Police in China have uncovered a gang accused of producing and promoting $30m (£23m) price of counterfeit Lego.
Officers raided a Chinese language toymaker which was allegedly manufacturing pretend Lego merchandise within the southern metropolis of Shenzhen, arresting 4 folks, experiences quoting police stated.
The toys – together with an imitation Star Wars set – have been copied from Lego blueprints, a police assertion stated.
Greater than 630,000 completed merchandise have been seized, the assertion added.
“In October 2018, the Shanghai police discovered that Lepin constructing blocks out there in the marketplace have been extraordinarily much like that of Lego,” police stated.
“Throughout greater than 10 meeting strains, over 90 moulds had been produced… [police seized] some 630,000 accomplished items price greater than 200 million yuan ($30m).”
Photographs posted by Chinese language authorities following the raid confirmed merchandise that gave the impression to be virtually equivalent to these produced by the Danish toy large.
Together with the obvious Star Wars imitation, merchandise have been launched along side the brand new “Lego Film 2” and bought underneath the title “The Lepin Bricks 2”, police stated.
The fakes have been reportedly being bought at a fraction of the worth, with a small city-themed Lepin set in the marketplace for $three a field, whereas comparable Lego units begin at $15.
The police investigation is ongoing.
Robin Smith, vp and common counsel for Lego China and Asia Pacific, informed the official Xinhua information company that the security of the merchandise is also of concern.
The raid comes as China seeks to strengthen mental property rights, with the variety of trials hitting a file excessive final 12 months.
In the meantime, Lego final 12 months celebrated a return to development following a primary fall in gross sales and income for 13 years in 2017.
The corporate’s bricks – it sells 75 billion yearly in over 140 international locations – and kits are manufactured in 5 international locations – Mexico, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Denmark.