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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    I have my doubts if Lepin will give up copying Lego -- the money is too good. :-)

    Lele and Bela has been at it for years, and there is no sign of any original design from them.

    It is telling that TLG went after Lepin instead of Bela, who is the bigger offender in terms of sets. :-D


    As for Lego Ideas, Hsanhe has been copying (or at least highly inspired by) the Mini-Shop series. But this reveals an opportunity as well. Currently, a MOC enthusiast has no way to commercialize his work. If there is a brick supplier, he can actually create his own sets and sell them! This is what Hsanhe appears to be doing -- they seem to be a very small outfit. There is no way they can afford to have the brick molds for the few sets they put out.

    There is a Sembo Block mini-building series too:


    Is this original, from Lego Ideas or someone's MOC?
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    Pitfall69 said:
    I understand the point you are trying to make, but there is a difference. Hilary Page didn't know that his patent was being used by other toy companies to make "similar" building blocks. Had he known, he could have filed a lawsuit. I liken Lego to that of Thomas Edision; they did not invent the interlocking building block, they made it better. Besides,  Page and his company went off in a different direction anyway and did not think the "plastic" building blocks were as successful as his next project. In the end, he was wrong. I also don't think that you can take one wrongful action and make it right with another. This happened almost 80 years ago!!! Ole Kirk is long gone. If you want to bring up things that happened THAT long ago to condemn a person or company, then how would you feel if the world still condemns every German for what happened before and during WWII? This is now and that was then, just because Lego "stole" an idea 80 years ago doesn't make it right for LEPIN to steal anything and everything from LEGO. "Take that you thieving bastards!!!" - LEPIN

    I myself don't mind whether Lego stole the original design or not, I was just replying to @danstraindepot as he obviously thought Lego to be on impeccable moral high ground, which they are not.

    Oh and about our own history. Don't worry, we don't need the world to remind or condemn us for what we did in WWII, our own educational systems guarantees that every new generation will forever feel guilty for what our ancestors did, even though we and our kids have no connection to those deeds whatsoever. But that is something for a discussion in a different place.

  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    SumoLego said:
    I also bowl.


    Yay, what a great reference ;-)

    SumoLego
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    @AustinPowers , that's actually pretty awful if that is what happens in your educational system :(   You had nothing to do with what happened back then. The same thing goes on here. Of course, the whole slavery issue. 
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,813
    Oooh I know all about you rubber rain boot tossing Brits. Believe me.
    Still this doesn't look half as daft as people playing curling. Another 'sport' made popular by the British (the Scottish to be more exact). Yes, the British definitely do so excel at fun and games. You are a wonderful people, most amusing, and sometimes a bit bemusing.

    ps.
    Could be worse though, you could be Dutch.

    Indeed, some of my favourite things when I lived in Holland ...





    catwranglerTheBigLegoskisnowhitie
  • 3stackshs3stackshs Member Posts: 299
     
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 1,002
    i always have to think bout those shops where you can smoke a spliff when speaking bout holland    :)
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    nhyone said:

    There is no way they can afford to have the brick molds for the few sets they put out.
    It's fairly obvious that there are companies out there that make parts for other companies' sets. I've wondered if that explains LEPIN's apparent meteoric rise. If they used to produce pieces for other companies, or perhaps even whole sets, then they could have established a factory that had grown to a significant size, built a whole collection of moulds, and have gained the experience to be able to produce quality parts. If they then decided that there was more money to be made elsewhere, they could've switched some or all of that capacity to their own brand, literally overnight.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    My lepin ucs mf was delivered today. I'll update on parts quality later tonight, though I won't be starting the build yet. 
  • nhyonenhyone Member Posts: 145
    edited September 2016
    Brickset frontpage has a new article A survey of Communist LEGO 2016.

    It sort-of sweeps the big four copycats under the carpet: Bela, Decool, Lele and Lepin. These are the direct threats to TLG. Their design is as good as Lego (duh), their quality acceptable to good, and the price cheap.

    It also has extremely biased sampling. It showcases the bad sets, but not the good ones. This leads the ignorant (like I once was) to think that Lego is far and away superior to the others.

    Here are two examples.

    Sluban F1 car:



    The article claims that Sluban copies Oxford. It may be true in the past, but I find that the two lines don't overlap. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Sluban has the same Oxford minifig design, that's it.


    Enlighten Sunshine Hotel:



    Used to be a copycat in the past (based on Internet hearsay), but now has its own line. The design aren't too bad, although still simple compared to Lego's.

    The bricks have 'ENLI' on the studs.


