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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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Comments

  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,837
    ^ That additional time in bricklinking certainly added to the build in my case - really stretched the process out. I liked the bricklinking process after raking through my parts bin to see what I already had.

    Lepin are thieves of IP and design, that much is fact. If Lego didn't have to pay for licenses, design and marketing, they could be more competitive on price.
    danstraindepot
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 475

    ericb said:



    dougts said:



    the value to me is the fact that I got to build it and get to display it, not the ego stroking provided by being able to check a box on the internet that says I own an original 




    This justification sounds as though you're stroking your own ego.


    How do you make that one out? Doesn't sound egotistical to want to build and display something.
  • ericbericb Member Posts: 74


    Bobflip said:


    How do you make that one out? Doesn't sound egotistical to want to build and display something.


    Nor does it sound egotistical to be able to say that one owns the original, but that's how it was presented.  
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    ^ it wasn't intended that way, so I apologize if you took offense.  the question was asked:  
    I really don't see the point of buying Lepin knock-offs, it's like buying a kit-car of a Ferrari F430, you still don't own a Ferrari F430, just knock-off that is meant look like it.

    I attempted to provide a clear and logical answer - that the point (to me in this instance) isn't owning an original, it's being able to get the same experience. you don't have to agree with that point of view, but it would be hard to argue that it isn't a valid one.

  • samiam391samiam391 A Log Cabin in KY, United StatesMember Posts: 4,258
    edited May 2017


    dougts said:





    VorpalRyu said:



    If building & displaying it are the reason, why not track down all the parts even if you need to substitute colours to keep costs down, rather than give money to a company illegally profiteering off of TLG's trademarks, copyrights & design work.






    Time




    Time is the excuse for giving money to a company illegally profiteering off of TLG's trademarks, copyrights, and design work?

    I know some random person on the internet isn't going to change your mind so I'm not even going to try. But sheesh what a terrible excuse. 

    It has been interesting watching this thread evolve over 52 pages and 3 years. From utter defiance of counterfeit LEGO, to casual acceptance, and now complete support via buying their products. Is interesting the right word? No... sad is the more appropriate one.
    ColoradoBricksstluxmonkeyhangerxwingpilotLuLegoBumblepantsVorpalRyuSprinkleOttergmonkey76
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 475
    edited May 2017
    Fair enough, guess it was a wording thing!

    It's not like the person back in the 'would rereleases be such a bad thing?' thread who basically said he liked having a thing that other people can't have, and then took offence when we said he liked having a thing that other people can't have.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129

    samiam391 said:




    dougts said:







    VorpalRyu said:




    If building & displaying it are the reason, why not track down all the parts even if you need to substitute colours to keep costs down, rather than give money to a company illegally profiteering off of TLG's trademarks, copyrights & design work.








    Time






    Time is the excuse for giving money to a company illegally profiteering off of TLG's trademarks, copyrights, and design work?

    I know some random person on the internet isn't going to change your mind so I'm not even going to try. But sheesh what a terrible excuse. 

    It has been interesting watching this thread evolve over 52 pages and 3 years. From utter defiance of counterfeit LEGO, to casual acceptance, and now complete support via buying their products. Is interesting the right word? No... sad is the more appropriate one.


    Complete support?  Hardly.  You clearly haven't read my lengthy thoughts on the subject. I've bought one Lepin set. I don't intend to buy any others.  I don't support their ethically challenged business model

    time is HUGE deal to me. I have so very little of it.  It is precious.  And being honest, paying $200 and 5 minutes for a replica of the most desired but scarce LEGO set ever made, made a lot more sense than spending $800+ and countless hours for a replica of it just so the bricks have a certain logo on them.  In either case, I have the exact same thing, and in neither case do I actually own #10179, so forgive me for spending 1/4 the money and saving hours and hours of my valuable time

    If LEGO was able to sell me an authentic #10179 I would have bought it, even for $800. But they can't
    pharmjodJern92Bobflip
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,575
    edited May 2017
    - inserts "Women of NASA" comment for no reason - 
    pharmjod
  • ericbericb Member Posts: 74

    dougts said:

    ^ it wasn't intended that way, so I apologize if you took offense.


    Understood, and no offense taken. 

    dougts
  • masterX244masterX244 GermanyMember Posts: 474
    --SNIP--

    It has been interesting watching this thread evolve over 52 pages and 3 years. From utter defiance of counterfeit LEGO, to casual acceptance, and now complete support via buying their products. Is interesting the right word? No... sad is the more appropriate one.


    i still only use the thread to keep my blacklists updated (related to which stuff gets more risky on untrusted sources) since i still keep a 100% genuine rule, (the legit competitors didnt get attractive for me, too due to no interesting stuff at their end)
    danstraindepot
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    And there is a limit to how many time one can post: "I don't support, in any form, questionable manufacuters of product similar to Lego."

    Because... I don't support, in any form, questionable manufacturers of product similar to Lego.

