Official vs Bootleg: Evangelion Q Poskets – The Girls (Bandai)

The normal colour versions of the school uniform Q Poskets fairly quickly got bootlegs, so I decided to order a set to compare them to my official ones.
This article will look at the girls – Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley. Shinji and Kaworu will be covered in a later article.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,030 each (£14.50 each)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $5.60 each (£3.95 each)

The officials I bought from Mandarake (unopened).

Bag

These bootlegs didn’t have the option of a box, and arrived in sealed bags:
https://i.ibb.co/dp6294s/rei-asuka-bagged.jpg
The officials come in very similar bags – only the bags are in a box!

Asuka – base

Base parts:
https://i.ibb.co/2Z3Tkz3/base-top.jpg
The first thing that stands out is that the bootleg base comes with more parts – it comes with a support pole that the official doesn’t have and an extra hole in the flat part of the base to accommodate it.
With the base itself, the bootleg doesn’t have the “Q Posket” logo and the feet peg holes are moved forward seeing as there’s no logo to get in the way. The edging of the base has been replicated, but the plastic is noticeably darker on the bootleg.

Bottom of the base:
https://i.ibb.co/WvFcR98/base-bottom.jpg
The bottom of the official base has Bandai Spirits’s logo and predictably the bootleg has nothing. We can also see the extra peg hole on the bottom of the bootleg base too. These peg stands have been engineered slightly differently than the official’s.

Base in action:
https://i.ibb.co/NLzJdvr/bootleg-base-stand.jpg
Well, it sort of does something. It doesn’t grip the figure tightly, but will stop her from leaning backwards, should she choose to do so.

Asuka – spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/whkt9GH/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/MSYNqVh/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ssD2ykp/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/tCtZr7L/spin-left.jpg
Looking reasonably similar – the extra pole on the bootleg stands out, plus her top is looking a bit like a life jacket. We’re also definitely seeing some extra shininess on the bootleg’s skin.

Asuka – close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/4ZNGChd/face.jpg
Eesh, those bootleg eyes… The bootleg’s eyes don’t seem to have been installed correctly and her right eye seems to be quite sunken into her head giving her a creepy look. The print isn’t as crisp on the bootleg’s eyes either, making them look more dull.
The bootleg’s hair is a shade or two lighter and has chubbier ends. The face has been done pretty similarly, though the blush doesn’t show up as well on the shiny plastic. Looking at her neck, the bootleg’s collar is much higher up than the official’s and the bow is more lumpy.

Back of the hair:
https://i.ibb.co/GdXBCKC/hair-back.jpg
The bootleg’s hair is noticeably shinier and features some stray red paint.
The interface headset parts (red hair clips) are less shiny on the bootleg, and the painting isn’t as neat. The one on the right also has a bit “munched” off the end of it.

Close-up of the left interface headset part:
https://i.ibb.co/6gV2499/hair-clip.jpg
The black band noticeably has less refinement on the bootleg – it remains close to the same thickness throughout, instead of thinning out as it should. On the top of the bootleg interface headset part, we have some excess plastic.
Looking towards the bottom/back of the part, the paint on the bootleg doesn’t get to the bottom of it – it appears the interface and her ponytail were made into one piece, instead of the two that appear on the official.
Looking to her hair, the bootleg has a flaw in the plastic next to the interface headset part, plus some visible seaming towards the top of her head.

Side of her hair:
https://i.ibb.co/sH5V0fB/hair-side.jpg
The bootleg hair is a field of seamlines and gaps – we have a big seamline just above her ear and the ends of her hair aren’t attached properly at the bottom. The official only has a bit of seamline visible here – just under her ponytail and by her ear. Whilst we’re looking at the ear, there’s a bit of hair missing on the bootleg – the official has a triangular piece next to her ear, but this is entirely missing on the bootleg.
We can also admire the chonky hair ends of the bootleg here again.

Underside of the bootleg’s hair:
https://i.ibb.co/qxqGgcN/bootleg-hair-seam.jpg
Urgh, such a mess under here – scratches in the paint and no concealment of the joint.

Dress:
https://i.ibb.co/SBKxqCP/dress.jpg
The bootleg is very much an assembly fail when it comes to her dress. The upper parts of her dress aren’t inserted into the shirt, making them very chunky, and the collar is popped up, with the bow getting in the way of proper assembly. The shirt itself is also sticking out in places it shouldn’t, completing the odd look of her clothing.
With the clothing itself, the bootleg’s is overly shiny which isn’t a normal feature of Japanese school clothing.

Closer look at the upper clothing joins:
https://i.ibb.co/TK5Wvw5/shirt-join.jpg
Whilst this isn’t a viewing angle, this shows just why the bootleg’s upper half is such a mess – the upper dress parts haven’t been moulded well at all, so they don’t fit with the shirt parts properly. We’ve also got a shirt part which I assume is supposed to be tucked under the belt to hold it into place.
Does feel like the person assembling it had an impossible challenge and did the best they could with the pieces they had. Which unfortunately led to this mess.

Side of the dress:
https://i.ibb.co/C2v0FgM/side.jpg
Mmm, the bootleg starts off strong with sweaty, shiny skin and some escaped glue on her dress.
The official’s paint is a bit rough on the sleeve, but other than that, looking pretty decent. I don’t think the slight complexity of the top assembly did this figure many favours, as the official is looking slightly odd at the bottom as well… but doesn’t have a patch on the bootleg.
OK… bootleg time… the shirt. The material and texture are poor – it looks like she’s wearing icing rather than a shirt. On top of the icing, we have her “life jacket” – from the side it really does look like a life jacket rather than a dress to me. Here the parts really do not marry up well at all, making them all look very separate from her skirt.
The skirt seam isn’t very well hidden on the bootleg, and we have some plastic flaking off. The dress has been flattened a bit at the front, which doesn’t make it flow quite as well. Stupidly, the intended seams at the top of her skirt at the front are less visible on the bootleg… if only they could do that for the actual seam.

Legs and feet:
https://i.ibb.co/rKPVpz7/feet.jpg
The sock paint is overly white on the bootleg and the bands aren’t painted very well either.
The shoes are pretty much on a par with the official’s though the paint isn’t quite the right colour for them. The moulding of the straps hasn’t gone well on the bootleg though, leaving them looking a bit bobbly.

Foot pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/98R4gY0/feet-pegs.jpg
As per usual, the official pegs are not painted, but the bootleg’s are, making them harder to peg into the base. Though with the painted pegs, it does show less if Asuka’s foot pegs aren’t quite into the base.

Rei – base

OK, now onto Rei Ayanami. Her bootleg also features extra stand pieces:
https://i.ibb.co/7rBwcf6/base-top.jpg
The bootleg base features a bonus hole and a lack of logo. We’ve also got the overly dark black colouring present too.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/xmBSX91/base-bottom.jpg
Has the same design differences as Asuka’s – with the lack of logo and differing peg holders.

Let’s see how this extra stand performs:
https://i.ibb.co/ftQMq3N/bootleg-stand-no-touchy.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/CVM28xg/bootleg-stand-no-touchy-side.jpg
Oh. The stand doesn’t even touch Rei – this thing was definitely not made for this figure, and doesn’t actually serve any kind of purpose. Bonus plastic yay?

Rei – spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/chWwmsR/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/716rDxt/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ZN5Y98C/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/c6QWczZ/spin-left.jpg
Bootleg Rei is looking like a more shiny version of her official self.

Rei – close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/f1mBPrP/face.jpg
Mmm, shiny – the bootleg’s hair definitely has a noticeable shine to it. The bootleg’s hair tips have managed to retain most of their pointiness – a rarity.
The eyes are a lot less scary too but have the same low quality print as Asuka’s. The white shine and the red parts of her eyes are less distinct on the bootleg.
The face skin is a few shades darker on the bootleg, which isn’t right for Rei.
Looking to her bow, the bootleg’s is a bit blobby, but better than the Asuka bootleg’s.

Hair:
https://i.ibb.co/ynxbCrY/head-top.jpg
From this angle, the shininess is very apparent on the bootleg. The main head seam is a bit messier on the bootleg, but both it is very noticeable. Not too much difference apart from the finish.

Ribbon:
https://i.ibb.co/g6wssWc/ribbon.jpg
The ribbon isn’t massively different from the official – looks a little sadder and a little redder. Meanwhile I’m being distracted by the bootleg’s shirt that’s looking more like icing.

Neck peg:
https://i.ibb.co/bBxHVkv/neck-peg.jpg
I had some troubles with assembling the bootleg – the distorted, misshapen peg it has shows why.
The top of the bootleg’s dress is a lot better than Asuka’s and doesn’t have the “life jacket” look. The shirt is still too thick and looks like icing, but at least this one was able to be assembled correctly.

Arms and lower dress:
https://i.ibb.co/g7ZRf63/arms.jpg
The bootleg’s arms are noticeably shiny and have a fair amount of excess plastic. The shirt sleeves also have excess to go with their thickness.
The skirt is mostly a decent copy, but again, lacks finishing at the bottom of it.

Side:
https://i.ibb.co/gtfBh2k/arm-side.jpg
Here we have some seaming on the official – on her fingers and her sleeve. Whilst the bootleg seemingly lacks the finger seam, it makes up for it with webbing between her fingers ><.
The bootleg’s arm poses don’t match the official, but doesn’t massively change the figure.
The shape of the bootleg’s dress pieces is better than bootleg Asuka’s, but some of the detail has been lost from the official – most notably around her shoulder.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/vQYCw2Y/back.jpg
The backs is a pretty close copy, but looks cheaper from the shiny finish and slightly strange white plastic. The sculpting at the top of her dress is less distinct on the bootleg.

Feet:
https://i.ibb.co/W6ZrJxn/shoes.jpg
Again, we have bonus shiny on the bootleg. The shoes themselves are overly white, and we’ve lost a chunk of the detail that forms the sole.

Back of the shoes:
https://i.ibb.co/drcPtBN/legs-back.jpg
Shiny legs! What a surprise!
The tabs for pulling on her shoes on the bootleg have gone a bit funny-shaped and aren’t distinct parts from the main figure.

Foot pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/ZWQy8J4/foot-pegs.jpg
This time we have black painted pegs on the bootleg and unpainted skin-coloured pegs on the official.

Conclusion

Telling these apart, the stand is the easiest place to look – none of these Evangelion Q Poskets should have a separate support stand piece and the “Q Posket” logo should be present on the front of the base. The overall finish of the figures themselves is mostly in line with prize figures on average, but less quality than a Q Posket should be. The shiny finish is probably the easiest trait to see when looking at the bootleg in the real.
The Rei bootleg is relatively decent, but the Asuka one looks quite derpy with the poorly fitting top pieces and poorly assembled eyes.
With the bootlegs, you’re likely to have some assembly issues – at least a couple of the heads wouldn’t go on easily, and they wouldn’t peg into the base as nicely. So they’re a bit frustrating to get displayed.
The officials have dropped a tiny bit from the prices I paid (especially if you don’t mind an opened box), so buying the officials isn’t necessarily that much more than the bootlegs.
Asuka bootleg is an easy “no” with her larger defects, Rei I could see someone being happy with… but confused about her extra stand piece.

Official vs Bootleg: “Parfom” Asuka Langley & Rei Ayanami (Phat)

For the Asuka Langley and Rei Ayanami Parform figures there were two different bootlegs – a double-set on one stand and fully-articulated clones. This article will be covering the double-set which represents a massive saving on the officials, but is it really worth it?

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980 each
Price I paid for the officials (inc shipping):

  • Official Rei: ¥7,242 (£51.55)
  • Official Asuka: ¥8,079 (£57.51)
  • Total: ¥15,311 (£109.06)

Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $11.98 (£9.75)

For the officials, Rei I bought from Ninoma and Asuka from Nippon Yasan.

Box

As this double-set came with one box for the two figures, the pictures here will be a bit different than normal.

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/mJrkqfJ/box-front.jpg
For the bootleg, we have various aspects of the Parform boxes copied over from the official boxes put onto a space-themed blue background design. Probably stolen from somewhere, but isn’t an image I’m familiar with. Feel free to comment if it is familiar to you!
In the top-left of the bootleg box we have Phat’s description of the Parform series in good ol’ “decorative English”. Top-right we have the Evangelion logo. Underneath the box window we have the character’s names (Souryuu Asuka Langley and Ayanami Rei respectively) and the sculptor credit… for the original figures. And, amusingly, copyright Khara. Not sure if the original sculptor would want credit for this bootleg, but we’ll get into that later.
From the window in the box, we can see that we just get the figures and Asuka’s doll unlike the original Parfoms where we have extra hands and faces.

Left of the box:
https://i.ibb.co/m4CX2Br/box-left.jpg
Here we are treated to a view of Asuka. The text at the top of the box has been lifted from the official box, plus the Evangelion logo in the bottom left. We have Asuka’s name, just to confirm it is Asuka too.
Interestingly, the photo on the side of the bootleg box is of the bootleg, instead of being stolen art from the official. We can tell this easily by the lack of ball joints at her hips.
Looking at the background, we have more stars and shininess plus a border that runs off of the bottom of the box. If the box was made to accommodate this border then the blister may have actually fit in it – the top of the box you may notice is not closed, and that’s because I can’t. The middle of the blister is too tall and won’t actually fit.

Right side:
https://i.ibb.co/FqFwrtx/box-right.jpg
Fairly predictably, we have Rei on this side. Again, the text and logo has been copied from the official box, with Ayanami’s name added in blue. The photo of the figure is also of the Rei in the box rather than the original Parfom figure.

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/NW2rq9t/box-top.jpg
The window on the bootleg has roughly copied the shape of the official’s, but not the print on it. We have the Evangelion logo again, and an added border.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/4Yk81jb/box-bottom.jpg
The warning text has been duplicated onto the bootleg box and converted to black so it is readable against the background image.
The bootleg’s barcode is related to some ball chain hangars for the series Classroom of the Elite, which is not a series I’m familiar with. They’re not currently added to MFC, so here’s a picture:
https://i.ibb.co/cDMHC0C/13126-0.jpg
Yeah, not quite this bootleg, is it?

OK, now for the entertaining side…
Back:
https://i.ibb.co/2y2RGFr/box-back.jpg
The originals have gone with Japanese, for their Japanese audience… but the bootleg has gone for “English” for their more international audience. As the image isn’t the easiest to read, here’s transcriptions of the boxes, left to right:

parfom the red one is a beautiful doll which have a lovely children, and the arm can be rotated till you like it, and the head same as, parfom will bring you a happiest moment soon.

parfom the white one is a beautiful doll which’s arm can be rotated till you like it, and the head same as , parfom will bring a happiest moment soon.

parfom the double one are beautiful dolls which’s arm can be rotated till you like it,and the had same as , you can let them face to face and back to back ,when be inserted the base,parfom will bring you a happiest moment soon
(this last one I’ve taken out the hyphens but left the rest as-is).

Classy. Much laughter was had reading that for the first time – a good example of not-English.

One last view before we move on from the box:
https://i.ibb.co/6bLnNPy/bootleg-box-inside.jpg
Shiny blue. I like the nice abstract design of the inside of the box, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the figures themselves.

Blister:
https://i.ibb.co/6v3BPbS/bootleg-blister.jpg
The bootleg blister did its job and protected the figures in transit. Somewhat squished from the journey though.

Base

Unboxing for the figure to get to the base, I found this li’l fella:
https://i.ibb.co/KFFvjVh/bootleg-extra-card.jpg
Not sure where this card offcut came from – doesn’t match any part of the box.

Underside of the base:
https://i.ibb.co/VVxWpD2/bootleg-base-bottom.jpg
2016 MADE IN CHINA. Heh, I wouldn’t have guessed the latter. Not sure why they chose 2016, as the Parfom figures came out in 2018. Guess it could be a typo or just a random choice.

Side of the base:
https://i.ibb.co/8B3FsLj/bootleg-base-asuka-on.jpg
I got a little overeager to assemble this one and then suspected I made a mistake, so I don’t have a proper photo of the top of the base. Pushing Asuka on the pegs didn’t feel great, hence stopping at this point.
The shape of the base is actually a bit more interesting than your average bootleg disc with the stepped pattern. Adds a little to the figure.

About 5 seconds later:
https://i.ibb.co/1z6fzvJ/bootleg-asuka-broken-pegs.jpg
The act of trying to get Asuka on the base broke her pegs – they were every bit as flimsy as they looked and felt. I did manage to get Rei on her peg without breaking it, but that was also relatively short-lived – I did this photoshoot in two halves and it broke off between the sessions.
Asuka’s pegs are more likely to break due to trying to get two pegs in at the same time, possibly into holes that are not as parallel as the pegs. However, the most likely outcome is that all three pegs will break during assembly or shortly after.
Looking at the top of the base, it appears like they’ve tried to polish it, albeit not very well leaving a lined pattern across the top when the light hits it.
Whilst this base could possibly get a pass in the looks department, it isn’t very functional. Had to supply my own white tack to get this review done.

Let’s admire the assembled figure, before I broke Rei’s peg:
https://i.ibb.co/8Mp4YWY/bootleg-display-attempt.jpg
Yeah, don’t think this will be winning any construction awards.

Accessory

This figure set comes with one accessory – Asuka’s doll. As the Parfom also comes with this, I will compare the two.

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/Fgh07D3/doll.jpg
The bootleg’s face is instantly noticeable as darker and glossier. Next we have some very sloppy hair and hood paint – significant chunks of it are missing. The facial features are all a bit thicker on the bootleg.
Looking to the coat, we have some overage, but looking OK for the most part. The shade of red is a bit duller, but I think is fine. The “Asuka” on both has come out fine but is a bit lower on the bootleg.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/GJX4tr8/doll-back.jpg
The hair mould is a bit sloppy on the bootleg, but at least everything is painted on this side.
The paint isn’t up to par with the official, but not noticeably awful. There is some specks of dirt on the bootleg though.

Hole:
https://i.ibb.co/7YQgXHj/doll-bottom.jpg
For the official, you could peg this onto her arm if you want. For the bootleg, you could supply your own stand? Not too much different here, hole in the bootleg is painted as is typical of bootlegs. But seeing as you’re not going to attach this to anything it doesn’t really matter.
Looking at the various edges on the bootleg, we can see they’re all a bit rough in terms of moulding.

Asuka (aka the red one) spin-around

Let’s compare them to their Parfom counterparts! Starting with Asuka.
https://i.ibb.co/VqFrz23/spin-asuka-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/yN3Tz3q/spin-asuka-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/GswSt3r/spin-asuka-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/R2NjZsn/spin-asuka-left.jpg
We can see she is smaller and less articulated than her official counterpart. Yep, apparently the Parfom figures weren’t small enough so they’ve been scaled down further. In my opinion, the lack of ball hips is nice, but her knees and ankles look a bit odd. Not too bad for an edited copy.

Asuka (aka the red one) close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/HYTCn2J/asuka-face.jpg
First thing I’m noticing is the bootleg’s face is glossier and dirtier. The bootleg’s eye prints aren’t as good as the official’s, especially the white which didn’t apply very thickly at all. The face also cannot be swapped on the bootleg, which is a feature of the Parfom’s.
Looking at the hair, the bootleg is dirty here too. The paint has quite a rough texture, making it look cheap.
Looking at her chest, the paint is quite roughly slapped onto the bootleg – the green part doesn’t stay within the lines… and the lines go underneath it. Her collar pips are lopsided, and the orange chest paint doesn’t properly cover the areas it is supposed to.
As the articulation has been taken out of the bootleg, we have a strange sculpted line underneath her chest making the top of her suit look weirdly bobbled between her boobs.

Hair clips:
https://i.ibb.co/fCbyBs0/asuka-hair-clips.jpg
The official’s hair clips are separate parts attached onto the figure’s head but the bootleg has gone the simplified route and made these a part of the main figure body. A small difference, but the official does look better for it, especially as the bootleg has slightly sloppy paint.
Looking at the hair, the bootleg’s is glossier and has a bunch of excess plastic, especially on the hairs above her ponytails. The paint shading isn’t as nice on the bootleg either, with the shading entirely missing on the hair between her hair and pigtail.

More bootleg hair:
https://i.ibb.co/vkFW140/asuka-bootleg-dinged-hair.jpg
The bootleg’s hair is even worse on this side – we have a hole in her fringe with some scraped off paint blob just under that. The seam between the fringe and the main hair body is awful too.
Shading seems to have been mostly avoided on this side, and some of her hair paint is on the hair clip. All in all, not very nice to look at close up.

Legs:
https://i.ibb.co/VVFbGgT/asuka-legs.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/kG7TxBg/asuka-legs-back.jpg
One nice thing is the legs are a lot less deformed when they’re in statue form, and the leg stripes do stay whole. For the official, I do wish the leg articulation was better – there isn’t a lot of it, so the slightly derpy appearance isn’t offset by much flexibility to be honest.
The painting isn’t too bad on the bootleg – about prize tier quality, though seeing as I paid a prize-tier price, it’s actually decent considering. They have actually painted the backs of her legs properly, which is unusual for a bootleg.
For the most part, they’ve done a decent job of removing the joints, but still looks a bit strange in places (mostly her knees) due to the source figure. At the back, her shoes have a joint line which isn’t correct for a non-articulated figure as the plugsuit is all one piece. Interesting they managed to mould out the knees but not the ankle joint entirely.

Arms:
https://i.ibb.co/z52ZTNd/asuka-arms.jpg
Sliver “screwhead” paint seems to have gone walkies on bootleg Asuka’s right sleeve… Paint is a bit sloppy here, especially on her left arm.
Attempted to get the official in the same pose – but I’m not always the best at posing. The official has the advantage she can have many poses with the arms, unlike this more statuesque bootleg.
With the elbows, they’ve attempted to seamlessly remove the joints but haven’t done it too well so she looks a bit like “pipe” arms due to the unrealistic shape. The shoulder joint they didn’t smooth out as they have partially kept this as a joint.
For the wrists, we have lost the cuffs on the bootleg and we just have a peg joint instead of a ball joint.

