JeagerEX

Fake CMF Series

Recommended Posts

Oh, should we be surprised?

725605424_931.jpg

I have some of those and they are defenaitly not the same, the printing is not that good, the quality of the plastic is more or less the same as magnet minifigures when they were at their worst. But the legs are different, the two pins Lego minifigure legs usually have are different, you can easely see the difference. So they don't come from the same asembly line, maybe the same factory. But you are correct, this is the risk of producing in China.

I have some of these knockoffs because they are funny. But I would never let my kid play with them, you never know which matherials they used, if the paint is toxic etc... You can easely spot them between your real minifigures, which makes your army look stupid.

Here you can easely see the pore quality:

New-6pcs-DIY-Star-Wars-Action-figures-Ninjago-toy-Ninja-Ninjaman-Chima-toy-Building-Blocks-Sets.jpg

These blatant knocks-offs really make me angry. It used to be I did not have to worry. Lego was Lego and one knew the quality even if it from the second hand market. Now we as consumers have to scrutinise our sets and mini-figures to discern what is Chinese made vs Denmark. I fear Lego branching into China will only make matters worse. Instead of being able to combat knock-offs, Lego potentially could get ripped off even more.

Edited by Wodanis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These blatant knocks-offs really make me angry. It used to be I did not have to worry. Lego was Lego and one knew the quality even if it from the second hand market. Now we as consumers have to scrutinise our sets and mini-figures to discern what is Chinese made vs Denmark. I fear Lego branching into China will only make matters worse. Instead of being able to combat knock-offs, Lego potentially could get ripped off even more.

Good point, it already bothers me that on Bricklink I can't know if the bricks are old or new quality plastic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With TLG producing parts in China now, I'm surprised we don't see a lot more pieces leaked onto eBay early. That's probably where the Simpsons minifigures came from. If you recall, some of the earliest auctions only had a head.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a world of difference between customizers and bootleggers. Customizers are mostly selling their own handmade art. There is some flexibility for an artist to transfer ownership of a particular piece of art. Especially a custom request or commission. IP rules really are meant to deal with commercial production, not unique pieces. You could sculpt a really great unique Darth Vader statue. That in no way violates anyone IP. Once you grow bored with it you can sell that statue. No problem there, it is a personal work of art. It isn't until you start copying and producing it that it becomes an issue, or if it is being used to publicly display a licensed subject in an inappropriate, obscene or damaging manner that could be construed as damaging to the actual IP. (So a 17 foot tall bronze statue of Darth Vader pooping on George Lucas displayed a t a major intersection might draw some legal ire.)

This is not correct - copyright and intellectual property do not only cover "commercial production", and a copy can be an infringement if there is one or one hundred of them. It can be an infringement if it is sold or if it is given away (indeed, one of the biggest areas where these laws are called into effect is in the free distribution of protected material like movies, TV shows and music) or if it is kept personally .

There is what is called a "fair use" doctrine that allows a person to make a copy under certain circumstances. A single Darth Vader statue made to decorate your own home may be a case of fair use. A single Darth Vader statue made and put on display at a convention may be an infringement, even if it's not for sale. The commercial impact of a copy is only part of what a court would consider if it became the subject of a suit. There is also the question of whether the copy is a "derivative" work or is truly unique (which would mean the artist had his own copyright to it)

Ironically, creating a statue of Darth Vader pooping probably would not be an infringement in the US, as the courts have established that parody is a protected form of speech.

The upshot is that there are no clear "rules" about what makes a copy an infringement or not. These questions are usually decided by courts that consider many factors and what might seem OK in one case could provoke a lawsuit in another.

Some companies, like LEGO, have adopted a policy that is very permissive with their protected property - LEGO allows people to share scans of LEGO instructions, for example, even though they are explicitly protected by copyright. On the other hand, Lucasfilm once sued a man in the UK who was making (and selling) Storm Trooper masks. It went to court where a judge had to decide what kind of protection the masks had (whether they were "design" items or "sculpture" - these two categories had different types of protection under British law).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some companies, like LEGO, have adopted a policy that is very permissive with their protected property - LEGO allows people to share scans of LEGO instructions, for example, even though they are explicitly protected by copyright. On the other hand, Lucasfilm once sued a man in the UK who was making (and selling) Storm Trooper masks. It went to court where a judge had to decide what kind of protection the masks had (whether they were "design" items or "sculpture" - these two categories had different types of protection under British law).