    And although it may not be illegal per se in other jurisdictions, I won't buy anything that I believe enfringes upon Lego designs, ideas or retired sets.  And nor would I buy anything created by an AFOL unless licensed by them to Lego.

    I also hope that a fraction of the retail price of a set goes towards paying attorneys (or government officials) to defend the original designs, so Lego can maximize their resources so new sets and designs will be available for many, many years.
    VorpalRyuericbxwingpilotLuLegostluxIceCreamCloneBumblepants
  • BoomstickBoomstick IndianaMember Posts: 247
    edited May 2017
    I buy lepin. I'm not sorry. Secondary markets drive a price so high you can't get pieces TLG doesn't want to re-release. There loss. It's business. If lego wanted to shut lepin down sell retired sets at an affordable price. I'm not defending myself to you guys. You buy want you want I will buy what I want. 

    dougtsnkx1
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719

    Boomstick said:
    I buy lepin. I'm not sorry. Secondary markets drive a price so high you can't get pieces TLG doesn't want to re-release. There loss. It's business. If lego wanted to shut lepin down sell retired sets at an affordable price. I'm not defending myself to you guys. You buy want you want I will buy what I want. 

    This is actually a decent point in my mind. If people only bought retired sets from Lepin, I don't see it as all that egregious. Yeah, Lepin arguably infringed on TLG's intellectual property, but TLG was not going to get your money either way (whether you bought a retired set from Lepin or from a reseller on ebay).


  • LyichirLyichir United StatesMember Posts: 727
    nkx1 said:
    Boomstick said:
    I buy lepin. I'm not sorry. Secondary markets drive a price so high you can't get pieces TLG doesn't want to re-release. There loss. It's business. If lego wanted to shut lepin down sell retired sets at an affordable price. I'm not defending myself to you guys. You buy want you want I will buy what I want. 

    This is actually a decent point in my mind. If people only bought retired sets from Lepin, I don't see it as all that egregious. Yeah, Lepin arguably infringed on TLG's intellectual property, but TLG was not going to get your money either way (whether you bought a retired set from Lepin or from a reseller on ebay).


    It's not necessarily that simple. Yes, Lego doesn't make money off of aftermarket sets—but because of the high price and low availability of many of those sets, in the absence of a bootlegger like Lepin a person who wanted to expand their Lego collection might very well make do with other currently available Lego products instead, which are generally a much better value for money than retired products with inflated prices. Heck, even if they bought from resellers instead, Lego could still potentially benefit—after all, as much as resellers tend to be maligned for their role in the inflated prices of retired sets, those who intend to sustain their business model over a long period of time will often put some of their profits from the sales of retired sets toward current sets that they intend to resell at a later date. But when people settle for bootleggers like Lepin, Lego gets nothing out of it, save for stronger competition from those companies.
    VorpalRyu
  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    edited May 2017

    ^I know that it's not that simple in all cases, but I feel that my argument is still valid. I'm cognizant that people could potentially buy Lepin versions of retired Lego sets in lieu of buying new Lego sets.

    But realistically, I feel that most people are not going to do that. I feel that most people (like me) see a retired Lego set they might want, decide that it's simply not worth it to buy from a reseller, and instead buy a Lepin version for a fraction of the price. I would not have otherwise spent my money on new Lego. I would have just not spent money at all. So in some cases, as in mine, it is that simple.

    The scenario where I can see Lego losing out is if Lego had a pattern of re-releasing sets after X number of years. In that scenario (if someone bought a Lepin version of a retired Lego set), then Lego would clearly lose customers to Lepin, as that person would not buy the re-released Lego set. But Lego does not have a pattern of doing this.

    Obviously, the above does not apply to current sets, whereby Lepin is clearly directly stealing customers (dollars) from Lego.

    dougtsJern92
  • AustinPowersAustinPowers GermanyMember Posts: 278
    edited May 2017
    No matter what some might think about it, or if some might condemn me for it: I, too, bought Lepin sets. All ones that were not available anymore from Lego and only go for (imho) ridiculous prices on the aftermarket:

    Green Grocer
    Town Hall
    Haunted House

    Had these still been available from Lego I would not have given Lepin a second glance (probably not even a first, after having had one terrible experience with a cheap "Best Lock" set - original design mind you, yet horrid quality).
    But they aren't available from Lego anymore, and therefor (and because the reviews said the quality of Lepin sets was more than decent) I tried Lepin out. And after these three sets I have I can honestly say I am very satisfied overall.
    I did exchance some parts like large window panes, baseplates and a few other bits and bobs for original Lego parts where I didn't feel the Lepin quality was up to the standards I expect, but all in all it was a great experience.

    Now I could have bought my latest sets from Lepin as well, especially as they are large and expensive ones:
    Big Ben, Disney Castle, Slave I, Kwik-E-Mart.
    Did I do it?
    No, of course not. As long as I can get the original from Lego, I will never ever even consider getting the Lepin version. And I am certainly not going to wait until these sets eventually go EOL and THEN buy the Lepin version with the excuse "it's EOL". Never. Ever.