Let’s try rotating the arms “till you like it”:
https://i.ibb.co/y5xqg6Z/asuka-bootleg-articulation.jpg
Yeah, I’m rotating it… still not liking it. Due to the fixed elbow positions, the arm articulation is pretty pointless. Isn’t a ball joint so you can’t even bend the arms outwards – just up and down. The wrist articulation has some point as it does allow her to grip the doll a bit easier, but equally well, if the hands were locked into the correct positions it wouldn’t matter much.
So your main two poses are having her hands together or holding her doll. Or this weird “karate” pose.

Let’s give her the doll:
https://i.ibb.co/jR2V02H/asuka-front-with-doll.jpg
Yeah, she can hold it without it slipping out, but you’re going to be quite limited on how she holds it. The official you could go for a few different holding poses, so long as you can balance it. The bootleg you’ve just got to wedge it between her hands and move the arms and hands in their limited ways until you get it to stay.

Rei (aka the white one) spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/7kfgFP4/spin-rei-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0YvMf4W/spin-rei-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0FjJx6F/spin-rei-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/zZLtYCV/spin-rei-left.jpg
Rei is also a scaled-down version with the articulation removed. Again, we have the slightly awkward-looking knees and ankles. For Rei, they’ve gone for serious expression with grabbing hands. With the official, you can use the glasses with these hands, but we don’t get the glasses with the bootleg.

Rei (aka the white one) close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/xhWfkQX/rei-face.jpg
Bootleg Rei also has the same glossy face syndrome as her Asuka counterpart. Looking at her eyes, I think they’re closer than Asuka’s but still off – the shines are quite right, though I’m not sure which is the closer red eye colour as to what I envisage Rei as having – they’re both off to me. With the red part, there is more gradient to the darker part on the official.
Moving to her hair, the bootleg has less shading and is quite lumpy around the edges, as is typical of bootleg hair. The black lines on the hair clips is also a bit too thick.
Moving to the upper body, the paint is sloppy in places on the bootleg – the pips and collar aren’t quite right and the upper line isn’t quite shaped right. The “00” isn’t centred properly either. Lastly, the green paint isn’t quite in the right place on the front of the triangles. Whatever they may be.
For the triangles, I actually prefer the bootleg’s as I was never fond of the fact they made these a “floating” part on the official, attached to her upper torso. They look strange and oddly placed – I guess they did this for articulation reasons, but they don’t look great. Wish they attached them to the lower body, possibly as small sliders if they got in the way of the upper torso. So some minor points for the bootleg :P.
Like Asuka, we’ve also got the awkward chest join, but it is less apparent on Rei as she has the red blobs that obscure the between-boob area.

Hair clips:
https://i.ibb.co/9Gb6LDr/rei-hair-clip.jpg
Again, the hair clips seem to be made as part of the hair mould on the bootleg, which they aren’t on the official. The paint is noticeably worse on the bootleg – we have one of the lines straying quite badly onto her hair, and hair paint on the clip itself.
Looking at the hair, the paint is pretty bad on the bootleg – the two hair halves don’t match and we’ve got dirt and scrapage. The hair strand next to her clip has also been fully adhered to her hair mass, instead of floating at the tip like the official.

Backpack:
https://i.ibb.co/DVTpnrH/rei-backpack.jpg
An ew for the bootleg… looking quite dirty back here! The shoulder paint is badly done, and we’re missing the black line on the top of her backpack. The 0 has ended up a little slanted on the bootleg, but mostly OK. The bootleg also lacks the shiny finish of the official.
The rest of the paintwork isn’t too bad here, especially considering its small size.

Leg:
https://i.ibb.co/G36Z2bx/rei-leg.jpg
Again, the bootleg’s leg looks more natural due to lacking the joint. However, the legs haven’t been as well melded to the body as Asuka’s so we have a strange seam line by her hip. We also have the ankle seam lines as seen on Asuka too.
The paint stripe hasn’t been painted too well – whilst the edges are straight, it doesn’t fit onto the raised sections properly.
I do like the fact they gave her legs a bit of a pose instead of just having her stand straight – some thought has gone into the posing of this figure.
The backs of her legs have been painted like the official too.

Arms:
https://i.ibb.co/cNy825s/rei-arms.jpg
As with Asuka, the arm cuffs are missing and the articulation is limited. And those pipe-like arms. The hands are pretty roughly moulded on the bootleg though, with plenty of excess plastic to see when up close.

More rotating till we like it:
https://i.ibb.co/tpbc73m/rei-bootleg-articulation.jpg
Get a good look at that hand peg :P. The articulation is probably even more pointless than Asuka’s as she has no accessory to hold and less poses where it looks like a natural pose. You’re pretty much limited to having her hands down in front of her if you don’t want her pose to look silly. The two peg joints really don’t have much to offer.

Posing

OK, let’s see the thing assembled… erm, well, as best we can, seeing as I’m limited to tacking them to the base!

Officials next to their bootleg counterparts:
https://i.ibb.co/T16Ms2z/officials-posed.jpg
Can’t quite get the officials quite like the bootlegs, might get closer if I used just the one Parfom stand. Here you can see how the bootlegs are a bit smaller than the officials.

With Asuka’s doll:
https://i.ibb.co/ckvhRKP/spin-doll-front.jpg
They look kind of cute like this.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/yhhXM45/spin-nodoll-back.jpg
Yeah, not a great viewing angle. Other side is definitely the front.

I didn’t do the “facing” pose, mostly because I forgot about it and partly because it’d be hard to do without any pegs – they’d likely have to lean against each other for them to stand, which wouldn’t look good. Their heads can also move, though Asuka’s can’t do much as her hair gets in the way. So realistically, they’re probably going to be posed back to back like this.

Conclusion

Well, telling them apart is definitely not going to be an issue – the near-lack of any articulation gives that one away, as well as being a 2-pack. The bootleg box has quite a bit taken from the official, but has had a fair amount of rework… including poorly-translated English which gives away how not official it is.
For a transformation into non-articulated figures the result is decent considering this was done on a budget. The base is terrible though, seeing as it isn’t functional, and I think they could’ve placed the pegs better so the fronts of the figures were more visible. From the officials you’re losing a lot of features – no articulation and nothing really in terms of accessories. No extra hands or faces were included with the bootleg, so you can’t customise them in this way either.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing an official statue version of this bootleg – I think the back-to-back pose is quite cute with the semi-chibified forms. Whilst the figure box does say you can pose them face-to-face, I think that’s a bit of an afterthought, and not as fitting given the source material.
Overall, this figure pair is decent for a bootleg, but still noticeably bootleg.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Yui Noodle Stopper

Last and potentially least, we’re now up to the last noodle stopper of this set – Yui from Sword Art Online. And one thing that didn’t pass my notice is that Kirito even gets the shaft when it comes to bootlegs – there isn’t a bootleg of his noodle stopper.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,114 (£15.01)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.33

The official I pre-ordered from AmiAmi.

Accessory

Yui comes with one pair of parts to attach – her wings:
https://i.ibb.co/0BBGwZ9/wings.jpg
The official ones have a blueish hue to them, and the bootleg’s are more of a plainer colour. Probably slightly less clarity on the bootleg ones, but nothing hugely significant.
The pegs on the bootleg ones has some excess plastic, affecting the fit.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/7tDmV7N/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/NNNqnbn/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/S5W0QYD/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/F8QVcRL/spin-left.jpg
From the front, the bootleg is definitely veering off to one side, but she does manage to stay balanced. Some of the paintwork is dodgy, which we’ll look at in close detail below.

Figure close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/gD4B1sr/face.jpg
For the skin plastic, we’ve got a sweaty look on the bootleg with its shiny finish. The colour isn’t off by much, which is a rarity.
Moving to the eye decals, we’re certainly seeing a degradation in quality – we’ve got some yellowish imperfections and the eyes aren’t even the same colour on the bootleg. The entire eyes on the bootleg seem to say “low print quality”.
Onto the mouth – I’m not a big fan of how the sticking-out tongue is done on the original, but the paint bleed on the bootleg makes it even less obvious it’s supposed to be her tongue and not part of her lips.
The hair mould is noticeably jankier on the bootleg, and her hair is plain black unlike the blue-black of the official.

Flower:
https://i.ibb.co/TgYgskW/flower.jpg
The bootleg’s flower is a paler blue, but I don’t think this really detracts from the figure. However, the left-on excess plastic at the top and more squished nature of it does.
Apparently my official has some kind of mishap/dirt on it… maybe I should go see if I can clean that later.

Other side of the bootleg’s head:
https://i.ibb.co/SNKx0wL/splitting-headache.jpg
Oof, that poor bootleg seems to have a splitting headache! Poor casting and assembly has meant she has an obvious gap on this side.

Dress:
https://i.ibb.co/zxR6JHw/dress.jpg
The straps on the bootleg have been lazily painted and spill out significantly onto her body. The white paint has also got partly onto the bow, but not too badly.
The moulding and overall appearance of her cloth belt on the bootleg isn’t as good as the official with its shiny finish and stray non-blue paint.
We can see the stars are a paler purple too – let’s take a closer look at those.

Bottom of the dress:
https://i.ibb.co/f1qHtxZ/skirt-stars.jpg
The bootleg print is a few shades lighter and doesn’t quite line up with the edge of the dress. The pattern also doesn’t seem to be the same, with the stars being more sparse.

Other side of the dress:
https://i.ibb.co/R4Bk2Dy/spin-bottom.jpg
The stars are also lighter and sparser here on the bootleg too – looks like they may’ve mostly chosen to avoid the edge of the dress here. The hands of the bootleg are also translucent caused by thin plastic and thin paint.

Left hand:
https://i.ibb.co/0GvV8D2/hand.jpg
The bootleg’s arm is at a different angle to the official’s, making the hand point backwards instead of sideways. The poor moulding on the bootleg makes the bootleg’s hand awkwardly shaped, and the thinness of the plastic is apparent from this angle too, with her “darkened” fingers.

Side:
https://i.ibb.co/syfDxp7/side.jpg
The shininess of the bootleg’s skin is visible in this photo near her shoulder. The white paint has a number of scratches and imperfections on the bootleg, plus we have a very visible seam. The band is also not very good on her – the paint doesn’t reach to the edges, and the parts seem to be different so we don’t have the natural indentations to add detail to the ribbon.
The overall shape of the bootleg is bad – which is why her pose is so off from the front. Here we can see her back isn’t bent right and her backside is an odd shape compared to the official. .
Lastly we have the hair – the bootleg’s being overly black and not posed as nicely as the official’s, meaning it lacks the appearance of motion. The hair strand near her back is also differently positioned – on the official it helps hide where the wing joins to her back, but the bootleg leaves this fully on show. This also reveals how the wing on the bootleg didn’t quite go fully into place – we can see some of the wing’s peg still visible.

Conclusion

Well, the bootleg is cheap. Was cheap and looks cheap. I’d say the main tells on this one is the poor pose, the poor paint and the extra seamlines. Out of the noodle stoppers I got for this batch, I think this one is probably the hardest to tell apart without the official next to it.
Still isn’t great, but not really horrible either until you look up close.

Official vs Bootleg: Max Factory “Death by Embracing”

This is a bootleg I almost bought a few years ago when trying to find this figure for a reasonable price. In the end, I found it for a price I was willing to pay, and forgot about the bootleg.
So did I buy the right thing? How disappointed would I have been if I did buy the bootleg?

Is she Death by Embracing or Death by Embarrassment?

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥10,286
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥10,430 (£73.11)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $30.88 (£24.93)

The official I bought secondhand via Solaris Japan.

This blog is a long one – if you want to skip sections, the sections are as follows:

  • Box
  • Blister
  • Base
  • Kuroyukihime (3 parts)
  • Black Lotus
  • Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime (2 parts)
  • Conclusion

Box

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/mrK2Jcf/box-front-fail.jpg
The official box we can see the figure, and the bootleg box, it seems not. We have an interesting collection of shapes and minifigs.

Side:
https://i.ibb.co/S3ZZTB6/box-side-fail.jpg
Looks like a similar story for the side… Super Heroes… waitwaitwait… let’s open this and start again.

Box, for real

Upon receiving the bootleg, I thought they’d possibly stiffed me on the box, but turns out the not-Lego box was just repurposed to protect the bootleg box. It was an incredibly tight fit, so didn’t do a huge amount to protect the box. It still got dented, but suppose that’s better than being caved in.

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/1GWHz6x/box-front.jpg
The front box design has been simplified from the original – the window is now mostly square instead of the multiple cuts of the official. The bottom of the box’s design has been repurposed and moved over to the left, and a new, plainer background put behind it to add contrast.
We still have the Accel World logo at the top left of the box, but not the Max Factory logo or the authenticity sticker.
Despite the larger window space in the bootleg box, we have a less clear view of the figure – we can see the crossed sword arms of Black Lotus, but not much of Kuroyukihime. The official box we get a good look at the swords and Kuroyukihime, with Black Lotus’s head peeking out in the background.

Sides:
https://i.ibb.co/pKdCpnp/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/dJ8f4M2/box-left.jpg
The side box art has been switched, and the windows removed from the darker side.
The print quality is noticeably worse on the bootleg, with the colours merging into each other to some extent. We also have some fuzziness from the artwork being shrank down to fit the smaller box.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/PCTCnb1/box-back.jpg
The artwork on the back of the bootleg box has been shrunk down to fit, but not quite enough to avoid being lopped off at the top, likely owing to different proportions in the box shape. It works, but it is obviously sloppy.
The bottom area has entirely been reworked with an entirely different set of information, including a new barcode. This information arrangement seems to be the “signature” for some bootlegger, and this barcode number seems to be associated with a variety of bootlegs with a similar information box.

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/n391T2P/box-top.jpg
The official has the same artwork as the front of the box, and a window to see into the box. Not sure what the purpose of this box window is, but it’s there.
The bootleg also copies the front of its box, but does not include the window.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/Sw8mL23/box-bottom.jpg
The official repeats the “logo” for the figure, as well as having Max Factory. The bootleg is about as boring as you can get, with some overprint from the sides of the box.

Opening the bootleg box:
https://i.ibb.co/C7bfmDj/box-broken-bit.jpg
Well, we’re off to a good start here…

Lids:
https://i.ibb.co/Gx09hq1/box-lids.jpg
For the official, we can see the glued-on window for the top of the box and the whiteish cardboard that the box is made of.
The bootleg box they’ve decided to go fancy and print images on the inside of the box. Interesting.

Box insides:
https://i.ibb.co/9nxxnRb/box-inside.jpg
The official has an orange patterned liner, with a cut-out for the box side window.
The bootleg… has the various box images tiled in a complete mess. Interesting idea, poor execution.

Let’s look at the glue quality of the bootleg box:
https://i.ibb.co/9ZHthcP/box-bootleg-window-fail.jpg
Womp-womp. Barely hanging on. And this box wasn’t even flattened for transit!

These boxes are easy to tell apart if you’re familiar with the official. The bootleg box has a few weirdnesses of its own which could also potentially give it away – the front looks overly plain in a way, and the information banner on the back is off. From the banner, the “MADE IN CHINA 2019” part stands out the most to me, though if someone’s familiar with JANs, the barcode starting with a 6 is a clue that things are amiss.

Blister

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/41V2pvY/blister-front.jpg
The bootleg blister is smaller and much more dinged up that the official, and not just due to the transit. The plastic of the bootleg’s blister has a lot less clarity to it, pretty much hiding the back blister. As my official figure was secondhand, I can’t guarantee that the base was the correct way around on release, but I suspect it was. What I can confirm is the bootleg’s was packed backwards.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/QCTSS51/blister-back.jpg
Ah yep, here’s the logo on the bootleg base. Here we can see the bootleg comes with the same blister arrangement as the official. And we can also see where the fin part has gotten snapped off, presumably in transit. Though I do half-wonder if it actually snapped off in the factory and was just tossed into the box where I found it.

Front of the smaller blister:
https://i.ibb.co/WcCBN7Y/blister-small.jpg
Whilst this part has been packed the same for the bootleg, it is noticeably different at this stage, without even having to take the parts out.

Bootleg blister “feature”:
https://i.ibb.co/2MBtLgz/bootleg-ahoge-escaping.jpg
Due to Kuroyukihime’s stray hair pointing in the wrong direction on the bootleg, they’ve cut a hole in the blister to accommodate it.
Here is a closeup of the hole after she’s been taken out of the box:
https://i.ibb.co/4N601dC/bootleg-ahoge-hole.jpg

Base

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/Jjdsh0Z/base-front-water.jpg
The first noticeable thing is the messy paint on the motif on the front of the base – the bootleg painting is fairly sloppy. The official base is a shiny black, whilst the bootleg base is matte.
Looking at the water, the official’s fits in the recess provided, but the bootleg one sits proud.

Let’s look closer as to why:
https://i.ibb.co/RYtBR6Z/base-bootleg-nosit.jpg
The bootleg has an extra lug here, but no extra indentation to go with it, so it won’t sit in the hole properly.
The official only has one lug at the back:
https://i.ibb.co/QDH8MZc/base-lug-official.jpg

The water:
https://i.ibb.co/Vp0b8gm/water-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/f4d47rT/water-bottom.jpg
The bootleg’s water has less subtle shading and is more orangey in tone. The bootleg lacks the indent(s) required to sit neatly within the rim of the base.

Base from the top, with the water:
https://i.ibb.co/7KH2Xkj/base-top-water.jpg
The bases look fairly similar from the top – the main difference is the orange parts are different colours. Both the water and the inner of the bootleg are more orangey.

Base top without the water:
https://i.ibb.co/YcJzfyn/base-top-nowater.jpg
Here we can see the bootleg base inexplicably has four lugs. Guess they wanted things even?
For the official base, the supports and the bottom of the base match in colour whilst the bootleg’s support is more flesh-toned than the bottom.
The bootleg base also looks scuffed-up on the top despite being bought new.

Close up of the inside:
https://i.ibb.co/xgQV1Gz/base-inside.jpg
The bases have the same support structure on the inside. Looking closely at where the bottom of the base joins the sides, the bootleg isn’t quite as well joined.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/7jpbLfD/base-back.jpg
Here we can see where the back of the official base attracts all of the dust. Anyone else remember the piano black device fad? Yeah.
The bootleg is a much more matte black, and we have some scrapes along the top corner.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/C92DdBk/base-bottom.jpg
The bootleg base misses out on the copyright text, and has some extra holes which I guess were supposed to tie up with the internal supports.
The official base is much cleaner in terms of smoothness of the plastic. Please excuse the fingerprints!

If you want to just display Black Lotus, you can cover the water up where Kuroyukihime kneels:
https://i.ibb.co/s2NcfSj/base-water-cover.jpg
Both match their respective waters and look fine. Personally not a fan of this piece as it can’t look seamless.

Tap test:
https://i.ibb.co/jfJbFBp/base-water-splash.jpg
The bootleg is actually a bit of a looser fit and easier to dislodge out of place, especially with the water disc not sitting properly within the base.

Overall, the bootleg base is reasonably similar, but falls down in functionality. The water part doesn’t sit right which spoils its look and means the water shifts about.

Kuroyukihime accessories

Kuroyukihime can be displayed separately or as part of the diorama. As such, her legs are an acccessory.

So let’s take a look at them:
https://i.ibb.co/dM9rW8G/legs.jpg
The official legs have some shading – mostly visible by her toes and the back of her thighs. The bootleg legs are one paler flat colour and have a slightly shiny finish.

Leg peg holes:
https://i.ibb.co/DkjSc02/kuro-leg-holes.jpg
The tops of the legs interestingly are differently-shaped between the bootleg and the official – the bootleg’s are rounder and chunkier than their official counterparts. They also lack the “L” and “R” markings that the official has.

Kuroyukihime spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/DKjLz5w/spin-kuro-legs-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Fbj9BBM/spin-kuro-legs-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/R66zR4y/spin-kuro-legs-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/37ZS1PL/spin-kuro-legs-leftxcf.jpg
The bootleg’s hair is noticeably darker, and her skink has a more reddish tone. We can also see her stray hairs point upwards instead of downwards towards the front.

Kuroyukihime close-ups

Hair strands:
https://i.ibb.co/Kzn4fv7/hair-strands.jpg
An oof for the bootleg here – the hair strands have been attached by squeezing out a blob of glue then jamming them on there. Looks awful, especially coupled with the excess plastic.

Top of her hair:
https://i.ibb.co/0mMHm9y/kuro-hair-above.jpg
The official has a subtle hair shine, which adds depth to the hair whilst the bootleg is just a flat black. With the main hair seam, it has been minimised on the official but the bootleg has a large gap on this side which give the hair a strange shape. The cast of the bootleg’s hair has lost the strand details in the main body of the hair too.

Hand:
https://i.ibb.co/Jd0dF2C/kuro-hand.jpg
The bootleg forgoes the nail polish, and looks much paler than the official. The sculpting is OK from this angle on the bootleg though.

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/9vnDqFC/kuro-face.jpg
The eye decal on the bootleg has lighter colours and less contrast. The brown line that should be above her eye has been moved to be closer to her eyebrows on the bootleg.
Looking at her mouth, the official’s has been painted to emphasise her expression and the bootleg’s looks like she’s wearing lipstick, which doesn’t really suit the scene.

Back of her hair:
https://i.ibb.co/PTjvGMT/kuro-hair-back.jpg
The difference in hair colour is quite apparent back here – I like the subtle shade of blue the official has been painted with. The official’s hair also has a highlight towards the bottom.
The bootleg feels more like a prize figure, with the flat black and slightly shiny finish.

Hair tips & bum:
https://i.ibb.co/SV0Q6WX/kuro-butt.jpg
With the hair, the bootleg’s is less defined and has bits of excess plastic.
However, the real show-stopper is the panties – the official’s have been put in a position of slightly pulled down, but the bootleg’s… is just weird. Her ass cheeks are shaped strangely, which makes it look like the panties are inflicting serious damage on her legs, which is also producing a strange gap that makes it look like she’s got a huge hole in her butt.

