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Brick Wars - Anyone outside Germany taking notice?


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8 hours ago, KShine said:

If there was a better brick, I don't expect that many would deny it - but there's not.

COBI is on par and cheaper. Have you recently tried them? No, you haven't. But still you know they are inferior. Incredible.

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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10 hours ago, Graphicski said:

Lego are obviously struggling. I mean all those products selling out and profit increases during covid. Your lot has 8 stores in the whole of Germany? Geez they are practically global and own the market there already

Your reading skills are in fact a bit lacking. BB OPENED all 8 of their stores in 2020 - the year of the pandemic that is. LEGO has opened a total of 13 stores in Germany over the past decades. I hope you're now able to recognize a certain trend I've been pointing towards ...

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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13 minutes ago, iahawks550 said:

Does Cobi have any distribution points in the US?

Good question, but I don't know. What I know is they're the brick market leader in military vehicles and have a quality on par with LEGO (with a significantly higher clutch power - their sets being seen more as "model building" for display than for play and being disassmbled some time later). They got a licensing agreement with Boeing (newly released Apache & Chinook choppers for instance), a license for "Top Gun Maverick" with fighter planes, lots of WW2 stuff with tanks and other vehicles from different countries (US, Germany, France, UK, Russia etc.). Also a big variety of ships (some of them licensed for "World of Warships"). They're also covering some more modern conflicts and the Vietnam War for instance. 90% of what they release is "pad printed, no stickers" (their own labelling). Their own-designed minifigures are ugly as hell but most AFOLs care only about the models anyway.
https://cobi.pl/en/  

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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I do not have a dog in this fight.  I only would purchase from Lego (and less so last few years—other interests). But did find the following comparison/review, which may already have been posted (apologies if so). Now the review/comparison may not be objective given their interest in Cobi but appears to be somewhat fair.  That said, do like the Titanic model that Cobi has. https://warbricks.com/cobi-bricks-vs-lego-understanding-the-difference/ 

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3 hours ago, Frank Brickowski said:

Your reading skills are in fact a bit lacking. BB OPENED all 8 of their stores in 2020 - the year of the pandemic that is. LEGO has opened a total of 13 stores in Germany over the past decades. I hope you're now able to recognize a certain trend I've been pointing towards ...

I'm not sure opening eight stores during a global pandemic when building block toys are off the charts for sales is a strong argument.  There just isn't enough data to prove your point.  In fact, to prove the previous point you were dismissive of; LEGO has been sold out in many cases.  If you just had to have a building set, you had to go to a non-LEGO source.  LEGO's inability to keep up with demand has opened the door for non-LEGO companies.  Once the pandemic is over, many will have been exposed to these non-LEGO companies.  Some will be happy, others will never buy from them again.  

As others have said, when I buy a LOT and I'm sorting through the parts I can instantly see and feel the non-LEGO parts.  They're not as square, not as glossy, and cheaply made.  It is also interesting how much everyone else builds the exact same parts LEGO makes.  Meaning, they're not as creative as LEGO.  LEGO is the trendsetter and that costs money to do.  Everyone else is just riding LEGO's coattails and trying to do it cheaper, which you can do if you never spend anything on R&D.

I don't think anyone has an issue with non-LEGO brick makers producing sets.  What isn't kosher is non-LEGO sellers producing sets LEGO already produces, non-licensed sets, or sets that have been designed by people who do not receive credit or compensation for their design.

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25 minutes ago, exracer327 said:

LEGO is the trendsetter and that costs money to do.  Everyone else is just riding LEGO's coattails and trying to do it cheaper, which you can do if you never spend anything on R&D.

So basically, they are the Canes Chicken to the much more superior Chic-Fil-A? Chic-Fil-A does all of the work to decide a location, and Canes just parks it across the street to catch the people not patient enough to wait in their lunch line.

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21 minutes ago, exracer327 said:

I don't think anyone has an issue with non-LEGO brick makers producing sets.  What isn't kosher is non-LEGO sellers producing sets LEGO already produces, non-licensed sets, or sets that have been designed by people who do not receive credit or compensation for their design.

I've seen cobi sets before (think it was at a local garden centre 😳), and they do look very nice. That review linked above confirms their quality and they appear to be a good overall product, not stealing designs, paying for licences to give products their correct name.

Then, as per quoted section, we have the Chinese knock offs Xingbao (LEPlN), Decool etc. Stealing designs not paying for them, blatantly copying products like the Bugatti and calling it sports car or Alien Robot or whatever and not dealing with IP holders. Clearly wrong as Frank has acknowledged, legal ?, for now maybe, hopefully not for long. Like bogus Star Plan etc they will be caught eventually.

