Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Brick Miser: LOZ Mini Block Bootleg BrickHeadz Figures

We've seen the best. We've seen the worst. Now it's time to see the UNOFFICIAL! If it's the "best" unofficial or "worst" unofficial is completely subjective, but personally... I'm pretty surprised. These are LOZ's Mini Block bootleg BrickHeadz sets!

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Name: Mini Block/Mecha BrickHeadz
Brand: LOZ
Model: 1424/1436/1447/1448/1451/1706
Pcs: 154/249/125/218/174/384















Time once again to visit our prolific Chinese friends from the Chenghai District and their totally NOT copyright-infringing building brick lines! Except this time, we're revisiting a line that we haven't seen since Pokemonth!













Usually, when LOZ appears on this blog, it's because one of their Nanoblock/Diamond Block lines is being featured. So far, we've seen a few of their generic Nanoblocks, bootlegs of Kawada's Pokemon line, and their take on Minecraft character statuettes. And, considering how many Nanoblock/Diamond Block sets they've produced/bootlegged, we have many, MANY more sets to look at in the future! Rest assured that the well isn't going to run dry anytime soon...













However, during Pokemonth, I came across a rather... Unique line from them. Apparently, as well as dodging international copyright law with their tiny Diamond Blocks(which themselves are likely bootlegs of Kawada Co.'s Nanoblock line), they've come up with their own take on building bricks, creating their own brick molds that are unlike any other sets currently out: the LOZ Mini Block!. ...Which they then celebrated by building an unlicensed Pikachu figure out of!













As I explained in my review of said figure, LOZ Mini Blocks are basically standard building bricks that are sized in between regular Lego-like bricks, and nearly-microscopic Nanoblock bricks. ...Ok, it's not the most original take on building bricks, but it does set them apart from 99% of all other brick sets and companies out there! I've legitimately never seen this style used by any other company for any other set! LOZ has designed a brick all to themselves, and it's likely they'll be the only ones marketing it for a long, LONG time!













...Probably because these bricks are incompatible with both standard-sized and Nanoblock-sized bricks, and no other company wants to spend the time and money to make their own molds on bricks that can only be used with like-bricks. ...Still, LOZ deserves SOME credit for their unique design. ...Even if it just boils down to Lego bricks that shrunk in the wash... ...Even when I'm trying to be nice to a company, I have to make it sound cynical, don't I...?


















Still, LOZ wants everyone to know that this design of theirs exists, since they've used it to build a number of sets. Ranging from obvious Lego Architecture ripoffs

















 To blatant Spongebob and Minions bootlegs















To train sets featuring Thomas the Tank Engine(among other shows for young kids that would never have gotten a brick set)! LOZ wants you to know that they've created a brick set that gives the cartoonish detail of Lego pieces, yet takes up the same space as Nanoblocks! And I couldn't be happier! These are some VERY creative designs(even those that are obviously stolen), and they're in a form that won't take up much space nor cost that much money. It's the best of both worlds, and I need as much of it in my life as possible!

















And that brings us to their bootlegs and unofficial entries in their own BrickHeadz line! I briefly mentioned Lego's then-upcoming BrickHeadz line in my look at the LOZ Mini Pikachu, and that, even when the only sets available were convention-exclusive two-packs of Batman and Joker, they were already churning out knockoffs of the line. They knew as well as Lego that collectable, featureless figures are huge, and that Lego was destined to greatly profit with their own entry into the market! Therefore, it behooved them to copy Lego's designs for these characters and skim a few bucks off the top, using their own Lego-like bricks and the naivety of the average consumer.



















Which, considering Lego is already ripping off Funko POP!'s design for THEIR figures, is that really that unfair? ...I mean, besides the sets copied brick-for-brick from Lego's. That's just dishonest.


















 But LOZ didn't stop at just directly copying sets from Lego. A whole new line was opened unto them, and, seeing as how Lego is only slowly releasing figures based on certain lines, and LOZ isn't confined by the same small issues as "rights" and "licensing", they jumped the gun and we now have figures in the line completely unique to LOZ's take!




















If you've ever wanted figures from Toy Story, Chip 'n Dale, TMNT, Bruce Lee, McDonald's, Mario, Dragonball Z, or the Journey to the West series that's absolutely huge in China, and you either don't want to wait for Lego to get the license, or it's quite impossible they'll ever consider it, LOZ has you covered!






















