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LEGO fight Against Chinese counterfeit LEGO

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  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Xefan said:
    TigerMoth said:
    I asked earlier about counterfeits in America. I did so because I've never seen them. One reason for that is that it would be difficult to import them into the UK in any quantity. Counterfeits aren't allowed, but clones are, although a clone manufacturer that produces sets that are too similar to TLG's would be skating on thin ice - so they don't!
    eBay is the obvious place to look, it's full of them even from UK based sellers.
    I was referring to imports that are ultimately likely to end up in retailers - hence why I said "in any quantity".

    When you buy something on eBay, all bets are off, whether you buy from someone who is allegedly in the UK or on the moon.
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 963
    ^ I have reported all of his ads. They were all fake lego.
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 280
    Trying to pass it off as a much bigger, legitimate set? Now that's *really* shifty. 

    Though looking at his other ads, I have to laugh at the "Famous Super Heroes" title!
  • bok2bok2 Member Posts: 45
    The fact that some people think the grill of the 300 makes it look like a Bentley does not make the 300 "a blatant rip off of Bentley".

    Indeed, it makes the owner look like an idiot! If you know what the B stands for then you also know how a Bentley looks.
    SumoLego
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    ^ I have reported all of his ads. They were all fake lego.
    I think you've just demonstrated why you have to be careful about those two words - "fake" and "lego", separately or together.

    The products themselves don't claim to be LEGO sets. They aren't fake. As such, and as far as TLG are concerned, that unfortunately means they are probably legitimate, although Warner might have something to say about use of their IP. OK,  so TLG might have a legitimate complaint about particular pieces, but not about the set as a whole.

    And that would be the end of that apart from a small detail. The seller (and you!) describes them as lego (sic). That's an incorrect description, essentially fraud. This is why TLG fight to keep control of their own trademark and are fussy about just how it is used. When "LEGO" is used in the same way as "Hoover", something like this could be legitimately described in the way the seller has done. Until then, he has to use something else. As it stands, he or she is breaking the law.
    datsunrobbiekiki180703
  • scoiltreasascoiltreasa Ireland Member Posts: 1,144
    One of  these was for sale on adverts.ie I'm Ireland.  But worst thing was the seller was 12 years old and  had been given  it for Christmas.  He was getting  out of lego  and  wanted 135 euro for it . He had no idea  it was fake
  • brumeybrumey AustriaMember Posts: 994
    my 5 yo nephew can tell exactly if a minifig is fake or real lego!
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    brumey said:
    my 5 yo nephew can tell exactly if a minifig is fake or real lego!
    So can a dog. Your point?
    kiki180703
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 298
    edited March 2016
    Just popped into my local Chinese supermarket on my usual visit to Poland and LEGO are certainly going to have a fight if this stuff is regularly available in quite large and we'll advertised shops (not hidden in market stalls)! Whilst they do not say they are LEGO, they certainly look like LEGO. Only a couple of hundred miles from Denmark and in an EU country as well! I don't think these types of shops would survive in the UK as they seem to sell fake or copy everything!





    I should point out that the shop on the ground floor is a genuine Polish supermarket that has nothing to do with the upstairs floor which is where the Chinese supermarket is located.
  • tecjamtecjam Germany / SwitzerlandMember Posts: 255
    TigerMoth said:
    So can a dog.
    Now that I'd like to see.
    Kevin_Hyattkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    AndyPol said:
    Just popped into my local Chinese supermarket on my usual visit to Poland and LEGO are certainly going to have a fight if this stuff is regularly available in quite large and we'll advertised shops (not hidden in market stalls)!
    The most ubiquitous brand in Poland, probably more so than even LEGO, is Cobi, even being sold in news kiosks as well as much larger stores. That's hardly surprising since it's actually a Polish company.

    LEGO sets are also on a par price-wise with the rest of Europe, although slightly cheaper than in the UK. However, as most other things are considerably cheaper there, that makes them seem expensive for the locals.
    I should point out that the shop on the ground floor is a genuine Polish supermarket
    Biedronka is as Polish as Lidl is British - it's Portuguese.
  • Legopassion8Legopassion8 6011 MILES from Bora BoraMember Posts: 1,053
    Good morning!