Then we have bluebrixx as a German wholesaler/importer of all these brands? And Frank is defending all of their products. Cobi, no problem. Xingbao ? Behave 

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1 hour ago, Frank Brickowski said:

 but most AFOLs care only about the models anyway.
https://cobi.pl/en/  

I think you may need to recalibrate your gauges, maverick. Not only has the minifig quickly become Lego's most Iconic product, anecdotally, everyone of the AFOL's ive come across in the past few years are small time hobbyist, or using Lego as an out to everyday stress. To believe the AVERAGE consumer wants serious modeling from Lego is seriously out of touch. And to think AFOL's dont care about figs is another indicator you are either talking out of your arse for good PR or you are truly out of touch.  And I do appreciate the conversation you bring to the table.  Any form of competition theoretically would make the customer a winner.

Serious question, have your ever tried to resell any used set w/out the minifigs?   

 

1 hour ago, Jalan said:

I do not have a dog in this fight.  I only would purchase from Lego (and less so last few years—other interests). But did find the following comparison/review, which may already have been posted (apologies if so). Now the review/comparison may not be objective given their interest in Cobi but appears to be somewhat fair.  That said, do like the Titanic model that Cobi has. https://warbricks.com/cobi-bricks-vs-lego-understanding-the-difference/ 

Thank you for providing this link.  From what I gather, they are doing things the right way.  However, until they are able to produce a better minifig and retaining stronger/popular licenses, I only see them filling a niche that Lego refuses to enter.  

Edited by BricksBrotha
typo
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Regarding COBI, I recently saw this review of a COBI Spitfire set by a British LEGO reviewer who has been quite critical of Lego knockoff brands in the past. Here he's pretty positive about the quality of the bricks and the model. Only negative is the minifig that is included. :P 

Since LEGO stays away from war models, this is a good niche market to get into for COBI and the likes. 

If I was a collector of WW2 models in buildable brick form, I would definitely be interested in COBI sets.

Edited by HandyHand
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COBI is available in the USA via Amazon and Walmart.

Regarding COBI, I recently saw this review of a COBI Spitfire set by a British LEGO reviewer who has been quite critical of Lego knockoff brands in the past. Here he's pretty positive about the quality of the bricks and the model. Only negative is the minifig that is included.  
Since LEGO stays away from war models, this is a good niche market to get into for COBI and the likes. 
If I was a collector of WW2 models in buildable brick form, I would definitely be interested in COBI sets.


I took a look at Walmart this morning. You are right. It’s mostly war models, or military aircraft or vessels. I did see a Titanic model in there, too.
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6 hours ago, Jalan said:

I do not have a dog in this fight.  I only would purchase from Lego (and less so last few years—other interests). But did find the following comparison/review, which may already have been posted (apologies if so). Now the review/comparison may not be objective given their interest in Cobi but appears to be somewhat fair.  That said, do like the Titanic model that Cobi has. https://warbricks.com/cobi-bricks-vs-lego-understanding-the-difference/ 

Thanks for the link. The quintessential quote from the article for everyone too lazy to read:
"So, are COBI Blocks as good as LEGOs? The short answer is YES!".

Nuff said. I'll try not to get into this again as long as no other wild false claims are being brought up.

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14 minutes ago, Frank Brickowski said:

Thanks for the link. The quintessential quote from the article for everyone too lazy to read:
"So, are COBI Blocks as good as LEGOs? The short answer is YES!".

Nuff said. I'll try not to get into this again as long as no other wild false claims are being brought up.

Wait, so a site that sells COBI has an article claiming that COBI is equal to LEGO.

You-Dont-Say-Meme.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

I really need to stop unhiding your posts, I just get some much validation that I made the right choice to ignore you.

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5 hours ago, exracer327 said:

I'm not sure opening eight stores during a global pandemic when building block toys are off the charts for sales is a strong argument.  There just isn't enough data to prove your point.

I don't get it. First someone says opening 8 stores during the pandemic is not impressive. As soon I made clear is WAS impressive happening within 1 year and related to 13 LEGO stores, the next argument should be it's NOT a strong argument BECAUSE of the pandemic. That's kind of counter-logic. It IS a strong argument because of the pandemic. Opening 8 stores in a year when for months all shops are either shut down or people will stay at home because of the risks? I'd call that pretty courageous and very much impressive. Once again, there IS NO DATA RIGHT NOW, because we're talking a NEW TREND that has begun in like 2020.

 

5 hours ago, exracer327 said:

In fact, to prove the previous point you were dismissive of; LEGO has been sold out in many cases.  If you just had to have a building set, you had to go to a non-LEGO source.  LEGO's inability to keep up with demand has opened the door for non-LEGO companies.  Once the pandemic is over, many will have been exposed to these non-LEGO companies.  Some will be happy, others will never buy from them again.  

