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Why do limbs break so easily?


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#1 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 11:39 AM

The telltale experience usually goes like this... you fit the balls in the sockets, and for that FIRST time, they usually fit together okay. Maybe on occasion, one could break, but pretty rarely. But, the second your imagination kicks in and you feel like making something different, they break as soon as you pry them apart.

 

...Why, Lego? Just why?

 

We've all been there, haven't we? This wasn't so much a problem with the older sets, but come 2006-onward, the thigh/upper arm beams have a dreadful tendency to break after being used but a few times.

 

In the case of figures like Hahli Mahri, some would say it was the color of the plastic used to mold some of these pieces that somehow made them weaker, but it's a problem with many such sets. In those last coupla' years, these pieces were given a new shape, and supposedly made more durable... yet, when I recently dug up my collection of figures from 2009 and began cannibalizing their parts to make some new figures (which I suppose I'll post photos of sometime), I was shocked and annoyed that just about EVERY SINGLE LIMB PIECE I REMOVED SUDDENLY HAD A CRACK IN IT. Now, with these new figures I've made.... every single limb has cracks in it. I'm definitely never going to take these guys apart again, and I almost feel afraid to even MOVE them now. I ended up sacrificing Matoro, Strakk and Gelu just to make a decent reimagining of Kopaka... dang.

 

This is really strange to me, because... I never, NEVER had this problem in those early years. Remember the Kaita? I must've disassembled and recombined the Toa Mata DOZENS of times, switching between their normal forms and the Kaita again and again because it was so cool.

 

Then there's the Toa Metru, my favorite canister set design of all. I was so wowed by how beautiful and well designed they were, I took them apart and rebuilt them again and again and again... and you know what? Not once, not EVER, did even a SINGLE socket piece break.

 

In those later years, we didn't see things like the Kaita as much. Oh sure, we'd sometimes see a combiner featured in a Lego magazine or something, but they never appeared in the instruction booklets of actual sets. We weren't ENCOURAGED to play around with those later sets this way. Some would say it's laziness on the designers part, some would say the pieces just don't quite mesh that way, but I think they were simply trying to prolong what they knew would happen sooner or later.

 

I mean, let's look back at the older socket pieces. All right, so, they have a more rounded shape, and they have all these gaps in them. Why is it that they seem SO MUCH STRONGER than the more solid, less gappy sockets of later years? Is it the quality of the plastic? It must be. I dunno. I guess the sockets were molded the way they were in later years because it was a simpler mold with less detail, so it was cheaper to produce. For us, though, the actual buyers, it wasn't a fair trade. Apparently, those older socket pieces are just a far more efficient design.

 

In any case, this is a nightmare for any moc makers. Just today, I joined Bricklink, which is where I'll be getting most of my moc making pieces from now on, and when looking through the Bionicle parts section... I noticed they had almost everything, with the exclusion of... limb pieces. While there's still plenty of armor to dress your existing figures up with, I find this lack of skeletal pieces quite disturbing, because the only conclusion I can draw from this bizarre absence of one of the most common Bionicle pieces out there is that most of them are broken and unfit to be sold.

 

....This is a pretty big problem... 'specially for someone like me who's already broken most of their spare limb pieces. What about you? Got any horror stories of your own to share?


Edited by NickonAquaMagna, Jan 25 2014 - 04:52 PM.

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#2 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 01:28 PM

I know how you feel. Let me introduce you to Lesovikk, one of my favorites, yet one of the worst horrors I ever laid eyes upon. The cracks. Oh, the cracks. My brother has Thok and one of the thighs broke, I'm talking about the socket.

 

It's gotta be a molding issue, I'm sure. The Toa Metru probably didn't break due to durable parts, but I never knew.


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#3 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 01:45 PM

I know how you feel. Let me introduce you to Lesovikk, one of my favorites, yet one of the worst horrors I ever laid eyes upon. The cracks. Oh, the cracks. My brother has Thok and one of the thighs broke, I'm talking about the socket.

 

It's gotta be a molding issue, I'm sure. The Toa Metru probably didn't break due to durable parts, but I never knew.

