Review: Cheap Chinese rubbish

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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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

A flower is thrown in for good measure.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

The best part of it is the trading cards...

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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.

Cheap Chinese rubbish

Collectors will want the whole set of them, I'm sure...

Cheap Chinese rubbish

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... :)

92 comments on this article

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By in New Zealand,

On the plus side, I think they've done a great job of capturing the essential "scruffy-looking nerf-herder" look! You certainly can't get much scruffier than that piece of ....

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By in United Kingdom,

Even looking at these makes me feel like I am betraying LEGO. Frankly, I don't know who would buy this rubbish and like it, and I wouldn't think much good of those who do.

"Now, excuse me while I go and disinfect my LEGO room and banish this junk to the bin."

Well said. My advice on this: Use strong anti-bacterial spray on everything in there for a week. And then disinfect your bins, and everything else in the house. Including yourself.

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By in United Kingdom,

The Frozen one is quite funny. It's obviously junk, but it does seem to match the image on the box. Not the main graphic, but the inset one. There is also a disclaimer about colours.

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By in Netherlands,

When I saw the rubbish tanned fake fig which is supposed to be Anna from Frozen, I thought looks more like one of those spray tanned trashy Geordy shore types than anything fairytale like.

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By in United States,

For as trashy as these are, there's no arguing that, they do represent an interesting product if LEGO wasn't typically precluded from producing minifigure-only sets from popular licenses like Star Wars. As popular as the Collectible Minifigures are, I'm sure single packed Star Wars minifigures or other licensed minifigures (Marvel, DC, etc) would likely be -very- popular with collectors. Unfortunately, as most know, LEGO can't produce standalone minifigures for some of the bigger licenses like Star Wars, because license holders see it as moving from the LEGO "Construction Toy" license into the "Action Figure" license typically held by Hasbro, Mattel, etc.

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By in Netherlands,

Those Star Wars cards remind me of the Ninjago spinner cards with those power bars printed at the bottom. They copied all the images and photoshopped it all together. Well it is all trash anyway. The fake minifig looks so dismal. I hope these will never turn up in Europe.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ They would sell like hot-cakes, for sure.

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By in Hong Kong,

Many of the clone brands are rubbish but Decool and SY are very good. I would say the quality is at 97% of lego level.

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By in Poland,

Moulding marks in prominent places... hmm... doesn't it ring a bell? LEGO? ;) They were just trying to get closer to them :)

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By in United Kingdom,

I love how the writer of this article has chosen the worst possible bootleg brands to review :P Not all the bootleg brands are bad like this article is trying to say. The best bootleg brand is Sheng Yuan closely followed by Decool. JLB is known to be terrible quality and I dont even know what the brand is on that Star Wars set. You can check out the quality of the good bootleg brands on my flickr or instagram.
https://instagram.com/thewoodenleg/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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By in United States,

Those appear to be reprinted ninja go cards....

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By in Germany,

tbh i´m glad that the shown fakes are so easy recognizable, but there are other fakes out there which are alarmingly close to the original and these are the "real" problem to the collectors!

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By in United States,

As soon as these started to pop up I decided to just buy minifigs from bricklink.

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By in Belgium,

Lego uses MFs to help shift its licenced products. If they sold them individually then they would lose sales overall.

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By in Australia,

I felt awful when I bought my nephew a Superman minifigure from Thailand and we discovered that the figure had blue instead of flesh coloured hands, a poor quality face print and no cape. I think it was made by JLB. It was atrocious and it wasn't much cheaper than a genuine Lego collectable minifig. Never again!

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By in Australia,

"Enlighten" trains aren't half bad, either (my Union Pacific locomotive passes for Lego until you inspect it very, very closely).

"I think it's because I find it incredible that the stuff, which violates so many intellectual properties, is being made at all."

But it's gonna make money, and it's hard/borderline-impossible to stop (particularly in a foreign country), so they're gonna keep doing it. People who are engaging in illegal behaviour will rarely stop if you simply tell them what they're doing is wrong.