First I'm being told how LEGO fans are ultimately brand loyal to death. Then the second argument I'm presented is that LEGO's dear loyal fans will directly switch to another brand as soon as there are no LEGO sets available. That's the direct opposite of the first argument. I don't even know how to answer to this. First people say one thing, next they say they direct opposite just to pull something out of their pocket in hoping it might be a valid argument,..
  

5 hours ago, exracer327 said:

As others have said, when I buy a LOT and I'm sorting through the parts I can instantly see and feel the non-LEGO parts.  They're not as square, not as glossy, and cheaply made. 

As long as you did not buy any alternative brands' bricks from 2020 or 2021, I don't know how this info is at all relevant for this discussion. I have repeated multiple times that I'm talking about brick quality RIGHT NOW - not from 10 years ago, not from 5 years ago. Have you bought any alternative bricks from 2020/21? No or you don't know? I thought so. Which brands are we talking about in the first place? You don't know? I thought so.

Lots of people here having opinions about stuff they have ZERO knowledge about. How many of you have actually touched any alternative brick from 2020-2021? None of you? Still all of the LEGO fanboys here know for sure how bad all the other brands are. I mean: How can you know if you have noe clue about the actual competition's quality at all?
  

5 hours ago, exracer327 said:

It is also interesting how much everyone else builds the exact same parts LEGO makes.  Meaning, they're not as creative as LEGO.  LEGO is the trendsetter and that costs money to do.  Everyone else is just riding LEGO's coattails and trying to do it cheaper, which you can do if you never spend anything on R&D.

COBI has lots of pieces LEGO does not have. Like the 1x5 plate, lots of building direction changing pieces or tiles for anti-studs with the thickness of a baseplate. Once again: You just don't know what you are talking about.

Alternative brands are less creative than LEGO? You mean you would seriously call LEGO creative nowadays. Sorry, this just makes me laugh very hard. Just take ONE look at the alternative brands' catalogues and actually get informed a bit about what stuff they have to offer that is light-years ahead of LEGO in terms of creativity.

LEGO is a trendsetter? Also makes me laugh. Are you referring to flop themes like "Hidden Side" or "DOTS" or the soon-to-become-another-flop "Vidiyo"?

By the way, LEGO recently copied a Technic-style piece CaDa had invented and been using for months. Maybe LEGO's assumed "R&D department", which I strongly suppose they do not have at all, was too busy creating stickers for their $500+ UCS sets...
  

4 minutes ago, fuzzy_bricks said:

Wait, so a site that sells COBI has an article claiming that COBI is equal to LEGO.

You-Dont-Say-Meme.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

I really need to stop unhiding your posts, I just get some much validation that I made the right choice to ignore you.

OK, show me your source proving the opposite.

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5 hours ago, roxio said:

I've seen cobi sets before (think it was at a local garden centre 😳), and they do look very nice. That review linked above confirms their quality and they appear to be a good overall product, not stealing designs, paying for licences to give products their correct name.

Then, as per quoted section, we have the Chinese knock offs Xingbao (LEPlN), Decool etc. Stealing designs not paying for them, blatantly copying products like the Bugatti and calling it sports car or Alien Robot or whatever and not dealing with IP holders. Clearly wrong as Frank has acknowledged, legal ?, for now maybe, hopefully not for long. Like bogus Star Plan etc they will be caught eventually.

Then we have bluebrixx as a German wholesaler/importer of all these brands? And Frank is defending all of their products. Cobi, no problem. Xingbao ? Behave 

German laws say: Everything OK. Don't know what more to add.

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5 hours ago, BricksBrotha said:

 

I think you may need to recalibrate your gauges, maverick. Not only has the minifig quickly become Lego's most Iconic product, anecdotally, everyone of the AFOL's ive come across in the past few years are small time hobbyist, or using Lego as an out to everyday stress. To believe the AVERAGE consumer wants serious modeling from Lego is seriously out of touch. And to think AFOL's dont care about figs is another indicator you are either talking out of your arse for good PR or you are truly out of touch. 

The whole post you are quoting was me talking about COBI only. The minifigueres I was relating to are the ones from COBI. No AFOL is interested in COBI minifigures. I've said nothing at all about LEGO minifigures. Sorry if I did not make this 100% chrystal clear.

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4 hours ago, HandyHand said:

Regarding COBI, I recently saw this review of a COBI Spitfire set by a British LEGO reviewer who has been quite critical of Lego knockoff brands in the past. Here he's pretty positive about the quality of the bricks and the model. Only negative is the minifig that is included. :P 

Since LEGO stays away from war models, this is a good niche market to get into for COBI and the likes. 

