Bootleg LEGO Ninjago Temple of Airjitzu

As LEGO gets more and more popular, the clone brands and bootleg versions of LEGO sets are almost becoming an epidemic. Usually it is just minifigures but it seems Chinese-based companies are taking it to a whole other level. There are pictures of a fake Temple of Airtjitzu made by Chinese firm Lepin. Facebook page Customize Minifigures Intelligence who like to report on knock-off and bootleg LEGO have gotten hold of a copy and had this to say:

“Some of you may wonder who is Lepin. MZ model is the one behind Lepin. This explains the high quality of the parts despite the fact that they are new in bootleg scene. For those who are used to numbered bags of Lego, assembling this set would be a nightmare. The set came in 30 over bags and sorting and finding the right bricks took half the time. Also being a big set, inevitably there were missing bricks. Depends on the luck you might get less parts missing than other buyers. I have two bags of same minifigures thrown in so I had two Misako! The printing on the minifigures weren’t as good as SY and Decool, though still acceptable. The instruction manual were condensed from four pages into one. Also the colours of the manual were off. The hair pieces of Misako and Dareth are different to the original. The postman had his mail bag changed into a lady’s handbag. Prices on Tabao are around RMB258 (USD39.60). However on Aliexpress, it’s over USD100.”

Here are some images of the set:

It’s scary how much of a copy this is.  For most normal parents they are going to be hard pressed to tell the difference and most kids won’t care. LEGO are aware of this and if they post an official statement I will do a follow up. Companies like this are not only damaging the LEGO brand but flooding the market with cheap elements! I would like to know your thoughts on this, would you buy it?

LEGO SYSTEM A/S

3 comments

  1. chrisalddin

    i have the real Lego model on my list of items to get ASAP.
    Would i Buy this copy? NO! and hell NO…

    what this news has done is 100% guarantee that i will get this model if i get it at all from Lego shop@home.
    i would now advise no one buy Temple of airjutzu from e-bay. as you don’t know if you will get the real thing or this copy!

    are them going to make copy’s of models that are Retired? models that sale for £1000 on bricklink?
    and if them do what will this do to the retired market for older set’s?
    and how with this copy effect Temple of airjutzu’s Price after Retirement in years to come?

    this opens a hole can of worms, that is best left unopened as the worms have gone bad.

  2. martinwhatley

    I spend alot of time in China with my wifes family, and I have bought a few smaller sets before from Aliexpress and also Taobao, for our daughter to play with while she is there – no way am I letting her aggressive cousins tear apart “real” Lego.

    And to be honest, I would never pay for real Lego in China – it would probably be fake anyway.

    The fake sets are usually noticably different, but sometime near identical. In the worst case the plastic is often more “waxy” and clutch power does not last as long. Parts misshape easy (get the hammers out if you want to fit them together). Also the edges tend to be quite sharp at times, and it is quite frankly dangerous for some of the larger parts, like Dinosaur tails from Jurrassic World – they could have an eye out!

    There is a huge difference in quality between the various fake manufacturers, and often you have no idea what you are getting until it arrives. One Disney Princess set I bought came a minifig with two left arms, the buyers response was “sometimes this happens”. They accepted my request for a 30% refund.

    I have bought a few good sets, some stinkers. The better ones tend to be the sets which are NOT copies of current existing Lego lines. The two best ones I have are an original Anime mech thing, and one copy of an older Lego pirate ship. Both of these are near-Lego quality in the materials, and not trying to be fake either as they have not copied the Lego branding or box design etc. I read somewhere that the lego brick patent expired and thats why we see this sudden surge in such companies – you can even buy these off the shelf in the UK now (though not for the cheap prices of Aliexpress/Taobao).

    The worst ones are the sets which copy the box design and text fonts exactly, which I would imagine like this one. Some of them don’t even offer good savings over the real deal. I have seen fake Lego some sets sold on Taobao for more than the original Lego RRP.

    In the end, whatever you buy, you are getting what you pay for. Not just in the product quality but also the sales service and reliability of the product.

    Quality Control and IP Legal Protection is the only real difference between China and the Western manufacturing.

  3. Ferg

    I can sort of see the attraction. These sets have really become more advanced as time has gone on. And for a big set like this, the price must look really attractive and, as you say, children likely wouldn’t care that much in the differences.

    For me, though, it comes down to brand loyalty. I don’t want to be sourcing the missing pieces or trying to interpret the weird colouring of the instructions (I struggle enough as it is being colour blind). I know what I’m getting from Lego and I know that if something goes wrong the customer service is exemplary. And to me, that’s worth the extra…

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