are much more vexing, phone/e-mail the parts replacement service, they'll send you a replacement.

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#9 dhaas06

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

View Postsimonjedi, on Nov 14 2009, 04:18 PM, said:

Fair enough about it being the only thing you can do, but complaing on an internet forum won't really help. Have you tried emailing Lego's replacement brick service? i'm sure they'll  send the brick overseas.

Actually, simonjedi, this is more than complaining. Discussing the issue with other fans is constructive, as it helps one learn what others think about the issue or have done in the past, and it is also good for getting solutions. By the fact that you went on to give a suggestion of your own, I'd say that his "complaining" did help.  :wink:

#10 MetroiD

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Posted 14 November 2009 - 11:20 PM

View Postsimonjedi, on Nov 14 2009, 11:18 PM, said:

Have you tried emailing Lego's replacement brick service? i'm sure they'll  send the brick overseas.
Thanks for the heads up mate, I actually did that already. I guess I'll just wait and see if they'll send the brick or not, the issue here was simply the fact there was no one to speak to in person.

Otherwise, once again - I didn't mean my words to come out as a negative rant. A missing brick takes away some of the pleasure, but that doesn't compare in any way to the joy I personally get out of owning such wonderful sets.
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#11 Piranha

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:09 AM

I have never had a piece missing from a large set oddly  :grin:

The most recent set that had missing or an incorrect part was 7639 Camper I bought
I needed one of these in Trans red
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But they gave me one in Trans orange instead.

I also appreciate the extra parts they give you in a set. However I have never had a case to use them  :laugh:

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#12 Rick

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:55 AM

I know I shouldn't comment on this because I'll be 'cursing' myself, but - fingers crossed - here it goes:

I haven't had any major problems with parts missing from Lego sets ever (although I was missing an extra piece recently, according to the BL inventory, but I guess that's why they're extra pieces). The two most recent cases where something was wrong with a set concerned a problem with parts quality. I think more people are having problems with this than with missing parts. Screening through the cases with missing parts mentioned here, all of them seem to have something in common: there are extra parts - that are not normally extras - which probably cause the machinery at the factory not to notice anything is wrong with the contents of the set, i.e. an extra 1 x 1 in orange causes the weighting machinery to think the set is NOT missing a 1 x 1 in red, because the total weight is within limits. Makes you think though how often a set is rejected...

#13 Paul B

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 10:57 AM

I have never had any problems with parts being missing, yet :)

#14 jamieberard

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 11:49 AM

View PostLego Wargammer, on Nov 14 2009, 08:04 PM, said:

Last night I was finishing up the roof to the Corner Market Modular Building and a piece was missing. or I guess I should say the wrong piece was there. I needed a 10 peg by 4 peg panal piece to finish the bulid but all I had that was close was a 12 peg by 4 peg panal piece...

Hi Lego Wargammer,

Sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with the Cafe Corner.  I know how frustrating it can be to work so hard on a model only to find that you can't finish it due to missing pieces.  It's very annoying.

I had actually heard of this issue with the 4x10 vs 4x12 dark gray plate through our consumer call center.  However, we were able to determine that the plates actually were not missing but instead mistakenly used at another point in the model where the building instructions were not clear enough.

If you get a chance, it might be worth checking page 62 in book 2 of the CC building instructions.  Several people have used the 4x10 plate where a 4x12 plate should actually be used.  Another place to check would be the steps which show the construction of the floors, but this seems less likely to be the problem area.

It's extremely unusual to have large extra pieces with one of our models.  So when this happens to me, I always go back through the steps to see where I might have overlooked something.

Of course, it could still be an issue where your set was not packaged properly, but I thought it was at least worth a try to check a known tricky spot in the building instructions.

Cheers,

jamie

#15 KimT

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 12:30 PM

Only rarely have I experienced missing parts in a set.
I do recall one where the polybag had a hole and a few parts were missing.
I have sometimes interpreted the instructions wrong and thus parts seemed to be missing.
Backtracking through the instructions is always good and will often reveal that it's not the parts that's missing - it's you that's missing :grin:
Jamie said it well and I back it up.
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#16 Rick

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:41 PM

Yeah, I've also had some of those 'missing' pieces. Also, sometimes I have had 'spares' that normally don't come as spares. Going through the instruction manual I usually quite quickly find out where I forgot to put in a certain piece. I've experienced it on several occasions when building the Modulars...  :blush: I guess I just try to go through the instruction manuals too quickly.

#17 Destroydacre

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:01 PM

I've generally had one set per year for the last 10 years or so that had a missing/wrong piece. These have ranged from a missing cape or missing string to a 1x2x2 panel missing but the set had an extra pair of legs. It's not a big deal, Lego has always replaced the missing/erroneous piece. One thing I have noticed with more regularity recently is that a lot of sets have extra pieces that don't belong.

#18 legotrainfan

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 09:15 PM

With me "missing pieces" are more a matter of not following the instruction manual carefully. But the instruction manuals are tricky anyway since black looks like dark bley and vice versa. Be careful there. The resemblence of dark bley and black in construction manuals may sometimes be an explanation for missing pieces.
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#19 Lego Wargammer

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Posted 16 November 2009 - 03:25 PM

View Postjamieberard, on Nov 15 2009, 07:49 AM, said:

Hi Lego Wargammer,

Sorry to hear that you had a disappointing experience with the Cafe Corner.  I know how frustrating it can be to work so hard on a model only to find that you can't finish it due to missing pieces.  It's very annoying.