I will say, though, that the Frozen figure is *hilarious*. A dark-haired, dark-skinned figure wearing tropical beach wear is so obviously *not* the figure on the box, like, not even within lightyears of it. I wonder are they paying their quality-control person too much, or not enough?

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By in United States,

@Huw's comment- 'I guess the legal framework to prevent it is not in place in China.'

Yeah, they do not have the trademark/copyrights that the US and presumably the UK have. They can copy any brand, and China will not take any action against them. They would have to get Amazon or eBay to not allow them.

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By in Australia,

Interesting (though not surprising) that the brands producing decent bootlegs, SY and Decool as mentioned above, weren't chosen to review.

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By in United States,

Han Solo was almost funnier than Anna.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^^ It is the figure on the box though. Look again at the box. The inset on the front and side clearly show a dark haired figure with a yellow skirt and blue bikini top. Lego also often do this - putting a cartoon (non-minifigure) branding character on the box that is not in the set. Obviously in this case, the minifigure has nothing to do with Frozen, but it is clearly shown (in at least two places) on the box.

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By in United States,

To preserve the value of my quite large collection, I will plan on buying only from LEGO.com, and discreetly from bricklink from now on. And of course some reputable custom builders. If I ever sell my collection, I want to be able to state I used utmost caution to not allow any of this bootleg crapola into my collection.

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By in United States,

I'm unsurprised by the the poor quality and advertising, but I am baffled by the black-haired Elsa. Who is she?
Honestly, no matter how well made they are, I can't stand bootlegs. Yes, they're cheap, but they deliberately infringe on LEGO's designs, and I think that's wrong. Customs I have no problem with, but if it's a deliberate copy of an existing minifig, I can't support it.

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By in United States,

I don't see that Lego has any reason to want to fight these bootleg brands. I was at Toy Fair New York two years ago and there were at least seven different Lego knockoff brands on display. Lego was keeping an eye on these companies, but as long as they didn't violate licenses, they didn't go after them. I've never seen any of those brands in a store or even a flea market here in New England...perhaps I'm not looking hard enough.

These sets are obviously a different situation, but from Lego's perspective, what damage is done? Is the person looking for cheap Lego on Ebay ever going to buy directly from a Lego store or their website? Possibly not. Do knockoffs of "collector" sets retired years ago have any impact on Lego's bottom line today? No. Will uncertainty about the origin of Lego on Ebay and other online sites drive more customers to buy directly from Lego and its authorized retailers? Yes.

So to an extent, these knockoffs are a good thing. They will keep serious collectors and those who want Lego quality dealing directly with Lego, which shuts out the secondary market. If these started showing up at Wal-Mart or Toys R Us and the integrity of the supply chain was threatened, I'm sure Lego would go after these companies and the retailers who sell them.

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By in Australia,

The black haired Elsa had me laughing...

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By in Australia,

In the middle of last decade, counterfeiting was 8% of China's GDP.

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By in United States,
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By in China,

IT IS A SHAME!As I know,these junks always appear in some small shop near the primary schools.Also in some markets.I DO NOT understand why they copy LEGO® instead of their own way...and so many pupils buy it...yes,I have seen it before myself...Maybe the key reason is that the junks are cheap...just less than 1 USD for each...The companies in my country about the building bricks should have their creations...not to just copy LEGO®(As long as it may make a lot of money...)

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By in United States,

What I find the most fascinating about many of the bootlegs is how attractive the packaging seems at a glance, and also how freely the producers adapt even characters that Lego does not.

It is a shame that the action-figure classification prevents licensed minifigs from being sold on their own (mostly) because while they are used to sell larger building sets, only so many characters can be included that way.

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By in United States,

This must be the most disturbing internet article I've ever read...

