What is the difference (if there even is a difference) between the plastic used in mainstream minifigs and the plastic used in the popular collectable minifig series?

It seems to me that the collectable minifigs are a bit more brittle than their average brethren.

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    We certainly had some issues in the past with the quality of pigments in the Collectable Minifigures line supposedly due to different compounds. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 20:07
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    My understanding is that the collectible minifigs are all made in China, and not at the main LEGO factories. And while the plastic composition is the same, the pigments are different. This gives the pieces a less saturated and more translucent appearance, which makes them look lower quality. However, at least in my experience, this is a superficial cosmetic difference, and the pieces are just as durable as regular minifig parts. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:18
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    I would also add that LEGO makes other parts in China as well, like all the keychain and magnet minifigs, as well as specially moulded heads and body parts (like for Star Wars non-humans). If the piece comes in its own little clear bag, it is usually a sign that it was made in China. I never found any quality issues with them. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 21:19
  • Adding on to @TheBrickBlogger, some of the parts are made in China. Perhaps the "collectable series of minifigs that you are talking about isn't even lego, but is the company "Shen-Yuan"(might have spelled it wrong, google it). Their products are similiar to lego's, except that their paint is extremely cheap and wears off after a few days. For reference, check out this video:youtube.com/watch?v=4dcExGBJN2g
    – Samuel L.
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 1:18
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    I know the color of some lego parts (notoriously the lime green ball joints from bionicle in 2007-2010) can have an effect on the durability of the piece. But I'm not sure which specific minifigures you had problems with, or what color they were, so no definitive answer. Just a thought. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


On thebrickblogger.com (February 9, 2017) there was a call to report issues with minifigures. Reading the answers I get the impression that issues with clutch-power, cracks and other problems are occurring with all sorts of minifigures, not only with the collectible series. This would mean that it is not a persistent problem with Chinese factories:


Looking at Ebay I also get the feeling that 90% of all problems will never be noticed because the owners won't open the bags!

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