I think the Stormtrooper helmets were a bit more complex than simply deciding if they were design items or sculpture. That was simply some of the reasoning the court used. In that case the UK man was in fact a small merchant who had constructed the original Stormtrooper Helmets that Lucas used in Star Wars. Lucas pretty much bought them on the spot, with no formal contracts involved. Just a cash purchase for the merchants work. When the merchant several years later began using his tooling to make replicas of the famous helmet Lucas sued claiming the Copyright was his. The court found that no, Lucas had never established that at time of purchase, and instead he had not purchased designs, he had purchased sculpture (the prop helmets for use in the movie) and as such the merchants copyright to his own work was valid. (Lucas still had copyright to the design as an element of his films, but it did not supersede the merchants, who could still freely reproduce his work.)

The whole point of this is that customizes do still maintain a copyright to the unique artistic elements of their own work, even if that work has elements that are infringing on someone else's. A third party (or even the first party) cannot take that infringement as cause or free reign to violate that artists copyright.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole point of this is that customizes do still maintain a copyright to the unique artistic elements of their own work, even if that work has elements that are infringing on someone else's. A third party (or even the first party) cannot take that infringement as cause or free reign to violate that artists copyright.

Adding "customization" to a copyrighted work may be creating a derivative work. Derivative works are not protected as new works, so someone who customizes a licensed Iron Man minifig is not automatically entitled to do so simply because they came up with a new armor color or pattern, and their customization is not automatically protected by copyright. Only the original copyright owner has the right to authorize derivative works based on its property. If a manufacturing company starts producing unauthorized knockoffs of other unauthorized licensed minifigs, neither the company nor the customizer has any rights in the matter. They are both infringing on the original owner's copyright if they do not have permission.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very complex and interesting legal discussion - if you keep going I think I can get a diploma in law just be reading it!

But maybe keep it somewhat more average Joe? Or should I start a special Legal Studie Crash Course thread ;-)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding "customization" to a copyrighted work may be creating a derivative work. Derivative works are not protected as new works, so someone who customizes a licensed Iron Man minifig is not automatically entitled to do so simply because they came up with a new armor color or pattern, and their customization is not automatically protected by copyright. Only the original copyright owner has the right to authorize derivative works based on its property. If a manufacturing company starts producing unauthorized knockoffs of other unauthorized licensed minifigs, neither the company nor the customizer has any rights in the matter. They are both infringing on the original owner's copyright if they do not have permission.

The third company still cannot use the first infringers art. The customizer may not be able to sue to get any money or compensation, but he can most certainly block the use of any art specific to himself. if Marvel finds a kid making or selling Iron Man pictures. They can make the kid stop. They cannot then take his work and publish it. Nor can any third party. Stealing someones art is still stealing someones art, regardless of whether or not the artist had permission to make the art in the first place. The original copyright holder can get the art removed from any public view, and in many cases destroyed. But it cannot be reused or distributed without the permission of both the original copyright holder and the actual artist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The funny thing is my China- Lego chima figs from magazines have small breaks on legs even they just stand here when My fake gold ninja is still ok even if me and my cousin play a lot with it recently...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The funny thing is my China- Lego chima figs from magazines have small breaks on legs even they just stand here when My fake gold ninja is still ok even if me and my cousin play a lot with it recently...

We often fail to appreciate just how much engineering and research Lego and their suppliers and partners do with regard to the plastic itself. Color = chemistry. And every color can subtly change the plastic. For the low end Chinese plastic shops they are basically just using haphazardly colored plastics. So the red may get brittle, the green may not cure properly and warp etc.

I suspect that one of the reasons we do not see Lego produce as broad a variety of parts in different colors, as quickly as we would like, is the shear amount of testing involved. They need to validate the color of plastic with the part or mold to insure that it behaves as desired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just reported a bunch of counterfeit items this guy is selling -> http://www.ebay.com/usr/mango19998

eBay needs to crack down on this crap. This guy is actually implying that his items are official Lego products. His listings never use the word "Lego," but they never specify a brand name and they're listed in the Lego brand section of eBay. This is flat out fraud. eBay needs to do something about this!

There are probably a lot of people buying these things thinking they're legit. That will make TLG look bad because the counterfeit items are crap.

Edited by jodawill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The third company still cannot use the first infringers art. The customizer may not be able to sue to get any money or compensation, but he can most certainly block the use of any art specific to himself. if Marvel finds a kid making or selling Iron Man pictures. They can make the kid stop. They cannot then take his work and publish it. Nor can any third party. Stealing someones art is still stealing someones art, regardless of whether or not the artist had permission to make the art in the first place. The original copyright holder can get the art removed from any public view, and in many cases destroyed. But it cannot be reused or distributed without the permission of both the original copyright holder and the actual artist.

Again, it really is not so simple. If a kid is making Iron Man pictures and Disney sues him and wins, that means the court has decided that his Iron Man pictures are not his.The court has ruled that he has created a copy of something owned by Disney, which has all rights to it.