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By in Slovakia,

I really dont understand what TLG is doing (better say nod doing) with these fakes. First of all, they could control at least the countries, which has at least some copyright law and places, which can be checked easily - I can understand if this fake staff is selling in small chinese market, but the extreme for me was to see fake sets inside the Bangkok international airport in normal store...
Second - maybe more important factor are the prices of lego in Asia. Why the hell the official prices of lego are highest in Asia and cheapest in USA???? In Asia is much lower purchasing power of people and much higher risk of fakes - so these are important facts to have the lego prices here the lowest. How can TLG fight with fakes with such horrible prices? I was several times in Asia and it was normal to see prices of fakes similar to prices of original lego in Europe after some little discount, but original prices of lego in Asia were 1,5 times more than in Europe - its nonsens. If TLG put American prices in Asia (or even less), then it will be much easier to compete with fakes. In USA we can see the cheapest prices and a lot of discounts, black friday days, etc, in Asia highest prices, no discounts, etc. Sometimes you can get the same lego 3x cheaper in USA than in Asia. Stupid. Another factor is horrible distribution of lego in Asia - why the hell is just 1 lego store (in Korea) in whole Asia, which populated by a half of the world population??? Then you can see hungry HongKong bricklink shops buying sets in hundreds from the western BL shops. Its great ignorancy of such big market by TLG. I cannot undertand it.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ We don't know that is true. No doubt lego likes it if people think it is true, as it gives them an excuse not to sell (licensed) minifigures by themselves. I have no doubt that total sales for lego would go down if you didn't have to buy sets to get minifigures. No matter how much AFOLs and some kids like the bricks.

^^^ That's not China selling them, it is individual people in China. You know what, people in America also sell other people's instructions and knock-off lego. Same in the UK. Same in Japan. Same in every country.

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By in United States,

The real question is: is this stuff worse than- *shudder* Galidor?

In all seriousness though, this trash should never even exist. I don't care if it's on par with LEGO, or even better than it, it's infringing on their rights and the rights of the license holder.

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By in Australia,

These sets are not only illegal as unlicensed copies of LEGO designs (minifig) and products, they are also illegal as they are an unlicensed copy of Disney IP. Also, the use of images of LEGO product to sell their cheap rubbish copies breaches advertising standards in most countries. While they might not be able to stop Chinese firms from making them, anyone selling these in the west may be liable to prosecution. I regularly report these to Disney's Fraud department when they appear on eBay, to get them taken down.

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By in United States,

Can't stop laughing at the badness. *wipes a tear from his eye*

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By in United States,

Censor this article!!!!

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By in Canada,

The cards very closely resemble Ninjago cards.

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By in Norway,

This must have been very bad, since the Pictures has been removed :-)
I can't see any Picture in this posting. Even if i click one and the Flicker page is not showing ether.

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By in Denmark,

These are really bad but I have touched a few others from another and must say they are quality replicas. They used to have two problems - the printings and the cloth. And while the cloth is still an issue, printings have undergone major improvement. Of course these are phony but are excellent quality phoney while the ones pictured above are just plain awful. I am curious as how LEGO will "fight" these brands. Specially because in some aspects they are making new molds ahead of time, maybe endangering the future publicity campaigns. To the purists out there I say there are Awesome quality illegal stuff out there. However, given the chance (and the money) LEGO ALL THE WAY!!!

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By in {Unknown country},

If only someone like to continue bricktsar's "piano crush" with these bootlegs, whatever the quality or brand.

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By in United Kingdom,

Is it me or does Solo look like Gil Gerard's Buck Rogers?

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By in United States,

These look good compared to the stuff on Reasonably Clever... you guys need to review some of those things!!!

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By in Taiwan,

I've seen these in my area before. Seriously, why not just do REAL Frozen characters if not concerning license issues? Plus, the SW ones are doing the exact copies, I also wonder why this cloner JLB don't just copy Anna and Elsa from their official set but use weird Friends copies instead?
Rather than doing misleading figures, I'd rather see them pay some time to do minifigure version of Frozen characters :p

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By in United States,

Wow, this really helps me not take for granted Lego's quality. The partial stud on the girl's head and the seam down her chest, the horrible, fuzzy printing on not-Han's face and the off-center printing on his base plate... Thankyou, Lego, for making a product where I've never, in my 30+ years of collecting, had to worry about such things.

