Saturday, 4 January 2014

How to differentiate Original Lego with imitation/knock off brand

Let's do an eye test =)
which one of these do you think is from original lego?


Ok, keep your answer first. i'll reveal it below. Today i would like to share and to remind myself how to differentiate original lego with imitation. I'm a bit worried because i myself buy only minifigure (instead the sealed complete set) from the internet. So its really important you don't get cheated. Lego is expensive (at least for me) and knock off brand is soooo cheap.

Let's start with Mr.Clark Kent that i have. 

Original is on the right, Shang Yuan brand is on the left.

You can see the part that i highlight in red are those really obvious sign. The printing on the torso and face is bolder and the leg design is different too.

But do not forget now we have other KO (knock off) brand too like Decool. Let's compare them in more detail. you can only differentiate them if you have original to compare. let's see what to look if you only have only one minifigure to determine the authenticity. 

Previously i only have 5 ironman, being the 2nd guy from the right is the most expensive, about RM70 because he's exclusive to Quinjet Aerial Battle set number 6869. All figure in the picture cost me roughly RM200.


and these is my KO ironman; 14 in total. Shang Yuan on the top, and Decool at the bottom. All these only RM70.


eh, say what? so with the 5 original ironman lego, i can get equal to 3 set of 14 KO figure = 42 ironman!!

But the finishing of those KO ironman is not really nice. Let's compare one of the ironman here.



I prefer to have original Lego on the right, Decool at the middle and Shang Yuan on the left. Remember about the mask for the eye test that i ask you on top of the post? Yes, the mask on the right is the original lego. sorry, no  reward for you to get it right. hehe.

As you can see, first thing that you notice is the pattern. the fake one has bolder pattern. Second thing to notice is about the colour. Shang Yuan on the left has too obvious glittering red and Decool in the middle has darker red colour.. and also not even. the arm has darker red from the torso.

Let's break them into smaller parts.

Now we get clearer difference. For the torso, you can easily point out shang yuan's because the inside torso pattern is different from the rest 2 torso. For the leg assembly, it's easier to slash out which one is Decool because it's different with the other two leg.

The quick and easier way is actually to find word "LEGO" on each parts =). 

I'll use another figure to compare. let's use Ironman with Heart Breaker Armour.


For these figure, the pattern look almost like the same for all three, no obvious bold line. but we still can differentiate by the colour. Shang yuan has glittering red and Decool at the middle has darker red.

This time, try to focus on the word "LEGO".yup, it's there =)

This is only the first year knock off brand imitate lego, so let's wait and see what will happen. i hope they make KO Mr.Gold. I want to do army of Mr.Gold. heheh

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info man, very detail explanations.
    I'm very new in this hobby and planning to just collect Star Wars minifig for a start.
    I'm sure you bought via ebay before. How can you tell whether such is genuine or not as pictures provided by the seller are usually quite limited and hard to tell. Ask for more pictures maybe?

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  2. Instead of talking about the difference about the design, it is better if you write or research about what the material of its block. what type of plastics grade or chemical is added and whether it is harmful or not. whether its easier to break or not.

    In its early days, Lego also use others idea such as Kiddicraft. I guess you could say Lego isn't that original as an idea. Its just that they mass produce stuffs which is what China's companies are doing presently. I'm not against imitation which is good because if China's companies can do almost or much better than Lego bricks with much lower price then by all means do it.

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  3. Thank you. Very informative and useful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i should update this post soon. they are improving a lot. thanks for visiting buddy!

      Delete
  4. Thanks this is very helpful. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there. thanks for visiting =)

      Please note these knock-off are getting better. be more alert if you are planning to buy loose mini figures on ebay =)

      Delete
  5. Hi

    Now what is the best clone company? Shang, Decool or other?

    Good seller in Ali?

    Regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. uh uh.. i bought most of these stuff from local store. so i don't have fav store in Ali.

      if you ask my personal opinion, my favourite brand is Sheng Yuan =)

      Delete
  6. Thanks! Great photos and detail.

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  7. hi, Iam waiting for the new updates! thanks anyway usefull article!

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    Replies
    1. hi there :). so sorry I have yet to make updates on this (^_^)'

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  8. Shang Yuan does have a interesting leg design instead of flat toes and hollowed out heels, but i trust reliable plastic quality like LEGO compared to second rate brands.

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    Replies
    1. Hi @Anonymous, yeah i also think LEGO is still the best out there. the only thing that makes me excited with these china brand is when they make clone of rare/hard to find figure/set such as SDCC's figs :D

      Delete
  9. I was wondering if there was any way to tell if Lego flowers are genuine Lego or not

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  10. I bought some lego in the New York Lego Store on 5th avenue last week. The feet on one of the mini figures has no "LEGO" embossed on the inside. Clearly it is not fake as I bought it in the shop but thanks to well meaning articles like this my son now thinks they are fake :-)

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    Replies
    1. If it doesn't say LEGO then they're not authentic. You better return what you got (and call customs on them). I've seen some shady stores around the US even with the TOYS R US branding.

      Look again. The newer bricks have ultra fine lettering smaller than half a millimeter. And yes, my 7-year old pointed this out to me when I was questioning his collection. What a dad, eh?

      Delete
  11. Thank you for the info. I contacted LEGO customer service about identifying real vs fake legos and they directed me to you. They didn't give me specifics but that the placement of the logo has changed over the years. I would love to see an update to this article to show those changes. As mentioned above some figures and sets bought through LEGO don't have the writing on both feet like shown in this article. Again thanks again for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are also older Lego parts that don't have the ultra small print. For example the little round caps. On the older on it only has the word LEGO (cut up) on the top and nothing inside. On the newer version it has VERY small lettering on the inside as well.

      That is, unless I had purchased some knock offs previously :(

      Delete
  12. Lego is a trademark and collectors will pay premium for authentic parts. It's like going into a Magic the Gathering tournament with a proxy deck printed on your momma's inkjet printer. Ew.

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  13. Can these fake minifigures attach to a real Lego block?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes definitely but don't expect it will be a good fix. some might too loose or too tight.

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  14. Hello I would like to use this article and translate into Thai language and make like an infographic in Thai, would you allow? thank you!

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    Replies
    1. hi there. I should reply this sooner so sorry for the delay. yup, you may translate it as you wish. this post about identifying the knock off is kinda old so you might wanna update it a little :)

      Delete
  15. Today I received 7 minifigs with third party printing on the torsos. They were misrepresented as original. I paid $500..and they are maybe worth $1 or $2 each. I want to cry.

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  16. Thanks for this really informative article. I just paid $35 for 7 figures, 6 minifigures and one big fig, and started wondering when one was a SDCC 2014 Collector, lol. Glad I found out before I tried to pass any of them off as the real thing!!

    ReplyDelete

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