Knock off LEGO - Thoughts?

A friend recently directed me to a whole bunch of knock off Lego on Wish that he has bought for his kids. While I would not normally buy anything off this site, the prices for this 'Lego' were very good and it looked almost identical to the official sets you can get, with some sets looking even better. I was mostly looking at the Star Wars ones. I am familiar with what Wish is and the scummy scammers on there but just wondering if anyone has any experience with the knock off Lego sets from here?

Comments

  • Avoid. When my 1 year old swallowed some of the fake stuff, it got stuck in his tummy for 6 weeks. Where as when he eats regular Lego it comes straight out the other end much more efficiently. Poor quality fake LEGO is just not worth the expense.

    • To add to Skramit’s great post, here is some literature about official LEGO being ingested, and then excreted. So, in the absence of a similar test on knock of LEGO, I’d definitely agree with Skramit and only buy authentic, particularly so if the LEGO will be used by little ones.

  • I know people here don't like hearing it but the Lepin sets are 90-95% as good as the real deal. They have gone as far as replicating entire sets before Lego have even released them and they're big in China simply because unless you're rich, good luck buying Lego.

    The downside is that their factories were raided a while ago and they closed, however I recommend checking on /r/Lepin on reddit as they'll tell you where is safe to buy from, what sets are good, comparisons with the real deal and so forth.

    There are of course other alternative brands to Lepin but the quality between them will vary.

    • Thanks heaps for that subreddit. I will check it out.

    • This
      I've bought a few non legit lepin 'friends' sets for my daughter , and have had no issues.

      We've got genuine and non genuine and there's minimal difference between them

    • Lepin's factories were raided? nooo….
      I wanted the cafe corner and hotel modular building but it is a rare set (read - too expensive, ebay for $800+) so I got lepin. Some of the bricks didn't fit too well but that was only about 10 odd pieces in the set.

      It also doesn't have the internal fitout so the stoves, seats and tables inside the hotel.

      For 10% of the price….yeah for sure.

    • Lepin is garbage.

      It's possibly excusable in the case of display-only models, for retired and highly desirable sets that cost 4-5 times their original RRP on the resale market. Though I still refuse to support them due to the fact that they are notorious even among Lego clone manufacturers for never producing a single original design and only shamelessly copying existing Lego sets and AFOL community MOCs. The Lego Group actually won a landmark court case against Lepin in China back in August for infringing on their copyrights, so they've effectively gone underground now and are having a much harder time finding sales channels to distribute through (see more on this Reddit post).

      Other than that, for in-production Lego, there's absolutely no reason anyone should be buying Lepin, unless you want:

      • No outer box.
      • No numbered bags.
      • Knock-off manual with Chinglish and/or misspelled sticker sheets.
      • Missing pieces, broken pieces, the wrong pieces for your set, bent or deformed pieces with no parts replacement policy from the seller.
      • Weak brick clutch with some parts refusing to stay together and requiring super-glue.
      • Weird oily residue on bricks.
      • Poor brick tolerances leading to pieces not fitting together as intended.
      • Supporting the scummy Chinese clone and counterfeiting industry.
      • Good write-up on Lepin's piss-poor quality control here.
      • I've had mixed experiences.

        My latest Harry Potter castle has numbered bags. The guide is also good.

        My Hogwarts express kit was perfect, with a few extra pieces.

        My Millennium Falcon wasn't particularly great. Didn't have numbered bags and it was a bit of a pain sorting through 6000 pieces.
        It also was missing a few pieces which annoyed me.

        Still, I'd prefer to pay 30% of the price for 90% of the product.

      • Because a Lego fan site are going to be supportive of the clones /s

        A lot of those will depend on the actual brand and seller. Sellers will not include boxes unless you choose them or specifically ask as they cost more to ship. The quality control issue normally stems from Lepin knock offs like DIWEINI being resold as Lepin. That's why the subreddit has a list of trusted sellers who are confirmed to be the real deal.

      • and don't forget about the resale price!

    • I know people here don't like hearing it but the Lepin sets are 90-95% as good as the real deal

      So? that's not what riles people up. It's the blatant theft of the hard work of a company.

      I guess it's like pirating movies, people think their actions don't affect anyone.