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By in Norway,

Ugh that was bad (I finally got the pictures)
The Frosen one is out right cheating the buyer. You don't get what you think you buy. At least it should have resembled what is in the box.
With the Han Solo figure you at least get something that looks like on the box but not the same as Lego quality.
I stay away from clone and copies brands.

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By in Poland,

Frozen? Nice idea XD

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By in United States,

^^Apparently there's lots of scummy people, even here on Brickset, that are willing to support these criminal commies. Why else would they be saying "You should check out the good quality fakes, they're much better and worth buying." Principal and morals have no place in their value system when they can save a whole $1, even if they knowingly support criminals.

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By in Germany,

I like it! Another!

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By in Italy,

Just saw them in a newstand here in Italy!

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By in United Kingdom,

As a Chinese guy currently studying in UK I have to say:
1. Unsurprisingly the author had chosen the worst Lego bootleg brand existed in Chinese market. There are some very good quality and Lego-compatible brands in China like ?? and ???And they don't steal Lego ideas and instructions but rather producing their own sets. I don't know if that's the violation of the Lego's intellectual properties. Do some search on Taobao.com use the Chinese brand name I mentioned. I bought some of these replica of Lego while I was in China and to be honest, they did a good job regarding quality and Lego compatibility. But literately, these minifigures are the worst I have ever seen, and maybe could ever imagined...they shouldn't have appeared on the market, even for Chinese standard. Unacceptable. They reminds me of the inferior toy I used to play nearly 20 years ago. Shame for them...
2. I don't know what the h*** the TLG was thinking about the Chinese market policy. The official price of 42009 in China is more than 210 pound, as well as 10218, 10243, etc. Luckily most people buy their Lego sets on Taobao.com which was smuggled from Hongkong...
3. These horrifying toys do exist in Chinese market, no doubt about it. But as I said, this is the worst you could ever find. Most toys (Lego-related or not, and Lego-related toys might do a better job since there are several brands competing in the market) are definitely better than this...

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By in New Zealand,

The bottom line is this : if genuine LEGO wasn't so over-priced then there'd be less incentive for people to buy knock-offs. Simple. TLG's profit margin is a major contributor to the problem.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who only buys discounted LEGO rather than deal with the compromise of cost or quality. Yes, I can easily afford to pay full list price, but why should I? I don't like being ripped off so sales, discounts, offers and "alternative sources" are the order of the day. Full price LEGO never gets a look-in and I have *never* bought directly from LEGO, in-store or online.

But it's only a matter of time until a knock-off brand achieves parity on quality and *that's* the point where TLG will break out the lawyers and fight tooth and nail to protect their "intellectual property" and "copyright" (a.k.a. "price gouging" and "profit").

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By in Germany,

Okay,
1st. There other high quality Lego Clone.
2nd. I am against the Clone. Intellecutal property is important.
3rd, Not every child can afford expensive Lego Toys. Maybe this can make them happy

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By in Belgium,

Lego and china it doesn't work!!!!!

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By in United States,

*gets out Flamethrower*

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By in Japan,

The one that you picked for review didn't represent the quality of the bootleg makers. They have improved over the years. for example the Avengers 2 minifigures from Sheng Yuan. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.852394448176129.1073741920.802963709785870&type=1&l=ffe80c4009 I am not defending bootleg here, the biggest reason why people getting bootleg is the bootleg makers give them what they want at a cheaper prices and decent quality.

You can find many reviews of the bootlegs here: https://www.facebook.com/ShopofNinjaBricks

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By in Philippines,

When is TLG gonna open its factory over there? Is it on 2017?

Just be wary of minifigs being sold on the secondary market.

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By in Hong Kong,

As a Chinese LEGO lover, I totally agree that these fakes are rubbish. But, I have to say that the official LEGO set is much more expensive in China than most other countries. Maybe that's why these brands have the sale potential.