They've churned out different figures so quickly, they can't even pair some with like-figures! So don't forget to get your special limited-edition set of Alice in Wonderland bundled with Santa Claus! What do both have to do with one another?



...Well, Disney has produced exciting movies based on both properties!



Which they then proceeded to ruin...























 Obviously, these aren't the only figures made with the LOZ Mini Block. They produced a number of buildable figures based on Star Wars, Paw Patrol, and One Piece before BrickHeadz was even announced(as far as I can tell), all with a relatively similar design to what they're producing today.






















However, these are figures that are BLATANTLY copying Lego's BrickHeadz design, right down to using the exact same name and logo! Seriously! They didn't even go the standard knockoff route and call it "Block Heads" or "BrickManz" or "BlickHaeds" or something that won't get them instantly noticed and sued by a certain multi-billion dollar company who just so happens to also market sets under that name...




















They left that up to Decool and their "Cute Doll" line! ...Wait. There's ANOTHER one of these lines I need to talk about?! ...Oh god...









They're clearly not afraid of being called out on it, either, as they've put two sets on their current store banner! Proudly displayed right above the peeing brown bear(which they also stole)!

LOZ: Balls of Bronze! ...And brains of bricks...













Still, despite the blatantly obvious ripoffness of this line(or more likely because of it), I found myself suckered in and buying six sets in this range! ...Yes. I bought three(technically four) for Kubros, three(technically four again, with the duo pack) for BrickHeadz, but this line was apparently so hypnotizing, that I had no choice but to fork out cash for SIX(technically seven) of them! And we're going to look at them ALL! ...I mean, of course we are. I didn't buy all of them to feature half and bury the others in a dark closet, obviously... ...I save that for afterwards...













Probably the most visual tip-off right off the bat that these aren't exactly legit is that the packaging is NOTHING like the official boxes. Despite most of these packaged only in ones, the boxes for all of them are thin and wide, as the two-pack BrickHeadz are.













Though even the two-pack bootleg boxes are taller and thinner than the regular boxes. Why? ...Style?













 While the real BrickHeadz have mostly a solid color with a slight pattern as a background, the bootlegs have a sort-of "pixellated" gradient dissolve to them, with the colors seemingly doing the "checkerboard" transition animation from orange-to-blue.













Or green-to-orange, with some of these boxes. ...How to tell apart their Series 1 and Series II?

















 Obviously, the difference in design is because these are based on the San Deigo Comic Con-exclusive BrickHeadz prototype boxes for the sets first sold at the convention in 2016, when they hadn't quite finalized what the packaging for this line would be.













This is especially evident by how the bootlegs even copy the SDCC logo, simply changing the picture to the BrickHeadz logo and putting in "Modular Mini" instead of "Comic Con". And despite REAL BrickHeadz being readily available for nearly two years, this is the box design they still use to this day. Because updating your design to one that actually matches is HARD! Even when the design is made for you!













Speaking of the BrickHeadz logo, there he is! In the exact same title design as the real thing! The laziness and absolute GALL on display is absolutely AMAZING to me! LOZ is DARING Lego to take action by straight-up copying the name and logo, therefore making it easy to track down and confuse the bootleg with the real thing. Why Lego hasn't sent a squad of hitmen over to the Chenghai District to utterly destroy LOZ for this is beyond me!













Maybe they're too busy fighting off the legions of army bootlegs to get to them?













The Chinese text next to the name simply calls it a "Mini Brick Man", so we're unfortunately spared any hilarious Engrish to really set this apart from the original. Competency? In a bootleg? What is this world coming to?!













Then, of course, there's the LOZ Mini logo where the Lego logo usually is. Because they haven't reached their cheekiness quota yet...













The rest of the front of the box mostly just displays the character you're getting(with already more personality than a real BrickHeadz, but we'll get to that later.) No name, though, because they can't let anyone know they've stolen their trademark! ...Besides the obvious trademark already stolen for the name! ...Though it's also likely they had no idea who these characters were, so I guess I can excuse them for not including a name... It'll be hard to cope, though, seeing as how all these characters are so obscure, I'm not sure I'll recognize them...













