LEGO vs FLego: Raptor Edition!
You may recall that in early August, I did a LEGO vs FLego review comparing the genuine LEGO T. rex with the fake copy available from China (click here to read it). To make a long story short, the FLego T. rex was far inferior to the LEGO version. In fact, I questioned whether or not the fake version would stand up to any form of play, let alone a collector’s scrutiny. Well, I have a new one for you today, also concerning Jurassic World. Also in August, I reviewed the Jurassic World Raptor Rampage set (click here to read it). I was rather impressed with the velociraptors in the kit. I have now acquired the much less costly Chinese knockoffs with the goal of once again seeing how FLego compares to the genuine article.
After my scathing review of the FLego T.rex, why on Earth would I buy more fake stuff, you ask? Well, the scientist in me was asserting that you can never base conclusions on just one or two cases (read my review of FLego Harley Quinn by clicking here). You have to repeat your procedure multiple times in order to reveal a true trend. And, I also ordered these before I wrote my T. rex review…
Let’s begin with cost. In order to get all four genuine LEGO velociraptors, you have to buy two sets. The first, Raptor Rampage, can currently be purchased for $59.99 in Canada. If you are lucky, you can find it on clearance for less, like I did. The second is Raptor Escape, which has now been retired for some time. It originally retailed for $49.99 in Canada, but now goes for well over $100 on eBay. At full price and retail value, four raptors would have cost you around $110 plus taxes. Now, it will cost you much more since one of the sets is no longer in production. When Raptor Rampage retires, which will be soon, you can expect another hike in price. Granted, you are not paying for just the raptors here. I did not get Raptor Escape, but I really liked Raptor Rampage. So, you are expanding your set and brick collection as well. But, you can’t get the dinosaurs without the bricks.
Now, let’s look at the Chinese FLego. I ordered my raptors off of Amazon.ca for $8.43 CDN. I only got three raptors, but they can packaged with a baby T. rex, a baby Indominus rex, a triceratops, a dilophosaurus, and a pterodactyl. This means that each dinosaur cost me $1.05, which is less than a LEGO Minifigure… hell, it’s less than a Tim Horton’s coffee! On top of that, shipping was free. So, they cost just over $1 each, but are they good quality?
Unlike with the FLego T. rex, I was actually impressed with the FLego raptors. Blue is the only raptor that I have in both LEGO and FLego, so I will use him for this comparison. But, all of the fake raptors are of the same quality. On first glance, LEGO and FLego Blue are almost indistinguishable. A more in depth comparison reveals a few minor painting differences in the FLego version, but none of the design flaws seen in the T. rex. The joints are all just as tight as in the genuine LEGO version, and the limbs do not fall off in the same way that they did with the T. rex when you simulate walking or running.
In terms of painting, the overall colouring of the FLego version is less vibrant than the LEGO version. In addition, the teeth and claws are not painted at all in the FLego version. I think this was a good choice, because those were the messiest areas of the FLego T. rex. Otherwise, the lines are crisp, and I don’t see the same blotchy paint job I have noted in previous FLego reviews. Since I do not have the real versions of Echo and Charlie, I can’t speak to the accuracy of the paint jobs. But, I can say that apart from the lack of painting on the teeth and claws, the paint job is good.
One of the major issues that I had with the order of my FLego T.rex was that it was so poorly packaged that it arrived scratched and damaged. “You get what you pay for” was my comment in my review, alluding to the fact that shipping was free. Well, like I mentioned before, shipping was free for these as well. But, each dinosaur came individually wrapped in a plastic envelope inside bubble wrapped casing. So, I did not have any issues with damaged goods on this shipment.
With LEGO Jurassic World’s impending retirement, and the almost certain skyrocketing in price of the sets that we will see in its wake, whether or not to order FLego will be a serious consideration for many fans. I did not like the FLego T. rex, and I would not recommend buying it to anyone. But, these raptors are another story. They are actually well made. With that said, you should support the things that you love, and you should buy the real LEGO raptors. You can still get at least two of them. But, I can’t in good conscience promote the exorbitant prices that people charge for these sets and figures once they have been retired.
I highly recommend the real LEGO Raptor Rampage. It is a solid set with two great dinosaurs. It is worth the money, especially on clearance. But, once it is gone, and in the case of Raptor Escape, these FLego dinosaurs are an acceptable substitute at a much lower cost. They lack some of the painting of real versions, but if you are not a hard-core collector, or are just buying them for your kid to play with, I think these raptors will do just fine.
As with the T. rex, I urge you to be careful about who you order from. There seems to be a large discrepancy between sellers and packaging quality.
Until next time,