Thursday, April 2, 2009

Daily Fail: Glider


Every weekday Reasonably Clever showcases 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.

I was sorting through my pile of to-be-reviewed bootlegs when I realized I had missed a small stack of Zephyr Knight knockoffs. I had set these aside as sets that had a bit more to offer than just lame colors and fragile plastic. Sets that show that even when a bootleg tries to be creative, it's still made of nothing but FAIL.

So, it's with some malicious delight that I bring you today's Daily Fail - Zephyr Knight's Glider.

At first glance Glider looks to be just another in a long line of impulse-sized LEGO knock-offs. A small plane flies in front of a science fiction backdrop (stolen from who knows where.). We get a stock number of 1006 - making this set the next in the series after Photo Graph Car.

You do have to wonder why they called this set "Glider, " though. It sure looks like a single-prop airplane to me.

As part of the "Transformation" series, the back of the package has the usual graphics of the included parts being arranged in a variety of odd ways. You have the plane - excuse me! - Glider - as seen on the front of the package. There's a second "rough landing" version with the wheels stripped out to make a little cart. And there's a super-cool "low rider" version with with the pilot stretched out for a nice relaxing flight.

The side of the box has a better look a the "easy rider" version. I wonder if the little yellow brick by his feet is supposed to be a control panel of some sort - or just a very hard to see through windscreen. Either way, by leaning waaaaay back it sort of defeats the purpose. Our pilot must be controlling the Glider through mental telepathy.

The instruction sheet is pretty plain. Strangely, there's no insert-shot of how to put the mini-figure together. That's been pretty standard up until now.

The figure is pretty close to what's shown on the box - if you excuse the colors being different and the use of a completely different head. The torso design is lifted from a LEGO Ice Planet figure, the head a slighly new take on the standard LEGO "grin with eyebrows."

With the helmet on, it really looks like he's saying "What? Me? A Crappy bootleg?! I had no idea!"

For a change, the colors of the plastic aren't that far off from the choices pictured on the box art. The wheels are single-cast plastic now, and the undercarriage is in lime green - but still - pretty close compared to the atrocities we've seen before.

The bricks all have the "HELO" stamp on them. While they do snap together, they don't want to hold. In particular, the lime-green base refuses to meld with the black "wing" bar.

Even with the close color far there hasn't really been anything remarkable about this set, has there? Where's this "attempt to be creative" I talked about at the start of this review?

Well, take a look at one of the other side panels on the box.

What's this? Combination I?? What happened to "Glider"? And where did that second mini-figure come from?

The answer is revealed on the top of the box:

Yes, gentle reader, this is our first TWO PART BOOTLEG! When you add in set 1007 - Racing Car - sold separately, of course - you get Combination I. I've decided to call the combined model the Racing Gliding Car or RGC for short.

The included instruction sheet is two sided...and the flip side gives us a start on making the RGC.

Exciting, eh? Well, no, not really. But it's certainly a change from the self-contained Bootlegs I've reviewed so far.

Tune in tomorrow for the 1007 - Racing Car review...and we'll see if two wrongs make a right - or if they just equate to twice as much suck as normal.

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


Geoffrey said...

You hate these foreign knock-offs so much, you may as well get it out of your system. For a while there I was thinking Friday Fail would become the daily strip!

Just get rid of them and be done with them, there's no point really dwelling on them!

As to the glider pilot's thoughts this is what I'm thinking:

"Help I've been stuffed into inferior clothes and kidnapped by aliens from another country"

Great escaper said...

Wait, what, the daily fail wasn't an April fools day joke! :O That means theres no strip till Friday now...

Geoffrey said...

It was easy enough to guess that it wasn't one. April fool's jokes tend to be funny, what's funny about Friday Fail?

Monica said...

I don't think I've EVER seen "To be continued..." written on an instruction sheet before. That is...sublimely awful.

Nick said...

It's funny Geoff. You just don't know why. And if I point out why it might ruin Chris' fun.

Andy Boal said...

I saw the torso and immediately thought "Blacktron 1!" in inverse video...

I'm thinking another aspect that noone's mentioned out loud, apart from Geoffrey's hatred of Friday Fails - Geoffrey, they're fun.

Because Ian used to run a fairly irregular schedule, up to seven times a week, we are currently on strip 444. Strip 445 tomorrow will mean that the last strip each week will be numbered ending in 5 or 0 - IF Chris ever goes back to daily strips!

Martijn said...

@ Andy Boal, you are right. The torso IS an, as you called it, inverse video version of the Blacktron 1 torso.

@ Chris: punishing "certain readers" by turning the Friday Fail into the Daily Fail, just because you can, or as we say it in Holland: "gewoon omdat 't kan." I like your style.
Even though, I really like The Brick House, and I feel sorry to hear you changed it into a weekly comic. I'm not gonna ask you anything though. As you said yourself, it's your decision what appears on the site and what not.

Christopher Doyle said...


The change in schedule is actually one I've been contemplating for a bit - the demands on my time have been changing lately, and I'm looking for a balance between my professional, personal, and on-line lives. Although it's fun to play at, it's really not about "punishing" anyone.

If Brick House does end up on a Friday-only basis, I'll most likely be able to do larger, more interesting updates. But nothing is written in stone yet - I may try for a 3-day a week schedule, or even go on hiatus again. As I said, I'm still working out what will keep the sit fun - and manageable - for me.

Regardless, thanks for reading, and I hope you'll continue to find reasons to keep visiting.

Mr.Acme said...

@Geoff: They are funny because of how crappy they are.

Martijn said...

@ Chris: I know what you mean. Making comics takes a lot of time.
Still I look forward to today's episode :)

georged said...

Wow. There's a Glider by Zephyr Knight AND Xin Qi Le? Bootleggers aren't very creative at all...

Andrew H. said...

Has anyone else noticed that the version without wheels has only one wing?