Body:
https://i.ibb.co/2jJLfgN/kuro-body.jpg
Looking at the tips of her hair, the bootleg’s are a fair bit messier than the official’s. If we look underneath the bootleg’s hair tip, we can see some glue spilled onto the body – not so good.
The body sculpt is actually decent and looks OK on the bootleg. Some of the panty paint has gone onto the bootleg’s body though, and the legs don’t attach quite as neatly as their official counterparts.

Feet:
https://i.ibb.co/ZSTc51W/kuro-feet.jpg
The bootleg’s feet are noticeably more pallid, mostly due to the lack of paint detail. The plastic is also thinner, leading to a small amount of translucency in the toes.

Now to take Kuroyukihime’s legs off and see how she looks assembled to the base.

Leg pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/N68PFqK/kuro-leg-stumps.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XFRPQT2/kuro-leg-stumps-tops.jpg
The official’s leg pegs aren’t painted and cast in a milky-white plastic which differentiates the pegs from her knickers.
The bootleg went ham on the paint making this area look awful. Coupled with the poor casting, her nether regions looks strange and lumpy. The paint isn’t going to help with the fit, but they have added some channels to the pegs for some reason. Not sure why.

Attaching to the base:
https://i.ibb.co/hMN8xCY/bootleg-kuro-base-assembly.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/n0LpLZt/bootleg-kuro-base.jpg
The bootleg was a pain to attach to the base – the pegs aren’t the right shape and size, so wouldn’t assemble correctly. I did get it in a bit more than this, but it won’t assemble into the holes properly without modification of the pegs. The water disc does not do much to hide the poor assembly of the bootleg.

Here are some photos of later on during the shoot where I made a bit more of an attempt to assemble her:
https://i.ibb.co/vv1t0jC/kuro-gappage.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0MSdPXq/kuro-lotus-assemble-fail.jpg
Yeah, still not great, especially comparing to the official which attaches pretty much seamlessly.

Kuroyukihime alone on the stand:
https://i.ibb.co/RgXDNVq/kuro-stand-front.jpg
She looks strange without Black Lotus in my opinion, but hey, this display option exists if you want… As the bootleg won’t assemble properly, the water hole looks strange as it doesn’t match up with her body at all.
To me, the official looks sad and resigned, the bootleg, with her painted mouth and sticky-up hair looks a bit surprised instead.

Black Lotus

Black Lotus comes as three parts – two arms and the main body. The main body slots into the base behind Kuroyukihime. The arms need to be separate pieces so you can assemble her around Kuroyukihime.
The official gives you some instructions on how to do this, and warning to be careful with Kuroyukihime’s hair:
https://i.ibb.co/CHBppJ0/instructions.jpg

Outside of arm:
https://i.ibb.co/h9SDH1s/lotus-arm-outside.jpg
Looking at the overall appearance, the bootleg is shinier than the official. The orange-red parts are more of a dark terracotta colour on the bootleg.
Looking at the blade itself, the bootleg is a bit irregularly-shaped, especially towards the tip. At the top end of the arm part, we also have one less piece, which can be seen just underneath the wing-shaped bit at the top.

Inside of the arm:
https://i.ibb.co/RQzJyZm/lotus-arm-inside.jpg
Here we can see that the arms attach with different peg styles – the official has two round pegs and the bootleg has just the one square peg.
The paint tries to be similar to the official, but misses quite significantly in my opinion.

Closer look at the pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/JyXXZs9/lotus-arm-pegs.jpg
Yep, quite different attachment systems here. The official has the the curved piece and its attaching block on the arm – this is on the main body for the bootleg. Looks like the bootleggers didn’t realise which was the peg for gluing and which was for user assembly.
The bootleg part also has a bunch of scratches and what looks like excess glue.
With the paint, the orange isn’t blended well, causing a less subtle shading effect. We’ve also got the lower blocky part in the middle painted incorrectly.

Shoulder:
https://i.ibb.co/wCCzhBs/lotus-arm-top.jpg
Here the “missing” piece on the bootleg is more obvious. The purple “glass” isn’t as nice on the bootleg and doesn’t have the strong colour of the official. We’ve also got some bad seaming on the bit just below, with a mould mark that hasn’t been sanded off.
The edge parts that are painted the orangey colour on the official haven’t been painted the same on the bootleg, which gives it a less striking appearance.

Elbow:
https://i.ibb.co/PxjyHTf/lotus-arm-shoulder.jpg
Again the paint isn’t as precisely done on the bootleg and we have the shiny finish. The moulding isn’t showing much in the way of defects either, which is a change from usual.

Tip:
https://i.ibb.co/2k3x8Jz/lotus-arm-tip.jpg
Oh, found the defects! The bootleg sword tip is bent and not pointy. The underside of the blade also doesn’t have the same sharp shape as the official either .

OK, that’s the arms looked at – let’s look at the main body.
Starting with the head, the closest thing we have to a face:
https://i.ibb.co/pRdr4cW/head.jpg
Going straight to the “face”, the bootleg misses out on the orange-brown paint on the visor. The purple plastic is more see-through, not properly obscuring the silver possibly-face behind.
Moving to the top of her helmet, the black is darker than the official’s and also doesn’t have paint accents.
Moving to her fins and lower helmet, the bootleg is bright orange, which is a stark contrast to the official. The bootleg’s chest also suffers from too high contrast – the orange is very bright and there isn’t any shading on her breast armour, making it look odd. Ordinarily, Black Lotus is, well, black, so the bootleg’s painting doesn’t capture that the orange-brownish parts are supposed to be due to the lighting from the pool below.

Fins:
https://i.ibb.co/PC9Jv2b/lotus-broken-antenna.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/1nKgCQ5/fin-inside.jpg
And here we get to see the missing fin part again. This part can’t be easily repaired as the plastic is quite thin here. No idea why the bootleg is just orange plastic here – looks so odd. I guess they didn’t realise that these parts were partially painted and not orange.
For the purple parts of the fins, the bootleg’s is overly pale again, same as the other purple parts on it.
Looking at the inside of the fins, the official’s is black as this part doesn’t get the uplight, but the bootleg is stupid-orange.

Shoulder:
https://i.ibb.co/cwfx0F5/shoulder-inside.jpg
The bootleg has quite a bit of stray spray, making her shoulder look spattered. We also seem to have a gluey fingerprint too. The official has no such problems, and looks quite smart.

Arm connectors:
https://i.ibb.co/vzPks86/arm-holes.jpg
Here we see the “missing” part on the bootleg that should be attached to the arm part instead. The official has been designed so the arm pegs go snugly into this deep hole so that the arms attach securely but are still removable. The bootleg’s incorrect attachment means that the bootleg figure’s arms are quite easy to accidentally knock off.

Neck:
https://i.ibb.co/jvwSn1s/lotus-body-upper.jpg
Here, the bootleggers have gone ham on the paint, leaving her too orange. The bootleg’s diamond detail is very different – for some reason they’ve decided the surround should be silver and the gem should be a reddish colour. Black Lotus has two colours – black and purple – silver doesn’t enter the equation, so not sure what spurred this decision.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/yNvVQTJ/lotus-upper-back.jpg
I like the stark shading of the official, and the bootleg entirely misses out on this. Instead we’re treated to a vista of orange plus a bunch of scratches and marks in the paint. The difference in finish is pretty noticeable back here. At the top-middle of the bootleg’s back we have a noticeable seam line that seems to have collected some paint.

Base peg:
https://i.ibb.co/7ny0Tcn/lotus-peg.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/3vTJkkh/lotus-peg-bottom.jpg
The official’s is unpainted skin-coloured plastic, to match the inside of the base. The bootleggers have decided the peg should also be shaded… despite this bit being firmly out of view when assembled.
The pegs are close to the same shape, but the bootleg’s has thinner edges and isn’t in quite the same position relative to the bottom of the figure.

Let’s get her plugged into the base so we can have a closer look at her:
https://i.ibb.co/6Fqcq5d/lotus-main-peg.jpg
The official slots in nicely, with maybe a bit of fiddling to get it into place. The bootleg doesn’t assemble right, meaning both the bootleg Lotus and Kuroyukihime don’t go into this base right.

What we have now:
https://i.ibb.co/GHmvDCb/lotus-noarms-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/7RWkqCm/lotus-noarms-back.jpg
Yeah, that bootleg is looking pretty sad already with its ill-fitting parts and broken fin.

Front of the wires:
https://i.ibb.co/J2fs194/lotus-wires.jpg
For a bootleg, the casting came out well here and the gaps in the wires are still present and distinct. What’s lacking is the paint job – the wires are just painted lightly orange here, and have no gradient like the official’s.
The lower diamond on the bootleg also has a silver frame, but the diamond itself seems to be more purple.

Back of the wires:
https://i.ibb.co/02grGCV/lotus-wires-back.jpg
Much more thought has gone into the official’s paint and has been done to better reflect the intended lighting of the scene. The bootleg’s is… mostly sprayed from the right. Doesn’t look terrible, but doesn’t look great either.

Black Lotus spin-around

Before we look at the figure fully assembled, let’s take a look at Black Lotus on her own. I should’ve put the blanking piece on for this… but I didn’t. So you’ll just have to imagine it.
https://i.ibb.co/tsFRCpk/lotus-spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/v3FTs3f/lotus-spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/QpfnQKF/lotus-spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/crggMmW/lotus-spin-left.jpg
From the front and side shots, we can see the bootleg’s arms don’t sit perfectly, and sort of lean on each other to stay attached. The official has no such problems, and are rigidly attached and take a bit of force to get back out. Almost thought this spin-around was going to be a fail with the bootleg falling apart.
Other than the arm issue and the broken fin, the bootleg does look broadly similar to the official. However, the bootleg’s paint doesn’t make it quite as clear where the orangey light is coming from and does somewhat detract from its appearance.

Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime spin-around

OK, now let’s look at these fully assembled!
https://i.ibb.co/DDCz9zv/lotus-kuro-spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Pz98cCD/lotus-kuro-spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/LSc0TXV/lotus-kuro-spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/kcR75yD/lotus-kuro-spin-left.jpg
I think the official looks significantly better than the bootleg – the poor fit of the bootleg’s parts doesn’t allow the two figures to pose correctly as well as being a pain to assemble. From the side, these assembly issues are even more apparent as we can see parts of the figure that should be hidden by the base.
When put side-by-side, the lacking elements of the bootleg’s paintwork become painfully apparent and the orange fins look extra-ridiculous.

Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime close-ups

Just a couple of images here, to highlight the issues of the fully-assembled figure.

Upper shot:
https://i.ibb.co/Qk4gLxR/lotus-kuro-embrace-top.jpg
Kuroyukihime is supposed to be grabbing at Black Lotus, but her hands are too high on the bootleg, making it look like she’s entirely failing to do so. We’ve also got the painfully-obvious hair seam here.

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/j59DQ5Z/kuro-embraced.jpg
The framing of her face doesn’t work as well on the bootleg, and her expression is off. The official has a sad resignation and the bootleg looks… sort of concentrating?
The hair strands on the official hang over the arm blade, but the bootleg’s hair strands are nowhere to be seen here, and sticking up strangely instead. I like the way the official has the hair strands over the blade, adding more depth to the figure as a 3D object, even if it makes assembly a bit more of a pain to ensure you don’t damage these strands (they do have some flex to them, but don’t want to pull at them or rub them against the blade, lest they do eventually mark each other).

Conclusion

Telling the boxes apart is pretty easy – with the different window, it’s easy to spot that it isn’t the same. There’s several clues on the bootleg box that it isn’t the real thing – enough to have vaguely suspicious people question it.
Telling the figures apart is also relatively easy – the paint on Black Lotus gives the most clues that the bootleg isn’t official – the shading is poor and we have incorrect colours – chiefly the orange fins and the silver diamond parts. With Kuroyukihime, it’s harder to tell at a glance, but the poor hair gives it away.
In the case of someone taking this bootleg monstrosity home, it’d become quickly apparent that all was not well when none of the pieces fit together as they should.
In terms of a bootleg, I find this one pretty bad – poor colouration, poor fit and just… poor. You could possibly mod some of the bits into something, but I don’t think it would look good to display. Someone familiar with Black Lotus would likely find the fins silly… or at least I do. Doesn’t fit her at all! The visor is also pretty disappointing and doesn’t uphold the mystique that all the other Black Lotus figures have.
The parts could be interesting for custom figure projects, but as a whole, wouldn’t recommend. Save up for the official one!

And to conclude: The bootleg is indeed Death by Embarrassment!

For those who are already familiar with Accel World (plot spoiler):

I am aware that these two characters are the same person – chose to write the article not acknowledging this, for anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Sinon Noodle Stopper

Time for another noodle stopper – this time Sinon in her swimsuit. Hoping for a day at the beach instead of a day in your noodles. Let’s see if we’d let either of these anywhere near a pot of noodles.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,160 (£15.11)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.00

The official I pre-ordered from AmiAmi

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/qBS3KQK/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/xjr6p9R/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XXrYTHt/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XtZ4Ty0/spin-left.jpg
Looks like bootleg Sinon has slathered on the sun block a bit too thickly and she is very shiny. Paintwork is noticeably mediocre in a couple of spots, but at least she actually stays on the stand.

Figure close-ups

This figure isn’t very complex, so this will likely be one of the shortest Official vs Bootleg articles I will do…
Let’s start with the face, as is traditional:
https://i.ibb.co/YjKZbCm/face.jpg
The bootleg’s face is actually decent, though the eye colour is off. Hair is a similar story – it has similar shading, but the colour is off. The white chequered print suffers though – all of these bits are printed unevenly on the bootleg, with little in the way of alignment.
Looking to her right arm, we can see where the bootleg hasn’t been assembled correctly, leaving a gap between her swimsuit strap and the arm itself.
Looking at her hands, the bootleg’s have ended up slightly out of place, making her pose look a little off.

Side of her head:
https://i.ibb.co/QpS8jyK/head-side.jpg
And the quality nosedives. The square hair grip(?) in her hair has become a blobby shape on the bootleg. The bootleg’s hair has some blobby, messy paint plus the shading doesn’t extend around to the sides – only the front-facing parts. On the official, the paint shading continues around to the hair tips at the back. The bootleg’s goggles are also sporting some paint mishaps and poor moulding.

Top of her head:
https://i.ibb.co/nb1zM6s/goggles.jpg
Main feature here is her goggles – the official’s look nice, if not terribly see-through. The bootleg’s are quite badly painted, with the silver all over the place and the inner blue-black layer not being evenly painted, leaving a gap in the paint towards the top.
Her stealth ahoge has also been flattened on the bootleg, whilst her fringe noticeably sticks out on the official.

Armband:
https://i.ibb.co/Wcgqk6t/armband.jpg
The bootleg’s has been painted very sloppily, leaving a lot of black paint smeared on her arm. We also might have a fingerprint just to the left of the chequered marks. Near this spot we can see where the print didn’t quite align properly and the line doesn’t go into the middle of the chequered square.
The official isn’t flaw-free, but certainly looks a lot nicer than the bootleg to me.

Let’s turn her around a bit:
https://i.ibb.co/LdXz2yL/back.jpg
The poorly-assembled parts on the bootleg show up a lot here, and the way the black paint has been done on the strap makes it stand out more.
The grey paint on the bootleg doesn’t fare much better either – lots of slop on her skin, and a chip in the paint on her bottoms. All the paint is overly shiny here too on the bootleg – most of it is fairly matte on the official.

Her back:
https://i.ibb.co/SXs6hRj/back-top.jpg
We can see the paint isn’t flawless on the official – but this is fairly normal for a figure at this price point. From this angle, the thinness of the bootleg’s paint on the straps becomes fully apparent – could’ve done with another coat.
Looking at the hair, the moulding isn’t as sharp as the official, which is to be expected of a bootleg. The seam lines are about the same here though.
The bootleg’s legs are not properly inserted either, especially the left.

Flipping her over:
https://i.ibb.co/WWHP4CR/stomach.jpg
Paint is a bit more all over the place on the bootleg, plus it looking shiny. The bootleg’s left leg looks like it wants to escape the rest of her body.

Bottoms:

https://i.ibb.co/cwm4TVv/pants.jpg

The band details are sort of lost to the shiny paint on the bootleg, and both legs are slightly outward, revealing more of her crotch. Official is a bit marred here, but I think the paint is better as it doesn’t have the missing bits at the bottom of the band.

And now we come to the end of Sinon… her feet:
https://i.ibb.co/xDcHG6n/feet.jpg
The bootleg’s are slightly different in position, but have otherwise come out well. And a feature unique to the official: a copyright notice, making this the easiest spot to check if it is an official version or not.

Conclusion

As far as the noodle stoppers go, this seems to be one of the better ones – the paint isn’t hideously off, has some shading, and she actually perches on the stand as she should. However, the bootleg is still noticeably inferior if inspected – the shiny plastic does give it away at any distance, and the paint is spilling out badly in various spots. Some parts are assembled incorrectly, leaving noticeable gaps.
For telling the two apart, the shiny skin is fairly obvious, along with the lack of copyright on her foot. Whilst the chequers have some flaws on the official, they are a bit of a mess on the bootleg.

Official vs Bootleg vs Bootleg: Skytube Hermaphroditos (Melonbooks)

On my hunt for bootlegs to compare, I found this figure had not just one but two different bootlegs so I had to get both to see what they’re like.

The first bootleg is your “standard” bootleg and is an attempted copy of the figure. The second is a “soft version” featuring a squidgy body. So let’s see if the soft version has anything extra to offer than the original or if its bootlegginess outweighs its extra feature.

For the bootlegs, the soft version was slightly more expensive than the hard one, but due to ordering the hard one boxed and the soft one unboxed the cost was about the same for both. Didn’t really need two bootleg boxes that were likely to be the same.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥15,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥15,220 (£112.52)
Price I paid for the bootlegs (inc shipping): £15.64/each

The official I preordered from Nippon Yasan. Before they went to being totally useless.

Box

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/GMbQyF5/box-front.jpg
The official has a flap, hiding the figure from public view whilst the bootleg does not want to hide its secrets. The bootleg box’s front is a copy of this front flap with the logos removed. And yes, both say “Hermaphroditus”, with a u. Due to being a copy, we can still see the bottom of the figure outline underneath the “illustrated by” text which looks odd underneath the box window.
The bootleg also has a weird green border on the edges of the box – not exactly an attractive addition, but I guess that prevents any print alignment issues being a problem.
The window of the bootleg’s box has been made to compliment the front design, and they’ve actually done a decent job on this to not make it look obviously bootleggy.

Front flap open:
https://i.ibb.co/HCvDPJW/box-front-open.jpg
Here, the official box shines – we have the artwork the figure was based upon on the inside of the flap and a very large window showcasing the figure. Originally there was some foam pieces covering the figure’s chest and crotch, but I don’t have those any more.
We notice the official doesn’t start off with her ring of lilies on her head, and the figure itself is in a different orientation in the box.
We also have a different showcasing of accessories – the official just has the penis part up front, albeit hidden in modesty packaging. The bootleg chooses to showcase the penis-hiding cloth, and the other bits are jammed in a hole to the left of the viewing window.

Sides:
https://i.ibb.co/479xhr3/box-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/mGZD9g2/box-right.jpg
The bootleg is a copy of the official here – again, with the logos edited out and a olive-y green border added and a small helping of poorer print quality. I’d say this bootleg box is better than most of the others I’ve looked at – there’s less noise in the detailed sections and the contrast between colours has mostly been preserved, even if the colours aren’t quite the same.
If it wasn’t for the horrible green border, the box sides would be a near-match.
Side-by-side, we can see the bootleg box is fractionally shorter.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/qyGXKsN/box-back.jpg
Mmm, more gross border. And logo removal.
Here the boxes differ quite a bit – the background image has weirdly been stretched all the way to the bottom of the box, allowing less viewing of the figure images on the bootleg.
Inside of the information box, the logos have been replaced with some age warnings, as apparently the one above the barcode was not enough. The text above the barcode has been changed, as apparently we can’t acknowledge Ban! on the back of the box too.
On the subject of the barcode, we have a different one – which apparently is for a bromide set related to this franchise. Very strange! Not sure if it is coincidence or if they just happened to have that product to hand when deciding a barcode.
Also missing from the box is the authenticity sticker – no surprises there.

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/s26fr2j/box-top.jpg
Here we can see the bootleg box is much bigger than the official but we do have the same overall design. The official has the company logos, plus some of a brown border. The bootleg box sort of has this, but it has been thinned down to match their additional “hide the defects” border.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/nr8YC3c/box-bottom.jpg
Both of these boxes have the same flap arrangement, albeit the bootleg one trying to take itself apart due to it being shipped flat. I prefer the official’s brown colouring to the green of the bootleg.

Box inner:
https://i.ibb.co/6wmq7D0/box-inner-official.jpg
https://i.ibb.co/gdz4vjS/box-inner-bootleg.jpg
The official box has a separate inner that can be taken out and has a nice, shiny finish to it.
The bootleggers have decided to save themselves cardboard and have printed on the inside of the box. We can also see the rushed glue job on the box windows.

Blister:
https://i.ibb.co/qRxdBg2/box-blister.jpg
Here we can see the size difference in the blisters – the official is taller and thinner and the bootleg’s is shorter and fatter. The accessories included with the bootleg are all in this same blister, mostly jumbled together.
The official also has this accessory tray:
https://i.ibb.co/ftT5zJQ/box-back-blister-official.jpg
This tray houses the accessories in the shapes they’re needed, as well as accessories the bootlegs don’t have. More on that later.

Overall, the boxes are easy to tell apart, if you know what the official looks like. The bootleg’s box is actually a decent rework of the box, so I wouldn’t say it would be immediately obvious to someone not familiar with this figure, however the image on the back is kind of a big clue if you see the cut off border. If you’re aware of bootlegs, the lack of company logos is a dead giveaway though.

