As a child I adored LEGO. Obviously we didn’t have very much in terms of LEGO sets, because even in the 80’s LEGO was ridiculously overpriced and we were poor(ish). Today it feels even worse. (The overpriced LEGO, not being poor.)
A brand new, wonderfully stocked exclusively LEGO store opened in Willowbridge Mall a few months ago. It’s an awesome browse, but man, I can’t see myself buying anything for Jess at her current age at those prices. It’s disheartening that one can charge so much for what amounts to little more than a few moulded pieces of plastic.
Anyway, I know I’m preaching to the choir here.
Now I’m no stranger to buying counterfeit LEGO systems, indeed I got a great big bundle of the oversized blocks from Mambos Plastic Warehouse for Jess when she was a little younger, which she thoroughly enjoyed. (We’re very lucky with her in that she completely skipped the stage of putting everything she could lay her hands on in her mouth, meaning that from an early age I was quite content to play plastic bricks with her).
Towards the latter stage of our December holidays I stumbled across a nice surprise. PNA in both the Somerset Mall branch as well as the Strand branch was stocking something that looked remarkably similar to your standard LEGO sets but coming in easily at a third of the price!
Enlighten Brick has been around since the 60’s apparently, and it is produced by a company called Zhongyue Industry Co. operating out of Cheng Hai, China. It’s a pretty infamous and controversial LEGO clone, with the majority of sets being little more than rip-off clone copies, often featuring slight modifications just so as to get away without being called a direct copy.
Curious, I purchased a few small box items for Jess over the course of a few days, all of which ranged between R10 and R30.
And I have to say, I was very impressed.
The packaging is fantastic, all the pieces are present (with build guides as expected), the colouring is good, the plastic quality is great, and the bricks fit well together – heck, it is as if they got their hands on original LEGO moulds to be quite honest!
In other words, I can definitely recommend this as a cheap alternative for introducing LEGO to younger children without the worry of them destroying it in the first week and in the process blowing a full month’s salary.
Oh, and the topping on the cake? LEGO is notoriously anti-military, but ENLIGHTEN doesn’t suffer from that. They’ve got some pretty fun military-themed sets that is sure to delight the boys!
As for Jess, well she’s in the stage of loving planes, trains and automobiles! :)
Related Link: http://bricker.info/osets.html?brand=ENLIGHTEN