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Im not sure if this is a problem to anyone else but searching around the web has not yielded anything recent. But does any one else notice minifigures tend to get loose even when not played with? I guess call me a control freak but I’ve noticed several of my figures tend to get flimsy ie their arms and legs getting super loose. I realize it’s plastic and not meant to last forever, but these haven’t been played and I bought all of them brand new there is no direct sunlight hitting them and they are always in a room control temp home. Just yesterday I noticed my Anakin hair piece from set 75214 is not even clutching on to the head properly. Sigh how good is the clear nail polish technique I don’t want to ruin any minifigs accidentally.

Edited by Masquerade
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I have the exact same problem. I barely use my minifigures, yet their arms tend to get very loose after a very short period of time. Same with hair-pieces/hats. The connection stud starts to loose its grip after a while. 

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I've never had a problem with this, aside from if the minifigure is standing on transparent parts (cracking legs).

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I notice some hair pieces can be very loose, especially some specific designs for me (Rex Dangervest / Long Ponytail / Sweet Mayhem) , and those were new figures.

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1 hour ago, Lego David said:

I have the exact same problem. I barely use my minifigures, yet their arms tend to get very loose after a very short period of time. Same with hair-pieces/hats. The connection stud starts to loose its grip after a while. 

Have you tried doing the nail varnish? I am tempted to but I just don’t want them to end up getting brittle and breaking.I hate being so OCD about this type of stuff.

 

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Should make a distinction as to what figures we're talking about because the blind bag figures "CMF" have always been notoriously loose in the arm and leg hinges and are reportedly made in a different factory from figures that come in boxed sets.

My boxed set figures arms and legs actually seem to get tighter over time and the 1990s figures I still have from childhood are super tight in all the of the hinges.

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8 minutes ago, koalayummies said:

Should make a distinction as to what figures we're talking about because the blind bag figures "CMF" have always been notoriously loose in the arm and leg hinges and are reportedly made in a different factory from figures that come in boxed sets.

My boxed set figures arms and legs actually seem to get tighter over time and the 1990s figures I still have from childhood are super tight in all the of the hinges.

I mean I’ve noticed it happen a lot with my Star Wars figures and I’ve only really started collecting 2 years ago.

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No arms or legs that I’ve noticed. I keep my desired/most used minifigs in their own little plastic bags in boxes. I did notice loose hairpieces on some though. That retro space guy from a few years back, his helmet is very loose. And the GWP Christmas sleigh, those hairpieces, but not the hat, are loose as well. All bought second hand though, so I don’t know how they were handled or stored then. 

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15 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

I notice some hair pieces can be very loose, especially some specific designs for me (Rex Dangervest / Long Ponytail / Sweet Mayhem) , and those were new figures.

This is not deterioration issue though, this is a quality / design aspect of new figures. The CMF fairytale princess hat was notoriously bad for staying on her head, for example.

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On 3/18/2020 at 3:41 PM, Vindicare said:

... That retro space guy from a few years back, his helmet is very loose...

Maybe they wanted to recreate the old figures exactly! I remember those original helmets sometimes being very loose, and they'd spin around the head so the astronaut or knight couldn't see.

OR they'd stick really well but the neck hole would be loose - getting a head out of a classic helmet is next to impossible, and probably how 95% of the chin straps got broken.

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On 3/18/2020 at 6:18 PM, Masquerade said:

Have you tried doing the nail varnish? I am tempted to but I just don’t want them to end up getting brittle and breaking.I hate being so OCD about this type of stuff.

 

I have used Humbrol Satin Cote on the male part of joints to tighten them and it works very well with no long-term damage. The trick it to apply it very thinly, allow it to dry thoroughly, try it and if necessary, add another layer.

27 minutes ago, 62Bricks said:

OR they'd stick really well but the neck hole would be loose - getting a head out of a classic helmet is next to impossible, and probably how 95% of the chin straps got broken.

You can remove stuck helmets safely and easily using a minifigure torso and cling film. Cheap cling film is best because it is thinner than the expensive stuff. Cover the minifigure’s neck stud with a layer of cling film, ease the head on and remove the helmet. If required, wear rubber kitchen/cleaning gloves to get more grip. If you find yourself pulling both the head and helmet off together, try again with two layers of cling film instead of one. Keep adding cling film layers as needed but one or two should do it.

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12 minutes ago, AmperZand said:

You can remove stuck helmets safely and easily using a minifigure torso and cling film. Cheap cling film is best because it is thinner than the expensive stuff. Cover the minifigure’s neck stud with a layer of cling film, ease the head on and remove the helmet. If required, wear rubber kitchen/cleaning gloves to get more grip. If you find yourself pulling both the head and helmet off together, try again with two layers of cling film instead of one. Keep adding cling film layers as needed but one or two should do it.

