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Clone Brands

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  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 255
    Mega Bloks does make some unique parts. In the Fire Rescue set, there are fir e axes, a power saw, and a hydraulic "Jaws of Life" cutter. The cutter did not have a power unit, so I made one out of my own parts. I don't like the yellow color of some of the parts, but I think that I might be able to detail some of them with model paint.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    Looking for castle stuff on ebay and came across this.
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Various-Lego-like-CAETLE-Building-Blocks-Choose-from-dropdown-list-/151227802411?pt=UK_Construction_Toys_Kits&var=&hash=item2335e1232b

    Despite rumours that Castle stuff doesn't sell that well, someone obviously thought it was worth ripping them off (and by that I mean exactly copying them).

    Points of interest:
    - some of the the packaging seems to show the '07-'09 Fantasy era.
    - the 'Queen' figure actually has 'original' legs rather than a printed dress slope like the official figure.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    Oh and the stands seem to rip off the Lego Movie logo, for added copyright breachiness.
  • aimlesspursuitsaimlesspursuits USMember Posts: 207
    Not sure anyone cares but I didn't see this until today. It looks like K'Nex nabbed the Titanfall license and will be coming out with some sets based on the Mechs in the game.

    http://www.joystiq.com/2014/03/12/titanfall-knex-sets-drop-in-on-the-us-this-fall/

    The mechs in the game are quite cool. But the toys look like specially molded pieces bolted onto K'Nex parts. (Just Google "titanfall knex" images).
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,802
    Hmm, it definitely seems like a better brand matchup for the distinctive building system of K'nex than some of their licenses (like KISS or The Beatles). It's a shame so many of the parts are so specialized, though. K'Nex seems like the kind of company that could really pull off mecha models with a system of interchangeable armor plates like LEGO Hero Factory. Instead, the use of K'Nex rods and connectors ends up seeming like it's being retained purely for the sake of novelty. Hopefully the 12-inch figure mentioned in the article is more impressive.

    I like K'Nex as a brand, and I think it's a darn shame how much they've struggled with maintaining their own unique identity in recent years. Some of their Super Mario kits make clever use of K'Nex rods and connectors to support the distinctive floating blocks, floating coins, and moving platforms of the series, but other than that, many of their licensed products seem like they gain nothing from the building system other than a familiar brand name to stick on the box and a pitiful building experience. K'nex has tried to imitate the LEGO Group and other brick-based competitors in terms of both building styles and business decisions, but it's clear to me that they're not really good at either, and I wish they could find a way to learn from the LEGO Group's success without abandoning their roots.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 255
    Here's a new brand, Binyan Blocks. They make Jewish-related sets, mostly emergency vehicles. It seems they use the same parts as Super Blocks

    http://www.binyanblocks.com/#!shtetl-series/cyu0
    andhe
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,706
    ^ They have definitely found a niche in the market ...

    image

    There is an interesting description on the police type set ...

    Now they can build their own shomrim command center. These sets include walkie talkies & handcuffs (NO GUNS).

    They are obviously taking a non-gun stance and marketing this to parents in this range.
    andheprevere
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    Wange makes several sets that seemingly would fit in well with my collection of Lego architecture buildings/landmarks. I bought three Wange sets. Not that they're terrible. And the cost was relatively inexpensive. No missing pieces. Instructions were not as good as Lego instructions, but they were adequate. However, they don't come close to being a lego product. Maybe I can best explain it this way. I like candy. Lego feels more like a piece of Godiva chocolate where as a Wange product feels more like peanut brittle. Don't get me wrong, peanut brittle is fine, but it isn't Godiva. I'll probably wind up taking all three Wange sets to Goodwill as a donation. They just don't look right sitting next to a lego product.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,185
    I get exactly what you mean. I think a lot of people have such a mindset of getting the cheapest price that they forget that the cheapest price isn't the best value for money. Don't get me wrong I like finding a bargain as much as the next guy, but if you want quality sometimes you have to pay that premium.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    does anyone know if there's a master list of all clone brand fire trucks/rescue type trucks made? I got an average looking one in a lot from ebay and I am curious to see what brand it is. It's welcome to my collection but if I split up my clone brand bin, I need to know what brand it is.