 

 

I think it's because, with the gaps in them, those older socket pieces were... in some weird way reenforced, because it was like having multiple smaller supports. With one solid blob of plastic, though, it's much easier for a single fracture to just tear its way through the whole thing. You'd think being less of a single, solid mass would make the older sockets weaker, but oddly enough, it was their strength. Like I said in the opening post, I think the change was a cost cutting measure... one that was VERY costly on OUR end of things.

 

Given the frankly disturbing lack of limbs and sockets on places like bricklink, it just makes me wonder how moc makers are supposed to make their Bionicle mocs in the first place once all those later sockets have broken and they have nothing to hold these figures together, anymore.


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#4 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 02:14 PM

 

I know how you feel. Let me introduce you to Lesovikk, one of my favorites, yet one of the worst horrors I ever laid eyes upon. The cracks. Oh, the cracks. My brother has Thok and one of the thighs broke, I'm talking about the socket.

 

It's gotta be a molding issue, I'm sure. The Toa Metru probably didn't break due to durable parts, but I never knew.

 

 

I think it's because, with the gaps in them, those older socket pieces were... in some weird way reenforced, because it was like having multiple smaller supports. With one solid blob of plastic, though, it's much easier for a single fracture to just tear its way through the whole thing. You'd think being less of a single, solid mass would make the older sockets weaker, but oddly enough, it was their strength. Like I said in the opening post, I think the change was a cost cutting measure... one that was VERY costly on OUR end of things.

 

Given the frankly disturbing lack of limbs and sockets on places like bricklink, it just makes me wonder how moc makers are supposed to make their Bionicle mocs in the first place once all those later sockets have broken and they have nothing to hold these figures together, anymore.

 

Yeah, they seemed much stronger than 2006+ sockets. I heard it costs a ton of money to make new molds, and 2006 was full of them, so maybe they couldn't afford stronger pieces?

 

Woah. That's a sad fact. Luckily, many people on here have compromised.


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#5 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 05:12 PM

Well, I've found the limb pieces.... they just weren't in the Bionicle section. Huh.


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#6 Offline Shadowhawk

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 08:09 PM

Yeah, I hear you talking. I think it's a pretty common problem. :P

 

Fortunately, though, if you're not a die-hard anti-HERO Factory sort of person, the newer HF equivalent of what used to be the basic BIONICLE 'hand' is much more durable than either of the old-school molds. I don't think you could break one if you tried.


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#7 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 08:21 PM

Yeah, I hear you talking. I think it's a pretty common problem. :P

 

Fortunately, though, if you're not a die-hard anti-HERO Factory sort of person, the newer HF equivalent of what used to be the basic BIONICLE 'hand' is much more durable than either of the old-school molds. I don't think you could break one if you tried.

 

Yes, and that is something I love about Hero Factory. Heck, I've been making CRAZY Mocs lately that I plan to show off once Invasion From Below hits the US.

 

However, there is one problem. The old armor pieces aren't compatible with the new limb pieces.


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#8 Offline The Kumquat Alchemist

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 09:53 PM

I know your pain.

 

This is how a normal MOCing session goes:

 

"Oh, hello Vamprah component, boy, I'd love to rebuild you! *snap* Okay, well, I'll just stick these Bohrok Kal feet of mine onto a MOC and, oh, wait, those are hairline cracks. Well then, perhaps I'll just make a pure Technic moc and WHY ARE THE +AXLE SLOTS SNAPPING APART ON ME YOU AREN'T EVEN A SOCKET, YOU AREN'T SUPPOSED TO BETRAY ME"

 

It doesn't help that the temperature varies wildly in my designated LEGO room, subjecting the plastic of my components to contractions and expansions far past what I'd like them to endure. Sure, I could just keep anything in danger of snapping or cracking unassembled, but that is far too much trouble, especially in the case of completed MOCs I want to display. Curse you, abnormally cold temperatures and under-insulated homes!


Edited by The Kumquat Alchemist, Jan 24 2014 - 10:08 PM.

