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Now, LEGO makes a special winged piece, and someone else copies it, is completely different. The second company could have chosen to make the part completely differently, with no change in their model. But they didn't.
If megabloks decide that they need a 1x1 brick with a stud on the side does that mean that they have copied lego?
And should lego be banned from making parts like these as then they would be copying, even though they may decide such a part is useful?
A competitor does make a 2x2 plate with studs on both sides currently. As a functional part, there is little that could be changed. Should that prevent LEGO from making the same piece?
Again, not my point. As I said, LEGO has not copied anyone in recent history, and nobody has been able to prove me wrong, instead going on the offensive to make it look like they are correct. Heck, say they copied someone to begin with- as courts have ruled, functional elements like the 2x4 are open game.
77 Super Hero figures for $59, with lots of big name characters. That's essentially a choice between paying $30 for an original deadpool or $59 to get deadpool and 76 other characters. Even if the quality is lower, that's a tough sale for minifigure re-sellers.
beware of that ali-thingy . i already paid and now he writes to me in broken english basically telling me that he doesnt have them modulars. goin for refund now...
ordered 15 guns (uzi, minigun, pumpgun ....) for 1,39 with free shipping tough.
(Aside from the brand loyalty thing and my general distain for trading on other people's intellectual property, and the likely horrible production conditions for those making the product...)
demand seems to be very high!
And I don't want to besmirch legitimate Lego competitors by lumping them in with counterfeit producers.
Unfortunately, while I agree with your sentiment and do not own any other branded blocks or any clones myself, as most would agree on here, Lego is an expensive toy.
And while most of us on here have the ability to be able to buy our collections of Lego and keep them as we see fit, others may not be quite so fortunate.
For some, what you get value wise for your money , outweighs brand loyalty so the cheaper option will win.
On a side note, I do wonder how many of these copies of expensive, retired sets will be unboxed and sold on eBay as used originals by unscrupulous sellers.
The copycats copy TLG's current products, so they are a direct threat to TLG's sales right now. But they also copy high-valued discontinued products. I think that has huge ramifications for both TLG and the secondary market.
It's simple why someone may choose a copycat product: they are cheap and good-enough. The Lepin Brick Bank is 1/5 the price of the real Lego set locally (in Singapore), if I didn't calculate wrongly.
Like someone mentioned, LEGO IS an expensive product, and as such, is not within everybody's reach, or better said, not all sets are within everybody's reach. Have I been tempted by those counterfeit big sets that sell for a fraction of the LEGO version? No. Is it a tempting option? Of course it is.
Knock-offs and counterfeits should be avoided at all costs, but it wouldn't hurt LEGO to lower their prices for a bit.
TLG should definitely take action asap on those direct copycats, else it will go out of control, especially with the upcoming sets like Green Grocer, UCS MF and even the (rumoured) Grand Carousel. And those are just the EOL sets, we have not touch on the copycat of current sets like the Brick Bank, Tumbler, Batpod, Ninjago Temple etc.
Given the low cost of copycat sets like Town Hall, Cafe Corner compared to MISB Lego originals which cost like over US$1000 each, I wouldn't blame the consumers from choosing based on their wallet.
Do a scan on aliexpress seller histories and you will see lots of buyers (transactions) from all over the world, including Europe and US which supposedly had higher average disposable incomes compared to many Asian countries. In other words, even if you're rich, you can/may still buy the copycat sets purely because of cost.
Someone may brag about having a MISB Lego UCS MF with an AFA graded certificate that he had kept for many years, but many others (kids and adults alike) would likely just get the knock-off version to build and play. And isn't that the ultimate goal, i.e. to buy a toy to enjoy and play regardless of brand? Of course if you're a investor or a diehard AFOL then it's a different story.
Brickset shows I've spent US$75K on my Lego sets to date, though I'm pretty sure it costs me US$10K to $20K more given a lot of the sets I bought are of higher pricing than the stated US RRP. Will the outpour of copycats affect me? Maybe. Do I care? Not really, since I'm willing to pay what I've paid for the Lego toys, that is already my satisfaction, future rise or fall in price of the sets I own will not affect my enjoyment.