[Edit for typo]

Edited by 62Bricks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LEGO does take "fake" minifigures seriously. It recently sued COBI in an EU court over their line of minifigs and won the case. The court ruled that in the EU, LEGO has a valid trademark for its minifig design and that COBI's minifigs violated that trademark.

That ruling only covers the EU, though. I don't know if LEGO is pursuing COBI in the US, as well. COBI is still selling the minifigs, including shipping to the EU, but they may have to stop after the court case is finally closed.

Very complex and interesting legal discussion - if you keep going I think I can get a diploma in law just be reading it!

But maybe keep it somewhat more average Joe? Or should I start a special Legal Studie Crash Course thread ;-)?

Sorry - The simple answer is there are no simple answers when it comes to what is allowed under copyright. There is a lot of wrong information out there that can get people into trouble if they follow it. And the laws are different around the world.

Edited by 62Bricks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably the best counterfeit I've seen so far. (Click image for entire album.)

This photo is good it makes me wonder if they actually took this photo of the real thing and not the counterfeit.

7a3q3kd.jpg

Edit: I knew it! Those jerks stole the image from this article. http://hiconsumption.com/2012/10/lego-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-minifigures/

Edited by jodawill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the Turtle bootlegs are some of the best out there. The only really noticeable difference are the top of the torso. The bootlegs are pointy and the real thing is more rounded. The printing on them is great. I'm going to pick some up to compare to my real ones. I also picked up the Decool Iron Man ones to compare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Browsing ebay when I saw these things:$_3.JPG

I also saw a Scarlet Spider one. I am actually contemplating buying these, does anyone know if they are safe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Browsing ebay when I saw these things:

I also saw a Scarlet Spider one. I am actually contemplating buying these, does anyone know if they are safe?

If you buy then you support counterfeiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you buy then you support counterfeiting.

Like what Cult_Of_Skaro said, I would like to have that design but LEGO does not make it. Instead of getting a decal I could just buy a clone (which would be easier for me).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, whatever, customizers also make characters that TLC just don't do, in this point customization and counterfeiting seem to be the same. However, counterfeits mostly pretend to have acquired authority but actually they didn't, which is a big difference that the license owners would be aware of.

Edited by Dorayaki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why there are so many people here buying this stuff.

Why doesn't eBay do anything about this stuff? I've reported these things so many times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't understand why there are so many people here buying this stuff.

Why doesn't eBay do anything about this stuff? I've reported these things so many times.

I believe it's because Chinese law doesn't do anything about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got in a set of the fake Superman and Green Lantern figures. The printing isn't even close as good as Lego but a couple have really good printing. The plastic isn't that bad, feels just like a lot of the CMF and minifigs you get with the books. I'll get some comparison pics up in a little bit.

Overall I think they are worth the few dollars I spent on them.

I have a set of the Iron Man Martian Manhunter and Shazam figures coming in so hopefully the printing is as good on those.

Edit: here are some pics comparing them to the real deal. There is also a pic of Bizarro, Cyborg Superman and black suit Superman mixed with real Lego parts. The hair pieces are pretty crappy. The torso prints are pretty good. The face printing on a few are two high or low.

7369ED48-91E5-4C82-AD34-121CF72D31C4_zpsudoxobks.jpg

ADAF7752-AE0D-4C79-901C-DC0553A3F4B8_zpse0gu2nt9.jpg

4577F8A7-467B-4CAA-8CC0-3C0AF4601B63_zpsu1u5lghs.jpg

F5820D48-8712-4BC7-ABF6-E501DC953ABB_zpsnnsrwqou.jpg

C85D8919-6115-4F9C-A3BF-2A839FD056D4_zpsjtfwfhjo.jpg

3AFD0543-3708-4038-81DF-4DAB13EBFCED_zps89xboja2.jpg

442A6AE2-AF98-48EE-8DC4-1BCD260A7B8C_zpsynmewiol.jpg

52565993-97C5-4DFA-9B6A-7961234185AC_zpsumzct4yq.jpg

6B52AB1B-9916-4614-B829-53995F4B1897_zpsygnchits.jpg

E690B4A9-FE19-4829-BB06-BB8BA0871307_zpshtbbrtcm.jpg

C5FAEE8D-3085-4F08-B295-455D3A271AF3_zpsiryvb53a.jpg

D2CE8291-2946-482E-AA1A-5ECF7C574C17_zpsq2k46dii.jpg

The best thing are the trans weapons

2356D34C-E4E1-4039-BDA6-F5F56FBE95BE_zpslhwvabto.jpg

Edited by Super Goblin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.