metalgeekzy

Do you only buy lego?

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I'm a Lego purist.  I have a small collection of modern clone bricks that have snuck in with inherited collections from others (dark age salvage, attic clear-outs, etc), but I never deliberately buy them (or use them).  When I pick up a cache of random bricks of questionable provenance, the first thing I do is filter out all the non-Lego.

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Posted (edited)

I mostly have  Lego but a few years back I bought the Mega large Star Trek Enterprise set because it looked cool. It was much harder to put together then a Lego set though due to instructions and qquality. Looks great displayed though.

Also last week someone in my wife's family who shares her love of Top Gun got the Cobi F14 set so we now own that also.

Edited by karmajay

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I like Lego Architecture and Expert Landmarks.  But there are some landmarks that Lego has yet to do, or may never make.

Last year I bought The London Eye by Wange, and Neuschwanstein Castle by Xingbao.  The quality is not the same as Lego, but not bad quality.  I had to make a few mods to the London Eye though.  Wange make bricks that Lego does not.  For example, the London Eye uses a double sided 2x2 round plate.  Wange also make sets similar to the Lego Architecture, but larger.  Some are good, some not so.

The Castle uses some interesting building techniques.  Not sure if Lego would have built it that way.  But I am pleased with the overall result.  Still, if Lego did ever make these landmarks, I would probably dismantle these and buy the Lego.

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I don't buy clones. I do however buy parts that LEGO has never made, such as bigger train wheels or wider curves.

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I used to buy only Lego until about a couple of years ago. But than the death of the Power Functions system drove me into testing alternative brands. And I do not have any regrets. Still Lego is among the leading companies when it comes to parts quality but other companies have levelled like Mould King, Cobi or CaDA. Considering the building experience I think Lego is still leading. I bought a few sets of Wange, Bluebrixx, Mould King, Xingbao and CaDA but none of them can compete with the building experience of Lego models yet. Among those companies I tested I like CaDA the most: They do not steal MOC designs (like Mould King does) or even official Lego sets, the parts quality is very close to Lego and they offer some unique parts for car designers like me that I wish Lego would produce. Furthermore they have exactly those kind of models I like most: 16 wide cars combining Technic and system bricks. But each to their own: On the one hand I can understand purists since I used to be one of them. On the other hand I can see why more and more people try other companies for various reasons: behaviour of TLG towards competing brands, prices, limited part range etc.

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Posted (edited)
On 1/3/2022 at 10:26 PM, Ajf350d said:

Regards IP, would this only relate to Lego own themes?
Star Wars, would be a Disney IP, even if Lego designed it for them?

It’s entirely possible legally for the base IP to belong to one party such as Disney and the IP of supplemental creative works to belong to another party, e.g. LEGO. Exactly who owns what IP will be agreed as part of any licence - and that’s normally confidential.

We do occasionally get a hint of where the IP divide is. It is sometimes the case that LEGO will design and produce a part for  a particular franchise but later use that part (or the same mould) for its own in-house franchises. The lightsaber handle piece is an example of that. It first appeared in LEGO Star Wars sets but has subsequently been in many LEGO owned themes, suggesting that LEGO owns the IP. On the other hand, a part like Darth Vader’s helmet or a design like Spider-Man’s costume are likely IP belonging in their entirety to Disney.

Edited by AmperZand

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So far, I have only LEGO parts used in my MOCs. But my main goal is building things and as another company can make parts that TLG doesn’t and have the same quality as the genuine LEGO parts, Then I will not hesitate to buy those parts.

I think about nx5 or nx7 bricks and plates and arches, door and window types, and so on.

When it comes to architecture, there are lots of different parts I can think of…     

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5 hours ago, Pinnacle said:

I think about nx5 or nx7 bricks and plates and arches, door and window types, and so on.

1x5 plates exist now, iirc. Not common by any means but they are out there and now that they're part of the range I suspect they'll be used more often

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Posted (edited)

I own several Sets of other brands and was able to test and look at even more, so let`s see:

 

CaDa has great cars

Cobi is the specialist for military sets (which dont interest me, but they are good indeed)

Forange has awesome Dinosaurs and many Flowers which look equally good than the Lego Flowers

LOZ has very nice buildings, albeit with smaller bricks

Mould King has the big vehicles which all look at least euqally good as the technic Lego vehicles (often better!)

