Friday, April 3, 2009

Daily Fail: Racing Car


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.

If you missed yesterday's FAIL, you'll probably want to take a moment to read the review. Set 1006 - Glider is the first half of this two-part crapfest. Today's FAIL goes by the name of Racing Car.

You have to wonder what the Zephyr Knight folks were thinking when they decided on the photo for this particular set. Did they intend to have two different colors of wheel hubs? Is the strange yellow prison uniform worn by the driver a photo manipulation of a LEGO part or a photo of one of their knock-offs? While the toy inside the box is almost always a mismash of colors and brittle plastic, the image on the box is usually eye-catching and well designed.

Someone was clearly asleep at the graphics editor this time.

At least the logo for this set is kind of neat; I like the Möbius strip racetrack. I doubt my enjoyment is going to carry me much further into this review, though.

On the back of set 1007, we find the usual "Transformation" grid of three alternate construction styles. The Race Car as shown on the front of the box starts us off...moving to a second, more go-kart looking build, and finally to a fururistic looking hover platform. Notice that the color of the bricks change from photo to photo. (The 2x3 slope goes from dark blue to light blue, for example.) That's some great quality control. More proof that someone cared even less than normal about this set.

The side of the box has the usual semi-translation of "Specifications colors may vary from illustrations" - warning the innocent customer that they hold a ticking time-bomb of disappointment in their hands.

The instructions are printed on decent paper and use linear time to guide you though the construction process. Of course, they assume the bricks will hold together, which turns out to be waaaay too optimistic.

The included mini-figure could almost pass for The Stig, except he's 100% lame. In fact, he's just the driver from the 3-Wheeled Motorcycles set after washing his outfit with far too much bleach. Of course, neither version of the mini-figure looks anything like the driver in the box art.

As usual, the colors of the toy itself are also quite random compared to the photo on the front of the box. Assembly took a while, as the parts refuse to hold together. Fun, fun, fun.

But what of the Combination factor?

The top of the package again helps the poor, duped consumer know that they need to shell out the cash for the "Gilder" set to fully form the "Combination I" model.

Looking at the combined model (as shown here on the side of the box) you'd wonder why anyone would want to build it. But, for the sake of entertainment, we'll fake some brain damage and forge ahead.

We start with the two sets...

...then, following the instructions in the Glider kit, we combine parts to form the lovely artifiact shown above.

Flipping over the instruction sheet from the Racing Car, we find, "continued of part I", the final 6 steps to complete our model-o-muck.

The combined model uses all the parts except for two sets of tires. It's a flimsy bit of contstruciton, made worse by the fact the bricks don't hold together anyway.

The best (worst?) part, though, is the lack of thought that went into the combined design. While one mini-figure can pilot the craft more or less normally, the second mini-figure has to stand on the wing! As he has nothing to secure him, I'm sure that his flights are pretty short-lived...smashing into the ground when you get blown off the plane will do that to you.

So there you have it. Our first two-part bootleg. Did having a second set help the experience any? Of course not. It only hurt twice as bad.

You really think we would have learned that by now....

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


Mr.Acme said...

I can't believe that you made the Racing-Glider. (Racing Car + Glider)

Anonymous said...

personaly i like the glider guy
@chris: Idea: u probably have a whole army of bootleg minfigs u cud make a war of the minifigs!

Cat said...

You have to admit, though, that even with the lack of any colour (yes,with a "u", I'm Canadian), the real minifig's clothes do make better sense than what was on the box. It DID look like a prison uniform.

wv:Slenta - sounds like something I would put in my coffee instead of sugar.

Formendacil said...

Someone was definitely asleep at the helm here... this is the first crappy knockoff where the box-design colours are substantially worse than the actual included parts. If you gave me a photo of box art and the set, and didn't tell me which was which, I'd assume the set was the box art, all other things being equal, because the colour coordination is definitely better.

Great escaper said...

Wow, I didnt know you got Top Gear in America, and the combinational set looks crap as usual.

Christopher Doyle said...


I don't think Top Gear gets much play in the states. I haven't actually seen the show myself, but Player A is a HUGE fan, so the Stig comment was meant as a little tip of the hat to her.

Peppermint_M said...

Glider guy seems to be Whitetron...The super secret sect of Blacktron I opratives kept locked up from natural sunlight.
The bootleggers really seem to trawl ancient Lego history for their decals...

aussiechef67 said...

I know there has been some criticism of the every-day fail segment. But I for one find it very entertaining. If I found one of these sets in a shop somewhere I would no doubt ignore it. Or I might have been tempted to buy it to see how bad it really is.

Chris's commentary and particularly his pictures posted with the articles are very funny and witty. I particularly like the fig waving his arms in the air at the back end of the piece of crap combined plane like machine.

In a witty and entertaining way - Chris is drawing attention to a very real problem. I will now never buy a knock off set and will pass the word around NON FOLs to do the same.

Keep up the good work Chris.

WV-Lutfiaro - Luciano's brother?

J said...

Daily Fail?? Sweet! Are you going to hit non-Lego bootlegs too?

Anonymous said...

How awesomely crappy! Great find. I'm not a lego fan but all the fails I've seen are marvels to behold that will leave me in a cold sweat late night thinking about the poor sweatshop kids who will never play with these epic disasters they've made. poor little buggers. SOB!