14

Aliexpress sells a lot of Lego replicas, has anyone here bought one? I am wanting to know how the quality compares to Lego?

Example products: https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=0&initiative_id=SB_20190815025633&SearchText=lego&switch_new_app=y

I'm sure it shouldn't be stored with regular Lego bricks, but if these are treated as a separate product, can these replicas be used without any issues?

[Edit] I have found an example of comparison in this YouTube video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veq_KSxpDmk)

  • I know this is an old question, but in the time since this was posted, I think the quality of the knock off brands has vastly improved. I did a side-by-side comparison of a LEGO and LELE kit on YouTube recently, and there's very little difference in quality: youtu.be/CaulXj7J9CI – Selezen May 17 '18 at 13:36
14

You might be interested in the excellent, hilarious and comprehensive Communist LEGO report. It tells you all you can expect, from the good brands to the bad brands. At a minimum, it'll get you rolling of your chair with laughter.

A summary taken from the document:

Brand List 2015

LEGO is a global brand and has been the subject of many copies over the years. The US company Tyco were the first with ‘Super Blocks’ in 1984, after LEGO’s brick patent expired in 1983. Almost every attempt at cloning has been inferior, mainly due to production costs being lower resulting in inferior grade materials and poor fitting pieces. Set design has generally varied from mediocre to rubbish. However, the recently invigorated factories of China have begun to churn out various LEGO clones. It’s worth noting that the potential Chinese domestic market is far, far larger than that of Europe and America combined. There are many Chinese companies making LEGO copies, with new ones starting up at an astounding rate. Minifig copying seems to be endemic, taking advantage of enormous demand for collectable box sets that LEGO cannot do due to contractual reasons. A brief trawl of the AliExpress export website finds a list of 50 companies making plastic building blocks, with probably at least half doing LEGO clones. Most if not all are based in Chenghai, the toy capital of China. Some companies appear to source their products from each other and subcontract, so working out exactly who makes which branded kits is not always straightforward. Many are of random quality and there is a lot of chaff and little wheat. The following is an incomplete list of some of the more actively promoted brands. By the time you read this, there will probably be more. It is interesting to note that many Far East websites list the keyword ‘Enlighten’ above ‘LEGO’.

Net: Some knock-off brands are getting really good and compare in quality with LEGO. Some are absolutely horrific. Some are complete cloners (and will likely disappear soon when the LEGO lawyers swoop in), some have found a niche that LEGO doesn't cover and will likely stay around.

8

I should post the answer as a comment to Phil B.'s post, but since it contains some useful content for the others, it will also be an answer.

First of all Phil B. thanks for the link, that's exactly what i was looking for and i will mark it as an accepted answer.

After reading the PDF, here is the summary of which blocks can we risk buying and which to avoid.

Best ones:

Company (average score)

Worst ones:

  • XQL (14)
  • PMS International (14)
  • Yixing (?) (5)
  • SY (0)
  • LELE (-79) - I don't know how did they come below 0, but they did it. - http://bit.ly/1VQOt00

Thanks for checking the list

  • 3
    LELE ended up in the minus because * * Every single point deduced twice for unfathomably dishonourable cloning .. They go as far as producing sets with the name 'The LELE Movie', obviously the same logo as 'The LEGO Movie' with just the first two letters cut and pasted over the 'GO' part. – Phil B. Oct 13 '15 at 18:20
  • And the dangerous thing is - when I check the LELE block sets on Aliexpress, they look quite good - at the photos, but I won't risk buying. – Dariusz Sikorski Oct 13 '15 at 18:30
3

I've bought some sci-fi military-themed sets from Gudi, and this is my opinion:

  • Plastic quality is almost on par with Lego, albeit a bit harder.
  • Minifig are slightly less good.

They seemed to have a quite good model designer in 2014-15: there are some sci-fi and military kits that actually look good. However, 2016 models marked a step backward, IMHO.

I blogged my adventures with Gudi here: http://bricks.lamboz.net/tag/gudi.html (in Italian, sorry!)

2

My son got a LELE set and I am really impressed! The quality is VERY good, the pieces are totally regular like a LEGO, it has some sticks to glue on some pieces and I really believe these sets are the best clones in China. The manual for assembling is perfect, LEGO like, all the pieces match perfectly. LEGO forgive me, but this LELE is a high quality copy. And it has several languages stamped in the box, and as far as I know, they are spelled correctly (many chinese products have lousy translations). I totally recommed....

protected by Ambo100 Dec 27 '17 at 21:17

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.