Panlos has the big Dinos and maybe my favourite non-Lego Set: the hero tower, which is just colossal and towers above all my other sets

Wange is the brand if you want more good architecture sets

Xingbao is a brand with buildings, military sets, Pets, buildings, ...

 

The best quality, at least in my experience, is found at Panlos. They rival Lego in every regard, but the sets are significantly cheaper (which goes for all other brands).

You can say/write what you want: The brands besides Lego have made HUGE steps in terms of quality in the last couple of years and really are an alternative.

I have no problem to mix them with Lego (which wasnt the case when I bought the first non-Lego sets), so if you see a cheap Set you think is cool/cute/whatever: give it a try. ;) I still spend the most money on Lego, but Im glad there are so many other good brands for every kind of set. :D

 

Edited by neithan

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16 minutes ago, neithan said:

You can say/write what you want: The brands besides Lego have made HUGE steps in terms of quality in the last couple of years and really are an alternative.

I have no problem to mix them with Lego (which wasnt the case when I bought the first non-Lego sets), so if you see a cheap Set you think is cool/cute/whatever: give it a try. ;) I still spend the most money on Lego, but Im glad there are so many other good brands for every kind of set. :D

Could not have said it any better. This is precisely my point of view - and behavior :thumbup:

Best
Thorsten

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16 hours ago, Alexandrina said:

1x5 plates exist now, iirc. Not common by any means but they are out there and now that they're part of the range I suspect they'll be used more often

There's a few of them in the Chinese New Year sets for 2022 and I vaguely remember having seen them in some other instruction PDFs. They'll be commonplace soon enough.

Mylenium

1 hour ago, neithan said:

You can say/write what you want: The brands besides Lego have made HUGE steps in terms of quality in the last couple of years and really are an alternative.

Yeah, that ultimately is the point. You can buy some cheap re-branded Chinese OEM set at Lidl and the quality is just as good as LEGO was a few years ago already. It's really about those five percent extra that makes a difference, but most original manufacturer sets from COBI, Xingbao and so on have pretty eliminated that small gap, also. The only real difference is the building techniques and that's what usually puts me off with some sets such as the ones from Bluebrixx @Toastie mentioned - if I pay money for it, I don't want things to feel like a hacky MOC with single stud connections and similarly atrocious stuff.

Mylenium

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16 hours ago, Alexandrina said:

1x5 plates exist now, iirc. Not common by any means but they are out there and now that they're part of the range I suspect they'll be used more often

I didn’t know that. Thanks.

It goes that LEGO didn’t make uneven parts because it is too difficult for little children. But now, older kids play also with LEGO bricks, and even many adults create great things with them.

So I think it is time that TLG will reconsider this argument and make more uneven and 'difficult' architectural parts.

In my opinion, it would be more challenging for more people to build with LEGO bricks.   

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I'm completely purist for bricks / other parts, except for minifigure accessory parts. I use a lot of brickforge and brickwarriors parts, and also buy knock-off brand minifigures for their accessories. I normally replace the figure with genuine LEGO, while keeping the third party armour or accessories. I will also cut, glue and paint minifigure and accessory parts but not bricks/other parts.

 

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Although I have never got a knock-off and some knock-offs don't look too bad, their prices aren't attractive at all, probably some of them don't want to cut down their short-term revenue in return for new customers. As a result, at the moment, knock-offs aren't attractive to me

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So far I'm buying only Lego for me. But I'm close to try Cada for their motors and BT stuff.

I've been given few non-lego sets with bad results.

OTOH I've bought one non-lego set for my kids (Elsa castle) and the quality is good. Can't remember the manufacturers name though.

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8 hours ago, ks6349 said:

their prices aren't attractive at all

Huh? Really? I don't know - I did buy BlueBrixx (BB) train carriages - $25 (BB Special, so no idea where the bricks come from, others may know), about 40 cm long each, dark green - I believe TLG would charge something like 3 to 5 times more for that. We are not talking quality, which is slightly less than LEGO, but price. Color-wise perfect matches. Wheelsets are bad with regard to wrong length metal rods, but that's it.

I also have a perfect Flying Dutchman here, $160 from BB as Mould King model, <$120 directly from a country with mostly red flag. Everything quality wise as good as TLGs pieces - but that thing is gigantic. I don't even want to know what TLG would charge for that.

OK, only two examples, but these are attractive prices, I must say.

