My son has a slowly growing collection of Hero Factory figures, and they have accumulated a consistent problem: socket connector cracking.
The tips of the angular part of the limb which connects to a socket tend to split, causing loose limbs, then eventually a separation of the tip, which causes the limb to fail connection with the socket.
This is through non-daily, low use. Are there ways to prevent this? What is LEGO doing to address this?
I've started to notice LEGO (and even Megablocks) using similar ball socket connections on non-Hero Factory toys, and expect this sort of failure to be common. I've not seen breakage of this kind through my multiple decades using LEGO.
From LEGO: I am so sorry to hear (and actually see!) about the broken LEGO elements that you have. Here at The LEGO Group we hold ourselves to an extremely high quality standard. The fact that your elements have broken is something that we take really seriously. We would be more than happy to send you replacements for these pieces right away. If you would be so kind as to provide us with a little bit more information on the parts, we will be sure to help you out.
After a little research, I let them know the parts were from either Stormer (7169) or Breez (7165) depending on the color, that the other limb ends from those sets were separating in a similar fashion, and asked whether they had noticed similar faults with these types of pieces historically (morbid curiosity).
From LEGO: Thanks for getting back to use with the sets that you have broken pieces from. I am so sorry to hear that these parts have broken. That is unfortunate. I was able to pull up the image of the parts that you sent with your original email and was able to see the exact pieces that you need. Sadly, these parts have been discontinued and we are unable to replace those parts for you. I do apologize for this. I wish there was some kind of replacement to send, but sadly, there is nothing as a substitute for those parts.
Again, we wish we could help you restore your LEGO set back to new but unfortunately the pieces you need are no longer available through us. There is hope though, Peeron.com is website run by a group of LEGO fans that contains information on LEGO sets, replacement parts, building instructions and more. It’s not affiliated with the LEGO Group but we know from other fans that it has a good collection of older building instructions to download, discontinued pieces to purchase, and great set information.
Ah well, thanks anyway!