Monday, May 11, 2009

Daily Fail: Flatten Road

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!
More LEGO bootlegs with goofy names. Is it Monday already?

This is clearly a bootleg that they couldn't agree on a name for. Is it "Flatten Road" from Building Block's Aggregation Series? Maybe "Flatten Building Block Road"? Where do the line names end and the product begin?

And what's with that goofy font? Is this a Flintstones bootleg?

Looking at the placement on the front of the box (and peeking ahead to future reviews), it becomes clear(er) that both "Aggregation Series" and "Building Block" are both new product line tags. How...descriptive.

Stock Number 1013, Flatten Road follows Happy Aeroboat in the Zephyr Knight impulse line. There are, however, a number of packaging design changes that start with this set and continue forward, suggesting that this is really the first set in a new wave of knock-offs.

The first big change we already mentioned: the addition of "Building Block" and "Aggregation Series" to the logo blocks. The Zephyr knight logo has also been reduced in size and moved over to the left - part of a larger change to the general layout of the package.

Speaking of package layout - check out that background art. That road really does look flat, doesn't it?

The back of the package offers a few more changes. The part count now appears above the traditional alternate build photos. There's also an intriguing new bit of text: "

Made in China

Does this mean we now have a point of origin for these bootlegs? It's possible, but bootleggers aren't exactly known to be the most honest people in the world. Why should they be expected to start now? Maybe these were made in China. Maybe they were made in a defunct warehouse in Detroit. We will never know for sure.

The final box change comes with the product shots along the side of the box. Previously, these images were of the front of the boxes for each set, complete with titles and background art. Now they show the toy and a stock number:

Clever readers will realize I just snuck in a preview of the next few FAILs. I did so knowing full well that there's no way you could possibly guess the names given to these sets. (Although you could try if you want. Just leave a comment with your guesses.)

The min-figure for Flatten Road is is this strange colorless fellow. Wearing a yellow hat and gloves, is he:
  1. supposed to be covered with white paint from drawing those dotted lines down the center of the road.
  2. an albino who only works underground, or with a sunscreen with a block factor of ten million.
  3. yet another crappy Zephyr Knight bootleg mini with a Blacktron design on his chest, a poorly duplicated LEGO face and no shame.
(HINT: It's not option one or two.)

The Road Flattener itself looks interesting - but like other in this series suffers from the warped molds that keep the parts from properly clicking together. Check out the gap between the cross-bar and the sides - that's as good as a connection as I could get.

That poor connection meant that as soon as I tried to seat the mini-figure the entire vehicle exploded back into component chunks. Sure, I could have tried again (and again) until I had a shot of the guy sitting at the controls...but, really, why bother? The carnage above is more interesting.

Flatten Road just goes to show another meta-truth about Bootlegs. No matter how "new and improved" the packaging may be, the toy inside is still going to be nothing but a world of pain and disappointment, waiting to break into tiny shards and lodge under your fingernails, possibly transmitting some sort of horrible plague germs into your system and bringing death to you and all that you know and love.

Is it really worth the risk?
As always, many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.


Al459163 said...

The design for that bootleg really wasn't that bad. The terrible quality of the parts far out weighed that one positive.

C-Shorey said...

Those evil bootleggers just flattened a road in the beautiful countryside! This a new low for bootleggers!

P.S. Its my birthday

P.S.S. Has anyone seen the new STAR TREK?

P.S.S.S. How was it?

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday. One of them is a four bike and another is a lifter. those are my guesses.
P.S. Chris did you get a chrome vader yet?

Martijn said...

I can't believe it. The box shows a minifig that actually matches the image we've got of most Zephyr Knight figures, and STILL they manage to put in a figure which doesn't look like the one depicted on the box at all!

Though I must admit, the model looks quite interesting. Shame it's the usual amount of FAIL.

Great escaper said...

This bootleg looks like a good model except...its a bootleg ofc! Cheap plastic ftl!

@C-Shorey Im seeing it on Saturday with my mates, im a huge trekkie so im really looking forward to it!

Christopher Doyle said...

@anon: No Vader for me yet. I saw on Brother's Brick there's a new contest with one as a prize, though. So I'll probably try that track next.

Anonymous said...

The constant swarm of minifigs that look nothing like the packaging leads to an obvious question. Do these guys just mass-produce their bootleg minifigs, throw them into a bucket, and pick the "lucky" stars of the sets at random?

NickM from BC said...

i wonder the hat on a reg mini fig if it would he had a tumor 0.o my word verification is undismsi