kbalage

Technic hub upgrade is imminent & the Zetros gets more parts to fix it

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Here's a little story that I could not really squeeze in any of the current topics. Apparently the upgrade of the Technic hub with the screws can happen any time now, since all of the building instructions of the available Control+ sets were upgraded with the new version. This might also explain why most of these sets are out of stock currently on lego.com.

Additional fun fact - the Zetros will have a new version with more pieces (2110 -> 2129), providing fixes for some of the issues we've experienced with the original version, but not all of them! Details in my video:

 

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Very interesting! Has there been any other set before with similar upgrades to fix issues in the original release? At least for me it's the first time I see such an upgrade.

The new screwy hub will be an annoyance, but I guess there's not much they can do if the laws are such that battery boxes must require a tool to open.

Thanks for the good work on reporting these changes @kbalage!

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1 minute ago, howitzer said:

Very interesting! Has there been any other set before with similar upgrades to fix issues in the original release? At least for me it's the first time I see such an upgrade.

8043 comes to mind, bit I think that was more of a necessity.

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Great find.

About more sets changed, there are some sets with alternative parts lists, mostly color changes or something.

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1 hour ago, howitzer said:

Very interesting! Has there been any other set before with similar upgrades to fix issues in the original release? At least for me it's the first time I see such an upgrade.

I don't know about Technic, but I remember the LEGO Ideas Wall-E set had its neck redone. 

https://brickset.com/article/17707/this-is-the-official-wall•e-swivelling-head-fix

Spoiler

 

 

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Thanks for this investigation @kbalage, it explains the stock issues. My first theory was that TLG had a new sales record during the holiday season, but the hub replacement seams to be the real reason.

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Posted (edited)

Adding the screws to abide local toy safety rules is something TLG is basically forced to do, even though it will be a major pain for consumers. But it would have been the perfect opportunity to finally upgrade the hubs to have rechargable batteries so the hub can be recharged without opening the hub.

Edited by Gray Gear

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This news makes me glad I have been holding off getting this set, although it doesn't address all the issues, it is a step in the right direction.

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It's interesting to see TLG making those changes to the Zetros. Although I can't help but think that they probably wouldn't have bothered going to the effort if they weren't already being forced to update the instructions/packaging because of the new hubs... Maybe I'm just being cynical though :tongue:

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16 minutes ago, RiGi said:

It's interesting to see TLG making those changes to the Zetros. Although I can't help but think that they probably wouldn't have bothered going to the effort if they weren't already being forced to update the instructions/packaging because of the new hubs... Maybe I'm just being cynical though :tongue:

I have a similar feeling. Zetros is not the only official set with quirks. There are others but were less fortunate as they did not have this case

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2 hours ago, Gray Gear said:

Adding the screws to abide local toy safety rules is something TLG is basically forced to do, even though it will be a major pain for consumers. But it would have been the perfect opportunity to finally upgrade the hubs to have rechargable batteries so the hub can be recharged without opening the hub.

Stock models can't (most of the time) have rechargeable batteries because they create a huge logistical hassle due to the batteries' flammability. One option here would be to introduce a rechargeable battery pack that would be screwed to place and sold separately, which lessens the logistics hassle, as the whole set doesn't have to be treated as flammable.

---

This screw-cover is somewhat problematic also in that it makes the placement of the hub more limited, as a screwdriver now has to be able to fit in directly to the box. Would be a problem for example in the Volvo hauler, and I'm sure it'll be also problematic in MOC design...

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I do wonder what you'll get if you own the original version of the set and you report losing the building instructions.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, howitzer said:

The new screwy hub will be an annoyance, but I guess there's not much they can do if the laws are such that battery boxes must require a tool to open.

They could have made the screws kind of optional on top of the current lock mechanism but that’s not what it seems like on the images unfortunately.

4 hours ago, RiGi said:

Although I can't help but think that they probably wouldn't have bothered going to the effort if they weren't already being forced to update the instructions/packaging because of the new hubs...

Being even more cynical, I’d even speculate that Mercedes asked them to fix the doors and the hood because it was projecting a bad image of the truck. That could be why they did not bother with the rear axle, because it’s not visible. But hopefully the amount of negative feedback and possibly low sales also helped, and I guess people complained more about the doors than the rear axle.

3 hours ago, howitzer said:

This screw-cover is somewhat problematic also in that it makes the placement of the hub more limited, as a screwdriver now has to be able to fit in directly to the box. Would be a problem for example in the Volvo hauler, and I'm sure it'll be also problematic in MOC design...

That’s what I am thinking too, both of my alternates are a bit like the Volvo, no room to access the lower screws. Hope it can also be secured with 2 screws only.. And I hope this will be a pain for them in the future and finally they will be forced to make a step in the rechargeable direction.

