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Misprinted LEGO elements – annoying or unique?

by admin on May 15, 2012

in Community Articles

(Written by Tobymacboy)

Did you ever have to call LEGO Customer Service due to missing, broken, or misprinted LEGO elements? What did you think? I ran into some issues lately, so I thought to share my experience, then I invite you to share yours in the comment section below. 😉

Here is my story: Ever since I saw a picture of the #9494 LEGO Star Wars Anakin’s Jedi Interceptor in 2011 I wanted to get it. A few weeks ago I was finally able to buy it. Yay! I was so happy when I was opening the bags, viewing the cool minifigs, and building the set. However when I put R2-D2 together, I found some major misprint on its head! 😕

As you can see on the picture, the printing was completely misaligned and messy. (You can click on the image for a larger view.) Of course I called LEGO Customer Service to request a replacement piece. I also looked online and found some other misprints in 2012 LEGO sets reported by others. Don’t get me wrong; I love LEGO and everything about it, but a major amount of misprints isn’t something to ignore for an expensive toy. 😐

On FBTB.net a member posted about the new LEGO Star Wars clone/trooper head being misprinted with a “sunburned” face. Here is the link to the original discussion and the picture of the misprinted head is below:

On Flickr there is a whole group dedicated to problems with LEGO elements and minifigures, where LEGO fans share some really interesting misprints, molding issues and uniquely misshaped LEGO parts:

Here is what the LEGO Complaining group says: “We all know that LEGO is possibly one of the best building toys ever made, but let’s face it – sometimes things go wrong. Some themes and sets are a disaster (oh, say Galidor or Jack Stone for instance). Sudden color changes and poor quality control can be a pain. Set inventories can be incorrect just when you need to count on them. Well, here’s where AFOLs can come together and have their voices heard. You can relate your experiences here and post pictures of any problems you have had with LEGO elements or the LEGO Company.”

Going back to my story; I later discovered that my R2-D2’s torso was misprinted too! It was harder to spot, but I did notice it after comparing it to the official picture. See pictures below:

This is the first time I ran into a LEGO misprint, and this is the fourth time I have had to request a new part from LEGO Customer Service; the #5891 LEGO Apple Tree House was missing a piece, my brother’s #7931 LEGO Star Wars T-6 Jedi Shuttle was missing a piece, then R2-D2’s had a misprinted head, and torso. I hope these kinds of mistakes don’t happen too often. But if you do run into any issues you can call LEGO Customer Service and they will send you replacement parts.

How about you? Did you ever run into issues like misprints and missing parts in your LEGO sets? Did you find the misprint annoying? Or perhaps considered it unique? I know that some misprinted, mis-molded and mis-colored parts are highly collectible and can sell for a pretty penny (if the owner decides to part with them). Let me know what you think! :)

I’m a TFOL (Teen-Fan-of-LEGO) and this is my second article here. Thanks for reading! You may also like to check out my previous post: How to Make LEGO Chocolate… Yum!!!  :roll:

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

DX ZX KENDO NRG PWR JAY-MOUTH OF LIGHTNING May 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

ya they do have misprints sometimes (btw I WAS THE FIRST TO COMMENT!! 😆 :mrgreen: 😆 )

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Gabriel May 15, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I’ve only had two experiences. Once I got a minifigure that was missing his hands :O but that wasn’t really a misprint. Another time I got a Techinic beam that was supposed to be dark grey, but was marbled dark and light grey. It’s pretty cool looking.

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Nya ZX May 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

do you know that i have a lot of missing part on my lego Town Hall and ther are a lot of missing :( i am dserpoinit about it and i can not done the lego Town Hall by lot of missing and you know what i do? i go get a replase parts that are wone color and call the LEGO Customer Service and tell tham that i have a lots of missing parts and than the LEGO Customer Service sent some missing parts that i tell them. that is it of my lego store about my lego lots of missing parts :) 😉 :mrgreen: 😀 8) 😆 😕

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Tobymacboy May 15, 2012 at 10:52 AM

What minifig was it? and can you add a picture of your technic beam? BTW THNX FER COMMENTS!

