Ask A Lemur – Cracks in new LEGO, Restoring Yellowed Bricks, & Posting Privileges

Hello, Long-Suffering Friends!

Stern Lemur

Well, I’ve a had a rough week. Apparently Josh thought I was getting too big for my britches (whatever those are) and decided to replace me with someone more easily manipulated. Without anyone else’s knowledge, he sent me on a “special mission” to one of our remote listening posts and conveniently forgot me there.

It was very cold and all I had to eat were old surplus MREs. I would have starved, except the wrappers were rather tasty.

Once I was out of the way, he brought in my replacement. Apparently Josh had him bred in a secret lab somewhere (No, not Ralph’s…he had nothing to do with it). The little bug-eyed freak tried to take my place in your hearts and minds but thankfully you all realized something was amiss. After reading your comments, Andrew also came to his senses and demanded that Josh bring me back. Apparently the new guy couldn’t keep the yacht as shiny as I did. Thank goodness for that!

Now for the good parts!

I’ve got pieces from fairly new sets (less than a year) that have got cracks in them. Does LEGO want to know about these pieces? Should I send them a picture that includes the pieces’ numbers?

Absolutely! If you come across any quality issues with new LEGO, you should contact them. I can’t guarantee how they will respond but LEGO’s customer service department has a rather good reputation. If you do contact them regarding damaged pieces, you should have the pieces with you when you call. The numbers inside the brick can tell them a lot of information, including exactly which mold the piece came from. If there is a molding issue, this will help them zero in on the problem. If you know which set the piece can in, that can also help, especially if you still have the box. Most manufacturers put codes on their packaging so that they can tell the date, time and batch the product came from.

Also, if you are missing pieces in a new set, you should contact them. They will probably send you the missing bits and it helps them track any issues in their packaging system. Please do not abuse this! There have been rumors that a few dishonest people have taken advantage of the Missing Piece system. Don’t be “that guy”, okay?

What is the best way to restore yellowed Lego Bricks?

Master Andrew actually discussed this a number of years ago. Unfortunately the original RetroBright wiki is gone now but Tim Goddard posted the recipe and technique. I have not done this myself, so the information is second-hand, but it appears that this does work on old yellowed bricks that have been affected by sun-light. Yellowing can also be caused by other things, such as bricks exposed to cigarette smoke. I don’t know that this will work on those poor, unfortunate bricks.

I avoid this technique myself, because I nibble on my brick. The chemicals used in this technique are household cleaners but if any of your “restored” LEGO is going to be handled by small children, I would make sure it was thoroughly washed and rinsed to remove any leftover nasty stuff, just to be on the safe side.

Can I have your email address so I can send you some pictures of a spaceship I built?

I would love to see your spaceship but I wouldn’t be able to post it on The Brothers Brick. I’m not allowed to post anything except these weekly bits. However, in my limited spare time, I do cruise the LEGO Faniverse and might see your spaceship there!

Once again, thank you for all your questions! Keep them coming in the comments below and I will do my best to answer all I can.

Lots of Lemur Love,
A. Lemur

12 comments on “Ask A Lemur – Cracks in new LEGO, Restoring Yellowed Bricks, & Posting Privileges

  1. Legonardo

    Do exotic colors like sd purple and dk turquoise taste better than regular colors like blue and red? (Are you even allowed to eat those ones?)
    nice to see you’re back :D

  2. wyldjedi

    The retro bright method works great. First off, use cleaning gloves – peroxide is corrosive! Use a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide (a bottle of at least 20%, 30%+ preferred). If you need more liquid but cannot get more of the high concentrated stuff, use the regular 3% stuff you can get at most stores. For the oxyclean, you can use a little more than the recipe calls for, but not like triple the amount – too much will cause frosting. Make sure there are no air bubbles when you submerge the parts – gotta shake and stir them around a bit. I also put the parts in a clear glass casserole type dish and cover the bottom with foil, shiny side up. This way the light gets all sides. I also use a UV desk lamp instead of sunlight, and try to have the parts under the lamp for a minimum of 18 hours, up to a day and a half. After a day and a half the oxygen has been used up. Halfway through, I add a little more oxyclean to the solution to keep the oxygen content boosted. I do this in the garage with nothing else near it as the liquid can discolor carpet. Unfortunately I do not have pics but the process does work. Extremely yellowed parts may need a second cleaning but most will look really nice.

    If the parts you are cleaning are simple elements that are cheap and common, you are probably better off spending the money on new parts. A bottle of 30% Hydrogen Peroxide is going to be at least $20, if not much more. You can still use the $1 bottles of 3% solution, but you it will not be as effective and will likely have to do the process a few times.

  3. David FNJ

    Hooray! A Lemur is back!
    If you were to really appear on screen, we know that you’d look almost exactly like these drawings of you :)
    I really enjoy these posts btw.

  4. Skyward

    A Lemur,
    What do you do while you are not posting on TBB, reading fan mail, and doing LEGO related things? Do you have a job that keeps you occupied?

  5. Donner

    A Lemur, what are the pros and cons of some Digital Designers?

    P.S. The other one was not quite right.

  6. blockrock

    TBB’s Server Downtime Contest Questions

    Was the contest cancelled or did someone just drop the ball?
    How come Andrew Becraft, Editor-in-Chief has ignored every question on the Flickr contest page?
    How come Andrew Becraft, Editor-in-Chief is still adding to his favorites on Flickr but won’t choose his favorites from the contest he is (was?) running?
    How come two other contests (Flickr cover photo and clone on a plate contest) were completed and judged in the last month while the Server Downtime Contest was ignored?
    If Mr. Becraft is busy “in meetings to rebrand a major theme park in southern California”, could time sensitive responsibilities have been handed off to the Managing Editor, Assistant Editor or one of the other 7 contributors to The Brothers Brick?
    Should I just follow Bricknerd and assume that if this contest is ever judged and prizes are awarded, that it will show up there first?

  7. Brickadier General

    Dear A Lemur,

    I’m a longtime AFOL, and my girlfriend just recently got into the hobby too. (No coersion was involved…Promise!) She’s a big Back to the Future fan, so I gave her the DeLorean set. She starting building and asked why on earth the minifigure parts are separated into different bags, as opposed to all being found within the same bag. This evidently bothered her. :-P I never really gave it much thought before, but there must be a logical reason. A. Lemur, do you have answer for her?

    P.S.: She is a bit monkey shy. During our trip to Thailand, a monkey jumped on her backpack and started chewing her hair. Hopefully you can renew her faith in primates.

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