Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fail: Motive Train

Every Friday at noon I showcase a real failure of a toy. And by "Failure" I mean "a cheap, crappy knockoff toy that should be destroyed before it infects humanity with some sort of degenerative disease".

But first: A reminder of some basic info. These posts are meant to showcase FAILURE, not to act as a catalog. I'm not selling these bootlegs, nor should you go out and look for them on your own. These are posts about what to AVOID buying. Go spend your money on real LEGO parts. You'll be glad you did.


Today we continue with our run of Impulse-Sized Bootlegs. This time there's no mini-figure to scowl at, instead we have a mini-model of dubious quality....MOTIVE TRAIN.

As you can see from the box front above, this is another offering from our Bootleg-Buddies at "Brick". Like the Pirate Raider set, the logo is a near-match for the official LEGO branding. The box is full color, with glossy-stock printing on all sides.

I'm not sure if the "Motive Train" logo is a copy of someone else's work (although I wouldn't be surprised), but the name itself needs a bit of scrutiny. Motive train? As in "the reason something was done"?

Maybe they meant the lesser knowing "causing motion" secondary meaning. Or perhaps it's just short for "Locomotive". Although a better abbreviation would have been "LOCO".

The back of the box is pretty much the same as the front, minus the BRICK logo and part counts. Instead, we get a clip-art shot of a train (perhaps to help make sure you know what the toy is supposed to be) and some standard BRICK promotional copy:

Vivid Andgreat In Style, Handsome Appearance

The clip-art background is once again too fuzzed out to be sure where it was lifted from. The train does seem to be moving along at a quick pace, though, judging from those motion-blur lines.

This side of the box again has the Motive Train logo and the BRICK-Text. Note how "andgreat" continues to be one word.

This side panel offers some new text to decode:

chariots without rival
many colr a lot
selected freely by you

It's almost a haiku. But not. Note the missing "o" in "color". And notice the "selected freely by you" reminder. That means if you buy this piece of crap it's really only your own fault. You really should know better.

Speaking of knowing better, here's the safety warnings on the bottom of the package. Note the spelling on "color" this time - that's international English. So it seems they left out "ou" in on the side panel, not just the "o".

Opening the box we find a poly-bag of parts and a one-sided color print of assembly instructions.

Spreading out the parts, we find 17 of them. This matches the part count on the box front. For a change the colors almost match the box - except for the two round 2x2s changed from brown to black.

Once again the "LEGO" brand name has been removed from the parts and replaced with "HOLI".

Here's an interesting change. Rather than spring for the more expensive rubber tire and hub construction offered by LEGO, the people at BRICK recast the part into a single blob of plastic. (LEGO parts are on the right for comparison)

The instructions are fairly straight forward. Actually, it's not a bad bit of building - the use of the angle brackets is clever, anyway. Eh. There's probably a legit LEGO mini-kit somewhere with this design.

Finally, here's a side by-side of the BRICK bootleg on the right, and the same parts from my LEGO collection on the left. (No, I didn't bother to find the right color LEGO to match BRICK's choices. I picked colors that might actually look decent.)

While both models look very similar, you just need to pick them up to feel the lightweight construction of the BRICK knock-off. The parts are thin and brittle in places, thick and gloppy in others. And while the LEGO version rolls smoothly across the desk, the BRICK version sits there like...well....a brick.

All in all, this is a good example of why you need to be vigilant in avoiding knock-off brands. While they might fool the untrained eye, you really don't want this sort of crap to sneak into your collection.
Once again, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.


Anonymous said...

For once, the bootleg looks decent once built, and not only onto the box...

In the final pic, the BRICK bootleg is on the right, and the same parts from my LEGO collection on the left, for the viewer.

Christopher Doyle said...

Whoops! Good catch, should be fixed now.

C-Shorey said...


Im not sure what to say right now...

I for someone think the LEGO brand set is better.

Thanks for brightening my day Chris

Anonymous said...

I love this feature. You always crack me up. Want me to send you some knock-offs if I see any at the local Big Lots?

Peppermint said...

I have to say I liked last weeks horse, but that is just because freaky animals rock (and i need a red horse for a MOC I have planned...) But that train is sort of lame.

Christopher Doyle said...


I may take you up on that later in the year...but for right now I've got a serious backlog to work through yet!

Geoffrey said...

Chris: Could you please consider removing these crappy imitation knock-offs from your blog posts? Or at least limiting the entry to the post to one paragraph?

Having to scroll through the advent calendar wars pics was bad enough, now I have to scroll through these crappy knock-offs that I never asked to see in the first place too?

It is seriously casting the BH comics and Reasonably Clever in a rather bad spotlight. Please consider moving the imitations to a better format.

Christopher Doyle said...


Sorry - blogger doesn't offer the cut-feature on remotely hosted entries, and I like having this stuff in the blog. If you just can't stand scrolling, you can always change your bookmark to which will filter out everything but the topic you're interested in.

As to this "casting the site in a bad light" - that's your opinion. I happen to enjoy these, and they're going to be a prominent part of the site for some time to come. Besides...if you look around, you'll see you're the only one complaining. As usual.

Geoffrey said...

Well, how soon can you get rid of them altogether?

I would much rather not see any Friday Fail feature at all.

Maybe I'm just being a LEGO purist, but I believe these imitation knock-offs don't do your site any justice to new visitors.

Please take a bat to these knock-offs and knock them to the place where the rest of the imitations live in their own HTML-enclosed quarantine.

Christopher Doyle said...

Geoffrey. Really. I don't care what you think. The Friday Fail is going to be part of the site for the next several months at the very least, and if it keeps bringing in new visitors (like it has been) I'll most likely expand the bootleg offerings.

Remember: I'm doing this site for me. Stuff I like. I pay the bills, I put in the time and effort. So I get to decide.

As always, you're welcome to go do your own thing. And, as always, you're free to vote with your browser and just go away.

Anonymous said...


LOL - don't feed the troll, dude! He feeds on your annoyance...

Geoffrey said...

@Chris & Anonymous: You're both majorly missing the point here.

I have an opinion, I may even be alone in that opinion.

But it doesn't mean I'm wrong to let you know how I feel about these posts containing bootleg LEGO reviews/images.

Everything has to have some negativity, and I feel like letting you know that your negative bootleg posts are irritating to me. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

I for one don't follow the comics, but love the Friday Fail. To each his own. I'm not going to INSIST you take down the comics.

The bootleggers probably went for a shortened "Locomotive". I think they shouldve done Loco Train, so that way they could rip off Lego and Ozzy!

Nick said...

lol @ butthurt geoff

scrolling's too hard this is blasphemy ;.;

TK1420 said...

lol Nick

To Geoff-

Just when I thought you were developing a sense of humor, the troll act returns.

IMO, Doyle is providing the world with a service by exposing the shoddy Lego imitators for the garbage they are. Lego should thank him for pointing out how and why their own product is superior.

Geoff, I quoth thee: "Deal with it"

Great escaper said...

Yea, Geof, I thought you were alright before, your insights into the comic were good, but I really like the bootleg section so like the other people im starting to think your a troll now

Anonymous said...

However why would you give a blazing fire title for a crappy train?

Zrowny said...

In the second pic there, the trains going so fast that its flying off the rails there.

Anonymous said...

i made te same thing using lego