    No stud markings or markings on the top flat area like MB brands.



  • binaryeyebinaryeye USMember Posts: 1,734
    ^ Posting a photo might help. I know that Best-Lock doesn't have markings on the studs and makes at least one fire truck.
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    i'll do that when I get a chance but I doubt it's BL. I got a small set to try it out and the quality of this set is way better. On par(more or less) with superblox.
  • cody6268cody6268 Member Posts: 255

    i'll do that when I get a chance but I doubt it's BL. I got a small set to try it out and the quality of this set is way better. On par(more or less) with superblox.

    If it does, is there a large ladder that is screwed to the turn table. Is there a huge oversized light that may or may not have working lights and a working siren?
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    I got a chance to get a photo of it.

  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    One thing to love about clone brands, awesome colors and that can be found on the cheap!

    I got what appears to be about 75 pieces of OLIVE GREEN clone brand bricks for 50 cents at helping hands yesterday. :D there's a partial assembly made completely of bricks and plates that kind of look like part of a tank

    I think it's kreo but i'm not sure. No stud markings but it's just a tiny bit under lego quality.

    Plus I got a used copy of the mega blocks power rangers claw armor megazord set for $1.50. Not sure what shape it's in but it sounds almost like a full box of parts.
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    Being a sucker for LEGO and just bricks in general, i do pick up anything that shows promise

    Here is an Enlighten set i picked up recently. Its a space shuttle . Now i know Lego has done a few but when i compare most of them with this , i find this far superior ( with the exception of 10231 of course )

    What i found most impressive with this particular model was the detailed back end i.e. the tail ( which reminded me of the sop with camel tail build) and the engines /thrusters . They have not simply put a one generic piece to make for it but have actually designed built it . I think neither of these two were copied off any existing lego shuttle model . The cockpit piece is where it loses points as I see.

    Length 16.5 inches.
    What do you guys think ?
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    ^ Nothing but a ripoff of #7470 with a lazy cockpit.
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    ^ ah you're right. I'd never seen that one before. That's a nice shuttle there and very obvious it's been neatly copy pasted by Enlighten - the cock pit and the opening bay. Not too bad though for $ 15 .
  • minicoopers11minicoopers11 USAMember Posts: 104
    I have Wange's/Dr Luck's Al Burj Arab Hotel (Dubai). Bought it in Yiwu, China for about US$10 and built it last year. It was less pleasant than building with Lego, but way more pleasant than building with Mega Bloks or Kre-O. Overall, it was a fun build, with a few frustrating moments. But, the pieces usually fit together really well and the piece quality was not bad. It was fun, I would recommend it for large architecture models that cannot be found in Lego.
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    I rate the Wange architecture range pretty high in the non lego world. I don't have the BA^ but it's on my list . I do have almost all the others.

    I'm looking to build the Russian kremlin's Spaskiya tower next followed by Tower of Pisa. Big Ben was really good and quite big. Eiffel Tower is a good one too.

    Would be nice to see photos of the Burj Arab if possible. image
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    Pretty good clutch power if they stay assembled when suspended from the ceiling like that. ;-)
    VortexTheLoneTensorvitreolumAanchirminicoopers11Pitfall69Mojoestmargotkhmellymel
  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    ^ haha ! This forum has to be comprised of the wittiest folk on any active forum :)
    plasmodium
  • minicoopers11minicoopers11 USAMember Posts: 104
    Here ya go...apparently we have issues rotating pictures...
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,836

    Yea, even the new R2-D2 has a mistake in the instructions... Grr...

    Sloppy, really it is...

