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LEGO vs. Mega Bloks – the forever debate…

by admin on January 16, 2014

in Other Large Brands

(Written by Chi-bacca)

Today I would like to address a subject that often comes up in comments but we haven’t fully explored in an article as of yet. So here it goes; LEGO vs. Mega Bloks. Mega Bloks is a Canadian company, that is basically looked at as a LEGO rip-off and copycat by LEGO fans, with lower quality products and cheaper prices. They use the same studs-and-tubes design as LEGO, package their sets similarly, and their sole purpose seems to be to trick parents and kids into buying a Mega Blocks set instead of a LEGO one.

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Comparison

However Mega Blocks also has a niche for themselves by owning some unique licenses – something that LEGO fans may find interesting and venture to explore. Mega Bloks have the rights for making Thomas the Tank Engine, Hello Kitty, Need for Speed, Halo, World of Warcraft, Barbie, Hot Wheels, Skylanders Giants, and Call of Duty sets.

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Toys

Some of you may comment “LEGO is best and all other brands are evil rip-offs that should be burned!” – but hear me through before throwing stones bricks at me, and perhaps you will gain a different perspective. I own both LEGO and Mega Bloks sets and have fairly extensive experience with both. In addition I’m one of those people who are not afraid to mix the two brands for an extended building experience. As this is a LEGO vs. Mega Bloks post, I will compare the two brands in various categories so you might gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences.

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Sets

LEGO VS. MEGA BLOKS FIGURES

Of course we are all familiar with LEGO minifigures; they are cute and chubby with a yellow skin (except for the licenses minifigs). LEGO minifigures are all made up of the same, fully compatible body-parts, so you can mix and match them any way you like. They also fit within the LEGO system with multiple attachment points. In recent years there has been a lot of focus on minifigures due to demand by LEGO fans and collectors, which resulted in a greater variety of facial expressions, better quality and more detailed printing, and even a series of collectible minifigures.

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Minifigs

Mega Bloks figures are very different from LEGO’s little guys. They have articulated joints for a much wider range of posing. This is their biggest advantage. Most of them have unique moulds – which means they are not as interchangeable and customizable as LEGO minifigs. In fact, trying to pop together the mini ball-joints proves to be quite a challenge and many times impossible. In Mega Bloks sets the figures come fully assembled, whereas in their collectible packets they come in parts and you need to assemble them.

LEGO VS. MEGA BLOKS ACCESSORIES

LEGO has been releasing a wide range of accessories for minifigures; tools, weapons, body-armor, backpacks, and more. The details on the accessories tend to be general in nature, so the same design can fit into many different themes, and even serve different purposes. (For example a minifigure-size dinner-plate can serve as a decoration on a building, or a minifigure tool can become part of an engine.)

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Guns

As far as Mega Bloks, I only own their HALO line of products, so I can mainly compare guns and backpacks, not everyday tools and other weaponry. In general, Mega Bloks accessories are much more detailed and only serve one purpose. They even come with printed highlights to make them as accurate as possible. They are popular with LEGO customizers who are looking for accuracy and detail. (Mega Bloks accessories are compatible with LEGO minifigures as even though LEGO and Mega Bloks figures are quite different, their size is about the same and they both have claw-like hands.)

LEGO VS. MEGA BLOKS QUALITY & VALUE

LEGO is known to be an expensive toy. Their mid-priced sets are in the $30-$50 range, which is not pocket-change. And not to speak of the larger sets! The advantage though is that LEGO elements are fully compatible and you can re-use them in an unlimited variety of ways. The same piece can be a brick in a castle-wall, or part of an engine. There are no junk-pieces in LEGO that can only be used for one thing. All pieces are used over and over in many different sets for many years, even decades. They can all interconnect in a variety of ways and be part of the full system. If you have just a medium-ish LEGO collection you can reuse the parts again and again without having to buy more and more sets. This variability, and the fact that LEGO elements are very high quality gives them tremendous long-term value. The downside of this is that it is harder to achieve life-like detailing with LEGO. You would need to build in a fairly large scale and use many small elements if you want to be as realistic as possible.

Mega Bloks, although based on the same studs-and-tubes system as LEGO, doesn’t focus as much on compatibility and connectivity, but more on life-like details. Their sets are more like models or maquettes that are fit together as a jig-saw puzzle, reusability of the elements and fitting into a comprehensive system is not the focus. They make a lot of specialized large pieces that are only available in one set. Making your own custom models and landscapes would be significantly difficult. You can also end up with heaps of pieces that you can only use one way and have little long-term value or play-value in general. Mega Bloks is also known for lesser quality and precision, which is reflected in the cheaper prices. But they make things like camo-bricks with different colors fused together, which is very cool.

LEGO VS. MEGABLOKS INSTRUCTIONS

Building instructions for LEGO sets are pretty easy to follow. In fact, there has been a lot of improvement in the last few years; colors are easier to differentiate, trickier assemblies have zoomed-in views, and there is a list of parts added in each step. Also, for larger sets bags are numbered so it is easier to build the set in sections instead of dumping all the parts in one big pile and searching endlessly.

Mega Bloks building instructions take a slightly different approach. I found them to be a bit harder to follow – probably because I’m more familiar with LEGO’s instructions. I like the fact that they highlight the studs were a new piece goes. However they do not include numbered bags, even for their larger sets, which makes them very hard to figure out and put together, wasting a lot of time searching for parts.

LEGO vs. Mega Bloks Details

Overall, I would say that the LEGO system is a better value because of its connectivity, quality, and by giving you the ability to use and reuse the elements in pretty much unlimited ways. However Mega Bloks have much more unique pieces and accessories that you may consider if you are going after accurate detailing. Also the figures are more detailed and poseable. Since LEGO and Mega Bloks are compatible, you could simply add a few Mega Bloks accessories to your LEGO creations to make them more unique. Just a suggestion for your consideration. 😎

LEGO vs. Megablok Set Details

What do you think? Do you own any Mega Bloks sets or figures? What is your opinion on them? Do you mix LEGO and Mega Bloks in your own creations? Feel free to share and discuss in the comment section below. Debating about the brands is allowed, as long as the conversation remains civilized. No brick-throwing please. 😉

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

NinjagoNerd36 January 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM

So what I think is that if you want a wide range of fully compatible parts that can be used in a wide variety of ways, buy LEGO. But if you want to buy some more realistic sets or you want guns buy Mega blok. In my opinion I think that if you want realistic LEGO weapons and the like just go to Brickarms or a similar retailer. Mega Blok also tends to focus more on themes LEGO will not ask for a license for; such as Halo or CoD. I got one set once, my main problem with it was that the pieces kept popping apart so it took forever to finish. I do not hate Mega Blok, but it doesn’t really serve my purposes for building.

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studless January 16, 2014 at 11:08 AM

I have recently started to buy the mega bloks collectible Halo mini action figs for some animation and just really liked the poseability and detail.
I still like Lego minifigs and Mech for sure and would much rather build with legos than megabloks.

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Beardless Dwarf January 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I’ve used a Mega Bloks weapon on a custom figure before but I think that Mega Blocks is a lesser quality. I do have an old MB Pyrates set which I enjoyed when I was younger but I don’t use it anymore.

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legostuff71 January 16, 2014 at 11:48 AM

What’s the replacement policy on damaged bricks for MEGA BLOKS? Is it just as good as LEGO( no fuss, no mess).

