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Knockoff Legos have been appearing left and right lately. While some, like Megablox or Cobi are of very good quality, others are much worse. They don’t fit together well, don’t stay together or don’t come apart easily (if at all). What category will today’s toy fit in? Only one way to find out!
For lack of a proper name I’m calling this the Best Lock Military Artillery Unit. It was listed for five dollars, but I picked it up for $1.99 at my local Tuesday Morning store. If you’re unfamiliar with Tuesday Morning, picture a Big Lots but with no organization to anything in the store.
The back list provides an inventory of the pieces and how to assemble the little figure. Which actually is kind of weird because the figure comes already assembled. Of course, the diagram does come in handy because the figure is cheap as all get out and comes apart very easily, but we’ll get to that later.
Here’s what you get: a handful of parts, the instructions, the mini figure and a sheet of stickers. The stickers are singularly useless since they are so big. Putting them on means covering several blocks at a time making it that much harder to take apart and reuse the blocks.
I was rather impressed with the instructions. They were easy to follow, and as you can see here, they actually gray out the parts you’re not actively working on in the current step in order to prevent confusion. The more upscale Lego knockoff Cobi does the same thing as well.
Here’s a comparison between the Best Lock soldier and a Lego minifgure. They’re about the same height, though the helmet is down so far that it pretty much covers the eyes and most of the face.
And the back of the figures. The vest is removable but I wouldn’t recommend trying as this knockoff figure is very shoddy and brittle. You see the weird shape of the soldier’s legs? There’s a reason for that…
This happened after I tried to bend the figure’s legs for the first time. I didn’t use any sort of excessive force either, the leg just popped right off. It’s easy to put back on, but it’s wobbly and easily pops off again.
The helmet is removable as well, revealing the soldier’s shades. I gotta say the fact that these guys have noses kind of freaks me out. They just look weird.
And here is the finished model. Please note the grey cylinders and black caps were extra pieces I stuck on afterward. They are not in the original design. It went together okay, though there is not enough support for certain pieces during the construction process and they break off easily. In particular the gun barrel and the center pieces above it are not very secure and is VERY easy to break off. Actually they’re not easy to keep on in the first place, and make construction extra difficult.
And you see those wheels? They don’t move. Not at all. So your gun is going nowhere fast, and you might as well park it in front of a VFW hall as a monument.
So here’s the finished piece (plus the extra parts) compared with the box. It matches pretty well. However, the stickers are a big let down. It looks good on the box, but again, the stickers are so large, that applying them would pretty much prevent you from pulling the pieces apart and using them with any other Lego or knockoff sets you have.
Speaking of other sets…
Was the box being truthful when it said it “works with other brands?” Yes, it was. In the picture above you the brown and dark grey pieces are Lego bricks I fitted onto the model. They worked pretty well and went on and off okay. You could use these to fill out another building project you are working on.
So what is the final verdict on the Best Lock Military Artillery? If you can find it for $1.99 US like I did, then go for it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. While it is compatible with other brands, the wheels don’t move and it falls apart pretty easily. Also the stickers are useless and the figure is almost dangerous since the legs fall off and expose pointy parts that can hurt a child.
If you can find this cheap, then ditch the figure in the trash as soon as you get it (especially if you have younger children). Still this is an okay way to entertain yourself or your kids for an hour or so, and would do okay filling out a larger diorama.