    I know by what I did I supported Lepin and their practices. Of course I would prefer it on behalf of the wellbeing of my conscience if Lepin only produced EOL sets (and even better, under official licence from TLG - not that they would ever do such a thing), but that's not going to happen, so I had to make a decision. And many here will say I made the wrong one, but I stand by it.

    Oh and by the way, the last China clone set I bought was the Porsche GT3 from Decool. Why do you ask, if I said the above about only getting EOL sets? Because I got the green version, which I like even better than the original orange and which isn't even available from Lego at all, nor has it ever been.
    And before anyone starts, I have got the original orange one from Lego as well.
    mustang69Bobflip
  • dolavdolav NorwayMember Posts: 2

    Lego will lose money even if people only buy EOL sets from Lepin.

    I'm (was) a reseller, and the last years I've bought Lego for around 75k each year.
    This year I've hardly bought anything.
    It means that the volume resellers bought from Lego will vanish, meaning Lego will sell fewer sets.

    and, before anyone starts, it's not about me can't make money out of Lego anymore, that's not the issue here.

  • eggsheneggshen Middleton, WIMember Posts: 532
    edited May 2017
    dolav said:

    Lego will lose money even if people only buy EOL sets from Lepin.

    I'm (was) a reseller, and the last years I've bought Lego for around 75k each year.
    This year I've hardly bought anything.
    It means that the volume resellers bought from Lego will vanish, meaning Lego will sell fewer sets.

    and, before anyone starts, it's not about me can't make money out of Lego anymore, that's not the issue here.

    I've long wondered what percent of TLG's sales are actually people planning to resell down the road. That group may well be impactful if they stop buying.
  • BoomstickBoomstick IndianaMember Posts: 247
    That's the point second hand sellers are creating inflated prices for profits making it hard for anyone who wants a set to get one at a decent price. Another thing legp could nip in the butt if they would start re-releasing sets.
  • Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 487
    Has anyone has any experience with "Enlighten" brand toys. I saw some of their custom (like actually custom not copies of lego sets) sets and weapons that look halfway decent.
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    No matter what some might think about it, or if some might condemn me for it: I, too, bought Lepin sets. All ones that were not available anymore from Lego and only go for (imho) ridiculous prices on the aftermarket:

    Green Grocer
    Town Hall
    Haunted House

    Had these still been available from Lego I would not have given Lepin a second glance (probably not even a first, after having had one terrible experience with a cheap "Best Lock" set - original design mind you, yet horrid quality).
    But they aren't available from Lego anymore, and therefor (and because the reviews said the quality of Lepin sets was more than decent) I tried Lepin out. And after these three sets I have I can honestly say I am very satisfied overall.
    I did exchance some parts like large window panes, baseplates and a few other bits and bobs for original Lego parts where I didn't feel the Lepin quality was up to the standards I expect, but all in all it was a great experience.

    Now I could have bought my latest sets from Lepin as well, especially as they are large and expensive ones:
    Big Ben, Disney Castle, Slave I, Kwik-E-Mart.
    Did I do it?
    No, of course not. As long as I can get the original from Lego, I will never ever even consider getting the Lepin version. And I am certainly not going to wait until these sets eventually go EOL and THEN buy the Lepin version with the excuse "it's EOL". Never. Ever.

    I know by what I did I supported Lepin and their practices. Of course I would prefer it on behalf of the wellbeing of my conscience if Lepin only produced EOL sets (and even better, under official licence from TLG - not that they would ever do such a thing), but that's not going to happen, so I had to make a decision. And many here will say I made the wrong one, but I stand by it.

    Oh and by the way, the last China clone set I bought was the Porsche GT3 from Decool. Why do you ask, if I said the above about only getting EOL sets? Because I got the green version, which I like even better than the original orange and which isn't even available from Lego at all, nor has it ever been.
    And before anyone starts, I have got the original orange one from Lego as well.
    Well stated. 
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,129
    Boomstick said:
    That's the point second hand sellers are creating inflated prices for profits making it hard for anyone who wants a set to get one at a decent price. Another thing legp could nip in the butt if they would start re-releasing sets.
    Resellers don't create inflated prices. People willing to buy at those prices do

    that said, ask any reseller how sets released in the past 3-4 years are doing.  Sure, there's a few big winners here and there, but the days of 300%+ profits on the large exclusives are long long gone 
    ericb
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    Um, I'm pretty sure the sales volume for 2016 was pretty healthy.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,818
    dolav said:

    Lego will lose money even if people only buy EOL sets from Lepin.

    I'm (was) a reseller, and the last years I've bought Lego for around 75k each year.
    This year I've hardly bought anything.
    It means that the volume resellers bought from Lego will vanish, meaning Lego will sell fewer sets.

    and, before anyone starts, it's not about me can't make money out of Lego anymore, that's not the issue here.

