robuko

Fake ninjago

20 posts in this topic

Not sure if this belongs here or in another forum, but there is a risk of Eurobrick members buying these fake figures secondhand on BL etc so I wanted to raise it.

Today I found a lot of direct copies for sale of all of the large Superheroes action figs and several Ninjago sets and most of the Ninjago series 2 minifigs. I bought 4 of the ninjago minfigs out of curiosity (no moral indignation please), I paid HKD$70 for 4. This is what they look like -

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boxes

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My observations - the printing quality is really good on the minifig bodies. Better than Lego, on average! The leg printing is also better than Lego, it starts higher up on the thigh. But Nya's face printing is pretty bad with her lower mouth missing. The plastic quality is poor, with noticeable moulding flaws on the hands, feet, face wraps, Nya's torso and, and the back of Cole's legs. Colour consistency is good. The accessories are of highly variable quality, some parts such as Zane's shuriken and knives, Nya's black scimitar are very good, others are pretty terrible such as Zane's chain (many flaws) and Cole's scythe, which doesn't fit. Interestingly the cards are printed in English, German, French, Spanish (Italian and Japanese for the titles only, not the effect), suggesting these are intended for export markets.

On average, these are a pretty good copy of some rare and expensive minifigs. I will happily buy the NRG Jay if I see him and maybe some of the snakes. Sadly I did not see Pythor Chumsworth. But do not pay Lego prices for these figures on BL! I would be very cautious about buying any Ninjago series 2 figs on BL especially from HK.

:classic:

Edited by robuko

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It´s remarkable this didn´t happen sooner, seeing how popular Ninjago is.

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I believe these have been hanging around the forum for some months now (the fake "Ninja" line) but if you hadn't seen it chances are lots of other members haven't so thanks for posting i guess :classic:

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Sorry, I knew the thread existed but I couldn't find it, and I didn't think we've seen photos of the product before.

I found that the cards are directly copied from the Lego ones, so please ignore what I said above about intended for export.

:classic:

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This should probably be moved to the Community subforum, where discussion of clone brands typically belongs.

In general, I can see that the print quality of these is better than many of the Ninjago clone brands I've seen, but I wouldn't call it better than TLG's print quality. The colors seem a bit washed-out, the gray printing on the Samurai X figure's back seems off-register, the Samurai X figure's mouth seems to have too thin black lines on both sides, and I'm almost certain these lack the variety of metallic prints that the actual NRG Ninja figs have.

The plastic quality also looks rubbish, particularly on the red parts. Besides the metallic cards, though, the counterfeit cards are difficult to differentiate from the real things. Do they have the actual pattern from the back of the Ninjago cards on the back, or is it, too, edited to reflect the phony "Ninja" branding?

I can see on some of the other photos on your Flickr that the contents of the sets vary slightly from the official sets, with shoulder armor included for the NRG Ninja. Also, I'm curious about the fact that these don't include spinners, yet the cards are apparently unchanged in their effects-- meaning that these are inferior to the actual sets in terms of play value as well as material/production quality.

Unfortunately it seems that it's becoming easier and easier for disreputable brands to replicate LEGO products convincingly. Certainly no die-hard LEGO fan would mistake these for the real thing, but the same can't be said for the typical consumers, boys between the ages of 6 and 12.

I hope the company making these gets shut down promptly. They seem too good at this to be left alone, unlike some of the other bootleg brands I've seen. And Ninjago is far from the only brand that "Decool" is imitating-- I've seen lots of modern-day counterfeit sets online with their branding on them.

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. . . I hope the company making these gets shut down promptly. They seem too good at this to be left alone, unlike some of the other bootleg brands I've seen. And Ninjago is far from the only brand that "Decool" is imitating-- I've seen lots of modern-day counterfeit sets online with their branding on them.

Doesn't LEGO have a copyright on it's products? I can see a company taking the basic idea (cards, spinners, ninja even), but isn't it illegal for them to copy it that directly?

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Doesn't LEGO have a copyright on it's products? I can see a company taking the basic idea (cards, spinners, ninja even), but isn't it illegal for them to copy it that directly?

I think it is. However, I don't think LEGO can sue in some countries, like China.

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An update with a new brand I found called BOLE. These have much better quality plastic, and good printing - although sadly there is no back printing. The figure serial numbers appear to follow the same numbering as Decool/unbranded figures but with 90 in front. From the left, we have BOLE NRG Jay, BOLE Lloyd ZX, unbranded/ possibly Decool NRG Cole, and a real Jay ZX for comparison.

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Clearly different moulds and better plastic quality.

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Good selection of accessories, including a half-pin in green and a new circular flat underneath-plate. The 2 cards on the left are from BOLE, the one on the right is from an unbranded maker.

