Lego Star Wars – Clone Commander Rex Minifigure Comparison

LEGO® Clones – Rip-Offs VS Official LEGO® Products

Front: Official LEGO Rex (left), Copy Rex (right)

Back: Official LEGO Rex (left), Copy Rex (right)












As a website that concentrates on manipulating LEGO minifigures to create animations, we are often looking for new minifigures to be the actors in our films. The LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series are often easy to get hold of at a decent price, but if you want a minifigure from a specific set, but don’t want to spend the money on buying the whole set, then that minifigure can often be harder to get your hands on and a lot more expensive.

Because of that, it is not surprising that people have started to produce ‘custom’ minifigures, that are available to buy on ebay, amazon and other online stores for a cheaper price. Some custom minifigure manufacturers use real LEGO parts that are stripped of their print and properly pad printed with their own unique, original designs, like the guys over at do to produce high quality custom figures, but other manufacturers are producing blatant rip-offs of LEGO’s original designs, printed (or sometimes stickered) onto cheaper LEGO compatible parts. We thought we would take a look at one of these blatant rip-offs and compare it against the original LEGO product to see how they compare to see if these cheaper copies are really worth your money… For this copy comparison we aptly chose Phase II Clone Commander Rex of the 501st Legion from the LEGO Star Wars Set 75012. We bought the official LEGO minifigure from and his cheaper counterpart from

The original LEGO version of Rex is up to the usual high standards that they produce. With well detailed, sharp pad printing on the front/back of the torso and legs, the colours are strong and bold with a high level of accuracy to the character from the Star Wars films and animated series The Clone Wars. The phase II clone helmet looks great, with fantastic moulding and fine detailed printing with accurate representations of Rex’s signature Jaig Eye markings and tally marks that he is so well known for. The head underneath is similar to the original LEGO Star Wars minifigure clone heads, but with added ‘midnight shadow’ stubble to give Rex a bit more individuality. To finish the character off nicely he also includes a blue and black shoulder Pauldron and a black Kama belt cape. All of the pieces fit snuggly together, with enough friction to hold the arms and legs firm but moveable at the same time, and the helmet fits the head perfectly.

In stark contrast to the official LEGO Rex, the copy, despite looking pretty good on first glance, had obvious problems from the moment I opened the package. Firstly, the legs would not connect to the body properly, with hardly any friction between the parts to keep them together, and the legs regularly separating from the torso without any effort. The arms were similar, lacking in any kind of interference, so the arms spun freely within the joint of the body, making it practically impossible to put the arms in any other pose than down by his sides. Similarly, the phase II clone helmet, which is slightly shorter and squatter than the original, doesn’t quite fit on to the stud of the head, making it move around lots and not stay in one place. Print wise, the lines are soft and not as fine, with the colours being weaker, paler versions than that of the original LEGO counterpart and the design having been more or less copied exactly from the original. The figures face is a poor representation of the original, and across all of the elements the moulding and plastic quality of the product doesn’t feel as well made. The shoulder Pauldron is just black, as is the Kama belt-cape.

Overall, the Rex copy minifigure, despite being a much cheaper purchase, is vastly inferior to LEGO‘s original in almost every way, from print, through to build quality. As an animator, good quality printing looks better ‘on film’ and the lack of friction on the arms and legs makes it very hard to pose the figure effectively for animation movements. This, to us, really proves the old adage of “you get what you pay for” and although money is sometimes a deciding factor in what and how we do things in life, sometimes it is better to wait until you can pay for the slightly superior product. So next time you need a specific minifigure for your animations, we’d recommend you stick with the official LEGO product or go to a company like or who you can trust to sell you quality product.

Thanks for reading and check back soon! Until then, keep animating!

Nikon D5200 Camera Test 1

Nikon D5200

So, we have recently purchased a new DSLR camera, the D5200 from Nikon which we got for a very good price from Amazon, along with an SD card and Tripod. I have taken the camera out with me on a couple of occasions so far and am very pleased with the image quality I am getting from the camera. Part of the reason for buying this specific camera is that it has the Live View feature on it, which should allow me to use it for animating with Boinx’s iStopMotion software, so the other night I sat down and put it through some animation tests…

Firstly, I had problems installing Boinx’s iStopMotion on my iMac, so I am looking into that, but rather than waste my time, I just took some sequential shots on the camera that I then imported into Cateater’s StopMotionStudio on my iPad to create the animations… Obviously working just in the camera, and without onion skinning to see my last shot, the animations are a little jumpy, but the image quality is a vast improvement on my usual setup of iPhone Remote Camera and iPad combination. I tried animating with the auto focus and with manual focus as well as flash on and flash off to see what different effects I would get. I also realised that I need to buy a remote control for the camera… manually pressing the camera button to take the pictures obviously results in slight camera wobble each time, so a remote control should hopefully cure that problem!

One of my biggest problems with working with an iPhone as a remote camera is the auto-focus, which quite often will change of its own accord, even when turned off in the software and sometimes ruining the sequence I am working on. With the Nikon, the manual focus is a dream, it is sharp, accurate and sensitive, resulting in a crisp picture with some great depth of field not offered by the iPhone. Also, at 16.9Mp resolution, the images from the camera are that much better than the iPhone 4S that I normally use and as you would expect the light sensor in the camera gives a flat, clean image, whereas I find the iPhone images end up with a verify noisy background!

I still have a lot of work to do before I can get the camera properly integrated into my work flow, and getting Boinx’s iStopMotion working properly on my iMac is going to take priority now. I will keep posting updates on this, letting you know how I get on! Check out the video below to see the results of my first tests!

The test animations are at 12fps in 720px HD