Budget Brick Review - Enlighten #501 Space Tracer
Today's review is another 99p Enlighten set from eBay. Isn't that fun?
Something I haven't really thought about before, and the Little Launch Base set had the same thing, is that some of the Enlighten sets also have a “Brick” logo (which obviously owes quite a bit to the Lego system logo) and that “Brick” logo has a TM after it. Really? REALLY?
Anyway, as you can probably tell this set is a whole bundle of copyright infringement and they've not even been that coherent about it. A Lego Explorien logo adorns the Space Tracer which is piloted by an old City theme astronaut. Now that's not right.
Like always with Enlighten sets I've bought on eBay there's no box included.
Inside the rather hefty little plastic bag is exactly what you'd expect.
The first thing I noticed when laying out the parts there is that there's another one of those badly moulded heads with a hole all the way through. At least the print is a bit nicer than the last two Enlighten sets I reviewed, but then again it is a straight clone of a Lego print so why shouldn't it be?
The instructions, as I've come to expect, are clear, straight forward, simple to follow and not quite cut right.
Unfortunately, the instructions aren't the only thing suffering from being not quite right. Most of the parts are sharp. Little bits of excess plastic stick out here and there. It's all a little disappointing. I say disappointing, because I haven't found this problem with previous sets. Enlighten really need to sort out their quality control.
Oh, and stop stealing other people's print designs. That'd be good too.
Our poor old astronaut here has a visor that doesn't fit probably. It should by all logic fit. They're both clones of Lego parts. They're just not quite good enough clones apparently.
There's also the other problem of course.
Those are some pretty hideous moulding issues right there. Those legs are definitely not going to be getting any use. Yuck!
It also has the hit and miss Enlighten problem of having non-standard arms and hands. Again, you can swap the hands out between certain Enlighten figures, but they're completely incompatible with proper Lego figures, most other clones and some other Enlighten figures. With the hugely varying quality of the pieces and the two different sizes for the hands I'm assuming that there's more than one factory involved in the making of these. I'd be very surprised if there wasn't.
Likewise some pieces are very well printed whilst others...
That is pretty damn rubbish printing there, topped off by that random yellow speck on the edge there. In contrast this...
...could pass for the genuine article if it wasn't for the blank studs on the top and a little bit of roughness along the front of the piece. In terms of print quality I'd take my hat off to them, except I'm indoors so I'm not wearing it. Also they nicked that design.
Moving on to the green dish piece, when comparing it to the Lego and Mega Bloks equivalents you can see that it's not quite a match for either of them. It's not terribly out. It's in that area where by itself you'd never notice that anything was amiss, but combining it with another transparent green piece will show off the fact that they just couldn't get a good enough match.
The blue is worse.
The closest Lego colour to the transparent blue they've used really isn't that close. No points for them then.
The design of the vehicle itself is nice enough. I wonder if it's a copy of a Lego one. It looks like it could be.
(Edit: It is. It's the Explorien Cloud Cruiser set and other than the inclusion of the wrong figure it's an exact clone. Cheeky gits. One interesting point though is that the box for the Lego original suggests that it's for ages 5-10 and the Enlighten version suggests it's for ages 6 and above only.)
If you were to ask me what I thought were the best parts of this set I'd say the white megaphones/ray-guns/miscellaneous tools. I can't fault them at all. They are unfortunately the only parts in the set though that I would say pass any kind of quality check.
The instruction sheet probably comes a close second as you can use it to make the same model, but with pieces that aren't threatening to give you a plastic cut every time you pick them up.
The Enlighten number 501 Space Tracer scores a shockingly bad one and a half out of ten. I think I want my 99p back this time.
(Edit: Three quarters of a point removed due to finding out it really was a Lego design. Gimme my 99p back yer gits!)