Well, that’s a tough one and a long debate!
First things first, I must make sure everybody understands what we’re talking about here, OK?
So, when I say words like compatible, brick toys, clone brand and fake brand, all these are in relation to LEGO. LEGO is and will always be the standard!
Second, I have to say that by going compatible I don’t mean you should choose another brand instead of LEGO. There are a lot of situations when getting an alternative brick toy is your only choice and you will see why from this material.
Great, so let’s get into it!
Like I said, there can be many reasons why people choose compatible brick toys, instead of LEGO.
Probably the main reason! We all know LEGO is pricey. I’m following a lot of forums and groups and I can tell you a lot of people hate that about LEGO. Many hardcore fans living in developed countries, like Canada, the USA, UK, France, Norway, you name it, consider LEGO to be quite expensive. And we’re naming countries where the average year income is 30,000 dollars US or higher! Damn!
Now think how your average Joe, living and working in South America, Eastern Europe or South East Asia, who happens to be a LEGO fan, feels about those prices? Which (the prices) by the way, in many cases are even higher for him! The reasons for that being geography, economics and of course profits.
Don’t get me wrong, like most people who have a passion, Joe too will buy the real deal. It’s just that in his situation, buying compatibles is almost inevitable.
And, it’s a horse of course, when it comes down to price, the main brands of choice are the “Chinese lego” brands. With Mega Bloks, Cobi, Kre-O and Oxford reaching about the same price range as LEGO, it naturally comes down to that.
With decades of themes behind them, it’s hard to imagine you could ask LEGO to give you more than they had already. But, that’s not quite right. You see, LEGO has a weird policy to not make any military themed sets. They say fire arms are way to violent for their liking or some BS like that. Hypocrisy if you ask me, cause they’ve been making “deadly” weapons for ages: swords, muskets, crossbows, revolvers, riffles, chainsaws…so come on!
But it’s OK, because there are others out there willing and happy to fill that gap 😉
Apart from the military theme, which like I said is exclusive to other brands, there are also many variations of City, Castle, Pirates, Girls, and so on series, from these clone brands, which might appeal to your average brick toy fan.
Also, there is a huge amount of unique parts and accessories that only come with other brands. Therefore, the more open minded you are, the more you gain in fun building and some really interesting MOC-ing, if you’re into that.
eBay, Amazon and Aliexpress are really bringing the world closer to you, but to a large population online shopping is still a foreign concept. You have to understand a lot of people in this world still depend on classic, physical shops to provide commodities for them…for various reasons. So let’s say you go to your groceries store and they don’t have butter, they only have margarine…you can choose to wait for the butter or you can get the margarine, right? Now turn your butter and margarine into brick toys!
This is true, believe me! A lot of people are shopping for all kind of brick toy brands using the generic word “legos”. That’s one of the reasons you always find a bunch of non-LEGO bricks in bulk lots you get at garage sales or online. Makes sense?
There’s a ton of parents out there right now getting their kids who knows what, but LEGO 🙂
Because sometimes you don’t feel like getting your kid a 200$ toy and go for a 50 buck replica. Not that you wouldn’t afford it, but you’re a responsible adult and you know your kiddo’s gonna be tired of that set in a couple a days tops. That way, you can really stretch that 200$.
In the end, I’d like to make something clear: I love LEGO! Always have and always will. I just happen to love other brands as well and I don’t consider that to be wrong in any way. To make a long story short, I think that only extends the boundaries of my brick universe 🙂
Also, feel free to contribute by commenting or by asking stuff! I’ll be glad to reply if I have the answer.
Stay tuned for more, it’s gonna be an interesting ride 😉