Knock Off/Off Brand Legos (Should You Buy Them or Avoid Them?)

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:28 pm

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Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:28 pm

​Legos. Who doesn’t love playing with them? Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with them. 

While my kids love them, and I love watching them play with them and be creative in building anything their little heart’s desire, I also hate them. Why? Because they never fail to miss pieces when picking them up, meaning they end up leaving some of them laying on the floor, so I, inevitably, find every last one of them stuck to the bottom of my feet. 

All Legos, whether name brand or knock off, hurt your feet the same when you step on them. But is there a difference when it comes to playing with them? Let’s find out.

​At the end of the day, Legos are Legos whether they are name brand or knock off. With that being said, there are definitely things that need to be considered when choosing which brand to buy.

​Most Legos, whether name brand or knock off, are interchangeable and do work with each other however, generic or knock off Legos Will typically be of much lower quality. This means they won’t fit together as well and also won’t last as long. 

However, there are many other factors to consider when making a decision on which brand(s) to purchase. 

What are you using the Legos for? 

Will your designs be put on display? 

Are you serious about what you are building or are you doing it just for fun?

While the knock off or off brand Legos are typically interchangeable you need to know that there are still differences between brands. Knock offs can be built more cheaply, hence the difference in cost, meaning that they are thinner plastic that is more prone to breaking and they might not last as long or be as durable as true Legos. 

Off brands can also have differences in the colors, so the shades might not match the colors of the regular Legos. 

A lot of brands also say that they are compatible with Legos, but there can be problems with things lining up properly, sealing together correctly and sticking together. This can be because the shape or size is slightly off, or the holes do not match perfectly to the Lego brands holes.

At the end of the day the decision is yours to make. If you want to display your Lego creations, you might want to stick to using one specific brand versus mixing and matching brands due to some of the differences mentioned previously. If you want to build something that will be durable and last a long time, name brand Legos will be your best option. 

If you are simply looking for something for your kids to play with and want to save money, then mixing brands and buying what is affordable to you is definitely a viable option.

​Are Chinese Legos Safe? 

​Legos are a hot commodity among many youths, and even adults. However, they can also be extremely expensive. 

The good news is there are a lot of knock off brands out there that come in at a much more reasonable cost, but are they safe?

Building block brands that are made in China should be safe for kids to play with however knock off Legos (those designed to look like Legos or that copy them) will often not be safe since they are produced without any regulations. 

​Other countries do not have the same regulatory systems in place that the United States does and it is common for toys from China to be high in lead content as a result of the lack of those regulatory systems being in place there as well as many other countries.

​Kids, especially during the younger years, tend to stick almost anything they can fit into their mouths. While this is a choking hazard, it can also create concerns based on what the item is and the safety of what is on the product. 

China does not have regulatory systems in place for their consumer goods like the United States does, meaning it is hard to tell what is in them and the safety of those potential chemicals for children.

This is especially an issue with knock off Legos from China since they are produced as cheaply as possible to help save money. 

Because Legos have stickers and other ink on them that could easily be lead based if produced by knock off companies, it is important to take that into consideration when buying Legos from other countries. 

The good news is that lead is not typically absorbed through the skin, so unless you or your children are sucking on the Legos, you should be safe. However, it is definitely something that you should consider if you have younger children that are more prone to putting things in their mouth in the home.

​How Can You Tell If Legos Are Authentic? 

​With there being so many off-brand Legos on the market, it can be difficult to tell if you are buying the real thing, especially if you are buying used or from someone other than the manufacturer themselves. Nothing is more disappointing than opening a Lego set to find that there are missing pieces, things are not fitting together correctly, colors do not match, etc. 

So how do you know if you are buying the real thing or a knock off?

​There are many ways to tell the difference between a true Lego set and a knock off brand set. 

Most knock off Legos will not come with any sort of box or packaging and will be in just a clear bag. They will typically not have any instructions either. There should also be Lego branding on the bricks themselves if they are real. 

Each spot on the top of the Lego bricks should have the emblem on them if they are the real deal, however some knock offs will have the Lego emblem as well. If you still aren’t sure you have to look a little deeper. 

Sometimes the knock offs won’t be compatible with the real thing, so if your pieces are not fitting together correctly, it is likely that you have a knock off brand. 

Other well-known producers of knock off Legos typically take special care in making sure that their pieces match up well with real Legos. However, knock off companies do not always make sure that they match up to Legos and sometimes they do not even match up with other bricks in the same set.

Another way to spot a fake is by looking at the color, detailing and sticker placement. 

Oftentimes, knock off brands are slightly off on the shades of their colors as well as where they place the stickers, and some of the details might be slightly off.

One of the last ways to spot a knock of Lego is by the quality of the product itself. It can be pretty common with the off-brand Lego sets to have pits or bumps left behind on the final project from the molding process. Sharp spots, bumps and rough edges on the plastic are common complaints with knock off sets. 

Typically after the molding process is complete, the manufacturer will file down those spots and make sure that the surface is left smooth, but that is not always the case when dealing with the off-brand manufacturers.

Last updated on September 14th, 2022 at 09:28 pm

Matthew R

Hi, My name is Matt and I am all about toys! When trying to find accurate information online about toys I was finding it difficult so I decided to make this site.

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