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#9 Offline Councilor Manducus

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 11:13 PM

Them plastics are very brittle. That's why I have to handle the Glatorian, Phantoka, Swamps(?), and Hero Factory sets very delicately and with extra precaution. The hand(?) pieces break off very easily with a slight pull or snapping them on a ball joint.

 

Pretty much my reaction.


Edited by MaliceGhost, Jan 24 2014 - 11:40 PM.

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#10 Offline Ghabulous Ghoti

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Posted Jan 24 2014 - 11:55 PM

I felt that '06 and '07 (minus the lime green) weren't that bad. '08 onward is when LEGO just stopped caring and the parts started to suck. The new socket pieces lacked the cool design of the older ones, and they snapped SO easily and just felt cheap.


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#11 Offline fishers64

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Posted Jan 25 2014 - 12:06 AM



However, there is one problem. The old armor pieces aren't compatible with the new limb pieces.

 

 

Perhaps these parts could help, or is it too tacky? (If I recall correctly, the old armor connected via technic pins, and these parts have the pin holes, so wondering...)


Edited by fishers64, Jan 25 2014 - 12:08 AM.

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#12 Offline Ziontyro Metalhead

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Posted Jan 25 2014 - 12:32 AM

The main problem is the way the plastic was molded. If you look on one of the old silver sockets, you see that the plastic reaches the end of the socket last, creating a weak point. This is likely to break if the socket isn't sturdy enough. Though the place where the last of the plastic meets can varry, (that's how you get some fractures on the side of the socked instead of the top. 

 

I believe that this is the main reason why they break so easily, and may have been avoided if they placed the injection sites differently.


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#13 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Jan 25 2014 - 09:02 AM

 



However, there is one problem. The old armor pieces aren't compatible with the new limb pieces.

 

 

Perhaps these parts could help, or is it too tacky? (If I recall correctly, the old armor connected via technic pins, and these parts have the pin holes, so wondering...)

 

 

The balls get in the way. Many pieces just cant' fit around them.


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#14 Offline LEGOLEGOLEGO1234

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Posted Jan 25 2014 - 03:16 PM

NONE of my pieces have EVER broken. You guys must have very bad luck! I buy bulk lots of bionicles that have been broken up and I put them together and nothing ever breaks. I often come across these strange broken mutilated pieces that look like they've been set on fire. Anyone else ever had that before?


Edited by LEGOLEGOLEGO1234, Jan 25 2014 - 03:45 PM.

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#15 Offline Arzaki

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Posted Jan 25 2014 - 08:15 PM

Well, I once actually somehow many managed to break off a BALL JOINT. Not the socket piece, a legit BALL JOINT. Like the ones on a Toa Metru waist. And every figure and after them. I was sad, because it was a bright red one, and I think only two sets have that color.


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#16 Offline Waaja

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Posted Jan 26 2014 - 05:42 AM

For me, I guess I've learnt my lesson after handling Inika Kongu too much, and now generally MOC using pieces from 2005 and earlier. I'd take armour/ weapons from later sets, but I generally seldom touch them so they are well preserved. BUT a lack of actually using them cause them to become stiff and creaky, and just moving them can cause them to break (ok, my only exmaple was my knockoff toa nuparu, but still). I guess this problem was solved when HF 2.0 came.

 

I have to dispute on the 'unbreakability' of pre-2006 limbs though. Majority of the limbs I use for MOCing have cracks on them, but here's the difference: pre-2006 limbs rarely crack any further, they're sturdy enough for their crack to not agravate. Post-2006 limbs, however, tend to aggravate in cracks, such that continued use of a cracked piece can eventually lead to the limb piece breaking apart at the socket (ugh...). This became worse with the Phantoka-type limbs, which although was supposed to make the limbs more tighter, encouraged snapping even more due to increased pressure at the socket.


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#17 Offline Aanchir

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Posted Jan 26 2014 - 04:46 PM

Well, even ignoring the lime joints issue in 2007, the 7M double ball cups were always more fragile than the 5M double ball cups from my experience (a number of my Toa Inika have cracked limbs). It's possible that the lack of "grooves" like on the classic Y-joints failed to give the 7M double ball cups or any of the 2008-2010 ball cups room for the plastic to expand or contract when the parts were snapped together or apart. Thus, breakage was common with these parts.