Best
Thorsten

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9 minutes ago, Toastie said:

Huh? Really? I don't know - I did buy BlueBrixx (BB) train carriages - $25 (BB Special, so no idea where the bricks come from, others may know), about 40 cm long each, dark green - I believe TLG would charge something like 3 to 5 times more for that. We are not talking quality, which is slightly less than LEGO, but price. Color-wise perfect matches. Wheelsets are bad with regard to wrong length metal rods, but that's it.

I also have a perfect Flying Dutchman here, $160 from BB as Mould King model, <$120 directly from a country with mostly red flag. Everything quality wise as good as TLGs pieces - but that thing is gigantic. I don't even want to know what TLG would charge for that.

OK, only two examples, but these are attractive prices, I must say.

Best
Thorsten

I won't agree that prices for knock-off products are attractive.

Imagine if the price for knock-off is the same or little bit less than that of Lego, which one will you pick? If you insist to say that you will go for knock-off then it's the end of the discussion.

However, some knock-offs or generic could be up to 70% or 80% or even more expensive than Lego. A brand made in Hong Kong is like that, I will not advertise their name here.

I can get new Lego sets here for 50%-75% off here, I cannot get it every day, but not too difficult to see such deals here. I recently got Lego 60289 (the jetshow) for $18 and ice cream truck for $13 for clearance, and a lot of other sets I haven't yet mentioned here. I will also get a few more copies and resell it later to further reduce the cost. Who will buy knock-off or generic?

 

 

Edited by ks6349

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1 hour ago, ks6349 said:

Imagine if the price for knock-off is the same or little bit less than that of Lego, which one will you pick?

Why would I want to do that? No way. I mean, when you get attractive sets from TLG with a 50% to 75% discount, the discussion is indeed over: TLG it is. I seem to live in a country, though, where I hardly see such discounts for any "attractive" set. Well, maybe I am not keeping my ears close enough on the rails - but if that would happen, I'd be in LEGO heaven.

I believe, there is another thing to consider in this discussion: I am somewhat leaning towards trains. When I recall what LG has produced within that line, I must say - yes, there are trains, but you may want to compare TLG's current train program with this one: https://www.bluebrixx.com/en/bluebrixxspecials/trains

I am not saying that these are superb - the sheer number of sets is what calls my attention - and basically none were ever made by TLG.

So in essence - for me(!) - it is not about the price alone, it is more this (has been said already)

  1. What is offered within certain themes (diversity of sets)
  2. Piece availability and price/quality (individual pieces)
  3. Price for a set

Now, when there are two identical sets, I'd always go for the LEGO one. However, when they are far less than identical, I use my list above ;)

Best
Thorsten

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1 hour ago, ks6349 said:

I can get new Lego sets here for 50%-75% off here, I cannot get it every day, but not too difficult to see such deals here. I recently got Lego 60289 (the jetshow) for $18 and ice cream truck for $13 for clearance, and a lot of other sets I haven't yet mentioned here. I will also get a few more copies and resell it later to further reduce the cost. Who will buy knock-off or generic?

That is true indeed. Lego sets have much higher resell prices. So the conclusion must be: Buy Lego sets only new and alternative brands sets only used. I wish it was the other way round though.

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On 12/31/2021 at 7:20 PM, metalgeekzy said:

The Dollar Store a few blocks from me sells base plates for.....a dollar. They dont have the streets or mountains or anything cool. Mono color base plates. But man oh man its better then dropping 7 bucks on 1 base plate. 

I'm guilty of this too. Cheap baseplates are acceptable to me. The price difference for the area being covered is worth it.

On 1/3/2022 at 5:43 PM, ShaydDeGrai said:

I'm a Lego purist.  I have a small collection of modern clone bricks that have snuck in with inherited collections from others (dark age salvage, attic clear-outs, etc), but I never deliberately buy them (or use them).  When I pick up a cache of random bricks of questionable provenance, the first thing I do is filter out all the non-Lego.

I do the same. I have a large bin that annual gets donated of off brand pieces.

As for off brand purchases, certain train elements (wider radius curves, different switches, wheel sizes, ball bearings) are welcomed. The options they give enables me to have more fun with my creations. In the end, if you're happy with your collection and what you buy, then great. If others want to get nasty with their opinion about what you like, they can shove it up their fourth point of contact.

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I tend to stick with Lego (and the places I buy from like big retailers or Bricklink only sell Lego), but am open to clones, especially if they have useful pieces that don't exist in Lego. I think the difference in quality is far lower than it used to be years ago. Not only have the clones gotten much better, but the quality of Lego is pretty hit or miss these days, compared to 20+ years ago. I do use some fan-made custom parts like lighting or motors.