They do include unique model numbers on each, though, so I have some way to sort them for this review. ...Sort of, but I'll explain later.













To the right, they tell us that the figure comes with a baseplate. ...With one of the most confusing images ever. It would have been easy just to set the figure and the baseplate against the background color, but they sort of put them on top of another glass baseplate, and at an angle. When I first got these, I thought THAT was the baseplate. ...Which would have been nice to have as an option. You hear me, LOZ? The next set I buy from you, I want one of these as the baseplate! I'm sure you can make that Overwatch Diamond Block figure with 436 pieces instead of 445 to compensate for cost!













Besides the name of the line and the LOZ Mini Block logo in the black bar underneath, we're also told that "Specifications and Colors of Contents May Vary From Photo." ...So, they ran out of Illustrationas and have resorted to not knowing if you're getting what's in the photo or if the box actually contains expired mayonnaise. Good to know!













The back simply has the figure in another pose, as well as pictures of other sets in the immediate line, similarly to how the actual BrickHeadz are laid out.













Instead of displaying all BrickHeadz, they just add pictures of the next few model numbers in the range. ...Probably because they themselves have no idea who they're going to bootleg next.













Unless it's the oversized double-packs, in which case, it looks almost exactly like the real two-packs. With the addition of some sketchy QR codes I've tried in the past and I'm STILL not going to dare opening!













The only other thing worth commenting on* about the box is the bottom, where we get our usual information about this indeed being a building brick set, that it was amazingly produced in a toy factory in China, and to please eat the entire box and its contents, as it's delicious for kids under 6.

*If you're a weirdo like me who thinks that ANYTHING about a box is worth going into detail about.













...At least sometimes, we get that information. On some boxes, it gives the standard logos and icons you'd find on most official products, including the CE European certification of conformity, a few recycling logos, and the "sad onion".













These versions also remove all Chinese symbols from the packaging, so the "BrickHeadz" aren't also known as a "Mini Brick Man." ...That's really the only change. I don't know if this is an earlier/later release, or if it's a regional difference, but I bought all of these sets from the same place at the same time, so I'm not entirely sure what changed to warrant this minor alteration.













Of course, the only ones I own that remove all Chinese text are Winnie the Pooh and Ronald McDonald, two characters known for eating only certain things. ...Maybe they just don't like Chinese food?













Finally, we have the usual "0-3" warning













 But a "6+" age recommendation













Anyone between those ages is stomped on by Mini Modular Pikachu. ...Because he needed a comeback, and what better time than now?!













Alright, we got a number of differently molded bags to open with a number of differently molded pieces to put together, so better get started. ...And if anyone knows where to get a LOZ Mini construction table, so putting these together on my regular table isn't as awkward, that would be great. Let me know. ...In the meantime...

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 And, after some painstaking construction with blocks smaller than my pinky finger, all 7 figures are complete. ...And, like I expected, these are just like Lego BrickHeadz... ...ONLY A MILLIONTY BAJILLIONTY TIMES BETTER!













I am DEAD serious! These bootleg BrickHeadz, built solely to cash in on Lego's line and with bricks incompatible with all other brick lines, are much, MUCH better than the real thing! ...Admittedly not too high a bar to leap over, considering how much I trashed the real thing, but these bootlegs not only cleared that hurdle, they shot to the moon! Nearly every complaint I had about the real thing is rectified with LOZ's take on the sets!

In fact, there's really no other way to compare and contrast these figures than to put it all in a list titled:

5 Ways LOZ BrickHeadz Are Better Than Lego BrickHeadz













#5. Facial Features. I made it no secret that I think the facial features of Lego's BrickHeadz are BORING! They're exactly what I picture when I think of these mass-produced deformed collectable figures: Large, featureless heads with cold, dead black button eyes and somewhat of a matching hairstyle. They look nothing like the actual character, with none of their personality, and just come across as generally creepy. Even when they try to give more features, like The Beast on the right, it just looks like a mask, or a collection of bricks you have to strain your imagination to make out. I hate how they look, therefore, I hate the figures.













 LOZ's BrickHeadz, on the other hand...! You can tell a LOT of thought went into each of the faces for the figures. Genie here also has big black eyes, but they're complimented by two sassy eyebrows and a brick they painted a grin on! Not to mention the little goatee on his chin, and the braided hair on top of his head. Not only can I tell that this is the Genie from Disney's Aladdin, but that they know/care who he is, and gave him facial features to match his personality! I ain't never had a brick figure like him, and I'm SO glad I do!













