The LEGO Group has tried and failed to trademark its signature system of interlocking bricks. The result is a wide range of imitators. Some, like Mega Bloks, put out a decent product of their own. On the other end of the spectrum are bootleg companies that truly do sell knock-offs of official LEGO sets. In the middle you have a company like Best-Lock. Their set designs are original and can look really cool. I was certainly tempted when I saw their assortment of Classic LEGO Space-esque “War of the Planets” sets in Toys R Us. But let me tell you, I have never had a more frustrating experience building with plastic bricks. The ships I’ve assembled held together very tenuously. Blink your eyes at the Hawk or Condor sets above and they fly into 1,000 pieces. Part of the reason might be that it seems like they were designed in the computer program that created the instruction manuals. The other reason is that the bricks just don’t hold together very well. I would NEVER mix these with real LEGO. Another fine touch on Best-Lock’s part are stickers that cover multiple bricks, making it pretty much impossible to use those bricks for much else or use the stickers again. So, no, Best-Lock sets are not truly bootlegs. But compared to LEGO, they certainly feel like a pale imitation to me.
on January 24, 2012 at 12:01 am