As Lego continues to rise in popularity there’s absolutely no surprise that we’ve seen a rise in fake / knock off products. That said, the volume available and the quality of fake products has become rather alarming over the past 18 months. Which is exactly why I’ve wanted to create this guide on how to spot fake Lego.
This is perfect for those looking to start reselling Lego as well as those simply purchase Lego for friends, family and young ones. First off however I want to cover why you shouldn’t buy fake Lego…
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Fake Lego
I get it. It’s cheap like super cheap and Lego is a notoriously expensive toy. However, that’s still no reason to buy fake Lego… Here’s why;
There’s a big argument as to how good the quality of any fake Lego set really is. There’s 100’s of factories pumping out 100’s of different alternatives. So while one fake brand might be great, you may find another with bricks that barely stick together.
Endangering The Market
Fake Lego is having a big knock on affect on both the primary and secondary Lego market. This is going to impact Lego’s designs – many of which these fake brands will look to copy directly. We have also already found it to be having an impact on the consumers opinion of Lego. Especially by those who don’t truly know the difference between real and fake Lego. All of this is then going to contribute towards a decline of the secondary Lego market.
It Can Make You & Your Kids Sick
As counterfeit Lego continue to become more sophisticated the risks to our health are growing. Many of these brands look to be the real deal, and can often be unknowingly stocked and purchased by small independent retailers.
Only for them to be fake. While genuine toys such as Lego have to have all their materials heavily tested to ensure safety. Counterfeit goods won’t have gone through any of these tests. Fake plastic toys often contain high levels of phthalates which can be extremely dangerous.
HMRC published this article directly relating to someone found to be importing fake Lego into the country. All the goods were destroyed although we have absolutely no idea whether or not they were prosecuted by Lego further.
The goods, which had been listed as “plastic blocks for decoration”, had been sent to the UK from China in four separate packages with a declared value of just $365.
An investigation was launched by Border Force and LEGO has now confirmed that all the goods, which will now be destroyed, are breaches of their copyright.
As the rights holders, the company can now decide whether or not they wish to prosecute the importer privately.
How To Spot Fake Lego
In my opinion spotting a fake Lego set is perhaps one of the easiest things to do. It’s mainly down to that all important red logo. I’m still get to see anyone try and print the Lego logo. Instead you’ll see alternatives.
If you do see a genuine logo but are still unsure whether or not the product is genuine there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. Firstly, where are you buying the product? The safest place is in person at one of the Lego stores. Next best place would be a specialist toy store or major supermarket.
Next look at the box. Is the printing and finish to a high standard? Are the folds off? Is the printing dull? All these are signs of a fake product.
If you’re still unsure I’d advise you to either; politely question the store owner and ask if they would mind you opening the box to check the contents or leave it and move on until you’re sure you’ve found a genuine Lego product.
For genuine minifigures you should be looking out for the Lego logo printed onto every single part of the minifigure. This can be found in the following places;
Head has logo inside top stud and underneath it
Torso has logo on neck stud
Hips have logo in between leg studs
Legs have logo in hollow of feet
Make yourself familiar with the different Lego colours. As well as the weight and feel of different Lego minifigure parts. These are slight but noticeable differences in high quality knock offs. Don’t forget to look at the stud connections. Ensure they are genuine Lego format.
Finally take a look at the print. In these images below it is in my opinion one of the biggest giveaways. Lego always has highly detailed, highly accurate printing.
The one on the right is the genuine product.
Despite being the cheapest Lego item in many respects. Lego bricks are still often faked. No more so than the rare bricks found in now retired and highly expensive sets such as the UCS Millennium Falcon and Green Grocer.
However, just like the sets and the minifigures there are tell-tell signs of fake Lego bricks.
Every Lego stud comes with the Lego logo. If you can’t find it on the top you’ll be able to see the Lego logo underneath the part.
However, you can be quickly caught off guard with the logo saying something else instead of Lego on the fakes. ‘Such as Logo‘ in these cases be sure to look closely and check the weight, the colour, the cut and the detail.
Some clone brands will just come with nothing and be almost blank bricks like the image below.
As always the techniques that fake Lego manufacturers are using are becoming more and more complex. I do however hope this will cover the basics on how to protect yourself from the fake stuff.
In the meantime if you have any questions, comments or concerns leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.