Consumer Beware: Kids Logic Kids Nation Figures Already KOed

The Kids Logic Kids Nation 5 pack has only just been released. So what’s the deal with the KOs listed on eBay, and why do they have a 6th? Join us after the jump, as we take a look at what is happening with this strange situation.

The 5 pack has just come out, starring marquee G1 characters with light-up features. Even though they come as a set of 5, they are all packaged separately. For those who need a reminder, the line-up is Optimus Prime, Grimlock, Bumblebee, Starscream, and Soundwave. Optimus Prime and Bumblebee have blue LED eyes, and Grimlock, Starscream, and Soundwave have red. But if you browse through eBay for Grimlock, or any of the other 4, you’ll see that he seems to be available with either red or blue eyes, and the others are available in a strange box that just isn’t right.
So why are there two colours? That’s where the story starts to get murky. The legitimate product is Grimlock with the red eyes. Yes, you will see boxed versions with the blue eyes, but they’re not what they appear to be. Blue eyes means you’re looking at the KO version. For those unsure of what KO means, it means ‘Knock Off’, ie bootlegged, an unauthorised release. Strangely though, the blue version actually hit the market first, in an attempt at packaging that does scream ‘this isn’t right’. The box style for the KO is very different, and features a mix of Dark Of The Moon And Age Of Extinction logos and phrases, including ‘Mechtech’ as the line name, and ‘Autobot Armour Topspin’ at the sides. It’s the packaging equivalent of a 10 year old trying to make a trifle: it doesn’t matter what’s there, it’s all good enough. This box is the same for all 6 characters, while the legitimate have their own box for themselves and their swappable accessory when appropriate.
There are other signs. The molding shows manufacturing flaws. The easiest spots to notice this are the panels on the shoulders, with the two divots at the bottom. On the side that is most inward, you’ll notice visible lines there, where it’s not as crisp as it should be. The genuine one doesn’t have that problem. Of course, though, the eyes are the easiest to see. Whether on or off, it’s easy to see that the eyes are blue, and not the red they’re supposed to be. Both are colours that Grimlock has had, so it’s not technically wrong. The Masterpiece figure even let you choose for yourself which you wanted to display. But the Kids Logic is supposed to be red only.
There are a few possible explanations, including that these may have just been rejects from the factory, that were noticed to be wrong and flawed, and that after hours they were made with less quality control, to recoup the difference to the maker’s bottom line. That’s just a possibility, albeit a popular theory among collectors, as we don’t know for sure, and probably never will. The factory QC reject explanation would also explain why a box was just thrown together, despite being completely different, and with a different molded bubble to hold it. The proper release is equipped with a sword hand to swap in place of the regular right hand, whereas the KO version just includes the one weaponless hand.
These are really not that expensive, as you’re paying a little over $20 for each figure in the set. Why skimp to save just a measly dollar or two, and end up with a KO version that is missing the sword/weapon, and is not as well made as it should be. That’s going to stand out next to the others. So really, it may not be worth taking the risk. We’ve also heard reports of the KO blue versions having lights that simply won’t work. Hardly surprising for a knockoff.
Our friends over at the Fwoosh have posted a wonderful video on the KO Grimlock, pointing out everything that’s wrong with it. The video is also accompanied by photos. Those are accessible by clicking right here, which takes you to the video page. Their sample also had a badly damaged Autobot symbol, which was covered up before the video was made. The white background sigil is not what it comes with, as it normally has a normal one without the white bordering it.
But that’s just Grimlock. What about the others? We’ll knock the easy one down first. Megatron is not supposed to be available in the Kids Nation line yet. It’s in the larger Mecha Nations line already, but they’re completely different, and much larger. So if it’s the smaller Kids Nations size, then it IS a KO. The real one isn’t even out.
We haven’t had a chance to get a good look at the others yet. We know they all have the same box, with the same strange box design. There will be molding flaws visible. There are no swappable hands with weapons, as included where appropriate in the legitimate figures. That means you’re not even getting the whole figure. There could be scratched symbols, due to far looser standards, and some of the light-up features simply won’t work. Yes, they’re cheaper, but they’re only cheaper by a few dollars. That few dollars go towards future lines of this wonderful sub-line. So if you enjoy them, and want more, then support the real makers, and ensure that what you’re buying is of good quality, with the bonus peace of mind knowing that if there are issues, you’ll have retailers ready to help. If you are after all 5, then you are cheaper yet again buying the legitimate set. It’s guaranteed that Megatron is in the next wave, so it is coming. But if you buy the KOs and skip the real ones, the chance of further entries in the line becomes just that little bit more uncertain.
We’d like to thank our friends over at the Fwoosh, and if you have anything to add, we would welcome the information. kl06