“Box”

For the bootleg without the box, this is how she came:
https://i.ibb.co/QFG9z3q/box-bagged-bootleg.jpg
Yeah, not exactly an attractive display.

If we open up the containing bag, we get these bags:
https://i.ibb.co/dLp9dZd/box-soft-bagged.jpg
Well, at least the parts aren’t going to be rubbing up against each other too much.

Bagged the way she is, maybe she’d pass for a lewd prize figure?

Accessories

Accessories… this figure has a selection of them! One of the design features of this figure is you have a variety of ways to display her, with varying levels of lewd.
The official gives you an instruction sheet to help you put the bits together:
https://i.ibb.co/Fg6rxJx/instructions.jpg
Whilst I think you could get by without the instructions, it does help with showing you how to do the vines and noting that the penis is magnetic. This instruction sheet shows some of the things the bootlegs don’t have, so wouldn’t make sense for them to include it anyway.

Vines:
https://i.ibb.co/CKJw2WK/vines.jpg
Due to the way the official ones are packed, these are pretty much in the shape you need them in. No such luck with the bootleg ones – prepare for a fight to try and get these into place should you subject yourself to the bootleg.
The soft bootleg’s vines are especially awful – these are more like fish tank decorations than figure accessories. The colouring and the plastic texture is all wrong.

Tip of the crotch vine:
https://i.ibb.co/hKzfk7Z/vine-magnet.jpg
Only the official has a magnet on this vine piece, rendering the other two useless. This vine is supposed to be usable to cover her crotch if you don’t have the penis attached – both of the bootlegs fail at this.

Hard vine tip:
https://i.ibb.co/dJ2cHMm/bootleg-hard-vine-magnet.jpg
Again, lacks a magnet, but this one has the hole for one. This vine is less problematic without a magnet, but still means there will be difficulties when trying to get the bootlegs to look good with the vines.

Robe front:
https://i.ibb.co/YhdmyMQ/robe-front.jpg
The robe parts of these figures are three very different colours. The official has a slight amount of translucency, and a brown tint to it. The hard bootleg is pretty much a solid colour and very white. The soft bootleg has decided to go with no colour whatsoever and is fairly see-through. All three attach with a ball at the top, but with varying degrees of how well that happens.
Due to the clearness of the soft bootleg’s robe, we can see the magnet inside it from the front.

Robe back:
https://i.ibb.co/JH0KmbD/robe-back.jpg
Looking closely, we can see some degradation in the sculpt between the robes – the hard one is slightly off, and the soft one a bit more.

Robe bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/5nntF93/robe-bottom.jpg
The official and hard version features two plugged holes, and the soft version features one unplugged hole – there is a reason this one is different, which we will see later.

Penis ‘robe’:
https://i.ibb.co/P1L33C2/sheath-side.jpg
This part can be used to cover the penis if you want her to have one, but not have it fully on show. These parts match the colour of their robe counterparts, though the hard one comes with a bit of free dirt. Due to the plastic used and the poor packaging of the bootlegs, the bootleg ones are somewhat bent. This could be remedied by heating, bending and cooling the part to set it into place… but we ain’t got time for that.
The sculpt of this part is fairly similar for all three. The hard one I think is a bit thicker at the edges than the official.

Penis robe top:
https://i.ibb.co/4dDTHNd/sheath-top.jpg
Reminds me of the fin of the orca in “Free Willy” (willy, heh). As we can see, the bootleg ones are of varying degrees of bent. The hard version has a very prominent seam line across the top, and the soft one isn’t quite as bad.

Penis robe bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/d7dcVGh/sheath-under.jpg
Due to the colouring, the official is a little hard to capture. The hard one has no such issues, and you can see the chunky thickness of the edges. The soft one seems to have been moulded badly and the folds are filled with plastic.

Penis robe magnet:
https://i.ibb.co/YtDgQ47/sheath-bottom.jpg
Each one uses a different shaped magnet – the official’s is oblong, the hard more square and the soft one has decided to be completely different and gone for a round one.

Sheathed penises:
https://i.ibb.co/D5TVT5k/sheathed-penises.jpg
Yep, these fit, so we should be able to demo these… The hard bootleg gives the ultimate privacy and nothing is visible through its white plastic. However, the soft version offers no such privacy and is very visible through the “fabric”. So I guess the choices for the soft ver is lewd or, erm, still kinda lewd.

OK, with that preview, let’s get onto the accessory you’ve all been waiting for! OK, OK, maybe not all… but here it is anyway!

Side of penis:
https://i.ibb.co/qDDz3SQ/penis-side.jpg
Three very different colourations on these too. The official’s head colouring is much more blended into the penis than the hard one, and we have a vein detail not present on the others – it is pretty subtle, but it is there on the shaft.
The end of the hard bootleg’s penis is a bit of an odd, peachy colour and seemingly a bit smaller. The skin colour is OK, but not a match for the official.
And then there’s the soft bootleg version… which looks like the blood has left it, barring a bit at the bottom. Erm, she’s not supposed to be dead! I think this penis might be staying erect from rigor mortis rather than arousal. It’s not great to look at, and the colouring is all wrong.
All three have an odd-looking divot in the ball facing the camera – this part is where the ball touches the leg, so doesn’t show when on display.

Top of penis:
https://i.ibb.co/2cQPdDn/penis-top.jpg
The official looks decent, the bootlegs… not so much. The odd colourations are even more obvious from this angle, in my opinion. The soft ver also comes with some bonus dirt.

Bottom of penis:
https://i.ibb.co/G3761mC/penis-bottom.jpg
Here we can see the bumpy bit where the urethra runs through, which is present on all three. The official we have some shading on the balls, which is a nice touch the others don’t have.
The hard version has a seamline through the balls – not the best look, but not going to be that visible when she’s on display.
The soft version… reminds me of a tampon. From the poor colouring and the shape, it just keeps reminding me of a tampon. Not the best look for a penis!

Lastly, here are two accessories exclusive to the official:
https://i.ibb.co/xSjCzMR/official-extra-parts.jpg
The lily circlet is an accessory on the official, and attached on the bootlegs. The official also comes with two different hairpieces – the one attached by default covers up her nipples, and this one allows the nipples to be seen. The bootlegs only have the default nipple-covering option that is attached to them and not supposed to be removable.

The accessories for the bootlegs are easily inferior to the official ones, even before trying them out. The hard bootleg’s robe parts are passable in colour, but the soft bootleg’s just look silly. The vines on the bootleg versions are not very good, and liable to cause issues when assembling.

Base

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/HNQpV0y/base-top.jpg
The three bases also are very differently coloured – the official’s has a brown wash mostly focused on the recessed parts, and then a dark-coloured wash focusing on the edges of the raised parts. We also have a pair of metal pegs.
The hard bootleg’s base is a paler colour, with some dark wash in the middle section. Interesting take on the original, and I think works OK. We have the same peg arrangement here, but the pegs are plastic.
The soft one is a completely different colour. Not sure how they chose this brown, but it doesn’t look very good. We have two plastic foot pegs in the same locations as the others, but we also have a third very chunky, ugly-looking peg towards the back.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/Vp6FCzf/base-bottom.jpg
Two white bases, one brown.
For the official and hard bootleg, we have two protrusions – these should contain magnets to help hold her robe in place. The soft one does not have this – instead we get the ugly peg that goes into her robe.
Didn’t actually test if the magnets are present in the hard bootleg base or robe – became sort of a moot point when assembling these.
Here’s the soft bootleg’s foot showing the hole arrangement that corresponds with its pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/pZBm7Sr/bootleg-soft-extra-hole.jpg

The bases are easy to tell apart, especially the brown monstrosity for the soft version. Official base is easily better than the other two.

Figure spin-around

Now for the big reveal! How do they look like, standing together?
https://i.ibb.co/C93xRZm/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/fkNwGPY/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wC9dJHK/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/P6024zK/spin-left.jpg
Leaning Tower of Drunk. Some people had issues with their official Hermaphroditos not standing up correctly, however I didn’t have that issue with mine.
However, the bootlegs both definitely had standing issues with the hard ver being the worst. She really won’t stand up straight without some serious work in trying to get her legs into a somewhat sensible position. The soft ver stance is OK from some angles, but from the side we can see she can lean badly. For this one, I won’t be surprised if the ability to stand varies drastically from bootleg to bootleg.

Figure close-ups

Time to look at these interesting specimens close up. Yes, it was an absolute pain to do this, and yes the bootlegs kept falling over.

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/GQbcJvm/face.jpg
Sensual, confused, and plastered… Showed this photo to my husband and he thinks the soft version is going to murder him. Better not tell him that she’s in the Box of Bootleg, right next to where he exercises.
Neither of the bootleg faces look good in my opinion – they don’t capture the look the official was going for and just look bizarre.
The official’s fringe has been painted thickly so that the hair isn’t translucent there, the bootlegs have decided to go for thinner paint, so we can see through to their foreheads.
The gradients on the hair tips is also different – the official goes to a turquoise-y colour, hard to a yellow-green and the soft ver forgoes green hues entirely and is blue-purple-blue.
In terms of the eye colours, the hard version is pretty close, but the soft version is completely off and has very red eyes, which is probably not helping the potentially murdery vibes.
A lot of the poor expression comes down to the lips – the official’s mouth is quite small and neatly painted. The middle one only seems to have a bottom lip painted and her mouth slightly agape. Soft version has a thick line of lipstick all the way around, in a darker colour, which coupled with the wider mouth opening completely ruins her look as a figure.

Lilies:
https://i.ibb.co/wrT1J13/flowers.jpg
The official ones are sculpted and painted well – we have the detail on the leaves, and the stems look really good.
Now to the hard bootleg… we’ve lost the leaf detail, and gained some raggedy edges. The stems are not great, but you can see what they’re supposed to be. We have some shading in a similar colour to the official, but not as well placed.
And the soft version, oh boy. I think she’s killed her lilies. The colour on the shading is off, so it looks like they’re spattered with dirt or blood or something. The stems have lost nearly all of their definition as well as the leaves. Not a great final product.

Top of her head:
https://i.ibb.co/Ttz9Xtz/head-top.jpg
All of them have a visible seam across the middle, though the official’s is there for a reason – as her front hairpiece can be switched.
Looking at the seam where one of the back hair strands joins, the official’s is a lot more smoothed out than the other two. We can also see the quality of the vine connecting the lilies is pretty poor on the bootlegs, especially when compared to the official.

Left hair tips:
https://i.ibb.co/C6SVmJ7/hair-tip.jpg
This part differs quite significantly between all three – the official’s loops around her leg and curves quite a bit downwards.
The hard version is very flat and doesn’t curve down much at all. The shading has some similarities with the official, but is more vibrant and quicker to change shades.
The soft version is the least similar – it takes a different curving route, and doesn’t have the green-yellow at the tips. We also have one strand of the bunch pointing upwards.
Both of the bootlegs have noticeable seam marks – the hard version has a seam running along the hair strand near the camera, whilst the soft version has a horizontal seam towards the tips.

Back of her hair:
https://i.ibb.co/XZbX2R3/hair-back.jpg
The official and hard versions don’t look too dissimilar, though we can definitely tell some detail has been lost in the hair strands. We have a nicer finish on the official, but the colours are pretty similar.
Aaand soft version is doing its own thing again – the upper blue isn’t quite the same, he lighter parts are quite different and we don’t have the pearly finish.

Midriff:
https://i.ibb.co/nwDwbTJ/stomach.jpg
The body colours is where these differ the most – the official is much more tan than the other two, and the soft version is the palest of the three. We have slightly more paint detail on the official (shading underneath her chest), but all three feature some paint highlighting her curves. The soft version’s paint makes it look more like she’s sore than shaded though. Her skin also reflects the light strangely, due to the rubbery material used for her body.
Looking at the hard version’s crotch, we can see a seamline. Is she wearing a skin-coloured swimsuit…?
With the hair, we have one strand that comes in front of her body, the bootlegs both have this bit go behind.

Looking closely at the soft bootleg’s stomach:
https://i.ibb.co/3mvDLfs/bootleg-soft-dirt.jpg
Lots of dirt on the rubbery material. Could likely clean this off, but shows how well this material can hold onto dirt. Pretty disgusting to get this figure out of the packet and it already looks like this.

Crotch:
https://i.ibb.co/d4G8sk1/vagina.jpg
The official’s has some quite accurate sculpting… the bootlegs, not so much.
I did try to get a picture of the hard version’s crotch, but due to her legs it wasn’t very possible, but it is sort of like the soft one, only with a little bit more definition.
On the soft version, we have her seamline just above her labia, making her body look quite strange.

Legs:
https://i.ibb.co/FVKz2YM/legs.jpg
Aka the really hard bit to get right.
This photo also shows why the crotch photo was difficult for the hard version – her legs are much closer together, whilst the soft version’s has more of a gap.
The hard version’s leg vine wrap doesn’t press into the skin like the others, and is connected incorrectly, so her leg is halfway up in the air. With the imbalance, she also leans to her left, increasing the angle she stands at.
With the soft version, we don’t have much in the way of matte finish, making her look shinier than the other two. We also have two leg vines as this is where the squidgy rubber-coated torso connects to the hard plastic of her lower legs. This join is really rather noticeable in person as the texture and and the colours don’t match.

Feet:
https://i.ibb.co/b3RwqK5/feet.jpg
Apologies for the poor focus on the official’s feet. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say her toenails are neatly painted in a subtle nail polish colour – similar to the hard bootleg’s right foot. We’ve also some skin shading that emphasises her toes.
Moving to the hard bootleg, we have some decently sculpted feet too, but she’s used different nail polish on each foot. Kind of strange. The paint is neat enough it looks fine from a short distance.
Soft version doesn’t have any nail polish, leaving her with weird-looking nails. The feet have also been poorly cast, leaving them looking kind of blocky and slightly webbed.

Left arm:
https://i.ibb.co/z64xCk9/left-arm.jpg
Here we have another vine hiding the arm join. The official’s looks nice, the hard version OK but has gotten a bit loose, and the soft version… last place again. Just looks like some kind of gelatinous thing she’s wrapped around her arm. Also the soft version’s arm skin tone doesn’t match her body in the slightest.

Closer look at the soft version’s arm:
https://i.ibb.co/rx0FR9x/bootleg-soft-shoulder.jpg
Does NOT match. There’s something really wrong with soft version.
The body wasn’t designed to join at the shoulder, so the wreath isn’t doing a lot to hide that. The hand hasn’t been sanded down, leaving seam lines aplenty.
With her hand on her chest, it makes it very clear that the arm is a lot more yellow-toned than the main part of her body.

Bum:
https://i.ibb.co/brTThqY/bum-and-apple.jpg
In shape, the official and hard versions look very similar, but the hard version misses out on some shading to emphasise the shapes. Soft version ends up looking different largely due to the the material used, and looks kind of lumpy to me, not helped by the shadow caused by the hair in this photo (the other two currently don’t have their hair attached – more on that later). Some of the depth of the sculpt has been lost – if we look at her butt crack, it doesn’t go as deep, and the fold between her bum and her leg isn’t as great.
Looking at the apples, the official’s is easily the shiniest of the three, and we have the more subtle paint shading on it.
Looking at the hands, the official’s nail polish matches with her feet, the hard ver has gone with the darker tone and the soft has gone with none. Again. And the soft version’s arm is yellow and nonmatching with her body again.

Close-ups of the apple:
https://i.ibb.co/jZDW2HD/apple-side.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/HVyy0VM/apple-top.jpg
For the official, I think some concessions were made when sculpting the hand, making it look a bit deformed to me. The hard bootleg carries on this trait, but her hand is pointed outwards more for some reason. The soft bootleg turns the mutant hand up to 11, and just looks awful from the side.
Looking at the tops of the apple, the official has a much daintier stem, and I love the golden finish of the apple, with the red shading at the top. The hard bootleg has made a passable attempt, but that stem does not look like an apple stem. We’ve also got some seam line action.
The soft version has gone for a fully golden apple, which might be a good choice considering how bad the rest of it is. Still, we’ve got bad seamlines and a stem that doesn’t look like an apple stem. Hey, waitamin, is this actually a bomb…?

Now let’s remove the heads, and get some closeups of bits obscured by the hair.
Chest:
https://i.ibb.co/Kr65G51/boobs.jpg
Turns out the soft bootleg’s head doesn’t actually come off, so just shoved her hair out the way a bit.
The official’s nipples have a distinct sculpted shape, and we have a shiny finish to draw attention to the nipple.
The bootleg nipples have lost the shape of the official’s, but look fine to me. I think the shape of the soft version is slightly different, which hasn’t helped with her hand, which doesn’t clasp her boob as it should.
Personally, shiny nipples don’t add anything for me (checked mine, not shiny), so I don’t mind the hard version’s nipples. Soft version a little weird-looking to me though.

Right shoulder:
https://i.ibb.co/5FsSy2G/arm-wreath.jpg
The official has a wreath part to hide the join here, whilst the bootlegs have… nothing. The official arm comes apart, then this vine piece comes out so that you can use the longer vine piece. For the bootlegs, the arm parts are glued together so they don’t come apart. The soft version has a particularly rough join, not helped by the two material types.

Left hand:
https://i.ibb.co/wKQGBbv/hand.jpg
The official fingernails are the nice pearly pink colour as the rest of her nails, with her hand pressing lightly into her breast. The hard version is pretty similar – her fingernail polish isn’t quite as neat and is slightly darker. She has some excess bits of plastic though, that could do with cleaning up. And the soft version is still the pallid blob we saw before floating above her breast. Instead of nail polish, we’ve got some dirt?

OK, time to play with the vines. For the vines, they peg under the foot, like so:
https://i.ibb.co/mHpLB3w/official-peg-holes.jpg

Now to wrap them around her arm…
https://i.ibb.co/WgpYyfq/arm-vine.jpg
The official is pretty easy to get into place, with the magnet holding it. The hard bootleg was an absolute nightmare that wouldn’t stay where it was put, and wanted to keep the shape it had from being folded in the box. The soft version’s vine was a bit easier in that regard, but doesn’t hold an attractive “pose”. Just sort of… hangs about.
Assembly for the bootlegs was also harder due to the arms being glued.

Lower part of vine:
https://i.ibb.co/PcKb7Xm/vine-legs.jpg
Again, the official’s vine holds more shape than the bootlegs. With the official vine, it was a bit of a pain to get in place, needing heating to get the vine peg fully into place.
The bootlegs end up the best of a bad job, and sort of go where they go and everything isn’t shaped quite right so she stands properly on top of the vine. The tolerances are pretty tight on the official, which leaves the bootlegs not working well.

Crotch vine:
https://i.ibb.co/pzTbcvC/crotch-vine.jpg
As predicted, the bootlegs were an absolute fail – without the magnet the bootleg vines won’t stay in place, and you’d have to provide your own adhesive/magnet.
All the points to the bootleg for this vine. The others are just decorative items.

Fastening the robe:
https://i.ibb.co/ZKb5VVM/robe.jpg
The official fastens up well, and has a fabric-y feel to it. The hard bootleg one also fastens, but not quite as tightly. However, the paint is a bit thick, giving it a rough appearance. The soft bootleg’s robe is a fail. It doesn’t fasten tightly, and therefore has a habit of becoming undone. Also doesn’t look like anything with its strange clear plastic.

Robe back:
https://i.ibb.co/hVGLDMD/robe-back-legs.jpg
I like the translucent nature of the official’s robe so you can see she’s in there.
The hard bootleg’s also has the thick white paint on the back, and a lack of tidying of the plastic at the bottom of it. I think a white sheet could’ve worked, if it was done better than this one.
The soft bootleg I think is stepping out of a gelatinous blob. It really doesn’t look good. We can also see the extra base peg that helps hold it in place straight through it. Looking at the top of it, the flopping down part is bent upwards.

Penis time!
https://i.ibb.co/gZszGS6/penis.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/p3cRTcD/penis-other-side.jpg
The official’s penis easily sticks to her body, thanks to the magnets. The skin tones match, so as long as you’re not looking at where they connect, it looks like part of her body.
The hard version bootleg’s one would NOT stick. Just kept falling off. Felt like there was a bit of attraction there, but not enough to hold it. So in the robe it fell.
The soft version’s penis at least stays up, but doesn’t look like it belongs. How do you get a penis that simultaneously erect but looking like it has no blood in it? Guessing she’s using an implant?

Underside:
https://i.ibb.co/mSczC9j/penis-equipped-bottom.jpg
The official fits nicer than the soft version. Also the soft version needs to pay more attention to her foreskin when cleaning.

Let’s give covering the penis a go:
https://i.ibb.co/PwF5Khm/sheathed-penis.jpg
Not sure I’ve got the official fully set up right here, but the sheath part matches the rest of the robe well.
The hard bootleg, we can sort of use the robe part to almost get the penis somewhere vaguely in the vicinity of her crotch. The robe parts don’t match very well at all.
The soft version isn’t strong enough to hold the penis and the robe part together, and the whole thing dropped off and nestled itself in her robe. The robe part does match the robe, not that any of it looks good enough for it to matter.

Side view:
https://i.ibb.co/znPW1nS/sheath-equipped-side.jpg
Yeah, only the official one looks good. The other two don’t attach right, and just look awful. The bootleg deprives you of penis. So that’s a big fail in my book.

Official alternate hair part:
https://i.ibb.co/DQzzY39/official-alt-hair.jpg
I do like this hair piece, so this is a large negative to the bootlegs that don’t even include it. If you like to see the nipples on your figures, the official is the way to go.

Conclusion

Overall, there’s no contest with which is the better figure – the official! With more parts, better construction, better painting and just you know… generally better it is the easy winner. I don’t think either bootleg could act as a substitute for the official as there are too many flaws and issues, especially with standing up straight.
Neither can act as easy donor parts figures as the colours and quality of all the parts differs too much. Some of the parts might act as workable replacements, if you’re willing to put some time and effort in.
Telling the figures apart is easy – especially with what they did accessory-wise. If her wreath is glued to her head, it isn’t the official. If her face looks scary… not the official. If the vines look like trash. Yep. Not the official.
Out of the two, I’d say the hard version is nicer overall than the soft version. Whilst you can squidge the body due to the rubbery material, it has a lot more flaws and colouring issues that very much ruin her appearance. Feels like all the budget went into making her rubbery and everything else was skimped out on. Definitely wouldn’t recommend.