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Yes you contact them and they will send you replacements via standard mail, although during my time with both brands I haven’t had a faulty piece with either one-maybe it’s just good luck 🙂

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Chris of Yoda Archives January 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

LEGO also has richer history than Mega Bloks. Adults remember playing with LEGO as a child not so much with Mega Bloks. I recently bought a Mega Blok WoW set. Like you said mainly pieces that were only usable in that set. They were a little tough to snap into place.
A think the themes and licenses is the main thing MB has going for them. My sister, who is quite a bit younger than me, collected the MB Dragons theme when she was little. the sets are still displayed.

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admin January 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

That’s a good point about history. There are no Mega Bloks conventions. No Adult-Fans-of-Mega-Bloks websites and forums, it’s simply a child’s disposable toy.

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Richard Belcourt June 25, 2016 at 9:35 PM

I started buying Tyco sets in the 80s for my daughter (80% Lego, 20% Tyco). Tyco went away and Mega Bloks emerged as an alternative. Their Dragons and then their Pirates had a lot of cool elements. I still mix Lego, Mega Blok and even Tyco in my classroom for my students to build. I now buy mostly Lego and a few Mega Blok sets. I’ve gotten tons of the Call of Duty at 50 to 75% off at TRU and other outlets. I’ve found the quality of the Call of Duty fit amazingly tight. The Tank and the Swift Boat are both awesome models. Of course I stock both of those models with Lego Friends and Disney Princesses with a wide array of firepower.

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admin June 27, 2016 at 12:49 PM

Yes, the Call of Duty sets, and the other Collectors series sets are all much better quality. I will be posting an article tomorrow (see the homepage) about my encounters with MegaBloks. You might be interested to read it and participate in the discussion. 🙂

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Noir Renard July 4, 2016 at 8:48 PM

Well to be fair they do have there won websites and forums actually. Just like lego dose. NO conventions that I know of but I’m not looking either.

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admin July 4, 2016 at 8:54 PM

Yes, they do have forums on their website, but I don’t know of any fan forums or communities outside of that – like EuroBricks or Brickset, or other fan forums that are maintained by LEGO fans.

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Håkan January 16, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Those purple ships look kinda nifty. I think there’s still a shortage of purple bricks from Lego, especially bows…

And the Smurfs sets look rather inspired by Fabuland.

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Håkan January 16, 2014 at 2:28 PM

The coolest sets seem to be out of production, though. And here in Sweden, they don’t seem that easy to find, or they’re not really cheaper… =/

The Covenant Phantom looks rather cool, though… A lot of purple… I’ll see if there’s a good second hand option on that…

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Evan Brus January 16, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I had only one Mega Bloks set (9161) when I was a kid, and I had no idea how much the brand had changed since then. The figures are so different! Back then it was pretty much just cheap LEGO, although the mini fig legs had different joints and attachments. Here is the set I had: http://www.amazon.com/Bloks-Xtreme-Sports-Skatezone-Pieces/dp/B004TNIDPI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

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admin January 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM

That’s one of the issues with MB and other brands. You can’t rely on that they will remain the same. There is no system. It seems like their strategy is based on whatever they feel like is trendy and will make them the most money. You can really learn to appreciate so many aspects of the LEGO company by comparing it to other brands.

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ninja of stealth January 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

nice post chi-bacca! I’m glad that we are all open minded on this subject. even though MB can be a little cheep, me and my sis find loose mega block pieces all over Wal-Mart, people that own them are like “here, just take them and get it away from me!” :roll: and for some reason they are always next to the LEGO section and there not at children’s height. (strange and coincidental? I think not.) but I have a little dragon (I actually bought this one) and its pretty cool! its very possible and well, cool! its head looks like wolverine… strange…. anyway!!! what’s creepy is, by cousin likes, Mega Blocks! aah! oh and as for the pieces “popping apart.” we found this 2×8 piece and I tried to connect it to a LEGO piece, it works, if you step on it. okay now I’m over exaggerating. you just have to force it. (use the force ninja or stealth… that doesn’t even have a goon ring to it.) over all: great post, mega blocks people thinys creep me out, I like Ice cream!:???:

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

…… I don’t know what to say about your comment………. I like ice cream too 😀
About the dragon is he made from a couple of pieces in a technic sorta way cause I think I have a couple of those from when I was younger- a red one and a blue and grey one.

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Speedy Ninja January 16, 2014 at 4:36 PM

This is Ninja of Stealth’s sister. Since Stealth hasn’t replied yet I will answer the dragon question for you. It was in a polybag with a random dragon inside (kind of like LEGO Minifigures) The dragons are about the size of a minifigure. I got a blue one that wasn’t rare like the one Ninja of Stealth got… All well I hope this helps!

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Chi-bacca January 17, 2014 at 5:07 AM

Ahh ok it must be a world of warcraft one

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 1:11 PM

Oh and what ninja did you want in the your gravatar instead?

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ninja of stealth January 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

I meant to make the 😕 face at the end. 😳

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Chris of Yoda Archives January 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The junior versions of Mega Bloks do not fit well with Duplo. My son has a mix of both. Whenever he’s having trouble connecting them, at least one of the bricks is MB. Plus they don’t snap as well to each other.
But I will say he has no problem with the Mega Bloks first builders sets.

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admin January 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Hm… that’s interesting. I didn’t know that.

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Håkan January 16, 2014 at 4:39 PM

First Builders aren’t compatible with Duplo, though…

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Andy at www.smallplasticbricks.com January 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

I just don’t like Mega Bloks because of the lower quality plastic and the fact that they did rip off Lego (even many of the same exact pieces) and got away with it. I can see the value in them if the builder doesn’t want to spend as much, and just wants a construction toy. But there aren’t many (or any?) Mega Bloks conventions for a reason – the quality just isn’t there.

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LegoUniverse Bob January 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

cool post chi-bacca! but I prefer LEGO cause its got more HD blocks, and a ton of other stuff <3 LEGO ROCKS

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Saxifraga January 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

Mega Bloks are a very bad immitation of Lego with ugly miniatures.
I will never buy anything of that (***).

(***) = censored by admin due to inappropriate content

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Reading a couple of these comments I realised something(WEIRD FLASHBACK ALERT 😀 ) …. When I was young I had duplo sets -which are now passed on to my nieces- and after that I went to mega bloks with the pyrates and castle (can’t remember the proper name) themes as they had a couple of pieces and were pretty simple builds. I started to build a fair collection of these and still have the figures in their own separate tin. Then I went back to LEGO with Star Wars’ darth vader transformation and droid tri fighter (not sure which one I got first) I started getting more and more LEGO sets until I had built a fair collection and had by then acquired both of my older sisters’ bricks. Nows the interesting bit, when I was 9-10 I went through my dark ages (I’ve only just realised) as I stopped building and started to play guitar and yu-gi-oh then about a year and a half later I picked up a LEGO manual with the old LEGO agents sets in it and I became a LEGO fan once more.and august last year I purchased my first ever Halo Mega Bloks set (I’m a fan of the halo franchise so had to try it lol)

So to put it short I’ve always swayed between the two brands (and I must admit I do overall prefer LEGO 😉 ) and gone through my dark ages already….