    My question is about the Lego mini figure sniffing dog.  Is said dog...blonde(currently)and does this dog call Warsaw home by chance. I think I know this dog personally although we have never met face to face. Here's to the red and the white , bro!
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 298
    TigerMoth said:
    AndyPol said:
    Just popped into my local Chinese supermarket on my usual visit to Poland and LEGO are certainly going to have a fight if this stuff is regularly available in quite large and we'll advertised shops (not hidden in market stalls)!
    The most ubiquitous brand in Poland, probably more so than even LEGO, is Cobi, even being sold in news kiosks as well as much larger stores. That's hardly surprising since it's actually a Polish company.

    LEGO sets are also on a par price-wise with the rest of Europe, although slightly cheaper than in the UK. However, as most other things are considerably cheaper there, that makes them seem expensive for the locals.
    I should point out that the shop on the ground floor is a genuine Polish supermarket
    Biedronka is as Polish as Lidl is British - it's Portuguese.
    Thanks for pointing out my errors, but I think you missed the point. In an EU country that is supposed to protect both business and the consumer from poor quality goods, there are for sale items that are clearly copies of LEGO (hence my photo of the shuttle for comparison). I was trying to show the difficulties faced by TLG. I have no problem with Cobi, in fact I purchased their T34 tank last year when in Poland and they have some very good WW2 stuff, but then they are a competitor of LEGO like Megablocks, not a Chinese poor quality knock-off copy and that is the point I was trying to make.☺ 

    As for Biedronka, I merely added the comment because of my poorly taken photo which could have suggested they were selling the Chinese stuff. To be correct, it is a Polish supermarket, just like Carrefour and LeClerc, also just down the road from where I am in Poland, but their origins might not be Polish. I can't use my Tesco clubcard here in Poland because it is a Polish supermarket not a British one, so I hope this explains my descriptions.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited March 2016
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    AndyPol said:

    In an EU country that is supposed to protect both business and the consumer from poor quality goods, there are for sale items that are clearly copies of LEGO (hence my photo of the shuttle for comparison).
    A space shuttle is a space shuttle. How do you expect a model of one to look? Nor has there been a LEGO one for a couple of years (#60078 isn't the space shuttle).
    I was trying to show the difficulties faced by TLG. I have no problem with Cobi
    The difficulties faced by TLG, eh? Yet, you have no problem with Cobi. TLG have a problem with Cobi and have taken them to court. Whose side are you on?

    The Polish court ruled that the imitation of another company's products was legitimate particularly where there was a clear indication of the manufacturer, even if the rest of the packaging was similar in size, colour and style. They were talking about Cobi, but that description precisely fits the photograph you posted.
    they are a competitor of LEGO like Megablocks, not a Chinese poor quality knock-off copy and that is the point I was trying to make.☺
    Did you buy a set ? I doubt it - but you know it's poor quality because it's Chinese?

    In fact, reviews might criticise their designs a little, but like many other clones, the quality is reasonable. After all, there's no real reason why it shouldn't be.

    The point is that Gudi are no different to Cobi - they even make military sets, which are clearly not "knock-offs" of LEGO ones. However, I'm sick and tired of people criticising Chinese clones whilst somehow justifying western ones when there's generally no difference between them.
    datsunrobbiecatwranglerkiki180703
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    ^There's a big difference between them though, originality of design. Megablocks, Kreo, etc. design their own sets and even unique parts. They do not copy Lego's Minifig designs or sets in their entirety like say Enlighten with their near identical Sante Fe Chief.
    SprinkleOtterkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    Megablocks, Kreo, etc. design their own sets and even unique parts.
    We were talking  about Gubi; they have their own set designs. Some of the Chinese clones design their own parts too.

    You can be selective about your focus, but overall there isn't much difference. They all copy each other, but there are so many companies and we each only see a limited selection of them, so we don't even know who has copied who.
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 298
    Did you buy a set ? I doubt it 

    The point is that Gudi are no different to Cobi - they even make military sets, which are clearly not "knock-offs" of LEGO ones. However, I'm sick and tired of people criticising Chinese clones whilst somehow justifying western ones when there's generally no difference between them.
    Actually, I haven't bought any sets, but over the last couple of years my children have when on holiday (paid for by my wife as I refuse) and the quality is very poor and they have been very disappointed (I hate having to tell them I told you so, but they have learnt).

