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Clone Brands

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  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    A kind friend bought me a load of these sets from Manila. The quality is not bad and figure printing is exactly the same but instructions must have been written by someone colour blind.
    andhe
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    How much is something like that? It looks identical to the Lego version, but without the planet.
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    He said they cost just over £2. One series seems to be the same sets as the planets. The other series seems to be completely different though as attached
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    I'd be curious to try something like that, if only to reassure myself that it's not actually as good as real Lego :)
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    That other set looks a bit like #8031 V-19 Torrent
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    from a distance you cannot see a difference. Its only when you touch it that you can tell. The Bom Bom bricks are a little lighter (weight) material.
  • CoolsplashCoolsplash Member Posts: 935
    Well I feel with the new upcoming wave of 3D printing and then Lego factory China to kick start we will see alot of clone companies to pop up. Apart from the colour blinded instructions and the colour of the bricks the clone brands will make a better market, but it mainly relies on the Klutch power of the bricks ;)

  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,392
    ^I've said it before but (ignoring the fact that it's a total infringement of many properties) I admire the fact that they've made their own designs rather than just ripping of and official lego product. It's funny to think that someone is employed in an office somewhere to design it all (or at least rip-off the LEGO design somewhat).

    It does make you wonder if people in the out-sourced lego factories are earning a bit on the side (whether it be the design, or copying the moulds/using the mould with cheaper plastic)

    I've also found that with fake brands, what comes out of the box can vary vastly from what's shown on the front of the box! Have you opened them?
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    I have opened them and attached some photos. My son has been playing with the figures for only a day so the printing on the torsos doesn't hold up as well but they seem to be made from the same molds as the original figures.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    They look incredibly cheap even from the pictures. I can imagine how they feel.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,866
    I am glad I know what's happening in some markets but I feel dirty now for even opening this thread.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,645
    Those hair pieces don't look right.
  • greekmickgreekmick UKMember Posts: 710
    I have already thrown away the bricks so as not to get them mixed up with the proper stuff.

    The guy who got them for me was so pleased with himself as well because I told him to keep an eye out for LEGO bargains. He also bought me a Ralph Lauren polo shirt with a three legged horse. Nice to know he was thinking about me with all the temptation Manila can offer!
    andhekhmellymel
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,645
    Knock off city! Did he get you any Tommy Hilfinger aftershave?
  • jamiewjamiew Member Posts: 165
    I'm probably in a small minority here but I love picking up bootlegs. I love them for their cheapness, ugliness and just plain absurd takes on brands and lines I collect. I think they add a great dimension to the collection.

    That said, for others interested in seeing more pics of knock-offs I stumbled on a terrific thread on a Filipino toy collector site that has loads of pictures from various brands. The language alternates between English and Filipino but there's plenty to keep you busy. What I gathered from these collectors is that it's cost that drives them to the clone brands and they're every bit as passionate about the knock-offs as we are of the real thing.

    http://ptkforums.fr.yuku.com/topic/1658/The-Alternative-bricks?page=1#.UgRCw2S9Kc0

    In the least it's a fun time killer
  • malleablemalleable USAMember Posts: 13
    I was recently sorting a bulk lot and discovered some BTR ("Built to Rule") bricks. For a clone brand, I was impressed by the quality. They're much harder to distinguish than megabloks or Tyco, and they almost have that same distinct Lego "sound" when they hit each other. I still threw them away.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Denver 4800 miles to BillundMember Posts: 2,578
    EKSam said:

    Came across this

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BD7PHXY?psc=1

    Looks like a replica of #4996 Beach House :-). The Beach house with dark pink lego is in our " summer builds " list. When I showed this to my daughter she went "oooh" :-)

    Does the side of the purple car read "junketing" or is it just me?
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 3,392
    So what's the deal here? Is it someone doing a nightshift in the lego factory with inferior plastic, stolen moulds, or are they replicating their own?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,645
    I don't see how they can be using lego moulds, since the studs would have LEGO on them. I somehow doubt that they employ someone to sand the LEGO name off before selling them. More likely they are replicating the molds and doing their own print (which the close-ups show is awful).
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    @paul_merton I believe this is what you were looking for . 1680 something pieces , none missing . There is plenty of Snot involved .In my opinion the finish and the end result is a very impressive, accurate, smooth and detailed 25 inch tall structure .
    Styer
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    Sorry about the low res photos . The high res from the camera just wouldn't upload .
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    Yes, I built my own over a year ago now :)
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    edited September 2013
    Aanchir said:

    I've heard from some people that Mega Bloks parts are higher-quality now than they were in the 90s, but I haven't owned a Mega Bloks set since the early naughts so I can't verify whether the difference is consequential.

