Where to get minifigs?

A friendly place for friendly people where we all play nice and share.
Forum rules
Play nice with n00bs in the New People threads. Save the abuse, trolling, and pr0n for everywhere else.
User avatar
Captain-Camper
seriously?
Posts: 761
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:17 am
Location: Here and There Along the Echo
Contact:

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by Captain-Camper » Mon May 22, 2017 6:20 pm

stubby wrote:
stubby wrote:IP laws work differently in China. Most of these knockoffs would be illegal anywhere else, but China never bought into the whole idea of copyrights and patent protections.
Insert_blank wrote:No bully plz.
Is that bullying? I thought it was just a legitimate difference of perspective. The fact that there are still places that the West hasn't managed to impose its bizarre proscriptivist ideas about IP rights is a mark in their favor, as far as I'm concerned.
Its ok help IB develop some character
"Tallyho lads, snuggle the houses and burn the women! Leave not a single potted plant alive! Full speed ahead and damn the cheesemongers"

User avatar
stubby
tl;dr: the rule of fudge is the entire rulebook
Posts: 5151
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:31 pm

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by stubby » Tue May 23, 2017 2:21 pm

Captain-Camper wrote:Its ok help IB develop some character
Maybe in other subforums, but New People Start Here is where we practice playing nice. And in any case I really do think super-prioritization of IP rights is kind of creepy, even as an IP creator myself, so I'm glad there are alternate views in different parts of the world to keep us questioning them.
Natalya wrote:Wtf is going on in this thread?

User avatar
Omega Prime
Cannon Fodder
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 5:47 pm
Location: Somewhere in space

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by Omega Prime » Tue May 23, 2017 11:06 pm

http://uploads.brickset.com/docs/clonebrands_v1.5.pdf
This is a list of a lot of different clone brands and which knockoffs are actually good and which ones are terrible
It's a rather long pdf, so be cautioned, WALLS OF TEXT
just check out the minifig scores.
gotta love knitting needles. i can make you a scarf. i can make a hat. i can stab your eyes out. i can make mittens.

What was that middle part again?

i can make a hat

User avatar
AZKAMAT
Minifig
Posts: 288
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 7:44 pm
Location: SC, USA.

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by AZKAMAT » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:49 pm

If you utilize Bricklink just try and play around with the refine search settings to save yourself a headache. You can control, for example, the seller's location (good for simplicity's sake if you're in the U.S.) or Shipping Destination (good for small countries with low seller counts).
Check out mah BOL's of STIL! http://brikwars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=16612

Kant b'leev uh wun! Image

User avatar
Hamahaki
Officer
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:54 pm
Location: Nuclear Bunker

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by Hamahaki » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:17 pm

Omega Prime wrote:http://uploads.brickset.com/docs/clonebrands_v1.5.pdf
This is a list of a lot of different clone brands and which knockoffs are actually good and which ones are terrible
It's a rather long pdf, so be cautioned, WALLS OF TEXT
just check out the minifig scores.
I believe there was a google sites page that had a list of TONs of clone brands and their quality and such
Banned from both brikwars discords 3 times

hanleybrand
God of BrikWars
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:17 am

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by hanleybrand » Thu May 09, 2019 11:29 am

There are actually multiple years worth of the 'communist lego' reports: https://brickset.com/article/38929/a-su ... -lego-2018

If I'm going to play nice/be fair tho, I think Anthony Tomkins' posture towards the 'clone' brands (gotta remember - Lego's brick patent is expired and they didn't develop Lego bricks themselves anyway) is a little problematic/biased but it is amusing. He does seem to stack in the absolute worst of the sets and seems ignorant/oblivious of the best stuff (e.g. he says he couldn't review the Enlighten street sweeper because it "never turned up", but doesn't mention that Enlighten actually puts out a huge number of original-ish* sets)

My experience with the various bricktoy makers (for the purpose of the OP discussion, i.e. minifigs only) is:

Lego: usually highest quality (although I have a few quibbles with some of their implementaitons) but at $2-5 per minifig, armies get very pricy. You all know this brand.

Kopf/Pogo/Xinh/etc.: My experience is that they all tend to go up and down in quality, which I'd chalk up to factory QOC that isn't-quite-but-allmost-up to lego standards (in general the quality of minifigs is close-to-close-ish with some outliers that range 'not great' to 'WTF'). The most common problems I've seen that seem to cross all of these brands are loose legs, grip between legs and torso being weak, hair not fitting correctly, and hands being too tight or too loose.