    1. Boxes normally glued, and you end up ripping the box open.
    2. Don't get me started on the use of English on the box and instructions.......
    3. Nearly every set has pieces missing, with no after sales at all, so there is nothing you can do and trying to get a refund is next to impossible.
    4. Sometimes there are irritations like two left arms or no hands for the minifigures.
    5. Pieces very often don't hold together or are impossible to take apart.
    6. The finished article has gaps, doesn't fit or just looks poor.
    7. Although they haven't ever bought any, the licenced stuff like Minecraft or Marvel looks very odd and that isn't just going to upset TLG.

    So from the few sets I have had the misfortune to see up close, quality is poor IMO.

    As for which side I am on, if TLG don't make it and it isn't licenced, then I see no problem in getting it, like military sets.

    I'll await the criticism which will no doubt be on its way........
    catwranglerYodaliciousEelesy
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    TigerMoth said:
    Megablocks, Kreo, etc. design their own sets and even unique parts.
    We were talking  about Gubi; they have their own set designs. Some of the Chinese clones design their own parts too.

    You can be selective about your focus, but overall there isn't much difference. They all copy each other, but there are so many companies and we each only see a limited selection of them, so we don't even know who has copied who.
    But I was talking about Gudi. That Shuttle (and box art) looks damn near identical to Lego's own #3367 Space Shuttle.



    But you're right that we shouldn't be selective when discussing this topic. Rather we should be very specific & comprehensive instead by naming each and every Clone brick company, then evaluating each separately. I don't think it would take much time to determine who the legitimate clones companies are and who the counterfeits are.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    AndyPol said:

    As for which side I am on, if TLG don't make it and it isn't licenced, then I see no problem in getting it, like military sets.
    So why did you post? You made negative comments about a set which TLG doesn't make, and isn't licensed. So you should surely see no problem in getting it?
    BrickDancer said:

    That Shuttle (and box art) looks damn near identical to Lego's own #3367 Space Shuttle.
    Yes, I know - which is why I posted about the Polish court's ruling (which predates both sets) that such things are legitimate. People often like to post how a set like that is illegal, or immoral, or counterfeit, or a number of other things that have negative connotations, but when our own courts rule to the contrary, there isn't a lot of point.
    But you're right that we shouldn't be selective when discussing this topic. Rather we should be very specific & comprehensive instead by naming each and every Clone brick company, then evaluating each separately. I don't think it would take much time to determine who the legitimate clones companies are and who the counterfeits are.
    It's much simpler than that - there's TLG and there's the rest, although you could probably argue the toss for something like Nanoblocks. At the end of the day, they have all copied both the method of connection and the precise dimensions of LEGO elements, otherwise they wouldn't be "compatible".

    "Counterfeit"? Does that cover Gubi? Yes, they've produced a space shuttle, but they also produce other things that TLG wouldn't currently even dream of producing
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    TigerMoth said:
    AndyPol said:
    Just popped into my local Chinese supermarket on my usual visit to Poland and LEGO are certainly going to have a fight if this stuff is regularly available in quite large and we'll advertised shops (not hidden in market stalls)!
    The most ubiquitous brand in Poland, probably more so than even LEGO, is Cobi, even being sold in news kiosks as well as much larger stores. That's hardly surprising since it's actually a Polish company.

