I’ve read somewhere that Lego destroys retired molds but I always thought they buried them in a secret location. If they did destroy them does that mean they literally can’t recreate them again?
Of course they can recreate them, lego still uses many parts from bionicle g1 all the time, and it doesn’t stand to reason that they’re using the same molds from 2001, those are long gone, beyond shadow of a doubt. However, the question of will they is the issue. For example, Lego doesn’t stand to gain much from making more toa mata torsos, they’re a hyper specialized piece, and more up to date gearbox pieces exist. I have no doubt in my mind that they have everything they need to recreate the molds (not too up to date on how their molds are made, but I assume it’s probably cad files and some manner of cnc machining) But I also know that they simply won’t.
One sec, I actually got a response from a lego designer talking about this.
Although here he was talking about pohatu masks so there’s still a chance that some of the more recent parts could still be out there.
From my understanding they destroy the molds. Those being the metal pieces that they put in the machines to make the pieces. However, if I was betting man, I would say they probably still have the masters, the negative they use to make the pieces. The issue being that to make new parts from the masters, they need to make the molds, and those are expensive. (The molds are usually the thing that make Plastic Injection molding so expensive to start.)
Obviously, unless they feel a specific need to make new versions of those pieces that can justify the costs, it doesn’t make sense to make new molds. If I had to guess, I assume the Vorox piece either still had it’s mold sitting around, or they were given a budget for how many old pieces they could bring back and they chose the Vorox piece for whatever reason.
Yes, several people here confirmed that they obviously keep the masters, but yeah they have no reason to use them to create new molds.
They would have the masters, and the CAD files to make them as well. If not, they can steal them from Bricklink or Studio 2.0.
ha, no. Many of the parts in Studio are incredibly inaccurate. I’m sure LEGO has a full digital library of every piece.
I wonder if molds have a timetable. Maybe they’ll keep them around for say 5 years to be sure of their redundancy.
It probably depends on the part. Some parts are far more reusable than others.
I have read that they have to remake the molds pretty frequently while the parts are in production, to keep them at a certain accuracy and quality. Therefore, they go through several molds, up to a few hundred per year for a 2x4 brick (according to a LEGO book that I had that mentioned the production process). It would be lower for Bionicle parts, but there may be some ‘discarded’ molds lying about that could be used to make new molds. I know that that process has been used by some people who make high-quality custom parts. They purchase the discarded molds and clean them up to use in their own machines. But it’s expensive and the molds are obviously harder to acquire than, say, 3d printing a minifigure.
That seems like a lot.
I understand that molds wear out and need to be replaced, but I find it hard to believe that Lego is blowing through a 2x4 mold per day. Maybe they go through that many molds in total (which is in the ballpark of the mold production numbers mentioned here), but it seems unsustainable to produce a brand new 2x4 brick mold every single day.
I believe I accidentally exaggerated the number. Thanks for correcting my error!
Hard to say each and everyone is, naturally it’s a case-by-case basis, but if they’re not in sets, most likely.
From what a LEGO designer told a couple of my friends at BrickFair: As far as I know, this is a myth. The reason molds are destroyed is because the material is reused for new molds.
Of course, especially for newer pieces, I believe they have 3D models they can use for remaking molds.
Wow. I’ve never even considered this. I really hope they do or still have the original molds somewhere.