Mario and Luigi here have their trademark mustaches and big, round noses! Sure, the button eyes still give them a bit of a creepy doll look, but just from the faces, I can not only tell who they are, but I can tell them apart! Their mustaches perfectly match their in-game counterparts, so even if I was to see them without their outfits, I'd know who they were trying to recreate! And I wouldn't need to check out the enclosed instruction book! ...That is, after I was done building them...













Even the figures without mouths are STILL given faces! Ronald McDonald has a big, red clown nose, Pinocchio has a (disturbingly phallic)long, round nose, and Pooh Bear has eyebrows and a cute little button nose! Again, just from the faces, I can tell who's who and that they didn't just give the exact same mold a different hairstyle and say "No, it's not Rey! It's Jyn! Now if you'll excuse me, I need to spend 30 seconds painting the face to look like Kylo Ren sans mask!"













That's not to say every figure is given this level of detail, as we do still have Blankly McGee here pretending to play Link. ...But even this one, I can forgive, considering I think it was done intentionally for something... Which we'll get to in a bit. On the whole, I am MUCH more comfortable referring to these characters as "characters", and I don't need a stupid box to know who they are!

Much more than I can say for POP figures...













#4. Articulation. ...Lego BrickHeadz are blocks of blocks! They're buildable rectangles with something resembling limbs attached to the sides and "waist", and a couple of bricks to resemble clothing and hair styles. Besides that, they're just stiff, relatively fragile bricks of bricks. One step away from carving these figures yourself out of a block of wood...














With the LOZ BrickHeadz, look at that! You can move Ronald's arm back and forth! ...Admittedly not as far in the front, given the hair, but the limbs still have about 150° of movement.













Just enough to let him enjoy a tasty, oversized burger!













The mechanic is simple, just being a small peg for a corner of the arm to swing on, but it's SOMETHING! And, considering how these are mostly for display purposes, there's not much reason for the connections to be especially stable. As long as they can stay put after you move them, that's all the stability they need!













Some of the figures, like Pinocchio here, even take things one step further by including hinged arms! ...Ok, they look unnatural, like they're put on upside-down, but they move! And you can put things in the hands!













Besides, this is a wooden puppet who can turn his head 360°. Who's to say he can't also bend his arms backward?

















Or maybe this is actually Laura Palmer cosplaying as Pinocchio? ...Maybe we'll find the answer in 25 years...?













But what's even better than(or at least on the same level as) arm articulation? HEAD articulation! Most of the figures' heads are on a swivel plate, giving them 360° rotation! Once again, they can be posed in any direction you please!













And even the sets that don't have this feature at least have a reason! Genie has a beard that gets in the way, Ronald has a collar, and Pooh... Ok, Pooh doesn't have a reason.













Especially considering he's another character who can turn his head completely around.













The legs are unfortunately the same immobile stacks of brick slabs, though they do vary it up with Pooh and his elephant feet and the Genie's smoke trail tail. But again, these are meant for display, so I'm not as sore about the lack of leg articulation.













And considering the other attempts at legs Lego BrickHeadz has given us, the stick legs fall into the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" category.





 








#3. Size. This may sound like a more minor point to cover, but in terms of collectables, size is everything! The smaller the item, the less space it takes up, and the more space you have to put others in the line! It's simple logic!














Why else would I have so many minifigures?













I guess this is one point against Kubros, as they're the biggest of the three(not that that lessens how much I love them!) But, inversely, there's no denying that the LOZ Mini BrickHeadz figures are the smallest of the lot.













So if you're like me, and have little/no shelf space for POP Figures, Kubros, or regular BrickHeadz, LOZ has you covered with these smaller figures built out of smaller bricks! Smaller size, all of the detail! What's not to love?













#2. Gimmicks. Within the LOZ BrickHeadz line, there's a sub-line known as LOZ Mini Mecha, which they print on the front of the box.













As well as distinguish with this change to the "Modular Mini" logo.













The only one I own of this range is Link from Legend of Zelda. As I mentioned, Link has one of the "boring faces" of the regular Lego BrickHeadz, which would normally make his figure the weakest of the bunch I own.













