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If you love saving money you have likely come across the Aliexpress website. They have tons of great deals on virtually everything including clothes, electronics, and even toys.
If you discovered that you could buy Legos on Aliexpress (and there are tons of them) you might be wondering whether they are real Legos or not and whether they are safe for you and your kids.
Legos on Aliexpress are not authentic Legos and are essentially reproductions of the real sets. They are also made from inferior materials and some of these fake Legos can be harmful if licked or ingested.
Although these “Lego” sets on Aliexpress can be purchased for 50-75% cheaper than authentic Legos, it isn’t a good idea for you to buy them as they can be unsafe for children and adults to handle and play with.
Since these knockoff “Legos” are made with no safety or oversight and produced as cheaply as possible then the materials used can range from subpar (won’t fit together properly) to downright dangerous!
The main issue is that there is no way of knowing whether the “Legos” that you are buying from Aliexpress (or other Chinese direct websites) are safe for yourself and your kids or dangerous. To test the knockoff Legos would cost far more than simply buying authentic Legos so it isn’t worth the cost.
The other issue with buying these fake “Legos” from Aliexpress is that one set could be perfectly fine and not dangerous at all while the next set could have lead based paint used on the pieces! Since there is little to no safety measures or quality control used on these sets then the quality and safety of them will be a variable that there is simply no way to know if they are or aren’t safe.
In regards to the Legos being real they obviously aren’t (as stated above) but when you order the set you will know as soon as you receive it that the set is a knockoff.
Real Legos will come in a Lego box and have specific instructions made by Lego for that set.
“Legos” that you buy from Aliexpress will just come in loose bags and have poorly copied instructions. Sometimes the fake Legos from Aliexpress will have the Lego emblem on the pieces but that doesn’t mean that they are real. It simply means they copied that part of the Lego set as well.
Fake Legos will have a lot of quality issues that authentic Legos will not have. For instance you will often find missing pieces with fake Lego sets while authentic Legos will even have extras so that doesn’t happen.
Fake Legos will also not always fit together while authentic Legos will fit properly every single time!
If you want to see some of the most popular authentic Lego sets that are currently on the market you can find them by clicking here.
Are Fake Legos Legal?
If despite all of the warnings in the previous section you just can’t stop yourself from buying Legos from Aliexpress because of the savings you can get you might be wondering whether buying these fake Legos is legal or not.
Although it is illegal to sell fake Legos in the USA it is not illegal to do so in China so buying a Lego set from Aliexpress for personal use wouldn’t be illegal (based on current laws). However if you are buying these and then reselling them to friends, family, or online that would be illegal.
There are many knockoffs that are not illegal to resell in the USA however, those building blocks will not have the branded designs of Legos or have other copyrighted characters on them. They also will be off brands (generics) and will not pretend to be Legos.
However, when talking about fake Legos, if they are copies of Lego sets or characters then those are illegal to resell in the USA (and many other countries).
Are Legos From China Safe?
I talked about this a bit in the first section but I wanted to go into a bit more detail in this section. At the beginning I was talking about “Legos” purchased on Aliexpress but in this section I will cover all “Legos” sold in China.
Although all Legos from China are not dangerous some of them absolutely are. The problem is there is no easy way to know which ones are safe so it’s best to avoid all of them.
Any knockoff (or copied) Legos that are manufactured in China have little to no safety requirements for the end product or even for the materials used. Since these products are designed to be far cheaper corners will be cut eventually and do you really want to take that chance with your (or your children’s) health just to save a few dollars?
Sure most of the Legos from China might be safe but if only one set is not do you really want to take the chance that the set that you buy is the one that would make your children sick?
Imagine you went to a restaurant and 1 out of every 100 meals made the person who ate it sick. Would you still go there even though there was a 99% chance that the meal you ate would be fine? Of course not!
The same principle honestly applies to buying Legos from China. You are likely to not have any issues with your set but is that chance of making yourself or your loved ones sick really worth it?
What Are Chinese Lego Clones?
When talking about Lego clones, knockoffs, reproductions, generics, or fakes everyone has a different definition of what they are and based on what you think of with each of those terms will determine whether you feel they are ok to buy or use or not.
Lego clones are typically illegal Lego copies that are produced in China and copy a Lego set exactly but with lower quality materials. These Lego clones can be dangerous because of the lack of safety requirements and quality control.
Lego knockoffs could mean the same as the Lego clones above but sometimes people will refer to generics as knockoffs as well. If a company produces building bricks of their own design that are not copies of Lego’s characters or sets then those should be called generic Legos and they are 100% legal to buy and sell around the world.
Lego reproductions are the same as clones or fakes as they are simply copies of the authentic Lego bricks/sets which makes them illegal to sell in the USA.
Of course each of these terms could mean different things to different people so just remember if the building blocks are copies of Lego sets or characters then those are illegal to resell in the USA and could potentially be dangerous as well.
Of the building blocks don’t reference Legos and don’t copy any Lego characters or sets then those would be generics and are 100% legal and should also be safe (as typically they are made by real businesses not shady companies).