The question then becomes, why were the parts ever designed like this? Why not design them with the same grooves on the "flat" sides as classic Y-joints and double ball cups? After pulling some of my oldest BIONICLE sets off the shelves about a year ago I started to formulate a theory. Some of my oldest sets like the Exo-Toa or Toa Mata Kopaka have VERY weak friction in their Y-joints compared to when they were new. In contrast, the friction in most of my 2008-2010 joints, besides those which have broken, is still incredibly strong. It should be noted that when the Y-joint was redesigned in 2008, the "friction joint" from the 2004-2007 titan sets was also discontinued. While the 2008 and 2009 titan sets DID tend to have reinforced shoulder and hip joints, the 2006 and 2007 titan sets had even used friction joints for some already-reinforced joints like the knees.

Keeping the flat sides of the joints solid, with no unnecessary grooves, might have been a measure to prevent loss of friction over time, rather than something related to the stability of the joints. If the plastic doesn't expand or contract as much when a ball is inserted or removed, this could reduce "cold flow" in the plastic and keep the joints tighter for a longer period of time. The changes in the shape of the ball cup itself in 2008 could have been for a similar reason. Needless to say, these changes had a nasty side-effect, and it wasn't until 2010 that the Ben 10 Alien Force sets managed to deal with this issue to an extent by reinforcing the ball cup itself with thicker supports. Finally in 2011 we got what I'd almost consider a perfect ball cup. It has smooth, clean geometries with no jagged edges, attaches and detaches from a ball with a gentle "click", and maintains its friction fairly well in the long term even when supporting a lot of weight.

In any case, ball cups are under some of the most stress of any LEGO connection points by nature of their function. They need to form an incredibly tight connection with a ball so they have enough friction to support the weight of a model while still being able to pivot freely. So it's no wonder that they tend to break more than other parts that are under less stress. We may never know the exact reasons for the design changes that they undertook over the years, but in the very least those problems are now behind us, with modern ball cups having both strong friction and sturdy designs.

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#18 Offline Manterax Prime

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Posted Jan 26 2014 - 05:36 PM

I had the same problem. I'll let the jar with the parts speak for itself.


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#19 Offline Raph

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 08:53 AM

it also depends on how you connect or disconect your limbs. limbs on 2001-2005 sets were made in lego denmark so they are better than these made in 2006-2010.

they were made in czes republik and china so the are little worse....but still it's depends on how you use them....


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#20 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 09:20 AM

it also depends on how you connect or disconect your limbs. limbs on 2001-2005 sets were made in lego denmark so they are better than these made in 2006-2010.

they were made in czes republik and china so the are little worse....but still it's depends on how you use them....

That's not true. The only Bionicle sets I've seen that had any parts from China were the Inika and Piraka in 2006, and since Chinese production was on a much smaller scale back then I imagine the only parts produced in those sets were the electronic elements (which would also explain why no parts were made in China in subsequent years, even as Chinese production became more prevalent in other themes). There were parts made in the Czech Republic since 2007, but that probably had little to do with the quality, especially considering that the problems disappeared when Hero Factory introduced better joints in 2011 (with production in the Czech Republic continuing to this day). The problems with limbs (at least, the ones that weren't a problem from the start) were primarily due to a bad batch in 2007 and poor engineering in the 2008 redesign.

This sort of comment is the reason I take any comments about low-quality parts from China (or any attempts to conflate production location with product quality) with a grain of salt. It's difficult to separate the fact from the hype when so many people make assumptions without knowing all the facts.


Edited by Lyichir, Jan 27 2014 - 09:24 AM.

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#21 Offline AdaptingChaos

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 12:40 PM

I too have experienced multiple problems with the later Technic/BIONICLE joints. However I never had a problem with the Lesovikk I bought from a BZPower seller and my Hahli Mahri only cracked once.. the joint near her head. However my Phantoka are cracked but still strong enough to support movement. My Glatorian are also in perfect condition I would say, besides Vastus. 

