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Spotting a Pirate
Because some things aren't always what they seem to be.
About this creation

I'm sure that many of you who came to check this stuff out thought you were going to see pirate ship MOCs from me. Well, I tricked you but that's alright since deception is what today's lesson is all about.


The type of pirates I'm talking about are bootlegs. One of the countries most notorious for being a source of bootleg merchandise is China. Most of you are probably already aware of the counterfeit CDs and DVDs that come from there, but did you also know they have counterfeit Lego toys as well? Well, you'd better believe it, and by the time you're done looking at everything Megabloks might not look so evil anymore.


A company going under the name of "Enlighten" apparently wanted to cash in on the Lego craze and while they did release their own "original" sets, they also tried to sell off others that were blatant rip-offs of actual Lego sets. The box art featured on the counterfeit boxes were exactly the same as those present on the original Lego sets, and inside there were many inconsistencies regarding parts when compared to what had been pictured on the box. Enlighten's minifigure design and many of their parts are the same as Lego's, except that the studs don't have the Lego logo and, not surprisingly, the plastic is noticably of a lesser quality. However, it's also important to note that for their original sets, Enlighten has produced some of their own unique parts.


Be sure to check out all of the pictures, and I hope you'll be able learn something in the process. : )


To Hemmrik Feat: I didn't have to leave the country to get these. I picked them up off of e-bay.


To Otto: Why would I want to throw it away when I paid for it? haha, But seriously, it's an interesting thing to have around. And yes, the military stuff isn't that great looking.


To Thomas and David: I've seen those items too but was never really impressed. As for Megabloks, I don't like them at all. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.


To Dan Sibley: I knew they were fake before purchasing them, and I didn't bother seeking a refund afterwards. The seller listed them as Enlighten Bricks, and he was obviously not trying to pass them off as Lego. He pretty much made it clear what I'd be getting, so a refund wouldn't likely ever happen. And yes, the greys are odd looking when compared to Lego's, but so do a lot of the other colors. It's just poor quality plastic.


To MiE: Lego is a foreign brand to the U.S., as the company HQ is in Denmark. And I can definitely tell the difference by looking at them. They may be cheaper than Lego, but you're getting what you pay for, considering the poor quality.


To Pickles: You're being a little too hard on China. Lots of countries "steal ideas." Look at Japan. They have been taking electronics and other things that were already invented elsewhere in the world and seek to improve upon them. And they're economy thrives on this. Counterfeiting is a totally different thing.


To Garra Ofthesand: Thanks! Glad to know my information was able to help someone.




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   Here are the boxes of the sets that I'll be talking about. I obtained them from a seller on e-bay, the world's largest online marketplace and probably also the largest marketplace of obtainable bootleg merchandise.



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   The first set I'll be talking about is a rip-off of Lego's set #6596 Wave Master. Fortunately, I happen to own the actual set and will compare the two. In this pic, you can see what I mean about Enlighten stealing the box art. It's the same picture, and while the logo says "Brick," the lettering is in the style of the Lego logo, even going so far as to include the red brick.



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   This is the real Lego set.



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   This is the pirated one. You can probably already see the differences. For example, the jeep uses trans neon green lights rather than the yellow ones featured in the original.



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   Can you tell which is the fraud? Of course it's the one on the right. Looking closely you'll notice that the figure's eyes are unusually large and the Octan logo on the shirt is missing the green part. One other thing that I noticed about the Enlighten minifigures was how loose the legs and arms could be.



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   Here is the real Lego jeep.



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   Here is the fake. Notice how the wheels are different looking and how the red antenna is used instead of the light grey. Also note how the bottom uses a white plate instead of light grey. Pieces of colors differing from what had been shown in the instructions and on the boxes was a problem with many of the sets.



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   The boats, but which is the fake? Answer: the one on the bottom. You can see the difference in the decals.



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   The fake is on the right. In this shot you can see the difference in the tail fins. The pirated copy uses two large "wings," while the real set uses only one small one.



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   This is the real trailer in the actual Lego set.



