Brick Brands (W I P)

WORK IN PROGRESS
See my outdated and scrapped guide post here.

Please do feel free to give comments, suggestions, or criticisms through our Facebook page.


DowntheBlocks

Click the name of the brand to see all related blog posts with the brand.

Note that the Type, Category, and Theme are based on the usual characteristics or releases of the brand. These are subject to change.

No, this isn't an alternate brand, not a knockoff brand, not a custom brand, it's the real deal.
Lego or TLG is the best brick brand out there, which is why it's copied by numerous other bootleggers. I recommend getting the original Lego set first and foremost.


Sheng Yuan (SY)

Arguably the best bootlego brand.
Type: Clone
Category: Sets, Minifigs
Usual theme: superhero, movies, 


Supposedly owned by Sheng Yuan
Type: Clone
Category: Minifigs, Mini Builds
Usual theme: superhero, military, Ninjago,


Sembo (S)

Supposedly owned by Sheng Yuan
Type: Original
Category: Sets, Mini Builds
Usual theme: City, Mini Builds, Mechs


Notorious TLG clone
Type: Clone
Category: Sets
Usual theme: TLG themes, 3rd party MOCs


Supposedly owned by Lepin who sells submitted MOCs
Type: Original
Category: Sets, Models
Usual theme: Vehicles, Movies, Modulars


One of the first decent bootlego brands along with SY
Type: Clone
Category: Minifigs, Sets
Usual theme: Superhero, Vehicles, Technic


Previously not preferred, has improved throughout time
Type: Clone
Category: Sets
Usual theme: Superhero, TLG themes

Previously infamous brand because of bad quality, has improved throughout time
Type: Clone
Category: Minifigs, Sets
Usual theme: Superhero, TLG themes, Military


XINH (X/XH)

Previously started with mechs and boxed minifigs, now focuses on single sale minifigs
Type: Clone (TLG and 3rd Party)
Category: Minifigs
Usual theme: Superhero, Star Wars, Movies, Soldiers, Medieval



Known for releasing various designs from various themes regularly
Type: Clone (TLG and 3rd Party)
Category: Minifigs
Usual theme: Superhero, Star Wars, Movies


POGO (PGPJ)

Same as POGO brand but refers to POGO accessories (weapons, armor, etc.)
Type: Clone (3rd Party)
Category: Accessories
Usual theme: Medieval, Sci-fi, World War, Military


Supposedly related to POGO
Type: Clone (3rd Party)
Category: Minifigs
Usual theme: Superhero, Movies


KORUIT

New brand that shows very good potential. Their second set, GoT Kingsguard come with interchangeable dual molded arms.
Type: Clone (3rd Party)
Category: Minifigs
Usual theme: Star Wars, Game of Thrones


Big Elephant (JX)

Decent brand that does various themes
Type: Clone and Original
Category: Minifigs, Mechs, Sets
Usual theme: Superhero, Military,


Dargo

Decent brand that does various themes
Type: Clone and Original
Category: Minifigs, Mechs, Sets
Usual theme: Superhero, Military,


Still confused which ones are Loho but believed to be those with SX codes
Type: Clone and Original
Category: Minifigs, Mechs
Usual theme: Military, Superhero


BOZHI

One of the infamous brands but on instances releases rare or unique pieces or designs. Related to KAZI brand because some, if not all, Bozhi bricks have KAZI logos on the studs.
Type: Clone
Category: Minifigs, Builds
Usual theme: Superhero, Ninjago


Known for their original sets and own branding of CMFs, also has unique molds during lots of instances
Type: Original
Category: Minifigs, Builds, Mechs,
Usual theme: CMFs, Fantasy, Pirates, Sci-fi,


KAZI

Known for their original designs, notably sci-fi designs that are sometimes inspired by other real themes like video games, movies, etc. Possibly related to Bozhi brand.
Type: Original
Category: Minifigs, Mechs, Builds,
Usual theme: Sci-fi, Medieval, Military, Chinese, 


JMuLP


KSZ (XSZ)