I'll try this, thanks! I sometimes have luck putting the head on a torso and then pulling it to one side slightly as I pull the helmet.

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15 hours ago, AmperZand said:

I have used Humbrol Satin Cote on the male part of joints to tighten them and it works very well with no long-term damage. The trick it to apply it very thinly, allow it to dry thoroughly, try it and if necessary, add another layer.

 

I’ve read on this and is it the same luster as lego? For some reason I’m a nit picker sadly :(

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11 hours ago, Masquerade said:

I’ve read on this and is it the same luster as lego? For some reason I’m a nit picker sadly :(

Yes, the sheen is identical to that of standard LEGO pieces.

In fact, the problem is not that you can see, it is that you cannot. That may not seem like an issue, but when you are applying very thin layers, you cannot see it on your brush (you should remove any excess from the brush or the applied coating will not be thin enough) or on the LEGO part as you cover it. A good way of knowing that it is being applied is to put some on a test piece of LEGO that you do not mind throwing away with the same stroke. After a few minutes, if you touch the test piece, you will feel the tackiness of the Satin Cote as it starts to dry.

Most joints, including minifigure ones, are hidden, so you will not see anything anyway.

 

Edited by AmperZand

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I do think the quality is deteriorating, and it's happened within the last few years. Sets I've bought recently have discolored pieces, pieces that don't fit as well as they used to, broken pieces, missing sticker sheets, and figures with arms that crack easily. I've gotten replacement parts for some of them but it's a troubling trend that I hope stops soon. 

run 3

Edited by juliaaguilar

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Oddly, I've had the opposite problem with minifigures from the late 1980's and early to mid 1990's.  The legs on some of them became stiff and difficult to move.  I have some newer minifigures from 2016 to the present, but have not had any problems with them yet.

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If you have older figures with loose joints, you can try wash them. I have noticed after doing my latest wash-up (10 kg of parts!), that some figures from late 80ies to early 90ies have regained stiffness. I was using mild detergent (soap or dishwasher) with a bit of vinegar cleaning agent added.

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On 3/18/2020 at 3:09 PM, Brandon Pea said:

I keep my minifigures and bricks in good condition. So these types of issues NEVER happen to me. 

Just wait.... even the best kept plastic deteriorates....

https://slate.com/culture/2009/07/a-generation-of-plastic-art-objects-are-degrading-like-overused-tupperware-can-they-be-saved.html

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1 hour ago, Brandon Pea said:

I have bricks from the 90s that are still in good condition. 

And I from the 1960s (unwarped Cellulose Acetate)... but I found that the Homemaker sets of the 1970s, even when kept in a dark dry basement for decades, have deteriorated in so many white bricks turning beige.  I think that the minfigures from China (mainly CMFs) are going to age badly... due to poorer quality controls (possibly lesser grade of plastic than used in Europe).

Your good condition LEGO parts will likely stay in great shape for decades... but over the long haul... all plastic has issues... eventually...  :wink:

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9 hours ago, LEGO Historian said:

The oldest LEGO pieces I own are about 35 years old.  Many blue and white pieces are discolored, and some have become brittle, but overall they've held up better than I would have expected from years of constant use.  

Part of "preserving" LEGO over the very long haul may be digitization of sets so that they can be replicated far in the future.  This has already been accomplished to some extent with the availability of instructions on the company's website, as well as images of instructions from very old sets posted to several independent websites.  Digital modeling software is also helpful. 

The biggest problem in the far future may be recreating LEGO pieces that are no longer in production.  Digital files detailing the dimensions, composition, and manufacturing process for such components would be necessary for future generations to recreate some classic sets.

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What I think will hurt LEGO bricks is TLGs idea of making bricks biodegradable... which might just start happening before they eventually hit the landfill.  :sceptic:

Old pre-1963 Cellulose Acetate bricks have a tendency to warp over time... which is why ABS replaced them.  But for some odd reason I have an old CA set that has kept its' shape for 60 years.  Must have remained in perfect climate over the last 6 decades.

 

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When I compare my old Lego dating from the 1980s with my new Lego from nowadays the old bricks seem to be much harder. The new bricks feel like soft. I am even afraid to damage them with my finger nails when dissassembling them.

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Has there been any move towards widespread use of "biodegradable" bricks?  

I remember a few years ago, there was a plant/foliage polybag that had pieces made of plant-based plastics, but I don't know if those are biodegradable, or if Lego continued to use that plastic formulation for anything going forward.

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