Henry Pinto is one of the best LEGO builders around specializing in huge, minifigure-scale creations. One of the most notable builds that he worked on is the towering 4-feet tall, custom LEGO Sentinel MOC based from the classic X-Men animated series. He is also actively involved with the Australian LEGO fan community and continues to delight us with his MOCs and other LEGO-inspired creations. Just recently, he came up with a worthy rival for his colossal LEGO Sentinel MOC in the character of his next gigantic mech – his custom LEGO Gundam. This behemoth clocks at more than 10,000 pieces and stands at 90cm or almost 3 feet tall.
Unfortunately, talented builders and MOCers like Henry are shamelessly blindsided by companies that don’t give any value to the creativity and tons of efforts given by LEGO builders. Within the week of posting his custom LEGO Gundam MOC online, reports came to him that Lepin has already listed a copycat set that ripped off the original design and images of his latest work. Australian-based Bricking Around managed to interview Henry and was able to get to the bottom of this barefaced thievery.
For the record, this is not the first time that Lepin stole from the LEGO community. Back in October 2016, we brought to your attention how Lepin picks up several AFOL designs and packages them as their own. Some of these were taken from LEGO fans’ Flickr sites or straight up from the LEGO Ideas page. They even launched their own copycat LEGO Ideas platform in the hope of getting more inspirational builds from avid LEGO fans. Truth be told, there are AFOLs who actually submitted their original custom LEGO creations to this site so it was but natural to ask Henry if he indeed submitted his custom LEGO Gundam to Lepin. His answer was a resounding NO: in fact, it was only Monday this week that he shared his latest creation online. After a day or two, Henry’s friends and fans worldwide alerted him on how Lepin launched a copycat version based on his original LEGO Gundam MOC. “I had people from all over the world message me”, Henry admits. “At first I thought it was a joke and someone was pulling a prank. I even thought it was funny, but then I started getting links to actual retail stores taking pre-orders. That’s when I realized that it was not a joke and they were serious”. Just by looking at the following images below, you can immediately recognize that these were lifted from Henry’s Flickr album.
As bad as this may sound, Henry is such a cool LEGO fan and builder that he does not want this incident to dampen his enthusiasm in sharing his love for the brick. When asked if this experience made him reluctant to share his future work, Henry said, “Not really, I’ve always loved sharing as I go, as it engages a lot of people and it also helps me stay motivated. I also think the journey with a build like this is interesting as it very unique. I also enjoy the fact that people learn techniques from my posts.” Thankfully, we have people like Henry Pinto.
We would like to point out that what Lepin is doing is simply wrong, and it hurts LEGO builders and avid fans when their work and designs are taken without permission just for copycat companies to earn a quick buck. Let’s continue to be vigilant and report any similar activities, and we will do our best in keeping you informed.