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admin May 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Here is my favorite misprinted part. It is a LEGO Troll head from the Fantasy Era sets. The white “war-paint” looks perfect! (It is actually printed like that; it is not a color imperfection in the plastic.) When I first got it, I thought it was made like that on purpose. Then I found out I was the only one with it! I have gotten several $50 offers for it, but I rather have this special troll than the $$$. 😉

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admin May 15, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Oh, I forgot to mention that I also had one of the Princess Leia minifigs with the mis-molded smooth hair. I thought it was ugly, but collectors loved it. I sold mine for $100. Now the price is even higher; somewhere around $250-$300! :roll:

Here is the link to the special Leia fig: http://www.bricklink.com/catalogPG.asp?M=sw175a

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Tobymacboy May 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

It also looks lik the leia has smaller eyes and lips are misprinted also . They look smaller than the leia I have. I would have kept the defective leia. What set did she come in? I have the troll head . It comes in monster 4 .

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admin May 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The Leia with the smooth hair came as an alternative in Tantive IV. In otherwords it didn’t come in every one of those sets. Just occasionally showed up. That’s why it is so expensive. :roll:

I’m not sure what you mean about the troll head. As far as I know there is no Fantasy Era set called Monster 4. 😕

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Tobymacboy May 15, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Monster 4 is one of those LEGO Games. Google it.

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admin May 15, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Oh, the Monster Game! But those are just regular troll heads. Not ones with war-paint. 😉

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gid617 May 15, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I’ve never had a misprint I though was serous. My Rex minifigure (from the Power miners line) had his beard a little off, but I actually liked that. And some times the ninja outfits are a little too dark or light for my liking.

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Kevinhink May 15, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Some misprints are kinda neat, the troll head above is fun. I also have a few of the generic clone heads with eyes looking in different directions as shown in the last photo in the article. But when I picked up a copy of 4737 Quiddith Match I was disappointed to see a Madam Hooch face misprint. The red lipstick was completly off of the mouth where it almost resembled a red moustache. I actually ended up buying a second set and it had the exact same issue… moral of the story- yes, letting customer service know is very important. They can properly document and address these issues to ensure it is kept to a minimum. Not to mention sending out a replacement. Neat post!

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admin May 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Kevin, you are being too nice buying a second set due to a misprint! Yeah, those clone heads are notorious for looking at every direction! I think it is actually quite fun though! They are the most spacey clones ever! :roll:

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Tobymacboy May 15, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I dont buy clone wars sets because of the bulging gigantin eyes. And seeing the clone eyes misprint is actually realy hard to do!

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studless August 3, 2012 at 12:45 PM

I have at least 1 clone head with eyes going the wrong direction 😉
I want to find more!!! It would be awesome for my stop motion :)

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Lord Ghirahim May 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Hey, I thought it was no problem when my White house had missing pieces! I demand for the epic dragon battle!!!

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Lord Ghirahim May 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Also my Zane DX, which I actually haven’t taken apart yet, has a really light dragon on his chest. That one came with the spinner. The other Zane DX I have has a much darker and shiny dragon.

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nace10 May 29, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Like yor Gravitar!!! 😎

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Tobymacboy May 15, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Oh and admin , can you edit the post , you put “9495 jedi interceptor” when it is actually 9494

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admin May 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Oops, fixed! I was never good with numbers! 😳

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Nya ZX May 15, 2012 at 3:13 PM

don’t say that you are good at numbers imvein when you are contine the numbers ok admin 😉

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Ashton6460 May 15, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I’ve got a storm trooper torso that has a ”blurry” looking belt.
All of my clones have eyes pointing in all kinds of directions! 😆

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studless August 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

nice

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Nick Nox May 15, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I noticed some of the printed parts of the recent Kingdoms-Joust set weren’t very good. I base my remarks on two sets I bought (both from Europe not U.S.A.). The gold and red pattern on both queen’s base dress-piece is muddy and not crisp. One black horse bard has a small silver smudge. Several of the faces are lightly printed as though they have had playwear. I have seen better printings of the gold lion emblem on shields on other sets. And finally, the white sections on the red horse bard are, again, very thinly painted giving the (previously discussed elsewhere) ‘pink’ look to the whites – the effect you get when you put a very thin white over red. The other figs wre perfect. I’ve not had any grumbles about the printed parts before so I dont know what happened with this batch! 😮

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Sarah May 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

I’ve never noticed any misprints, but I’ve heard the issue is increasing, especially with Batman’s head not aligning with the headpiece. So I’ll be keeping my eyes open in the next couple of months with all the new sets being released.

