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Showing posts with label Clones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Clones. Show all posts

Used Tuesdays - Have Brick Will Travel

Not the Valentine's Day post you were expecting?

My next used lot happened because I got itchy. I was visting my folks in Florida (opposite side of the country) for 2 and a half weeks. I figured the first thing I wanted to do was check the local Craigslist and OfferUp for some LEGO. I didn't find very much but there was one lady with "Legos lots of them". I checked the pictures and saw some decent pictures. She was asking $60 which seemed reasonable for the amount in there.

We met and I picked up the lot, taking a quick glance through it. She noted how much Ninjago was in there and that her son was selling it to get money for RC cars. I had noticed in the picture that there were some clones mixed in. That quick glance told me that there was probably a little more clone brand than I wanted but whatever. I got it back to the house and started sorting.

Oh. My. Mega. It never ended. Almost half of the lot ended up being clone. I pulled out the legit minifigs (including a $12 Boba Fett) and put them in a baggie. About a dozen were complete but not worth much on Bricklink, maybe $2 each. There might have been around 30 figs in some state of completion. The rest of the pure stuff I got packed into 2 gallon baggies at about 2.5# each.

With the figs it was about 6# in total. At a bulk price that's $10/# for the LEGO pieces, junk for free. If the figs had any value it might be $30 which would make my remaining 5# of LEGO parts $6/#. Still somewhat reasonable I guess for my own play brick. At least the Boba Fett helped pay for the lot and there were several pieces that I needed for my own MOCs.

Yeah, there was some Ninjago in there. But there was also a bit too much Friends for an apparent 12 year old boy who was changing hobbies. I didn't expect the enormous amount of clone brick to be mentioned. All in all I should have passed on the deal but that probably would have meant no LEGO downtime on the trip.

Lessons learned:

  • Clone brick is great weight filler. Not good if you're buying.
  • People are not completely honest, even about things that don't matter.
  • You may often wonder where the other half of every set went,

Exploring Clones - BestLock

Well it's been over a year since I last did one of these spots. I guess the trauma really did me in. But as I mentioned in a previous LEGO Find I tentatively picked up some Best Lock. The bag was seemingly random (what with half a man and one wheelbase) but I went onto the website to figure out what the set could be. I narrowed it down to one of the myriad of fireman sets (as opposed to one of the myriad of police sets) and tried to assemble something.

I must have missed some parts because nothing came together. And I think a few might be Kreo. Nothing really stayed together either. If I could use some overlap then it was possible to get parts to stay on. But try sticking a 1x long on by one stud and you're sunk.

Many of the parts will be familiar. Some may even look like they are trying to resemble a familiar part. Here are some high/lowlights:
  • 1x1 brick and plate each have a recessed stud. Kind of handy actually.
  • Inverted slopes are mostly open on the bottom. Could be handy but doesn't leave a nice finished edge.
  • 1x3x1 curved slope has a full height lip. (Or is it another Kreo?)
  • Something like a 2x2 tile with center stud doesn't really hook well to anything I found to be functional.
  • 1x2x2/3 brick has side studs in the center. Nice for what, quarter plate offsets?
  • 1x5 plate.
  • Piece design is from the 1980's, maybe early 90's. Nothing much highly specialized. Good way to avoid trademark or copyright or whatever infringement.
Most disappointing is the mushy feel when pieces are snapped together. Sure, it sticks but it feels more like it's oatmeal than a precise compression-tension fit. It's definitely a softer plastic. You can feel it. That's possibly also evident in the colors. It's not quite as bright and shiny as LEGO colors are. But I'll give this observation a pass since these pieces are used. No idea to what degree though.

I once read that Best-Lock was started as a spite company. If that's still their goal, to churn out cheap knockoffs of LEGO brand, they're doing a good job. But I'd honestly rather play with Nanoblock. Sure it suffers from the same soft plastic and weak connections, but at least it's unique and not just a wannabe.

Don't forget, I've got a contest going on! I'm hoping for at least a dozen entries so make yours one of them!

LEGO Finds - 2015 Week 43

Nothing good. Did find a sandwich baggie of Best-Lock though. We'll see about that.

LEGO Finds - 2015 Week 7

Story time! Last night I was working on completing one of the original Ninjago spinners sets. I noticed that the spinner itself is composed of no less than five individual pieces. I couldn't detach some of them without gouging the plastic, so I left it alone. I made a note to look for one on my next order.

Today on my LEGO Finds adventure what should I find but a generation 1 spinner. Just... like... I... wanted. Divine intervention? If not, it's an AWFULLY strong coincidence. Much like R2-D2 not that long ago. Not only that but there was a generation 2 spinner as well. Look for some more biopsy posts coming soon.