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By in United Kingdom,

The quality of these is amazing, the multi-cultural Anna with her Green legs... Whats not to love?

Chinese LEGO might not be very good, but a couple years ago I was given Japanese fake LEGO, whilst it's avoided licenses from the likes of Disney in a direct way, the figure is very much like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch fame. It even came with a custom moulded head. The colour matching to LEGO was also spot on. I believe the company was called SJB (something or other) I'll see if I still have some laying around but the quality of the Minifigure it self, such as torso and legs (the figure I was given had short legs) was extremely LEGO-like in quality and colour. Unlike the above, the printing on it was also pretty good, which is rare to get both. For example Click Brick was a good parts match, but the print was awful.

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By in Malaysia,

As most have already commented, these fakes are all over the place. A couple of my friends who have kids mentioned that original Lego are just too expensive. Some even said they buy these because their kids will eventually break everything... so I guess the market is still there for fakes... Not everyone can afford the original. Yes, price of Lego sets are much higher in Asia...

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By in Australia,

I am kind of laughing at this righteous moral indignation over some people who have the nerve to "support criminal behaviour" by purchasing knock-offs. Every littered? Ever jaywalked? Ever downloaded a movie, TV show or video that you should've actually paid for? Or recorded a song off the radio to listen to again later? I'm not trying to make an excuse, it's just ... if spending a dollar on bootleg Lego is the *worst* crime that citizens of planet Earth are committing, today? Then I *think* we're gonna be okay. Perspective is a lovely thing, is all I'm saying.

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By in United Kingdom,

To those that said I picked the worse examples of clones to review: that was the whole point.
Woodywood offered to send me some of my choice, I chose those that I thought would be most interesting to look at from a IP violation point of view.

There's no point reviewing good clones, nobody here wants them or buys them given our loyalty to the LEGO brand, otherwise I'd start doing M???b??ks...

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By in Italy,

Ha! spotted them in a shop in Porta Garibaldi Railway Station, Milan, Italy.

There's a shop that's got quite a lot of these knockoffs minifigs

Funny things are:

1. They're being sold for EUR 7.00 each, which is hideously expensive in my book.
2. I spotted One Piece and Dragonball themed minifigs
3. There also are big, (500-800 pieces) military themed models from dodgy chinese brands: again, these are being sold for 60-80 EUR: that is a price nearing Lego's.
4. The clerk told me this: watch out, these look like Lego, but aren't remotely like the real deal ;-)

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By in China,

You shouldn’t say these toys are rubbish,and I am sure you know nothing about China.Although I can afford the real LEGO sets,a large number of children in China still in poor conditions,you have no idea how expensive for them to afford Lego,maybe they will have to save their breakfast money for a whole year to afford just one middle-sized Lego set.Of course,for me,I will choose the real Lego sets but that doesn't mean the others,could choose the real ones.The purpose of the founder of LEGO is that everybody could play well,and it's just a small case about the real sets and the false sets.China is not as developed as your country,You'd better watch your words,we don't like it.

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By in United States,

I love how people are ok with customs, but not clones. Same difference. Did the person making that custom Marvel figure pay for the rights to make and sell that figure? No. But hey, Lego will never make this character anyways, so who cares. But a knockoff company makes a direct copy Green Grocer? "My set might devalue!". There's the difference.

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By in United States,

I don't agree. The difference is not only in the devaluation. Most customs are more like 'artwork'. I have purchased folks that do original artwork. It will never be mass produced, and it is not a direct takeaway from another IP. If I own a custom figure, and a legit one comes out, I buy that too. These knockoffs are direct counterfeit items.

I thought the most interesting theory was the person that said LEGO will let this happen, because as this garbage infiltrates collections, eBay, etc. Then serious collectors will ultimately have to purchase from LEGO only, to guarantee what they get.

Listen, this will cost us collectors MORE money at some point. Either LEGO will fight them, and that cost gets passed on to us, or LEGO will actually get a firmer hold on the market for fear of buying counterfeit crap, and then they can continue to raise their prices however they see fit.

