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Subject: A quick warning about the bird's ball-and-socket connection... rss

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Greg Purcell
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A quick note about the ball-and-socket connection on the birds. It can be very fragile, particularly on the small starling figure! I own two copies, and have broken the socket on both of my small starlings, attempting to fit the ball back into the socket of the bird. As a consequence, they are pretty much junked, and can't be used. I've written the company about replacements. (UPDATE- the company will, very generously, replace the broken birds! Hurray for Plaid Hat!)

The birds were packaged with the ball and socket already fitted. I would strongly recommend not removing the ball from the socket for any reason, so as not to weaken the plastic socket.

Thanks. Hope you enjoy the game!

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John "Omega" Williams
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Yeah. I mentioned this problem when the transparent ball and socket was first shown.

This is an inherint flaw of transparent plastics and some show it more than others.

From your picture looks like the socket frame broke? I am actually very surprised at that. A glance at mine shows that the assembly is the same on all the birds so not sure why only your starlings would break? But removing the ball and re-insering it would probably place alot of stress on one or both parts.

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Greg Purcell
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Omega2064 wrote:
A glance at mine shows that the assembly is the same on all the birds so not sure why only your starlings would break?


I agree that it was probably just a matter of luck-of-the-draw.
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John "Omega" Williams
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At a guess it was how you were holding the starlings somehow different from the other birds.

Were you pushing in the ball at the ball, or at the stem? Experience with Xevoz, which are all ball and socket, LOTS of ball and socket, its better to usually press on the ball when inserting as trying by the stem places too much fracture stress on even non-transparents.
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Greg Purcell
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Omega2064 wrote:
At a guess it was how you were holding the starlings somehow different from the other birds.

Were you pushing in the ball at the ball, or at the stem? Experience with Xevoz, which are all ball and socket, LOTS of ball and socket, its better to usually press on the ball when inserting as trying by the stem places too much fracture stress on even non-transparents.


Couldn't say. After the first one broke I tried to be careful.
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Peter Williams
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That's a shame. I have made a point never to remove the ball from the socket but understand it can accidentally happen. I would have thought it would have made more sense to have the whole stand separate in case of breakage as replacing the stand would have been easier and cheaper.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Wonder if you could carefully superglue the pieces back together and not lose any traction on the ball?
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Greg Purcell
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Omega2064 wrote:
Wonder if you could carefully superglue the pieces back together and not lose any traction on the ball?


So far, no luck with that, but I think I'm using the wrong kind of glue. Going to try again tomorrow.
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John "Omega" Williams
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I doubt modelling glue will do it. But might if the plastic is compatible.

One thought is if can. glue it with it socketed. Otherwise resicketing will just break it again. May hold enough to be servicible.

I expect over time we will see a few more of these either like yours or the stem breaking. Considering yours is the first after this long is a good sign really. If there was a more serious flaw Id suspect we'd have had more reports by now.
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Greg Purcell
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Omega2064 wrote:
I doubt modelling glue will do it. But might if the plastic is compatible.

One thought is if can. glue it with it socketed. Otherwise resicketing will just break it again. May hold enough to be servicible.

I expect over time we will see a few more of these either like yours or the stem breaking. Considering yours is the first after this long is a good sign really. If there was a more serious flaw Id suspect we'd have had more reports by now.


Well, the bad news is that superglue only sort-of worked. Meaning, it did not create a useful fit between the ball in the socket.

The good news is, Plaid Hat has agreed to replace my birds, without any hassle at all. Count me a fan of the company!
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Jerry Hawthorne
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We have a few dozen of the birds around the office that we use for testing and events. None of them have broken in this manner after literally hundreds upon hundreds of uses.

But we have had to replace a few for this reason or something similar. I'm confident in the quality and construction of these birds, and I'm certain these are isolated incidents.
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Dreadknot Knotdread
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Sorry about the connectors but nice job on the paint!
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John "Omega" Williams
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nobeerblues wrote:
We have a few dozen of the birds around the office that we use for testing and events. None of them have broken in this manner after literally hundreds upon hundreds of uses.