    ^ I tried Mega Bloks a year ago, all I can say...

    Horrible, terrible, complete and utter trash, worthless and a waste of time.

    If that isn't clear, let me know and I'll come up with some more thoughts on them. :)
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 4,866
    ^ So, you haven't been able to move them? ;o)
    Pitfall69CCCSirKevbagsjasor
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,438
    I have to tell ya, I have 2 Tyco Lego compatible phones. They are great. We had one at our shop and everyone loved seeing my wife answer the "Lego" phone :)
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    @paul_merton Ahh .. my apologies :) . Did not realize the original post was over a year old . So now that i have someone to compare notes with , what are your thoughts on the Wange Big Ben ?
    I ended up purchasing almost the entire series , Tower of Pisa , Eiffel Tower, Tower bridge , Spaskiya Tower and the twin towers of Kuala Lumpur. Not had the time to build them yet but in time ...
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    My thoughts on Big Ben are probably somewhere on the first page of this thread. As for the others, I'm in the middle of building the Tower of Pisa. Not that impressed with it to be honest, which is why I haven't finished it yet :) Feels a bit flimsy so far, and it's not really apparent how you're supposed to maintain a perfect heptagonal shape as you build upwards. I don't think I'd buy any others, the Tower of Pisa just seemed a convenient and similar size to display on the other side of my TV from Big Ben.
  • paul_mertonpaul_merton UKMember Posts: 2,966
    ^ Forgot to add, the printed clock pieces on the Big Ben spoil what would otherwise be a great model. They look nothing like the real thing, and would have looked so much better if they were white instead of tan coloured!
  • StyerStyer Huntington, WV, USAMember Posts: 73
    Has anyone tried out BRICTEK? I see a couple neat looking modern naval sets on Amazon, though the ones that caught my eye are probably more expensive than I'd be willing to spend on a clone brand product, the models and even the minifigures look really good.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    @Styer - I haven't seen these yet, but the picture of their "Mega Tank" model looks exactly like the Block Tech 321 piece Combat Tank that I'm seeing all over the place in discount stores nowadays, and which I'm assuming is a Jubilux Woma, based on the scoop-headed fig that comes with it -- unless it's a knock off, which I have no way to tell at the moment. I picked up a copy of the Block Tech set and built it about a week ago. The build was poorly-engineered, but the parts could be used to build a better model of the same object. On the other hand, why bother? If you want military models, I'd lay dollars to donuts you'll get far better value out of a Cobi - with quite good parts, reasonable build, and clear instructions. At this point I can't speak to any of the higher-end Chinese clones, as I have yet to obtain any, in my quest for all forms of forbidden knowledge in this arena. All in due time...
  • Chang405Chang405 Member Posts: 88
    edited October 2013
    For military models, I highly recommend Oxford. Their brick quality is only ever so slightly below that of LEGO. (Oxford supplies Hasbro with their Kre-O bricks).

    Most Chinese clones copy their military models off of Oxford designs and are not worth it. You are liable to get broken, loose and smelly parts.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2013
    In the few clone sets I've built so far, the Character Building/Cobi parts have been fairly close to LEGO in mold quality and clutch, whereas Kre-O (and hence Oxford) were a notch below - still not bad, but not quite as good. The figs that come with Cobi's own line (not Character Building), are also much like LEGO minifigs, though possessing little noses, and less stiff in the joints. But I have more of both brands (and some others) in the queue, so my opinions might shift a bit as I work through them.

    FWIW, I also ascertained this evening that the Character Building Scooby-Doo Wing Walker Playset is an extremely minor variation of the Cobi "Small Army" line Guardian biplane.
  • StyerStyer Huntington, WV, USAMember Posts: 73
    In a stunning coincidence I ran across several BRICTEK sets for sale at a local independent toy store today. I picked up a 71 piece taxi cab set, which this place had for $6.99, so it wasn't really cheaper than a comparably sized LEGO set should have been, but the prices at this store run high. Judging from the packaging, the design of the model is a few years behind LEGO, but doesn't look bad. Once I put it together I will post more.
  • StyerStyer Huntington, WV, USAMember Posts: 73
    I put together the BRICTEK taxi, and have some basic thoughts.

    image

    As I said, I paid $6.99 for this, and at 71 pieces that's not a great price, but the store I bought it from is notorious for high prices, so you can't necessarily treat that as an "average" price. There were no pieces left over after completion of the model, and the pieces used totaled 61. Although the minifigure was assembled in the package, I believe he is the other 10 pieces, counting each bit separately.