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BLProductions January 16, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Until I read a book about a Lego designer’s life a few years ago, I didn’t care about mixing the two brands (I really didn’t know they were separate brands, it all looked the same).
My only Mega Bloks is a Pirates of the Caribbean set-very useful! But my brother has a huge battleship out of Bloks (very cool), and another brother has a Police set. The figures were hard to put together.

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Yeah the figures are still nearly impossible to put together unless you know the technique which before you ask I do not know it 😉

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Purple Ninja Girl of Power January 16, 2014 at 1:12 PM

I remember doing an articles in this for English. We had to get two similar yet different product, compare them, and say which is better. Of course I picked LEGO.

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Chi-bacca January 16, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Nice, did you get good marks 😀 lol
I respect that your not afraid to say you like LEGO in your school work, when I wore a LEGO Star Wars shirt to school a couple of months back people looked at me funny… (I’m in senior school btw)

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Eric at A Lego a Day January 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM

From my experience, mega bloks are are woefully inferior to LEGO in terms of quality. They often don’t snap together properly, and I have seen them pop apart on their own. And they just feel cheap. I guarantee I could tell you the difference between a 2×4 LEGO brick and a mego bloks one blindfolded.

And the licenses don’t matter to me at all. I just happens that LEGO holds several for brands I love. I was collecting LEGO way before that though.

And if I want realistic, poseable figures, I’ll buy action figures.

Just my thoughts.

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cynicalbuddha January 16, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Great post. I’m a Lego lover no doubt, but I’m not afraid to mix it up with Mega Blok, Character Building, Kre-O, even Brick Lock. But there’s a reason that Lego is the most expensive brand. Their product simply is the best quality out of all of the compatible building brands. Although I’ve heard some complaining about Chinese made Lego pieces. And I think that saying Mega Blok is just a rip off of Lego isn’t fair . Sure their blocks are now compatible, but Mega Blok takes a whole different approach to their sets. Mega Blok sets all tend to be themed, mostly from licensed brands. Mega Blok’s Micro figures are more like mini action figures than Lego Minifigures. Mega Blok also fills the war and soldier niche that Lego won’t go into.

What you don’t find is Mega Blok communities with fans as rabid as Lego fans and that’s a not only a credit to Lego as a company and brand as to their marketing and quality control and customer service. Plus Lego offers free building software with their Lego Digital Designer and then you can go online or to a store and buy piece you need to do a build.

Sorry I’m rambling in my comment. To sum up in my opinion Lego is by far the best quality brand, but others like Mega Blok and Character Building have their place and unique differences that make their parts and figures more than welcome in my collection.

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darkon January 16, 2014 at 3:39 PM

I personally approve of any construction theme that uses good quality plastic and offers something that Lego does not. I have been most impressed with Kre-o sets! The quality of the sets is just as good as Lego, and the Transformers figures are amazing! It’s the perfect theme for someone who loves Lego and also loves Transformers. Kre-o has only existed for three years but already they’ve made sets for Transformers, G.I.Joe, Star Trek, Cityville, and Dungeons and Dragons! The only issue is that the instructions are hard to follow, but that doesn’t really matter to me because I customize everything I build, and some of the Kre-o pieces are great for mocs. 😀

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Will January 16, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Speaking of war, my first experience with Mega Blocks was through a generic military series they had. For about $30 I outfitted a green army and tan army with tanks, a hummer, and some extra soldiers.

The funny thing is, I never really considered Mega Blocks a true building toy. Sure you had to put it together, but everything was so specific that I never wanted to use them for building purposes.

I wanted to see what they were like since the first sets I mixed LEGO with were TYCO. They also had a military line. Can’t say the quality was any better than Mega Blocks but TYCO was more of a building set along the lines as LEGO.

My next experinence with Mega Blocks was to buy some of their dragons and again it wasn’t to have a building toy. It was just to have some dragons.

My most recent experience with Mega Blocks was in a bulk lot I bought. It was 70% Mega Blocks. Many of the Mega Blocks were discolored or broken. After seperating them I gave all the bags of Mega Blocks to some younger cousins since as you said in the article, I consider them just a cheap toy and not really a suitable building material.

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coz January 16, 2014 at 5:11 PM

it’s a bok, no it’s lego

it’s a bok, no it’s lego

it’s lego, no it’s a bok!

hmmmmm

it’s a chicken, no it’s an egg.

lol…busy day

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CD's Lego Blog January 16, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Nice comparison! I personally think numbered bags are a bit stupid because to me, one part of the building experience is looking for the pieces.

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admin January 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

For smaller sets yeah, they are not necessary, but for larger sets and exclusives the numbered bags are pretty crucial. And if you like hunting you can always open them and dump them together before you begin building. But for the less patient of us they are great! 😉

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Soundgirl428 January 16, 2014 at 6:45 PM

OH. MY. WORD. 1st video- mega blocks- crash into the bricks and help up almost perfectly! WOW!!! Was NOT expecting that!!! O.O

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Håkan January 17, 2014 at 1:54 AM

Although one brick got smashed to bits, and another seemed to get dented, but yeah.

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Timpani January 17, 2014 at 2:49 AM

From what I saw (without sound) it was where it hit the wings. The LEGO one was hit closer to a joint, the mega bloks were hit in the center of a wide piece; there was nothing to break off. Really, the models’ shapes were too different to be compared fairly with such tests. That LEGO ship probably has about a third of the area of impact at a similar mass.

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admin January 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that either! 😀

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Fikko3107 January 17, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Can someone help answer this question that always bug me? How is it that Megabloks, a TOY COMPANY, is able to obtain Hot Wheels and Barbie licenses, which belong to Mattel, another TOY COMPANY? I thought that toy companies have something against licensing their properties to other toy companies. It would be like, if for example, Bandai creates action figures of Kai, Johnny Thunder, Agent Chase, Laval, etc. I understand with Kre-O making Transformers, since Hasbro seems to have, at least partially, purchased Kre-O, and making toys based on IPs you make yourself is completely normal.

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cynicalbuddha January 17, 2014 at 1:30 PM

I think it has to do with Mattel not having a construction line of toys. The other possibility is that Mattel owes a piece of MegaBlok or visa versa. Either way Mattel makes money with the license and doesn’t have to put any money into developing it’s own construction line.

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Håkan January 17, 2014 at 3:29 PM

The Barbie sets largely seem a cheap re-hash of Friends with large facade pieces and garish, clashing colors, though…

I actually prefer Hello Kitty. It’s like a revamp of Fabuland, but the set design seems more solid.

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Håkan January 17, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Particularly the “Build ‘n’ Style Luxury Mansion”. It’s basically a dollhouse… Fine if you’re into that, but the actual ability to reconstruct it is minimal…

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Ray January 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

The building block toy market is definitely expanding these days, not only has Mega Bloks stepped up their efforts with the licenses they’ve been getting, but Kre-o entered the market as well.

Originally though, LEGO was a copycat toy too: http://www.cracked.com/article_20025_5-world-famous-products-that-are-shameless-rip-offs.html

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NoahNace10 January 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM

The enventor of LEGO actually got permission to use kiddicrafts block idea from kiddicraft.

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admin January 19, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Unfortunately they did not get permission. That is the dark past of LEGO that will haunt them forever. 😕

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~Brick January 17, 2014 at 1:50 PM

While it’s an open and never ending argument, I am and forever will be a loyalist to LEGO products. Whenever I see Megabloks, or MegaJunk as I call, I immediately throw them away:)

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Angie July 14, 2014 at 9:55 AM

Don’t throw them away. I’ll take the junk off your hands. The real deal Legos are great but too expensive for my pocketbook.