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   This one's the fake. Again, look at the difference in wheel design. Not only are the spokes different looking, but this one also uses tires with treads whereas the actual sets tires are smooth. Also notice how the trailer is missing the "kickstand" piece.



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   A closer look at the antenna on the fake reveals that it is placed on a jumper plate, while the real deal doesn't use that piece at all.



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   The fake is on the left in this pic. If you look carefully, you'll notice that the socket joint where the trailer hitches is bigger and more awkward in appearance than the one on the real Lego set.



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   This is a rip-off of Lego's #6537, Hydro Racer. It had similar color issues to the other pirated set.



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   A rip-off of Lego's 6790, Bandit's Gun Wheel. The name on this box says "Shifty." Shifty indeed! In reality, the sign should be on a black 1x4 tile and read "keep out." Plus, the dynamite pattern should be on a light grey tile, not white.



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   The figure from the real Lego set is on the left. The pirated version on the right has the wrong face, pants, and the torso looks like a really bad attempt at copying the Aquashark pattern.



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   Enlighten fills the military void that Lego refuses to. All I have to say is that if pirates are going to do a military them, Lego needs to get their act together and make their own! I'm 100% positive that their sets would be much better!



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   This is how the instructions looked like after I took them out of their boxes. Somebody didn't do a very good job at folding them. Silly pirates.



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   The vehicles aren't that great looking. But hey, the tank actually shoots stuff, and that's...cool...I guess.



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   Look at these soldiers. Being made in China, it should come as no surprise that these are based off of Chinese soldiers. Yes, that means now you too can recreate the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Believe it or not, the helmet design is original.



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   The gun is original. The binoculars, however, are a direct rip-off of Lego's.



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   This is a set?! It looks like somebody threw this together in 1 minute and decided they were going to sell it. They couldn't even put the correct minifig in, and the cow catcher part of the train should be red, not yellow. It's amazing how they can't even get their own sets right.



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   This chrome pistol came in the western set, and is the only "cool" aspect of it.