For the folks that think this will keep the price lower??? Dream on.

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By in United States,

I agree with commenters who are saying "it depends" with regards to Chinese knockoffs. Most of them are utter garbage but I will also echo that Decool is actually not bad. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's 97% like LEGO but they certainly look passable enough and handle with above average quality. What made me look into them in the first place though is that they make Marvel minifigs that LEGO doesn't have (yet), which in some ways makes them more like a "custom" minifig rather than a straight-up knockoff, and for a fraction of the price.

It's all splitting hairs mostly but I guess the general idea is just steer clear of knockoff LEGO that will either (a) poison your children or (b) shatter in your hands like a shrapnel grenade =O

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By in United Kingdom,

@BrightHe, no offence was intended. Of course I don't know about conditions in China, and I suspect there is a legitimate market for cheap(er) toys like this, but that still doesn't excuse the blatant copyright and IP infringements.

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By in Denmark,

@Huw - of the copyright and IP infrigements there is no doubt but you have to take under consideration the law, the international signed protocols and the area applicable of such deals. You see it might not be illegal to actually build them over at China. It would however be commercializing them in countries where international laws concerning patents and copyright laws are applicable. I am unware if China respects or abides those protocols, deals and international laws
Nonetheless, You did choose the worst of the replicas :D Which is a good thing. Most knock offs are really bad and I'm against all of them. But some are pretty good "illegal" copies. If LEGO wants to put an end to these companies, there is a simple procedure they should take. Disrupt the secondary black market of LEGO. Stop creating exclusive polys or minifigures only achievable to a few. My real problem isn't with the high quality replica's apart from the legal issue, but how LEGO has become more of an investment than a toy. That is against company principles yet, as it has been profitable they keep on doing it with no regards to the consequences in the secondary market. LEGO looks the other way. And by doing so they realize many do not get a chance to even hold such rare toys. Is that even pondered? I guess that is a matter of utter capitalism. Such policies disregard all FOLs and seek only self promotion. If they did want to end such unlawful competition, they'd just need to flood the market with the so called rare minifigs making quality accesible at a low price. But you have to consider yet another thing. There is one company that is going beyond LEGO, building and designing molds and printings of their own (check Sheng Yuan). That is what LEGO should fear and why it should hold on to its minifigure patent. Innovation has always been the key. To sum it up: a good but partial article that focuses on only a part of the problem.

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By in United States,

The venomous disdain on this post is just silly. ...These are obviously knock-offs from the outset and will of course have terrible QC. ...But they're also a fraction of the price and not very easy to get ahold of.

They're just a funny oddity and not worth getting all worked up over.

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By in Indonesia,

It is a "guilty pleasure" trip and you have been warned. I too find a bit of dark enjoyments in seeing cheap, baiting knock-off, IP-infringing, mass produced frauds being torn apart in humorous way, although this article could see a lot of improvement in that department. The price difference is one of the main factor, but personally, I would give $10 to a beggar and feel better for it than buying a set I so desire by choosing bootleg brands that is cheaper by $20. Whatever I do, it still is not that $30 LEGO set that I wanted. Which brings us to one of the answers on the question when it is okay to purchase alternative brick brands? Whenever LEGO doesn't manufacture it.

My only gripes with Chinese knock-off is that, you can't just come clean after considering that even mass-producing and selling cheap toys will still involve a lot of people, fully functioning machineries, and distribution network. It takes so much human effort to produce garbage. So I still have to respect the amount of toil that goes into this, yet hate the person who came up with the idea to do this. That leaves me in an odd position.

Morale-wise, you can't excuse producing "toys" for poor masses, when the biggest effort by bootleggers like LAGO, LEBQ so far is to deceive potential buyers by having similar logo. At least that "Bom Bom" brand is more honest with their distinctive logo that clearly says "this is not LEGO".

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By in United States,

I wish there was a way to report these, there are quite a few sellers on Ebay selling only these knock-offs. The biggest reason i want to report them them is that they actually claim they are lego brand, and therefore is false advertising.