I had actually heard of this issue with the 4x10 vs 4x12 dark gray plate through our consumer call center.  However, we were able to determine that the plates actually were not missing but instead mistakenly used at another point in the model where the building instructions were not clear enough.

If you get a chance, it might be worth checking page 62 in book 2 of the CC building instructions.  Several people have used the 4x10 plate where a 4x12 plate should actually be used.  Another place to check would be the steps which show the construction of the floors, but this seems less likely to be the problem area.

It's extremely unusual to have large extra pieces with one of our models.  So when this happens to me, I always go back through the steps to see where I might have overlooked something.

Of course, it could still be an issue where your set was not packaged properly, but I thought it was at least worth a try to check a known tricky spot in the building instructions.

Cheers,

jamie


Thank You Jamie swiching the support piece should work nicely, kind of feel dumb for not thinking about doing that myself.  :blush:

#20 diggitydug

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 08:39 PM

Gizmondo did a story about a trip to the lego factory last year that was really cool. What impressed me the most is that all these sets seemed to be put together by massive computer automation and robots. You would think with all that technology they would get their part count right, or at least have a set done by weight. I known the scale at the supermarket it precice enough to tell if i had a greeting card or not on it, they could make a scale that could tell if a set was correct or not.

but what really boggles my mind, is how does that WRONG piece get in there? If the machine is running bins of black 1x2s and 2x4s and 1x6s where the heck does that white 1x3 come from?  The block fairy?

#21 Big Cam

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:14 PM

I think the possibility of missing pieces will always be present.  I can only assume LEGO bags are filled by machine, just think if the mold wasn't done just right and they were one piece short.  I don't know exactly how it's all done, but I have a picture in my head.

It's always going to happen, and if it happens to you three times in a row, that's just a freak accident.  You just happen to have bought 3 sets like that.  The odd's are'nt good.

I have over a hundred LEGO sets and I have never had a missing piece, ever.  Sounds strange but I'm obviously just really really lucky, and you probably got one of the missing piece sets that logic tells us I should have gotten.  At least LEGO is so good about sending replacement pieces, you can't ask for anything more than that.

And don't say "We could asak for our sets not to miss pieces in the begining" becaus we can't ask for that, it's impossible.

#22 harrysnapperorgans

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:26 PM

In my entire life, I've only ever brought one set with a missing piece, a 1x4 blue tile from a hovercraft.
At that point 5 or so years ago, I didn't realise you could call lego direct about missing pieces.
I did try to exchange the set for another one at the store, but they said no as I had opened and built it.

#23 cagri

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:34 PM

View Postdiggitydug, on Nov 17 2009, 10:39 PM, said:

they could make a scale that could tell if a set was correct or not.

They do use scales for that. But I once bought a 8674 (?) Ferrari F1 1:8 and it didn't have the wheels & tires. I asked TLG if this was possible and they said they use scales so that's very unlikely to happen. I returned the set and found out it was already a returned set before I purchased it! I bought it somewhere else. A few weeks later I received a package from TLG with the wheels/tires and an apoligy letter for my experience. They do care about customers :)

#24 Rick

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:59 PM

View Postharrysnapperorgans, on Nov 17 2009, 09:26 PM, said:

I did try to exchange the set for another one at the store, but they said no as I had opened and built it.
Yeah, didn't you see from the outside of the box there was a piece missing?  :wacko:
As a kid, I once had a mismolded piece and we went back to the store. They took care of sending it back to TLG and I remember getting send a new piece to my house. The store should have been informed about Lego Customer Service and at least refer you to it.

Edited by Rick, 18 November 2009 - 07:55 AM.


#25 Lord Admiral

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:43 AM

My UCS Death Star II had something like a dozen missing 1x4 pieces, but it also had a dozen extra 1x3 pieces (or maybe it was the other way around--I don't recall anymore). I went through the entire manual twice to look for where I had incorrectly used a 1x4 piece. In the end, I ended up pulling a bunch of 1x4 pieces from here and there and replaced them with 1x3 pieces.

It happens, I think, especially for the larger sets where some bags only have a few types of pieces. Their weight checking works for small bags, and bags with lots of different pieces. But there are far more ways to go wrong when the number of pieces in a bag are large, but the variety is limited in each bag.

The math is pretty easy. If there were 10 incorrect pieces, each weighing .1 g less than they're supposed to, and there was a different incorrect 11th piece that weighed 1 g more, then the scales won't detect it. The probability seems small. But considering how many pieces are in a big bag that come with the big sets, and how many sets get made every year, that probability actually becomes big enough. And then add the online forum component, and there's probably a good chance of two people missing the same piece from the same set on this very forum.

I think it's really nice that TLG takes care of their customers, but I wasn't terribly surprised when I learned of it. I'd be much more surprised if they did the opposite. It's very disappointing to be missing a piece, and I'll bet it doesn't happen very often per set (the number may be higher per piece since I'm sure it'll happen more often for bigger sets). The goodwill of the customer from a small gesture more than makes up for the pennies that the missing piece might actually cost to produce.



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