Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Toybox of FAIL: Soldier

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

I've got a good one for you today. A single bootleg that manages to cross several corporate lines - creating a sickening mish-mash of a "toy", poised to shatter and cut your fingers at the slightest provocation.

It only makes sense that such a violent bootleg would carry a militaristic name like "Soldier."

Before I show you today's fail, though, I thought it best to familiarize you with the main toy that's being ripped off.

This is LEGO Bionicle set 4878, Rahaga Bomonga. Yes, it's a goofy name.

Have you taken a good look at this set? Are you ready to move on to the FAIL?

I sure hope so.

Yes, it's the return of our "good friends" at BRICK. There's really no attempt to hide the LEGO origins of this toy - from the matching typefaces on the logos, the color schemes, the base toy itself, to the duplicate instructions for the toy's flying disc feature, there's giant heaps of copyright infringement everywhere.

Oh, sure, there are little differences. The background art is (slightly) different. The line name is different.

And, oh yeah, there's the strange fact that Solider has a DARTH VADER HEAD.

Before we look at that, though, here's some fun-to-read text from the top of the package:

Modern design.
Superior performance.
Skillful manufacture.
Perfect in workmanship.
High standard in quality and hygiene.

I was buying it up until they brought up high standards of hygiene.

Instead of including an instruction sheet, this time BRICK just printed the build on the back of the box. The fun begins when you notice the "check the size to make sure you have the right technic beam" illustrations are not printed to scale. In fact, the pictures are so tiny that they're nearly illegible. Way to go, BRICK!

Here's the base toy - it's a direct duplication of the LEGO build and parts. The plastic used is super brittle - and many of the joints and parts are defective. (Not enough plastic in the mold causing gaps or too much plastic preventing things from seating properly due to overruns.) The flying disc is there, but the gearing doesn't work, rendering that part of the toy useless.

But let's take a look at the real FAIL of this toy - the replacement of the Bionicle head with Darth Vader's helmet.

In person, this toy is almost cute in that "I'm going to tear off your toenails because that's all I can reach." way. You know. Like a rabid hamster or something.

Here's a detail of the face. It's not 100% Vader, but I don't think they were trying for anyone else. I guess they just didn't have a correctly-scaled Vader Mold lying around the factory to re-use.

Flipping the head over you can see the technic mount at the neck. Some poor worker was forced to carve this thing. Or maybe he volunteered for the task. I don't really know which would be worse.

Anyway, if you know anything about Bionicle, you know that LEGO loves to release six sets with basically the same parts cast in different colors. Take that knowledge as a bit of foreshadowing as to five other reviews that you'll be seeing in the near future.

Oh yes, the pain has just started.

Many thanks to Joe from The Undiscovered Playthings for sending me this set to review.


Ben said...

the "darth booteg" head looks kind of like the concept-vaderish head that was printed on the lego star wars sets for a bit.

Great escaper said...

Lol! Thats so bizarre!

Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, I saw this sort of bootleg at a dollar store called Dollarama. It was the same idea only 100% ripped off from LEGO. I can't remember the company that made it, but the pakaging was like a mini-Toa Metru canister. Anyways, I love your FAILs. Keep up the good work!

Martijn said...

I used to be a big Bionicle fan, the early days of the series. I quit collecting them at some point, because some models became really ugly (in my opinion, that is) and because I was too short on money and time to collect the models of one part of the saga, before the next saga was released.

This set (and now especially the bootleg) is one of the reasons I stopped collecting.

Ben said...

Bionicle should have quit while they were ahead. Even this "completely new" universe still has tie ins, and well be back on mata nui/ metru nui (i dont know where they are) beore wecould shake a collective stick at bionicle!

Anonymous said...

Thad head doesn't look bad at all on this... eh.. thing. And least by calling it 'soldier' I know what it is supposed to be - and I still haven't found out what a 'bionicle' or a 'makura tarufa' is...

But with not-connecting parts and illegible instructions it's still not that much fun, really.


Thomas said...

I stopped collecting Bionicle after the Toa Metru (I think that was their 3rd line). After that the peices were just getting so incredibly large, even in comparison to the early peices, and it just wasn't offering anything new. Anyone notice that the Toa figures have become pretty much identical since the Hordika?

Rui said...

where do you buy this set?

Flamero said...

What the? This line is the 'best' yet. Least they got away from
"Vivid Andgreat" Right?

Depressed now :( said...

This is... -Crys-

I... Wow. Darth Vader? Really?

-Crys again-

jamesclark111 said...

This bootleg is taken the copyright of 2 things

1. the bioncle background and feature's
2. darth vader from stars wars but he was turned into a toe nail ripping hamster.

E4439QV5 said...

With proper Lego Darth Vader heads now available with ballsocket attachments, I may have to give this guy a proper revamp.

I know just what I'd want to use as for the torso, too.