Bootleg spotting guides
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Figure 5. A wild Wiku appears! Am I kawaii desu uguu~?
Given how expensive this hobby is, there are many fakes out there which means that on certain websites you can't be sure whether or not the item is real or fake. There are a few guidelines you can follow, which may help you avoid a bootleg.
- Go on the MFC page for the figure, someone in the comments may have received a bootleg or the page might be tagged as having bootlegs. Check to see if there are any photographs in the bootleg section.
- Good Smile Company has a few guides on how to distinguish some of their figs from fakes.
- This is a list of eBay vendors that are known to sell bootleg merchandise.
- Avoid sellers from China, Taiwan, or Hong Kong; those are bootleg capitals.
- A price that’s too good to be true. Nendoroids and figmas retail for about $30-40 each. If you see one selling for $15-20, it is most likely a bootleg.
- Many bootlegs have a sort of ’shinier’ plastic or paint used for the skin. If you look at bootleg pictures of nendoroids in myfigurecollection’s bootleg picture category you can compare a legitimate figure and the bootleg and quickly spot the differences. There will also likely be paint smears, loose-looking joints, etc.
- Bootlegs will often not have any official seals or stickers attached to the boxes. For example, legitimate Black Rock Shooter Nendoroids have a sticker about the enclosed DVD, whereas bootleg ones do not. This isn’t 100% infallible though, as some bootleggers have even gone as far to make fake holos.
- Look closely at the paint job. This is probably the best way of determining whether something is bootleg or not. If the paint is very imprecise and generally terrible looking, then it’s definitely a fake. Sometimes very small details that appear on legitimate figures don’t show up on the fakes.
- Sader is the holy grail of bootlegs. Buy it at all costs.
- False God Sasuke, while not a bootleg but a meal toy of stupendous balance and horrendous quality, is also a must-buy.
- Almost all bootleg dakimakura covers will be 150cmx50cm, even when the original artwork was designed for a 160cm cover.