    I don't think Lepin is the issue here. I also used to spend a lot on lego to resell, but hardly anything this year. Lepin reissuing sets down the line isn't an issue for me. What is an issue is the sheer amount of choice that lego is pumping out. What's the point of buying up SH or SW sets, when lego is bringing out very similar sets in future. Ones bought for resale now will not grow to 200-300% of RRP, simply because customers in a year's time will have whole new ranges to choose from, normally containing the same characters, just in updated and often better printed forms. Then add to that the amount of resellers, which has increased massively over the past 4-5 years. All competing, selling the same product to a pool of customers that are more likely to buy a new product from lego than a retired product at 2x or 3x the price of the current one.

    Take something like #6860, the batcave. RRP $70, available on BL for $70-80, five years later. What keeps the price down? I don't think Lepin copied that one, so it cannot be them. So it must be the combination of the number of resellers of the original, plus the similar newly released #70909 batcave, plus all the other similar batman sets that have come out in the meantime. I doubt #6860 will increase much in value in future, the only people likely to be buying are new-to-the-hobby completists, who will be a dwindling bunch.

    Reselling is being killed off, by lego saturating the market with similar products.

    I think the other big reseller killer, especially for SH and SW, are the fake minifigs coming out of China, although this is not Lepin as they very rarely sell minifigures by themselves. They are so cheap at $1 or under a go, including postage. They are different to the fake sets, in that you can often buy all the minifigures in a particular set for say $5; whereas to buy a Lepin set compared to the original lego is not a huge saving over RRP. If you don't care for the bricks and just display figures, then it is a no brainer to just buy fake figures. The fakes are so good, that you often cannot tell the difference, unless you take heads off and look for logos. If you treat your display as a display and not as an investment, then do you pay $5 for the fakes or $75 RRP for the original set? Of course, this will also affect retired set prices for resellers, since why buy the original set for the minifigures for $150 on the secondary market when you can get fakes for $5.

    SumoLegoBumblepantsdougts
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    CCC said:
    Reselling is being killed off, by lego saturating the market with similar products.
    Imagine that!  Lego selling as much product in the primary market (where they generate profit) adversely effecting the secondary market (where they generate no profit).

    Apparently, Lego is a volume-based toy manufacturer and not in the business of making rare collectibles.
    CCCBumblepantsVorpalRyuIceCreamClonemampepingmonkey76
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,818
    SumoLego said:
    CCC said:
    Reselling is being killed off, by lego saturating the market with similar products.
    Imagine that!  Lego selling as much product in the primary market (where they generate profit) adversely effecting the secondary market (where they generate no profit).

    Apparently, Lego is a volume-based toy manufacturer and not in the business of making rare collectibles.
    Yeah, totally agree. The frequency at which they reissue or redesign the sets that sell well to kids (landspeeder, droid escape, x-wing, batcave, etc) obviously hinders their value. Does lego do it to stop resellers or make money? I imagine the latter. It wouldn't bother me if lego always had a minifig-scale x-wing available. I wouldn't invest in it, as it would never appreciate, but it would be great for any kid wanting a great SW ship. If it means collectors have no interest in a new one with a slight design change, it doesn't really matter.



    SumoLegodougts
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    (I have a display with five Quinjets - so perhaps not?  But I can't imagine heavily investing in a frequenty re-released set.)
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 897
    edited May 2017
    VorpalRyu said:
    If building & displaying it are the reason, why not track down all the parts even if you need to substitute colours to keep costs down, rather than give money to a company illegally profiteering off of TLG's trademarks, copyrights & design work.
    Did Lepin copy the LEGO company trademark? Nope, they call themselves Lepin.

    Are the bricks still copyrighted by TLG? I thought they expired quite sometime ago? Though I think TLG still own the minifigure design.

     Individual set design works I do think they're copied directly, but TLG can't sue others for making bricks that allowed people to build into various models. Just like they can't sue AFOLs from Bricklinking bricks to build retired models which said AFOLs obviously didn't pay for the designs. However TLG probably can sue for likeness, for example Lepin copied the exact same photo shoot of the product on the outerbox.