But take off Link's face, and *GASP*! Link was a robot all along! ...Which, considering the insane amount of stamina he has to be able to do an insane amount of acrobatics and use an insane amount of different gadgets, I don't think is that surprising...













Piloting Ancient Robo-Linkatron is an even smaller version of a Lego microfigure, which you may know mostly as player tokens and monsters in most Lego board games.













And give them major credit, it DOES look like someone you'd see in a Legend of Zelda game, with its fantasy/steampunk aesthetic. The goggles, the green body suit, the futuristic armor, all look like s/he'd be right at home as one of those NPCs that constantly sends Link out to find rare material to make new gadgets or upgrade his equipment. Perhaps s/he even gives Link a lift to the main villain of the game in his/her flying steamship? ...Or heck, have him/her appear as a villain piloting a giant Link mecha. Make SOMETHING of this, Nintendo!


















There are others in this line, mostly Marvel superheroes, each with their own micro-microfigure pilot! ...It's official. We've been invaded!






















By something even more lethal than the Tsum Tsums! ...Why does a Tsum Tsum invasion miniseries exist?













Since I'm talking about it, as far as I can tell, this is the ONLY building brick-related toy based on the Legend of Zelda franchise(not counting fan made customs sometimes found on eBay.) If you've ever wanted to own Lego Link, your only option is LOZ's LoZ! ...Could there be a more perfect match?













#1. Accessories. Most Lego BrickHeadz don't come with anything, and the accessories that DO occasionally get bundled with them, mostly with two-pack BrickHeadz, are pathetic! ...It's a little gun-thing with a scope on the end and a claw holding a syringe on the top? ...What am I even looking at? It doesn't even look like a professional Lego creation, just that some kid pieced it together out of a small stack of pieces he had lying around. ...It doesn't even look like it belongs with this character...













With these BrickHeadz, on the other hand, nearly every single figure comes with SOMETHING! Whether it's a decoration, a custom baseplate, or even a custom-made accessory for it to hold! And I can tell what each and every thing is!

First, as I mentioned, Ronald comes with a giant hamburger as a baseplate! A well-stacked burger at that, with a giant beef patty, cheese, lettuce, orange ketchup, and a round bun to top it off! That's a size that says "You will immediately die of a heart attack and diabetes as soon as you finish me. ...But you'll go out with a smile!"













Also, Ronald has a little pin badge on his vest. ...I'm assuming it says "Hello, I Am Your Supreme Overlord! Over 99 Billion Enslaved By My Unhealthy Delicious Concoctions!" ...In small print...













Genie comes with a magic carpet baseplate, a simplified version of Carpet from the movie. It looks great, with the pink & purple plates placed in the right spots, and little knob pieces serving as the trim! Plus a stack of transparent bricks, because Genie's a little forward-heavy.













 To the surprise of nobody...













They even built the lamp! And it is REALLY good! It's built out of smaller parts, and they really captured the shape and size with pieces not usually used for models(such as the socket wrench that serves as the handle.)






















Admittedly, they didn't need to do this, since Lego already released a minifigure of Aladdin with a custom lamp accessory, but... Actually, why am I complaining? They could have ripped off Lego, they decided to go with something different, it turned out great! What more could you wish for? ...Besides the legendary talent of Robin Williams back...?













Pinocchio's accessories have a little less to do with the character than the other examples. I guess the book is a stand-in for what he had when he was off to school, but I don't remember him ever holding a paint brush. Geppetto used one to paint a permanent smirk on the puppet, but I don't remember Pinocchio wielding one in the film.













But, seeing as how this version of Pinocchio doesn't have a mouth, maybe LOZ Geppetto's easily distracted and more about assigning work than doing it? That's management for you...













The book, I'm pretty sure was copied from an existing Lego accessory and miniaturized. ...Unless there's a secret cut of the movie where Pinocchio finds a book with a pagan symbol on it and summons tornadoes from its pages to destroy his enemies...  If so, then props to Disney for initially keeping the tone of the book intact! ...Probably wouldn't have gotten that 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, though.













Pooh Bear here is holding his Pot of Hunny, ready for a midmorning snack when the rumbling in his tumbly starts up. I don't care what anyone says, Winnie the Pooh will always be the most adorable cartoon bear in existence!