In general, if you're putting these minifigs on a shelf/display case they're good to amazing. If you're an adult manipulating/playing with them they are "good" to "a little annoying." My son (almost 8) has had trouble playing with some brands as they come apart too easily.

Lepin/Xing Bao: Pretty good minifigs, but if you have to buy the sets to get them - if you buy Lepin you're definitely buying knockoff sets and anyway Lepin may or may not exist anymore... Xingbao has some pretty good "original" sets (they made waves by producing sets by working with some well-known MOC designers and actually paying them, allegedly)

Enlighten: my son and I love the War of Glory (originalish medieval/castle humies n/ dorfs v elves n/ trees theme) sets but have found that some enlighten minifigs often have a "the arm comes off too easy" problem, but otherwise the quality is good. They also did their own version of collectible minifigs, some of which were pretty good.

Hsanhe: No idea how it's pronouced, but they make nice small city sets with good quality minifigs. Again, to get the minifigs you need to buy the sets (making the minifigs cos, but the bricks are tight. And if you have a fast-food themed army, these sets are a good source of parts.

Winner: Not a big brand but I love their sets based on the Money King/Journey to the West.


--------------

One of the big problems with navigating all of this is that aliexpress sellers don't seem to care about brands at all (and it's important to remember that most stuff on aliexpress is on the ebay model, e.g. you're buying from some store, not aliexpress), so it can be difficult to search for things an know you're finding everything. Here's a normal example link - a set from Enlighten that is listed by the seller as "Glory Castle Knights The Battle Bunker" with Ausini as the manufacturer. They got the set name (The Battle Bunker) right, but that's it. I usually just start at a category search and use the smaller 'search within results' box to find things (and I usually use a couple different words, like 'glory' or 'journey' for the sets I liked above)

One more thing regarding the "legality" of anything on Aliexpress, I would say if you're willing to buy sets of minifigs for a "decent" (i.e. "too good") price on ebay/amazon you might as well admit to yourself that those sellers are almost certainly buying from Aliexpress and charging you a markup. Just buy them yourself from Aliexpress - the site itself is great to deal with. I've had a couple times where I got the wrong order, etc. and I always got my money refunded (and you don't have to return). You can check on the individual sale pages to see which protections are offered.

Always check your shopping cart. Aliexpress has a bunch of different listing types and a complicated pricing system - some listings will be free shipping if you order 1, but will charge for shipping if you order multiples. Also, some items are for lots but the list price in the search results will be per-item (i.e. you see $2.49 in the search results but it's in lots of 10, so it will be $24.90 in your shopping cart).

I'd recommend checking out Down the Blocks for decent reviews - that blogger also has worked on a guide to the various brands although it's not entirely complete and it's a little stale (2018) at this point.

Wow, that got long.

* original-ish = it's not a copy, but they've obviously studied the original lego sets (and in most cases it's at least maybe "an homage")

BONUS ALIEXPRESS LINKS

These stores sell individual pieces (in lots, like 50 1x2 masonry bricks for $4.99) and custom-printed pieces that might make some people here happy. Maybe they will make some people angry, I don't know.

Big Cabbage: Probably the closest thing to bricklink on aliexpress. I've gotten pieces from here and they are good but not quite lego quality - in some cases however they sell pieces that lego never made like these roof pieces. I think the bricks are manufactured by Enlighten, but who knows.

FigFun: an aliexpress store that has a good (but slightly pricy for aliexpress) custom printed brick section. Somewhat mysteriously, they also seem to be the only, er one of the few stores that sells megabloks-style minifigs. They also sell knockoff minifigs and so buying from them might make you feel bad about yourself.

bluebnn: Apparently also sells Megablok-style minifigs (and a couple stone-block copies) as well as other individual blocks (and other stuff).

Doll Fans: Sells funny little MOCs (some in lots) and also has a decent printed tiles section.

Tem-Laser: Sells frickin' lasers. And LED clothes. Not legos. I just don't want anyone to think I'm one dimensional.

User avatar
Cakeman
Cannon Fodder
Posts: 455
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Where to get minifigs?

Post by Cakeman » Wed May 22, 2019 2:22 pm

That Money King/Journey to the West series was pretty inspiring.

Post Reply