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By in China,

I think U R the Cheap rubbish

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By in United States,

What can you expect from a one or two dollar toy?

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By in Indonesia,

I live in a small town in Indonesia, and the best collectible shop in town only sells bootlegs, my poor town :( I was really disgusted when the clerk said there were no LEGO there :(

When I browsed on domestic online shops, there are genuine LEGO sets but they are mostly sold around 2 to 3 times the original price, even at big shops specializing at "premium" toys. I think that's the reason why these companies survive, because the original LEGO is really overpriced at some countries so they had some chance there.

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By in United Kingdom,

@freed0m We've found the same, genuine LEGO appears to be extremely hard to get in places like China, Peru and Indonesia, but the demand for it is there, most of our largest wholesale/resale accounts are from those countries and we just sell custom figures, so imagine the demand for actual sets.

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By in Singapore,

I am surprised we even talk about this here. Obviously both BOM BOM and JLB are fake products. Even SY and Decool, I don’t think they are licensed by relative trade mark owners. Making, selling, buying and owning this type of fake products are fundamentally wrong. We are talking about bad quality of BOM BOM and JLB here, does it simply means that it is OK to buy and own fake product s such as BOM BOM and JLB if their quality is equal or better than Lego?

Some people suggested SY and Decool, again what is the point of reviewing fake products? Shall we go for SY and Decool if their quality is comparable to Lego? Again, quality is not the issue here, is just wrong to go for fake product.

Having a lower income and can’t afford the legitimate products don’t give you a valid reason to go for fake products. For example for those people can’t afford a Rolex watch (like me), does it give them a valid reason to go for fake Rolex watch?

As for availability, does it give you the right to sell and buy fake products if legitimate products are not available in your region/country?

For those who concern about fake products (such as JBL) being offered at eBay, you can always feedback to eBay directly. By the way, may be you can consider informing Amazon as well. Yes, such products are also available at Amazon.com.

Last but not least, Huw, from your article, you have just confessed to the whole world that you have brought in some fake products. Some countries especially those in Europe are very serious about counterfeit and piracy. Anyone who bring in counterfeit/fake products are subject to severe penalty. You may argue that is for review purpose and you have thrown it away after that, it is still wrong.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ I'll wait for the Disney police to knock on my door, then :)

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By in {Unknown country},

It would be interesting if you made an article comparing a "Chimo" set with a real Chima set.

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By in United States,

Where are the disturbing images and strong language?

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By in Australia,

^Strong language: J#i L# B# toys and B#m B#m ;)

The images are very disturbing, fake LEGO ugh...

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By in United States,

I've managed to collect every knock-off Iron Man armor and now have nearly 30 unique "marks" to fly with my 5 authentic Lego versions over my authentic Tony Stark Workshop as part of my House Party Protocol diorama. While I agree that the paint and quality is cheap, they look just fine on display. I assemble them, add them to the diorama and leave 'em alone!

The Chinese companies are producing armors that Lego isn't and that's fine with me.

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By in United States,

Elsa with black hair... They even include a card with an image of the correct Elsa... -_-

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By in Australia,

There is a shop in my city here in Australia which sells plenty of these boxed figures. Is there someone at LEGO I can inform? And if so, do you think they will act on it?

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By in Indonesia,

FREEDOM, you can come to Jakarta and go to Cilandak Town Square, we have our own official LEGO Store since December 2013. And yes, it is still as expensive as it it. The $20 Lego 60073 Service Truck is IDR 360,000 here, the $40 60074 Bulldozer is IDR 590,000. It is more or less the same.

Anyway, everybody is welcome to try producing brick toys. It is a free market, MegaBloks, Kre-O, whatever. License GI-Joe, HALO, Transformers, anything legit, and I am not interested, but I won't say bad things, since they are legitimate. Even Oxford, they are original and very okay. Just don't try reproducing fakes, deceive people, and steal IPs. I have yet to see one genuine attempt by the Chinese toys manufacturer to create a single legitimate brand. It is a custom tradition in many Asian culture (except probably Japan) to diss children's world as being less serious and therefore giving it less attention. A lot of parents are giving their children whatever toys and cartoons (including adult anime) to silence them, while they are busy looking for money to buy them expensive life-squeezing cramming education.