If I was a collector of WW2 models in buildable brick form, I would definitely be interested in COBI sets.

Thanks for the link!

The Held released a video about COBI's new Boeing Apache chopper today. His judgement being: Nice model, but untypically fragile for a COBI set supposedly due to the relatively small scale that needed some rather fragile compromises (normally anything you buy from them can be used to actually slay someone as they like to stack a lot of layers one above the other to make everything stable as hell). Excellent brick quality, excellent print quality (no stickers), but too expensive overall:
 

 

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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5 hours ago, HandyHand said:

Regarding COBI, I recently saw this review of a COBI Spitfire set by a British LEGO reviewer who has been quite critical of Lego knockoff brands in the past. Here he's pretty positive about the quality of the bricks and the model. Only negative is the minifig that is included. :P 

Since LEGO stays away from war models, this is a good niche market to get into for COBI and the likes. 

If I was a collector of WW2 models in buildable brick form, I would definitely be interested in COBI sets.

So Dr. Jake is actually approving about EVERY SINGLE fact about COBI bricks I told you before. He confirms COBI's quality being "on par" with LEGO. He confirms COBI bricks "feeling like LEGO bricks". He even says COBI bricks are shinier than LEGO bricks.

Well, what else can I add? Nothing really. Dr. Jake says it all: Everyone of you having stated otherwise about COBI's quality is wrong. Is that the reliable source you've been asking for and that will suffice your demands? Probably not... I don't care. Go waste your brick building money on LEGO!

I for my part will now take a look at my LEGO investment portfolio and try to figure out how I'll be best prepared for the changes in all brick markets that are to come.

Edited by Frank Brickowski
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I've never seen someone simp so hard for an alternative brand to Lego.  It appears that COBI has etched out a piece of a niche market that Lego for the longest time has said goes against their principles as a children's toy first.  I don't see the issue with this.  I don't get why you are advocating so hard for this thinking that Lego will be unthroned and these other brands will ruin the all might giant that is Lego.  What a weird hill to try to die on as it were.  Dude, other brands can coexist with Lego you know.  And if Lego is indeed going down a spiral, then so be it.  They will suffer the consequences.

But you are also on a forum about specifically Lego investing, and the people who love Lego and have some form of loyalty to Lego.  This isn't exactly the audience to be trying to mark your territory that some niche brand is going to bury Lego into the ground.

It's one thing to bring attention to another brand that may have been improving, and bringing to light someone else who wants to fill in a niche market to otherwise unaware people.  But to sit here and try to sort of equate yourself as a david fighting a goliath, is so very strange.  You sit here and mock us as being loyal fanboys, is ironic since you are acting even more of a loyal fanboy to these offbrand brick companies.  The irony seems completely lost on you dude.

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1 minute ago, citymorgue said:

But you are also on a forum about specifically Lego investing, and the people who love Lego and have some form of loyalty to Lego.  This isn't exactly the audience to be trying to mark your territory that some niche brand is going to bury Lego into the ground.

It's one thing to bring attention to another brand that may have been improving, and bringing to light someone else who wants to fill in a niche market to otherwise unaware people.  But to sit here and try to sort of equate yourself as a david fighting a goliath, is so very strange.  You sit here and mock us as being loyal fanboys, is ironic since you are acting even more of a loyal fanboy to these offbrand brick companies.  The irony seems completely lost on you dude.

I'm a LEGO investor myself. Still I hate them. I see no contradiction in this.

1 minute ago, $20 on joe vs dan said:

Who is copying whom?

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1 minute ago, Frank Brickowski said:

I'm a LEGO investor myself. Still I hate them. I see no contradiction in this.

Soooo, you patronize a company with your money that you despise???  Again, what a strange take, and the irony is completely lost on you my man.  If you hate them so much, why give them your money which only goes to continuing their supposed 'evil.' 🤦‍♂️

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2 minutes ago, citymorgue said:

Soooo, you patronize a company with your money that you despise???  Again, what a strange take, and the irony is completely lost on you my man.  If you hate them so much, why give them your money which only goes to continuing their supposed 'evil.' 🤦‍♂️

What are you talking about? I'm giving my money to LEGO temporarily, so I can later rip off LEGO fanboys and get my money back together with lots of additional money.

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1 minute ago, Frank Brickowski said:

What are you talking about? I'm giving my money to LEGO temporarily, so I can later rip off LEGO fanboys and get my money back together with lots of additional money.

And there it is folks...  He wants to rip you off... Dude, no matter how much money you make off of selling Lego, you have given Lego the money to continue their dominance of galactic villainy!!!!
And you don't give your money to Lego 'temporarily'....  You have permanently given them your money by buying a Lego set.  Do you not understand how these kinds of transactions work????

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