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Friday / September 22.

‘Copycat’ Chinese Lego flies off the shelves in Dubai


DUBAI: Cut-price Chinese copies of the legendary Lego building bricks are doing a roaring trade in Dubai — despite the Danish toymaker taking legal action against its upstart Asian rival.
One Dubai megastore is selling thousands of dollars worth of Lepin building blocks which are almost indistinguishable from Lego.
The massive growth of Lepin comes at a tough time for Lego which has announced 1,400 losses after first-half profits fell.
The Danish company is pursing legal action against its Chinese competitor, alleging it has copied its products. No judgment has yet been handed down and so the building blocks, which are a fraction of the cost of Lego, can be sold legally.
Dubai’s vast Dragonmart shopping center is one of the best places to buy the discounted Lego alternative.
I Toys, the largest seller of Lepin at the 1 kilometer-long Dragonmart, has a massive range on sale.
Razwan Muhammed, who has worked in the store for four years, said: “I think it is one of our best sellers.”
He explained that Lepin products can range from a small 37-piece Minecraft set – retailing at 37 dirhams ($10) – to a 5,382-piece Star Wars puzzle and a 5,972-piece set depicting the Taj Mahal, both on sale for 700 dirhams ($190).
In comparison, the Lego version of the Taj Mahal with the same number of pieces — which has since been discontinued — costs $299.99.
“We sell between 3,500 dirhams and 5,000 dirhams worth of Lepin products every single day,” said Muhammed.
Nicholas, a German expatriate who declined to give his last name, was among the shoppers seeking a Lepin bargain when Arab News visited Dragonmart last week.
He said he was browsing for his young son and considering buying the cheaper Lepin products over traditional Lego – which he owned himself as a child. However, he was concerned the quality wouldn’t match up.
“I was thinking about buying this instead of Lego — maybe buying a small model first, to try out and see how it works,” he said. “Lego is something that works for decades — I have given some which I had as a child to my own son, so I know it lasts.”
At another Dragonmart store, Every Family Happy Trading, Tady Yenenh, an Ethiopian shop worker, said Lepin was one of the most popular products, with a 1,158-piece Ferrari car puzzle or a 391-piece motorbike Lepin puzzle box both retailing for 100 dirhams . A similar Ferrari set made by Lego sells for more than three times the price from online retailer Amazon.
Last year Lego revealed it it had launched legal proceedings against Lepin in China.
A spokesman for the Lego Group told Arab News that legal action was still active. “Since the case is still ongoing, we do not have anything to add at this point in time,” he said.
“Generally, what I can say is that the Lego Group appreciates fair competition. That is in the interest of consumers, and the Lego Group as it pushes us to create even more engaging play experiences for children. We do, however, not appreciate unfair competition where consumers are led to believe they buy a Lego product, when in fact they are not.
“When this happens, we take the necessary steps to safeguard consumers and the Lego Group’s rights. In the case of Lepin, there is no doubt that their products are copies of Lego products all the way through, and thereby unfair competition.”
Arab News was unable to contact Lepin for comment.
Lego is facing its biggest challenge since it came close to financial collapse in 2003-04 before being rescued by Lego Group Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, who set the group on a remarkable growth path through the success of higher-value product lines.

DUBAI: Cut-price Chinese copies of the legendary Lego building bricks are doing a roaring trade in Dubai — despite the Danish toymaker taking legal action against its upstart Asian rival.
One Dubai megastore is selling thousands of dollars worth of Lepin building blocks which are almost indistinguishable from Lego.
The massive growth of Lepin comes at a tough time for Lego which has announced 1,400 losses after first-half profits fell.
The Danish company is pursing legal action against its Chinese competitor, alleging it has copied its products. No judgment has yet been handed down and so the building blocks, which are a fraction of the cost of Lego, can be sold legally.
Dubai’s vast Dragonmart shopping center is one of the best places to buy the discounted Lego alternative.
I Toys, the largest seller of Lepin at the 1 kilometer-long Dragonmart, has a massive range on sale.
Razwan Muhammed, who has worked in the store for four years, said: “I think it is one of our best sellers.”
He explained that Lepin products can range from a small 37-piece Minecraft set – retailing at 37 dirhams ($10) – to a 5,382-piece Star Wars puzzle and a 5,972-piece set depicting the Taj Mahal, both on sale for 700 dirhams ($190).
In comparison, the Lego version of the Taj Mahal with the same number of pieces — which has since been discontinued — costs $299.99.
“We sell between 3,500 dirhams and 5,000 dirhams worth of Lepin products every single day,” said Muhammed.
Nicholas, a German expatriate who declined to give his last name, was among the shoppers seeking a Lepin bargain when Arab News visited Dragonmart last week.
He said he was browsing for his young son and considering buying the cheaper Lepin products over traditional Lego – which he owned himself as a child. However, he was concerned the quality wouldn’t match up.
“I was thinking about buying this instead of Lego — maybe buying a small model first, to try out and see how it works,” he said. “Lego is something that works for decades — I have given some which I had as a child to my own son, so I know it lasts.”
At another Dragonmart store, Every Family Happy Trading, Tady Yenenh, an Ethiopian shop worker, said Lepin was one of the most popular products, with a 1,158-piece Ferrari car puzzle or a 391-piece motorbike Lepin puzzle box both retailing for 100 dirhams . A similar Ferrari set made by Lego sells for more than three times the price from online retailer Amazon.
Last year Lego revealed it it had launched legal proceedings against Lepin in China.
A spokesman for the Lego Group told Arab News that legal action was still active. “Since the case is still ongoing, we do not have anything to add at this point in time,” he said.
“Generally, what I can say is that the Lego Group appreciates fair competition. That is in the interest of consumers, and the Lego Group as it pushes us to create even more engaging play experiences for children. We do, however, not appreciate unfair competition where consumers are led to believe they buy a Lego product, when in fact they are not.
“When this happens, we take the necessary steps to safeguard consumers and the Lego Group’s rights. In the case of Lepin, there is no doubt that their products are copies of Lego products all the way through, and thereby unfair competition.”
Arab News was unable to contact Lepin for comment.
Lego is facing its biggest challenge since it came close to financial collapse in 2003-04 before being rescued by Lego Group Chairman Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, who set the group on a remarkable growth path through the success of higher-value product lines.



via AN