Kids love Lego blocks. Lego’s are good for both boys and girls though they tend to be most popular with boys. Lego’s are educational and help children improve creativity as well as develop spatial skills. While Lego bricks may be great they do have one major flaw. Lego bricks can be very expensive. However you can get all the benefits of Lego without the price by buying third party building block sets.
While Lego tries hard to keep other companies from making the same kind of thing the reality is that the companies that make “knock-off” Lego’s are not doing anything illegal. When Lego started they made the bricks out of wood not plastic and they were not the only ones. Lego started to make them out of plastic and that helped. Since Lego did not invent anything they have no legal right to it. Lego has tried to copyright there brick but so far the EU courts, Canadian, and US supreme courts have all told Lego no they cant. However Lego still uses a large expensive team of lawyers to fight anyone that tries to make similar products.
Fortunately the Chinese just don’t care. In China you can get all kinds of cheaper versions of Lego that even fit with Lego. The one main difference you can see is that the word Lego is not on them. The only problem is that they do not sale these sets in the US but you can get them sent to you pretty easily and inexpensively if you know where to look.
The first place to look is ebay. There are lots of sellers who will ship these sets to you and even with shipping the sets are much cheaper then Lego sets. To find these sets search fits with Lego, plastic building block, or building block. You can get them from Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Australia, and there are even some US dealers.
There are other online Hong Kong and wholesalers that sale them too such as dealextreme. Just Google China or Hong Kong wholesaler to get a list of them or check the list at the end of the article. Since they do so much shipping the shipping is not to bad and the sets are cheaper then Lego equivalent.
In China my brother bought us a 1000 piece set for only $25! Here that would have cost over a hundred and probably hundreds. Not only that but it was a destroyer. China has most of the same types of sets except for the franchise ones like Batman and Harry Potter but they also have sets that Lego will never make such as military sets. Military Lego just make sense but Lego is European and liberal and would not make sets like that. For Christmas I bought a pirate ship that cost me under $10 including the shipping and it would have cost about $50 for a similar Lego set. One set that I liked was a jeep with a howitzer that was around 100 pieces for only $4 with shipping. You cant even get one of those small 20 piece race cars from Lego for that cheap.
There is one drawback about the fake Lego though. The generic Lego do not fit as well. It is not a major problem but you certainly notice it in a 1000 piece puzzle. It just means it will take a little bit longer to put together. They also fit with Lego but the problem of fitting well tends to come up more when mixing your blocks. Even Lego has this problem occasionally and it does not mean you cant get them to fit it just is harder and takes a little longer for some pieces some time. I look at it as adding to time to use the set.
Personally I wish that China companies like Brick would come to the US and then maybe Lego might lower the price. At least I could get a decent Lego set at a good price and with a cool theme like the military. For now I will have to import my foreign generic Lego sets but at least I wont have to pay sales tax.