Xingbao, the company working with AFOL designers to produce ‘LEGO compatible’ sets, is releasing a Yihong Brothel product.
In this case, Ningbo DeMo Culture (read into that name what you will – it’s unclear if that is a fan designer) is credited as responsible for a design called Yihong Brothel. By the time the creation was listed on trading platform and one-stop knock-off shop Ali Express, Xingbao had softened the set’s name to ‘The Yi-hong courtyard’ – but the packaging still has it named as Yihong Brothel.
One argument for Xingbao’s existence has been that it can provide products targeted towards the Adult Fan of LEGO market, that for purposes of legitimate licensing or brand values, fall out of the LEGO Group’s reach. However, the main listing Xingbao directs consumers to on Ali Express clearly identifies the product as ‘Children Educational Building Blocks Bricks Toys’, with a recommended age of six years plus.
Controversy has surrounded Xingbao due to the degree of similarity in the parts they have developed to LEGO elements, and for their connection to Lepin – a company with a history of producing and selling illegal copies of LEGO and fan designs, and who are currently facing legal action from the LEGO Group as a result.
Releasing products for children based on such an adult subject is unlikely to reduce the level of concern around Xingbao and the associated Lepin.