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The packaging appears to be designed to confuse children into thinking they are genuine, with the lego typeface and red square. Both sets of instructions were for Cole These set me back HK$20 or around US $2.60.

These BOLE figures are better than the unbranded ones I posted earlier, at around the same price, which is around 1/3 of what they would cost on bricklink before postage. As the figures are the main thing that interests me in Ninjago, I am pretty happy with these at the price - but don't get faked into buying them on ebay or bricklink.

I am still hoping to find a Pythor....

@Aanchir, I am afraid I do not know what the real ninjago cards look like :laugh:, or indeed the real NRG figures - but from the bricklink reference images, I would say the metallic printing looks very close to the real thing. Although these did not come with spinners, there are also sets with spinners available, I just wasn't interested in them.

:classic:

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Hmm this is very interesting. At 1/3 of the price I would pick a few up. But in the UK we are very strict about branding (I need a trip to HK). So would you be able to use all the parts alongside lego or just some?

Oh and I'm not sure you will ever find a pythor as it is quite a large mould and it may be too expensive for fake companies to copy.

Anyway thanks for showing us these, They are very interesting.

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I see fake Ninjago quite often in Korea but not in chain/franchise stores. It is always ma and pop general stores and such.

Lego is very expensive here and Ninjago and Friends seem to be the two most popular lines based on what I see in peoples shopping trollys.

I have even bought some of it because my son loves the Ninja Go TV series but he is a bit young for intricate lego (glueing real lego together would feel wrong). The quality can be good..... but not consistently. One of them has the eyes printed too high on the forehead, different colour than what is on the box etc etc.

Huge drop off in quality from lego but at about 1/5 of the price it has a market. I don't think they take away many sales from lego here because it's a different market they are servicing in those shops (very price conscious) whereas Lego is a premium brand in Korea.

I should take some photos. They don't just copy minifigs but also some of the vehicle sets.

There is also a brand called Enlighten from china that seems to copy old lego sets (like old pirates stuff) with poor colours and cheaper plastic but decent molds.

Edited by Andyroo

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I'm sorry but there is no way you could describe these cheap knock-off's as 'better plastic quality'. From the photos you can clearly see that the printing is off and that the moulds aren't as good. I would be disappointed to see that anybody would buy these out of anything other than curiosity. Let's go out and fund bootleg LEGO companies so that they continue funding their phony and quite frankly, crappy products.

Thank you Robuko for posting these pictures as I found this thread interesting but I will have to disagree that they are 'clearly better quality' than the company we know and love.

-TT

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I'm sorry but there is no way you could describe these cheap knock-off's as 'better plastic quality'. From the photos you can clearly see that the printing is off and that the moulds aren't as good. I would be disappointed to see that anybody would buy these out of anything other than curiosity. Let's go out and fund bootleg LEGO companies so that they continue funding their phony and quite frankly, crappy products.

Thank you Robuko for posting these pictures as I found this thread interesting but I will have to disagree that they are 'clearly better quality' than the company we know and love.

-TT

I'm pretty sure he was just saying the BOLE-brand knock-offs have better plastic quality than the Decool-brand knock-offs in the first post, not that either brand of knock-offs had better plastic quality than official LEGO.

Edited by Aanchir

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I'm pretty sure he was just saying the BOLE-brand knock-offs have better plastic quality than the Decool-brand knock-offs in the first post, not that either brand of knock-offs had better plastic quality than official LEGO.

That's right Aanchir, sorry it was ambiguously worded. Yes, BOLE is much better plastic than Decool/unbranded. The plastic and moulds are not as good as Lego, but while I would give Decool a 5/10 here, I would give BOLE a 7 or 8. As I noted before, the printing for both is surprisingly good. Not on a par with current Lego standards, but better than 2009/10 standards (in my judgement).

:classic:

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Its looks very good. Robuko I see you are from HongKong. I want ask you about this blocks. Can you contact with me : wskizz@gmail.com

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What amazes me with copies of brands, is - don't they realize cheap copies look bad compared to the original?

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Isn't it illegal for BOLE to copy the LEGO logo design?

Generally, yes.

What amazes me with copies of brands, is - don't they realize cheap copies look bad compared to the original?

Often the worst bootlegs appear in regions like Asia where LEGO is prohibitively expensive, and often extremely scarce. And bootleg products are often a fraction of the cost. A person buying a bootleg LEGO set might not be able or willing to afford a LEGO set, and so may never have an opportunity to compare the two out-of-package.

Additionally, low-income people in these countries might be used to accepting poorer-quality bootleg substitutes of popular brands since bootlegs of other consumer products often operate similarly.

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Any real Lego fan would still call it a disgrace for countries selling Lego at reasonable prices, to also sell such cheap clone crap :tongue:

Edited by Error404

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