Anyways here a tutorial on YouTube that explains an alternative on how to "fix" the cracked joints: 

Hope that helps! :D (BTW not my video)


Edited by AdaptingChaos, Jan 27 2014 - 12:43 PM.

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#22 Offline Manterax Prime

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 03:47 PM

it also depends on how you connect or disconect your limbs. limbs on 2001-2005 sets were made in lego denmark so they are better than these made in 2006-2010.

they were made in czes republik and china so the are little worse....but still it's depends on how you use them....

 

"Made In China" does not = bad quality.


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#23 Offline Emotionless

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 03:55 PM

Well, I once actually somehow many managed to break off a BALL JOINT. Not the socket piece, a legit BALL JOINT. Like the ones on a Toa Metru waist. And every figure and after them. I was sad, because it was a bright red one, and I think only two sets have that color.

It happened to me too, but not on that specific part.

 

I dug up Krika and he's riddled with cracks. I had to replace his arm with a gray one because it was too loose! He's cyborg Krika now. Same with Gorast. Three of her limbs cracked, so now she's a cyborg too. Curse those specific Agori arms/legs!


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#24 Offline Wazdakka

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 05:24 PM

Well, even ignoring the lime joints issue in 2007, the 7M double ball cups were always more fragile than the 5M double ball cups from my experience (a number of my Toa Inika have cracked limbs). It's possible that the lack of "grooves" like on the classic Y-joints failed to give the 7M double ball cups or any of the 2008-2010 ball cups room for the plastic to expand or contract when the parts were snapped together or apart. Thus, breakage was common with these parts.

The question then becomes, why were the parts ever designed like this? Why not design them with the same grooves on the "flat" sides as classic Y-joints and double ball cups? After pulling some of my oldest BIONICLE sets off the shelves about a year ago I started to formulate a theory. Some of my oldest sets like the Exo-Toa or Toa Mata Kopaka have VERY weak friction in their Y-joints compared to when they were new. In contrast, the friction in most of my 2008-2010 joints, besides those which have broken, is still incredibly strong. It should be noted that when the Y-joint was redesigned in 2008, the "friction joint" from the 2004-2007 titan sets was also discontinued. While the 2008 and 2009 titan sets DID tend to have reinforced shoulder and hip joints, the 2006 and 2007 titan sets had even used friction joints for some already-reinforced joints like the knees.

Keeping the flat sides of the joints solid, with no unnecessary grooves, might have been a measure to prevent loss of friction over time, rather than something related to the stability of the joints. If the plastic doesn't expand or contract as much when a ball is inserted or removed, this could reduce "cold flow" in the plastic and keep the joints tighter for a longer period of time. The changes in the shape of the ball cup itself in 2008 could have been for a similar reason. Needless to say, these changes had a nasty side-effect, and it wasn't until 2010 that the Ben 10 Alien Force sets managed to deal with this issue to an extent by reinforcing the ball cup itself with thicker supports. Finally in 2011 we got what I'd almost consider a perfect ball cup. It has smooth, clean geometries with no jagged edges, attaches and detaches from a ball with a gentle "click", and maintains its friction fairly well in the long term even when supporting a lot of weight.

In any case, ball cups are under some of the most stress of any LEGO connection points by nature of their function. They need to form an incredibly tight connection with a ball so they have enough friction to support the weight of a model while still being able to pivot freely. So it's no wonder that they tend to break more than other parts that are under less stress. We may never know the exact reasons for the design changes that they undertook over the years, but in the very least those problems are now behind us, with modern ball cups having both strong friction and sturdy designs.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't entirely digest all of this - what are you basically telling us? 


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#25 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Jan 27 2014 - 06:04 PM

 

Well, even ignoring the lime joints issue in 2007, the 7M double ball cups were always more fragile than the 5M double ball cups from my experience (a number of my Toa Inika have cracked limbs). It's possible that the lack of "grooves" like on the classic Y-joints failed to give the 7M double ball cups or any of the 2008-2010 ball cups room for the plastic to expand or contract when the parts were snapped together or apart. Thus, breakage was common with these parts.