      • Uhhhh no that's a separate issue altogether. People generally complain about the quality or the infringement. They're not the same.

        Besides there are plenty of other Lepin brands that don't infringe like Xingbao.

      • It's the blatant theft of the hard work of a company.

        What? Like the blatant theft of the hard work of Hilary Page and Kiddicraft?

        Look, Lego absolutely improved the design eventually, and they took it to a stratosphere that maybe Hilary never would have gotten to even if he hadn't have committed suicide (which was before Lego took off and he never personally knew they stole his brick design), but let's not beat around the bush. Lego stole the lego! This is fact! There's a reason they bought Kiddicraft in the 80s before they sued Tyco. They needed that IP (which didn't work for them in the end anyway) and an ability to control the narrative by removing the awkward backstory when trying to stop 'copies'.

        Does that justify Lepin? No of course not. The lego brick itself is fair game for anyone now and anyone can make it. Lepin takes it a step further and copies the IP of sets. Ooh naughty naughty. Lego isn't number one on my list of sympathetic companies though. Kharma bro.

        I've never bought any Lepin etc, but I do have my eye on a different companies basic knock off of an old 80s lego pirate ship. If lego still made it or brought it back, I'd probably buy it from them. I do like the idea of buying a 'pirate' pirate ship though.

  • +1 vote

    Not really answering your question, but the clone Lego that HPC tested was much stronger than original Lego. Hardly a scientific test or comparison, but thought it was amusing. :)

  • We have a little bit of knock off Duplo, it's fine but some won't connect with the genuine Lego stuff (just slightly different size studs/holes)

  • Can you buy a house with fake Lego?

  • Have purchased a large amount of lego for 3 kids over the years. Have also picked up some replica brands off ALiexpress. I have to say the difference in quality is minimal. Comparing star wars X-Wing sets, there is no difference, replica Walker is fantastic, replica Millenium Falcon is fantastic. I cannot even tell the difference between 'genuine' lego friends sets versus replica. I have to go looking for the little lego imprint.
    I've never purchased from Wish, but advice with Aliexpress is delivery time can be long.

  • Just watch YouTube, search lepin

  • My son is a Lego snob…he rejects the fake stuff.

  • I have built the Lego Porsche GT3 kit and the DeCool GT3 kit. It was almost identical. The difference in the quality of fit and finish was almost identical. The only difference I found was that with the DeCool kit, some of the pieces were a bit harder to push together.

  • They aren't as good but lego isn't 10 times better. And Lego don't make proper guns and stuff.

  • We've got a massive collection and some of it is fake.
    We tried out some sets and I found that the knock off is noticeably less precise. The transparent pieces are regularly cloudy and scratched in the sets we've bought and the poor clutch power has caused no end of frustration for our kids. You see the youtube reviews often refrering to having to bricklink together some genuine lego pieces because what you get from the fake brands is simply not enough.
    The largest lepin factory has been raided and shutdown however a rebranded version has quickly popped up.
    So from my own experience: the good reviews stem from the inital plays. they quickly become frustrating and bargain-wise i'd look for second hand bulk lots or clearance bargains.

  • Personally I only buy genuine LEGO but I've had some hands on with some of the knock offs as well as looked at truck loads of YouTube videos on the subject. The Lepin stuff is probably the best of the knock offs and is pretty good but it really depends on the set you buy. The biggest attraction to Lepin for me was that they sell sets that are retired by LEGO and getting those genuine sets 2nd hand or BNiB can be costly depending on the model. With Lepin you'll find the colours of pieces may not be uniform and the tolerances aren't as good as LEGO, so pieces might not quite connect together properly or with Technic sets gears slip etc. Gear slip seems to be the biggest problem with Lepin sets that use Technic parts. Some sets the instructions are not quite right, this is particularly a issue where the set is a stolen community MOC design and not a LEGO original design. There's been some debate about the plastic that Lepin use and that it may contain toxic chemicals but I'm yet to see any proof of this. Sets that are original Lepin designs seem to be pretty good from what I've seen.

