If you’re wondering if the bricks pictured in the image above is real or fake, I can tell you that these are actually clone bricks with the LEGO imprint on them.
Right about when Lepin started to gain notoriety, a couple of my contacts in China told me that
the factories there had the capabilities to replicate the “LEGO” they did hear about the existence of clone bricks with the LEGO logo imprinted on the studs making them indistinguishable from the real ones.
Now thanks to my friend MOCOZone, we may actually have a first hand look at these counterfeit ‘LEGO’ elements.
The two red 1×3 bricks are genuine LEGO and the ones in the middle are the counterfeits. These imitations have been sent to The LEGO Group and they have determined that they do not come from any known LEGO factory.
The only way that one can tell if it’s real or fake is the gloss and the colour. The one on the right is supposed to be yellow but you can see that it is slightly off.
There is also a difference in the surface shine. It is more apparent when you place it next to an original LEGO brick.
There is also a very minute height difference of the bricks. It would be quite hard to distinguish when comparing individually but once you stack them up, it becomes quite apparent.
The LEGO Group is now aware of this being in circulation and are investigating. This doesn’t bode well for those buying elements by the bulk especially since it is quite hard to ascertain the authenticity from a quick glance.
If you have come across any of these knock-offs, do drop a comment here and I’ll send it along to The LEGO Group. Hopefully they will be able to locate the factory (wherever in the world it may be) producing these and shut them down.
(Thanks to Mocozone for the information!)