Ask a LEGO Fan

Color Quality

Posted in Product Quality & Safety by lfanquestions on September 13, 2009

Quinten wrote:

I recently assembled set 7630 (Front-End Loader) and noticed the same problem as one Brickset.com reviewer (reviewing 6193 Castle Building Set):

“. . . However mine came with a big flaw: the [y]ellow bricks included were not in the same [color]. One of the yellows is brighter than the other and seems to be made from a different material.”

What is the story behind the different shades of yellow?

Thanks

Dear Quinten,

Color differences have several causes.  The first difference could be from the type of plastic.  Certain elements, such as technic bricks and gears, require more durable plastic.  It is difficult for TLG to always match these colors with the other ABS plastic bricks.

The next difference could be mixing surplus bricks with new bricks.  An example would be a surplus of 1×3 yellow bricks made a year or two ago.  These bricks could be incorporated into the Front End Loader set.  Shades of yellow have changed over the past.  If you compare a yellow brick from the early to mid 1970’s it will have a different shade than a yellow brick from the mid 80’s.

Finally, the shades may vary from one brick to another due to the new molding process.  Yellow pigment is added to the ABS plastic during the molding process.  If too little is used, the bricks will have a semi-translucent appearance.  Heat also affects the pigment.  This is why smaller pieces such as 1×1 plates may have a darker shade than a 2×4 brick.  The new coloring process helps keep set prices lower.  Currently the process cannot guarantee color matching in different elements.  Hopefully TLG will fix these problems soon and raise color quality to a higher level.

Sincerely,
LFan

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