Comments

 I like it 
  January 13, 2013
look how bad those sets are im sticking with lego
 I like it 
  April 29, 2012
I myself live in Malaysia and bought a few of these sets as a younger kid, because the price ratio is nearly tripled if you buy US toys. I didn't realize how bad they were. I had a similar tank and jeep, as well as an 'octan' service station. The minifigure hands could not be interchanged with LegoŽ hands, the hats would not fit on a LegoŽ head, the whole thing had that Chinese plastic feel, totally unlike glossy ABS, the pieces themselves didn't work with my LegoŽ bricks, the army men's M16s couldn't be held by a LegoŽ minifigure or by the fakes, and the faces and hands were an awkward yellow...it looked dirty, and the face details were nowhere near similar. At least they're cheap??
 I like it 
  May 27, 2011
This is great. It seems that LEGO is either clueless or turning a blind eye to this crap. Sure it is cheap when comes to money but is also cheap when it comes to all aspects of creativity. I thank you for posting this good man.
  February 27, 2010
The m16s for the army sets look, and ARE very scrappy.
  February 27, 2010
I do have some enlighten sets myself, only the military ones though, as lego doesn't make any military sets and it would be much more expensive to go and buy all the pieces, although i have heavily modified them and added on my own lego and brickarms stuff, like light machine guns and kitchens on the battleship, and a better interior on the tank.
 I made it 
  February 20, 2010
Quoting enzo acorda you are right about those lego pirates they nearly got every detail and here in the Philippines there's fake lego in some stores thousands of it for a cheap price and the mini figure do not look like the one on the box it also breaks so easily the gun handles are too small. this piracy of lego should stop now !!!! it is plaigiarism ( I am only 11 ) -Enzo Acorda
You may only be 11, but you are wise beyond your years. :-D
 I made it 
  February 20, 2010
Quoting enzo acorda the gun was a copy of brick arms. i don't even know why they copied lego
The gun is not a copy of BrickArms. It is a copy of a Lego revolver. These Englighten sets came out before BrickArms existed.
 I made it 
  February 20, 2010
Quoting Amando Tanedo It's freedom of choice, and you get what you paid for. Lego is the best quality but the most expensive, but on the other hand, enlighten is really good and really cheap! I'm not a pirate fan, but I do like enlightens other stuff. Enlighten's military theme is original. I started out with the military, Now I have the enlighten train sets and police station. If you crave for the military theme as I did, then give enlighten a try. Be sure to shop around.. you can find real bargains. I got the riot police station for $19 with international shipping included... with almost 600 pieces! Lego would sell that for $60 or more not including shipping! Anyways, the riot police station is very, very nice!!
For military clone bricks, I will stick with Oxford, simply because the designs are top notch and the quality is on par with Lego. Based on my experience though, I will respectfully disagree with you on the point of quality of the Enlighten sets. Quantity is different than quality.
 I made it 
  February 20, 2010
Quoting R. Jakobi This might be super super late in coming, but those MILITARY soldiers there look eerily similar to another Lego "knock-off", most specifically the Best-Lock company's Militek collection. They were sometimes available in US Military Exchange stores under an agreement with the Soldier Bear franchise line. And if I'm not mistaken, those Militeks had nice looking tanks AND the minifigs were in the distinctive Lego Yellow color for a while before taking a decidedly non-libelous tannish form, complete with nose.
My reply to you is super late in coming. :-D Are you talking about BestLock before they were absorbed into Cobi? Because before that, the bricks were not very compatible with Lego bricks. The studs sat higher, and the minifigs were at a larger scale than Lego minifigs. Still, it would be interesting to see the helmet for comparison. Thanks for bringing this up!
 I like it 
  December 20, 2009
This might be super super late in coming, but those MILITARY soldiers there look eerily similar to another Lego "knock-off", most specifically the Best-Lock company's Militek collection. They were sometimes available in US Military Exchange stores under an agreement with the Soldier Bear franchise line. And if I'm not mistaken, those Militeks had nice looking tanks AND the minifigs were in the distinctive Lego Yellow color for a while before taking a decidedly non-libelous tannish form, complete with nose.
 I like it 
  December 9, 2009
It's freedom of choice, and you get what you paid for. Lego is the best quality but the most expensive, but on the other hand, enlighten is really good and really cheap! I'm not a pirate fan, but I do like enlightens other stuff. Enlighten's military theme is original. I started out with the military, Now I have the enlighten train sets and police station. If you crave for the military theme as I did, then give enlighten a try. Be sure to shop around.. you can find real bargains. I got the riot police station for $19 with international shipping included... with almost 600 pieces! Lego would sell that for $60 or more not including shipping! Anyways, the riot police station is very, very nice!!
 I like it 
  August 7, 2009
the gun was a copy of brick arms. i don't even know why they copied lego
 I like it 
  March 20, 2009
you are right about those lego pirates they nearly got every detail and here in the Philippines there's fake lego in some stores thousands of it for a cheap price and the mini figure do not look like the one on the box it also breaks so easily the gun handles are too small. this piracy of lego should stop now !!!! it is plaigiarism ( I am only 11 ) -Enzo Acorda
Matty H
 I like it 
connor brown
  January 3, 2009
enlighten is horrible i literally got a nightmare about the army guy try to kill my sigfig and burning down earth while enlightens army comes from a fire with a melted brick laughing (yes im that into legos) mega bloks are what a shorter jack stone fig looks like.
 I like it 
  December 7, 2008
Enlighten is not a ripofff! They are copycats!I bet they will start stealing Lego's Star Wars and Indiana Jones sets too!
 I like it 
  September 4, 2006
I saw these on ebay and now i can't actually believe i considered buying them! Thanks for showing me theyre pirates
 I like it 
  June 29, 2006
I just have a few questions: Did you buy these intentionally, or did you believe them to be genuine Lego sets? If the latter, did you seek to be refunded? Is it just me, or are the greys used in these sets sort of weird? That silver pistol looks like spacey fun.
 I like it 
  May 25, 2006
Great information and comparisons. However, I really do like the pirate tank, that is a great design.
 
By Matty H
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