The question then becomes, why were the parts ever designed like this? Why not design them with the same grooves on the "flat" sides as classic Y-joints and double ball cups? After pulling some of my oldest BIONICLE sets off the shelves about a year ago I started to formulate a theory. Some of my oldest sets like the Exo-Toa or Toa Mata Kopaka have VERY weak friction in their Y-joints compared to when they were new. In contrast, the friction in most of my 2008-2010 joints, besides those which have broken, is still incredibly strong. It should be noted that when the Y-joint was redesigned in 2008, the "friction joint" from the 2004-2007 titan sets was also discontinued. While the 2008 and 2009 titan sets DID tend to have reinforced shoulder and hip joints, the 2006 and 2007 titan sets had even used friction joints for some already-reinforced joints like the knees.

Keeping the flat sides of the joints solid, with no unnecessary grooves, might have been a measure to prevent loss of friction over time, rather than something related to the stability of the joints. If the plastic doesn't expand or contract as much when a ball is inserted or removed, this could reduce "cold flow" in the plastic and keep the joints tighter for a longer period of time. The changes in the shape of the ball cup itself in 2008 could have been for a similar reason. Needless to say, these changes had a nasty side-effect, and it wasn't until 2010 that the Ben 10 Alien Force sets managed to deal with this issue to an extent by reinforcing the ball cup itself with thicker supports. Finally in 2011 we got what I'd almost consider a perfect ball cup. It has smooth, clean geometries with no jagged edges, attaches and detaches from a ball with a gentle "click", and maintains its friction fairly well in the long term even when supporting a lot of weight.

In any case, ball cups are under some of the most stress of any LEGO connection points by nature of their function. They need to form an incredibly tight connection with a ball so they have enough friction to support the weight of a model while still being able to pivot freely. So it's no wonder that they tend to break more than other parts that are under less stress. We may never know the exact reasons for the design changes that they undertook over the years, but in the very least those problems are now behind us, with modern ball cups having both strong friction and sturdy designs.

 

I'm sorry, I didn't entirely digest all of this - what are you basically telling us? 

 

He's suggesting that the redesigned ball cups of 2008 onward were more fragile because they weren't meant to address the fragility of the 2007 ball cups (which were perceived as a fluke), but rather to address the problem of old-style ball cups losing friction over time. Hence they were redesigned with a tighter connection (one that didn't flex as easily as the older style with slots), which only aggravated the problems with fragility.

Short of a structural analysis of the parts or an official statement from a Lego part designer we can't really confirm that this theory is correct, but it does explain why the 7m double ball cups were more fragile than others since their introduction in 2005, and why Lego would introduce a new style of ball cup in 2008 that was, by all accounts, more fragile than previous designs.


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#26 Offline ---Kopaka Nuva---

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Posted Feb 11 2014 - 11:03 AM

Heres my idea for a good reinforced socket, i photoshopped some hero factory limbs to make this.

 

socket.jpg


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#27 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Feb 11 2014 - 11:59 AM

Heres my idea for a good reinforced socket, i photoshopped some hero factory limbs to make this.

 

socket.jpg

 

That looks splendid. It's a pity they haven't made a piece like this, along with one that has a ball on one end. It would SO EASILY integrate the Hero Factory and Bionicle building systems together on an unprecedented level.


Edited by NickonAquaMagna, Feb 11 2014 - 12:00 PM.

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#28 Offline Akuna Toa of Sonics

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Posted Feb 11 2014 - 03:59 PM

2007's lime green molds were easily the worst. Was it a bad batch or something that caused them to break so easily?

Anyway, 2008-2010's sockets were pretty brittle, too, but surprisingly, all of my Av-toran limbs have held out. As for that above picture, I'm surprised that Lego hasn't come up with a thigh mold like this yet. It would be among the most versatile Hero Factory pieces, along with the 2.0 torso.


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#29 Offline Great Being Velika

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 04:58 PM

The ones that used to break the most for me were mostly 2008-'09 sets. Cheaper plastic was the downfall for them.