    If you want an example of profiteering off trademarks, copyrights AND designs you should see those designer bags, shoes and clothings etc that had the exact same brandname, colour and design which you definitely cannot tell the difference from the originals.
    Boomstickdougts
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 897
    TLG had emphasised over and over again that the majority of their product sales are sold to kids. The AFOL market, including resellers, had a very low single digit percentage of the sales. Retired sets will not contribute a single cent to their revenue since, duh, they're retired! How much impact do you think will have on TLG's profit if they re-release the first 3 modular sets? I can guess it's even lower than a decimal point percentage of their profit, and if they do it, it will only be for fan service and not to boost their bottomline.
  • BoomstickBoomstick IndianaMember Posts: 247
    edited May 2017
    I don't see how the wouldn't make a profit. Lepin seems to be.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    I think the closest we get are the 'elements' of older sets as noted in the Design video for Assembly Square.
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,877
    edited May 2017
    I've scaled way back, but I don't need to make 200-300% return to make it worth it for me. 30-100% return still beats the stock market for me so it funds my hobby just fine. I love seeing people get discouraged and bailing. Lepin has definitely given me pause though. I'm focusing more on regular sets bought at extreme discount than the big exclusive sets.
    SumoLegoBumblepantsJackad7monkeyhangerdougtsRecce
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    (It doesn't help that the life span of larger sets seems to ne unnaturally long.  I was surprised to see plenty of Simpson House, Kwik-E Mart, Tower Bridge and Airjitsu Temple available.)
    pharmjoddougts
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 335
    As someone that owns quite a few RETIRED (only will buy retired) Lego sets made by Lepin, and as a Brick Link store owner I DO see both sides of the coin. I DO feel that Lepin has had an impact on the ability to really make great profits off of flipping sets, but I don't know if that is necessarily a bad thing. Those that were making handfuls of cash flipping sets don't agree with me obviously, but you can still make money selling Lego, you just have to WORK harder. Which I feel that's the REAL issue here, BL store owners got spoiled, making great money for minimal work. Now you have to actually part out sets in order to make more money, as opposed to just flipping sets. Which anyone that has parted out a set can tell you how much work actually does go into that, it IS work. Flipping sets was easy, parting them out isn't, that's the difference. I have managed to make good profits parting out retired sets that we bought on BL (so we payed after market value), so you can't tell me parting out a current SW or SH set won't turn a profit. You just have to put in the work, imagine that.

    As for Lepin, honestly I think you are foolish to pay $700 for the Imperial Flagship (for example). You can buy the Lepin one for $100, put another $50 into for proper sails and you still come out WAY a head. Even if you want proper Lego minifigs (like I do) that's another $50 or so (depending on the set) and you are still light years a head. I could not EVER recommend buying the Lego version for that price, it's ridiculous. If you can afford it, them more power to you, but for most of us, that money SHOULD be used to support your family or pay bills, not buying $700 Lego sets. If you want to BL the set, that's a great option. You will still spend more than the Lepin alternative I spoke of, but still less than the actual set. Most of us don't have that kind of time to invest in such a process (Brick Linking sets is NOT easy). But I don't knock ANYONE that does that, especially since I am a store owner. But again, I DO NOT buy current made Lego sets that Lepin has cloned, and never will. To be honest with everyone I am DONE with Lepin anyways, I bought the retired sets I wanted, so they have nothing more to offer me. 

    I actually am OK with Lepin having an impact on the after market value of sets. I feel the greed that some resellers displayed has hurt the image of Lego to a certain degree. So if we can NEVER get a 300% profit off of flipping sets again, I am OK with that. As I said earlier, you can STILL make a nice little profit parting out sets which WILL pay for your Lego hobby, which is why I opened my store to begin with. So I have NOTHING to complain about there, but again I DO have to treat it like a job and do actual work. 

    These are just MY personal views, I don't knock ANYONE that despise Lepin. Nor do I dislike people that live in poorer countries that fully support Lepin, because at the end of the day we all just enjoy bricks, and that's great. Although I do have some mixed feelings about Americans (or from similar countries) that fully support Lepin. Why? Because they are actively turning there backs on Lego just to save money. I bought the Lego Disney castle, NOT the Lepin one. Why? Because I am a Lego supporter that supplemented my collection with Lepin (and other brands). I am NOT a Lepin supporter that buys Lego to supplement there Lepin collection. Big difference in my opinion.
    pharmjodsamiam391IceCreamCloneBoomstickYodaliciousdmcc0RecceJern92
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,818
    pharmjod said:
    I've scaled way back, but I don't need to make 200-300% return to make it worth it for me. 30-100% return still beats the stock market for me so it funds my hobby just fine. I love seeing people get discouraged and bailing. Lepin has definitely given me pause though. I'm focusing more on regular sets bought at extreme discount than the big exclusive sets.
    I think that is much more realistic these days, and of course needs to be achieved on average across all sets invested in.

    I'm like you, I'll go all-in on extreme discounts for investments so long as the series they come in isn't a complete pile of crap rather than trying to cherry pick real winners for the future at or near retail price. They also have the advantage that often they will rise back up in price, possibly to about RRP, quite quickly too.

    As someone that owns quite a few RETIRED (only will buy retired) Lego sets made by Lepin, and as a Brick Link store owner I DO see both sides of the coin. ...

    As for Lepin, honestly I think you are foolish to pay $700 for the Imperial Flagship (for example). You can buy the Lepin one for $100, put another $50 into for proper sails and you still come out WAY a head. ... But again, I DO NOT buy current made Lego sets that Lepin has cloned, and never will. To be honest with everyone I am DONE with Lepin anyways, I bought the retired sets I wanted, so they have nothing more to offer me. 