Like, one of my favorite childhood Castle sets was #6048, which was 185 pieces/459 grams/2 minifigures for $26. Even if it were $26 in today's money that'd seem like a poor price per piece, but that was 1993 dollars — adjusted for inflation, that's $44.28.
By comparison, $40 today will get you sets like:
#21126 (318 pieces/550 grams/3 minifigures)
#31050 (467 pieces/755 grams/2 minifigures)
#41119 (439 pieces/738 grams/2 minifigures)
#41175 (441 pieces/592 grams/2 minifigures)
#60111 (368 pieces/636 grams/3 minifigures)
#70315 (367 pieces/638 grams/5 minifigures)
#75824 (386 pieces/700 grams/4 minifigures)
#76056 (257 pieces/478 grams/4 minifigures)
#76059 (446 pieces/623 grams/5 minifigures)
Naturally, some of these sets offer a better value than others, but they ALL appear to offer a better value than #6048 did. So, would it be better for buyers if LEGO started offering the same content at the same quality for a lower price? Definitely! But I don't know if it's realistic for those of us in the US to be calling for that, when we generally get a pretty swell deal these days, all things considered.
Now, for markets like China and Central America, which tend to have a lot of low-income residents and also generally high LEGO prices, cutting down on the local prices could indeed help cut down on knock-offs, and I think that's something LEGO is presently trying to grapple with (it's part of why the new factory in China was proposed — in order to more efficiently supply authentic LEGO products to the Asian market).
And these sets, despite the quality are actually quite impressive.
I have recently acquired other (competingly expensive) hobbies recently and requiring to budget more strictly now into buying LEGO (ie spending less money). I am wondering whether I should make the jump and cross over and start to buy these instead.
It appears thousands of people had already the switch with no such compunctions. Ultimately my lack of funds will decide my next course of action. (clicks buy). And I'm not sorry :)
I think you simply cant just make blatant ripoffs of these LEGO sets. Its waaaay to obvious, and its all suspiciously done by LEPIN. Makes me suspect if LEGO actually owns this company.
And I also can't wait for the Carousel to be released :)
Reading the comments, people (sounds like westerners too, are vouching for Lepin's plastic/build quality. I'm feeling less guilty now! ^^
i ordered townhall from another seller again. 1 day later he tells me that they arent allowed to ship to europe!
However, I would not buy fakes if the original LEGO product is available, like the Brick Bank which I just picked up a week ago after saving for a few months, and the GBHQ when I can next afford it. No way am I going near the Lepin versions of those.
Well shoot. I think we should all switch over to buying this stuff instead of the overpriced sets from TLG.
Why should we pay extra, it's not like TLG has to pay their employees for designing these sets, testing new parts, advertising, licensing fees, etc. I mean, how hard is it to design a huge set like this? It's not at all hard. Any one of us have tons of equally good if not better MOC's that we design weekly.
I think TLG needs to start adopting LEPIN's business model so their prices drop. Additionally they need to stop being greedy and just hand all their business information including all future set designs over to these companies. It's not really fair that TLG beats other companies like LEPIN to market.
I used to design products for a company here in the states that decided to start manufacturing in Shenzhen. We had all of our boards built there and would put the outer housings on here in the states. We started seeing copies of our products in stores in Asia, so we moved our manufacturing to a different company, same thing happened. We changed a number of times, every company we worked with would sell our designs to other companies or just manufacture the copies themselves (so not really copies, the legit product with a different housing). One of them even beat us to market with one of our new products, they didn't realize that I had an acquaintance in Taiwan that helped me design one of the components for it, he saw the product in a store there and let me know. The owner refused to pull board manufacturing back to the states, he eventually sold the company and we all got the boot.
So needless to say, I do not have very many positive things to say about copycat companies.