    I haven't found any instruction errors, the only mishap I had was when I put a red axle in the wrong place and had to tear the whole set apart :P If you are talking about some steps that have had a piece not there even though it told you to put the piece there a couple of steps ago it's because they are trying to give a better view of what piece you are putting in on that step ...if that makes sense :P

  • VortexVortex Pakistan/USMember Posts: 342
    I'm a regular to Dubai and have been to the Burj many times. This is a very good translation of that glorious building in lego form. I'd pick this up soon as I see one. Plus it's hit a great size , standing at about 20"
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,706
    I've just seen this ...

    http://www.mcfarlane.com

    http://www.actionfigureinsider.com/mcfarlane-toys-to-launch-highly-collectible-and-revolutionary-building-block-sets-for-amcs-the-walking-dead-franchise/

    Walking Dead, TRU exclusive.

    They look like they are just display models that can be pieced together in one way, similar to lego but little to no flexibility. However, some of the parts look like they might be interesting for customisers ...

    Planks

    image

    Concrete tiles (some with holes for plants)

    image

    Scary translucent walls

    image

  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,624
    edited July 2014
    ^They look cool; only if it was Lego.

    I understand Lego would never get such a gory theme but even then they wouldn't be this detailed which McFarlane Toys are know for therefore it wouldn't have worked.

    I was suprised that he did go to Lego and that it's not by Mega Bloks or Kreo.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^I saw the interview article and saw another one making fun of the sets. It is an interesting concept that doesn't make sense.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    edited December 2014
    I can't find any of the other more recent clone Lego threads, so I'll put this here.
    As always when they make clone figures from themes, the accessories never quite make sense, but why does the king of the dead have a...fan?
    Ebay link
    (You have to click through the pictures)
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    Maybe he's a fan of renewable energy. These ones look particularly bad. Though they seem to have used Pippin as a stand-in for Frodo again, which I've seen on a number of fakes.
    plasmodium
  • koozkooz Connecticut, USAMember Posts: 158
    The MB Sponge Bob look much cooler than the Lego Sponge Bob sets. I don't watch the show, so I don't know which are more accurate, but isn't it interesting to see a license leave Lego for MB?
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,185
    @kooz‌ Licensing agreements don't work in the way of - we've had a better offer we're going elsewhere, they work on a timed contract basis, when that lapses competition for it can start. From what I understand the Spongebob line wasn't a massive seller for Lego so they probably just let it go.
    As far as MB go I can't go for anything they do because their figure designs never have any stylisation to them that identifies the brand in the same way that Lego mini figures do. instead they look like generic, non construction toy figures, which kind of defeats the point of construction toy figures to me personally - I'm sure other people prefer the figures to be more action figure like/closer to the source material but it's not for me.
    I have a couple of the Spongebob Lego sets and they are actually pretty solid designs and the prices I got them for I was pretty happy with them. Wouldn't look twice at the MB sets if I saw them in a shop, even massively reduced - and I have bought some other brand construction toys to compare to Lego in the past, so it's not just a purist thing, they just hold zero appeal to me.
    Andor
  • koozkooz Connecticut, USAMember Posts: 158
    @Shib‌ I'm a lawyer, so I get how licensing agreements work. :)

    Just noting that it's interesting how we are seeing Character Building losing Doctor Who and possibly Scooby Doo, both to Lego; but Lego isn't impervious to competitors snatching-up their lapsed licenses. I think consensus is TLG is the major leagues, and everything else is trying to be Lego. To see a significant license go elsewhere is interesting. Although you're probably right that it wasn't a big seller, and it's probably a situation where TLG didn't make a significant offer to retain the license. MB seized the opportunity.

    As for the minifigs vs. whatever MB calls them, I agree that Lego has a distinct brand and look (part of why I don't like The Simpsons Legos even though I'm a Simpsons fan is due to the molded heads). But the MB Sponge Bob models look pretty good (some of them, at least). Far above what I typically expect from MB and, IMHO, better than TLG's Sponge Bob offerings.