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admin July 14, 2014 at 11:19 AM

That’s actually a good point… someone can use them. Maybe we should start a LEGO vs. other brands trading platform. 😛

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That Random Guy January 17, 2014 at 6:33 PM

I really just bought the HALO sets, well really one. And I didn’t even build the actual set. The instructions were so complicated. I personally like lego more than mega bloks. Lego is more original.

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GALH August 15, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Is because Lego have the rigths to sell the sets into identified packages. They can group the pieces in some order into the box to be easyly to assembly. So Megablocks can’t do the same, they’re forced to mix all the pieces completly in the package. This change the experience enormously, but, only Lego have the rigths.

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John Brikky January 18, 2014 at 7:15 AM

In all honesty I prefer the LEGO sets. Mega Bloks does have more customization but to me that just limits it’s use. I generally don’t even apply decals to my LEGO sets unless it’s for a model that I’m planning on putting display. I’ve had so many times in my earlier LEGO days when I would apply a decal and a week or so later have to peel off sticky residue because I wanted to use it for something else again.

I do however agree with your ending statement – buy a couple of Mega Bloks sets for a few unique items – make the best of both worlds instead of being an elitist jerk 😉

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Brian Briggs January 20, 2014 at 11:29 AM

We have three generations of Lego builders and the youngest is quite happy with Megabloks due to the subject matter, otherwise quite happy to use both Megabloks and Lego. There are several parts amongs the Megabloks kit that would be really useful in Lego as well. e.g wing folding hinges. The older two generations are predominantly scratch builders not reliant on instructions. There is a very good website for finding Lego spares so the question is, does a similar site exist for Megablok spares?

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Håkan January 20, 2014 at 4:21 PM

I think you should be able to order Missing spare parts from Mega Bloks if you know the part number, and it’s still in production…

There doesn’t seem to be much of an organized second hand market at the scope of BrickLink, however. Otherwise, I might order a bunch of cheap purple parts, if some seller would ship from Europe…

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Larry Morgan February 11, 2014 at 12:38 AM

I don’t know why people compain about the bricks
Being hard to snap together. So what? Are you guys a bunch of wusses? Plus, Mega Bloks don’t snap, they lock into place rather quietly. If you try to get a snap out of them, then you’re going to break the brick. Anyway, I myself prefer the intricacy and painstaking detail Mega Bloks WoW sets have, thus I side with Mega here.

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Larry Morgan February 11, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Sorry, didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, just had to vent a bit.

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admin February 11, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Larry, it is totally fine to share your own opinion and preferences. That’s what a discussion is about. The trick is to do it without looking down or calling names those who disagree with you. When you master the art of doing that even those who disagree with you will give you their respect. 😉

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Liam Rue April 17, 2014 at 9:24 PM

You problably work for megabloks,you rat!

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haloslayer875 June 2, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Mega Bloks has a deeper development in the addition of new technology and despite the “one way” bricks it is actually just as easy to build and create as with Lego. Their sets though not as well constructed are more of an every man’s set as only recently have their large sets become over $100 and those had over 1000-1400 parts with a much better playablity than any Lego Mini-fig. Personally both mixed give u the best results. I have had nearly fifteen years of experience and mega bloks has been the best evolving brand yet. just in the past five years alone.

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00zau June 11, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Megablocks are okay if you want to build a model, put it on a shelf, and never do anything with it. Most models I’ve seen or had are basically a interior made of generic XxX blocks and plates, with a shell of custom hull panels on the outside. There’s no effort to use a set of existing swept and curved pieces to acheive a desired result, they just print a new part. And the parts are pretty crappy. I don’t think I’ve ever broken a LEGO, but in the 2-5 MegaBloks kits me and my brother ever had, we broke at least 2-3 parts.

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Tara July 2, 2014 at 7:52 PM

So, I had NO CLUE I bought an ‘off brand’ i just grabbed 2 tubs for my kids today, one bigger size for the 3 yr. old and one for the 6 year old, they fit together so I thought that was cool. I learned my 6 year old daughter LOVES THEM and seriously I’ve never seen her sit so long with a toy. Her favorite movie is even on, Frozen and she isn’t even watching it! Thing is that I saw these really cute ‘barbie sets’ and she wants them of course, before i bought those i wanted to try to see if she’d even take care of the $10 set; SO, im MORE THAN HAPPY i found this article and learned 1. I bought mega bloks and not legos 2. the sets she wants are the brand i bought. we will stick with these. 🙂 thanks for the article!

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Gene July 3, 2014 at 7:35 AM

I have twin sons, both just turned 11. They’ve had 3-different block systems: Lego, Kreo, and MegaBlocks. I’ve been a Lego bldr since I was their age, many, many years ago. I have to say, even though Legos have a wide variety of sets/parts, I’m extremely impressed with the other systems. As others have stated, mix’n’match. My boys have learned to combine the simple Lego sets with their Transformers and Halo sets. I’m not a brand-snob and neither are my kids. We’ve found the variety offered from the various sets give the opportunity to create new “universes”. They’re still trying find a way to combine everything with their Gundam models and Pacific Rim figures, but, they’re having a blast. All the parts have also made them more analytical, i.e., how best to combine the parts for something. Personally, my favorite is Mega Blocks Halo series, simply for the detailed figures. Absolutely cool.

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Heather Tatzer July 7, 2014 at 12:02 AM

Forever debate? Why waste time when there’s no comparison. I bought my first and last Mega Blok set today (Halo). It was uncomfortable in my fingers and difficult to put together. The pieces kept snapping apart as I continued through the instructions, making me backtrack and redo steps I had already completed. It was a very frustrating experience. If I wasn’t doing it for my 5 year old son, I would’ve quit 2 minutes into the project. It’s Lego from here on out. Lego is comfortable in fingers, easy to connect, stays together after assembly and during play. It’s a high quality product that is worth every penny.

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admin July 7, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Amen to that. 😉

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Junbesu October 20, 2014 at 6:24 PM

I’m also a lego fan and have a huge collection. But have recently added kreo (transformers) and Mega bloks (halo) as my 5 y.o. likes them and who am I to impose my brand rules?

Are you saying you’ll say no if he/she wants a halo set for Christmas and force them down the Lego route?!

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Mr.Wolf July 14, 2014 at 11:54 PM

I don’t like some of the Mega Bloks pieces that are huge and prefabricated, but I like Mega Bloks brick built models such as Air Combat, and just plain bricks bucket.

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Caleb July 29, 2014 at 1:21 PM

I’ve gotten a couple of megabloks sets. First was a Spiderman helicopter. JUNK. Second, NeoShifter. AWESOME. Third, Halo Versus Red Team Weapon Pack. Incredibly Incredible. And cheap. Megabloks I buy, legos, I get as gifts.

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Chuck Norris August 3, 2014 at 2:41 AM

Lego is best for me, though I’ve never had problems concerning lack of money. Just the fact that the bricks can fit together in so many ways. Just one problem. The lego designers are getting lazy, leaving gaps where 3-4 bricks would fill it in. But still, lego FTW.

