This is a little frustrating because as I’m nearing the end of my Collectible Lego Minifig collection, the few minifigs that I still need (22 of 266 as of today) are all pretty rare and expensive, so I’ve been wandering the web searching for the most economical ways to help close the remaining gaps in my collection.
I picked up a few series 1 minifigs from an eBay auction last week, and also found myself irritatingly reminded about the joys of sniping as I watched three other auctions that I was in lost by pennies a piece, but I also came across a scary number of copycat minifigs from overseas sellers that makes me hesitant to order anything else Lego from eBay in the future.
Case in point #1 – I still need Bunny Suit Guy from series 7, which currently averages on Bricklink for about $35-45 … however I found a guy on eBay who’s selling lots of five of them starting at only $25…
Depending on the minifig, if you’re paying attention you might catch on via the posting – for example with this one, the carrot that the real Bunny Suit Guy comes with is actually orange and green in two separate pieces whereas the fake ones were made all as one orange piece…
And of course, you should trigger your too good to be true flag for seeing a lot of one of the rarer minifigs for so cheap, but if you’re in a hurry trying to jump on cheap prices, it would be easy to see how you might not realize it until the package shows up and you’re able to take a closer look in person. The video above has some great examples to show how although they may look the same from a distance, disassembly shows that some are made exceedingly cheaply and sometimes in no way like actual Legos are made underneath the surface!
A lot of these guys get away with this stuff because although they’re directly copying popular Lego minifigs, they don’t specifically use the brand name “Lego” anywhere in their listings. A common term that I found was “custom,” but “toys” or “bricks” as the video explains are also popular keywords.
I think what makes me the most nervous though is that although it’s fairly easy to identify these lots of the same minifig … from Taiwan or China and simply overlook those, today I found “a complete set” of series 1 minifigs that’s entirely counterfeit selling for only $29.99 Buy It Now out of Hong Kong…
You’d be hard pressed to eyeball any errors out of that picture, which just makes it worse for genuine collectors and fans once these minifigs leak out through “custom auctions” and into the general population of things that look like Legos, but really aren’t.
It kind of makes me glad that I’m not even in the market for Mr. Gold right now because although I do eventually want one for completion’s sake, I’m honestly not sure where I’m going to find a $500+ minifig that I feel comfortable buying online! Right now Bricklink only has 5 sellers with them, all listed for at least $2,000 a piece, and maybe 4 out of 64 legit listings on eBay.
Thankfully it’ll be a while yet before I’m ready to figure that one out – maybe I can find a private seller and make arrangements to travel and meet in person for it – but as for those other 22 that I’m still after, I’d rather pay a little more for better vetted sales via Bricklink than risk getting a ripoff that’s masquerading as a bargain… 🙁