    So, don't be caught unaware by the ever-rising quality, not just in bricks, but in design.
    Jern92
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 347
    I just read through the article. Quite interesting. Although no Lepin sets were reviewed. I have purchased sets from ausini, enlighten, kazi, and sluban. I agree with pretty much everything they said in the piece reguarding those sets. But I will say, enlightens bricks are by no means great, they are also not bad. They are the best of these companies, well except for Lepin.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    edited September 2016
    so here's some early observations on parts, along with some pictures:
    boat rigging. LEGO on top from QAR has more flexibility to it than the the Lepin version (bottom) which seems to be made from a more rigid formulation of ABS the minifigs are clearly the weakest part of the offering, but they aren't awful. Leg joints are very stiff. Luke got the wrong hair (it has a friends bow-hole in the top).  Chewies chest/head piece doesn't clutch very tight to LEGO torso. On the plus side, when seated on a seat or plate, the clutch power is MUCH better than LEGO minifigures Lepin on the left, LEGO on the right 50% Lepin, 50% LEGO
    of the handful of parts I've examined so far, this one is clearly the worst. The good news is that all the pieces are consistent one to the next. the bad news is they are all consistently just slightly out of alignment, as can be seen in the second photo when reversing the pattern - those pieces are being forced to sit askew like that.  i can push them in flush to the center pillar, but they just flex out again.  i can attach them at the bottom and hold them in place with little trouble, but you can see that this is a problem in the molding precison. Lepin pieces side by side with their LEGO counterparts. I did compare the clutch power on the Lepin version of the grey arm/clip, and honestly I think it's a notable improvement over the LEGO piece. Both the clip end and the studded end have noticeably better clutch than LEGO's version. On the whole, I'm mostly impressed with the parts quality so far. holding a Lepin piece in your hand next to its LEGO counterpart, it isn't readily obvious which is which. Neither feels weightier or more substantial then the other. Clutch power when clicking bricks together was close enough to not be able to tell the difference either way. didn't notice any obvious difference in the hardness, smoothness or edges of the parts. the LEGO bricks have a slightly more glossy finish to them then the Lepin ones (as can be seen in the 3rd photo). the Lepin version has better color consistency (as can be seen easily under a flash), although this could be due to them being from the same molding batch, while the LEGO pieces were from my parts collection, and may have come from different sets/batches. Overall, I think the molding precision of the Lepin pieces is slight inferior to the LEGO versions (again, photos 3 and 4) Overall, from a first blush on a handful of parts, I'm mostly satisfied. the parts are at least 95% as good as their LEGO equivalents, with some notable exceptions. I look forward to assembling the set and getting a much more in depth experience with all the parts and how they assemble together.
    cheshirecatTheBigLegoskiCCCPitfall69AllBrickkhmellymelmustang69
  • Sven_FSven_F CroatiaMember Posts: 17
    When you say "better" clutch power,  you mean "more",  right?  It would be interesting to see how their elements hold up the test of time.  More clutch power likely stresses the elements, making them more likely to crack.  The legs you mention being especially prone. 
    TheBigLegoskiPitfall69catwranglerAllBrick
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited September 2016
    Sven_F said:
    When you say "better" clutch power,  you mean "more",  right?  It would be interesting to see how their elements hold up the test of time.  More clutch power likely stresses the elements, making them more likely to crack.  The legs you mention being especially prone. 


    What is it with the cracking argument? I have had Lego for almost forty years now, heavily played with in my youth and used and reused in MOCs in recent years. I have never EVER had a cracked piece. What on earth do you do to Lego pieces to get them to crack? Or do we in Germany somehow get premium Lego pieces that just don't crack? Perhaps that is why we pay more for Lego than the US ;-)

    @dougts: thank you for the interesting pics of the MF pieces. I have the Lepin Town Hall and it also uses those "ribbed" 1x2s, albeit in a different colour, dark bluish grey. I didn't notice the effect your bricks showed. Will check again if mine have the same effect that I might have overlooked.

  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    ^ There is a thread somewhere that details lots of people having extreme LEGO cracking problems, particularly but not limited to cheese slopes. On displayed sets too so nothing to do with over-use. The reason is unknown but it definitely happens (hasn't happened to me either though).
    Pitfall69
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    To be clear, the clutch on normal bricks and plates, etc seemed the same as the LEGO equivalent.

    Clutch on the clip/bar piece was better than LEGO (basically same clutch as normal instead of the weak clutch that that LEGO piece always has

    seated minifigs also had "normal" clutch as opposed to the weak clutch that LEGO minifigs have.  There may be good reason that LEGO minifigs have weak clutch when sitting, and I am only drawing the comparison
  • parsomparsom Member Posts: 46
    Well, Lepin Haunted House idea is growing on me after this parts review... Does anybody has it?

  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    @dougts: here is a picture of the Town Hall detail I mentioned.
    I couldn't find the misalignment issue with my bricks:



    And in case anyone is interested, here is a comparison pic of the Lego Brick Separator versus the (very different this time) Lepin version (which actually works better separating tiles than the Lego original funnily enough):


    catwrangler
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,813
    And looks a lot more handsome than the TRU Geoffrey.
    Pitfall69stluxcatwranglerKevin_Hyatt
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited October 2016
    Actually I have only used him so far to separate all the tiles from the Lepin Green Grocer baseplates, when I swapped the baseplates for the Lego originals. :-)
    The Town Hall I already built on an original tan Lego baseplate. The Lepin baseplates are just too thick for my liking, although they make good minifig holder plates similar to the ones from Strictly Briks that Jang used for his display.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    @dougts: here is a picture of the Town Hall detail I mentioned.
    I couldn't find the misalignment issue with my bricks:



    And in case anyone is interested, here is a comparison pic of the Lego Brick Separator versus the (very different this time) Lepin version (which actually works better separating tiles than the Lego original funnily enough):


    Alternate the pattern like I did in my example. 
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    You mean as in horizontal versus vertical?
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Like the 7th picture in my post
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    Still can't detect a problem. Judge for yourself, or better still, have a guess, on one side is Lego, next to it is Lepin. Which is which?


