As you may know the LEGO brand has lots of competitors. The toy-business is a fierce battle-field, where some brands play fair-game by creating their own quality products, while others are total rip-offs of real brands. Most of these products originate in China and are referred to as LEGO clone brands, LEGO rip-offs, LEGO knock-offs or simply… fake LEGO.
Not all construction toy-brands coming out of Asia resort to such low-blow methods. In fact some brands – like Oxford Toys – although similar to LEGO has their own product lines and maintain very high quality standards. On the other hand real clones (isn’t that an oxymoron?) take meticulous care in stealing the box-art, product name and design of real LEGO products with the sole purpose of confusing consumers. Make no mistake: the quality of these products is horrendous, so don’t buy them.
Normally I don’t talk about low quality LEGO clone brands, because I don’t want to give them any free advertisement, however I found some really interesting ones recently that I thought to share. Again, these are only for your education and amusement. I’m not suggesting in any way shape or form that you buy them. These are just for laughs.
Okay, so let’s have some fun and horror! Here I will show you some LEGO Legends of Chima knock-offs. The first sign of a LEGO clone brand is the way they are so (un)creative with product names. They will rip-off a LEGO Ninjago product down to every detail of the box design and then re-name it to Ninjato or Ninjaman, or something equally lame. (Yes, those names are actual clone brandings!) With LEGO Legends of Chima they use names like Legends of Ghima and Legends of Chim. Yeah, right…
Check out this Legends of Ghima set. Notice how they copy the box-design and name and modify it just enough to get away with stealing LEGO’s own products and confuse consumers. Most people won’t notice the subtle change between the “C” and “G” – exactly what clone-brands want.
And here are some Legends of Chim products. The name is not nearly as smart as the above, but I guess clones have their problems too. Speaking of problems it is interesting to note that clone brands are also notorious for ripping each other off; one clone copying the products of another by just adding a little twist – like what you see here.
But my most favorite LEGO Legends of Chima knock-off (if there is such a thing) and what inspired this article is this mix between the LEGO Ninjago Samurai Mech and the LEGO Legends of Chima characters. One thing that is really confusing though is that the Mech has the colors of the Lion Tribe, but it seems like the good-guys are fighting it. As I said; clones are not the most clever. But anyway, I thought this was pretty interesting.
There are tons more of both LEGO Ninjago and LEGO Legends of Chima knock-offs. If you want to go down the slippery slope of LEGO clone brands you can check them out at Alibaba.com, which – not surprisingly – is a Chinese knock-off of eBay full of counterfeit products.
So what do you think of these LEGO clone brands? Have you ever encountered them and perhaps bought one by mistake? And what do you think of the Chima-ized version of the Samurai Mech? Like it? Hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
And you may also like to check out the following related posts on (real) LEGO Ninjago and (real) LEGO Legends of Chima sets. Beware of the clones!