    I actually am OK with Lepin having an impact on the after market value of sets. I feel the greed that some resellers displayed has hurt the image of Lego to a certain degree. ...

    These are just MY personal views, I don't knock ANYONE that despise Lepin. Nor do I dislike people that live in poorer countries that fully support Lepin, because at the end of the day we all just enjoy bricks, and that's great. Although I do have some mixed feelings about Americans (or from similar countries) that fully support Lepin. Why? Because they are actively turning there backs on Lego just to save money. I bought the Lego Disney castle, NOT the Lepin one. Why? Because I am a Lego supporter that supplemented my collection with Lepin (and other brands). I am NOT a Lepin supporter that buys Lego to supplement there Lepin collection. Big difference in my opinion.
    It is a nice position to have, but then what happens if you miss an official set at some stage? Lepin or reseller? Moreover, someone might purchase a Lepin Disney Castle, while it is out in Lego stores, as they cannot afford the original (and feed their family) but can afford the Lepin version and save money that way. Is it really wrong for them to do that, but OK for others to save on retired sets? What if they waited until it was retired? Then their actions are justified since it is no longer available direct from Lego.
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,248
    CCC said:
    It is a nice position to have, but then what happens if you miss an official set at some stage? Lepin or reseller? Moreover, someone might purchase a Lepin Disney Castle, while it is out in Lego stores, as they cannot afford the original (and feed their family) but can afford the Lepin version and save money that way. Is it really wrong for them to do that, but OK for others to save on retired sets? What if they waited until it was retired? Then their actions are justified since it is no longer available direct from Lego.
    This slippery slope is exactly what I was trying to get at, drawing a line in the sand & saying you'll only buy Lepin clones of retired set does not give you some moral high ground. All sets retire eventually, why buy Lego at all? You can just wait until they are retired, buy the Lepin clones & save even more money too, it's not like it's hurting anyone...

    Buying from resellers is better than buying knock-off junk, as Lego made money off their initial purchase & the reseller will likely purchase more Lego with some percentage of the money you gave them.

    Don't agree, well I hope you only purchase from TLG's [email protected] or their Lego Stores, so you can be assured your money is getting back to TLG. In essence, most retailers are along the same lines as those resellers you so despise (they're evil, evil bastards aren't they, probably kill puppies too). They buy stock from TLG & sell it off (for a profit, shock, horror) keeping the profits for themselves....well, they probably use some of the monies generated to purchase more stock, but TLG does not profit directly when those retailers sell a set.

    At the end of the day, it is a plastic children's toy, not life saving medicine, not a pacemaker, etc, etc. You can live without it, your life will not come to an abrupt end because you don't have it. There have been Lego items I missed out on, I've either paid the resellers' asking price, negotiated a lower price, or gone without & guess what....I'm still breathing.
    LuLegoCCCxwingpilotdanstraindepotSumoLegoericbTechnicNick
  • Russell844Russell844 California, USAMember Posts: 1,835
    I just saw on Facebook a post about a Lepin clone of the new Saturn rocket Ideas set.
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 335
    CCC said:
    pharmjod said:
    I've scaled way back, but I don't need to make 200-300% return to make it worth it for me. 30-100% return still beats the stock market for me so it funds my hobby just fine. I love seeing people get discouraged and bailing. Lepin has definitely given me pause though. I'm focusing more on regular sets bought at extreme discount than the big exclusive sets.
    I think that is much more realistic these days, and of course needs to be achieved on average across all sets invested in.

    I'm like you, I'll go all-in on extreme discounts for investments so long as the series they come in isn't a complete pile of crap rather than trying to cherry pick real winners for the future at or near retail price. They also have the advantage that often they will rise back up in price, possibly to about RRP, quite quickly too.

    As someone that owns quite a few RETIRED (only will buy retired) Lego sets made by Lepin, and as a Brick Link store owner I DO see both sides of the coin. ...

    As for Lepin, honestly I think you are foolish to pay $700 for the Imperial Flagship (for example). You can buy the Lepin one for $100, put another $50 into for proper sails and you still come out WAY a head. ... But again, I DO NOT buy current made Lego sets that Lepin has cloned, and never will. To be honest with everyone I am DONE with Lepin anyways, I bought the retired sets I wanted, so they have nothing more to offer me. 

    I actually am OK with Lepin having an impact on the after market value of sets. I feel the greed that some resellers displayed has hurt the image of Lego to a certain degree. ...

