Thursday, July 3, 2014

Knockoff Nation: Superman (Supermen) Minifigures

Welcome to another installment of Knockoff Nation. This is a (semi)regular article on HiddenLevel where I (OgelBlockHead) will review toys that come from the Far East, typically China, that are off-brand versions of more popular brands. In the past this usually indicated poorly made toys; cheap plastic, castings from lousy molds, sloppy paint, mismatched parts, etc., this is no longer always the case. If you know where to look, you can find some really nice toys at a great price.
Today's review is of Lego MiniFigure knock-offs of the various Superman and Superman related characters. There are a few Lego sets that currently include some of these characters, but some have never received the Lego minifigure treatment.  The prices that I have found for this set are fairly reasonable.  I bought them together on Ebay for about $10.  If you look around, you should be able to find it for about the same.  At that price it's less than $1.25 each which is more than reasonable for a minifigure considering the blind packs go for $2.99 to $3.99.  As always, you can usually save by bundling with other figures.
You'll notice some differences between these figures and true Lego MiniFigures. The most obvious deviation is the legs. The feet are beveled on the sides at a 45 degree angle rather than coming to a sharp 90 degree angle. In general, the edges of the the figure are also a little rounder and softer than Lego. Another notable difference is that the capes are made from a different kind of material than Lego's typically stiffer material.
The best thing about this set (other than the low price) is that assortment of characters you can get. Here are the figures typically available in this set: 
Classic Superman
Clark Kent
Cyborg Superman
Man of Steel Movie Superman
Man of Steel Movie Black Suit Superman / Kal-El
Man of Steel Movie Jor-El
Man of Steel Movie Kryptonian
The most exciting of these are Bizarro and Cyborg Superman, who are not availble as Lego at all, and Jor-El, who is a hard to come by exclusive.

The printing on all of the figures is crisp and well applied. On many of the figures it even extends to the legs and the backs which isn't always common on minifigures.
Along with the figures, you also get a variety of accessory pieces. Each figure comes with a studded black base with "LELE BLOCK" printed printed on them. They also have two to three green or blue "kryptonite" pieces and some even come with gray cone pieces.
To be perfectly honest, I don't quite like the "feel" of these as much as real Lego or even some of the other knock-offs I've gotten. I think maybe it's a combination of the plastic being a little different  and departure in appearance for the legs. That's not to say I regret getting this set, I'm very happy to have some of these characters in my collection, I just wish they were a little better.

Check out these links for other HiddenLevel toy reviews:
Hulk(s) MiniFigures

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