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15 hours ago, Toastie said:

Why would I want to do that? No way. I mean, when you get attractive sets from TLG with a 50% to 75% discount, the discussion is indeed over: TLG it is. I seem to live in a country, though, where I hardly see such discounts for any "attractive" set. Well, maybe I am not keeping my ears close enough on the rails - but if that would happen, I'd be in LEGO heaven.

I believe, there is another thing to consider in this discussion: I am somewhat leaning towards trains. When I recall what LG has produced within that line, I must say - yes, there are trains, but you may want to compare TLG's current train program with this one: https://www.bluebrixx.com/en/bluebrixxspecials/trains

I am not saying that these are superb - the sheer number of sets is what calls my attention - and basically none were ever made by TLG.

So in essence - for me(!) - it is not about the price alone, it is more this (has been said already)

  1. What is offered within certain themes (diversity of sets)
  2. Piece availability and price/quality (individual pieces)
  3. Price for a set

Now, when there are two identical sets, I'd always go for the LEGO one. However, when they are far less than identical, I use my list above ;)

Best
Thorsten

Make life easier. I always go for Lego. One reason is I like original thing, another reason is they aren't too much more costly

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3 hours ago, ks6349 said:

Make life easier. I always go for Lego. One reason is I like original thing, another reason is they aren't too much more costly

That is certainly a point you have. The problem of separating the LEGO parts into LEGO parts and non-LEGO parts when you want to sell your LEGO for some reason. A brick 2x4, for instance, is a brick, provided it has the same quality as the genuine LEGO brick. For me, as a builder, there will be no difference. But for potential buyers, it can make all the difference in the world.

That is why I stick to the original LEGO parts as long as TLG make these parts. But only when I can buy pieces that LEGO doesn’t make, I see no problems doing so. Because then you see in a moment the difference between LEGO and non-LEGO

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As I wrote earlier, I've bought the Hero Tower from Panlos - 5883 Pieces, combined to a colossal Tower, with a quality equal to Lego, for only 250€ (I think its 270 in stores).

This is a ridicolous price for a product that great and it doesn't stop there: Products of the brands I wrote earlier are all around 20-60% cheaper than anything comparable from Lego. The so-called "Knock off brands" are way cheaper with quality that often rivales (or surpasses) Lego. (And as I wrote: there are flower Sets which look and feel like they are from Lego, only difference: they are at least 30% cheaper).

Lego is an expensive toy and there are more than enough alternatives where your "value" is better.

Of course you dont have to buy them; stick to Lego if you are afraid to throw away money for something you think isn't that good, that is okay. But I thought so too only some years ago and nowadays I consider myself lucky that I've tested some "knock off brands". ;)

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48 minutes ago, neithan said:

As I wrote earlier, I've bought the Hero Tower from Panlos - 5883 Pieces, combined to a colossal Tower, with a quality equal to Lego, for only 250€ (I think its 270 in stores).

This is a ridicolous price for a product that great and it doesn't stop there: Products of the brands I wrote earlier are all around 20-60% cheaper than anything comparable from Lego. The so-called "Knock off brands" are way cheaper with quality that often rivales (or surpasses) Lego. (And as I wrote: there are flower Sets which look and feel like they are from Lego, only difference: they are at least 30% cheaper).

Lego is an expensive toy and there are more than enough alternatives where your "value" is better.

Of course you dont have to buy them; stick to Lego if you are afraid to throw away money for something you think isn't that good, that is okay. But I thought so too only some years ago and nowadays I consider myself lucky that I've tested some "knock off brands". ;)

It's worth noting that you have to be careful when it comes to non-LEGO bricks. There are plenty of compatible products out there from real brands = Cobi, MegaContrux etc that have their own designs and quality assurance/testing, plus produce pieces that are of good quality. I would consider these genuine brands.

The 'knock off' brands are ones that are non-descript. Many (but certainly not all) take LEGO or AFOL designs, with no agreement or licensing, which is pretty shady. But critically they can also be much lower quality. And because there isn't a brand to support it, it's really hard for the consumer to know, until the product arrives, whether the part quality is as good as LEGO or another known brand product.

And that's the problem with generic products in a non-regulated industry, and why brands are so important.

But other than that, your point stands, and there are lots of great products out there that are less expensive than LEGO.

Although personally I will stick with LEGO, at least for now, as they produce more than enough for me.

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