LEGO answers some questions about Quality

Recently the Ambassador program was given a new line of communication for dealing directly with the Quality department. A number of questions were submitted and here are the answers.

1. Instruction booklets come loose in the boxes. They sometimes get damaged during transit. If they were tightly packed in polybags, it could prevent such damages. Stickers also get wrinkled, they could be packed with instructions.

A. Yes we know and we have started to package building instructions, labels and textiles in all sets with more than 1000 pieces in a poly bag. The current solution is a quick and dirty one. Version 2 will be ready with-in the first 3 month of 2011.

2. Fans are having hard time choosing colors from instruction booklets. Black and dark grey are especially very hard to distinguish.

A: It is not only fans that have the issue. All of us have. The last 4 years we have tried to optimize this 2 or 3 times by adjusting the printing technique with no luck. For 2012 second half products we will introduce an out-line for black elements – cross fingers that it will help.

3. Injection marks on transparent parts are ugly, fans don’t find them suitable for building. Especially window/glass pieces require more attention about molding.

A: There have been made some changes but give us an overview of the elements and we can verify/show if they have been corrected

4. Slopes come with different surface textures. Some are completely smooth while others have grain on them. It would be better if they were standardized.

A: 2 – 3 years ago we ensured that all roof tails’ have the same surface. By an unknown reason back in 2003 the surface of roof tails was changed from rough to smooth. All set manufactured the last 2 years should have uniform roof tails

5. Studs on certain parts are sometimes solid and sometimes hollow. This should be standardized too.

A: Sorry no. A hollow stud are there either because we need that building function (a tool for the minifigure fits on to the hole) or because we for technical reasons cannot make the stud hollow from the back. Look at the studs from the back on a plate. The studs is hollow otherwise we cannot control the dimensions.

6. Small tires are covered with some greasy material. Dust sticks on them and it’s hard to clean it.

A: We need the grease in order to remove the part from the mould. Yes it tend to be sticky and we are constantly trying to improve the materials used for tiers as they give other technically challenges.

7. There is a major tone difference in same colors. Dark red, red and yellow are the most troublesome colors about this issue. Also, some pieces are translucent, especially red ones. They look too bright next to other parts in same color.

A: We are constantly improving our colors and many improvements have been made the last 3 – 4 years. Please judge the current quality based on set packaged the last 6 months and feedback on that as we want the right quality.

9. Figure heads or torsos are problematic. Some heads don’t fit on some torsos, they stay too loose.

a. We need some examples, and please do so in order for us to correct the moulds.

If you have any questions or quality issues that you would like me to forward on to LEGO, feel free to do so in the comments. If you have quality concerns, try to be very specific. Links to a picture help a lot. If you have an issue with a particular part, make sure you include the mold and cavity numbers from the element. They generally look something like “3-1″. This signifies the mold and cavity from which your part came. It is a lot harder for the Quality department to look for problem if they don’t know which mold or cavity is causing the issue.

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