One of the wheel plates from the DUPLO plane a few weeks ago, plus Holley Shiftwell and a Primo block. The Friends spatula was a neat little find too. Plus a bunch more of the clones from last week.

LEGO Finds - 2015 Week 6

A quick look-through today.  Four City party bags.  These are official LEGO branded products made by

Also some odd clones.  No markings whatsoever but the studs have divots and are much larger in proportion than LEGO bricks.  The single white piece has a logo.  A stylized 'S' that looks like a ribbon, with two dots below.

LEGO Finds - Calendar Week 40

Just a small mish mash of big things this week.  A complete Endor IV planet, a small Pick A Brick cup, and a couple of DUPLO pieces.  Pro-tip: In a pinch, a 4x12 LEGO brick will suffice for a 2x6 DUPLO brick.

Then there were these other pieces that I finally decided to grab.  After some interweb-surfing, they appear to be DIABLOCK.  Is that Die-A-Block or Dee-A-Block?

Exploring Clones - Nanoblocks

In my last LEGO Finds post, I mentioned that I had gotten a hold of a quantity of Nanoblock (for free).  I have always been curious about some of the clones but I'm not really willing to pay even $5 for a set on clearance.  Since fate brought some to me, I thought it might be fun to have an occasional post on these clones and see how they match up.

Creations by 7yo, 6yo, and 3yo plus my Nanofig and 2 plates.

Nanoblocks are touted to be some of the smallest building blocks, even smaller than Modulex or MegaBlocks Nano.  Nanoblocks do appear to be scaled to match LEGO System however.  A 2x4 Nanoblock is ~8x16mm and 3.2mm tall.  For those that know their dimensions, 3.2 mm should seem awfully familiar.  That is the height of a LEGO plate.  So a 2x4 Nanoblock is the same size as a 1x2 LEGO plate.  The studs, however, are different.

LEGO studs are 4.8mm in diameter and about 1.7mm tall.  Since Nanoblocks are a smaller scale, there are 4 studs for every LEGO stud.  The studs are about 2mm in diameter and 2mm tall.  This would make the sidewalls 1mm in thickness.

The underside of the bricks are different too.  LEGO has it's patented, trademarked, copyrighted tube system under a 2x brick or plate.  Nano has avoided a potential lawsuit by using a continuous track instead.  What this means is that there is an apparently infinite number* of positions that a piece can connect to the underside of a 2x Nano piece.  This is good for offsetting, something that is not common in the Nano canon.  Though there was one jumper type piece in what I found.  There are apparently round 1x1 pieces as well.

As for clutch power, it's either good or it isn't.  When straight stacking pieces together, they have a VERY tight clutch, so much so that my children need me to disconnect the pieces.  But when connecting across each other, the pieces are overly loose.  This tells me that there is little to no tolerance between the studs and sidewalls, but too much tolerance on either side of the bottom track.  Likely, the bottom tracks are too thin to hold their shape and would be better served by little cross fins where the studs would naturally go.  In the store models I've seen some warpage, and this not under bright hot lights.

All of the pieces that I got a hold of are sized in a binary fashion, sort of like the original LEGO sets.  That is, the pieces are either 1, 2, 4, or 8 studs per each side.  My grab has 1x1, 1x2, 1x4, 2x2, 2x4, and 2x8.  The baseplates are sort of like the 10x20 LEGO bricks.  They are built mostly like the rest of the pieces but only with connection points under the outer two rows of studs.  The baseplate sizes are slightly odd at 12x12 and 22x22.  Maybe they decided 8x8 was too small and 24x24x was too big?

The colors of the pieces are very close to LEGO colors.  Where Megablocks is known to be different, these are pretty spot on.  I immediately thought of Red, Lime, (Old) Brown, White, Dark Bley, and Light Pearl Gold.  The white pieces are a touch milky.  There is a blue piece that is something like Bright Dark Blue.  According to the interwebs there is also Black, Green, Bright Pink and some sort of Orange.

I'm certainly not going to be incorporating these into my builds.  I'm sure you could find some decent connections between Nanoblock and LEGO if you tried but I'm not really going to bother.  If I want to have mini blocks for minifigs, I'll just give them a handful of Modulex.

*There was a small discussion on the Bricklink forum regarding infinite.  To summarize, the amount of positions that a single stud can slide along the bottom of a Nano 2x4 is limited to 12mm divided by the Planck Length.  To wit, there are only 7x10e33 positions possible.  I stand corrected, this is nowhere near infinite.