    LEGO sets are also on a par price-wise with the rest of Europe, although slightly cheaper than in the UK. However, as most other things are considerably cheaper there, that makes them seem expensive for the locals.
    I should point out that the shop on the ground floor is a genuine Polish supermarket
    Biedronka is as Polish as Lidl is British - it's Portuguese.
    Biedronka only trades in Poland, Lidl operates in many countries. According to Wikipedia 90% of products Biedronka sell are Polish. I'd say it was a Polish supermarket, no matter where the finance comes from. I'd say it was more Polish than Lidl is British.
  • Legopassion8Legopassion8 6011 MILES from Bora BoraMember Posts: 1,053
    edited March 2016
    @Tigermoth

    ....and you lied about the Lego minifigure sniffing dog, yah jerk! Clearly you are a snake and not a tiger.
    Kevin_Hyattkiki180703
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    CCC said:

    Biedronka only trades in Poland
    Different names are used in different countries, unlike other international players which mostly keep their home branding - although they too often have other chains using other names!
    Wikipedia 90% of products Biedronka sell are Polish.
    Poles believe home-sourced goods are best, especially when compared to German ones. As a result, quite a lot of German producers have Polish subsidiaries. Whether that makes the products German or Polish is debatable.
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    cheshirecat said:

    that set is clearly a copy, the set is, the logo is, the box is all designed to imitate LEGO.
    Some things are copied; some aren't. But, as I've already mentioned, that's been ruled perfectly legitimate in Poland. But Gudi also produce lots of other things, that look nothing like LEGO sets - they're not just about "fakes".

    And later this year, we'll see #10253. Do you think anybody here will consider that's a copy of the Wange set?

    I don't like clones. So what can we do about it? The point is that we chasing the wrong target. I don't know what the right one is, but all the time we pick on the wrong thing, those clones manufacturers are winning. Hey! It's poor-quality Chinese rubbish. No, it's Polish or Canadian or Korean or British. Hey! It's a fake. Maybe, but of a dead set, so it's not trying to deceive anybody after the real thing.

    We find our solution in expressing our disgust at these immoral companies who are getting up to all sorts of sharp practices. They're wrong and we have the moral high ground. Solution? It actually doesn't solve anything, does it?
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,220
    @cheshirecat - he is always abusive on this forum. Are you really be surprised?
    SprinkleOtterBobflipkiki180703dougts
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 298
    @TigerMoth Stop being a dick. There was literally nothing to argue with AndyPol there, that set is clearly a copy, the set is, the logo is, the box is all designed to imitate LEGO.
    Thank you, someone understood the point i was trying to make. Clearly I'm never going to win with such self appointed experts on the forum and so will bow out of this conversation gracefully and get on with my life (I'm just off to the Polish supermarket to get some Polish products, even though the supermarket originates in France!)

    And as they say in Poland.......cokolwiek :)

    XefanandheSprinkleOtterkiki180703
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,118
    DadsAFOL said:
    When I was in Billund a few weeks ago, I got to see the little display in the Idea House showing Lego's struggle with copycats.  What I found interesting was that this battle has been going for 30+ years.  Here's a copy of a 1980's castle set.  [Sorry about the poor photo].
    I often try to bring this up when people try to claim that LEGO could cut down on these copies by pulling their own production out of Asia. There have been bootleg LEGO sets since long before LEGO produced sets anywhere in Asia. I've seen plenty of extremely detailed copies of Bionicle sets and parts that were only ever produced in Europe.

    In fact, there are bootleg sets and figs out there of subjects LEGO has never produced at all. Some of the ones that surprised me the most are Ninjago figs with unique armor and helmet molds based on unused LEGO Universe concept art. Other than poor print quality on Jay and helmet molds that don't quite line up with the eyes, the knock-offs are pretty authentic-looking. These are figs that were never produced, never intended to be produced, and never even revealed to the public except as a single picture. But while knock-off makers may be unscrupulous, they aren't dumb. That one picture, it turns out, was all their designers needed.

    Frankly, I think LEGO being produced in Asia doesn't make nearly as much of a difference as LEGO being sold and marketed in Asia, since it's sales and marketing that play the biggest part in making the general public in low-income markets desire the LEGO brand in the first place (and in many cases, lacking the clout to buy the real deal, settle for a cheaper copy). As long as there is a market for LEGO there will be a market for fakes, and copycat brands don't need any kind of "inside track" to LEGO to be able to churn out convincing imitations.
    Lyichirandhecatwranglerkiki180703MattDawson
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,292
    bok2 said:
    The fact that some people think the grill of the 300 makes it look like a Bentley does not make the 300 "a blatant rip off of Bentley".

    Indeed, it makes the owner look like an idiot! If you know what the B stands for then you also know how a Bentley looks.