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By in Indonesia,

FREEDOM, you can come to Jakarta and go to Cilandak Town Square, we have our own official LEGO Store since December 2013. And yes, it is still as expensive as it it. The $20 Lego 60073 Service Truck is IDR 360,000 here, the $40 60074 Bulldozer is IDR 590,000. It is more or less the same.

Anyway, everybody is welcome to try producing brick toys. It is a free market, MegaBloks, Kre-O, whatever. License GI-Joe, HALO, Transformers, anything legit, and I am not interested, but I won't say bad things, since they are legitimate. Even Oxford, they are original and very okay. Just don't try reproducing fakes, deceive people, and steal IPs. I have yet to see one genuine attempt by the Chinese toys manufacturer to create a single legitimate brand. It is a custom tradition in many Asian culture (except probably Japan) to diss children's world as being less serious and therefore giving it less attention. A lot of parents are giving their children whatever toys and cartoons (including adult anime) to silence them, while they are busy looking for money to buy them expensive life-squeezing cramming education.

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By in United States,

I have seen some bootlegs made in china, chima and ninjago, marketed as "CHIWA", and "SPINJAGO". They have just barely changed names of the products, and the plastics were clearly 3D printed. Some even being glued together, or in splintery pieces. A horrible copyright infringement and atrocious quality.

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By in Singapore,

I have some of these fakes and when compared with the originals you can see the discrepancies. They did make some pretty nice copies, like the one of the Collector from the GOTG movie, along with a much better looking version of Groot compared to the Lego version.

Rest are pretty much junk. There are boxes of copycat sets based on some SDCC sets too floating around.

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By in United States,

I used to buy lego sets to resell them years ago.. I stopped buying them once I found out that they starting making them in CHINA!!

China doesn't recognize any international patents and it communist. So if you think it is ok to share your business secrets with them and think they will not copy your stuff ur lying to yourself. It has happened to many U.S. companies before and will continue to happen. It has even put people out of business..

http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-outsourcing-to-china-cost-fellowes.html

If I ever found China Lego sets here in the states, I would buy them in a heartbeat.. Ebay and Amazon sell them to parents who want to buy their kids legos and can not afford them. I know my dad being a Mexican would not care if he bought me the real thing or a knock off..

Thank god that Mexicans like myself now hold more jobs any other nationality here in the U.S.A. People like myself are willing to do the work the rest of you are too spoiled to do.. When we get our hard earned money, we will take it and buy the cheap Chinese knock offs and The Lego group will suffer huge losses since they decided to go cheap..

When the minimum wage goes up to $15 an hour, do you really think we will buy Official Lego bricks, Hell No.. We are going to keep buying our kids the cheap sets.. they will lose the pieces anyways and do you really think they will start collecting them? I'd rather spend my money on Organic food like Chipotle than Official Lego Bricks.

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By in Germany,

Its not only against LEGO licences, its also against Disney or Marvel licences and others too.

And there are still seller accounts at the UK or US and others, which sell LEGO Super Heroes counterfeit figures. They have the word lego in headline...but they call it customs from not lego parts. or custom printed or lego compatible and so on. Ebay does not care about....

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By in United Kingdom,

Rip out my eyes! Make me unsee!

Isn't it illegal to use another logo (e.g. Star Wars) on a non-endorsed product?

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By in United States,

Oh! Let them be. It is like the Adobe products. When I was a starving student, I bought pirate copies of PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, etc. Every time I used them, I often said to myself: "Someday I will buy a genuine copy and make up for my vice" - and I did. Majority of the population in China, or perhaps many of the third world countries can't afford the price of LEGO. Believe me, when these kids grow up, they will want to buy the real LEGO. There you are, marketing for the future.

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