But we have had to replace a few for this reason or something similar. I'm confident in the quality and construction of these birds, and I'm certain these are isolated incidents.


Did you test popping the socket in and out?

I agree though that the socket breaking is pretty weird. Its the strongest point on the assembly really
 
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Carmen Cerra
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I'm nervous about the connection, too.
If it comes to it where mine start breaking, I'll just find some flight stands with swivel heads and retro-fit my birds.

(Though, I have confidence in Jerry's words here that the stands are indeed durable.)
 
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Johannes B.
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Although I've read this thread the other day and therefore I was really super-careful about plopping the ball back into the socket, the sockets on two of my birds just broke (copy I bought at Essen) cry
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Carmen Cerra
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Something I just remembered (and wasn't sure if it had been mentioned before)

A couple of the ball ends of my base stems still had a tiny bit of excess plastic along the mold line(?) I removed the excess with a file before popping them into the sockets.
If you force them into the sockets without filing, you might be exceeding the tolerance of the sockets with just that little extra amount of material being introduced.

The amount of extra plastic I found was small (and only on a couple of the bases), but maybe it's enough to weaken the socket without a little bit of prep?

Just a thought.

And if you do file the plastic, use a light hand and be sparing or you may risk making the ball to small and thus, too loose in the socket, resulting in permanent "tilt."
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Bas van Kempen
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I had a broken socket aswell.
Plaidhat is sending me a new bird aswell.

i must say the pladihat's support is awesome so far.

first I was missing a mission card and had a very deformed Snag commando.
I got those replacement en now there sending me a new bird aswell.

Keep up the good work plaidhat !
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Greg Purcell
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Maniac1985 wrote:


Keep up the good work plaidhat !


Can't emphasize this enough. I had my replacements within a week. Very fast, fair and responsive. And a great game, to boot!
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Jerry Hawthorne
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Omega2064 wrote:
nobeerblues wrote:
We have a few dozen of the birds around the office that we use for testing and events. None of them have broken in this manner after literally hundreds upon hundreds of uses.

But we have had to replace a few for this reason or something similar. I'm confident in the quality and construction of these birds, and I'm certain these are isolated incidents.


Did you test popping the socket in and out?

I agree though that the socket breaking is pretty weird. Its the strongest point on the assembly really
Man I've popped mine in and out so many times its crazy, and the set of birds we had a gencon have been manhandled by hundreds of people who also popped them in and out. To this day, none of ours have had this problem, but we are getting support requests (not very many) and so I know this has been an issue for some people and all we can do is replace them as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Fortunately, we are known for our customer support and we stand behind our products.
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Tyler Swain
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I just h ad the exact same thing happen to one of my starlings, I noticed when I removed it from the bag that the ball had popped out and when I went to put it back in it just cracked. I tried to glue it back together, but now the socket isn't tight enough to hold the ball. It didn't completely break off, so it was easy to glue. Guess I'll be contacting plaid hat.
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Tyler Swain
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Wow, Plaidhat support was awesome, I received an immediate response, like really within 5 minutes, and a new piece is on the way. By far my best experience contacting support from a board game company thus far!!!
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John "Omega" Williams
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nobeerblues wrote:
but we are getting support requests (not very many) and so I know this has been an issue for some people and all we can do is replace them as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Fortunately, we are known for our customer support and we stand behind our products.


Were all or most of the breaks reported so far the socket and/or on the starling?
 
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B Mac
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Is there a better email address to use, I've tried mail@plaidhatgames.com twice and no response to this problem?
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Jim McMahon
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Blaze Storm wrote:

Is there a better email address to use, I've tried mail@plaidhatgames.com twice and no response to this problem?

support@plaidhatgames.com
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Jason Peacock
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I sent an email and had a new bird a week later.
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