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Jacob August 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Even though this is late, I’ve noticed megabloks has gotten better bricks in the 2014 sets. Sure, I’ve built Legos since I was,like, 2, but megabloks have grown on me (halo). I absolutely love the halo figures and can’t wait to see sets for the master chief collection. I am really liking how many games they are recreating in bricks. (Halo ce, halo 2, halo 3, halo:odst, halo reach, and halo 4.) I also am extremely excited for the spartan tribute pack. Fell free to express your opinions, please, and tell me if you agree.

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admin August 19, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Jacob, thanks for sharing your thoughts. The Megabloks minifigs are certainly interesting. In fact I bought several of them recently just to try them out (Spartans, and Call of Duty). 🙂

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LEGO not LEGOs August 21, 2014 at 11:31 AM

The real argument is whether it is Lego or Legos.

Of course it is lego. Only stupid Americans would say Legos

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admin August 21, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Please note that we are a community here. It is perfectly fine to share your own opinion, but name-calling is not welcome. Someone can use perfect spelling and grammar, but if they have to put others down to make themselves feel better, and hide behind fake user-names and email addresses, they are pretty much garanteed to loose all respect. Play well!

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Hatfield August 26, 2014 at 8:43 PM

I agree for the most part with this article, only I don’t think Mega bloks is of cheaper quality. So far my experience is if anything Mega bloks pieces click together and will stay together after an atomic bomb has been dropped on them… and not just because of the plastic fusing together. The only part I found where they don’t fit properly is 1×1 pieces. They tend to want to snap out of place on their own. That being said it sure is a pain, literally, to try and take apart 2 places on top of each other.

I was a staunch lego fanatic for many years and I would never look too much at the Mega bloks sets even when they started coming out with Halo lines. Then one day my brother actually bought a small pack with a few Mega bloks figures and I was able to examine them in detail. Since then I started buying more Mega bloks than lego. I am getting steadily more impressed with Mega bloks yet I am getting continually disappointed with lego. I still have to admit that lego is better because of it’s interchangeability, but Mega bloks has me watching their every move.
I’ll give you an example. I could go spend 20$ CAD on a lego battle pack with 4 minifigures and a handful of accessories. Or I could go to Mega bloks buy a set for 15$ CAD, 5 micro-action figures and get a ton of accessories and weapons and usually even some small terrain elements. It’s hard to justify sticking with lego, it’s only that Mega bloks has no medieval themed sets that I keep purchasing lego. If Mega bloks ever introduced a GOOD medieval or classical roman era line that might be the end of lego for me.
Now of course I don’t really mean that, I will always buy lego for the bricks themselves because I do like making my own creations, but Mega bloks might just become my favorite.

One thing I have noticed though, and this is just between different lego lines, with exception to super heroes and star wars, lego does a HORRIBLE job with themed sets. I always like original lego lines more than their theme based cash-ins. The opposite is true of Mega Bloks, only not as extreme.

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Hatfield August 26, 2014 at 8:49 PM

When I say theme based, I mean sets based on other IP franchises. Lego does a better job with their sets when they use their own IP

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super lego lover September 10, 2014 at 6:47 PM

lego wins

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rajiv September 15, 2014 at 7:12 PM

Started out with lego but i find myself gravutating to mega. Mega take its lines seriously such as cod whereas lego is more cutesy. Too bad the the adult collectors dont follow suit instead of being so anti evrything elese. Surely plenty of playing room for all brands and we the cosumers are the lucky ones withbmore than one choice. Cod line rules!

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Clumsybumsy October 6, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I once got a mega bloks figure for free with a purchase of LEGO at my local Bart Smit. I trew the mega blok figure in the trash as soon as i saw a dumpster. I just hate mega blocks

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admin October 6, 2014 at 12:15 PM

LOL! That’s funny they would give you a MB figure with a LEGO purchase! I would suggest not to through them away though – you can trade them. I know a lot of kids who prefer MB figures because of the amount of detail and articulation, so they may have a LEGO figure you want,and they will be happy with your MB figure. Win-win. 🙂

Also, consider that there are children who are not so fortunate and would be lucky to get any kind of tosy. You can donate sets and figures you don’t want to charity, to your local library, or give them directly to a child who would be happy to receive them. There is no need to ever throw away anything new and just clog landfills. Give them to someone who would appreciate them and use them.

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Austin October 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM

“Mega bloks halo is more awesome then lego star wars!” 🙂 🙂

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spider October 20, 2014 at 6:37 PM

My sons and I have kilos and kilos of Lego. Until recently I would weed the non Lego bricks and figures out of second hand purchases. Recently though I made the decision to allow our pristine Lego collection to be ‘polluted’ by kreo and Mega bloks as the kids love transformers and halo. Although I draw the line at super cheap unbranded garbage.

I actually think its better to mix and not fair to impose rules on the kids’ play. I guarantee most kids don’t care what the brand is as long as they can have fun. I think its the parents’ job to encourage them to break down barriers and be imaginitive, and not anal freaks like most AFOLs (I include myself in that!)

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Scott October 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Well, I’ll put it this way, if LEGO would start to produce military type kits I would purchase them. Until that time it will definitely be MEGA BLOKS. Don’t get me wrong, we have what seems like tons of LEGOS, but being former military, I enjoy building the Call of Duty kits..

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admin October 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Scott, I can appreciate that. The Call of Duty sets are particularly nice. I also have a couple. In case you are interested in LEGO military kits, you might consider checking out the ones offered by BrickMania. They are very high quality, accurate, and use only LEGO elements: http://www.brickmania.com/custom-kits/

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brett November 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

They both hurt the feet all the same!

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admin November 1, 2014 at 3:15 PM

LOL! Yeah! You are right about that! 😈

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dave November 4, 2014 at 6:57 AM

What is the MegaBlok equivalent to Lego Duplo? It can’t be the “FirstBuilders” because those blocks are much larger (the ONLY true “Mega” blocks). Most other MegaBlok sets have pieces that are same size and Legos. But does the MegaBlok corporation have anything in the “inbetween” size… larger than their “lego” size blocks, smaller than their “first builders” blocks?

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admin November 4, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Dave, MegaBlok does have a DUPLO-size line called Junior Builders. They are actually pretty nice. And for a change, they also come with genuinely cute figures. I can’t speak for the quality though as I have never played with them. 😉

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Jon November 4, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Well written article comparing differences in these two brands. Perhaps I can introduce this audience to SNAPO, Made in USA building blocks that features a different locking system than the “press-fit” brick design. Instead, SNAPO uses a “snap” locking ring on a single top post for vertical connections and a “snap” locking rail for side-to-side connections. This is a little technical, but it allows blocks to connect on all sides, plus slide and rotate for very creative omni-directional building. SNAPO is non-magnetic and non toxic. And perhaps most important, compatible with these other brands for tremendous play value. I’m happy to provide sample bags to the first 50 interested builders.

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Brittany November 8, 2014 at 5:30 PM

I just want to say that I found this post/article very informing since Christmas is quickly approaching and I obviously have some decisions to make. Not only did I learn more about the sets themselves, I learned how enthusiasts can nearly turn it gang war…lol with love, don’t shoot me. Thanks, again. Playmobil would be a good topic of interest, too btw.

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admin November 8, 2014 at 7:15 PM

Brittany, don’t worry, we won’t shoot ya! And yes, Playmobil is a wonderful and very high quality brand. It is a very different scale compared to LEGO, but at some point I might write an article about them as they have been around for a very long time and they cover similar themes as LEGO. Thanks for the idea! 😉

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tom November 10, 2014 at 9:57 PM

I too own both Legos and Mega Bloks.
I really can’t choose one over the other because both contain element unique to both companies.
I guess it really depends on the style you like.

