OXFORD Toys is a South-Korean company that sells building-toys similar to and fully compatible with LEGO. LEGO-fans refer to such companies as “clone-brands” and often avoid them in their own creations. However I believe that some of these brands are worth mentioning due to their high quality, compatibility with LEGO and interesting elements.
I’m not planning to review every LEGO clone-brand in detail, nor will I review crappy clones with no appeal to LEGO-fans. However I will highlight unique sets and elements from clone-brands that I believe LEGO-fans might find interesting and useful. And if you have further interest in clone-brands I will list some resources that would give you more information on each reviewed brand. Now back to OXFORD Toys… QUALITY: From all clone-brands OXFORD has the reputation of being the highest quality. In fact, the brand is often referred to as “Korean LEGO”. If you mix OXFORD with your LEGO-bricks you will have an extremely hard time distinguishing them!
The quality of the plastic, the vibrancy of the colors, the weight and feel of the bricks, the precision and clutch-power of the pieces is exactly the same as that of LEGO-bricks. Pretty much the only way you can distinguish them is that OXFORD-bricks have no logo on the studs. However parts with no studs – good luck!
COLORS: The colors of OXFORD elements are either the same or extremely close to LEGO colors. Please note that the OXFORD brown is the same as LEGO’s old-brown, and the OXFORD gray is the same as LEGO’s old-gray. OXFORD Toys also has some really sweet unique colors especially in the tan/earthen color-range.
ELEMENTS: OXFORD parts are fully compatible with LEGO elements. OXFORD has the same brick-size and plate-size as LEGO bricks and plates. Arches, windows and roof-pieces are also the same and/or are fully compatible with LEGO. OXFORD also has some special elements not made by LEGO – this being the main draw for LEGO-fans.
Most OXFORD-sets have the same building style as LEGO-sets; vehicles, buildings, etc. are constructed from smaller bricks and elements.
However there are some OXFORD-sets that have Mega Bloks-like large pieces that simply snap together to serve one purpose only. I assume these sets are geared towards younger children and are less of an interest to adult LEGO-fans due to the “juniorized” parts. You can especially see sets like this in their fantasy and castle line.
THEMES: OXFORD Toys carries the same or very similar themes as LEGO; city, police, fire-station, construction, airplanes, ships, trains…they have them all!
MINIFIGURES: The OXFORD minifigures are quite similar to LEGO figs, although there are some distinct differences as well. Overall the OXFORD figs are very nice; reminiscent of the older-style LEGO minifigs with their somewhat simpler print. They are also the same height as LEGO-minifigs.
OXFORD minifig-heads are fully compatible and interchangeable with LEGO heads. In addition LEGO-headgear fits perfectly fine on OXFORD heads. However please note that OXFORD headgear (at least the ones I have) have a stem that fits inside the hole on the minifigs head. The stem is a tad too long to fit the hole on LEGO minifig heads. This can be remedied easily with a little modification, but I just wanted to warn you so there are no disappointments.
OXFORD minifig torsos fit well on LEGO minifig leg-assemblies, however OXFORD minifigs legs don’t look good on LEGO minifigs, due to the somewhat different design; with OXFORD leg-assemblies the hip area actually slips inside the torso, whereas on LEGO minifigs the torso sits on top of the hips.
OXFORD Toys minifig hands and arms are fully interchangeable with LEGO hands and arms, although OXFORD arms are slightly longer.
In fact, if you like OXFORD minifigs, you may want to change their arms to LEGO minifig-arms, as the OXFORD arms get loose fairly quickly (pretty much their only fault). As you can see on the picture I have changed the OXFORD minifig’s arms to gray LEGO arms. This combination creates a very nice and tight fit.
Another unique feature of some OXFORD minifigs is a special wrap-around paper clothing. I have only seen these in the castle-line of products. The paper is sturdy, with brilliant colors and a nice shine. It would hold up to at least as much use as any LEGO stickered piece, if not longer.
MINIFIGURE ACCESSORIES: To LEGO-fans this is one of the biggest draw of OXFORD; they have some really unique weapons, armor-pieces, and other accessories that a LEGO minifig-customizer may be interested in.
AVALABILITY: If you have friends who travel to South Korea, you should have no problem getting some OXFORD sets. In addition, OXFORD is frequently available on eBay. OXFORD sets have better price than comparable LEGO sets, if you can get them directly from South Korea. If you get them on eBay, the prices are going to be compatible with LEGO – not cheap – but if you are looking for something very unique, they are worth the price. 8)
RESOURCES: I highly recommend browsing OXFORD’s website! You might just find something that you like from their amazing selection! Also check out these excellent reviews on various OXFORD Toys sets (lots of pictures!):
OXFORD Korean-Style Tank Review
OXFORD Military Set Review
OXFORD Police Set Review
OXFORD Military Jeep Review
OXFORD Cobra AirForce Review
OXFORD Namdaemun (historic pagoda-style gateway) Review
OXFORD Castle Set Review
OXFORD Red Devil Set Review
OXFORD Special Z-Force Police 03 Review
OXFORD Z-Force Police Robot Review
OXFORD Hello Kitty Set Review
OXFORD Special Z-Force Police 01 Review
OXFORD Excavator Review
OXFORD Korean Hwacha (war-machine) Review
OXFORD Siege-Machines Review
OXFORD Mini Sets Review
OXFORD Siege-Tower Review
OXFORD Special Forces Hover-Craft Review
OXFORD Largest Military Set Review
OXFORD Princess Set Review