After the success of our recent posts comparing LEGO with other construction toy companies, we decided today to write a Gobricks review. Below we'll talk about who Gobricks are, how they compare to LEGO, and their different pros and cons, so you can decide for yourself if Gobricks is a viable alternative to LEGO.
Introducing The Companies
Below, let's take a brief look at LEGO and a more in-depth look at Gobricks so we can place these companies in context before we look at the actual differences between them.
What Is LEGO?
LEGO needs no introduction from us - they're the largest brick toy company in the world with vast ranges of sets, themes, and products that appeal to everyone from small infants to the elderly. Nostalgia, imagination, creativity, and fun are at the heart of almost everything they do.
They're successful because they release brick sets that are fun to build and of high quality, but are also original in that they can become other things too. The initial toy is much more than it seems, making it an even more appealing product.
Today, they're the undisputed no.1 in the construction toy market and that's been the case ever since they started out in 1949.
What Is Gobricks?
Gobricks is a China-based company that basically produces the same sort of products as LEGO. They produce bricks in many colors and sizes that can be put together creatively to create different, awesome things. Gobricks started out in 2017, and ever since 2019, have been growing in popularity with consumers all over the world who are seeing them as a genuine LEGO alternative. But away from being a LEGO alternative, they're also LEGO compatible, meaning you can use their bricks to enhance LEGO, too.
They might be a relatively new company, but they are producing their own bricks (although, from our research, we're certain they don't sell 'sets' per se, rather just loose bricks) and people are finding their products exciting.
Now, let's start with the main differences between LEGO and Gobricks. The first one, is how you actually go about buying them here in the US (and anywhere around the world that isn't China, for that matter).
How To Buy LEGO
To buy LEGO in the US, it's a very straightforward process, right? You either find your local LEGO store and go inside and see what they have, or you head to LEGO.com and buy online. Alternatively, you can find other online retailers and other stores that also stock LEGO. Our point is, there are plenty of ways you can buy LEGO in this country and it's a simple process.
Sure, you might have to wait a few days for a delivery if you buy online, but mostly it's straightforward and fast.
How To Buy Gobricks
Gobricks, on the other hand, are much more difficult to purchase here in the US. There are no Gobricks stores, and there isn't just one online Gobricks website you can head to and place your order. Instead, you have to jump through a few hoops.
Typically, it involves heading to a third party seller of Gobricks products, where you have to come prepared with a list of the parts you want. From there, the third party seller contacts Gobricks, finds out if they have the bricks you need, and then report back to you with a price, where you can then determine if it's worth the money or not.
If you decide to go ahead with the deal, you'll pay the third party seller, who will, obviously, take a percentage for facilitating the sale, and the rest will go to Gobricks. After that, the bricks will be shipped from China to your address in the US, which will typically take between 3 and 4 weeks, sometimes longer, and sometimes will incur customs fees.
In short, purchasing Gobricks here in the US is a LOT more complicated than purchasing LEGO.
So then, let's look at the next possible area of difference: quality.
LEGO is known for creating top-quality bricks that fit together and come apart brilliantly when used with other LEGO bricks and one reason for their success, no doubt, is that they've built a reputation for themselves as being the go-to brick toy company when you want to purchase something special for yourself or as a gift for someone else because you can rely on them providing products with the same high quality every time you make a purchase.
Gobricks don't yet have that same reputation for quality, but that's not to say that the bricks they produce are bad. In fact, in terms of their compatibility with LEGO, they're some of the best LEGO alternatives on the market because they fit together well.
Yes, there is some friction when using Gobricks bricks with LEGO, but it's not as excessive as you find with other brick alternatives. For example, the bricks from Gobrick have higher brick occlusion and will be tighter than Lego bricks, which means that the finished creation would be more stable than Lego bricks.
Gobricks create bricks that are of a similar quality to LEGO, although in our opinion there are some obvious differences in the way the bricks feel. In terms of how they look and work, though, the quality is there, there's no doubt about that.
Value is a little bit more difficult to compare the two companies on.