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Christina November 13, 2014 at 9:19 AM

I found this very helpful! I have a 4 year old that LOVES to build. I don’t want to invest in all Legos in case it doesn’t stick. I think testing the waters with Mega Bloks first is the way to go! If it keeps his interest, I will grow his collection, now knowing that they can be used together!

Thank you!

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admin November 13, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Christina, yes, that is an option, although these days MegaBloks is basically just as expensive as LEGO, but it doesn’t have the same resale value as LEGO does. Something to take into consideration. However if you are only getting a few smaller sets it shouldn’t be a big loss. I would also add that if I would have gotten MB as my first sets, I would have never stayed around the hobby.

Also, schools and libraries often have afterschool programs with LEGO. You might want to check out if there is any in your area. This way your son has a chance to check out how he likes the hobby before having to invest money into it. Some kids love building toys, some don’t. 😉

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Kyle Armenta November 27, 2014 at 7:22 AM

One thing I’d like to really point out is the “build from scratch” feel that mega bloks has. To explain, back in 98 or 99 there was a “shift” in Lego. They went from molding bricks (which obviously they still do) to molding more customized parts like full panels, tubes (for the mars set in 2001) and so on. This turned them more into toys than buildable puzzles. The sets are getting easier and easier to build. Where as mega bloks has a challenge to it. Granted when you get the Halo pelican mega bloks offers you get a whole pre-assembled cockpit, but you build around it in 134 not-so-easy steps. Another example is the COD ODIN space station build. The” tungsten flaps” and “solar panels” (if it was lego) would have been pre-molded and put together in 4 mindless steps. One tungsten rod carrier has 43 pieces in it, and was quite a challenge to build. So I would say this (being 25 and still loving this stuff) Lego is 8+ and mega bloks is 14+ for a reason. I now buy my assembly kits as models and collector items and not as toys. LEGO really does make me feel like I’m buying a toy, where as mega bloks allows me to feel challenged, as I piece together a puzzle that will be displayed for years. Right there could be what helps people decide what they get for their children, friends, co workers, etc for christmas if looking into such a thing.

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Kyle Armenta November 27, 2014 at 7:36 AM

Lol sorry for the inconsistent naming of LEGO.

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Cara December 10, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Hello, this article very informational. Quick question, thinking about building our son a Lego table with the Lego tiles you can buy from Amazon. Most of my sons sets are Mega Blox because of the themes they offer, ie: Call of Duty and Halo. You think the Lego tile table would work for all of his Mega Blox sets?

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admin December 10, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Cara, yes, LEGO baseplates work for Megabloks as the studs are the same. I have some Call of Duty sets as well and they fit just fine. The only issue would be those large, pre-moulded MB elements that are not really meant to connect to anything. But if you are just trying to create a play-surface, covering a table with LEGO baseplates is a great idea. You can also buy pre-made playtables with generic studs on the surface that fits both LEGO and Megablocks. I have seen them at Toys’R’Us They are nice, but not too big. Hope this helps! 🙂

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Lauren January 12, 2015 at 8:48 PM

Great article! My son is 18m and loves playing with his Mega Bloks first builders set (the really big blocks). I want to cover a table with base plates for him, and the Lego base plates are much less expensive than the Mega Bloks and Duplos plates. Do you know if the MB first builders blocks are compatible with the regular Lego plates? I want the table to be able to grow with him as he moves on to the smaller pieces. Thanks!

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willey July 17, 2015 at 11:02 PM

The megg blogs first (toddler ones) fit the duplo mat but not the lego mat 🙁 . We have both mats & was surprised that they didn’t fit.

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Darcie December 12, 2014 at 2:13 PM

So I know the regular Megabloks and Legos are compatible, but what about Duplos. Is there a type of Megabloks that is compatible with Duplos? I need to find a Christmas gift ASAP! Thanks!

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admin December 12, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Darcie, as I have mentioned previously, MegaBlok does have a DUPLO-size line called Junior Builders. They are actually pretty nice. And for a change, they also come with genuinely cute figures. I can’t speak for the quality though as I have never played with them.

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James December 18, 2014 at 5:04 AM

Well from the looks Lego is a much friendlier Toy that is target for Toys then the cheaper made in China Megabloks that is more Military orient. Which is not so friendly.

Quality over bad influence, right? Lego!

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Euan McSweeney February 1, 2015 at 9:33 AM

Believe it or not, mega bloks parts are made in France, the USA and Canada, whereas Lego have parts made in many different countries, including china. The more you know!
As for mega bloks being more military influenced, the halo and call of duty lines are both advertised as collector series rather than toys. It really depends on what you’re looking for. Normally I find myself buying mega bloks as display pieces, and Lego as a building toy.

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Orlando Alonzo December 26, 2014 at 2:29 PM

To me, each company has their merits. As someone else said, Mega Bloks covers themes that LEGO doesn’t. But for me, the bane of Mega Bloks is missing pieces. Every set that I have bought from them is missing at least one piece, and I know that you can order them (it takes a while, but they will arrive), but the point is that you shouldn’t have to. And it is very, very frustrating, specially when you build wonderful sets like the Call of Duty sets, and you just can’t finish them off.

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Frag February 13, 2015 at 3:58 PM

Ive actually never encountered this problem- I recently invested in a handful of the COD collectors sets, and in each one I actually had a handful of pieces left over. Not from shoddy instruction following on my part, but merely duplicates of things like connectors or single studs.

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Sandra December 31, 2014 at 5:44 AM

My son is 8 and has always found Lego instructions clear and easy to follow and the assembly works flawlessly. However Mega Bloks just doesn’t seem to be of the same quality, the instruction drawings are much less clear and harder to follow and some of the parts require significant force to clip them into place (my fingers burning from the effort required!) It has really upset him that he can’t complete them in the same way he has with similarly complex Lego sets.

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admin December 31, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Sandra, I had the same experience. MB instructions are really low quality and hard to follow, and the pieces don’t fit together well. 🙁

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Jo January 2, 2015 at 4:25 PM

Something to consider that you haven’t mentioned the Mega Blocs first builder collection which is the really big blocs are brilliant for young children and great to build castles for for your big dolls or teddies but unlike duplo (the Lego version) is not compatible with the normal traditional sized Lego. We own lots of Lego and the large first builders mega blocs and was passed recently some Duplo. I was surprised to discover the dupolo can connect on top of a normal Lego studs. My daughter has also now gained Barbi and Hello Kitty Mega Blocs. I have to admit she prefers the Lego instead. She says the Lego instructions are easier to follow and she has more room for imagination and construction with Lego in both the Friends and City collections.

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Jody January 8, 2015 at 12:35 AM

I am a 56 year old grandmom and currently really excited about brictek. I grew up building with legos and they were a totally free-form toy at that time. Then my children had Duplos and Legos and the Legos were kits that made things like helicopters and cars. I loved Lego, but I have complaints with the current direction. I don’t like all the focus on licensed characters, I don’t like that the loose brick sets have so many tiny pieces and not many 2x4s, and I don’t like that the mini figures in the Friends line are not compatible with the other mini figures. I thinknk brictek really have what I loved about Lego as a child, I love that their boy and girl lines are compatible, I love their prices. However, I’m sure I will always love Lego and I definitely want the Parisian Cafe.

