Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Fail: Thunder Charger

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.

After last week's fun with multiple mini-figures, I thought it best to remind you of the sets that don't even bother to add any sort of play value at all. Today we return to the BRICK line of fail. Yes, it's time to "sit and spin" - this time with the THUNDER CHARGER!

The front of the packaging reveals the usual details on this impulse-sized mini-set. A blurry background photo, lookalike logo, and low part count. I went looking for a LEGO brand mini-set that used the same helicopter build, but I couldn't find one that matched the sytlings of the Thunder Charger exactly. The use of the non-LEGO windshield may be a tip that we're looking at a Clone-of-a-Clone knockoff today. You know, sort of like a six year old trying to sell a crayon drawing of the Mona Lisa that he traced out of an art book as the original painting.

Yeah, that level of crappy.

Here's the back of the packaging. Remember when the "andgreat" typo was new and funny? Yeah, me neither.

Here's the side of the box - with the usual BRICK "side of the box" poorly translated English.

chariots without rival
many colr a lot,
selected freely by you

Here's a puzzler for you. What does the red arrow in the picture above represent? ]

On the other LEGO bootlegs we've looked at on the Friday Fail, we've seen the arrow point out a "transformation" or some kind - a small rebuild to an alternate model if we're lucky. But here...what are we supposed to notice? That the Thunder Charger has flown over to another bit of crappy, out of focus clip art?

Color me amazed.

For the sake of completeness (and for those of you who haven't checked the archives for the other BRICK bootlegs yet, here's the text from the top of the packaging...

Most New Catena
Completly New To Come In To The Market
More New Items Available

It just occured to me that the strange light-blue dots in the background are supposed to be the studs on top of the bricks. Wow. That's creative.

Finally, here's the warnings printed on the bottom of the box. Shocking, I know.

Looking inside, we see the expected items - a poly bag of parts and a small instruction sheet.

Once again, the BRICK people have created an instruction sheet that managed to avoid the whole concept of "linear time". Or maybe they're just using an alternate number system where the order goes 1 - 4 - 2 - (3 and 5 at the same time) - 6

Here's an unexpected twist. The colors of the bricks match the colors on the package. This is a first for the BRICK line. The bricks themselves are tagged with "HOLI" and "YIHE" stamps.

The front of the package promised 19 parts - I'm only counting 18. Of course, the black rotator-brick came assembled instead of as the two component parts - that's probably where the extra part got to.

And here it is - the completed "Thunder Charger". It's not a bad model, but neither is it a particuarly good one.

No, I take that back. It is a bad model. A naughty, evil, and bankrupt model.

A thing to be destroyed, or at the very least tossed into the trash as soon as possible. That's my plan, anyway.

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


Dave DuJour said...

This looks like the best knock off set yet. Nothing special obviously, but not a horrible set either. Well, wouldn't be a horrible set if it was made by Lego.

Brickulator said...

Am I really the only one to notice that the 'not suitable for children under 6' warnings on the Zephyr Knight boxes have translations that completely ignore the number 6 and instead use 72? Look here to see what I mean.

Monica said...

I think the "72" is supposed to be 72 months (or it's just another way the boxes fail). But 12x6=72, so mathematically it works.

Geoffrey said...

If a six year old handed me a traced crayon drawing of the Mona Lisa copied out of a book and tried to sell it to me, I'd have to give them a rating for how well they traced it.

And like the six year old, I'd feel inclined give the makers of this set a rating for how well they built it, too! This set actually seems to go together!

As to what rating? D- actually. The color combinations are bleeccchhhh!! The kid on the other hand, could easily get a C for the copy of the Mona Lisa from a book.

anonymous said...

i think the only reason for the arrow being there is that one is pointing down and the other is pointing up.

Laura said...

With the red arrow:
It's a thunder charger isn't it. So first it charges itself up at the thunder (first picture) and the it can use the electricity to use a light to find the right place to land (second picture).

fib12345 said...

Apparently BRICK's big thing is the non-Clone Brick windshield. They think it ok to make it as long as they have that custom windshield.

Anonymous said...

2011 lego came out with a impulse city fire helicopter that resembles thundercharger but it has a minifig that sits in side