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Fake Minifigures - Beware!

lovelegolovelego Member Posts: 16
Was browsing thru a mall the other day and came across this kiosk selling toys. What caught my eye was the availability of Ninjago mini figures...or so I thought!

Upon closer inspection, I then realized it was a knock off! I was totally shocked and actually stood there for a couple of minutes in disbelief. The packaging, color and graphics were very similar. Seeing the words, Ninjaman gave me mix emotions. It was funny but made me upset also for some reason.

Just wanted to share this with everyone. Be extra careful especially when purchasing single mini figures. Unfortunately there are fakes out there!
CCC

Comments

  • LURKERnumber2149LURKERnumber2149 Member Posts: 15
    yup, I seen the turbo shredder bike like this, don't think it was ninjamon though.....same box design just different name....
  • murphquakemurphquake Member Posts: 651
    I've seen clones of the skull bike and another small set here in NYC as well
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    Surely that's not legal??
  • mrtonytjmrtonytj Guest Posts: 214
    beegeedee said:

    Surely that's not legal??

    Of course not!
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    edited January 2013
    Have you not seen the fake Ice dragon's listed on this very website? (through the ebay listing of course)

    http://www.brickset.com/detail/?set=2260-1

    Edit - although it may only show for ebay.co.uk
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    Odd thing about these fakes is that they actually become collectible in some areas.
    In the action figure world SW figures have been faked for years (as have many others) and some of these now form key parts of certain collectors' focuses on character etc. so while they are a pain and so very wrong they do also open up an area of collecting if you are that way inclined.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,704
    lovelego said:

    Was browsing thru a mall the other day and came across this kiosk selling toys. What caught my eye was the availability of Ninjago mini figures...or so I thought!

    Upon closer inspection, I then realized it was a knock off! I was totally shocked and actually stood there for a couple of minutes in disbelief. The packaging, color and graphics were very similar. Seeing the words, Ninjaman gave me mix emotions. It was funny but made me upset also for some reason.

    Just wanted to share this with everyone. Be extra careful especially when purchasing single mini figures. Unfortunately there are fakes out there!

    I'd be interested to know what country you live in? I've seen pictures of these fakes before, the printing looks similar to lego, but the quality is a poor.

    I can understand street stalls selling counterfeit goods, but surely it's breaking some laws as a UK ebay seller?!
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    ^ I would say so. I know there were a few cases relating to counterfeit handbags and perfume a few years ago and I think eBay got in trouble for it because they never took action against the sellers.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,308
    Lego are the rights owners. If they care about the sales of fakes on ebay, they need to join VERO and they need to be reporting fake sets like that to ebay.

    Regular joe public can report all they like, ebay might remove a single item, they might not. But if a VERO rep makes the report, it will be removed as it is clearly fake.

    I think the OP is right in what he says. It is actually easy to spot a fake set. There is no lego logo for a start. Spotting faked minifigs (or indeed parts) taken from these sets is much harder, especially if you are buying them on the internet and so cannot check the quality of them before paying.
  • lovelegolovelego Member Posts: 16
    Wonder if Lego ever considered about patenting the mini figure? My fear is purchasing a bizarro or some other rare comic con minifig and it turns out to be fake!
  • mountebankmountebank Member Posts: 1,237
    If they had sought to protect the original design with a registered design or a design patent, this would have expired long ago. If they were now seeking to protect current iterations, then the legal costs would be prohibitive when you think about the number of minifigures each year and the fact that protection would need to be sought in individual countries.

    Of course, they could decide to protect a handful, but when this sort of strategy is used, the really valuable ones often haven't been protected.

    That's just the IP generation issue. Enforcing IP against small-ish Far East companies when it's not millions of pounds/dollars at stake is not straightforward.
  • lovelegolovelego Member Posts: 16
    I was thinking more about protecting the design or rather the shape of the mini-figure. Would be unrealistic to protect what is printed on the minifigure but the shape is possible if they wanted to. The variants would be the shorter elf legs and triangle base legs. Rest of the body parts are the same.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,704
    lovelego said:

    Wonder if Lego ever considered about patenting the mini figure? My fear is purchasing a bizarro or some other rare comic con minifig and it turns out to be fake!

    I'm pretty sure it is.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,308
    lovelego said:

    Wonder if Lego ever considered about patenting the mini figure? My fear is purchasing a bizarro or some other rare comic con minifig and it turns out to be fake!

    The problem is the parts might be genuine lego, so carry all the lego marks. But the printing could be faked.

  • peterlinddkpeterlinddk DenmarkMember Posts: 170
    The LEGO Minifigure was patented: see http://www.google.com/patents/USD253711 - this was back in 1979, so it must have expired some 20 years later, probably around the year 2000.

    The LEGO Group tend to patent every single mould they produce, but patents only last so long (usually around 20 years, is my understanding) and LEGO bricks (and sets) last much, much longer, so the copy-cats just sit around, waiting.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^Yup, this. My profile pic is basically a drawing submitted along with a LEGO design patent. They had lots and lots of patents.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,038
    I'm wondering if these are actually from the LEGO factory in China instead of just being cheap knock-offs. I have seen detailed pictures of these Ninjaman sets and they copied everything down to the design on the cards. The only difference is the word Ninjaman, instead of Ninjago.

    I know that with other brands that are manufactured in China, the same factory that makes the official products will also allow a black-market to exists, where they run a few hundred or thousand extra products on the same machines with the same raw materials, creating products that are pretty much impossible to detect they are fake. They are sold on the black-market for fraction of the price and can also end up on eBay...)c:
  • 1brickshyofcrazy1brickshyofcrazy Member Posts: 31
    If you don't mind telling where was this kiosk located, country, state, city, town?
    lovelego said:

    Was browsing thru a mall the other day and came across this kiosk selling toys. What caught my eye was the availability of Ninjago mini figures...or so I thought!

    Upon closer inspection, I then realized it was a knock off! I was totally shocked and actually stood there for a couple of minutes in disbelief. The packaging, color and graphics were very similar. Seeing the words, Ninjaman gave me mix emotions. It was funny but made me upset also for some reason.

    Just wanted to share this with everyone. Be extra careful especially when purchasing single mini figures. Unfortunately there are fakes out there!

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