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Legobrick100 January 29, 2015 at 5:25 PM

Despite my username, I prefer Megabloks brands, too be honest. Lately their bricks have become higher quality, their packaging is more correct, as well.

The main thing though, is definitely that their bricks aren’t solid colors like Lego. Even if they aren’t technically ‘camouflaged’, they still have the realistic variety in color expected from things like that.

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eliana January 31, 2015 at 4:26 PM

hi, i would like to buy both because i like lego but the kitty and barbie ones from mega blocks are beauty. My question is, can i use lego bricks or mega bricks interchangeably? I mean. Can i match their bricks? thanks

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admin February 1, 2015 at 10:07 AM

Eliana, MB uses the same stud size and spacing as LEGO, so most of their basic bricks would fit with LEGO.

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Shawn February 5, 2015 at 4:10 PM

I to own both Lego and Megablocks sets. Megablocks figures are harder to put together, with the joints, and the instructions are hard to read, taking much longer than Lego. Lego’s downfall is mainly in the more expensive price, but for my money, it’s worth it.

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Josh Linder March 9, 2015 at 8:42 AM

As a long-time (35+ years) LEGO builder, my daughter (5) just started playing with standard-size LEGOs in the past 3-4 months.

They’re still a bit too small and intricate for her hands, and we only have two sets (Elsa & Anna Castle and LEGO Friends Heartlake High), but the quality has remained very consistent, the new removal tool is great/handy, and the instructions are excellent.

For her birthday, a friend got her the Mega Bloks (Barbie) Chelsea’s Pool Party. A couple of notes/comparison points:

1. With Mega Bloks, you only get the specific/exact number of parts. And these are actually different parts from the instructions, which is a second point…

2. The instructions are crap. Brick colors (like pink) are discernible. I had to look at the overall photo at least five times to confirm where things went. Since the go-along instructions were wrong.

3. The overall photo/box shot is misleading. Colors are airbrushed (i.e. hot dogs and other items have a gold “sheen” in the photo, but definitely not in the product). This might be nit-picking, but it’s misleading.

4. Parts are harder to get together, some support pieces are in oddball spots, and some things are poorly architected.

5. Back to LEGO – the Elsa and Anna castle needs more support too – either the new designers are cutting corners (or the bean counters are cutting corners) or they didn’t play/QA the sets when fully built.

6. LEGO provides a ton of extras – especially of the small, custom, easy-to-lose variety. For example – paint brushes, character hair, Olaf’s carrot nose, etc. See above that Mega Bloks does not.

In summary, LEGO has continued its realm of quality. Yes, it is expensive. But the instructions, numbered bags – correlating to the order of assembly – and reputation justify the cost.

Mega Bloks is okay, but the pieces are of a lower quality, don’t fit as well, and the instructions would confuse an adult, much less an 8 year old.

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JEFFREY HARRY April 1, 2015 at 8:38 PM

Our organization teaches kids engineering using LEGO. We have been struggling to decide whether to continue to teach with LEGO or switch to Mega Bloks. Here is what we have decided: http://bit.ly/LEGOorMegaBloksWhichOneIsBetter

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admin April 1, 2015 at 9:10 PM

LOL! Are you trying to give your readers a heart-attack? :roll:

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Robert April 14, 2015 at 7:09 PM

I would say prior to 2012 Lego was the far superior building sets maker. However since then and more notably since 2014 I feel Mega Bloks has not only caught up to Lego but far surpassed them. Mega Bloks listens to their customer base and really takes their feedback into consideration. This is reflected in their minifigures which are basically the classic small GI JOE figures just smaller and the fact that their parts quality is on par with Lego now. You will still get the occasional missing piece here and there but Mega Bloks will send you the replacement parts free of charge within about 5-7 days in North America.

Mega Bloks are designed to be models and displayed. Legos are designed to be taken apart and used elsewhere. Legos offer more customizable builds in the long term while Mega Bloks focus more on realistically depicting what they are trying to emulate. If you look at some of the recent Legos models like Lord of the Rings and their superhero lines you notice that the scale is really off. Things just look too small or the dimensions are really off. Mega Bloks sets are to scale to their minifigures most notably in their Halo and Call of Duty lines. Also, something to take into consideration with Mega Bloks is the sets tend to be in scale to each other as a result. So when you have multiple sets next to each other you still get a sense of the things belonging together.

I would say that Legos are probably more for kids 12 and under while Mega Bloks are for kids 12+ and adults. I would also say that the subject matter of some of the Mega Bloks sets are geared for older children as well.

TL/DR Legos have more replay value and are for smaller children with themes and sets they will enjoy. Mega Bloks offer realistic models that accurately depict their subject matter and are more for older children.

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A.T. June 1, 2015 at 9:13 PM

Dear BrickBlogger,

I’d have to disagree with your conclusion. Lego’s interchangeability is NOT an asset for the average person when you consider that so many new sets (within the past 5-7 years) sets are quickly retired regardless of popularity or place in the Lego universe.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to enjoy Lego. But the expense of keeping up is suddenly worse than comic books. Scalpers buy Lego sets counting on this, reselling more or less ‘new’ sets at super-high markups. Many Lego themes follow a kind of serial product model which is only effective if players can reasonably complete the serial. Even in themes with one-offs, like Super Heros, sure some sets will be duds but others are real gems – but are retired regardless of ongoing value.

Suppose you get into Lego City/Creator, with its great buildings, houses, and infrastructure. That’s easily several hundred dollars worth of Lego which could be acquired over a period of a few years to build your own personal ‘Brickburg’. Except, you don’t have years. Visit the Lego Shop site, and there are many interesting, useful and fun sets that are simply retired.

So you go the the after-market and get scalped for double, triple, and more the original cost of a ‘retired’ set no longer available normally. Or you get smart and drop the hobby like a scam run as if Lego corp. produced sets for the sole purpose of its own people getting kickbacks or something from the after-market phenomenon.

Getting into Lego is like getting into buying ‘rares’ on a multiplayer online game, except the money is real. The plastic may be more real than pixels, but the feeling just as ephemeral the longer that plastic starts to remind you of how you got ripped off. After all, its moulded plastic Lego could just as easily have kept on making to fulfill market demand – but they didn’t.

Buy a set of Mega Blocks, and you understand its a one-off toy with limited interchangeability. There’s probably an after-market for discontinued Mega Blocks, but they don’t have quite as strong a ‘completionist’ bug spurring them on.

This gives Mega Blocks the edge in long-term enjoyability and playability. You buy a set, and its more or less a complete experience unto itself; there’s no sense of missing anything else, although other sets would be nice to have. You don’t miss anything because there’s not a huge chain of unique must-have accessory sets that have been retired to miss.

Lego will always have that chic, but really, if you can avoid the bug, good for you. Lego can’t be expected to keep making every single set forever. But their marketing department surely keeps track of what sets are hits by sales and critical reviews, and which flop.

Instead of standing by winners and keeping them on store shelves – very easy to do in an age of online shipping – they retire everything and pump out new products.

