Want to know how to spot fake Lego and fake Lego Minifigures?
As Lego continues to rise in popularity there's absolutely no surprise that we've seen a rise in fake/knockoff 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 and why you shouldn't buy it.
This is perfect for those looking to start reselling Lego as well as those simply purchase Lego for friends, family and young ones.
Why You Shouldn't Buy Fake Lego
Lego is notoriously expensive, so I understand the desire to get the same or similar models at less than 50% of the RRP of the official set by Lego.
However, there are a number of reasons you should only buy official Lego bricks and Minifigures.
A pretty obvious problem with fake Lego is the quality.
There's a number of companies in China producing fake Lego and while some fit together with other bricks from the same fake brand, and with the official Lego brand really well, others don't.
There's also the issue of ensuring that a fake Lego set has all the correct parts.
After all, Lego itself has a reputation and as such a fantastic quality control system to ensure that you get all the parts (and often a small number of extra parts) in each set.
Then there's the fantastic complaints procedure. Which is so good due to Legos reputation.
For example, if you loose a piece or instructions to a set, Lego is likely to either send you that item for free or help you quickly and easily source it so you can get back to building.
None of this applies to fake Lego sets. They don't have a brand to build or a reputation to keep.
As such they don't complete quality control and there's nobody there to help you if a piece or pieces are missing as a result.
Endangering The Market
Since fake Lego came about I've seen first hand the knock-on effect on both the primary and secondary Lego market.
As a result Lego has had to spend millions of pounds protecting their designs and taking the manufacturers of fake Lego sets to court.
All of this money could have been spent on producing more affordable Lego sets with the introduction of new materials (something Lego is already working on).
As well as the design of new incredible Lego sets. All of which contributes to the number of people Lego hires and employs.
As a Lego reseller we now spend a significant amount of time ensuring we're only buying genuine Lego bricks, educating those buying Lego and sorting between fake and real Lego in bulk Lego purchases we've made.
Instead, I'd love to believe that in a world where fake Lego doesn't exist we'd be able to spend the time increasing our production rates to buy and sell more Lego at a more affordable price.
It Can Make You & Your Kids Sick
Any toy (or product) that goes to manufacture and sale (especially to the sale of children) has to be rigorously tested to ensure it's safety.
Sadly, however these same rules don't apply to fake Lego and other fake toy brands.
It's one of the leading reasons why fake Lego is illegal. An, in my opinion, the primary reason why you shouldn't buy fake Lego for a child.
Fake plastic toys such as these fake Lego sets often contain high levels of phthalates which can be extremely dangerous.
The design of Lego products has been adjusted with child safety in mind, the most popular example is that of the Minifigure head which now has a hole in the top to allow airflow if swallowed.
It's the small details such as this one that are important to the Lego brand, they avoid costly lawsuits and ensure the safety of a child when playing with the brands products.
None of this applies to the manufacturer of a fake toy like Lego.
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
So, now we've determined that buying fake Lego isn't a good idea.
Let's discuss how you can tell the difference between fake and real Lego products.
How To Tell If A Lego Set Is Fake / How To Spot Fake Lego Sets
In my opinion, spotting fake Lego sets is perhaps one of the easiest things to do.
It's mainly down to that all-important red logo. I 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, the 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.
How To Tell If A Lego Minifigure Is Fake / How To Spot Fake Lego Minifigures
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.
The differences in these fake lego figures are getting smaller, and smaller with high-quality knockoffs now being produced.
So be sure to continue to look at the stud connections and ensure they are genuine Lego format.
How To Spot Fake Lego Bricks
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.
As always the techniques that fake Lego manufacturers are using are becoming more and more complex.