    The minifig wasn't bad looking, and felt only slightly looser than the average LEGO minifig, but tighter than some older LEGO minifigs I have. The skin tone isn't quite the same as any LEGO figure I can recall, but I use "fleshies" for my modern figs, so he just provides a little variety. I wish he didn't have that nose printed on, but that's not a huge complaint. Here's a comparison to a roughly comparable LEGO minifig I grabbed from my collection:

    image

    The directions were on a single sheet, front and back with ten steps, and were pretty easy to follow. Previously placed bricks were presented as translucent and the bricks in the current step are opaque.

    This is the complete car:
    image
    image

    The only stickers I used were on the TAXI sign on the roof, the doors, hood and license plates were printed. The design looked fairly decent, even if it seemed a few years behind what LEGO is putting out in cars, even at the four-stud-wide scale. The only obvious problem was that the windshield overhangs the car doors, though it's rare that LEGO cars at this scale even have opening doors at this point, so maybe I'm being overly critical. When I tried to put the minifig in I noticed a new problem, though:

    image

    With the driver in the seat the roof won't go on. I took the seat out, and it helped, but didn't solve the issue. I removed the 4x4 white plate beneath the two main roof pieces, and while that decreases the stability of the roof, it does allow the roof to go on with a driver in the car. The default placement of the driver's seat also precludes seating a passenger inside. Again, it's not uncommon for LEGO's own 4 stud wide cars to lack room for passengers, but in a taxi cab that seems like a serious design flaw.

    If you compare the completed car to the box photo, you may notice I left off the stickers that belong on the sides. This is because, one, they cross multiple bricks, which I hate, and, two, appear to be impossible to place as they appear to belong under the fenders when the multiple bricks to which they attach are connected to the piece with the fender.

    Complaints aside, however, I am reasonably satisfied with the (modified) car. It went together easily and the bricks appear to have considerable "clutch" power. The only noticeable dips in quality were the transparent pieces, which don't look as clear and bright as LEGO's trans-colors, and the wheels, which don't have the little groove LEGO's wheels use to give their tires a little extra connection. The completed car feels a bit lighter than a comparably sized LEGO car, but not so light as to feel insubstantial.

    For $7 I feel pretty satisfied with my purchase, and on this basis I'm more willing to consider somewhat larger, somewhat more expensive BRICTEK sets.

  • blade_guyblade_guy Member Posts: 213
    The original lego (tm) taxi from set #7937image
  • StyerStyer Huntington, WV, USAMember Posts: 73
    Well that explains why it felt a few years behind LEGO designs, being a lift of a 2010 design.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
    For the price, quality isn't a big deal. My local Dollar General Market had several 100-150 piece WOMA sets for $3. I ended up buying four .
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    edited October 2013
    I was surprised as well by these, but if you look closely you can see how cheap they are.

    It's funny how they avoid using Lego in their listing: They are not LXGO but they are 100% fit and compatible with LxGx!!!

    Found these as well...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Custom-LEGO-DC-SUPERHEROES-Batman-Joker-Arctic-Electro-Robin-Dark-Knight-Rises-/200971560858?pt=UK_Construction_Toys_Kits&hash=item2ecad6a79a
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    vitreolum said:

    I was surprised as well by these, but if you look closely you can see how cheap they are.

    It's funny how they avoid using Lego in their listing: They are not LXGO but they are 100% fit and compatible with LxGx!!!

    It is a little strange isn't it, especially as they seem to have no problems ripping off "DC SUPERHEROES" IP.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2013
    ^ The funniest part about those is that the display plate says "Herd Series." I guess they must be Super Herds. "Collect them all..." the whole herd, I suppose.