Bonus

After I completed the photos for this review, I decided to investigate the soft bootleg’s head, as parts of it were relatively loose and her head didn’t detach from her neck. The wreath and hair were glued, but not very well.
Turns out her face comes off:
https://i.ibb.co/2kDdccQ/bootleg-soft-face-off.jpg
Scary. Turns out the inside of her mouth is an orange blob behind the face. The orange lump is well-attached to the rest of it, so this is as far as I got.
If you want to see her chest not obscured by the hair:
https://i.ibb.co/4WGcFb1/bootleg-soft-chest.jpg
Well, there she is. Not sure what’s scarier – her original face or this orange blank-face.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Leafa Noodle Stopper

Today is another noodle stopper – Leafa from Sword Art Online.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,160 (£15.09)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.00

Let’s get this blog started with the spin-around:
https://i.ibb.co/Lp8VCqC/spin-fail.jpg
Erm, time for some white tack and to start this again… The first fail of the bootleg – it won’t actually act like a noodle stopper as the weighting on her is so uneven she’ll just fall off what she’s perched on.
White tack sourced and applied…

Figure spin-around
https://i.ibb.co/tmZT60P/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/nztYt5m/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Qn7V4dz/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Y7Q7wB2/spin-left.jpg
Yeah, the finish on the bootleg is looking rough – poor paint, gaps and that brightly yellow hair. Oh, and the unsightly white tack I’ve had to use to keep her on the stand.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/b3dXv4c/face.jpg

The eye decals are almost competent on the bootleg – the various bits seem to be all present, albeit in the wrong colour and slightly squashed, plus the lines above her eyes are too thick. The too-thick lines also follow through to her eyebrows and mouth – the eyebrows look OK, but the mouth is somewhat scary at this distance, with the mottled paint.
The bootleg’s hair is a blobby, seamy mess, so nothing unusual for a bootleg here. The hair also entirely lacks shading, whereas the official has darker tones towards the ends of her hair.
I don’t think her hairbands look great on either, but the bootleg’s right hairband seems to have completely missed the mark.

Hairband:

https://i.ibb.co/Sy0DhBt/hair-flower.jpg

Both are flawed here – my official has some stray paint and the green loops are slightly off from where they should be, though I’d definitely rate the bootleg as worse here – less care has been taken to draw the green line in and the paint has got gaps in from the uneven surface. The bootleg’s moulding is also blobby, misshapen and rough.

Left side of head:

https://i.ibb.co/M6BC4DS/headl-left.jpg

Here we can see more paint shading on the official which is lacking on the bootleg. The moulding is also poor here on the bootleg – most noticeable from where her pigtail goes underneath her fringe – the lack of paint shading and depth makes this look odd. The bootleg’s ponytail also comes with a bonus seam.

Top of head:

https://i.ibb.co/KwXzd1T/head-top.jpg

Some rough bits to be seen on both here – both have a distinctive seam as part of the fringe part. The bootleg has some very uneven paint here – lots of blobs and mess in the paint itself… and no shading.
The bootleg’s ponytail looks like it is separating too – it didn’t fall off during the review, but I won’t be surprised if it comes off at some point.

Side of her head:

https://i.ibb.co/XzWbL1P/ear.jpg

Paint on the bootleg is decidedly rough here – lots of unevenness and blotches. Her hair parts haven’t been assembled correctly, leaving a larger gap above her ear than there should be.
We can also see some laziness with the green paint – the hairband doesn’t even go all the way around.

Back of hair:

https://i.ibb.co/gzYwVhN/hair.jpg

Neon, unshaded and bits of bonus plastic – yep, we’ve got most of the usual flaws in the bootleg’s hair. Her ponytail also hasn’t been attached correctly, meaning it sits to the left of her instead of over to the right. Whilst this does mean you can see more of her bum, it’s not doing us much favours due to the flaws (more on that later).
The flower band in the bootleg’s hair is also a plain white, instead of the official’s green-white, showing a cheaping out on the paint.

Let’s get a close-up of that backside:

https://i.ibb.co/HF58CbN/bum.jpg

I think on the official’s sculpt they sculpted it well – you get to see the shape but nothing on show. We’ve also got some creasing in the material to make it more lifelike.
Now the bootleg, oh the bootleg. For starters, the parts aren’t assembled correctly leaving unsightly gaps by her left leg and back. The shape of her bum is slightly lost, making it less well-defined. The green paint has been roughly done and we have what looks like a fingerprint in the white paint, making it look messy.

Arm:

https://i.ibb.co/2KKFXW4/arm-side.jpg

Here we have the typical armband that is used on a lot of figures to hide where an arm joins the body. On the official, it is mostly doing its job, though there is a little gapping. The bootleg on the other hand has a massive gap all the way around her arm so the join isn’t hidden at all. The paint is also too thin leaving the flesh-coloured plastic showing through. We also have an unsightly seam mark running down her neck and upper arm.
Moving to her top, the bootleg’s is very poorly assembled and the neck strap isn’t even pushed into the hole correctly, leaving it broken and revealing the unsightly assembly hole. The painting is also very poor – the strap lacks the buckle detail and the paint is very messy on the cup. We’re also missing the line detail on the cup.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/chFnTZ1/swim-top.jpg

There was an attempt.
The official’s is far from perfect on mine – one of the lines runs wayyy off, the silver buckle paint is a bit lacking, but we do have the nice little flower ring detail.
And then we look at the bootleg and realise how much worse it could be. The strap is overly thick and rough, and the buckle details aren’t painted at all. The moulding has gone very badly wrong here – the ends of the straps have gone very blobby and odd. Due to this, neither side of the strap has been assembled properly, with her right side nowhere close.
Moving to the cups on her top, the edging paint is very messy – no neat edges here. The inner lines haven’t been painted at all, and the flower ring has missing flecks of paint. Just underneath her top on the bootleg, we can see a decent amount of overage on the white paint too.
Erm, is the bootleg’s stare-face also creeping people out in this photo?

Stomach:

https://i.ibb.co/TkvJGbp/stomach.jpg

Both of the actual stomachs on these figures looks fine to me, though the bootleg does have bonus shiny. To the bootleg’s side, we can see a visible seam line that doesn’t show on the official and we have some gapping between the parts.
The quality of painting of the green band on her bottoms is about the same on both, but the bows are much nicer on the original – the green paint matches and the bows have much better definition. On the bootleg we can see the peg hole where the bow should attach, and the bottom of the ribbon has gone to a strange rounded shape.

Left leg:

https://i.ibb.co/2g55pRp/left-lef-side.jpg

Yeah, the bootleg bow doesn’t look any nicer from this angle. And we get to see her leg looking like it might fall off.
The quality of the plastic on the bootleg’s leg is also particularly bad here – we can see lots of small scratchlike imperfections in the plastic.

Right leg:

https://i.ibb.co/x7WnnMv/leg-side.jpg

Again, the bootleg’s bow is very messy and the wrong colour – there’s a surprising amount of excess plastic left on the bow. Around the bootleg’s bow we can seemingly see some bits of stray glue.
Moving to her hand, the bootleg’s has sunk down a bit so it is no longer resting on her knee – though this change in pose isn’t particularly noticeable unless you have them side-by-side. The bootleg’s hand though lacks definition and has become blobby and looking slightly mutant.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/SKgv1CS/foot.jpg

Focus didn’t go so good here… Stupid bootleg hair getting in the way when it shouldn’t do.
Surprisingly, this part came out OK on the bootleg – was expecting it to be as deformed as the hands, but the feet actually came out OK.

The flat side:

https://i.ibb.co/dK84Fsm/bottom.jpg

Yeah, minimum effort here for the bootleg. Here we can see how poorly assembled this figure was, with massive gapping on both legs. We have a very obvious seam, and the shiny, rough plastic. Plus some excess plastic that wasn’t shaved off.
The official doesn’t have any of the above flaws, and actually has some paint detail on the skin, despite this part not usually being visible.

Conclusion

The bootleg you very much get what you paid for – it’s a low-quality copy of the original with many flaws. Even at a distance, some of the defects are visible – the extra paint on the top, the poor assembly of the parts (especially the top’s strap) and the poorly painted mouth giving her a slight creepy vibe. Even if you can live with the visual flaws, this bootleg has a propensity to roll over due to the incorrect assembly of parts – I believe it’s mostly to do with how her hair was glued on at the wrong angle. So as well as being kinda ugly, she’s not functional either, so definitely couldn’t recommend.
I think the poor quality is fairly evident, but I can see a novice collector dismissing most of the flaws as “cheap prize figure”. It’s a bit unfortunate my official does have a major paint flaw, but looking at the MFC gallery not all of the official ones are like this (might even just be mine).

Official vs Bootleg: Good Smile Company Albedo (Nendoroid)

For this series I decided early on that I’d like to feature a Nendoroid. After some debating of what one to pick, I settled on Albedo, so here she is in all her “glory”. Let’s see how the bootleg can measure up to the original.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥4,630
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,815 (£32.73)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $14.46 (£11.89)

The official I pre-ordered the re-release.

Box

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/zr9zFxW/box-front.jpg
Interestingly, we have what looks like an extra to my box – the bootleg features the 10th anniversary logo whilst my official box does not. However this is due to mine being the re-release – the original release has it but the re-release does not.
Looking past the 10th anniversary logo the bootleg does not have the GSC logo, which both the official boxes will have, along with the Kadokawa sticker.
Other than that, the bootleg box is a copy but the colours and print quality has suffered. The picture of Albedo on the front looks murky on the bootleg.
If we look to the figure in the box, the official will come with the smiling face equipped by default but my bootleg came with the manic grin face equipped. One thing to note is I have put my official back in the box (as with most of these) so the protective plastic is missing.

Sides:
https://i.ibb.co/F4mVnjX/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/v1Ky6Kb/box-left.jpg
Not too much to see here – colours are off on the bootleg and murky print for the detailed parts. Not so easy to tell the differences unless you have them side-by-side.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/1MQcrC5/box-back.jpg
Round tape vs square tape! A Nendoroid should be always sealed with round tape if it is new.
Interestingly for this box they’ve left all the mentions of GSC’s website & support alone but they’ve taken out the logo in the bottom right. Very half-assed edit job for this one. To “hide” the empty corner they’ve moved the “MADE IN CHINA” text from underneath the materials listing.
Again, we can see Albedo in an off-white on the bootleg box and looking slightly grey.

Top & bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/fdLkzHL/box-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/pR7krtq/box-bottom.jpg
For the top of the box, we have the GSC logo removed and the bottom has an issue with the barcode where there seems to have been an incident with a text box and we’ve lost two of the digits. The barcode itself scans correctly though.
With the barcode error, I suspect they may have worked from the original print file rather than a scan. If I was to guess how they got the file in the first place, I would suspect from the factory that did the box print run rather than some convoluted hack job on GSC servers (easier to bribe a local worker to copy a file. Or walk into the factory and take it for yourself).

Flaps:
https://i.ibb.co/mcktd9c/box-flaps.jpg
Ignoring the colour, these are a match.

Inner:
https://i.ibb.co/Pxvx6zw/box-inner.jpg
No edits to be seen here, just a different shade.

This box is mostly a clone, but fairly obviously not the same due to the missing GSC logos and the accidentally duffed-up barcode. In person, the poor print quality is fairly apparent – if you’ve got Nendoroid boxes, the murky print would be a red flag. However, if there is no 10th Anniversary logo, this is because it is the second release – time-limited logos like these may not be on all releases of a figure.
Whilst preowned Nendoroids may have the wrong faceplate attached, anything being sold as new should have the smiling face.

Accessories

What’s a Nendoroid without a plethora of bits to customise it? Thankfully Albedo doesn’t disappoint and has a decent collection of arms, two faceplates and wings.

Arms:
https://i.ibb.co/gVDjbK5/arms.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/BzB6rc4/arms-bottom.jpg
Despite trying to get the order to match, looks like I’ve accidentally switched top left and bottom left of the bootleg arms – oops. All the arms are present though that should be.
The first notable difference is the skin colour – the officials have a nice pale skin tone, whilst the bootlegs are more yellowy. The top-left arm of the bootleg set gets a special award for “most visible seam”, whilst the others aren’t awful in this regard. Honorable mention goes to bottom right.
The white paint is much more grey on the bootlegs, and some of the armbands are pretty sloppily painted. Some of the gloves don’t look to be glued on at quite the right angle on the bootlegs, which will change posing slightly.
Looking at the backs of the arms, some of the bootlegs come with some excess plastic – this will not help with assembly and articulation.

Closeup of a hand:
https://i.ibb.co/yP6y4G3/arm-closeup.jpg
The rings aren’t painted as nicely on the bootlegs, but aren’t a hideous mess. We can see the thickness and roughness of the bootleg paint here, which gives it that less premium look.

Extra faces:
https://i.ibb.co/1mRDjS5/faces.jpg
Again, we have the off skin tone here – really not a match for Albedo. The bootleg faces also look sweaty, thanks to the non-matte finish. Overall, the printed parts of the face look decent on the bootleg – certainly one of the better face prints I’ve seen. The top face is missing its blush by the looks of it though, and the lower face is printed slightly low down, but doesn’t look distinctly “off”.

Backs of the faces:
https://i.ibb.co/W5zLg4C/faces-back.jpg
A look at the quality from “behind the scenes”. The officials are moulded nice and evenly and have had any flashing removed. Two of the three bootleg faces have had a large air bubble in the mould, plus some rough bits of plastic can be seen at the neck slot.

Wing hole protector:
https://i.ibb.co/THRR17y/hole-saver.jpg
This item is placed into the wing holes on her back to protect them from damage and dirt and probably stopping the hair from scraping the back of her body if you don’t have the wings in.
The bootleggers have seemingly dipped theirs in black paint whilst he official has been made to match Albedo’s colouring. Always interesting to see if bootleggers include parts like this – and in this case they did. Was also assembled into the figure, just like the official.

Wings:
https://i.ibb.co/gZgKvy1/wings-outer.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/n1Dc1Pq/wings-inner.jpg
Visually, these are pretty similar – a slight difference in colour and finish. However, the bootleg ones are a lot rougher to the touch and feel kinda nasty.

Base

An essential accessory for most Nendoroids – let’s take a look how the bootleggers did with this one.
Top:
https://i.ibb.co/Y8vSLT7/base-top.jpg
The bootleg base is less blue and isn’t frosted. The part of the stand arm that’s near the top of the picture has an air bubble in the bootleg. Looking at the other end of the stand arm, the bootleg has an extra piece glued on.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/WPdzw2k/base-bottom.jpg
If we look at the stand arms, we notice that two of the screws are going the other way through the bootleg vs the official, and the screws they’re using have much smaller heads. The official stand is designed around the screws GSC uses, to ensure a tight and secure fit.
If we look at the top end of the stand arms, there is a difference in the moulding just before the peg part.

Side:
https://i.ibb.co/8832WFM/base-side.jpg
If you look carefully at the official, there is the copyright notice. The bootleg has none on any of its four sides. If a stand base doesn’t have any writing on it, it is definitely a bootleg though some bootlegs may have the copyright notice printed.

Figure spin-around

Going to start off with the blister shot today for this:
https://i.ibb.co/0VNz7FT/blister.jpg
The official box holds the pieces nicely, the bootleg… not so much! Arms were all falling out and the faces span round. Looks like the wing on the right wants to escape its plastic prison too. The inferior blister plastic really isn’t doing its job.

https://i.ibb.co/h92pBY8/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/KGyx8Nf/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/WyytVPr/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/CKFbZZY/spin-left.jpg
Well, the bootleg does mostly look like the figure it is supposed to be. One thing that isn’t pictured is the rough, nasty texture of the bootleg paint – this was one of the worst figures I’ve had to handle in that regard and it wasn’t much fun to do the photography for this one due to that.
You may notice the bootleg is looking down – this is the best I could do with it due to the bootleg stand arm.

Figure close-ups

Let’s see why the positioning is a bit useless on the bootleg:
https://i.ibb.co/xmfFvGM/stand-comparison.jpg
That extra glued-on stand part on the bootleg? Yeah. It really shouldn’t be part of the stand for Albedo, but they included it anyway – it pushes out her hair so she can only miserably stare at her feet if she is facing forward.

Due to the way the head obscures her body, she’ll be disassembled for most of the close-ups. Let’s get her head off and look at her dress:
https://i.ibb.co/ZmTv2jp/dress.jpg
Aaand the bootleg decided to leave its peg behind. The gold paint on the bootleg hasn’t been painted thickly enough around her neck and is generally messy in most places. The delicate detail of the spider web has been lost as well. Gold paint is a tricky thing, so not a real surprise the official’s is a much nicer colour.
The dress frills are rough and dirty on the bootleg – I don’t think Ainz would be too impressed with this! We’ve also got some stray red paint on the bootleg’s left glove.
The white part of the collar on the bootleg looks really dirty – I wonder if the gold and white paint ended up mixing here. We’ve also got some excess plastic that looks like it is trying to be a fancy collar.

Side:
https://i.ibb.co/8Pm1V49/dress-side.jpg
Looking close, my official has some misassembly here… d’oh!
Going to the bootleg, we again have a bunch of gold paint slop. We’ve also got some fairly visible seams marring the side of the dress and her body.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/NnSpHHC/dress-back.jpg
The white paint looks particularly rough and nasty back here on the bootleg. The fabric from the dress knot also looks like it wasn’t cleaned up after being moulded.

Feet:
https://i.ibb.co/jVGL5Ld/feet.jpg
The bootleg’s shoes haven’t been fully painted, and look really odd when they’re on show. The shoes should be fully brown, but for some reason they didn’t paint the sides.
Here we can also see where the hole/back protector is inserted into the figure initially.

OK, let’s get that peg out and take a good look at it compared to the official:
https://i.ibb.co/PG9kVQM/joint-straight.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/MDqVHvJ/joint-bent.jpg
Whilst this one does have the Goodsmile face on the bootleg, it is poorly cast and the wrong way up. This is why checking the neck joint can be a good way to ascertain authenticity – replicating this small detail is hard to do on a budget, so it’ll easily look messy if it isn’t cast precisely.

Closer look at the neck hole:
https://i.ibb.co/XL16WvB/head-hole.jpg
The official’s has been sculpted so that the neck joint will sit within a recess so that it isn’t on show as much. The bootleg has no such luxury and is a shallower divot. The edges and the paint is particularly rough here too. We have missing gold paint on the middle of her neck and one of the spider web strands that go over her chest.
The armbands haven’t been painted properly on the bootleg either – the tops haven’t been painted leaving her with mutant arms.

Head:
https://i.ibb.co/JzBcGMv/head.jpg
The head as a whole isn’t awful, but we are lacking some shading in the hair and we do have some roughness in construction.

Behind the face:
https://i.ibb.co/tLY6zCx/headpiece-back.jpg
Here we can see where the casting on the bootleg has suffered – all the edges are slightly less even than their official counterparts. Some of the curvature has been seemingly lost on the neck part – it curves up more sharply instead of being rounded. The lighter parts of the hair on the bootleg are more blue than purple.

Horns:
https://i.ibb.co/CW7Hjn8/hair-horns.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/R45FzR8/hair-horns-other.jpg
The paint colour for the horns has ended up duller, and both the bootleg horns came with free dirt marks. Yuck. The detail in the hair moulding has been lost on the bootleg, plus the paint has been simplified and looks nasty.

Inside the front hair part:
https://i.ibb.co/2hts78n/hair-inside.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/X5czcbw/hair-construction.jpg
Again, less precision in the moulding, but is similar other than that.

Downside to the less precise moulding:
https://i.ibb.co/4m4rrWs/hair-seam.jpg
The bootleg’s hair doesn’t go together as well as the official’s and will tend to pop out. We can also see that at the top the bootleg parts don’t quite go together as well as they should.
For the shading in the hair, I much prefer the colours of the original, and the bootleg is too dark.
Also getting another good look at the dirt on her horn. Ainz hasn’t been rolling you around the dungeon floor has he?

Next, I tried the wings:
https://i.ibb.co/HqmPCbv/wing-fail.jpg
This was as good as I was thinking I was going to get – the bootleg wings do NOT fit well. Her right wing was especially problematic and falling out, so I gave up at this point.

I tried again later, and this time I was successful:
https://i.ibb.co/8sN0sPs/wings-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/4PzX86X/wings-back.jpg
So there is a chance a bootleg will come with entirely defective wings, but I was able to get them in eventually. Due to the looseness of the joint, posing is very limited on my bootleg, otherwise I run the risk of it popping out and starting again.
From these angles, we can see some missing mould details – the wing tips are more rounded and the feather indentations are less on the bootleg.

Wings open and closed:
https://i.ibb.co/S6LCspz/wing-open.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/jZvThbF/wing-closed.jpg
The bootleg’s wing parts do articulate similar to the official, but on mine may go a little too far if you push it. The action works though, with no breakages/issues.

Lastly, I did an arm swap test:
https://i.ibb.co/VMwW7Zv/upper-neck.jpg
The bootleg pegs are problematic and generally won’t go in all the way due to moulding issues with the pegs themselves. Switching the arms is easy on the official, but the bootleg will take force and probably heat to get the arms in place. Not really much fun to play with!

I didn’t do parts swap with my official, due to the skin colours being so different – without a repaint it’s not going to look very good. With the wings, I didn’t want to risk damaging the official parts, so decided to skip this outright – ball joints can be quite finnicky in fit, so don’t want to risk damaging the socket/ball slightly as this may make it prone to falling out.