JLB


itoys



DOLL


Dilong


TBS Toys


JINRUN


OBM


ZHBO


OK



LERO


21 comments:

  1. Sheng Yuan and Sembo definitely correspond to the same company. See https://www.facebook.com/CustomizeMinifiguresIntelligence/photos/a.1674406412867160.1073741830.1673084802999321/1674406806200454/?type=3&theater

    They might in fact have an offical website, see the QR code on this photo http://img10.weixinnu.com/article/getImage.php?url=http://cdn.read.html5.qq.com/image?src=tag&r=8&imageUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fmmbiz%2Eqpic%2Ecn%2Fmmbiz_jpg%2FVWEujiaIGkuaGsSIk62q2536d1eHoyYB6JLsicZOIRUygdvRTXucybzhicQNnuTHFR4PQNJwe0CtEKYAOzibVRNgVw%2F0%3Fwx_fmt%3Djpeg&referUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fmp%2Eweixin%2Eqq%2Ecom%2Fs%3F__biz%3DMzI2NTI4NDAxNg%3D%3D%26idx%3D2%26mid%3D2247489728%26sn%3D3eb05cd0a7d690cb7ae899a742f6e7e2 Didn't work for me to come up with a reasonable link though.

    Best regards, Oederland

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  2. DLP is associated with SY? Anyone know if DLP has similar quality to SY?

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    1. DLP is supposedly owned by SY. And it makes sense because they release very similar designs and molds. And yes, DLP quality is great!

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    2. Do DLP minifigs also have thicker arms like SY minifigs? Or is this no longer the case for SY minifigs?

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    3. I never noticed that SY's arms are thicker.. But for the most part, DLP and SY (and even Sembo) are the same because they come from the same place supposedly :D

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  3. Is any of the other brands related to Lepin? Just wondering, they release sets including minifigs, so why shouldn't they also sell minifigs separately. E. g. considering the LotR sets they copied, they have several of the minifigs that have been released by XINH and POGO.

    Best, Oederland

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    1. Only Xingbao seems to be related to Lepin. Lepin has released a few minifig-only sets, but I guess why they're staying away from those is because POGO/XINH/etc. will easily beat them because they're not known for being great minifig makers. + people will lose reasons to buy the bigger sets. Some people, like me for example, buy big sets just to get the minifigs, if Lepin does that, then they might lose some big set sales. Well at least that's how I think about it.. :D

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    2. Yes, this makes perfectly sense. But then again, it is surprising as Lepin seems to be a rather huge company, being able to systematically copy TLC sets, not just one in a while. Maybe you need a special technique when producing minifigs, but why not work together with one of the other brands then?

      Anyway. Maybe one shouldn't try to think logically when it comes to bootleg brands XD

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    3. Hahahaha yeah, when it comes to bootlego brands, we never think logically ahaha

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  4. Although there have already been speculations on Bozhi being from the company that also produces Kazi, as the connections of e.g. the legs to the body are close or identical, this should be sort of a proof: http://www.kaiyutoys.com/eng/allp.php

    See the Bozhi logo on the left, and some Bozhi sets listed as products.

    Best, Oederland

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    Replies
    1. Oh nice thanks! This is very interesting! :D

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  5. If I have it right, Lepin and Xingbao are actually both subsidiaries of [Meizi/MZ] Model (https://www.funbricksets.com/product-category/brands/lepin/)

    Funbricksets also says that yes, Sembo & Shen Yuang are owned by the same company... GUDI?!?!?
    https://www.funbricksets.com/product-category/brands/sembo/

    I'd also like to suggest adding Kre-o (aka Oxford) to the list - since Hasbro began distributing them in the US they seem to be picking up higher and higher profile licensing (including Dungeons & Dragons (2014) and the Trolls movie this year, plus they had Transformers for quite a while), even though apparently their sales are not great.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kre-O
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_(toy_company)

    I wish more vendors would have info like the info at the bottom of this page: https://loltoy.myshopify.com/pages/about-us

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    Replies
    1. Wow that's interesting!! Thanks! :) I'll update this soon, maybe during the holidays when I'm not busy!! :D