Don't deceive yourselves into thinking you're not part of the problem and actually fueling it to be worse. Either that or you simply don't care/value these types of matters. In which case, do as you may and don't bother feeling sorry about your actions. While you're at it go out and by some Folex watches & Gocci handbags while listening to stolen music off BitTorrent.
I would rather bricklink every set made past and present than substitute one for an inferior product despite what any review says.
Every time one of these sets is purchased, a minifigure dies.
The owner of the company I mentioned before always used to tell me about the markets he would go to in various countries and all the bootleg stuff there. I always assumed it was just a bunch of watches/bags/etc there, that's the kind of stuff he would bring home. I guess when he said you could get anything there he really meant it.
In a time when manufacturing products is cheaper overseas, charging customers the same amount for a set when they had a monopoly to when they don't anymore, is a bit unfair (not illegal or unethical). LEGO might be a 'premium' product and cheapening it might make it a commodity, which is why they might not wanna drop prices.
For the past seven years, LEGO has made record profits and each years its NET profit increases substantially, so saying that 'poor LEGO company might lose money' is BS. I am no apologist (lately, people become fanatics and apologists for everything they like), and I understand how supply/demand works (like I mentioned before), but it's dumb for people to get mad at other people because they prefer to buy something that's cheaper, although maybe illegal.
For example, I just bought #76013 Batman Joker Steamroller on 'clearance' at Walmart for $50, and if we look online, we can find it for less than $30, which is a 40% difference (from the clearance price). If the quality is inferior but not by much, if the people are getting paid low wages for manufacturing it regardless of which company I buy it from, besides an ethical dilemma over copyright, what entices me to buy it cheaper? It's a tough decision and issue than we think. Just like we have an ethical dilemma, so do other companies that overcharge for their products, and I do not see anyone complaining. Companies know all the risk involved in manufacturing, again, I can't be an apologist.
Plus we need to draw a line of difference between illegal counterfeits (Lepin, etc) and legitimate clones (Megablocks, Kreo, etc.). There's a huge difference between the 2 types. Mainly legal versus illegal.
A counterfeit says "LEGO" on the box, but has nothing to do with TLG.
Does anyone know if LEGO or Disney have filed suit against LEPIN over their recent releases? I'm not one to encourage buying illegally made bricks, but I would think that if these were illegal that Mickey's lawyers would have taken action to stop them.
At the 2016 CES show Future Motion got an injunction against a Chinese company showing off a "hoverboard" that closed the competitor's booth at the show. Future Motion filed for a temporary restraining order on January 6, 2016, and it was granted the next day. I would expect that Disney has a much larger legal team than Future Motion, but I'm not seeing any lawsuits filed by Disney against LEPIN. Maybe there are licensing deals in place that we know nothing about, or maybe there is just enough variance in the products that even Disney lawyers have not found a legal basis to stop them. Maybe these clones represent such a small amount of sales that Disney cannot be bothered to go after them, but that seems unlikely given their litigation history.
awaiting 4 orders with 20 fake-lego-baseplates each (80x). its been 5 weeks now!
but 1,36€ for a 32x16 baseplate is a really good price! and justifies the waiting time!
But a counterfeit is something else, something that is a lot more insidious.
Anyway, I found these images on another site that was reviewing the LEPIN copy of the #75105 Millenium Falcon:
real figure: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-uYDsVl3NsZY/Vr3wBOmcpHI/AAAAAAAABlY/xPMbV3KVTuQ/s1600-h/IMG_20160211_223033%255B5%255D.jpg
fake figure: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fncoHCF5LSs/Vr3wCvMAtkI/AAAAAAAABlg/aW30rtLU0w8/s1600-h/IMG_20160211_222959%255B4%255D.jpg
The figures are pretty laughable:
All fake figures: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fcU-9SuQLy8/Vr3wIlHI93I/AAAAAAAABmA/ga-uhdmQw4I/s1600-h/IMG_20160211_222941%255B4%255D.jpg
Seems like the pieces are pretty good, but the real problem here isn't the bricks, it's the IP that belongs to TLG and Disney.