    There's a lot of this going on - recent Fords are trying hard to look like an Aston Martin with that grille, Kia are doing the same trying to look like Audi. My Mate has a Peugeot RCZ and goes mad when we refer to it as an "ALDI TT".

    Kevin_HyattplasmodiumXefankiki180703Bumblepants
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,209
    Ford still owns a small stake in Aston Martin, so maybe that is why there maybe some design cues that make it on some Ford vehicles. In fact, Ford owned Aston Martin for a number of years.
    madforLEGOkiki180703chuckp
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 650
    http://brickset.com/article/10110/survey-of-clone-brands

    The article has a link to reviews of many clone sets, reviewed by an AFOL. Very entertaining read, and quite informative given the vast number of clones and the relatively small sampling of sets reviewed. Some are actually quite nice, others not even fit for building bleachers for minifigs.


    catwranglerkiki180703KingAlanI
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 451
    Umph... My 'Lego' bigfig hulk arrived today. Only it wasn't. I'm usually so careful on eBay and only bid as she was selling loads of other real superhero Lego sets as her son was having a clear out. Paid proper price too. Have complained and getting a refund after she receives the figure back! I couldn't be bothered to tell her the cost of postage was more than the fake fig's value. At first she claimed she hadn't stated it was genuine, to which i pointed out the title clearly said "Lego." She then said she "wasn't sure that it was real when she posted."

    my point is, now these fakes are readily available and UK is now flooded, they are getting sold on on the second hand market quite innocently by unaware sellers. It's one thing buying the fakes from China in the first place but then they get moved on second hand...
    andhe
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 451
    Oh, and I'm sticking to buying on here from now on! Hulk anyone?
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 6,695
    You want to buy one?  I know a guy.
    pharmjod
  • KingAlanIKingAlanI Rochester, NYMember Posts: 1,130
    Yeah, outright copies of LEGO sets is another issue from different companies making the same kind of product.
  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 465
    The space shuttle kind of stuff doesn't bother me too much - although the plagarism of the box design is certainly an issue. The Chima and Ninjago clones and the licensed materials - those I have problems with, because LEGO has to pay the company a percent to maintain the license and the company with the license. Neither Disney or WB or other, gets any profit, nor does LEGO, from these kinds of fraudulent figures.

    I do still like my Romance of the Three Kingdoms Ancient China dynasty series of LEGO knockoffs though. They arn'te nearly as good as real LEGO blocks, but I won't hold my breath for TLG to make such a series.

    KingAlanIMattDawson
  • legobodlegobod CA USAMember Posts: 190
    Anyone else notice the shuttle had 66 more pieces than the Lego shuttle?
  • brickupdatebrickupdate Member Posts: 1,020
    A friend just posted these photo of fake LEGO on the streets of Bangkok Thailand. (Photos by Anthony Desalts)
    SumoLegoAndyPol
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,852
    The best in the photo above is "STAR WART"
    Just brilliant! XD
    SumoLego
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 6,695
    I like that one says 'Star Wart' and the other says 'Space Wars'.  

    That may cause some brand confusion on the counterfeit market...
    catwranglerJackad7
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 6,695
    Star Wart: The Virus Awakens
    Darth Plantarus...

    Pedi-chlorians?

    catwranglerPitfall69
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    Interesting concept. Maybe a bit like Gremlins if they feed after midnight?



    Or is it the old l / r problem again?
    Jackad7
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia, BulgariaMember Posts: 3,579
    I saw some of the same stuff when I was in Thailand last week. The real Lego prices were 2-2.5x what the equivilant RRP is in the US or EU so it makes sense that knockoffs are rampant there. Not saying that justifies it but when the average person is priced out of the market someone will come along to try and fill that void.
    MattDawson
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 760
    CCC said:
    Interesting concept. Maybe a bit like Gremlins if they feed after midnight?



    Or is it the old l / r problem again?
    Is this what the minifigs look like after @Pitfall69 uses his hand held X-ray machine?
    SumoLegoSprinkleOttercatwranglerbobabricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 14,047
    I was quite surprised to see that there are also now fakes of the Duplo castle range.


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