 Go away, Paddington...













When it comes to accessories, Link's the most decked out! Not only does he wield a sword and shield, he even has a custom leather shield belt that wraps around his front and back! He's decked out and ready to defend Hyrule from Ganon/Ganondorf(or whatever forgettable one-time major enemy is threatening some other land you'll instantly forget the name of...)













Sadly, instead of the iconic shield with the Triforce on it, Link's shield is... This one. I don't recognize it from any of the games, so maybe it's ripped off from an existing Lego design? ...Then again, this IS Legend of Zelda. It might be one of the several million different shields the games have given us.













Or maybe it's a sneak peek at a Hyrule Warriors/Nexo Knights crossover?! ...If Nintendo's put Pac-Man, Sonic, Snake, Bayonetta, and Mega Man in their Super Smash Bros. series, no crossover surprises me anymore...













While Mario doesn't have an actual accessory, he DOES have these cute little ears from his Tanooki form from Super Mario Bros. 3.













 As well as the Tanooki tail, which I've humorously flipped around to the front so you can all make your obvious jokes...
















Of course, this addition means that LOZ now has an opponent even more ruthless and unforgiving than Lego or Nintendo: PETA! The most humorless and misguided organization since HUAC...













Unfortunately, Luigi is the only one of the lot who doesn't come with ANYTHING, besides the basic BrickHeadz baseplate. That's Mario for you, that mushroom/leaf/star/suit/cape/flower hoarder! All because he goes first, he thinks that that means dibs on everything...













Though, as with LOZ Diamond Blocks, there are a LOT of leftover pieces from all these sets! Maybe we can make something so Luigi's not left out?













Presenting the Mario Bros Hammer of Hurt*! Reckoning back to the days when they started as carpenters, this hammer will make the trademark Mario Bros jump stomp look like a simple game of hopscotch! Before anyone can even blink, Goombas will be reduced to cream of mushroom, Koopas to turtle soup, and Piranha Plants to... Salad? Piranha steaks? What ratio plant/animal material is this enemy comprised of?

*No relation to the Hammer/Golden Hammer of Super Smash Bros. ...None at all...













And, most importantly of all, it allows one brother to take revenge on a certain item-grubbing other brother and let HIM get a powerup once in a while...

And that's my look at LOZ's take on BrickHeadz. ...How is it that it's the BOOTLEG that does the concept right?! Sure, they look like the real thing, down to the creepy black eyes, and they're still solid brick figures meant to cash-in on the POP! Figure craze, but these have something that Lego's version lacks: IMAGINATION! There's a genuine passion behind these figures to give them as much personality as the characters they're based on! They have faces, they have accessories, they have articulation, they have EFFORT! And in today's oversaturated mini-collectable market, that's more than I can give 90% of anything else released! These blow Lego, Funko POP!, and nearly every other collectable brick figure set out of the water! Lego may have originated this line, but LOZ has PERFECTED it!













Now if you'll excuse me, Tanooki Luigi Hammer Bro and Mecha Link are going to help me express my disgust towards the official BrickHeadz...

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Quality: The plastic quality is REALLY good, almost on par with Lego's! The plastic feels solid, the paint was professional, and I didn't find any pieces warped or broken! ...However, being a cheaply produced set, there were a few pieces that felt too loose to connect to other pieces, especially the round pieces that comprised Mario's arms and tail. It wasn't common, but it was noticeable while putting these together. Still, compared to a lot of third-party brick sets and minifigures I've collected, the quality is as high as a mainstream brick company. Maybe even a little higher than companies like Mega Construx...