LEGO creates a lot of different products and sets for different budgets, but there's no denying that LEGO is an expensive brick option. In fact, sometimes it's ridiculously expensive and we're genuine fans of LEGO. But just because they get their prices wrong sometimes and skew towards the more expensive end of the scale doesn't necessarily mean it's bad value.
Yes, it's expensive, but for the money you pay you get a name you can trust, high-quality bricks to use, and sets and bricks you can build, rebuild, and build again time and time again for a very long time. They're durable, well made, and yes, also expensive.
Gobricks also provide products that are of a high quality, but because they're from China and you have to buy through third party sellers, it's really difficult to say whether you're getting a good deal or not. With LEGO, there's one set price for the things you want. With Gobricks, it's a lot more complicated.
During the negotiation process with the third-party seller, you can never be sure how much Gobricks are actually charging for their products, because whatever price they give the third-party seller won't be the final price you get. The person in the middle needs to make a profit, too, so they'll add more money to the asking price before giving it to you.
So how do you know if your Gobricks are good value for money or not? Well, you don't. Or at least, you don't unless you know the third party member, the money they're making, and can trust that what you pay is genuinely worth it for the bricks you get.
And finally, let's focus on the products that both companies produce.
LEGO produces a range of products, most of which have a theme. For example, LEGO works closely with big names to create ranges such as LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Star Wars, but they also have their own successful ranges, too, like LEGO City or LEGO Technic. Our point is that, mostly, LEGO releases products that fit into one of these easily identifiable ranges, and that therefore tick a few boxes we expect from them.
Take LEGO Harry Potter. We expect these sets to be themed around the Wizarding World, featuring our favorite locations, characters, and scenes from the books and movies, right? And a lot of the products LEGO release have this strong identity that tells customers what to expect and creates excitement around their release.
Gobricks, however, don't tend to release products in the same way. Instead, they mass produce bricks of different sizes, colors, and functions, and as the customer, the onus is on you to decide what bricks you need in order to complete a build you're thinking of trying out. In other words, Gobricks don't bother with building instructions or themes to tell you what to do to get a finished product in the same way LEGO does.
Rather, they provide you with the bricks and leave the rest up to you. Which is, in many ways, very exciting to people in the LEGO MOC community who can simply buy bricks on mass from Gobricks and figure out a way to put them together in a creative way later.
Pros & Cons Of Gobricks
We've already looked at the pros and cons of LEGO a few times on this blog so we won't waste your time again (but if you're interested check out our articles 'LEGO vs KNEX Review: What's The Differences?' and 'Mega Bloks Review: Are They As Good As LEGO?' for more information on LEGO's pros and cons), but below we'll just focus on the pros and cons of Gobricks as we see them.
Pros of Gobricks
- Vast range of colors, sizes, and functions
- Able to mass order bricks
- Compatible with LEGO
- Perfect for MOCs
- Good quality
Cons of Gobricks
- Value is hard to determine a lot of the time
- Difficult to get a hold of
- Beginners may struggle without direction
So, Should We All Make The Switch?
Overall, we can see a genuine place in the market for Gobricks to be used alongside LEGO. If you're someone who enjoys creating MOCs and experimenting with LEGO sets to create new ideas or enhance LEGO's original one, then we think Gobricks could be a great way to quickly build your brick collection for a good price (depending on the deal you're offered from the third party seller you choose to contact) and expand your opportunities for MOCs.
If, however, you're looking for a LEGO alternative in the true sense of the word, we're not sure Gobricks is for you. You won't get building instructions, the process of buying them is confusing at best and complicated at worst, and you could easily be ripped off. In these instances, we'd recommend simply sticking with LEGO.
Of course, there is another way...
If you're looking for a LEGO alternative with a straightforward buying process, building instructions, and clear prices, then you could always give us a try here at Funwhole. Our brick building sets also come with lighting kits as standard, so you can turn our amazing sets into a display piece that everyone can admire.
Still, we strongly believe that a diverse construction toy market is a better one, so whether it's Funwhole, Gobricks, or LEGO you settle on, we're just happy you're getting to experience the fun of brick construction toys. But of course, we'd recommend checking out our products first...