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#30 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 05:05 PM

The ones that used to break the most for me were mostly 2008-'09 sets. Cheaper plastic was the downfall for them.


Except that the brittleness of 2008 joints had nothing to do with cheap plastic. It was a flaw in the geometries of the joint redesign, because it made the brittleness of previous joints worse.

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#31 Offline Great Being Velika

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 05:22 PM

 

The ones that used to break the most for me were mostly 2008-'09 sets. Cheaper plastic was the downfall for them.


Except that the brittleness of 2008 joints had nothing to do with cheap plastic. It was a flaw in the geometries of the joint redesign, because it made the brittleness of previous joints worse.

 

Yeah. I did notice that they redesigned the joints, but to the best of my knowledge, the only ones from '07 that would break on a regular basis were the lime green ones. You're saying that Lego actually made them all WORSE when they redesigned them?


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#32 Offline Lyichir

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 05:59 PM

The ones that used to break the most for me were mostly 2008-'09 sets. Cheaper plastic was the downfall for them.


Except that the brittleness of 2008 joints had nothing to do with cheap plastic. It was a flaw in the geometries of the joint redesign, because it made the brittleness of previous joints worse.

Yeah. I did notice that they redesigned the joints, but to the best of my knowledge, the only ones from '07 that would break on a regular basis were the lime green ones. You're saying that Lego actually made them all WORSE when they redesigned them?


The lime ones were the ones with the greatest tendency to break (due to a large batch of lime parts that did not cool properly), but the 7m double ball cups were more brittle than the other "rectangular" varieties with the slits even before then. Then in 2008 all styles of ball cups were changed to a new version without slits (it's not clear why, but my brother has hypothesized that the newer versions provided a tighter connection but unintentionally were put under more stress as a result). "Cheap plastic" didn't enter into the equation in any year, since production errors and design flaws don't reduce costs for Lego at any stage, and the plastic formulation remained the same throughout.

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#33 Offline Pupwa21

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 06:59 PM

Yeah, I hear you talking. I think it's a pretty common problem. :P
 
Fortunately, though, if you're not a die-hard anti-HERO Factory sort of person, the newer HF equivalent of what used to be the basic BIONICLE 'hand' is much more durable than either of the old-school molds. I don't think you could break one if you tried.


I broke one. Pic later, need to find it.

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#34 Offline The Kumquat Alchemist

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 07:10 PM

 

Yeah, I hear you talking. I think it's a pretty common problem. :P
 
Fortunately, though, if you're not a die-hard anti-HERO Factory sort of person, the newer HF equivalent of what used to be the basic BIONICLE 'hand' is much more durable than either of the old-school molds. I don't think you could break one if you tried.


I broke one. Pic later, need to find it.

 

 

Well, it had to happen to someone, someday. :o

 

Nonetheless, at such a low breakage rate, they're on par or better than the 2000-2007 BIONICLE socket joints.


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#35 Offline Great Being Velika

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Posted Feb 21 2014 - 09:14 PM

 

 

 

The ones that used to break the most for me were mostly 2008-'09 sets. Cheaper plastic was the downfall for them.


Except that the brittleness of 2008 joints had nothing to do with cheap plastic. It was a flaw in the geometries of the joint redesign, because it made the brittleness of previous joints worse.

 

Yeah. I did notice that they redesigned the joints, but to the best of my knowledge, the only ones from '07 that would break on a regular basis were the lime green ones. You're saying that Lego actually made them all WORSE when they redesigned them?

 


The lime ones were the ones with the greatest tendency to break (due to a large batch of lime parts that did not cool properly), but the 7m double ball cups were more brittle than the other "rectangular" varieties with the slits even before then. Then in 2008 all styles of ball cups were changed to a new version without slits (it's not clear why, but my brother has hypothesized that the newer versions provided a tighter connection but unintentionally were put under more stress as a result). "Cheap plastic" didn't enter into the equation in any year, since production errors and design flaws don't reduce costs for Lego at any stage, and the plastic formulation remained the same throughout.