‘Lego fatigue’ is far less likely to hit Mega Blocks as long as they don’t follow Lego’s present make’em fast and waste’em faster production model. What is the value in a toy that can be played for generations – but with no continuity even within a generation? Lego discontinuity is effective for spurring panic buying before something goes out of style, but that only goes so far. Its a strategy that’s going to be as effective in the long term as Ford Motor Company’s ‘[immediately] planned obsolescence’ model of car making.

A.T.

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admin June 2, 2015 at 12:56 PM

A.T., you make some good points. While it is not something people like to talk about, the toy market is one of the most cut-throat businesses to be in. If LEGO doesn’t pump out new sets on a regular basis, someone else will. To stay in business and in line with the competition they do have to remain fresh and relevant to the market.

Having said that, even with LEGO refreshing themes, most sets stay around for at least a couple of years, and those that are most popular are kept around even longer. For example the very popular #10188 LEGO Star Wars Death Star has been on the market for 8 years! In addition, many of the themes are not entirety new, but rehashes of older sets. LEGO City Police, LEGO City Fire, LEGO Castle, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Friends… these are all themes that get refreshed every few years with remakes of the older sets. If you have the older one there is absolutely no need to buy the new one.

I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the marketing of LEGO and MegaBloks. They both have their own themes, licensed sets, and collections. I myself have some of MegaBloks’ excellent “Call of Duty” and “Assassin Creed” sets, and yes MegaBloks encourages you to collect them all. It is not any different then collecting LEGO Super Heroes or anything else.

Keep in mind though that LEGO is mainly a building toy. A child can be perfectly happy with one LEGO Castle or one LEGO Police Station. There is absolutely no need to collect every single set. Medium to large size sets have everything you need to build and rebuild over and over again. Growing up, myself and my siblings had no more than 10 large LEGO sets and we spent our entire childhood playing with them. I have never felt that they were somehow incomplete. And we built our own thing anyway – and that’s where the importance of compatibility of the elements is crucial.

I think the real issue is not for regular LEGO fans who just like to build and play with LEGO, but for those who have a collecting/completing/hoarding mentality. If someone is fixated on collecting every single LEGO set, or every set in a theme, they yeah, that can get out of hand pretty quickly. LEGO’s marketing plan is to offer different size/price-range sets in every theme, so there is something for every budget. It is not their fault if someone takes this to mean that they have to collect every single thing.

LEGO is just a hobby, and just like with any other hobby, it comes down to the individual how they approach that hobby. Nobody from LEGO is holding a gun to our head forcing us to buy every single LEGO set. We “taint” the hobby that is inherently pure and creative with our own mentality, projecting our own perception on it, then rejecting it with disgust as no good. While the very next person can enjoy the same hobby with complete bliss and abandon.

Personally I feel absolutely no pressure to buy every LEGO set in a theme, or feel that a set without all the other ones is somehow incomplete. For example I have a few of the LEGO Modular buildings, but just the ones I like. I have no issues with skipping over the ones that don’t appeal to me. Same with every other LEGO theme; buy the sets that I like and don’t worry about the rest – as simple as that.

So I think with LEGO – just like with everything else – it is up to us how we approach it. It can be a joyful, free-spirited and creative hobby, a dreadful chore, or even addiction. As the saying goes “We see the world not as it is, but as we are”. 😉

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Richard Lehman June 10, 2015 at 2:35 AM

The fact that at the end of this article there’s a Lego ad (and not a Mega Bloks one) leads me to doubt your objectivity, as concluding that Mega Bloks is better would have hurt the financial interests of your site. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to be an advertising agency, it’s just more useful to Lego than it is to anybody else, for example, me.

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admin June 10, 2015 at 8:40 AM

Richard, I’m not sure what you mean. This is a LEGO fan blog. We occasionally discuss other brands for the sake of curiosity and information, but that’s about it. All of us here are LEGO fans. 😉

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annoynamous July 14, 2015 at 5:05 AM

I am a person who owns both mega bloks and Lego and I actually think mega bloks is better now due to the new pieces that are tighter together and the new articulated figures and their armour changing system and since my age is younger i can say that I do like MB and coming from a child my age it is more likely that a chance child would prefer MB although if you have a young like 5-7 I’d say to give themore Lego and ‘experemint’ with giving rhem MB maybe once or twice and see thier reaction. But I am saying you should not listen to everyone else and just ask your child what they like (and if for Christmas just read they’re letters to santa…that’s if they want lego or MB but if you’re a fan JUST SHUT UP AND STICK TO THE OnE YOU LIKE IF YOU LIKE LEGO LIKE IT MB ARNT COPY CATS IF YOU LIE MB JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE AND IGNORE EHAT THEY SAY ITS BLOODY LIKE RELIGON YOU SHOULDNT TRY CHANGE WHO THEY ARE! GOOD DAY!

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annoynamous July 14, 2015 at 5:07 AM

Soz bout the typos I have a tiny phone key pad and ya all know auto correct

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anonymous July 14, 2015 at 5:10 AM

PS sorry of a offended Any of you…. somehow.

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Linville October 9, 2015 at 11:27 AM

Old Lego Technics WIN hands down!
Gears, Pistons, Pulleys, Levers
Actually working bulldozers, cranes, and amazing machines with usable moving parts..

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Other than LEGOs? November 4, 2015 at 10:45 PM

Thanks for this write-up! I’ve found that the main difference between LEGO and MegaBloks is #1 price and #2 licenses available. It seems as though MegaBloks has really dialed in their QC and all of the bricks I’ve bought from them lately have been high quality, snug fits.
What do you think about Kre-O, Sluban, and some of the other LEGO alternatives?

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admin November 5, 2015 at 11:41 AM

I have reviewed some other brands as well. You can find links to them in the side-bar. 🙂

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Boredkid July 10, 2016 at 6:25 PM

One thing love about mb is their big building blocks. I used to have bags of the huge blocks and the where fun. Also a thing I don’t like about Lego is that some of their bricks are made in china where as mb are made in Canada .

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admin July 10, 2016 at 7:57 PM

Yes, the big pieces are great to build up something quickly. While MB used to be a Canadian owned company, their pieces have been made in China. Now Mattel owns MB, and they continue making their sets in China. For LEGO only specialty pieces like headgear and accessories, as well as keychains, magnets, and the Collectible Minifigures are made in China. Something made in China doesn’t necessarily mean bad quality though. Almost everything we use on a daily basis – including expensive brands and high quality items – are made in China. 😉

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Shadow July 24, 2016 at 2:37 AM

I think LEGO is a family friendly company and holds some boundaries and makes good products all around while Mega Bloks is their to venture to break LEGO formula in some aspects and also going into brands more “mature” building sets. (I say LEGO makes products good all around because more often then LEGO some pieces aren’t made the same.)

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Brubaker September 8, 2016 at 6:17 PM

I’ve been a LEGO fan since I was a kid in the 70’s and now my son is a huge fan. Sadly he’s gotten into MegaBloks Halo and COD, and I see why – it’s cool!

BUT…

We’ve yet to buy a set that didn’t have numerous missing and/or broken pieces. We’ve purchased mini figures that are missing pieces or have been manufactured incorrectly and don’t work. The instructions are super difficult as well.

It’s absolutely ridiculous!!! Safe to say I hate Mega Bloks.

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admin September 8, 2016 at 6:36 PM

If your son is really into Mega Bloks, try the Collectors Series sets. They are much better quality. I wrote an article about them recently: http://thebrickblogger.com/2016/06/a-lego-fans-encounters-with-mega-bloks/

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