    Mooo!
    Legobutterfly
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
    edited October 2013
    It used to be that one could find Lego everywhere. I had a couple of Jack Stone (and maybe some Adventurers) sets bought that came from Food Lion. More recently, it seems the clone brands are the staple of most dollar/discount stores. I spent $3 at Dollar General and $3 after Christmas at Family Dollar for some WOMA sets. At most discount stores here, like Big Lots, it seems pretty easy to find Best Lock, with the smaller ones carrying even lesser known brands. But Lego needs better licenses, in fact I bought a $10 John Deere Mega Bloks set just so that I could have a John Deere building toy along with Ertl ones.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    It's true... Mega Bloks has really done well in terms of gathering a stable of fun licenses. But LEGO has landed the really big media brands, so in terms of earning power, there's no contest, even if all other things were equal. But as a matter of personal taste, the Mega Bloks licensed themes are often very appealing. I personally am far more drawn to the Anime-like aesthetic of Halo than the Arthurian-legend-in-space of Star Wars, for example. Which says nothing about the building experience of the sets, but is merely a statement on thematic content.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    cody6268 said:

    It used to be that one could find Lego everywhere. I had a couple of Jack Stone (and maybe some Adventurers) sets bought that came from Food Lion. More recently, it seems the clone brands are the staple of most dollar/discount stores.

    Obviously, with LEGO pricing themselves at $.10+/part, they're not going to be discount chain fodder, though I do encounter LEGO polys for $4-$5 bucks a pop at Five Below, and have chanced on some clearanced LEGO for under $.05/piece in smaller stores on occasion.
    cody6268 said:

    I spent $3 at Dollar General and $3 after Christmas at Family Dollar for some WOMA sets.

    Rebranded? If so, by whom?
    cody6268 said:

    At most discount stores here, like Big Lots, it seems pretty easy to find Best Lock, with the smaller ones carrying even lesser known brands.

    Around here, I'm seeing Block Tech far more often than Best Lock, and recently there's been even more of an influx of their product. Also a couple of other off-brands I'd never heard of before, rebranding Chinese stuff: Power Advantage and Mud Puddle.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
    Rebranded? If so, by whom?

    Actually, I goofed in my sentence structure. These are two different stores.

    Dollar General had two WOMA sets(or WOMA knockoffs, as the WOMA name was mentioned on one of the parts) a set of two racecars (which did not look anything like the box picture) and a rescue helicopter. Both were around 100-150 pieces

    Family Dollar had a few different WOMA robot mechs of different colors and parts.

    I've seen Blok Tech. I think I may even have one of the sets. Tuesday Morning and Dollar General have had a few of them.

    Speaking of rebranding, I believe that I have seen Best Lock sets (although they may no longer be available. ) may have been rebranded as Just Kidz at Kmart.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
    malleable said:

    I was recently sorting a bulk lot and discovered some BTR ("Built to Rule") bricks. For a clone brand, I was impressed by the quality. They're much harder to distinguish than megabloks or Tyco, and they almost have that same distinct Lego "sound" when they hit each other. I still threw them away.

    I had a few of these as well. The quality is great. I still have the pieces that I did not accidentally lose or break. I think that the new Kre-o line should be an embarassment to Hasbro. I liked the BTRs as many had a rocket launcher and claw that worked on the same mechanism.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2013
    @cody6268 - What I was trying to ask about the Woma sets was what brand(s) they were selling under, since I haven't as yet seen any of the Chinese clones in stores being sold under their own brands. So, for example, Woma selling as Block Tech, or whatever.
  • BustinBustin Member Posts: 286
    Has anyone seen the commercials for Lite Bricks lately? They have a new line that is direct competition for Lego Friends. The girls look nearly identical, and the builds obviously glow in the dark with neon features.

    My niece was over the moon when she saw the commercial.
  • chromedigichromedigi Member Posts: 344
    edited October 2013
    I haven't seen the commercials (don't watch TV hardly at all), but I've seen displays of the built sets at Target. Very garish when running: like an acid trip in a bad disco. Probably worth a laugh, but they haven't been cheap enough for me to spring for, to satisfy my evil sense of humor. I'm also curious about Laser Pegs... and waiting for them to go deep clearance.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 296
    edited October 2013

    @cody6268 - What I was trying to ask about the Woma sets was what brand(s) they were selling under, since I haven't as yet seen any of the Chinese clones in stores being sold under their own brands. So, for example, Woma selling as Block Tech, or whatever.

    I'm not sure about the brand of the Woma sets that I found at Dollar General. It's probably been a couple of years since I bought one. I think it was labeled as just a generic building set. Plus, there's another clone, a small $1 set of uncompatible parts that do not build much. I had a few when I was little. These parts will be removed from the Lego bins and likely disposed of. Last Christmas, there were some Block Tech ones, knockoffs of the Lego Tiny Turbos.

    The Family Dollar mechs had Woma and the Woma logo right on the box. I had a hinge for the cockpit on the orange and blue mech that was bent, but I replaced it with a tan Best Lock one.

    Mud Puddle, huh? That probably the oddest name for a clone that I've seen

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