I did get a lot of the Pirates of Caribbean sets that had the wrong color of gold pieces and bars. We contacted customer service and got the right color. Pearl gold versus metallic gold.

Otherwise, only had issues with missing pieces, but those are easy to get.

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Tobymacboy May 18, 2012 at 4:59 PM

U guys aren’t guna believe this , I ordered a new r2 head from lego direct and when it got here , it was misprinted also!!!!!!!!!

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admin May 18, 2012 at 5:06 PM

That’s sad. I would suggest to request another one. These things should be reported and corrected. If we don’t tell them they won’t know. 😐

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stewbrick901 June 16, 2012 at 11:06 AM

I’ve never ran into a misprinted minifig (thankfully!) but I HAVE ran into some missing pieces. I lost a piece of glass for the yellow bus from #7641 City Corner (LEGO City). I didn’t call LEGO services (rookie mistake!), because it was my first weeks rediscovering LEGO, and just filled the space with white bricks. And those white bricks are still there to this day.

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Lego Star Wars Beta May 18, 2012 at 10:44 PM

hey also there are misprinted boba fetts that are wrong all the way.

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Matt March 8, 2014 at 6:25 PM

ya man, i actually have a totally screwed up boba fett that came with his ship. I have been wondering if it is worth anything. I still even have the whole set, manual and all!

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admin March 9, 2014 at 10:16 AM

Matt, if you get misprinted minifigures you can always call LEGO to ask for a replacement. However once the set is retired they can’t replace it for you. If the misprint is interesting though you can sell it on the secondary market. Someone might like it. 😉

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Tobymacboy May 19, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Well we also need to see the difference between a misprint or a variant. A variant is the same minifigure BUT in one set it is different than in the other. Like Boba. The original Boba had a somewhat “square” helment that is combined with the jetpack and the helment has an open area that shows boba’s solid black head , making it look like the film. This minifig also has a different torso and different legs. The new Boba Fett has a helment that looks more realistic , has a moveable/removable visor , its not square , and its more detailed. The new boba also has a shoulder cloth and a more detailed jetpack as well as a new torso and new legs. That is what a variant is. A misprint is when it is not what the set says it should look like.

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admin May 19, 2012 at 8:27 PM

That’s a really good point to make between variants and misprints, and it is important especially for collectors. Also, variants exists not just in minifigs but LEGO elements as well – both in design and color. Some of those variations can be important if you want to finish a project and you are looking for a specific variation, while others may completley ignore them. This would actually make a good topic for a future post. Thanks for the nice discussion! :)

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Tobymacboy May 20, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Good idea! I will take some pix and send it in today!

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NRG Jay June 5, 2012 at 5:29 AM

Hey, couldnt some people technically just cal them up and say theyre missing a piece from a set, even if they dont have the set?

If they did, they would be really bad for cheating TLG..

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admin June 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

Jay, technically someone could, but LEGO always ask for the receipt, where you purchased, date, etc. Also, if they notice someone is abusing the system, they ban them from ever being able to order replacement parts again. It is not worth it.

I also had to order replacement parts once; it was a couple of specialized plates for my Alien Conquest Earth Defense that were defective. And that was it. I didn’t ask them to send me some free minifigs like some people try to do. LEGO is not stupid; they can figure out if someone is abusive.

Also, why would someone want to hurt their favorite company this way? Replacement parts are expensive to ship (they are shipped from Denmark). But it is always a good idea to let LEGO know if parts are missing or defective, even if you don’t ask for a replacement. This way they know what they need to fix. 😉

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Tobymacboy June 5, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Befor you can request a part , you must give TLG the proof-of-purchase number listed on the instructions.