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    2. I have seen some photos somewhere from a toy factory where they show Sembo, SY and DLP as their brands. This is already somewhat odd, as e.g. both SY and DLP have released certain King of Glory characters. It could make sense to have a certain brand focus on certain themes, or it could make sense to sell some minifigs as being from one brand and some from another, just to mimick variety. But it would be weird to design one bodhidharma and sell it as a SY minifig, and then design abother bodhidharma and sell it as a DLP minifig. Thus I wouldn't consider these brands or their relations to be static. Likely, some companies buy up others, invent new brands, and so on and so forth. Or they use different brands to try out new things. In case of the King of Glory minifigs, the SY variants didn't have back printing on the legs, while the DLP variants did, so possibly DLP was an independent company that was bought up, or they invented a new brand for a new production technique, which was then integrated into the other brands.

      It is also interesting to note that the first SY minifigs seem to have had rounded feet and more generally, different leg pieces (see page 53 in http://uploads.brickset.com/docs/clonebrands_v1.5.pdf ), and the later minifigs being much closer to the Lego style. So possibly this also happened when one company bought up another, keeping only one minifig variant.

      Anyway. Considering that there have been established companies around for quite some years like Enlighten, GUDI, Kazi, Star Diamond, and that copyright infringement seems to be no real issue in China, it would be somewhat odd if completely new companies popped up, some of them having very good quality, and the other established ones just watching. Likely, the majority of clone brands can be related to just a very limited number of manufacturers.

      Best, Oederland

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    3. Yeah the DLP and SY relation is very very weird.. Now DLP also has D-Pai which makes things more confusing..

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  6. The brand behind LOHO sets (and those with the yellow brick head logo) is Shixing Toys, so it makes sense for them to use a SX code ;) The tricky aspect is that Shixing Toys might not be the full name of the company, and there are several toy companies with something like "SHIXING County" in their official name. But in any case, sets with LOHO and sets with the yellow brick head logo are from the same company. ;)

    Best, Oederland

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    1. Thank you for clarifying. I've been looking for an Iron Man set with that yellow brick head logo but I wasn't sure what brand it was. I'm actually willing to try online shopping just for it, but I don't know the codes so I'll just have to be patient and live without them hhahaha

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  7. winner is one to add.
    they make high quality original sets.
    set design is better than enlighten but their printing is not quite to that level.

    this new 818/KF brand is one to watch.
    no idea if they are connected to others. only clue is they use an unusual stand format.
    4x4 tile with one row of studs on one edge. only one other line of figures I have come across has that type of stand piece. a mystery brand called x-world. both brands have loose fits of torso on hips too, which is a notorious trademark of kazi minifigs, but not only kazi. are they connected? another bootlego mystery.

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    1. I'd second Winner - I really like their Journey to the West series (I have the Fangcun Mountain set, which was fun to build but I ended up removing the platform and only keeping the stairway to the Jade Emperor/Buddha (I'm frankly not sure who the old man is supposed to be) -- https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Winner-487pcs-Fantasy-Westward-Journey-Fangcun-Mountain-Building-Block-Bricks-minis-Educational-Toy-Kids-gifts/32820662434.html)

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  8. I've been noticing a new wave of "brands" (it gets even more confusing because I suspect some brands are actually either distributors or stores in the vein of "Alan Whale" where the proprietors clumsily rebrand items to their store name) -- some names that I suspect/know are rebrands of Pogo/DeKool/etc are Tarkee, TMGT, JOY-JOYTOWN, Fantolon, Aiboully, etc. It might be worth a line explaining that (and that many stores will list a set as things like "Enlighten Lepin Train compatible with Lego") to readers who are just discovering that there are companies other than Lego that make self-locking bricks

    But then there's FunLock3 (which seems to focus on Duplo-based marble runs?), BIOZEA ('original' Technic type sets), and Winner (already mentioned above).

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    1. Oh yeah the rebrands are a horror to classify.. Also, thanks for these new stuff, I'll be updating this page soon. It's been a while.. Hahaha

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