One thing that has always bothered me, the the invention of “Imposter Parts” that have popped up in local retail stores. The parts look like LEGO bricks, and are often difficult to detect from genuine LEGO products. While most people can’t tell the difference, they bother me, big time!
I’m not sure why I dislike them so much, perhaps it is because I’ve always done my best to keep non LEGO pieces from becoming co-mingled with my LEGO collection. My kids don’t seem to mind having a couple of G.I. Joes, a few NERF bullets and at least a dozen pencils mixed in with their LEGO bricks, but it drives me absolutely crazy. I sat down a few weeks ago and went through their collection piece-by-piece, sorting the imposter parts from the real LEGO bricks, and sorting out the various array of non LEGO toys that ended up in the three buckets that house the family LEGO collection (this does not include the bricks that I use in workshops that utilize the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® method of course).
Spotting Imposter Parts
The easiest way to tell an imposter from a real LEGO element is that they don’t have the LEGO trademark stamped on the knobs. They will often use “hollow” knobs and are usually made from an inferior plastic material, that is often discolored and will contain variations in color, giving it a somewhat “tie-dyed” appearance. Other than the obvious visual appearance, they usually don’t fit together as well as LEGO bricks, and often are easier (or harder) to connect with a real LEGO brick.
Don’t Throw them Away
Though I despise these imposter parts, one thing that I despise more is the amount of plastic that is ending up in our landfills. Rather than throwing these inferior parts into the garbage, and exciting them to a certain death in a landfill, consider donating these to a thrift store. I’m sure that there are kids out there that are perfectly happy playing with imposter parts. Just please don’t send them home with my kids.
Okay, rant over.
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