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admin June 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Yes, this reminds me; when I asked for replacement for some defective parts they also asked me for a special number from the sticker-seal on the box.

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legolotr June 9, 2012 at 10:53 PM

TOBYMACBOY I found that lego.com just has the instructions sitting on there website…well I guess its in case someone is missing instructions.

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admin June 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Yes, all instructions are available on LEGO’s website. At least from recent years. Older instructions are also available on fan-sites. So yeah, it is never an issue loosing instructions. But in case you loose one and you want a printed copy, they are also available on BrickLink. So instructions are definitely covered. 😉

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legolotr (Nick) July 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

No, I mean you could just take the code from there. It wouldn’t do it though. (I don’t know if anyone will see this comment, so why am I posting it? oh well.)

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legolotr (Nick) July 16, 2012 at 3:12 PM

I meant I wouldn’t do it.

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admin July 16, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Hm… I didn’t see the same code on the instructions. The code they asked for was on the clear sticker-seal on the box. Oh, and BTW, people who subscribe to the thread will get your comment even if it is on an older post, and I see every comment that comes in regardless of which post it was on. 😉

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legolotr (Nick) July 16, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Oh.

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studless August 3, 2012 at 12:51 PM

you don’t need to buy the set to download the instructions, I think

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studless August 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

I have downloaded a ton of them.

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nace10 June 12, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Admin, when I click on TobyMacBoy’s post, How To Make Lego Chocolate-Yum!!! It brings me to this page. Can you please fix that???

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admin June 13, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Nace, ooops, sorry about that! Fixed. 😉

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kyle August 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

i have a misprinted clone head it fashel fechures a smaller than normal hope it worth some thing :)

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kyle August 22, 2012 at 7:49 AM

i have found a nother one with a small mouth i wonder how meny i have that are misprints

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admin August 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Kyle, yeah, it is good to pay attention as some misprints can be worth quite a lot! 😉

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kyle August 25, 2012 at 2:41 PM

cool admin repled to me cool

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The Dark Jedi January 6, 2013 at 8:48 PM

I once had a missing hand on a stormtrooper minifigure I got. Didn’t take it up with TLC :blush: but I exchanged the set for a new one at the retailer. I also got the “sunburn” misprint :roll: but I am going to keep it. Better take it up with Lego though.

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The Dark Jedi January 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

Why didn’t that smilie work?

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lego chronicler January 24, 2013 at 7:20 PM

helmet: REALLY annoying Face, torso, plate or brick: Unique!!!!!!! 😀

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Tobymacboy May 3, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Yeah they are worth some good money!

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Bilbo Baggins of the Shire May 19, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I RECENTLY BOUGHT THE NINJAGO DOJO!!!!!!

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N-11 Ordo June 23, 2014 at 3:46 AM

Hey,

thanks for including my photo “I, Clone” in your article !

I for my part had several issues with misprinted Lego elements over the years. However some of them are more annoying than others. For example I had several misprinted clone and stormtrooper helmets, where the visor was printed a bit too far on the left or right side or even placed lower than usual (see https://www.flickr.com/photos/47697314@N02/5169748752/in/set-72157625233442703 ). Especially the clone scout minifigs suffered from that. Such misprints are annoying and are a quality problem to be solved by the Lego company. Other misprints, like the eyes of the clone trooper in the photo, are an advantage in my opinion. Especially in this case it rather makes the head unique in a good way.

Still Lego has to work on quality issues like that and make sure such misprints like on the R2-D2 or the scout trooper helmet in the photos above don’t occur.

All in all a nice article and an interesting topic !

Greets,

N-11 Ordo

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admin June 23, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Yes, just like you said; misprints are a quality issue, although they sometimes work out perfect (nice photo by the way!). The best way to encourage LEGO to improve their printing is to let them know you got misprinted elements. Call their customer service, tell them what set the misprint is from and they will take notes. They will also send you replacement parts if you request it.

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Jubbyd June 28, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I actually did get this problem before! Today I finally got my Captain Rex (YAY!) but I found that the helmet printings were a little low. I’m not ordering replacements due to the act that it is only a little off,so I’m not picky.

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