    These are just MY personal views, I don't knock ANYONE that despise Lepin. Nor do I dislike people that live in poorer countries that fully support Lepin, because at the end of the day we all just enjoy bricks, and that's great. Although I do have some mixed feelings about Americans (or from similar countries) that fully support Lepin. Why? Because they are actively turning there backs on Lego just to save money. I bought the Lego Disney castle, NOT the Lepin one. Why? Because I am a Lego supporter that supplemented my collection with Lepin (and other brands). I am NOT a Lepin supporter that buys Lego to supplement there Lepin collection. Big difference in my opinion.
    It is a nice position to have, but then what happens if you miss an official set at some stage? Lepin or reseller? Moreover, someone might purchase a Lepin Disney Castle, while it is out in Lego stores, as they cannot afford the original (and feed their family) but can afford the Lepin version and save money that way. Is it really wrong for them to do that, but OK for others to save on retired sets? What if they waited until it was retired? Then their actions are justified since it is no longer available direct from Lego.
    I don't really miss out on any current sets anymore, to be honest, lol. But say someone else did, what should they do? I don't know. It's a personal desicion we all have to come to terms with. Some are steadfast in their dislike of Lepin, and that's great. Others have varying degrees of like or dislike. I only shared MY feelings on THIS matter, I dare not try and tell others what to do. Which I think this IS part of the issue, people want a definitive stance, for or against. 
    Jern92
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 335
    To add more...

    Also to specifically answer your questions; If I were to miss a set, I would MOST definitely look in BL first and foremost. Given the current Lego landscape, I can't really envision a scenario where I would pass up the official Lego version to get Lepin going forward. Why? The sets that I DID buy through Lepin were sets that were from the 2009-2012 glory days of HIGH value. Imperial Flagship, Town Hall, Green Grocer, Grand Emprium, Haunted House just to name a few. All of these sets were released during the peak time for investors, and as a result are fetching big bucks. Which I don't blame resellers for these prices either. If I had them, I would also demand proper value in order to sell them. I would also admit that I was being greedy as well (but I wouldn't lower my prices, lol). So I don't have an issue with the resellers what so ever. But back to my point...

    I don't have either Simpson's sets, and they would look great in my city. Do I want them? Yes. Might they get retired before I can afford them? Yes. Would I buy Lepin instead? No. I will pay the after market value for them because I don't mind paying REASONABLE inflated prices for Lego (I do it quite a bit to be honest). Once those two sets retire, it takes another 2 years for them to reach peak value. So that's my window, I have 2 years post retirement to buy them, and I feel confident I can achieve that. Even after those 2 years though, given the current Lego landscape, I don't feel they will EVER reach the value of those sets from the "peak" years though. So again, I only REALLY see the need for Lepin for sets released during the "peak" years. Some Lepin fans are hoping for classic 80s sets getting cloned, and I am actually against that. They are fairly expensive yes, but not NEAR the prices of sets released during the "peak" years. Besides on a side note, I am not sure of the demand for 80s castle and Pirate sets anyways.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,818
    That is pretty much the issue. You set your line in the sand at those "peak" years, based on their value in the aftermarket - none of them were that hard to come by during their release cycle. Other people might miss sets since then, and will continue to miss sets in the future. Are they any more wrong to buy Lepin fakes of what they want when they decide the real thing is too expensive? And when it comes to a recently retired set, even if the real thing is only 1.25x  RRP, is someone buying a Lepin version any more wrong? Their line might be drawn in a different place, but they are only doing what you have done, saving money by buying a cheap fake.

    And then that line can be drawn elsewhere. It can be drawn with current sets. If someone can buy two fakes for the price of one real set, are they any more wrong for saving money that way *? That's three lines in the sand, all in different places, but all doing the same thing - saving money by buying fakes. One may seem better than the others, but all have to admit they have bought fakes instead of the real thing, just that they have done it to save different amounts.



    *As someone that sells stuff they no longer want, I'd suggest to this person to buy the original and not the fakes, since in my view one second hand original set is worth more than two second hand fake sets. But of course, maybe they want to keep the sets or don't like selling old sets on.


    I have bought fake minifigures, for my kids. Ones where I'm not going to pay $5+ for things that are going to get trashed, thrown about, bits lost, played in the sand-pit, etc. I bought fakes for one simple reason - to save money. I could actually afford the real thing. But I'm not buying the real thing when they will be trashed. That was my line in the sand. I don't think I'd blame someone else for buying a fake set (or minifigure) just to save money, no matter what it is, or whenever it is during the product's retail life. Their line in the sand is probably in a different place to mine, but I have done exactly the same as them, bought a fake to save money. I might think my reason is better than theirs, but it isn't, it is exactly the same.


    dougtspharmjodJern92
  • CaptainPirateManCaptainPirateMan MichiganMember Posts: 335
    ^^Which that is why I don't condemn anybody, we all have different situations, different "lines in the sand." I dare not tell anybody what is right or wrong for them, because I don't know their situation. 
    BoomstickJern92
  • IceCreamCloneIceCreamClone Chicago-ishMember Posts: 70
    I think that the "line in the sand" is a great way to look at things. For example, I would love to get a #10195 since I didn't get it during its availability at retail. Looking at bricklink, complete examples of the set tend to go for upwards of $500 USD, and the sticker sheet alone $100 at the cheapest. By contrast, the lepin version of the set is only $90 or so on aliexpress. There's no way I could afford to pay $100 for a sticker sheet, and even if I could, I probably still wouldn't. Because of the ridiculous prices for this set, I could definitely see myself buying the lepin version, but I certainly wouldn't be thrilled about it.
  • RecceRecce Tiny Little Red DotMember Posts: 897
    Shouldn't the Lepin sets be copycats or clones instead of being called "fakes"? 