6 hours ago, Gray Gear said:

But it would have been the perfect opportunity to finally upgrade the hubs to have rechargable batteries so the hub can be recharged without opening the hub.

Would be great to see that, but even then that alone would not simplify builds, as they’d still have to be prepared for regular batteries (accessible). And it’d require a bigger change of the hub, as the current one does not have a charging port. But I have the feeling there are other problems too, namely the shape is not good for housing (readily available) LiPo cells. Someone tried to make a home made insert, and 3x 3.6V LiPo cells didn’t fit in, only 2x, for which it is oversized, and can only provide 7.2V. I don’t know though if these LiPo cells come in various sizes or shapes as well that could be a better fit for the shape.

Edited by gyenesvi

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2 minutes ago, gyenesvi said:

Would be great to see that, but even then that alone would not simplify builds, as they’d still have to be prepared for regular batteries (accessible). And it’d require a bigger change of the hub, as the current one does not have a charging port. But I have the feeling there are other problems too, namely the shape is not good for housing (readily available) LiPo cells. Someone tried to make a home made insert, and 3x 3.6V LiPo cells didn’t fit in, only 2x, for which it is oversized, and can only provide 7.2V. I don’t know though if these LiPo cells come in various sizes or shapes as well that could be a better fit for the shape.

Lego and typical batteries don't mix well, all the battery boxes I can think of have had significant waste space, except maybe those housing AAA batteries (and those run out too quickly for bigger sets). LiPo can be made in almost any shape and size, but custom design would probably cost a lot and make the rechargeable insert too expensive for the retail market, so using a standard size would be better. Mass-produced LiPos come in AA size, but I'm not sure if it's usable here with the necessary controller electronics. Charging would indeed require significant changes in the hub, unless the charger cable was plugged directly in the battery housing, which would then have to include all the necessary electronics also for charging. Not sure about viability of this solution, but it too would eat some capacity from the battery and it would also have to communicate with the hub somehow. It appears that there's no easy solutions, which is to be expected, as I'm sure the people at TLG are well aware the problems with normal batteries.

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Aaand some of you thought the previous PF battery box was bad 😂

Seriously, at least the mounting points are more and better positioned, but you still have to take it out. And as I've found out the bad way /using a pf remote/ - batteries can and will leak. And those screws will make you notice it waaaay later than needed.

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6 hours ago, howitzer said:

they create a huge logistical hassle due to the batteries' flammability.

How on earth do these cell phone suppliers - and vacuum cleaner, tooth brush, laptop, ... suppliers cope with this hassle?

Best,
Thorsten 

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11 hours ago, howitzer said:

Very interesting! Has there been any other set before with similar upgrades to fix issues in the original release? At least for me it's the first time I see such an upgrade.

The 1989 Batmobile also had parts changed when they introduced the 2x6 tile, so that it would have a uniform polished exterior, rather than the matte 6x6 tile they used originally.

 

I found the video really interesting @kbalage. I've been watching a chunk of your videos recently and it's inspired me to try a few Technic sets. Thank you!

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7 hours ago, IA creations said:

So people with the original zetros got "screwed" =))?

I'd sat those who get the new version get screwed, as the hub will be less convenient to open and the saying makes more sense as a pun.

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1 hour ago, Toastie said:

How on earth do these cell phone suppliers - and vacuum cleaner, tooth brush, laptop, ... suppliers cope with this hassle?

Best,
Thorsten 

Samsung coped by doing a major product recall of the Note 7, if I recall. 

Don't lithium battery fires produce HF gas? 

 

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4 hours ago, Toastie said:

How on earth do these cell phone suppliers - and vacuum cleaner, tooth brush, laptop, ... suppliers cope with this hassle?

Best,
Thorsten 

They do, but in their case it is a kind of "unavoidable evil" possibly which TLG still wants not to jump in. 

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Does anyone know the actual specific regulation that requires batteries to be screwed into toys aimed at people who aren't toddlers?!

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6 hours ago, Toastie said:

How on earth do these cell phone suppliers - and vacuum cleaner, tooth brush, laptop, ... suppliers cope with this hassle?

Best,
Thorsten 

There are of course ways to transport all kinds of dangerous substances, but the more dangerous it is, the more expensive it gets. So as @Void_S commented, it's a necessary evil for the stuff you mentioned, though at least some of the vacuum cleaners and such still use NiMH or other less problematic battery types. For TLG it's a balancing act between cost and user satisfaction, for cell phone manufacturers such a balancing act doesn't exist, because there's no practical alternatives.

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The 5510 had a small update, there was an extra loose page in the instruction booklet with a small change in the instructions.

Edited by vliet

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1 hour ago, allanp said:

Does anyone know the actual specific regulation that requires batteries to be screwed into toys aimed at people who aren't toddlers?!

Should be EN IEC 62115 : 2020.

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