Last week was New York Comic Con and The Brick Show was there with West End Toys, a company that sells legitimate LEGO products. However there are other “companies” there that also sell what appears to be LEGO but in reality, they’re just cheap knock-offs from China.
Stephen went around to a few booths showing what products they’re selling and found there were about “20-30” booths selling all kinds of counterfeit LEGO from bricks to minifigures. As LEGO fans, we know which minifigures are legit and which are not but parents and kids who aren’t enthusiasts can’t really tell the difference because they look so similar and are priced way cheaper. As one person at these booths states about selling fake LEGO,
That statements bugs me because they’re all about the money. Notice they don’t even use the correct terminology when describing where the minifigures are standing on as they only call it “the thing.” Not a stand or on studs but “the thing.”
Note that this was at New York Comic Con, one of the largest fan conventions in the US. This is my first time hearing about booths selling fake LEGO products at these conventions as I don’t see them at San Diego Comic Con but then again, they are different organizers so they probably don’t care what is sold there.
As LEGO keeps growing bigger and bigger, the more likely companies in China will continue to churn out these counterfeits. It wasn’t that too long ago that Huw over on Brickset did a review on some. There’s really no way to stop them as trademark and copyright laws don’t work over there. At least there will be a new factory being built in China to try to combat this.
Also keep in mind the difference between legit custom minifigures and knockoffs. Real custom minifigures use real LEGO products with modifications to them whether in printing, accessories, etc. Knockoffs use cheap plastic and paint and the quality is subpar and could be potentially dangerous for younger children to play with.
Even at Toys R Us, you can’t really be too careful as they’re also selling some fake LEGO Racers stuff on the endcaps. If you’re going to these conventions or just shopping in general and find what appears to be LEGO, just use some due diligence and make sure that you’re getting the real thing. If you’re worried or not sure, just send me a quick message.