Conclusion

Yeah, bootleg nendos are not great if this one is anything to go by. The bootleg’s articulation was mostly fine, but in appearance it falls down, as well as the poor stand part. At least it didn’t disintegrate in my hands?
What I consider to be the worst feature of this bootleg I can’t photograph – the feel of the paint. Picking it up, it just doesn’t feel nice so can’t really imagine someone wanting to play with it/pose it. This is due to the powdery paint that’s been used and how thickly it has been painted on without any finish to cover it up.
With the accessories, the bootleggers provide a full set, but the quality may make one or two not very usable. Wings are probably going to be a crapshoot as to whether they stay in the holes or not.
As for replacement parts, the stand works but not for this Nendoroid. The skin colour is so off, it wouldn’t go with official parts so not worth it unless you want to customise to match (in which case fixing any fit issues is probably within your skill level).
The boxes are easy to tell apart if you know what you’re looking for, with the missing Good Smile logos. The figure itself would look off to a moderately experienced collector with the lumpy paint and shiny skin. The feel of the figure is probably the biggest clue – once you handle this bootleg, you’ll know.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Asuna Noodle Stopper (Ordinal Scale)

Sword Art Online (SAO) might not have the best reputation, but it is popular enough that its prize figures get bootlegged, so now I have four of the SAO noodle stoppers to look at. First up on the block is Asuna.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,060 (£13.06)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £5.53

The official I preordered on AmiAmi.

Box

This one I got the box for, just to see what the boxes are like. I no longer have the original box, so there isn’t a direct comparison here.
Front:

https://i.ibb.co/zRm0Lxd/box-front.jpg

Interestingly they’ve kept the FuRyu logo, but removed the JAMMA logo. The JAMMA logo should be sat underneath the FuRyu logo.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/h2G1V85/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/khxmVt9/box-left.jpg

This box is thinner than the original and lacks the claw machine grab holes. The sides are also the same side duplicated – on the official one side has the copyright mentioning Kadokawa and SAO.
We can also see the print quality isn’t great and Asuna is a bit bluey and fuzzy.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/VJdVSp7/box-back.jpg

This is a mildly inferior copy of the original. Also note the dotted circle where there should be an authenticity sticker.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/4f6nLnp/box-top.jpg

The top image has been squished to fit the non-square top, leaving the text looking slightly stretched and jagged.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/vwYGzv3/box-bottom.jpg

Not much to see here, but this does show one of the fold lines you do tend to get when a box has been flattened – if you’re buying something “new” that has similar fold lines, be suspicious of its authenticity.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/THf09G3/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/YLt1Nzq/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/LNYvSFm/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/XZnQrT6/spin-left.jpg

Huh, I thought Asuna had orangey hair? Bootleg Asuna says no! Surprised by how off the hair colour is on the bootleg.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/4147h96/face.jpg

Bootleg: stare, stare
The hair and eye colours are massively off on the bootleg – not being very character-accurate here. The official’s hair is the orangey-brown it should be and the bootleg I think had chocolate melted over its head. Just… so bad. The bootleg’s hair is also blobby in shape and the sculpt is ill-defined.
The official’s eyebrows match her hair, the bootleg’s is some other shade of orange that matches the bootleg’s eyes instead of her hair. Quite odd.
Getting to the eyes, the bootleg’s aren’t just lacking a lot of detail but are incorrectly coloured and shaped. I don’t think they were thinking when they chose the eye decals.
The bootleg’s mouth is probably the most inoffensive part and looks OK, though its colour doesn’t match.
Lastly, the bootleg has pasty, shiny skin making her look potentially slightly ill. Glad the official isn’t like this.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/WKMNbBd/chest.jpg

Poor bootleg Asuna is losing her top! The paint for her straps doesn’t even go all the way to the
top of her neck.
Here the shiny, pasty skin of the bootleg is on full show and not making her look great. The official is a much better skin tone. The loss of detail in the bootleg cast really doesn’t help her skin’s appearance.
The paint on the official’s top is on a par with most prize figures, the bootleg’s is almost neater, but completely missed the line on her left boob. The bow on the bootleg appears to be red plastic rather than painted, which gives it a cheap feel.

Bra strap:

https://i.ibb.co/ZGBHkCJ/bra-strap.jpg

The official’s strap looks like it is lightly pressing into her skin and the bootleg’s, well, looks like it’s trying to chop her in two. The seam line going down from the top’s strap on the bootleg also adds to her unrealistic look. With the bow and the strap, the official’s match up perfectly in colour, but the bootleg’s does not look like a match.
Looking further to the left, her hair bobble is painted neatly on the official, but the hair colour is most definitely intruding on the bootleg version.

Side of her hair:

https://i.ibb.co/ZN3f6qG/hair-side.jpg

Yuck, don’t think I’m going to get over the bootleg’s awful brown hair.
With the official, we can see the way her hair was laid in sections dangling over her shoulder. This part passed the bootleggers by, and hers is piled up incorrectly, leaving it floating unnaturally in the air.
Moving to her arm strap, the official’s does look too tight for my liking, but the bootleg’s is thick, uneven and looks incorrectly assembled towards the back.

Wrist ruffle:

https://i.ibb.co/LnN9kgw/wrist-strap.jpg

Here we can see how the bootleg’s hand is misaligned – maybe they thought she was supposed to be waving? The shiny skin makes her hand almost look like a gelatinous blob to me.
Going to the band around her wrist, the bootleg’s has lost all detail and is a painted mess. Much prefer the original one.

Hair:

https://i.ibb.co/LNYvSFm/spin-back.jpg

The mould mostly matches on the bootleg, but is somewhat sadder. The hair on the bootleg hasn’t been attached properly from the upper hair to the scrunchie leaving it looking even odder.
Due to the poor construction and deformed moulding the bootleg’s hand now sits atop her hair instead of on the ground level where it should be. Slightly better than hanging freely I suppose.

Hand:

https://i.ibb.co/xF1FgdV/hand.jpg

Whilst we’re on the subject of her left hand, here is a close-up of it. Not sure if the dirt on the official hand is my fault or not. Her left hand does look odd from certain angles on the official, and the bootleg has the same curse. Plus the added one where they had to have some floaty, and her palm isn’t even level with the surface. Her wrist manages to look even more bizarre.

Skirt bow:

https://i.ibb.co/yynDs0P/side-bow.jpg

Again, we have the colour mismatch between the official and the bootleg. The bootleg’s bow looks kind of sad and melty instead of lying flat due to gravity.
The leg bands on both look OK to me, just different.

Left side of skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/cDBCngP/skirt-left.jpg

Here we get to see the true horror of the bootleg paint. And the fact I don’t dust my figures as nearly as often as I should.
These lines are slightly ambitious for a prize figure, so they have come out a little sloppy on the official. The bootleg manages to take this to the next level though, and the skirt line is barely there and the cross painting is definitely sloppy and thin.
Going to the plastic of the skirt, the official has been painted in white giving a more matte finish, and the official has been left plasticky which doesn’t look good in my opinion.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/P64yBQ6/feet.jpg

Ah, this time the bootleg can have the dirty mark. And seeing as I opened the bootleg for the review I can categorically say this is Chinese dirt.
The foot moulding doesn’t suffer as badly as some other parts, but we can see her toes have become shorter. The bootleg’s feet are also closer together, giving her a different pose.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/NWJQLWK/bottom.jpg

Here we can see they’re both flat on the bottom. Useful for the shelf-sitting :). Here we can also see how different the leg and hair positions are, which is a theme running throughout the bootleg figure.

And maybe to try and make up for the sadness that is the bootleg, it came with some equally sad-looking accessories:

https://i.ibb.co/G3KQk6w/toro-keyring.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/NNK23kG/hairband.jpg

First we have the thinnest rubber keychain I’ve ever seen, allegedly of Totoro – this thing feels very thin and not very nice to touch. The metal chain and ring are also very thin and could be easily broken.
Next we have a hairband that doesn’t feel very well made and has a little plastic heart that says “shen xi”. Not sure what the translation of this is. I don’t have hair long enough to use this, but even if I did I’m not sure it would last long – the fabric felt loose and would probably come apart if it was used.

Conclusion

The bootleg? No… just… no. I couldn’t recommend it to anyone. The hair and the awful eyes make it not look like Asuna, and I’m not sure if someone who didn’t know who Asuna was would particularly want this pasty, sweaty-looking mess. The box could likely fool some people, but I think once they pulled this brown-haired, light-orange-eyed stranger wearing Asuna’s bathing costume out of the box they’d be mighty confused.

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Asuna (Aincrad ver.)

This particular figure was a user request, but also one I’m personally interested in as the bootleg seemed fairly similar to the original item.
Let’s see how close it really is, and how to tell these two apart.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥8,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): €43 (£38.12)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $21.67 (£17.82)

The official I bought secondhand from another MFC user.

Box

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/hCVVMDK/box-front.jpg

Wow, looking very similar here – the bootleggers haven’t edited out any logos for this one. We do have a lower-quality print with some different colouring – the Sword Art Online logo at the top has ended up pretty much the same blue as the background design. Looking closely at the cutout, there is a variation by her head – the curve around the right of her face has been smoothed out.

Left:

https://i.ibb.co/Cw56Zq0/box-left.jpg

Again, pretty similar. The cutouts aren’t quite the same, but a decently close approximation of the official’s and the logo has poor shading.
The print quality I think is noticeably worse here – looking at the back of her cape shows print artefacts that could raise suspicions. Looking at the “Sculpted by Hiritoshi Nakamura” text we can see where the lack of colour depth on the bootleg box has pretty much hidden the design that should be present here.

Right:

https://i.ibb.co/r0G95wZ/box-right.jpg

Again, the poor print quality shows through here. And this time the bootleg has an extra curvy part in the cutout by her hair strands.
Plus we have the reason why my official box doesn’t have Genco sticker on it – it was a unit destined for international sale. For Genco-licensed stuff, you will generally find there’s a plain sticker stating it is for international/outside of Japan sale if it didn’t come from a Japanese shop originally. One reason that a missing authenticity sticker isn’t a sure sign of a bootleg.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/3BBDW0w/box-back.jpg

Here the poor print quality is on full display – the trees in the background have gone quite bluey, and the figure photo looks generally awful to me. Definitely not something Kotobukiya would have on their boxes.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/LYGhTv8/box-top.jpg

Just a poorly-printed replica here.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/xzd8f1t/box-bottom.jpg

Mostly a duplicate… but there is a difference if you look closely. No, I’m not referring to the heo sticker. For some reason that I cannot fathom, they’ve just changed the barcode numbers, but not the barcodes themselves – if you scan them they’ll come up as per the numbers on the left box, but for some reason they’ve changed the written numbers.
(heo is a wholesaler for pop culture stuff, as per their tagline. By law, they need to put their details on stuff they import, so that’s why these stickers get placed on EU boxes).

Inner lid:

https://i.ibb.co/ZmyDtJ7/box-inner-lid.jpg

Fun little squiggly with the glue on the bootleg, but not exactly practical for keeping the plastic attached. The cardboard is also a bit darker.

Box inner:

https://i.ibb.co/BgXzyY3/box-inner.jpg

Pretty similar – definitely feels like a poorly-printed photocopy.

Box inner bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/kGTQgDV/box-inner-bottom.jpg

Here is where the poor print quality is the most obvious in my opinion – lots of the ground detail has been lost into a brown, murky mess.

Blister:

https://i.ibb.co/FVVyQsF/blister-front.jpg

The blister for the bootleg is noticeably worse for wear despite it having been less in the wars than my official’s box. The blister plastic is noticeably thin and cheap and easily crumples. Also seems to be marginally smaller, though some of that is due to it trying to collapse in on itself.

Face in the blister:

https://i.ibb.co/Mg8PsVz/blister-face.jpg

The official we have a cutout so we can see her face clearly within the box. The bootleg is a bit ashamed of itself, and is fully encased in the blister.

The official also has this bit of packaging:

https://i.ibb.co/48635ZD/blister-support.jpg

Due to repacking her, it’s slightly out of place, but this holds both her foot and the pillar in place – stops things rattling around in transit, as well as keeping separation between the figure parts.

Overall the box is quite a close copy to the official, with very little in the way of edits to give itself away. The poor print quality is fairly evident, with the miscoloured logo being probably the easiest thing to spot if you can’t see the bottom of the box. Even in a poor photo, the logo on an official box should look differently-coloured to the rest of the blue parts.

Accessories

OK, time to break open these blisters and see what we get!
Let’s start with an official-exclusive item:

https://i.ibb.co/RDrjkGH/instructions.jpg

This is actually a useful item – it tells you how the sword should go, which the bootleg doesn’t give you any favours in helping you understand how to place it properly in her hand.
Also useful telling you to do the rings first, instead of rushing to place the figure on the stand. The ring placement can be understood from the box though, but does help to have a handy reminder here.

Rings and base, as packaged:

https://i.ibb.co/P9NKf0p/accessories.jpg

Official: here’s some bits, packaged so they don’t bump each other (the rings are in a 2-section bag)
Bootleg: Erm, here’s some stuff. Good luck!

Base top:

https://i.ibb.co/rvmRtZQ/base-top.jpg

The official has some of a texture to it to give it a stony/metallic texture, not quite sure which. The bootleg is a singular colour, so it doesn’t really look like much. And has a couple of scrapes on it out of the box.

Underside of the bases:

https://i.ibb.co/KKYJCJG/base-bottom.jpg

The official has some ridges to reinforce it. The bootleg just has some… dirt.

Larger ring:

https://i.ibb.co/tYtTdXZ/ring-big-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/v16wCKS/ring-big-bottom.jpg

The official is more of a yellowy gold colour than the bootleg. We’ve also got some shading detail on a few parts of the official ring, whilst the bootleg is a singular colour. The bottom side of the bootleg ring has some missing chunks of paint, leaving it look a little silvery in places.
The peg on the official hasn’t been painted, which allows the peg to slot in easily to the base part.

Smaller ring:

https://i.ibb.co/y6LqbNX/ring-small-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/LZfn3tt/ring-small-bottom.jpg

Similar story for the smaller ring,, though we also have a bit of a dent in the top of the peg instead of the ridges to help hold it in place.
A couple of the small holes on the outer edge of the bootleg ring haven’t been put in the right place, making them into notches on the outer edge instead of holes.

Let’s look at these rings from the side:

https://i.ibb.co/M25WDhh/ring-big-side.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/qFtR0bm/ring-small-side.jpg

Oh dear, no mistaking them from this angle! The bootleg ones are both badly warped, especially the larger upper ring. Whilst it would be possible to fix this, there is a good chance they’ll just warp again over time. The official figure has been on display for some months prior to this photoshoot and show none of the warping issue of the bootleg’s rings.

Sword sheath:

https://i.ibb.co/sbtMFVN/sheath-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/m6Nfwbh/sheath-bottom.jpg

First thing that stands out is the bootleg sheath is a much darker colour than the official. Looking at the details on the outer side of the sheath, the band at the top lacks the white part on the bootleg, and some of the silver detail just above it is missing. The tip isn’t painted too precisely on the official, but the cross part is missing from the bootleg.
Looking at the back, it’s a similar story. Here we can see a bit clearer that the official does have some paint shading in the brown – the sheath is darker at both the top and the bottom. The official there is no paint in the peg hole, but the bootleg is painted all over.

Sword:

https://i.ibb.co/T4pmLDg/sword-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/KyDksPT/sword-bottom.jpg

Looking at the blade, the moulding is poor on the bootleg and is not very sharp and defined. This poor moulding extends to the bottom of the sword where most of the smaller mould details are missing and we have distinct mould lines on the hand guard. They’ve attempted to replicate the mint green details, but only approximately. The paint on the underside is particularly poor.
The handle of the sword didn’t come out too badly, but we are still missing some fine moulding details.

Disassembling the sword:

https://i.ibb.co/f4thzm2/sword-hilt.jpg

The official comes apart well, though the peg on mine is bent – this happened prior to me owning it, so not sure how this happened.
The bootleg, however, was not very willing to come apart as the bits had been painted together. We don’t get much of a peg to work with, but not even sure it pulled apart correctly anyway. With no instructions and the sword handle being hard to remove a bootleg owner would likely have trouble getting the sword into her hand.

Overall, we’re not looking good on the accessory front – from poor painting and moulding to warped parts. The sword is also already presenting issues with not disassembling correctly. Let’s see how assembly goes…

Assembly

Firstly, the rings need to be inserted into the pillar:

https://i.ibb.co/rMKX78X/ring-pegs.jpg

The official pegs slide in easily enough, but the bootleg’s were NOT cooperative. This was the best I could do – the holes are the wrong shape and the paint on the pegs don’t help the shapes match. The bootleg rings will fairly easily fall out if knocked.

First thing of note with the pillar was the pegs that go into the base:

https://i.ibb.co/CQV1LF3/base-pegs.jpg

The official’s are unpainted, whilst the bootleg’s are painted the same colour as the pillar. Now to demonstrate the issue with painted pegs.
Hnnggghhh:

https://i.ibb.co/M9qzCgc/bootleg-wonky.jpg

This was about as far as I got with a minute or so of shoving her into the base. The pegs have become far too fat with the paint, making it very difficult to get them into the holes.
A close-up of the peg progress:

https://i.ibb.co/SNL6M65/bootleg-assemble-fail.jpg

You know you want to go, you stupid pegs!

Let’s take it apart and assess the damage:

https://i.ibb.co/VS2jvXR/bootleg-scractched-pegs.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/cYHgZmR/bootleg-holes.jpg

Due to my efforts, some of the paint has now transferred itself to the base. You can see some other paint transfers caused by the pillar pegs not going into the holes and slipping across the base. This really was a pain to assemble, and I was contemplating either scraping the pegs or just doing this article with her at a jaunty angle.
Thankfully, my second attempt went better and I got her into the base without breaking it. Bonus!

Ugh, after that ordeal, let’s move onto looking at the figures.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/d4HjKm4/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/jvTSPDZ/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Jx2gFZy/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/vPVL2b6/spin-left.jpg

Well, those warped rings don’t stand out at all, do they…? She still isn’t fully pegged into the base, giving the bootleg a really jaunty appearance overall.
The missing line on her skirt and the absolute mess of the paint on her stockings really stands out to me, as well as the almost-neon orange hair.
Yep, not liking this one from the outset!

Figure close-ups
Let’s see how bad this gets if we look up close.
Face:

https://i.ibb.co/xggkjFG/face.jpg

First thing to stand out is that jelly hair… feeling that’s going to get a fair amount of mentions in this comparison. Her fringe is nicely shaded in the official and the bootleg is mostly the same colour. Looking at the hair by the bootleg’s chin, we can see a big chunk of missing paint.
The bootleg’s eyes seem to be an attempted recreation of the official’s but the colours are wrong and she has some strange white bits underneath her pupils. The bootleg also looks like she has four eyebrows – the lower lines are too thick, giving her a multibrow look.
Moving to the mouth, we have a subtle paint highlight on the official, which has translated to peach-coloured ice cream on the bootleg – the sloppiness of the paint make it look like she’s eaten something but not cleaned up the mess.

A further look at the hair next to her face:

https://i.ibb.co/zh2nbrH/hair-swoosh.jpg

The missing paint isn’t the only defect on the bootleg here – we’ve also got a weird orange stripe on one of the hair tips. Whilst the marred tip is pointy, the others are more rounded than they should be.

Now for a detail you may have seen in the first close-up photo:

https://i.ibb.co/61xMptf/bootleg-hair-dirt.jpg

Not sure if this is warehouse dirt or mould… whichever way, I’m not touching it and definitely not licking it. Whatever it is, it’s not pleasant and not a feature an official figure would have. And yes, I do wash my hands after doing the photos.

Side of her head:

https://i.ibb.co/mXjLQDY/ponytail.jpg

Here we can see the lack of paint detail in the bootleg’s hair – we have some basic shading on the official, and not much to speak of on the bootleg.
The bootleg’s hair isn’t assembled properly – the main parts aren’t fully inserted into each other, and the ponytail is at a funny angle.
Ignoring the rest of the figure, the top of the bootleg’s hair really looks like some kind of moulded jelly (Jell-O) to me. But given the potentially mouldy nature, I’m not going to eat it.

Hair from above:

https://i.ibb.co/4F751SB/hair-above.jpg

I think this angle captures the weirdness of the bootleg hair in full. The official’s hair is OK, though I think a little strange in texture and not too much in terms of paint detail.
The bootleg’s we can see there is some shading, but none of that good. The strange plastic they’ve chosen to do her hair with doesn’t work, and neither does the colour. We can also see some more dirt on the top of her fringe and on the left edge of her hair.
Some of the bootleg’s strands have slightly different curves to them, but look fine from this angle.

Back of the hair:

https://i.ibb.co/sbpc4Db/hair-back.jpg

Here we can see where some of the bootleg’s hair is off in shape – the lower left clump points up more, whilst most of the middle and right points down lower than it should, giving her hair a slightly less dynamic appearance.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/gMgFpgq/chest.jpg

Get outta the way, hair.
The painting on the official’s collar could do with some work, but the bootleg’s feels very rushed compared. The crosses just beneath her neck are slightly less detailed, but look fine.
For the actual chest plate, it’s almost as if the poor printing on the box has made it to the figure – the grey gradient of the official is missing and replaced with a mottled grey appearance that doesn’t look very good.
The bootleg arm straps are missing all of the gold paint. Well, suppose that saves a fair amount of time in the painting department.

Left side:

https://i.ibb.co/S5mkJD4/left-side.jpg

Here we get a better look at one of the bands around her arm – yeah, the colour is off, lacking all paint detail and a terrible seam line.
The bootleg’s shoulder is very shiny and would give most prize figures a run for their money in shininess.
The paint on her cape is very sloppy and messy on the bootleg – a lot of the silver lines are missing and what’s there isn’t even on the mould lines.
The red lines near the top, some paint was… thrust at the bootleg. The chest line isn’t much better, and going to the bottom, it’s better, but still runs off. The official manages to have the red trim surrounded evenly by the thinner inner line. The bootleg you can see where they continued the lines instead of terminating, as it would be easier.