    The word fake usually refers to products that are identical to the original that you can't tell apart from, e.g. fake rolex watch or fake gucci bag etc.

    Lepin bricks are real plastic bricks, nothing is fake about it. There is no Lego word on the studs so can't be passed off as Lego, unlike all other fake products from China. 

    Also, I don't think anyone buying Lepin is justifying it as being of high moral grounding.  In fact it is those diehard AFOL fanboys (ironic because they're adults and yet behaved exactly like a fanboy defending the company till kingdom come) that did so, standing high up and looking down on those dirty bunch who dared buy anything other than Lego branded bricks. 

    IceCreamCloneCaptainLegodougtsBoomstick
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 797
    EU and US laws protect creative companies against IP theft, but LEPIN aren't based in the EU or US, so they remain an option for collectors who do not want to pay retail or aftermarket prices for current and retired LEGO sets licenced by Lucasfilm to use the Star Wars brand.

    I just don't think that LEPIN operating out of China, changing/removing logos or spelling Star Wars incorrectly should in any way be used to suggest legitimacy. Legitimate clone brands provide an alternative product, creatively designed by their employees and licenced from those who own the IP.

    Collectors aren't entitled to own LEGO. Not buying it is a legitimate option. Supporting companies that steal IP isn't good for our hobby in the long run.
    VorpalRyucatwranglerTechnicNickLyichirbeemo
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,837
    ^ If Lepin came up with some original sets that didn't rip off MOCs, IP or Ideas sets then i'd be intrigued.

    They are IP and design thieves, and for this reason those full sets are fake sets - they are emulating a genuine Lego set (including ripping off the artwork on the box, having a logo that looks a lot like Lego's own) that TLG designed and paid licensing fees to Disney etc. for.

    You don't have to be a Lego fanboy to dislike Lepin, this isn't Samsung vs Apple.

    There's a few good reasons why you can't buy a snidey LEPIN "STAR WNRS" UCS Millenium Falcon in your local TRU or Tescos (or any mainstream EU/US/CAN/AUS retail channels).
    xwingpilotVorpalRyudrdavewatfordbeemo
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,218
    As someone who works in a design focused industry I will always be against the theft of intellectual property. There is a big difference between a company that only manufactures a product with little to no design/ip license costs and one that does a lot of design, market research and pays the required IP owner.

    People are free to justify their purchasing however they wish, but to me the bottom line will always be that this is a LUXURY not a necessity, frankly LEGO put out more sets a year that I want than I can buy anyway.

    Obviously no one here is likely to change anyone else's mind, and that's why the conversation is so cyclical, but the thing to consider is how would you feel if it was your design, your character, your product that was being blatantly copied in a way that might effect your income or future income?  
    monkeyhangerxwingpilotBumblepantsstluxVorpalRyucatwranglerJackad7beemo
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,818
    edited May 2017
    Recce said:
    Shouldn't the Lepin sets be copycats or clones instead of being called "fakes"? 

    It is difficult, as there are so many similar names used for quite different things. Clones and copycats are often used to refer to the bricks, rather than the set. So Megabloks is a (perfectly legal) clone brand for example. To then call a direct copy of a set a clone is somewhat misleading as it is not a set of clone bricks with a new design, but a clone of an actual set.

    When it comes to direct copies of existing sets, I have no problem with the use of the word fake to describe the Lepin (and similar) sets. Sure, they don't claim to be lego, but they have copied the design (almost) exactly and, in some cases, copy parts where LEGO has patents/trademarks. Of course, people will argue over the exact language that should be used, but I don't think there is any argument as to why the set has been made - to appeal to people wanting the original LEGO set but not willing to pay for it.


    stluxSumoLegoVorpalRyuBumblepants
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,877
    edited May 2017
    No joke I had a cashier at Wal-Mart a couple of day ago mention Lepin to me while he was checking me out with all my clearance LEGO. He got the name wrong but I knew what he was talking about. I told him it is Herbert's frowned upon as the are considered a rip off brand but point is word is slowly trickling out into the mainstream. That is a little scary.
    Jackad7
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,944
    edited May 2017
    ^^ And those 20 people that want authentic MegaBloks.

    By the way - are there clones/copies of MegaBlok licensed themes?  I don't ever recall seeing a 'Lepin' version of the Barbie, Shopkins, Call of Duty or anything that MegaBloks produces.
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    edited May 2017
    I'd assumed that Lepin just covered the more expensive/desirable sets (UCS, Modulars, bigger Star wars etc) but I've just had a look at their Star Wars range and they've pretty much copied all the current Star Wars stuff from the most expensive, right down to the Microfighters along with the older USC sets too.  That's pretty shocking.
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