    The biggest problem with Lepin is that are are using stolen IP & violating trademarks of other companies. So if you order from over seas it could get seized by customs. The patent on the LEGO brick has expired so companies are allowed to make pieces that are 100% compatible. However Lepin don't just steal designs from LEGO but also from the community, which is my biggest problem with Lepin. The two most well known of these stolen model designs are the the Star Wars UCS Venator Jedi Cruiser and the Nebulon b Frigate. Both are amazing sets and the Lepin Venator is really quite a poor knock off too. The biggest reason LEGO is expensive is the licensing they have to pay to companies like Disney. Compare the cost of a LEGO City set and Star Wars set with similar piece count and you'll see that the licensing cost. Plus of course there's the Australia tax on top. Eg the new UCS Millennium Falcon RRP in US is $800USD but in Aus $1300AUD ($1100USD). There's a healthy market of international students buying sets cheaper overseas and selling for profit locally below AUS RRP.

    TL;DR they aren't quite as good as genuine to varying degrees.

    • While I agree with most of your points, I would have to point out that with regards to comparing the UCS Millennium Falcon, $1300 AUD isn't exactly $1100 USD, its actually far from it at current exchange rates(right now $1300 AUD is $900 USD).

      $800 USD is around $1150 AUD right now, and you have to also remember, that US RRP doesn't include their sales tax while the AUD RRP includes GST. If you add 10% GST to $1150 AUD, you come to $1265 which is pretty close to AUD RRP of $1299

  • Lepin quality control.

  • The biggest problem with Lepin is that are are using stolen IP & violating trademarks of other companies. So if you order from over seas it could get seized by customs.

    That's the problem basically. Just fake bricks wouldn't be a problem, the fact that they're ripping off designs and branding is what led to them being shut down and the risk of seizure if ordering from overseas.

    A bunch of bricks in a brown box, go for it. A knock-off design in Lego's trade dress is dodgy.

  • I haven't tried this 'Lepin' stuff, but in my personal experience fake Lego sucks - the quality control is far below Lego, so the pieces don't hold together as well as Lego does. I've handled plenty of lego and a few fake lego sets. I certainly wouldn't recommend anything that doesn't have a brand name to uphold, but maybe give Lepin a go? * shrug *

  • I see the fuss about lead in cheap chinese manufactured toys has dissipated

  • I have just two knockoff Batman minifigs (pink fairy and Gene Simmons) as they were under $1 each.
    For bigger builds I'd prefer good used genuine pieces. There's a migraine-inducing market out there.
    We may justify fake for ourselves but for gifting, I'd feel it would be short-changing the recipient.

  • Have bought a big bag of no name mixed pieces, was surprised that they were actually pretty good, no issues when connecting with real Lego.
    Few minifigs here and there too (some of the sets my kid wants is just because of a particular minifig character included)

    Also opens up options for stuff Lego haven't licensed, ie Transformers. I got a fairly decent Optimus Prime(ish) set for my kid (ok, it was called a Transformation Deformation Robot, but close enough to keep em happy) That was Gudi branded if I remember correctly, no complaints about build quality.

    The only thing I'd say is look on Aliexpress, not Wish which will be the same thing dropshipped with extra margin on it.

  • I have a few LEBQ super hero single character sets (wolverine etc). They were going for $1 at my local Silly Sollys. They are okay and are clearly meant to look like LEGO (see LEBQ reddit). I was talking to the checkout person about how I love the fake stuff and they had no idea it was fake.

    My best find was in a Sand Diego street mall. Batman with a batarang and a machine gun. Haha still cracks me up!

  • I was given the UCS Millennium Falcon set by Lepin.

    Pros:
    Pieces are better than I expected.
    Colours are good.
    Pieces snap well together.
    Over 300 pieces leftover.
    Finished set looks great.

    Cons:
    Axles are very poor. They are thinner than the holes they’re meant to go into. As such, they slip out.
    The instructions are very average.
    The mini-figs are hilariously bad. Luke’s hair is from a Friends set. It even includes a hole to put a bow in it.
    All pieces were in unnumbered bags. In a set of over 5000 pieces it made sorting extremely difficult.

    That’s my thoughts on the set itself.

    Whether you think it’s right to buy knock off LEGO or not is your choice.

  • I actually just heard about this and it's total crap—legos are toys that are supposed to last. More than other toys. And man, they are more prone to getting crushed by adults so they better be the original ones because the pain of stepping on one of those blocks won't be worth it if they break anyway.

    Unless they are durable. Anyone who can verify?