I was online looking for a cheap amp to replace my current cheap one (which has bust a capacitor or something and picked up an oscillating ground loop type hum) when I stumbled onto this beauty of a knockoff:
At first glance, I thought it was a legit Marshall product made for millennials, because with the similar font, my brain just skipped over the odd letter.
But this is only part of the reason this is one of my favorite knockoffs this year. The other lies in the specs:
Wongchongkrong noise is the sound of the People’s high-end AC power filter…
The kids started playing Scrabble at school and wanted to practice, so I broke out one of the knockoff sets I found at Terminal 21 in Korat a few years ago in anticipation. Unfortunately, the tiles are too big for the spaces on the board and the whole thing is so cheaply made that it affects gameplay a bit. So I’ll probably buy a real board, or at least a better knockoff, in the near future.
This is probably the best Matsushita knockoff name, ever (combined with a retailer’s misspelling) – and that’s saying a lot since Matsushita and National brands were folded into Panasonic years ago. These trusted brand names live on in developing countries, even if new product lines do not.
I’ve seen quite a few Matsushita, National, and Panasonic knockoff names (and that’s just a few from this electronics group), but the most often honored here and elsewhere is probably Mitsubishi, including the following permutations:
Mitsubashi: “Three bridges”
Mizubashi: “Water bridge”
Matsuboshi: “Pine hat”
“Mitsubishi” literally means “three water chestnuts,” but “-hishi” is what we call a diamond mark so it’s just descriptive of the logo.
In my previous post, I spoke of “fake brand name knockoffs that are loosely based on a famous item but a little too ironically so, giving you the impression that the person who designed it did so as an inside joke or something…” This is more precisely what I meant:
This is not your average copper top.
These crappy and frankly, dangerous (look at the insane bulging on the rightmost one – they came this way!) Chinese knockoffs were bundled with a couple of LCD flashlights I took camping a few weeks ago.
The term “mutant knockoffs” has been coined for products like these.
LINKAGE: Fake Products: Mutant Knock-offs on flickr
Somebody painted my ass on a sign!
We’ve actually spotted Justin Jeans apparel – mostly t-shirts and sweatshirts – at cheap night markets, but not the actual jeans. The clothes we saw were of the extremely cheap variety, made of the thinnest cotton poly blend, designed so badly as to be unappealing anywhere but the poorest corners of the third world. Kind of like those fake brand name knockoffs that are loosely based on a famous item but a little too ironically so, giving you the impression that the person who designed it did so as an inside joke or something… Anyway, this got me to thinking and I half-assedly searched for the brand name of origin since I had never heard of Justin Jeans back in the states. I found this:
South Beach, a division of Sweat Shirt USA, Inc., will design, manufacture, market and sell the Justin Jeans line. The collection will debut for fall/winter 1993 and is described by Justin as a “contemporary line of American sportswear with a Western flair.”
1993? I assume from the lack of obvious search hits that Justin Jeans is defunct in the states… What if Justin Jeans live on only as tragically poor knockoffs in SE Asia? That’s like the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.
I also like the fact that my ass is famous now. Does that qualify me as a sex symbol? Justin Timberlake has nothing on me… I’m the Big Papa of Asian Americans teaching English in SE Asia, bioootches!
One of the great joys while shopping in Thailand is the bargaining – there is a definite art to it. One must find the equilibrium between getting the best deal on an item and becoming frustrated and looking like an asshole.
In this context, an asshole is either a jerk using noobie bargaining tactics, or more commonly, someone who is expending copious amounts of time and effort for a negligible monetary return, i.e., battling it out with an old lady over a dollar difference on a twenty dollar purchase. Is a dollar difference worth sealing a deal but leaving one party with a sour taste in their mouth? Some people would answer with an unequivocal, “yes!” You are the people I do not want to go shopping with, because in the larger scope of things, that dollar means shit to you or me. Sure, it can buy you a whole meal or two there. I say, so fucking what. Who needs the meal more? Sure, sealing a sweet deal feels great – everybody likes to be a winner – but if you feel like an asshole for squeezing a street vendor for a few pennies, you most probably are.
The flip side of being an asshole is being a sucker. If you don’t bargain at all, you are a sucker, and you are seriously missing out on some fun. Looking back, I now recognize that I used to take bargaining too seriously until I learned to enjoy it. Thai people are for the most part really fucking laid back and cool. Deal with vendors who return your smile, and everything will work out fine – don’t forget a lot of vendors are assholes, too, and want nothing but (A) your money and (B) for you to get your unintelligible ass out of their sight, ASAP.
Like I said – it’s all about finding that equilibrium.
This is not a sophisticated game like buying high-quality knockoffs in Korea; no layer cakes here. This is a simple exercise in basic bargaining:
“How much for this?”
“Can you give me a good price?”
“How about ____?”
” No? What if I buy two/a dozen/____?”
“Is that the best you can do?”
“C’mon, meet me halfway!”
And that is the template for a basic bargaining approach. You will learn many others in your travels, grasshopper. But you will always return to the basics.
It was bound to happen, right? I mean, many successful chains and brands have to put up with people ripping off their designs or ideas. In-N-Out was ripped by Volks in Japan (which doesn’t even serve anything you can get at In-N-Out), Dr. Pepper has Mr. Pibb, Dr. Grip pens were copied by PHD, but the mother of these has to be The Original Tommy’s World Famous Hamburgers. I wish we had taken photos, but when I was 10 years old, Kohei, my dad, and I took a survey of the Los Angeles area looking for Tommy’s knockoff restaraunts, and what we saw was a wealth of not-so-subtle immitation: Tommie’s, Tammy’s, Timmy’s, Tomy’s, Tom’s, and Sammy’s are just some of the “Original World Famous” hamburger joints where we ate at. The amazing thing is that the buildings all copied the look of a Tommy’s joint, but they all lacked the funky soul of the real thing. By the way, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, the next time you’re in So Cal do yourself a favor and stop by here, or make your own with this recipe and if you truly want the authentic recipe, refer to FAQ no.4 on the official site.
Yes, love it or hate it, Starbucks is a very successful company which you wish you had bought stock for 10 years ago. I wonder how many people sit down here, leisurely sip their coffee and read their newspaper, and walk out, only afterwards noticing that this place isn’t Starbucks but a place that uses a very similar font and color and goes so far as to immitate the circular mark of Starbucks, replacing the crowned Medusa mascot with a stylized cup of coffee. I wonder how many people never notice this and continue to believe that they are drinking at Starbucks, when in fact they are doing no such thing. This immitator isn’t even the best one I’ve seen. That one is called something like “Coffee Factory” but I think it has a slight edge because they also dip into the boba drink market (that would be “bubble tea”). If you are driving down Bolsa Avenue in Little Saigon, it is in the strip mall with Taco Bell and Hair perfection. Not that I recommend this place, as I have heard that their coffee sucks, but if you’re going to Taco Bell anyways…
Immitation is not the highest form of flattery- it is a justified form of slight theft. Parody, is an outright bitchslap.