Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fail: Ack-Ack

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.

Oh, this one is going to hurt.

LEGO has an established policy not to produce miltary-themed models. Sure, they come close with themes like "Dino Attack" and even "Agents", but so far they've avoided portraying actual military equipment.

Bootleggers aren't held to that standard of course. They can use their knock-off parts to build whatever they choose. Of course, being bootlegs, they're still going to fail. Case in point: Ack-Ack.

Yes. "Just imagine." Or read on, if you dare.

Ack-ack is part of the same bootleg company as Warrior - Xin Qi Le. Apparently a different assortment, though. Warrior has a "stock number" of 7138 - The Ack-Ack is a lowly 106.

While the box claims this can be counted among the "Intelligence Toys"- I somehow doubt it. No, this is thirty pieces of military-inspired FAIL - I mean, really - who's going to mount the firing switch for a rocket two inches from the rocket's exhaust? That's a good way to burn off your hands and arms. Hardly "intelligence" at work.

Still - the box art looks good, doesn't it? All those amry-green bricks, a solider mini-figure - even some badly blurred fighter-jet imagery in the background. Sure, the art suggests that the missles may actually be some sort of ground-to-air cannon - I can't come up with any other reason rocket exhaust would be coming from the top of the cones. But I won't hold that against them much.

In addition to being "Intelligence Toys", the Ack-Ack is ALSO part of the "Combinatorial Series"! (Not to be confused with the Zephyr Knights "Series Transformation" line - even if the art is nearly identical.)

On the package backing (above), you can see three different takes on the Ack-Ack. I know it's supposed to be a gun, but wow, does it look like some mis-managed rocketry to me. Particularly that last "drive the platform into the ground" nightmare on the lower right...

They sure do like that alternate model, though. Here it is on the side of the package. Note the background art of things blowing up. Nifty!

You know, the more I type "Ack-Ack" the more I hear the martian voices from the "Mars Attacks!" movie....

More explosions and another alternate model shot on this side. I love how the mini-figure isn't actually touching the controls - just sort of raching for them.

Here's somethig new. "Design is not stand for orignal product." Your guess as to the meaning is as good as mine.

Inside the box is the standard mix - a poly bag of parts and a crumpled instruction sheet.

Yes, they found thirty pieces to use. They just had to fully dismember the mini-figure and break apart the rotaing plate. But, hey, they did find 30 parts. Too bad they couldn't find any GREEN ones.... Sort of takes away from the military theme a bit, doesn't it?

The bricks all have the YIHE stamp on them.

The instructions, for once, make use of linear time. Amazing.

Here's a couple of shots of the included "Soldier". The head and torso have designs lifted directly from LEGO, as seen in the following images lifted from Bricklink.

Be sure to notice how the quality drops when you go from LEGO to bootleg - a single color spray-op doesn't match the glory of the original product, does it?

And speaking of a lack of glory...'s the completed toy. Oh, but how it sucks.

Yes, remember kids, nothing says military might like a banana yellow cannon.

Go ask your Dad. He'll back me up on this.

Once again, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.


Cat said...

"Design is not stand for Original Product" most likely means that what you see isn't what you're gonna get.

Monica said...

I believe the name "Ack-Ack" comes from the reaction of their customers, as in, "Ack! Why did I buy this piece of garbage??"

Danny said...

i was hoping the helmet at least was the right colors after all by the looks of it it's a bootleg peice or their own design......that makes me sad to know they don't even care about there own designs

Captain yoda said...

Did you notice that you misspelled "army green" by typing "amry green"? You might wanna' fix that -_-. Aslo, I could really use this if it were the right colours...

aussiechef67 said...

The sad part about these cheap knock-offs, is that there is a demand for them. It must be worth someones effort to make and sell these horrors. Cheap consumer goods are a waste of the buyers money and reflect our need to continually shop - even when we have no money with which to do so. Most FOLs reading these posts will have made the decision to avoid the knock-offs - even if this means putting off purchases - or having to save-up for a once a year splurge. If anything good comes from the global economic fiasco - it might be that rampant consumerism slows and people think about a purchase and think about value for money.

Robin Hood said...

A great rip off. So great in fact, that the bootleggers didn't even bother inventing their own slogan. The "Just Imagine" that appears below the Ack, ack, is a direct rip off of Lego. Back in the day Lego used to have "Just Imagine" beside their logo. Bootleggers never cease to amaze me.

Mr.Acme said...

It actually kinda looks good in green.

Mr.Acme said...

If you are wondering, I was on vacation.

indianabrick said...

Maybe this set is called Ack-Ack because this is supposed to be a "Mars Attacks!" set.

Anonymous said...

the instructions make the figure look like a sumo guy

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you existed until today but you are a quick favorite. I thought mars Attacks too when I saw Ack-Ack. These knock offs may be a complete fail, but you sir, are a total win!

Lino M

Arquinsiel said...

I'm *very* late to the party, but "Ack-ack" is slang for anti-aircraft ground defences of any kind. I'm guessing this is supposed to represent some form of canon, since the baseplate is sort of remeniscent of the most famous "88", the FlaK 37.

Zrath said...

Yes, "Ack-Ack" is old military slang for anti-aircraft artillery. Though this set is a very poor rendition of such.
You guys haven't seen enough old WWII movies! :D

Ranting Santa said...

Great review, it sucks that people acctually buy this crap.

Sam said...

The tan coloring of the minifigures pot helmet and vest scream nazi, but the name ack-ack is more like a Japanese weapon

frycook48 said...

I can't belive these cheap bootlegs! the quality is shocking!
Nice site by the way!