Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Toybox of FAIL: Pirate

First time here? Please take a moment and read the Toybox of FAIL Disclaimer. Thanks!

Okay. Let's cover the background first. Go look at LEGO set 1713: Shipwrecked Pirate. It's a classic set from 1994 featuring a Pirate floating along on a makeshift raft.

Next, go look at the fist FAIL reviewed here: BRICK's Pirate Raider.

Same set, right? Oh sure, one is a crappy bootleg and the other is glorious LEGO brick, but there's no denying they're basically the same thing. The bootleg is just one step into the darkness.

Today we return to the Pirate theme with a new bootleg. Except that it's not "new". Not really.

Yep. This is another copy of 1713...but with some bizarre twists. The big one requires us to step away from the comfortable LEGO-centric universe we've been exploring and take a look at another major brand: Playmobil.

Here's a sample of Playmobil's very distinctive packaging. In particular, note the font used for the logo and the product identifier down in the corner. Take a look at the font used for "Pirate"....yep, that a clear duplication of Playmobil's branding. Now take a look at the "product identifier" from today's FAIL....

Yep - pretty much the same style as Playmobil's. Hmmm. Do you think that's accidental?

This isn't the first bootleg we've seen from LWDRAGON - take a moment and check out RACING CAR if you haven't already. Somewhere between stock number 19131-02 and today's 19131-20 they switched styles from "Almost LEGO" to "Let's dupe a whole new demographic."

The instructions for PIRATE have a few minor changes from the 1713 base, but not enough to make me question the attribution. Note that there's no mini-figure shown in the LWD instructions - this is a common trait for them.

Another common trait is the inclusion of this "inspected by" slip. At least, I assume that's what it means. Maybe it's a "collect them all" scheme.

The mini-figure that comes with the set is the same strange mix of duplicated LEGO parts and non-standard elements that was saw in Racing Car. The hat is pure LEGO - but the figure not. For once, the Bootleggers did something I approve of - they added some ethnic diversity to their mini-figure set. Neither LEGO-yellow nor some shade of pink, this pirate is appropriately swarthy. In a perfect world more licensed sets would have "figures of color."

Although I don't know if I would have picked this particular face for mass production...

Here's the toy - decent colors, printed flag in the plus column. In the minus, the bricks are all slightly warped and made of thin, fragile plastic. The studs don't have any markings on them, and they're fairly shallow and uneven - making connections iffy at best.

Overall, this is a better quality knock-off than the BRICK effort, but still a sad second when compared to the real LEGO product.

Mr. Bootleg Pirate salutes you! Now go buy a real LEGO set and forget about this nightmare!

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


Great escaper said...

That nose and mustache reminds me of Wario, from the Wario games.

I thought LEGO had more ethnical diversity but come to think of it, the only sets I can think of are the LEGO NBA basketball ones where the minifigures are all based on real basketballers, which is pretty shockingly small.

Martijn said...

Another that-wasn't-so-bad fail. Good to know that there atleast are bootleggers who actually TRY to make something decent.

Somehow the 1994 Lego model you linked to disappoints me a bit.
Back in 1991 someone gave me a similar set, which in my opinion was a nicer build.

Peppermint_M said...

The Legs look like Oxford brick legs. Oxford is a rather good lego clone from Korea. I say clone over bootleg because they have some fantastic quality sets and are only copying Lego in the same way MegaBloks do, and better at that. They do some great sets based on Ancient Korea, some army sets and such. They look really good and if price wasn't so prohibitive I'd have bought one or two for myself.

Ben said...

arrr, 'twould be mighty kind fer lego t' make a few more ... ill be sayin diverse pirate bodies n' faces.

Anonymous said...

I want those guns, they could be really useful! Iiiif they could fit in a Minifigure's hads, i'm hoping XD

Anonymous said...

The weird letters or something you said "collect more " really meant certificate of qualification in chinese.