    It's interesting and may be a sign that MB is closing the gap a bit. Just my observations...
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,185
    Ah ok, I took the word leaving to imply you thought the IP holder left mid contract.
    I don't mind moulded heads where they make sense like Simpsons or SpongeBob but having no distinct figure style means bad brand association. Even character building figs has a distinct style that is carried across themes, same for kreo, although with some variation. But no two mb themes are easily identifiable by their figs.
  • cheshirecatcheshirecat Member Posts: 5,332
    'snatching-up' and 'significant license' are probably not applicable. Theres no story beyond LEGO lets a licence die having had sets sit on shelves for years and MB takes it over.
    andhe
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 539
    My cousin bought a Chinese clone version of the Batman Zur-En-Arrh figure the other day in some tiny box set (in Hong Kong). So be on the lookout for fakes. FYI.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    Here's an interesting one... Tell me what you see:

    IMG_3894

    A series 1 leaflet? WRONG! An entire FAKE series 1 leaflet. Took them a while but they seem to have cloned the entire series of CMF's. Only series 1 so far, but I'm sure series 2 won't be far off, so beware of those fake series 2 spartans hitting ebay in the future.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,706
    edited December 2014
    Yep. I posted this image in the "Fakes" thread, they are copying just about every aspect of the design now (except the packaging). They've copied SH minifigs, complete ranges of Ninjago, etc. and now this.

    image

    It'll be interesting to see what the quality is like. If it is any good, I imagine they could sell quite a few to fill gaps in people's collections.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    @CCC if you follow the link in my picture, the guy has pictures of the actual figs on his stream. They look pretty horrid, both the printing and plastic looks off.

    I should probably move this conversation to the fake brands thread.

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,706
    While the older Ninjago ones look quite bad, the CMF ones look pretty good to me. It wouldn't surprise me if they (or parts of them) start turning up not only on ebay but also on bricklink.
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    This eBay seller is offering a large selection of counterfeit minfigs, many of which I have seen mixed in with genuine Lego over the last few months. The parts are often not available in the colours offered, which is really one of the few main distinctions.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/golfgttsi160/m.html?item=151487547614&hash=item23455c88de&pt=UK_Construction_Toys_Kits&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
  • legogrrl4legogrrl4 Member Posts: 42
    I was at the Santa Fe Springs Swapmeet tonight (in Los Angeles County) and noticed a ton of minifigs being sold for around five bucks a pop. At close inspection I noticed they were all clones. A lot of booths were selling them over there. I guess they already hit the warehouses in downtown L.A. now.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    edited February 2015
    Just stumbled across this thing, looks like they're taking things to a new level.

    (Can't dl the image from there)

    http://www.tocmai.ro/figurine-tip-lego-super-eroi-marime-duplo-iron-man-noi-20172576.html#current_image
    andhe
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,936
    That's massive! Is it the same scale as the alarm clocks, or torches or something?
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    No clue, the description says they're 9cm tall.
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,731
    That's actually pretty cool. I think the desk lights are about this size?
  • bricknationbricknation Member Posts: 677
    Something to cheer you up lol.
    Bumblepants
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534

    i recently managed to get my hands on a wave of series 1 bootlegs. The torsos came completely disassembled and so did most of the legs and there was an extra hand in every bag. Hips are a little loose on some and the arms clutch really snug on others.

    For clones they are pretty good and i'm not going to complain about the whopping $12.01 I paid for them either.

  • EvilTwinEvilTwin UKMember Posts: 112
    Bandit said:
    ^ I would be willing to bet a million dollars Lego will never get a dr who license.
    Pay up  :p
    Kevin_HyattAndorAanchirandheOmastar
  • ACWWGal2011ACWWGal2011 Member Posts: 534
    They said licence, not a lego ideas set
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