I have a unhealthy fascination with Chinese LEGO knock-offs, and we've published several articles, like this one, about the rubbish that's available in markets across the far east in the past. I think it's because I find it incredible that the stuff, which violates so many intellectual properties, is being made at all.
Brickset member woodywood currently resides in Shanghai so sees a lot of the junk first-hand. He's kindly sent me some minifig packs so I can see how bad they are for myself.
Warning: this article contains disturbing images and strong language.
First under inspection is JLB's (Jai Li Bo toys) Anna from Frozen. The box certainly looks attractive, and very LEGO-like. The contents, the figure and cards, are well packaged in heat-sealed bags.
Unfortunately, that's all I have good to say about it. Once you open the packet it's immediately apparent what rubbish this is.
Now, when I watched Frozen I'm sure Anna was a fair-skinned girl with what the Disney wiki calls 'long strawberry-blonde hair' in ponytails and a long-flowing blue dress and red cape. I must assume that a different version was shown in China because this figure has a blue crop-top and an impressive tan... :-)
As you can see the figure needs to be assembled from the cheap plastic parts, some of which are still on their sprue. The joints are loose and it's difficult to get the hair to stay on.
A flower is thrown in for good measure.
The best part of it is the trading cards...
Next under the microscope is Star Wars Han Solo by Bom Bom. Again, the box, a good rip-off of a real LEGO one, and the packaging is not bad, but it soon becomes apparent that the photo on the front is that of the LEGO version of the figure, not the one in the box.
The arms and hands are not pre-assembled and if I had to guess I'd say the plastic used is polystyrene rather than ABS. The parts are very badly moulded and have sprue marks in prominent places.
The hair fits better than on Anna, but once on it's impossible to get it off!. It bears a passing resemblance to the image on the box, but the printing is absolutely shockingly bad.
Once again, the best part of the set are the cards, which have the appearance that they are part of some sort of game but the numbers and information is all rubbish.
Collectors will want the whole set of them, I'm sure...
Frankly they are complete and utter rubbish and I would not wish them on any child. Not only are they terrible quality and possibly made from unsafe materials, but in the case of Anna, in particular, the contents of the box bears no resemblance to what you think you're buying which can only result in disappointment.
I know you won't need me to tell you this, but steer well clear!
I really don't know why LEGO and Disney tolerates this stuff being made and sold, but as we have discussed before, I guess the legal framework to prevent it is not in place in China.
Now, excuse me while I go and disinfect my LEGO room and banish this junk to the bin.
Thanks to woodywood for sending them, I think... :)