Lepin kits are awesome!  Go to AliExpress.com and save a fortune.

As a kid when I tried building models I was put off that I couldn't make them look as nice as the picture on the box. I was never great with fixing model pieces with putty, sanding, or painting and wet sanding and getting decals aligned just right, or making sure they stayed down over time. With Lego I could make EXACTLY what was on the box. Plus it's fun just building with your hands and not having to use glue. You can easily modify things in ways not executed by the designer. Switching out pieces for different colors is also an option. You can even add more detail by building out areas of the kit that weren't thought of. I find Lego to be a lot of fun, even if I'm just making static displays. I don't swoosh things around the house. They just decorate the room.

Star Wars is my favorite theme. While I do own several Lego Ultimate Collector Series Star Wars ships, I cannot justify the cost for some like the Millennium Falcon and the Star Destroyer. Even used their cost is still excessive.

I don't know how I stumbled onto the world of knock off Lego kits. I didn't even know they existed. But I understand now why they do. There's no reason why a box full of plastic should cost this much. It seems greedy to me. I get that Lego pays for research and development, designer salaries and benefits and licensing fees which the knock off brands don't. But wouldn't Lego sell even more kits if they were less expensive and then made up for it in volume? So I wound up going to a website called AliExpress. It's a site that represents lots of retailers mainly in China, but other Asian countries as well. There's numerous vendors selling knock offs of Lego at a fraction of the price. For example Lego sells the UCS Millennium Falcon for $799 plus tax. You can purchase this kit for $220 or so on AliExpress. Some vendors can get their more expensive kits to you in just a few days with free DHL shipping. The inexpensive kits don't ship with expedited delivery.

I've purchased a couple kits made by Lepin (now rebranded as King). The first was the original UCS Millennium Falcon from 2007 and another was the UCS Y-Wing Starfighter. They arrived with no fanfare. Bags and bags of pieces, and a bent up manual in a plain cardboard box bursting at the seams, heavily wrapped over and over again in packaging tape to contain it all.

The pictures and the video are what Lepin kits look like when they arrive. Those are not my pictures on the right . If they're yours and you'd like credit email me and I'll post your name. mark [at] marksmods.com

Lepin does make the retail boxes that look like Lego boxes and I hear you can request the box be sent to you. It may cost you extra, and it may get beat up on the way. For the UCS Millennium Falcon they even make all the internal boxes with the artwork, and the manual tray as well. I don't know if you can request this in the United States. Keep in mind the box may catch the eye of a customs inspector. This is intellectual property theft. You can read about the 2018 verdict against Lepin where they were ordered by a Chinese court to cease and desist all production, pay damages to Lego, etc., etc. Fast forward to 2019 and it's business as usual and now their name is King.

If you really have to have the box, consider purchasing the official Lego retail box off of sites like BrickLink. You can also find the official Lego manual, sticker sheet, minifigures and pieces there. Isn't the Internet great!?

Lepin kits are awesome!  Go to AliExpress.com and save a fortune.

YouTuber Studs McSnap did a very nice build and comparison video of the Lego 75129 kit and the Lepin 05132 kit. In a series of four videos you can see the two kits side by side and he notes any issues between them as he builds them both. If this doesn't convince you that Lepin kits are ALMOST every bit as good as a Lego kit, nothing will until you see or build one yourself.



I know what you're thinking. You go to some China-based website, find a store to purchase from (there's a sea of them), send some stranger your money, hope they send you the kit, that it clears customs without an issue and doesn't have any missing pieces. My two experiences were very good ones. I ordered the Y-Wing from "Yeshin Official Store." I don't remember where I purchased my old Millennium Falcon from.

You can certainly check out the reddit Lepin forum. The consensus there was to purchase from the following two stores as they provide the best customer experience:
Jeremy Whats Up
Your World of Building Blocks

Neither store is on AliExpress. I would read this thread for a list of recent ratings on stores on AliExpress. I got lucky with my new Millennium Falcon. I found it on OfferUp. The seller was just a few blocks away and had already built it and it came with the Efferman vertical stand to boot for $170. What a deal! I would have paid $100 more easily. Don't forget to check Craig's List too. I would also check Brick Builder, which is based in Michigan. This company has a lot of in stock, ready to ship Star Wars kits and has the UCS Millennium Falcon for $225 with free fast shipping (in the United States).