What’s up with FLego?
I feel that if you are passionate about something, you should support it in any way that you can. I feel this way about music for example. If there is a band or artist that I really like, I want to support their music so that they will continue to make good tunes. So, I buy the MP3 rather than pirate it and get it for free. It’s kind of like my way of saying “You rock, please continue to do so.” LEGO is another topic that falls into that category.
People often complain that LEGO is expensive, and I will admit, it is not a cheap hobby. But, I am passionate about this hobby, it relaxes me, and I really enjoy my time clicking bricks together. I also get a certain amount of satisfaction from completing a new project and adding it to my city. All of that is worth something to me. So, I am willing to dish out the dough for it. But, I have occasionally wondered about what else is out there…
Since LEGO‘s last patents expired in 2011, there has been a surge of knock-offs, and even out-right copies of the real thing. A simple eBay search for the words “Lego Jurassic” will yield countless Jurassic World sets hailing from China that look identical to the real thing in the pictures, but come at a fraction of the price. There is also no shortage of fake mini-figures out there for the picking, making hard to find collectibles not so hard to find (or afford) anymore. For all intents and purposes, I will lump all of these knock-offs together from this point on and refer to them as FLego (Fake LEGO).
For the longest time, I refused to sully my collection with FLego. However, last November, Flego made its first appearance in one of my usual comic book/sci-fi convention stops. I was making my way through Ottawa’s Pop-Con, when all of a sudden, a gleaming case of mini-figs caught my eye. Unable to resist, I approached, but quickly became aware that these were not LEGO. There was a large number of FLego-figs in the case that I knew LEGO had never produced. But, there was also a large number that looked identical to ones that had been released in official sets. I left, disappointed that it was not genuine. But, a seed had been planted…
Just before leaving the convention, my wife convinced me to have another look. I wanted an Aquaman fig, but had missed the boat on Arctic Batman vs Mr. Freeze (76000), and didn’t really like Black Manta Deep Sea Strike (76027). So, we went back to the booth, and I decided to give FLego a try. I picked up Aquaman and Harley Quinn. While Aquaman was the reason for the purchase, this is where his story ends for now (to be picked up in a future post).
On to Harley Quinn. I have been enjoying playing LEGO Dimensions since I got it as a gift last Christmas. Recently, when the Joker and Harley Team Pack went on sale at the LEGO store, I got a second Harley, only this time she was authentic LEGO. So, we finally arrive at the point of this whole post. Tonight, I will pit LEGO Harley versus FLego Harley, and see how they match up. I will let you know tomorrow what I think… In the mean time, can you tell the difference?