A Legal Blow Delivered Against Lepin’s Copyright Infringements

img_28491.pngThis morning (November 6 2018), the LEGO Group announced a favourable  decision against Shantou Meizhi Model Co., Ltd. and three other defendents,who have made copies of LEGO brand sets, and distributed them under the LEPIN name.  As well as being ordered to cease and desist production and promotion of the infringing products, the defendants have been ordered to pay the LEGO Group RMB 4.5 million as damages. Whilst the penalty of $AUD901125/$USD649528 may not be a knockout blow, the cease and desist order might be more useful in keeping the production of inferior quality copies of fan favourite sets.

In recent weeks,I have certainly noticed an increased promotion of clone sets in my social media newsfeed , and it will be interesting to see how this new ruling will affect such advertising for LEPIN’s resellers.

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Transparent Stickers In LEGO® Sets: An evolving improvement.

In which one sore point amongst LEGO Fans (Stickers) will result in talking about a sore point for Star Wars Fans (The Last Jedi).  I then proceed to subject some recent stickers to physical abuse and science. My final conclusions catch me by surprise and may well influence my opinions for years to come.  Now read on….

I have been thinking about the stickers provided with some LEGO Sets recently.  And not in a bad way. This has surprised me.  For a number of years I have found myself becoming anxious at the prospect of placing a stickers on a set, defacing a perfectly good LEGO Brick, as well as making a sticker non usable: this is almost counter to the notion of the LEGO System, where you can take a collection of elements, and reuse them, time and again, confident that they will always function as they have been intended, and integrate with elements of the past and future.

I have recently found myself excited at the prospect of using some stickers that have been produced: particularly some of those supplied with the Arctic Scout truck (60194) and the Stygimoloch Breakout  (75927), amongst others.

I would like to apologise if I triggered an angry, anxious or otherwise negative emotional response with that previous statement. In our minds we all have some strong opinions one way or another as far as the Use of Stickers in LEGO Sets is concerned. LEGO Bricks have been adorned with decorations, printed or stickers, for the better part of 50 years.  I still have Minifigures from nearly forty years ago still sporting their original adhesive labels, as well as elements featuring stickers from the 70’s: including these flags. Admittedly, the years have not been kind, but do stickers today last as long?

 

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Tee-Ing off with Uniqlo [Rapid Review, Uniqlo LEGO®️ T-shirts]

Just as spring was getting underway, I was excited to see Japanese clothing manufacturer Uniqlo release a new range of licensed LEGO®️ themed T-shirts this year. In keeping with the 40th birthday of the Minifigure and 60th Anniversary of the LEGO Brick, the shirts have some appropriately historical themes.

I purchased two online for $AUD19.95 each, and they were delivered within a few days. I ordered one with a Classic Space logo on the front, and another with the current LEGO logo on the front. When I unwrapped them I had a pleasant surprise, discovering that there is additional printing on the back.

Now, retailers often use young, good looking models to demonstrate their wares. Uniqlo yet their garments model themselves on the website. The sun was shining today, so in the interests of demonstrating the look on an older, overweight subject, I have agreed to take one for the team. (Photos by Tash Jones)

The I’m wearing XL, and find them not too tight a fit on my body – I prefer a loose t-shirt to a close fitting one. The cotton material is soft, and not flimsy. They both have a pocket sewn over the left breast. Now I have something new to wear to Fan events, LUG Meetings or when I’m just seeking inspiration for writing a blog post!

While more expensive than plain, unlicenced shirts I feel they offered reasonable value, and I have always found the quality of Uniqlo garments to be pretty good.

I apologise for the quality of the model, but what do you think of the shirts? You can find the LEGO branded garments in store, or online at Uniqlo’s website.

Do you like to wear your favorite brand on your clothing? What’s your favorite shirt in this range?

Why not comment below, and sign up for notifications of new posts. Until next time…

Play well.

Japan BrickFest 2018 – Event Report

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I have recently returned from Japan BrickFest 2018. The fourth Kobe Fan Weekend took place on Rokko Island, in the port city of Kobe, near Osaka and Kyoto (Just as Geelong is near Melbourne, but with more frequent trains).  Organised by Edwin Knight, and members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group (KLUG), this event is a LEGO® hub event for Asia.  Exhibitor’s attended from all over the world – predominantly countries around Asia, but the USA and Australia were also represented.

