Sunday, August 2, 2009

Send in the Clones

So my wife and I were in the Magic Kingdom today... I saw a guy with what I thought was a LEGO shirt on. I followed the guy into a shop -- I wanted to get a better look at his shirt; in the back of my mind, I thought it might have been a international LEGO club. It was my mistake, it turns out the shirt was for a clone brick company called Diablocks out of Japan... And I sound like a stalker. :)

From the website, it looks like the company has been around a long time. There's some interesting building guides & some interesting products, like this monorail set from the 80's & an interesting Optimus Prime. The other thing I find neat is the set of bricks with a certain color palette, like blues & rainbows, this dog set, and Hello Kitty set.

So here's something interesting, I know LEGO owns the right to make Thomas Duplo sets... but here one made by Diablocks. I'm guessing the contract isn't exclusive. It's also got me thinking about national pride for local building blocks (with the "made in Japan" on all of their products) vs. if LEGO is having a tough time breaking into the Japanese market. Or is it the public doesn't like toys that are made in China, for fear of being tainted with lead; something that has been on the rise.
And I find it neat that kids share their creations on the website in the form of a flip book. There is such a scale of difference with what LEGO fans have done vs. what clone fans are doing.

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