I’ve always loved mini things and I love Lego so of course I had to get some mini Lego style blocks at some point. I’ve got the Piza set from Nanoblocks and have seen the Loz Diamond Blocks sets around but always thought they would be poor quality compared to them. After spending ages trying to find a reasonably priced Pokemon set of definitely genuine Nanoblocks I gave up and my curiosity got the better of me so I bought these two sets on Amazon when I was making a Black Friday order.
I did plan on getting Bulbasaur too but he wasn’t fulfilled by Amazon and the postage was as much as the set so he’ll have to wait. But I did get a Squirtle and a Charmander. These were both £6 and a quick search will find a lot of places selling them so take your pick, though apparently there are even fake Loz bricks out there.
One thing I like about this particular seller is that the box and everything came flat backed so it would fit through your letterbox if you didn’t order anything big with it. Also the fact that they each come in their bag and they have the original instructions in there. It’s basically as if they just have never put the box together and it’s all brand new and looks unopened when you fold it up.
If you’re not familiar with Nanoblocks or Loz building sets they are basically a mini version of Lego. Height wise they’re smaller, I’m not sure but how much, but the main difference is looking from above, they’re half the width and half the length, so a 1 by 1 Lego brick is like a 2 by 2 from these sets. I think they’re actually half the height of a standard Lego block when you have it attached, but I’m not sure. This does make them fiddly but you get a lot more detail in there. These aren’t designed for young children, I can see these pieces getting swallowed way too easily, and they’re definitely a bit fiddly, but I love them as display pieces. Unlike Lego the long ones don’t have anything underneath that holds the specific stud in, they’re just a rectangular space, so there were a couple of times when I had to push one over slightly if it was only attached by one stud and should have been lined up differently to where they ended up originally but it’s easy to do.
One of the only negatives I can think of to say about the Loz building sets, or these ones anyway as apparently it varies a lot from set to set, is the instructions. You can see from the photo above that there aren’t many. Also you get two layers for each step. I found the easiest way to see how the two should fit together was to look at the next step and pick somewhere, I chose the middle of the front row for these sets, and see how the previous two layers looked. So to see how step 2 (layers three and four) fitted onto step 1 I looked at step 3 to see if the layers stuck out more or what they lined up with. They do have arrows on there that are meant to show which studs line up on top of each other but I just found that confusing. It took some getting used to but by the time I started the second one I had a method and it went a lot faster.
As far as getting the pieces together I found that these were pretty easy, fiddly as you’d expect from the size, but they all slotted together well. It did feel a little unstable at first but these sets are designed well so that they stick and don’t budge and after about step three they were all staying in place and seemed solid. These Loz blocks do have that over my Nanoblocks set, they do not budge when you put them there unless you really try. I’ve dropped these to see what happened and an arm came off Squirtle and that’s it. Nanoblocks are definitely looser.
Another thing I noticed is that some blocks don’t have the Loz printing on them. I’m wondering if that’s a common thing or I have actually ended up with a fake Loz blocks set, which would be annoying, but I like the final look so I don’t mind too much.
I have put the finished models on the base pieces that came with them, it adds stability, but they do actually stand up by themselves. I just get paranoid about these things falling over after a Funko Pop kept falling over in the middle of the night and the head got damaged. It does also come with a little wedge with the Loz logo on it that I forgot to add before the photos. I have seen packs with the base pieces in other colours and I am very tempted to get a blue and a green. I think that, along with the spares they give, you could make a nice little base that looks better than the grey.
That’s another thing I should probably say; you definitely get enough spares to cover pretty much any piece betting lost or going missing. I don’t think I’ve had this many spares in a set with 110 pieces before. Maybe it’s just me but that’s a plus for them. I can see the little one by one pieces getting lost very easily and you could try and use some to make the base plates look a little bit prettier.
Overall I am happy with these and pleasantly surprised at their quality. Charmander’s purple eyes look a bit odd but other than that these are really cute little models for my shelf. To me the negatives aren’t all that much of an issue, the only one that might be is the fact they are such a blatant copy of Nanoblocks, but as far as quality and the final look they’re great. I have to say that normally I stay away from such obvious copies, I’ve given in a few times, but my curiosity got the better of me. If you can find the originals at a reasonable price (when I was looking before they were around £50 for something that should cost under £10) then I’d always recommend going for the original company.
I have found a place that I hope is genuine as far as Nanoblocks goes, they’re based in Japan which is a good start, who have some of the Pokemon sets at a reasonable price so after Christmas I’ll try and get at least one of these guys from there along with Bulbasaur so see how they compare. I’ll probably end up with five more sets in my bag too though, you have to make the shipping worth it right?