After the success of our previous LEGO vs KNEX post, we thought it'd be a good idea to pit another heavyweight against LEGO to see how they fare. This time, we've chosen Mega Bloks, and throughout today's post we'll compare both companies and decide once and for all who is best! So join us below for another fun-filled construction toy showdown!
To start, let's look at the brand info to see what these companies are about: who they are, where and why they started, and how much do they dominate the construction toy market right now.
Since we covered LEGO's brand information in-depth in our previous post, we'll just fire the information at you quickly to refresh your memory:
- LEGO began in 1949 and is currently being run by a collective known as The LEGO Group, where they operate out of Billund, Denmark.
- In 2021, they were named the largest toy company in the world.
- They held the patent for their interlocking block style toys for years, making them the longest standing and most successful construction toy company in the world - and you won't find many people who'll argue with that.
Speaking of people who don't argue with the fact that LEGO is the largest and most successful construction toy company in the world, we have Mega Bloks up next. They market themselves as the 'proud no.2 in construction', so they're more than aware of the fact that LEGO is a more successful brand than them - and it's this honesty that's allowed them to be as successful as they are.
Starting out 30 years ago in Montreal, Canada, Mega Bloks never tried to be LEGO. Instead, they targeted a market that LEGO had largely left untapped: toddlers. By focussing on creating larger bricks which could be manipulated by smaller hands more easily, Mega Bloks quickly became a success by diving headfirst into a market that LEGO had only ever dipped their toes in at that point. They may only be the 'no.2 in construction', but they got there by being smart about their target audience and bringing something different to the table.
And since then, they've allowed themselves to develop. It was the release of the first Halo Mega Bloks set in 2009 that really kicked things off for the company, and customers started looking to them as an alternative to LEGO. Nowadays, Mega Bloks works (or have worked) with some of the biggest brands, just like LEGO does, and it's turning out to be a successful business model for them. So much so, that they're now no.2 in the world!
But now that they're operating in similar ways, it's important to distinguish them by comparing them like for like, starting first, with the quality of the products themselves.
Of course, both are of high quality. If either one of them sucked, they wouldn't be in the position they're in of being the biggest and second biggest construction toy company in the world, right? But if you dig a little deeper, you'll find some quality differences between the two.
First off, LEGO builds always feel more premium. And that makes sense, given that they dominated the market for so long and know how to make the very best bricks out there. It's experience that makes the difference here.
But Mega Bloks still put out a high-quality product, it's just not quite as premium as LEGO. Still, they bring a lot of unique elements to their builds like metallic bricks, etc., so despite the quality not being quite as good, they do feel a little braver with their innovative ideas. Who knows? Maybe LEGO's experience goes against them here because they're stuck in their old ways, but Mega Bloks has the freedom to explore new ideas a little more?
For quality though, LEGO wins.
Another important area customers of both brands will want to know about is the value. Where can you spend your dollars and get more bang for your buck? Well, there's a clear winner here, too...
Mega Bloks don't charge nearly as much as LEGO do for their sets. In fact, when you take one of the largest Halo Mega Bloks set (the Forward Unto Dawn set at $249.99 with 2877 pieces) and one of the largest LEGO Star Wars sets (the AT-AT set at $799.99 with 6785 pieces) and compare their price per brick, Mega Bloks is much cheaper. For the example sets above, LEGO charges over 11 cents per brick, and Mega Bloks only 8 cents per brick. And that's just one example. We could spend the rest of this article providing you with more, but it'll probably be more fun for us to move on to another category, right?
For value, it's easily a Mega Bloks win.
Playability, or rather, just how fun these sets are to build and then play with, is another huge factor that customers take into consideration when deciding which brand they prefer out of the two.
Mega Bloks is fun to put together for all ages. They have ranges that target age groups from babies to adults, and if there's one thing you'll see in common across all those sets, it's how they make people smile as they put them together. They're always bright, innovative, and easy to build, and are great to pull apart and do it all over again when you want to.
But LEGO does it better.