Design: The designs are almost exactly like Lego's BrickHeadz, in that they're still rectangular, dead-eyed, buildable figures meant as the building brick answer to deformed collectables like what Funko produces. However, what sets these apart is that there's some THOUGHT to how these figures look and move! Most of the figures are given facial features like noses and mouths, or are given unique head molds like Winnie the Pooh, giving a LOT more personality to figures originally only capable of blank stares! Most of the arms are put on pegs, letting you position them more than a solid BrickHeadz connection, and the ones that don't, such as Mario's extended arms, at least look like they're supposed to be immobile! And, of course, there are the figures with the heads that spin! JUST with that addition, these become actual FIGURES that you can pose and display, as opposed to stacks of bricks or lumps of plastic with a vague look of who they're supposed to be. Unlike most other collectables, I can tell who these characters are when I take them out of the box and put them together, AND I'm comfortable with recognizing these figures as the characters they stand for. Plus, I LOVE the Mecha subline, just on grounds of it being completely random, yet somehow working with the expressionless faces and robotic builds of the characters. Also, MICRO-microfigures! So while these still aren't my favorite designs for buildable collectable figures, the designs are VAST improvements on Lego's attempt, and are much more fun and exciting to boot. I'll take these over Lego's BrickHeadz any day! ...Of course, I'll take a wedgie over Lego's BrickHeadz any day...






Creativity: These are recognizable characters from pop culture, deformed and with their features dumbed down, so I can't give many points for originality. However, like I mentioned, each at least LOOKS like their character! Facial features and accessories match the characters they go with, and the hairstyles are even better than the official BrickHeadz, especially with the characters who also wear hats! If a character has pointy ears, the figure has pointy ears. If he has round ears, the figure has round ears. There's a major attention to detail with these figures that's sorely lacking with most other smaller collectables. I think the major points of creativity go to how they built several of the accessories and baseplates. They could have just gone for the standard black baseplates and given the figures miniaturized accessories straight from Lego, but instead, Ronald McDonald gets to stand on a HAMBURGER, while Genie has a magic carpet and a convincing lamp built out of smaller pieces! There are a few accessories that were likely stolen from Lego and don't fit the character as well, like Pinocchio's book and brush, but they're not that distracting, and just the fact that these characters are given accessories that match is impressive! And, again, spinning heads and Mecha line! So while the fact that they're shamelessly copying unlicensed characters for their line isn't a major creative boost, the fact that they pulled them off so well in brick form and gave them details Lego wouldn't shows more creativity than the original company! ...However, these figures don't have the cores of the original BrickHeadz, so Lego wins. ...Just kidding.







Readability: They're LOZ instructions, where multiple pieces are crammed into each step and they're meant to be read from top-to-bottom, so it can get a little confusing if you lose your place. However, all previous steps are grayed out for the current step's bricks, so you'll have a harder time confusing one step with another, which is something I wish Lego would do with their instruction books... If you're comfortable reading smaller print and images, these instructions do their job just fine.






Packaging: This is surprisingly a category I can't award many points for, as it's a blatant copy job of convention-exclusive sets! There's a picture of the figure on the front and back, a pixelly-transitioning colored background, and a slightly modified convention logo in the upper-right. They even blatantly still use the BrickHeadz name and logo! I hate to say it, but Lego's attempt has a more "collector-pleasing" design to it, with a picture of the character the figure represents, a brick border around the box, and multiple poses for the character. The LOZ boxes just feel like they're doing the bare minimum and promoting that they're buildable versions of characters. Which, if these WERE convention-exclusive figures, would be enough to grab my attention. ...But seeing as how these are cheap and common, they needed to try a little harder to grab my attention. ...That is, if I wasn't buying them due to how different the sets themselves were.






Compatibility: They're smaller Lego bricks that can't work with regular Lego or Nano/Diamond Blocks. Unless you have a large collection of LOZ Minis, these bricks won't exactly help you in your building ventures...







Overall:






These are much, much, MUCH better versions of BrickHeadz, and a tempting line to collect, merging the best of building bricks and high-detail collectables! The quality's high, the creativity is impressive, and the designs, while not original, are a HUGE improvement on the previous attempts! The packaging's a bit of a bore, and the pieces aren't cross-compatible with other brick lines, but if you're tempted to buy these, I think the absurdity and attention to detail were higher factors than the packaging or piece size... These are cute, poseable, small enough to not take up much shelf space, and a very rare occurrence where the knockoff is BETTER than the real thing! If you're into collectables and want to build a buildable variation collection, don't waste your money on the $10-20 Lego BrickHeadz that you put together, sit somewhere, then take apart and use in something else because the original design's so boring! Take a brisk walk over to China, track these down for $5-10, put them together, have fun playing with their features, and set somewhere to admire and play with again in the future! ...Or just order them on AliExpress, which might be more cost-efficient than physically going over to China...