There are several construction toys now that rival LEGO®, but none of them came close to how they became the number 1 toy brand in 2014. Before they also held the rights not for competitors to produce the same interlocking bricks and elements technology that LEGO® has invented.
Bootlegs, Knock Offs, and Other Brands
But the trademark laws changed all that and there where Mega Bloks, K’Nex, Cobi, KRE-O and countless staple brands. But there are also bootlegs and knock offs of LEGO® inspired products that you almost can’t see the difference anymore.
Its surprising that almost 7 years ago it was a different market namely in the Philippines where most household can’t afford a LEGO® and would go to other alternatives and they’re not even Mega Bloks or others with the license to produce well known names. But most would acquire bootlegs or knock offs of LEGO® products that one time where mediocre with quality.
You can’t tell the difference with bootlegs and knock offs with LEGO® with some products. But you’ll also be surprise how these China-made products like Sheng Yuan would make their own sets inspired from a line from a popular brand not entirely a direct copy. For example is the ‘Heroes Assemble’ set featuring a ‘Flaming Head’ or if LEGO® has produced one it would be a ‘Marvel Superheroes Ghost Rider’ set.
But there’s no Ghost Rider-based set from LEGO® for now. Sheng Yuan on the other hand has made one and this is not the first time a China-made company produced sets and minifigures that was not yet officially produced by LEGO®.
THAT Flaming Head
It would be interesting for someone who can’t afford a LEGO® set that there’s one based from Ghost Rider. Marvel’s resident ‘Spirit of Vengeance’ hasn’t had any luck with live action movies recently with Nicholas Cage as the tormented Johnny Blaze. But it won’t be long until Marvel decides to go and produce a new movie since they have recaptured that licensing rights from 20th Century Fox.
For now it’s left for fans to make their own fantasy in how the Ghost Rider would be portrayed in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the same time Sheng Yuan produced a building toy based on the one Nick Cage portrayed a few years back.
The way it’s packaged has LEGO® inspirations all over it, but twisted by Sheng Yuan to look as if they owned the rights. Though the colors are way off from how the official product is referred to using but this is something they made it as their own identity to make.
A Hero Assembled
This set is not as complicated but more too simple in how they put together but when you look at the artwork of the box it doesn’t make any sense. You’ve got Flaming Head doing his stunts on his bike and at the same time there’s a spinning carousel of fire that’s interconnected how to give someone a narrative for this.
There are 49 pieces including the minifigure with an extra head/skull as Flaming Head’s accessory. The chains could have been longer so it can wrap around the minifigure’s body like Dan Ketch in the comic books but its short. The best alternative is holding the chain with his hands while making stunts on his bike?!
Overall the set is way too simple but an original to itself since LEGO® or Marvel have not produced an actual set based on the Flaming Head aka Ghost Rider. It would be a long time before they get into that, but they’re going to make it better than this.
For someone who can’t afford an actual product this is as good as you can own Ghost Rider with the quality Sheng Yuan has put in their product its something it can pass up as an original. But for the purist it’s literally a taboo if you’re against it though this depends now to everyone’s perspective.
Acknowledgements: This goes out to Beni Customs for sponsoring this to be featured here.
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