Last week I was in San Francisco for the PBS Annual Meeting followed by a few additional days of vacationing. On one hand, I believe San Francisco may be the most beautiful city in the United States. On the other, it also has more panhandlers per square foot. You can’t swing a box of Rice-a-Roni without hitting a half dozen beggars and grifters.
Speaking of things that are not-quite-legit, I wanted to share one of my shopping finds from the streets of San Francisco. A charming Chinatown shop named Powell Gifts enticed me with its mural depicting every Japanese pop culture icon from Mario to Godzilla.
Among the anime wall scrolls and Pokemon figurines was a cache of bootleg Lego minifigures. I’ve seen photos of Lego fakes before, but this was the first time I’d encountered them in the wild.
I exited happily clutching a Hulk. I figured that at worst I’d come away with a poorly-made glob of plastic in a nifty package, and just maybe I’d score a decent reproduction of a rare, out-of-production promotional minifigure.
The toy came in a colorful box that closely followed the typography and house style of Lego packaging.
The back-of-the-box artwork was cribbed from the Lego Marvel Super Heroes videogame, with Superman and Batman subbed in for Black Widow and Loki.
Here are the contents of the box: a minifigure, a stand, three superhero stat cards (none of which are for the Hulk), and a spare hand. Also, a sniper rifle. Like the Hulk is known to carry.
Note that the stand declares this toy to be part of their “Herd Series.” Not pictured are the backs of the stat cards, which inexplicably feature the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo.
I honestly love this figure. It’s comparable in quality to the collectible, blind bagged minifigs sold by Lego, and it’s of a character who is only available in large, expensive sets. Well done, bootleggers!