Let’s have a look at a bit more of the trim:

https://i.ibb.co/JWY2CWR/cape-trim.jpg

Some of the official’s trim is slightly rough, which is why Kotobukiya isn’t everyone’s favourite manufacturer. However, it’s far better than the bootleg, where the line thicknesses change, paint has blobbed out and there’s bits of the line missing.

Now to put her sheath back on:

https://i.ibb.co/6FM5p00/sheath.jpg

The official sheath hangs on at a better angle and is less prone to being knocked off.

Hand:

https://i.ibb.co/1fhtdvd/hand.jpg

I think you have a case of melty hand there, bootleg Asuna. The hand part hasn’t been properly inserted, leaving her with mutant hand. The red line paint is awful here on the bootleg, along with her shiny skin. We can also see seam lines on the bootleg’s thumb and index finger.
Neither seem to have painted nails, so no points for either on that front.

Sword hand:

https://i.ibb.co/Rycdq79/sword-hilt-hand.jpg

You seem to be missing something there, bootleg Asuna – the sword was being a pain in the arse, so now she only has the handle to hold.
Again, the bootleg’s hand has been poorly assembled, super shiny and has mould lines. We’ve also got the hair intruding the shot, due to the fact most of it is lower down on the bootleg compared to the official.

Waist:

https://i.ibb.co/JjF8MWs/dress-lower.jpg

The linework is mostly decent on the official, but the red lines are very much a mess on the bootleg – not the worst linework I’ve seen on a bootleg, but definitely not good.
This angle may actually reveal what the strange mark is in her hair – looks like they may have been going in to paint the red lines and missed – with bootlegs they seem to assemble then paint them, which leads to a lot of paint flaws.

Skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/j8vWW65/skirt-stocking.jpg

The bootleg’s skirt is very different colour, lacks shading and the white line detail. The sculpt is also a bit rough, which can be seen if you look closely at the pleats. The official’s skirt looks much nicer and the shading is quite nice on it.
The top of the bootleg’s right stocking is so badly painted it looks like she’s bleeding to me. Not a very pretty look for a heroic figure…

Stocking tops:

https://i.ibb.co/7C5d4Z3/leg-detail.jpg

The lines aren’t so bad on the bootleg from this angle, but we can see where the lines have failed to join. The white paint is also somewhat more lumpy than the official’s and lacking the grey shading.

Panties:

Yep, they’ve been painted on both. Though the bootleg’s have a bonus seam running through the middle.

Top of cape:

https://i.ibb.co/Wg0LRRf/cape.jpg

The official’s is shaded nicely and the bootleg’s is.. shiny. The moulding mostly went well for the bootleg cape, but the edge is a bit rough.

Shoes:

https://i.ibb.co/RTCB3z9/feet.jpg

The lack of shading and different shade of white on the bootleg is quite noticeable when you have both figures side-by-side. The lower legs on the bootleg have the strange sprayed shading similar to the chestplate. The silver lines on the shoes are also a lot less distinct and thick. Much prefer the official’s shoes and stockings.

Bottom of shoes:

https://i.ibb.co/SQD7b5P/under-cape.jpg

There’s a lot more paint shading going on with the official’s shoes than the bootleg’s, even on the soles. The official has a glossy finish on her clothes, but the bootleg is matte.

Side of pillar:

https://i.ibb.co/djf9cC7/feet-pillar.jpg

Here we can get a feeling of how different the pillars are – the official is a much more grey colour and has a weathering effect. The bootleg’s is kind of green and just looks sorta dirty.
For the soles of the bootleg’s boots it seems they just went over them with the same colour paint, instead of differentiating them like the official. The official’s shoes are glossy, and the bootleg’s are a lumpy, matte-ish white paint, and we have a seam. Pose-wise, there isn’t any difference in their legs.

Back of pillar:

https://i.ibb.co/PrtPz7j/base-stand.jpg

Here we can see where the weathering is all around the official pillar, and we have some paint detail to add to the broken and cracked parts to give them a more lifelike look.
No effort was expended on the bootleg version – it’s all a solid greenish colour. Maybe this is the colour of the walls of the factory or something?
Here we can also see why it was such a pain to to assemble the bootleg’s rings – we have paint seeping into the poorly-cast holes, neither aspects making it easy to get the ring lugs in.

Conclusion

Whew, that was a fair bit to get through. Hope you enjoyed this tour!
In terms of telling the boxed Asuna apart – the boxes are very similar, but close inspection will reveal the poor printing and the incorrect barcode numbers on the bottom of the box. Definitely sufficient to hoodwink a novice collector.
Looking at the box contents however… it becomes quickly apparent the contents aren’t what they should be – a lot of parts lack shading details on the bootleg, the hair looks weird and the rings will likely come warped. Assembly for this bootleg was quite difficult and a definite clue to its lack of authenticity as parts won’t go in or simply fall off.
Looking at small sections of the figure largely don’t make it look too bad, but the thing as a whole is just a mess. It might pass as a prize figure, but not as a scale.
The amount of dirt on this one was pretty disgusting, which makes it a pretty non-recommendable bootleg, as far as bootlegs go.
Excuse me as I go dunk this bootleg in some cleaner, and thanks for reading!

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Momo Belia Deviluke (Drink Holder)

Today’s blog will feature the drink-hugging Momo by FuRyu. This is one of a set of FuRyu knockoffs I bought – the other ones in this set will be noodle stoppers. As she’s pretty skimpily dressed and there’s some closeups of her bikini bottoms I’ve marked this blog NSFW.
As these FuRyu blogs will be shorter due to the size and complexity of these figures and me no longer owning the boxes for a box comparison, these blogs will be released at a quicker rate.

I chose this particular figure as it’s a favourite of mine of these small figures, and is a little different from the other noodle stoppers.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,060 (£14.03)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.00

The original I preordered on AmiAmi.

Figure unbagging

This bootleg simply came in a clear bag, but an immediate issue presented itself:

https://i.ibb.co/nMTQC4X/bootleg-armless.jpg

Ah, hrm… not going to be hugging many bottles like this!
Unfortunately it was not a case of plugging the arm back in:

https://i.ibb.co/LCZ81MX/bootleg-arm-break.jpg

Here we can see where the arm peg has simply snapped in half. Before I commenced this review, I glued the arm back together with some cheap superglue. The bond wasn’t great, but sufficient enough to allow me to photograph it.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/G9rZ4Kq/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/8jtyxmV/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/RC9bjYC/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/YZYY1n5/spin-left.jpg

A fairly similar effort, but we can see that the hair is a mess, the panties are a different colour and her bra doesn’t show through her clothes in the same way.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/DQ61QNP/face.jpg

For the official, we have a cute, smiling expression and the bootleg… has a face only a mother can love. The eyebrows, embarrassed cheeks and mouth have been done in pale colours on the official and fit in with the rest of her face whilst the bootleg has lines done in a much stronger red and thicker than their official counterparts. It’s almost as if the bootleg has fresh wounds rather than facial details.
Moving to the eyes, the bootleg has lost significant amounts of detail – we’re missing two shades of purple and the white shines are underneath the black iris markings leaving her eyes looking odd to me.
The official’s hair is a pleasing peachy-pink and contains some shading. Bootleg’s hair is blobby and poorly moulded as you’d expect of a bootleg and painted more of a “pure” pink.
Moving down to the bow, the official’s looks nice, even if it is’t super-detailed, whilst the bootleg’s has a dent in it.

A closer look at the bootleg’s hair:

https://i.ibb.co/f2T7Db0/bootleg-hair-gap.jpg

The hair on the bootleg is actually partly loose – it will wiggle around, but it didn’t actually come off (and that’s with me trying to some extent). If it gets pushed up, it looks really ugly. Official has no such problems and remains in place.

Hair decoration:

https://i.ibb.co/Pt26pyZ/head-side.jpg

The official’s hair flowers are painted well for a prize figure, and we have some paint shading in her hair, which is also a treat for a prize.
Now the bootleg, oh dear. The flowers are barely painted, making it hard to tell what they’re supposed to be. We’ve got plenty of excess plastic, including some wisps of the stuff at the lower back. The hair seam is also very messy, completing the bootleg look.

Hair tips:

https://i.ibb.co/zJnkhzh/hair-tips.jpg

Both are actually shaded here, so points for both.

Top view:

https://i.ibb.co/2cwP52N/top-view.jpg

The seam in the hair on the official has been blended to some extent, decently well for a prize. Bootleg doesn’t have such attempts made, and we have spiderweb of lines making the top of her head look odd.

Body:

https://i.ibb.co/wBtf0zf/chest.jpg

The official’s shirt is a peach/off-white colour, and we can subtlety see she has a pink bikini top underneath. The bootleg’s top has been painted with a rough, stark white paint and her bikini top is a lot more visible than the official’s. Guess she got the cheap shirt from Primark.
The finish on the official’s shirt is much nicer in my opinion – the shiny finish gives it a silky feel, whilst the bootleg’s just look like she’s been dipped in paint.
The stomach definition is fairly similar on both, but the bootlegs is slightly less defined.

Bikini bottoms:

https://i.ibb.co/KVTsqk9/crotch.jpg

The official has a hot pink bikini, but the bootleg’s is more of a berry colour. The painting is also not very good on the bootleg, and there is a noticeable amount of paint on her abdomen.
Looking at the bootleg’s legs, something has gone quite wrong with the plastic casting, and it looks like she has sores on her upper right leg. I find it slightly unpleasant to look at. Along with the skin aberrations, she has a dirty knee and dirt spots on her left leg. My official does have some dust on it, but that’s British dust rather than factory dirt.

Shirt side:

https://i.ibb.co/M1mH96Y/shirt-seam.jpg

On the official, we have a subtle seam line for the shirt that’s been sculpted, but on the bootleg it is much more noticeable. The slapped-on paint on the bootleg shirt is in full view here too.

Shirt back:

https://i.ibb.co/BVgk2fs/shirt-back.jpg

The bikini strap on the official has a bit of a sculpt to it, whilst the bootleg doesn’t. With the bootleg it feels a bit “painted on”, but does look OK in the photo in my opinion. The sculpts have come out pretty much a match, but you can see the rough paint at the bottom of the bootleg’s shirt. The bootleg has also come with some free dirt on her left shoulder.

Backside and tail:

https://i.ibb.co/2YLy5DF/tail-side.jpg

The tail on the official is a much more pleasing shape, and happily springs into the position shown. The shading on the official tail is a fair bit more subtle. Both tails have excess plastic on them, which would’ve been nice to not be there. The main issue with the bootleg tail is the position it naturally resides in – it curls up against her body and just looks messy. It is also a less solid plastic giving it a cheap feel.
Looking at her bikini bottoms, the bootleg is horribly painted with a massive chunk of overage. Her leg is also not attached well to her body leaving a large gap.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/XJyxNps/feet.jpg

Here we can see the playful nature of the official tail and the “feh” of the bootleg.
Moving onto the feet that this shot was taken for, they’re actually pretty similar. The official’s left foot has a copyright stamp on it that the bootleg doesn’t. Official does actually have a bit of shading, but the bootleg doesn’t look noticeably worse for not having that. The toes weren’t perfectly replicated on the bootleg, but definitely a lot better than other bootlegs I’ve seen.

Underside:

https://i.ibb.co/K2HCtCH/underside.jpg

Here we can see the difference in finish on the skin between the two – the official is matte whilst the bootleg very much has “cheap figure shine”. Again, the official has some shading in the skin that the bootleg doesn’t (located at the back of her knees). The bootleg also features a noticeable seam on her outer right leg.
In terms of the sculpt, the bootleg fares well, and is pretty close to the official. The toes do look a little longer on the bootleg, but I think that’s mostly a result of the finish.

Action feature:

https://i.ibb.co/VCpQGjN/arm-bendy.jpg

The official has rubbery arms so that they can be bent as shown above to squeeze a bottle into her grip. The bootleg has solid plastic arms which sort of defeats the “use” of this product, and mine would just snap anyway seeing as she came broken. So definitely a win for the official product here.

Conclusion

The official is definitely better than the bootleg, though the bootleg does look OK for £3.
Telling these apart is quite easy – if the face doesn’t immediately scare you away, the colour of her clothing and the shiny finish are also clues to the figure being bootleg.
The main disappointing feature of the bootleg is the fact she can’t hug a bottle – the plastic arms won’t allow her to hug as many items and the plastic would likely snap if you tried to give her a bottle. In terms of looks, the face is definitely not good, but it was the tail that really stood out to me as being poor quality – whilst it might be possible to improve the pose of the bootleg’s tail, it will likely deform again over time.
Going to be sticking with my official figure for this one.

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Ayanami Rei – Party Dress ver.

This one I found an interesting choice on the case of the bootleggers – this figure is still being actively bootlegged, despite its aftermarket price usually being quite low. So what can we get for bootleg prices?

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥3,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,290 (£30)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $13.70 (£11.13)

Box

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/qp78wXR/box-front.jpg

The Kotobukiya logo is conspicuously absent on the bottom left, along with the authenticity sticker. They have also removed the warning texts as well – not sure why bootleggers do this sometimes.
Interestingly the text that says “Party dress version” above Ayanami’s name is white on the official but black on the bootleg. Not sure why that happened as the box doesn’t appear to be a total recreation. The blue colour is slightly off, but not in a way that screams “bootleg”.

Right:

https://i.ibb.co/Kj0mN4x/box-right.jpg

On this side, we can see they have removed the Kotobukiya logo, the “Neon Genesis Evangelion” text and the warning text from the bottom edge. Not sure why they object to people being warned to be careful with the product.
In the top left there is less contrast in the blues on the bootleg, but nothing that massively stands out.

Left:

https://i.ibb.co/Sc0tT0L/box-left.jpg

Here they seem to have gotten lazy with the editing and just removed everything in the bottom left, plus the warnings.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/Pg0XbhR/box-back.jpg

Here they’ve removed certain parts of text and rearranged what was left to vaguely fill the space. Anything that references Kotobukiya has been removed, but we do seem to have the corrected text slapped on there, instead of whatever’s underneath my box’s correction sticker.
This box also has had its barcode replaced with one for a sticker sheet. Well, I suppose it’s a sticker sheet by Kotobukiya! One of the bootleg boxes which shows it can pay to check the barcode.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/hYSGjzr/box-top.jpg

Not much different here – no Kotobukiya logo and they’ve removed the Japanese for “Party Dress Ver”

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/PZJTQgK/box-bottom.jpg

Slight difference in the shade of blue. Not much to report here.

Now to open the box:

https://i.ibb.co/BzyPmk1/box-opening.jpg

Ah hm, here we have the bootleggers cheaping out – with the official we’re greeted with a card inner whilst the bootleggers have decided to print the box double-sided so the design is directly onto the box itself.
Here’s the official’s inner:

https://i.ibb.co/gPyLQGT/box-official-card.jpg

This blue part slides out and isn’t attached to the box.

Blister:

https://i.ibb.co/P63hMdk/blister-front.jpg

The official blister is a bit different from your average blister and folds open, as well as having a separate support piece to place Rei upon when packed. The bootleggers have gone for a very basic clamshell design.

Blister side:

https://i.ibb.co/mRxz59H/blister-side.jpg

Note the trapeze shape at the bottom of the official, whilst the bootleg is a “normal” design.

Here is the official blister opened up:

https://i.ibb.co/MDDM79W/blister-official-open.jpg

A small thing, but a pretty cool feature.

Base

My official was purchased secondhand and opened and there’s a couple of scuffs on the base, though the scuffs don’t really show once Rei is on it. Let’s see if the bootleg can make a worthy replacement:

https://i.ibb.co/K9rGfxN/base-top.jpg

I’m not feeling it… The official’s base is a much nicer velvety material, and the bootleg looks scuffed on the edges from the outset.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/z7F7LGb/base-bottom.jpg

The official’s base is made from a rigid blue plastic and has the copyright printed on the bottom. The bootleg is thin clear plastic with nothing printed on the bottom.

Let’s see just how thin the bootleg is:

https://i.ibb.co/6RrQ1LJ/base-bootleg-bendy.jpg

Yeah, this thing can be bent with little force. It really is cheap and naff.

Let’s shed some light on the matter:

https://i.ibb.co/5v6ZX08/base-lit.jpg

Official is entirely opaque, as one would expect. The bootleg however… doesn’t do much to obscure the photography light. The fluff stuck onto it is very sparse and the base plastic is ridiculously thin.

Overall, this base is a poor replacement for the official. It looks naff, feels naff and is well… naff. I’ll be sticking with my official one, thanks. I expect if I did use the bootleg base it would eventually bow in the middle thanks to the plastic used.

Figure spin-around

OK box, bad base, let’s see how the figure itself holds out.

https://i.ibb.co/xJJV423/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/YkHjs56/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/qyD6mRH/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/LRyTyLg/spin-left.jpg

Can definitely see some colour variation going on – most notably on her tights. The bootleg overall seems to have a more “potato-y” look where everything is slightly less distinct. We also have shiny face syndrome where the bootleg hasn’t been given a matte finish.

A couple of extra angles for the spin-around:

https://i.ibb.co/RyYVxhh/spin-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/sCmC8vr/spin-bottom.jpg

Yep, definitely some imperfections and shininess to look at closely on this bootleg.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/C91x370/face.jpg

Hmmm… that bootleg face. First thing that stands out is the skin – the official is matte finished whilst we have a shiny finish for the bootleg. And then we have the facial features – the bootleg’s eyes are too bright of a red – I’d personally say Rei’s eyes are more like the official’s. With the bootleg’s lack of finish and the lack of a paint line between her lips her face also looks rather blobby.
The bootleg’s hair is lighter and dirtier but the ends aren’t as blobby as other bootlegs I’ve looked at, but still not a crisp mould.
Moving to her sleeves, the top of the bootleg’s right sleeve is rough and uneven. Personally, I’m not a fan of the shade of blue of the bootleg’s shirt either.
Looking at the dress near her neck, the pattern has been painted neatly on the official and we have three shades of blue. The bootleg’s isn’t too bad, but doesn’t match the mould lines nor have the lighter blue infills.

Turning her around slightly:

https://i.ibb.co/mGRvRjN/front-end.jpg

Here we can see that the bootleg’s arm seams haven’t been smoothed out well.

Right earring:

https://i.ibb.co/RHzJCZ8/earring-and-hair.jpg

The earring itself on the bootleg has turned into a blue, blobby mess. On the official we can clearly see it is supposed to be an earring poking through her hair.
Looking at the hair itself, the joins have been much more smoothed out on the official, and the bootleg’s seam lines aren’t the same as the official’s.
Moving down to where her upper body meets her dress the bootleg wasn’t and can’t be assembled correctly – the joint has large gaps and the parts don’t share the same shape to join up properly.

Left earring:

https://i.ibb.co/WsYdFjJ/earring-othre.jpg

This one is even more of a blob on the bootleg – looks like the bottom half of the earring didn’t get cast and they did they best they could with what was there. The official’s adds a cute touch to a fairly simple figure.
Hand mould isn’t great on the official, but slightly more blobtastic on the bootleg.

Top of the hair:

https://i.ibb.co/h1jq3tX/head-top.jpg

Official we can see some paint shading in the hair. The main seam is fairly visible, and the bootleg is not too dissimilar for this seam. We do get a lot of dirt on the bootleg however. Not quite shading…?

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/2F8CfMJ/back.jpg

Man, the bootleg really doesn’t hold up from this angle.
First of all, we have the terrible shirt-dress seam – figure can never be good if the parts don’t fit together. The shirt is lacking shading and is just generally an “off” colour.
Moving to the dress itself, the shading has been done far too sharply on the bootleg and too widely. We’ve also got a very unevenly applied finish so she’s sort of matte in some places, but has a very shiny spot on her bum which looks really weird when the light falls on her.
The one thing that held up was the crease sculpting – if the paint wasn’t so poorly applied, the creases in her outfit would look good.

Gap on her dress from the other side:

https://i.ibb.co/ZhMXTKp/dress-gap.jpg

The separate parts are more of a match here on the bootleg, but we’re definitely gapping. For the seam that runs down her dress it looks like the official has “dressed” this up to make it look like a fabric seam, but the bootleggers have missed out on that trick and left an unfinished plastic seam instead. We can also get a good look at the seriously uneven finish on the bootleg from this angle too.

Legs and lower dress:

https://i.ibb.co/VMwzrxK/lower-dress.jpg

The paint on both legs of her tights matches on the official but on the bootleg they’ve become weirdly different blues. The casting has gone decidedly rough around the edges of the bootleg’s skirt. And yet another area where we can appreciate the even finish on the official.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/PrZmfwG/feet.jpg

Yeah, those blues on the bootleg don’t look good. Here we can see the janky assembly of the bootleg means her feet float above the floor, especially her right leg that should be lying on the ground.
The bootleg foot also features some missing finish.

Dress pattern:

https://i.ibb.co/C6JW86p/dress-pattern.jpg

An attempt was made with the bootleg – the overall design is reminiscent of the official’s but doesn’t follow the moulding and wonks off to her left side.

Bottom of the dress:

https://i.ibb.co/hDdx0HV/dress-bottom.jpg

This part of the figure should be flat so she lays evenly on the base. The official has achieved this, but the bootleg is horribly warped like a wet piece of wood.

The parts don’t even match up correctly on the bootleg:

https://i.ibb.co/fDXZb32/bootleg-dress-uneven.jpg

This doesn’t really show when she’s on display, but does demonstrate the quality of manufacturing for this bootleg.

Conclusion

The box for this bootleg could definitely confuse a novice collector – the box itself is of a nice quality, though they have edited out the Kotobukiya logos. The printing inside the bootleg’s box gives it a more premium feel than some of the bootleg boxes I’ve seen.
The figure itself isn’t the worst bootleg I’ve featured but definitely falls down in the details. I think a “bootleg collector” would be happy with this figure, but with the gaps and odd paint I don’t think someone who collects official figures only would be happy with this. And probably not fooled with its poor quality.
In terms of reusing the base, I wouldn’t bother. It’s so low-quality you might as well not use a base for the official figure if you don’t have the original base. Or make a mini-rug out of some carpet or fluffy material.