I arrived on Friday afternoon and set up in one of the two gymnasiums used for the display, accompanied by the majority of builders visiting from overseas. We shared the space with the Great Ball Contraption,  a brick built monorail and a train layout.  LEGOLAND Japan had a display, and there was also an area to get your hands on some bricks and just build! The other gymnasium had many exhibitors from around Japan, and a theatre had larger scale models from members of the Kansai LEGO Users Group.

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My MOC: NEXO Classic Space

I had taken my NEXO Classic Spaceships. [imagine the 1978-79 Classic Space Sets built with NEXO Knights elements and colours] This was the third time I had displayed them this year, but the first time they had travelled more than 1000 km from home. ….I set about the task of discovering how my models had survived at the hands of international baggage handlers, as well as myself bouncing between multiple railway stations.

I set up my terrain and installed the lighting.  Everyone I met was extremely friendly, offering words of encouragement as my various models were unwrapped in more pieces than I remembered them being in when I wrapped them up.

In the name of ergonomics, I would get up and walk around for a few minutes between rebuilds. In real life I would steal the chance to look around some of the other exhibits in the hall:  Mechs were gathering next to me, tanks behind me and next to me, beside me, were some amazing bricks that opened and unfolded, and played air guitar. In between were an amazing array of characters.

 

Character builds dominated the exhibition halls: some were BrickHeadz, many were not. Unfortunately, I had no idea who many of them were.  Some were from manga and anime, others from history and video games. Some I suspect were from real life.  There was a remarkable level of attention to detail for relatively small models, and I think there are a number of factors which contribute to this. Continue reading

Conspiracy or Coincidence III: Helicopters- from Red Cross to the Star of Life [626/6626 vs 60179]

In which I look at a couple of helicopters, with 40 years between their release dates, consider what happens when a humanitarian organisation reclaims its trade mark and contemplate the special place that helicopters have in the world of LEGO® Vehicles…IMG_9819As has been previously discussed, this is a year for celebrations at the LEGO Group. We have seen sixty years of the LEGO Brick, forty years of the minifigure (celebrated with the release of the series 18 Collectable Minifigures), and twenty years of Mindstorms.

Great vehicles:

While we have the recurrent police theme (even with the new mountain setting), some , miners, as well as last year’s fantastic jungle theme still on the shelves, we also have the ‘Great Vehicles’ sub theme. Now, I recognise that there is a limit to just how many different vehicles might be presented in LEGO Set form over the years. This year however, we seem to have a number of sets that give more than a passing nod to sets that were released twenty, thirty and forty years ago.

IMG_1069IMG_0338Here at the Rambling Brick, we would far rather believe in a conspiracy than a coincidence, and so I would like to believe that these might be a covert celebration of sets celebrating their decennial anniversaries this year. In recent months we have discussed the JetCar and the Helicopter Transport Truck. Today, I would like to compare some  helicopters- specifically the Red Cross Helicopter from 1978 and this year’s Emergency Helicopter. While the Helicopter from 1978 may not be as obvious counterpart to today’s set, compared to the the helicopter carrier and speed record car, there are a number of interesting comparisons between then and now that I would like to make today.

First, let us start with the change in the markings used… Continue reading

Celebrating 60 Years of LEGO Bricks Endless Creativity

January 28 marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic LEGO® brick

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Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Patent Submission for the LEGO Brick as we know it today. It is a phenomenal achievement, to inspire children over such a period of time, that only a few iconic brands have achieved.
There are a number of sets that have been released to mark this occasion.
These include the 40210 Anniversary set, which includes microscale versions of a number of classic sets, including :

Too Busy to Build: Visiting the Downtown Diner (10260) in LEGO® Worlds

Without a doubt, the release of the Downtown Diner(10260) as the latest modular has brought about a few interesting discussion points, from the reintroduction of teal, the change of the faces from the Classic Smiley, to the change in the architectural style not being in keeping with the other modular buildings.

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While not coming in the Downtown Diner set, Tara looks like the perfect addition to the setting.

I personally like the change, and particularly adopting a look from 60 years ago, in line with the 60th anniversary of the LEGO® Brick, which we celebrate this weekend.

I am looking forward to taking on this set in real life, however the queue for building  is long, and time is poor. So I did what anyone would do when confronted with this conundrum.

I went to check my social media.

Twitface Snapagram

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