  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    No. mine look fine like that too.  You still aren't copying what I did in my picture.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    Well I could go back and rebuild the structure you made, but what would be the difference? Yours offers the same alternating patterns like mine. But most importantly, as you can see from my picture, both columns are exactly identical, and don't show any misalignment. Neither the Lego bricks nor the Lepin ones. Why should that change when I arrange them like you did? (Which isn't much different from what I made anyway).
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited October 2016
    For what it's worth, I rebuilt your structure, including those pieces that were askew on purpose.

    Lepin:


    Lego:


    Honestly, I can't see a difference. Apart from the fact I turned the two "askew" bricks the wrong way round on the Lego version, but that shouldn't make a difference, should it?
  • DoctorMcGannDoctorMcGann NashvilleMember Posts: 37
    They weren't askew on purpose, his point was that on the lepin bricks they were forced to be askew.
    dougtsPitfall69Jern92
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    They weren't askew on purpose, his point was that on the lepin bricks they were forced to be askew.
    Thank you.  I guess I did a poor job of explaining it. I'm going to try later with both lepin and Lego bricks 
    Pitfall69
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    I've seen something very similar in the upper section of #10181. From memory, there's a slightly unconventional method used which ends up with a stud in the bottom of the brick above springing apart if given half a chance. I can't remember the details; one of these days I'll dig it out and have a look.
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited October 2016
    They weren't askew on purpose, his point was that on the lepin bricks they were forced to be askew.
    In that case I really misunderstood. Funny, I had quite a hard time to get them askew for the picture at all as they didn't want to stay that way, neither the Lepin nor the Lego
    :-)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Apparently, Google has a sense of humor ;)
    AanchirstluxcatwranglerTheBigLegoskiadiemcMAGNINOMINISUMBRApharmjoddavetheoxygenmanAllBrick
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Omg.  That is awesome
    Pitfall69
  • TheBigLegoskiTheBigLegoski Amsterdam, NederlandMember Posts: 1,435
    Behold. We are in awe.
    Pitfall69
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,420
    Had to try this myself; Google does it both in Chrome and Edge. AWESOME.
    Pitfall69
  • adiemcadiemc UKMember Posts: 530
    Safari on iPhone too! I love those little google things. Type in "Do a barrel roll" 
    TheBigLegoskiPitfall69stlux
  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 993
    Hard to beat 'A long time ago in a galaxy far far away'...
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,813
    "Beam me up Scotty" on google now is bad ...
    plasmodium
  • MaffyDMaffyD West YorkshireMember Posts: 3,036
    Define anagram
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,942
    CCC said:
    "Beam me up Scotty" on google now is bad ...
    Yeah, that is atrocious, isn't it...I showed it to a Star Trek fan friend of mine once and they didn't even recognise what it was supposed to be. XD
  • ricecakericecake Maryland, USAMember Posts: 879
    recursion
    plasmodium
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    *Tiffany

     My fat testicles got in the way again ;)
    SumoLegopharmjodcatwranglerbandit778
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Pitfall69 said:
    Another copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Toffany & Co.
    That's a trademark dispute, not copyright. That's a very different beast, and is why TLG makes such a fuss about the way "LEGO" is used.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Oops, I meant trademark. I got side tracked. Anyway...they were awarded 5.5 million...Wow.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Pitfall69 said:
    Oops, I meant trademark.
    Presumably that was down to a different set of fat testicles getting in the way? HOW many?
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,923
    TigerMoth said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    Another copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Toffany & Co.
    That's a trademark dispute, not copyright. That's a very different beast, and is why TLG makes such a fuss about the way "LEGO" is used.
    I think LEGO could potentially win damages for trademark violations in some Lepin products, such as "Ninjag" or "Nexu Knights". Those are not just products, they are IPs, and they are IPs that the LEGO Group owns rather than just ones they license from others. I believe even character designs can be protected by trademark, so LEGO may have an edge when it comes to infringement of these character-driven brands.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Aanchir said:
    TigerMoth said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    Another copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Toffany & Co.
    That's a trademark dispute, not copyright. That's a very different beast, and is why TLG makes such a fuss about the way "LEGO" is used.
    I think LEGO could potentially win damages for trademark violations in some Lepin products, such as "Ninjag" or "Nexu Knights". Those are not just products, they are IPs, and they are IPs that the LEGO Group owns rather than just ones they license from others. I believe even character designs can be protected by trademark, so LEGO may have an edge when it comes to infringement of these character-driven brands.
    You forgot to add " in certain jurisdictions to the end of your last sentence."
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