LEGO can sometimes feel a bit pricey and you might wonder if there are other brands that work with LEGO. The list of brands that create LEGO-compatible toys or even that clone LEGO is endless and ever-changing.
So, below I have listed the 6 most reputable brands that work with LEGO:
Let’s have a look at each of them a bit more in detail.
What are the 6 most reputable brands that work with LEGO?
As I just mentioned, the following six are the 6 most reputable brands that work with LEGO. By reputable we mean that they have plenty of products and good reviews online.
- MEGA BLOKS (Canada)
- Kre-O (South Korea)
- BanBao (China)
- Cobi (Poland)
- Sluban (China)
- CreativeQT (US)
MEGA BLOKS (Canada)
Even though LEGO is overall a better product for us, Mega Bloks has some advantages. As we explained in our post “Is LEGO better than Mega Bloks?” Mega Bloks figures have a wider posture range, but as a downside, they are not easily reused. In addition to that, the level of the detail of Mega Bloks sets tends to be higher than that of LEGO. This is because LEGO focuses mostly on reusability of their sets, whereas Mega Bloks builds the pieces mostly for each specific set.
Moreover, Mega Bloks is, for us, a better option for toddlers. This is because of the tight fit between the bricks. This tight fit allows older children and adults to build complex sets that stay together firmly. However, when it comes to toddlers, this means that they might find LEGO sets difficult to play with on their own. They might struggle to join and disjoin bricks and minifigs.
Mega Bloks, on the other hand, has a looser fit between pieces. This will not appeal to the older consumer because building complex structures becomes a challenge when the pieces do not stick firmly together. However, for toddlers, this is what you need. With Mega Bloks, toddlers can play alone, without needing the help of an older sibling or a parent to join or disjoin pieces for them.
We talked about this interlocking capability in our post “Beating Them At Their Own Game: Why LEGO Makes Good Insulators”, where we explain how a group of researchers found LEGO to be an extremely good insulator at really low temperatures, basically because of the good fit between the pieces.
LEGO and Mega Bloks have a long history of lawsuits, with LEGO trying to protect its system. However, both Canadian and EU courts have upheld Mega Bloks’ right to continue selling its product.
The last move regarding this was produced on September 14, 2010, when the European Court of Justice ruled that the 8-peg design of the original Lego brick “merely performs a technical function [and] cannot be registered as a trademark”.
Kre-O (South Korea)
Kre-O is a popular line of toy building blocks from Hasbro. First launched in stores in 2011, the firm continues to expand the number of sets with sets such as Transformers, Star Trek or Dungeons & Dragons.
BanBao is a very well known company in the field, with its products being sold in over 60 countries around the world. According to the information on their website, BanBao has a range of over 20 different lines and 160 products.
COBI started its first production line of plastic construction blocks in 1992 in Warsaw, Poland. Throughout the years, COBI has expanded its offer and has become the biggest manufacturer of construction blocks in Central and Eastern Europe. It currently sells in over 60 countries worldwide.
Sluban started its production in 2004 and its toy building blocks are now available worldwide. As with the other alternatives, Sluban meets high-quality standards and certifications and has good online reviews.
CreativeQT is a bit different from the other five alternatives. It is a very new company and it is also much smaller than the others. Created by a couple with five kids, the company is growing fast thanks to its excellent quality and clever approach. Focused mostly around storage and organization, their products will work with your LEGO and help you organize it.
What other brands work with LEGO?
In addition to these six brands, there are many other brands that work with LEGO. You need to be careful, though. Some of the brands out there are not reliable and do not manufacture their toys with minimum safety and/or quality standard. Below we have listed 12 additional brands that are also well-known.
- Best-Lock (UK)
- Oxford Toys (South Korea)
- Ausini (China)
- ENLIGHTEN (China)
- Guangdong Loongon (China)
- Gudi (China)
- Kazi (China)
- Lepin (China)
- LOZ (China)
- LianHuan (China)
- Xingbao (China)
Best-Lock was founded in 1998 in the United Kingdom. So, they have more than 20 years of experience in the sector. It is a family business that sells its blocks internationally and with offices and warehouses in the United Kingdom, Germany, China, and North America.
Oxford Toys (South Korea)
Oxford Toys is closely related to Kre-O because it is under the same company, Hasbro. Since being bought by Hasbro, they focus on different sets than Kreo-O.
ENLIGHTEN is another Chinese brand. Founded more than 20 years ago, it is still very popular in some markets such as the European one.
Guangdong Loongon (China)
Guangdong Loongon is one of the biggest manufacturers of building blocks in China. They have two main brand names, LOONGON and COGO, and have been in business for more than 15 years.
Guide Blocks is part of As-Toys, a company established in 2006 and that serves both the European and the North American Market.
Kazi building blocks are part of KY Toy Industry Co, a company that has more than 100 different sets and which exports to countries such as the United States, Mexico, Russia, or Italy.
Lepin is one of the leaders in the Chinese market for toy building blocks. It has a lot of legal issues due to copyright infringement with LEGO.
LOZ is a company founded in Germany but with manufacturing in China. LOZ has a huge variety of products to offer.
LianHuan was founded in the 1990s in China. In 2008, they created the brand, “STAR DIAMOND blocks”, which has become the flagship of the company.
The last company is Xingbao is a subsidiary of the parent company Lepin, which we have already talked about. XingBao focuses on the research and production of LEGO-compatible assemblies for children over 5 years of age.
Should you buy only LEGO toy building blocks?
Now that we have had a look at some of the brands that work with LEGO, you might be wondering if you should be buying only LEGO or if it is OK to be buying also other brands, most of whom only clone the work that LEGO has done.
From my point of view, the answer will entirely depend on your circumstances. In general, I wouldn’t be supporting any company that simply clones a product and that does not bring any additional value to the table. But well, I am a big fan of LEGO and also of creative companies, so I am willing to pay the extra money that comes with that.
So, from the list above, it would be fine to buy some of them which mostly focus on their own products but which have a structure that makes it compatible with LEGO. On the other hand, I would personally stay away from other brands which completely clone LEGO, even making similarly looking logos.
If you want to know which alternatives I recommend, be sure to have a look at our article “Why is LEGO so expensive? (And alternatives to consider)”, where we discuss the price of LEGO and the alternatives you can find in much more detail.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you want to know a bit more about other brands that work with LEGO, this pdf has a huge amount of information. It is two years old so some parts are no longer up to date, but the amount of information you can find inside is priceless.
If you are interested, here is a link to the entire Lego section found on Amazon.