LEGO sets are great for so many reasons, they are fun and keep you busy but what is up with those extra pieces? This is a problem I am sure we are all pleased to have but why do they do it? Is it a mistake or are they intentionally overcounting to cover their backs?
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A common observation by LEGO builders is that their sets always come with an excess of smaller pieces. If you are going to lose a piece it is probably going to be one of the smaller pieces like a 1x1 or 1x2 plate. I mean seriously, good luck finding one of these if you knock it off the table without realising!
While it may seem like a waste of plastic, these extra pieces are typically smaller and more fragile than the larger pieces so by probability if any extra pieces are going to be needed it is going to be ones that fit in the "small" or "delicate" category.
The new LEGO World Map (31203) set is a great example of one that thousands of tiny pieces that may get lost, I wonder how many extra pieces are in this set...
This again goes back to the smaller pieces, have you ever put a 1x1 plate on your scales? Well we have and guess what... it weighs 0.2 grams. Yep, it’s not a lot is it!
Now imagine that you have to rely on machinery to count out and pack the pieces based on weight alone. When something weighs that little it's going to be hard to achieve 100% accuracy all of the time.
LEGO have taken the stance, it's better to be over than under when it comes to these tiny pieces. I completely agree with LEGO on this mindset and I hope they never change their mind (for the record I don't think they ever will).
At the end of the day these types of pieces cost LEGO such a small amount to produce, it would end up costing them more to increase their call centre staff who would be there to manage the increased calls from customers complaining about missing pieces. Let's not forget that there is the reputational side of things too.
Any LEGO fan will know that LEGO fight hard to keep their brand name respected and associated with quality products. When I think about LEGO I think of a toy that will last forever, it's true though right? Well at least that's one of the first thoughts I have but may be its just me?
Do you think that LEGO are willing to ruin decades of effort building their brand for the sake of trying to save a few pence or cents? Honestly, what would you do in their position?
This is veering off the subject slightly but whilst I was writing this the thought kept popping up in my head. We know LEGO give extra pieces but do they ever miss pieces?
This is not the focus of this blog so I will keep the answer short. Quite simply, yes, they do. Sometimes things happen out of their control, they have failsafe measures to try to prevent it but with over 19 billion bricks (yes, I said BILLION) produced every year we have to give them a little slack if something goes wrong once in a while... don't we?
If you ever have a missing piece just contact their friendly customer support and they will send you out your missing piece without question.
I would love to think that LEGO are just giving us extra pieces out of the kindness of their heart but the truth of it is they do it to keep their loyal customers happy, that and to keep us off of the phone moaning when we are half way through a build and cannot do anymore because we are missing a piece.
Whatever way you look at it, LEGO are doing the right thing giving extra pieces with their sets, where they cannot be 100% sure they over estimate so the customer 99.9% of the time next loses out, that's the way a business should be run... customer happiness before anything else and that's one of the reasons why LEGO are so popular today.
If you have an excess of spare bricks and pieces you could always check out our LEGO MOC shop for some fun ways to make the most of the extra pieces you have accumulated.
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Happy building and thanks for reading.
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