 

That's completely my mistake then. I was just jumping to conclusions. Come to think of it, I remember my redesigned joints did hold better than the old ones.


Edited by The Real Slim Shady, Feb 21 2014 - 09:16 PM.

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#36 Offline Drakmanka

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Posted Feb 25 2014 - 08:17 PM

While I've run into this quite often, I've found that usually even a cracked socket joint will still hold on to a ball joint well enough. Certain locations for cracks weaken the grip of the socket worse than others, but usually they still can function.

I will admit that the older pieces don't have this problem as much as newer ones, but in my line of work I see, literally, thousands of limb pieces every week. Most of them, from all over the set timeline, are in good condition. And these are USED pieces.

The only thing I can think of is that perhaps environment also plays a part in it. I live in a very temperate climate with higher-than-average humidity levels, and though my Ehlek and Hahli Mahri sets both needed replacement parts for nearly all their light-green limb pieces, most of my newer sets have held up well. No fatal cracks, even if about 35-40% of my sets' joints have cracks.

 

By the same token, I've seen millions of standard LEGO bricks - most of which were in extremely good shape, even if they were twenty to thirty years old.

In the end, my general conclusion is that the ball-and-socket joints are simply more fragile.

There are some ways of gently taking the joints back apart that I've also found to lengthen piece strength, such as slowly bending it at an awkward angle until the joint releases.

 

One last note for you, from one MOC-builder to another - If you're looking to get pieces, look up a store called Bricks And Minifigs. Just use Google, it should come up. You should be able to get a good variety of pieces from them, whether by visiting in person or ordering a bulk lot to be shipped to you.


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#37 Offline NickonAquaMagna

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 08:52 AM

One last note for you, from one MOC-builder to another - If you're looking to get pieces, look up a store called Bricks And Minifigs. Just use Google, it should come up. You should be able to get a good variety of pieces from them, whether by visiting in person or ordering a bulk lot to be shipped to you.

 

I've looked it up, and... I didn't get much information. I was hoping there'd be some kind of online catalog like on Bricklink that I could use to view their inventory of pieces, but I couldn't find any such thing. Do they have everything? How much do individual pieces cost?


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#38 Offline Drakmanka

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Posted Feb 27 2014 - 07:01 PM

Hmmm, on that note, I don't think they sell online. *shot*

I do know that usually they will ship bulk pieces, of sufficient quantity, if you call them up and ask. Individual pieces, however, might be a bit trickier. Buying from them in person, individual pieces usually go for about fifty US cents. I don't know how much an extra shipping fee would make that, however.

As far as what kinds of pieces they have, it varies. They have a good supply of "Skeletal" pieces, though, in a wide variety of colors. It's a seek-and-find sort of operation as far as getting pieces in person goes, they don't inventory individual pieces. Masks, armor, heads, torsos, "hand" pieces, and feet are all also in the mix.


Edited by Drakmanka, Feb 27 2014 - 07:04 PM.

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#39 Offline dragonzrmetal

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Posted Mar 26 2014 - 06:35 PM

I have few problems with cracking in the UK, occasionally the black socket pieces need replacing. I suppose it must be climate, because I have a mixture of Bionicles from the storyline. The only cracked piece I think I have is the end of Tahu Star's sword!


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#40 Offline Pomegranate

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Posted Apr 01 2014 - 12:48 AM

In my experience, all sorts of pieces are equally prone to breaking and shattering and snapping when you have a younger sibling  :mellow: 

I'm familiar with the notoriously brittle lime pieces of '07, and the poorly designed sockets from the following years, but I've had socket pieces break from all different years. I think after heavy use or sitting in your box in a stressful position or with a lot of pressure on them for extended periods of time just weakens them, and when ya snap out a ball joint the wrong way.. pop, there it goes.

I suppose it's what they deserve, though, all those years pinching my little kid fingers when I didn't have the strength to connect ball and socket pieces without applying superhuman effort. My whole body would shake and I would scrunch up my face and then POP they'd snap into place and it'd be so loud and so sudden that I'd get startled. Childhood was difficult for a little shrimp like me, even LEGOs were hard to play with :P


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