Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Daily Fail: Fork Car

First time here? Please take a moment and read the DAILY FAIL DISCLAIMER. Thanks!

The next in the line of "what where they thinking when they named this toy" reviews.

Zephyr Knight returns with yet another strangely-named LEGO-knockoff impulse set. Fork Car. It's actually a forklift. So why didn't they just call it "Forklift"? Don't ask me. I just work here.

This is stock number 1014, next in line after Flatten Road, another aptly-named bootleg. The revised ZK package design continues forward - the logo, photo, and branding are all identical. The background is unusual in that it's been modified to show giant LEGO bricks - from previous sets I wasn't expecting anything more elaborate than an out-of-focus stolen photo of a warehouse somewhere.

The back of the packaging suggests that this particular human rights violation might have originated in China. Well, I suppose it wouldn't be the fist one. There are also three alternate-model suggestions: the fork lift shown on the box front, a dragster, and a strange low-rider pushcart design.

The side of the package has more out-of-context photos of upcoming sets. Maybe ZK realized the names were too goofy to repeat...even on their own products.

The warning label has a strange caution:

Please Retain for Information

Are they talking about keeping the box? The included instruction sheet? The toy itself? Again, context and comprehension escape me.

The included mini-figure should look familiar to you by now - we've seen his ilk in countless ZN sets before.

In fact, here's a group shot of the last four mini-figures we've looked at. Other than the happy face from "Happy Aeroboat", they're obviously clones. (And maybe Happy just shaved recently.) This, kids, is what happens when you don't care about or expect repeat customers. You just re-use the molds and spray-ops until they break.

The toy itself isn't too bad of a model, if a bit minimalist. The controls suffer from a bad case of limp-stick, but otherwise the pieces actually snapped together this time.

I was disappointed to find out the brown bricks shown on the box were just a "serving suggestion" - in truth all you get is the bare car and the driver. If you want to do any "forking", you have to look elsewhere.

There were also other, more subtle, problems with the toy. Case in point: when Fork Car tried to clean up the mess from yesterday's toy explosion, the lack of a counterweight became all too apparent. Notice how the back wheels are lifted off the ground as soon as you put any sort of load onto the fork.

Yes, I know I'm stretching logic to the breaking point by suggesting these toys were meant to be posed/played with. But sometimes you just need to go that extra mile.

...And then, after that extra mile, you need to keep driving until you get to Toys R Us or some other major store that stocks actual LEGO product.

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


Cat said...

Well, if anything, at least they're trying with the product name font on the box.

Rorschach said...

I think it should be called AGRIVATION series.

Harvey said...

I think I recognize the background: it' the inside of a sand-crawler from Star Wars.