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This page was a proposal for the Mega Bloks article. It incorporates text from a now old version of Wikipedia's Mega Bloks article.


Mega Bloks is a clone brand of LEGO produced by Mega Bloks, Incorporated, a publicly traded children's toy company based in Montreal, Canada. Mega Bloks, Inc. distributes toys worldwide but are most popular in North America, where they claim to be one of the top 10 toy brands.

Contents

Micro collection

Since 1991, Mega Bloks has been producing its Micro collection of sets, which feature pieces the same size as regular LEGO bricks. Studs are the same dimensions, plates are 1/3 of a brick in height, rod system parts interoperate, and so forth, although there are minor areas of inconpatibility. The design of the figure has evolved over time, but its components have never been fully interchangable with ones from LEGO minifigs.

Mega Bloks has entered numerous license agreements over the years with such properties as NASCAR, Harley-Davidson, Marvel Comics, Bandai, Star Trek, and The Walt Disney Company. Additionally, Mega Bloks has produced sets based on Pokémon and plans future releases based on the 2005 film version of The Chronicles of Narnia and the 2006 film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. October 15, 2003 was the first airing of a commercial for Honda. The commercial featured computer-generated imagery of a cloud of countless Mega Bloks bricks raining down to assemble a life-sized version of the Element SUV.

On October 12, 2004, Mega Bloks released an animated movie, Dragons: Fire & Ice, direct to DVD and VHS and which subsequently aired on the Cartoon Network. Fire & Ice was based on Mega Bloks' successful Dragons product line, featuring detailed warriors, castles, and, of course, dragons. A sequel, entitled Dragons II: The Metal Ages has also aired on Cartoon Network, and released on video.

Quality

Most blocks are manufactured in Canada, but some more specialized elements are made in China.

The overall quality of Mega Bloks elements has improved markedly since the first sets were released. Certain early elements suffered from inconsistent clutch power and were susceptible to stress fracture, but more recently these problems have been greatly reduced. This is due to tighter molding tolerances and improvements in the quality of the ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) of which Mega Bloks elements are composed.

Many AFOLs still believe that Mega Bloks do not meet the high standard for quality set by LEGO -- that the precision of moulding and quality of plastic are not as high.

Mega Bloks can sometimes be bought in bulk at lower prices than LEGO bricks, leading to some AFOLs using them for structural or framework elements of creations. This allows them to use LEGO bricks for the visible portions of the creation while taking advantage of the lower-prices of Mega Bloks. The purity level of an AFOL determines to what degree, if any, Mega Bloks are used.

Some LEGO forums have even taken to using the word "Mega Bloks" (or variants on that: megablocks, megablox, etc) as a swear word to further demean this "clone brand."

Company History

In 1967, Victor Bertrand and his wife Rita founded the company as Ritvik Toys, Inc. (a portmanteau word based on a combination of Rita and Victor). Ritvik was amalgamated with Ritvik Holdings Inc. on June 30 , 1998. [1] On March 19, 2002, the name was changed from Ritvik Holdings Inc. to Mega Bloks Inc. Currently, the founders' sons Vic Bertrand Jr. and Marc Bertrand are COO and CEO, respectively.

The LEGO Group has filed suit against Mega Bloks Inc. in courts around the world on the grounds that Mega Bloks' use of the "studs and tubes" interlocking brick system is a violation of trademarks held by LEGO. Generally such suits have been unsuccessful, chiefly because the functional design of the basic brick is considered a matter of patent rather than trademark law, and all relevant LEGO patents have expired. In one of the most recent decisions, on November 17, 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada upheld Mega Bloks' right to continue selling the product in Canada [2].

The company also produces building blocks in three other sizes:

  1. Maxi size, introduced in 1985, is larger than Duplo but smaller than Primo.
  2. Mini size, introduced in 1989, is the same size as Duplo but has slightly taller studs.
  3. Nano size, introduced in 2004, is the smallest.


External links

References

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