There, we said it. And the only reason we think LEGO does it better is that their sets offer everything that Mega Bloks' sets do, but they also have the ability to turn into MOCs. We're not saying Mega Bloks don't, but their sets are a little more restrictive than LEGO in terms of the order you have to put the bricks together in order to create anything cool. It's not impossible with Mega Bloks sets, but it's much more difficult than with LEGO, which already has a very active MOC community which creates some awesome new builds out of old ones.
For that reason alone, we think LEGO has the better playability.
Sometimes it's good to move beyond the bricks to focus on other aspects that both construction toys bring to the table, and in this case, it's the minifigures they produce.
LEGO has a strong advantage in this area, many would argue, because their minifigures have been enough to inspire entire movie and video game franchises, and the same can't be said of Mega Bloks' minifigures. But there are limitations to what these minifigures can do in real life. You might be used to LEGO Harry Potter running around freely and managing all sorts of stunts in the LEGO video games, but the figures themselves aren't quite so manipulatable when you have them in your hand.
Mega Bloks build their figures with articulated joints, so manipulating them into cool poses and positions is much easier, and playing with them is more satisfying as a result. But then Mega Bloks make their minifigures in molds, so they're stuck together, and LEGO have the advantage of giving us minifigures which can be swapped out and mixed up with ease to make our own minifigures.
With all that said, we think both companies tie on minifigures. But you can always decide for yourself which you prefer...
Before we give our final pros and cons list and decide which is better in our LEGO vs Mega Bloks review, we thought it'd be good to show you what a good portion of customers make of the two companies and their sets. In order to do this, we're simply taking the first page of both products when you type in 'LEGO' or 'Mega Bloks' into the Amazon search bar and comparing the star reviews of every product on the first page.
Altogether, there were 49 products listed as LEGO on the first page when you type 'lego' into the Amazon search bar. The lowest rating was 4.5 stars. For Mega Bloks, there were 41 products listed as Mega Bloks on the first page when you type 'mega bloks' into the Amazon search bar. The lowest rating was 4 stars.
Of LEGO's 49 products, 39 were rated as 5 stars (79.5%), and 10 were rated as 4.5 stars (20.5%).
Of Mega Bloks' 41 products, 14 were rated as 5 stars (34.1%), 22 were rated as 4.5 stars (53.7%), and 5 were rated as 4 stars (12.2%).
If you're looking at Amazon reviews as a marker of customer satisfaction, then LEGO wins.
Pros & Cons
But now it's our turn to give our opinion, so let's look at LEGO's and Mega Bloks' pros and cons below.
LEGO: Pros & Cons
- work with some of the biggest brands
- MOC capabilities
- huge, loyal fan base
- top-quality bricks
- interchangeable minifigures
- always fun to play and display
- very pricey
- perhaps tradition beats out innovation sometimes...
Mega Bloks: Pros & Cons
- also works with big brands
- good quality bricks and sets
- articulated joints on minifigures allow for awesome play and display
- amazing value for money
- ever-expanding products for different age groups
- innovation is at the fore of everything they do
- not as good quality
- difficult to rework the sets into something new
Why Not Try Something New?
At the start of today's post we asked if Mega Bloks were as good as LEGO, and honestly, we don't think they are. BUT, they offer so much that LEGO don't, that the construction toy world would be a much more boring place without them. Mega Bloks sets are innovative, great value for money, and always fun to build and play with, no matter your age.
So whilst LEGO does beat them to the number one spot again (hey, Mega Bloks themselves admit they're no.2), it is marginal, and we'd encourage all our readers to give both companies' sets a shot. Because neither one is likely to disappoint.
And whilst we're spreading love to other construction toys today, we thought we'd finish by spreading a little self-love, too.
Here at Funwhole, we have our own little slice of the construction toy world with our Funwhole building kits with lights. We believe passionately that if you've spent time lovingly building a set, you ought to be able to appreciate it the whole day through - even when night falls. And that's why all of our building kits come with lights as standard, so you can display them in an innovative, fun, and exciting way, no matter the time of day.
So, if you're interested in trying something new - we're right here! Just head to our products page today and take a look for yourself. After all, the construction toys you love now were new to you at one point, and maybe our Funwhole building kits with lights will join their ranks too, as construction toys with a special place in your heart!