In terms of telling it apart from the official, the box has a few giveaways – the missing logos and warnings, incorrect barcode and non separate cardboard inner. For the blister, it doesn’t have the “opening” design of the official.
For the figure itself, the poor finish, blobby earrings and poor assembly are major clues to its lack of authenticity.

Official vs Bootleg: MegaHouse Kaworu Nagisa (G.E.M.)

This bootleg was slightly on the harder end to get hold of – there weren’t very many people selling it, and even less of those were including his box which I was intrigued in due to the pictures I’d seen of it in the past where it looked very similar to the real thing.
The other difficult thing about buying this bootleg is that it could’ve cost more than I got the official for, so I ended up waiting for a sale to buy it.

There is a lot of box action, so if you want to skip it scroll down to “Figure in blister”.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥6,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £21
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $24 (£19.33)

The official version I bought secondhand from an MFC user.

Box

Front of the box:

https://i.ibb.co/88f7BwD/box-front.jpg

Wow, these are similar. The most similar official vs bootleg box seen to date. The GEM logo is slightly less in the corner, no authenticity sticker and the colours are a shade or two off – not something that’s noticeable without the official box next to it.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/3vR2HhD/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/m0hV9YY/box-left.jpg

Again, the print colours are slightly off but it doesn’t instantly scream “bad print quality”. Looking up close, the bootleg does have some pixeling going on.
In the lower side photo, you’ll see the bootleg box is popping apart but I’ve had a bad track record with this box type, so falling apart doesn’t necessarily mean much.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/6HxLD7c/box-back.jpg

Here the printing differences are more obvious in my opinion as this side mostly consists of images of the figure. Here we can see the print has gone a bit blueish and the artefacting is on full display.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/y5L9FBK/box-top.jpg

Here the red ring is noticeably less at the top on the bootleg box due to the print being misaligned. So if this print is misaligned, this is a good sign that you’re looking at a bootleg (I’ve only got one box sample, so not sure if all the boxes will be misprinted like this).
This ring has also not been replicated properly – instead of the outer ring fading smoothly out, there is a sudden transition from the colour on the “arms” to the outer ring.
Lastly, the bootleg has one piece of square tape, whilst the official has three.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/dcdf6gR/box-bottom.jpg

Not much difference to be seen here – this is a copy of the text, so not much challenge to replicating.

Flap:

https://i.ibb.co/TcYLRKN/box-upper-flap.jpg

Ehh… again, very minor difference.

Now, if you can look into/open the box, you can see some actual differences:

https://i.ibb.co/PDm2hJ7/box-inside-lid.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/r4wTsmv/box-inside-front-window.jpg

Of all things, the bootleggers cheaped out on the adhesive. MegaHouse has gone with thick lines of adhesive with more deliberate shapes. The bootleg box has squiggles of glue which won’t hold the plastic so well. If the plastic’s coming off, then you may want to check if it was glued on properly in the first place… Again, the glue giving up definitely can happen on official figure boxes, but it can be a sign to be more wary of what you’re buying.

Insert front:

https://i.ibb.co/zmJfSx3/box-insert-front.jpg

The official has a shiny finish, and the bootleg is only vaguely shiny – see the camera reflected on the bottom flap. The print on this definitely looks a lesser quality to me – it’s gone murky and miscoloured and the gradients have gone to shit. Maybe not super-noticeable if you only have that one to look at, but a definite contrast to the official.

Insert back:

https://i.ibb.co/3YqHBDL/box-insert-back.jpg

MegaHouse went for the higher-quality cardboard, whilst the bootleggers went for a cheaper, more yellowy variety.

Figure in blister

https://i.ibb.co/vxHzqB3/box-blister-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/28XYjBX/box-blister-back.jpg

They look very similar in the blister – definitely hard to tell them apart like this. Would be more similar if mine was new and had the static plastic sheets inside. The bootleg’s blister is wilting a bit though from being a cheaper plastic.

Base

OK, let’s have a look at the base before Kaworu bursts out of his plastic prison. I’m sure he’s enjoying it in there.
So here they are:

https://i.ibb.co/28n7MHT/base-side.jpg

First thing that’s immediately obvious is the upright parts of the base differ in amount of transparency – you can see through the official’s base stand to some extent, but not through the bootleg’s. Looking at the edges of the top face by the pegs we can see where the moulding has gone slightly wrong on the bootleg and it isn’t quite the shape it should be.

Base from above:

https://i.ibb.co/n12Ns1n/base-above.jpg

Aha! I’ve seen a “major” difference! Have you seen it yet?!
I’ll reveal that one in a minute… Firstly, here we can see the transparency issues extend to the bottom part of the base, and the difference in the uprights is even apparent from this angle.
Looking at the text, the bottom line’s font weighting seems to be incorrect. They pretty much nailed the main logo… but then failed at the subtext.

Now to get up close and personal with the text to see the difference:

https://i.ibb.co/Df3ygjs/base-fullstop-closeup.jpg

Yup, they’ve missed the full stop off the end of the tagline. How dare they!?
This close-up also showcases the skinnier text of the bootleg.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/g9Kdr53/base-bottom.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/MPQt6rT/base-bottom-shinty.jpg

With the light going through the base, you can see the plastic difference. In the upper picture we can see that both bases have the copyright – one of the rareish times where the bootleggers haven’t scrubbed the copyright.
The lower images shows how the light reflects differently off of the two bases. Left lets light through or shines, the bootleg is a much more diffuse effect.

Ah! It looks like bootleg Kaworu has popped out of his box – let’s try him on the stand:

https://i.ibb.co/XYksQch/bootleg-foot.jpg

Hm, yes, those flaws that I saw near the pegs were a sign of things to come – he doesn’t sit quite right on the pegs and is a little wobbly. He doesn’t feel like he’d fall off when displayed, but if he was knocked he’d be far more likely to go flying and possibly take the pegs out with him.

Ah, official Kaworu has now made it to the party – time to look at them both together.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/S7M07kP/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Q9ZLz95/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/2FDjXBY/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Fn8rwpX/spin-left.jpg

From a distance they’re pretty similar – most noticeable things to me are the difference in hair and suit colour, and his head is angled differently.

Figure close-ups

Let’s see what they’ve done to Kaworu’s beautiful face:

https://i.ibb.co/vwvm4nk/face.jpg

Apparently bootleg Kaworu has been rolling around in the dirt – we have a particularly noticeable dirt mark on his nose and some dirt scattered on his right cheek.
Going back up to the hair, we can see the paint is very different between the two – the bootleg’s is thickly laid on and is a much simpler shading job than the varying shading of the official. The tips of hair across face are mostly shorter on the bootleg and less refined.
His eyes have been mostly been replicated well, but I can see a bit of a scratch on my bootleg copy in the white shine in his left eye. Lastly, the mouth has been given a lighter shade, which softens his face, but still maintains a Kaworu look.

Hair seam:

https://i.ibb.co/WnXCNNn/hair-seam-hole.jpg

Here my bootleg wasn’t very well assembled, leaving a pretty visible gap between the parts of his hair.

Hair from the other side:

https://i.ibb.co/61GFPG9/hair-34.jpg

Very blobby here on the bootleg. The seam comes a bit closer here, but we have flecks of paint in various places. Official is smoothed and finished well.

Hm, that hair colouring is looking a little off on the bootleg… let’s take a closer look:

https://i.ibb.co/vBFghDt/hair-back.jpg

Ew, yuck. Looks like bootleg Kaworu has spraypainted his hair silver. This colour pick wasn’t a good one on the bootleg. The detailed shading is also missing – on the official, the tips of the hair are light grey whilst the shaded undersides are painted a dark grey.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/HH63dtS/chest.jpg

First thing that’s apparent is the slightly different posing of the hand on the bootleg – his hand is pulled back slightly than the official.
Looking at the ‘pips’ on his collar, they aren’t as neatly painted as the official.
The “button” in the middle of his chest has a distinct outer ring on the official, but this detail is missing from the bootleg. The triangles underneath this aren’t quite within the lines of the bootleg, giving it a messy appearance up close. With this close shot we also get to see some roughness in the silver paint on the bootleg, but it’s not particularly noticeable in person. The lopsidedness of the silver parts is more noticeable though, but kinda gets away with it by making it look a bit like he’s maybe leaning a bit.

Hand closeup:

https://i.ibb.co/WpV1GV7/hand-left.jpg

The small red details on his suit have been replicated well on the official, but the bootleg looks like they were kind of making it up whilst they were going along. We seemingly have an extra black dot on the upper one, and the lines haven’t fully been drawn in.
The official also has some shading here that isn’t present on the bootleg – if you look at the end of his cuff, it is darker than further down.

Side of the suit:

https://i.ibb.co/vvh2K6B/side.jpg

Here we have a few paint imperfections on the bootleg – a black fleck near the upper silver part, the purple bleeding into the blue, a mess of paint underneath the lowest silver part.
Looking at his hip, we have some shininess creeping in on the bootleg that isn’t present on the official.

Right arm:

https://i.ibb.co/KwFFztw/arm.jpg

Here the bootleggers painted the discs on his upper arm silver – they’re supposed to be silver, but this is missing on my official at least. Strange to have a bootleg that got it right when the official didn’t. If only the bootleggers could nail the painting… We’re missing a black line on one disc, and the other isn’t very distinctive.
Lower down, we have some missing paint on the bootleg- the indent misses the shading the official has.
For some reason the elbow part is a really weird misshaped mess on the bootleg – looks like has been squished and given a strangle oval-y shape.
Lastly, the blue paint also lacks shading here on the bootleg, whilst we have ample on the official.

Right hand:

https://i.ibb.co/sJr8DdG/hand.jpg

The discs on the official match up with the other ones, and the bootlegs are the similar half-attempts to the other ones. Again, we have paint shading on the official but not the bootleg.

Left arm:

https://i.ibb.co/9Y22hZ3/left-shoulder.jpg

Here the discs look a little silvery on the official… but the bootleg ones are an absolute mess. The painting here is severely messy on the bootleg, especially considering the rest of it is relatively decent. No such complaints with the official for me.

Shoulders:

https://i.ibb.co/WDdjcHv/shoulders.jpg

Here we can see the linework is largely better on the official than the bootleg. The official isn’t entirely neat, but less sloppy than the bootleg. We can also see a major problem occurred during moulding – his left shoulder parts don’t meet up properly, wit the upper part curling under. Mmm, quality. The top ridge of the “backpack” has also become a victim of poor moulding and is significantly rounder on the bootleg than the official. It doesn’t look horrible, but lacks the distinct definition that it should have.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/VSpbpnj/back.jpg

Here you can see how the backpack doesn’t stand out as well as it should on the bootleg, thanks to the bad mould. The 6 on his backpack has also missed the central spot, leaving it looking a little odd.
Moving down the back, we have a glossier black part than on the official and a very glossy butt that has lost its shape. The official has some sculpted ass cheeks so you can see exactly how tight an EVA suit is, but the bootleg is missing anything in the way of asscrack. We’ve also go some “plastic worm tracks” in the bootleg’s butt, which makes it look odd when the light is shining on it.
The black triangle on the right of the bootleg has also very much come short of the line it is supposed to be touching.

Hip:

https://i.ibb.co/2Wb5hgF/hips.jpg

Here we get to see some good ol’ defect on the bootleg. When taking off the protective sheets, it looks like some of the coating came off with it – not sure if that’s because its been in the box too long or if it was put in the box before it was dry. At the bottom of this section we’ve got some uneven paint on the bootleg.
The top of the hip bone has gone a little wrong on the bootleg and doesn’t look right to me. He’s supposed to be a bit bony here.

Upper legs:

https://i.ibb.co/LJ4grNS/upper-legs.jpg

Mmm yes, not really a match in the blue colour department. The bootleg is a fair bit lighter than his suit should be – I’d consider the official a close match. Also with the blue paint, the different finish is fairly apparent here, with his legs usually catching some of the light.
Moving on, the black lines here suffer from moulding and painting problems, changing their shape and appearance.

Lower legs:

https://i.ibb.co/mrnML2w/lower-legs.jpg

For the most part, this area looks OK on both. The bootleg seems to have a bit of a bent left ankle though. Hope he’s not falling off!

Backs of his legs:

https://i.ibb.co/X5k6bkF/back-of-knees.jpg

Interestingly the square parts aren’t coloured in on the official but are on the bootleg. They’re supposed to be coloured, looking at the handy dandy Kotobukiya Kaworu figure I have next to me, so a mild bit of disappointment for the official here.

Side of leg:

https://i.ibb.co/yBfR4qz/leg-stand.jpg

Not too much different here – mostly the suit paint as previously mentioned, and a fairly minor paint flaw in the linework on the bootleg.

However, this part of the bootleg’s right leg didn’t come out so good:

https://i.ibb.co/Y3tHkYd/bootleg-leg.jpg

Lots of roughing up of this surface – the plastic sheeting was very much stuck to this part of his leg, leaving this mess behind. Erk.

Soles:

https://i.ibb.co/dJqYCmg/soles.jpg

The official is nicely sculpted, with the sole pattern recreated in detail. With the bootleg we’ve lost the sharp angled edges and the sole looks like it has been worn down. We’ve also got a massive air bubble problem here – we’re making figures not soda, dammit. There’s also been some scraping on this bootleg foot, which isn’t the best.

Conclusion

Telling these apart in the box, and you have your work cut out for you – the differences are relatively minor, and most won’t really show up too well with a low-end camera/poor lighting. If you’re buying this guy, then you may just want to skip any that don’t have the authenticity sticker. If you’re in need of comparing parts of the box to ascertain that it is official, then I’d recommend the G.E.M logo and the top of the box. If the box is opened, then looking at the glue patterns inside might be the way to go.
Out of the box, the hair is the most obvious difference in my opinion – a lot of attention was put into the hair of the official, and not so much in the bootleg. His hand not touching his chest where it is supposed to may also be a giveaway. A side photo of the stand would also likely show if it is a bootleg or not, with the lack of transparency. If you’re looking at it in person or have close-up shots, the backpack edges and “6” print are likely to stand out. The air bubbles on the foot of mine make it apparent it isn’t official, but this might not be something present on all bootlegs.
Honestly, this is the best-looking bootleg I’ve done to date. Yes, he has his flaws, but on a shelf he would still look good if you can give the suit colour a pass. When the official does show up for sale though, it’s usually pretty cheap so I’d still recommend getting that over this, ignoring ethics. I do wonder if this pretty darned close bootleg is part of the reason of his price dropping so far in the aftermarket – I don’t think he’s worth his original MSRP, but I think that the ¥2-3k he seems to go for in the aftermarket is pretty darned cheap.

Official vs Bootleg: Medicos Super Action Statue – Kaneki Ken

This figure ended up on my list of figures to cover as I saw a video of the bootleg on Youtube, but without the comparison to the original. Having the original, I noticed a number of differences and wanted to do a blog of my own about him.
If you want to watch the video that inspired this review, here is DStar01’s The is NOT the Super Action Statue Ken Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul video.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥7,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥6,980 (£51.87)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $19.46 (£15.11)

I bought the official during a sale on Nippon Yasan.

“Box”

So here we have a bootleg bang, a knockoff bang, a KO bang

https://i.ibb.co/wKP0h18/bootleg-box.jpg

This bootleg I didn’t order with the box, so this is what arrived. Free dirt, sideways spare head… and a missing hand.
Which is actually in the box, next to the kagune:

https://i.ibb.co/Bn8MNxp/bootleg-loose-hand.jpg

So that’s the unboxing off to a good start! And yes, I also had a war with the tape to get this guy out.

Accessories

With this guy, we get a decent selection of spare hands, and unmasked head and his kagune – that’s the red thing for those who haven’t watched/read Tokyo Ghoul.
Front of the unmasked head:

https://i.ibb.co/NZL0FBL/head-unmasked-forward.jpg

The hair is immediately noticeably different, with the official’s being grey and the botoleg being more like a snow white. Moving down the face, we have grey eyes instead of ice blue. The mouth hasn’t got as much paint, but is there enough to look OK. The part of his jacket on his neck is generally painted less neatly on the bootleg and with a shinier paint.
Lastly, the skin tone is noticeably different – the official has some fleshy tones under the paleness but the bootleg is just straight-up pale.

Side of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/5xFs1Jk/head-unmasked-left.jpg

Yep, definitely lost detail on the bootleg – the hair is much smoother than the official as well as some of the hair clumps not coming to a proper point. The seam is also more obvious in the bootleg’s hair, partially due to this lack of detail to mask it and partly because it is just less neatly done.
With the neck we can see the joint has a bit of a gap, and the bootleggers didn’t really bother with the skin paint here. I think the neck paint is a bit too thin on the original as well, but thankfully this spot doesn’t show much.

Hands, hands, hands!

https://i.ibb.co/VB736sy/hands-selection.jpg

Yep, all present and correct. Well, maybe not totally correct – the bootleg’s are less pallid here, and the fingernails aren’t as neatly painted. Nothing truly disastrous, but you can see where the quality suffered.

Now onto the main feature of the accessories, the kagune:

https://i.ibb.co/4Ys2Vvp/kagune-top.jpg

The painting is much nicer on the official – we have much more shading which really brings the kagune to life.

Middle, back:

https://i.ibb.co/grR9ssW/kagune-back-middle.jpg

Here we have the most pointless of peg bits imo – this is mostly to help you get it the right way up more than anything, but these pegs will sort of hold it to his back, more than you’d expect.
Not sure why this bit got painted on the official, when the bit behind it didn’t get much paint and it doesn’t show when attached.
Pegs are a bit blobbier on the bootleg, and the edges slightly more rounded. Not much difference here.

Middle, front:

https://i.ibb.co/7gQ6nFk/kagune-hole.jpg

This side of the middle of the official has enough paint to blend it in with the rest, thankfully. Joint colour choice is a bit iffy on the official, would be nicer if they were more of a mid-colour of the kagune.
The bootleg’s kagune tendrils match its middle in terms of colour, so all good there. The joints are also a better colour match given the surroundings… or at least they would be if the paint wasn’t falling off of the joints. Bootleg could’ve won some points here, but no, it had to be screwed up.

Comparing a tendril:

https://i.ibb.co/Vpsw17m/kagune-standing-side.jpg

Here you can really see the difference in the paint – much less contrast in the bootleg. Just wish they continued the colouration from the tendrils on the official to the root part so it looked more as one. The bootleg, with its lack of variation ends up better in this regard, but not to the point I’d consider using the bootleg kagune instead of the official.

Overall the bootleg’s accessories are decent. Nothing too out of place, but definitely differing from the official, and usually not in a good way.

Base

Super Action Statues all come with the same style of base, but with a copyright on the back for the figure it belongs to. Let’s see what the bootleggers have replicated of this.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/dgBYMrd/base-bottom.jpg

The official base’s plastic has blueish hue whilst the bootleg has a yellower tint. We’re also lacking the Medicos logo in the middle. Other than that, it’s a copy.

Copyright:

https://i.ibb.co/C9jwK1m/base-copyright.jpg

Official: Present
Bootleg: Nope. So this one is probably used for anything SAS.

Stands from the side:

https://i.ibb.co/yNfffdC/stand-side.jpg

Looking pretty similar here – you could use this as a replacement for a broken Medicos stand without it looking out of place. There is some air bubbles in the bootleg, but not anything too serious. However there are a couple of more significant issues…

Extension pin:

https://i.ibb.co/j3HwfFN/base-bootleg-standpeg.jpg

This is very tight on the bootleg. At first I couldn’t get it in, but it did actually go fully into place partway through the photoshoot.

Bent arm:

https://i.ibb.co/qF261TB/stand-bent-arm.jpg

Yeah, this isn’t so great. Bootleg came bent out of the box, which isn’t the most attractive look for a stand arm. And doesn’t say anything great about the plastic’s quality.

Overall, the bootleg stand does the job, but just doesn’t look the best at doing it. Not sure how much abuse it would stand up to, though.

Figure spin-around – as-is

Let’s see how he looks without his kagune attached.

https://i.ibb.co/rQmyYpV/spin-nokagune-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/vHdvGWJ/spin-nokagune-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/jMmxgXR/spin-nokagune-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/7yBpwDh/spin-nokagune-left.jpg

Please forgive me for using the kagune peg out of laziness… but the bootleg extension peg was rather stuck on there and I didn’t want to risk breaking it early on in the photoshoot.
Those. Purple. Feet. That was the main thing that stuck out to me – the silly coloured shoes. Kaneki has more class in his outfit that that.
Overall, we can see a marked difference in the colour of his suit and the shading in his shorts. With the suit colour, the chest of the bootleg may appear broader, but is actually the same size. Comparing the bootlegs touching, they are the same height and dimensions.

Before we get up close and personal, let’s do a posing test:

https://i.ibb.co/3kfZxwr/arm-articulation-test.jpg

Yeah… the bootleg did NOT pass this. His legs buckled, and his left arm flops down at the elbow. The shoulders on the bootleg hold most poses, but sometimes they’ll flop down to some extent. If you grab the bootleg’s torso and give him a good wiggle, his legs fly all over the place – no tightness in his leg joints at all. The official has no such problems – the joints articulate easily and hold the poses you put them in.

However, the hip joints aren’t as bad and will hold a pose if you ask them to:

https://i.ibb.co/bzLdC38/leg-splits.jpg

Figure close-ups

OK, let’s get this bootleg standing up again, and have a closer look at the paint and the details.

Masked face:

https://i.ibb.co/SXXcHcC/face-masked.jpg

The hair on the bootleg’s head is a step-down from the official, but an improvement on the other bootleg head – more of the sculpting detail survived though we still have a messy moulding job.
The black paint on the bootleg looks slopped on compared to the original. The eye decal didn’t come out right, leaving his pupil slightly misplaced and the red veins partially hidden.
Next we come to the teeth on the mask – the differences are relatively subtle, but adds up to a feeling of wrongness – not helped by the dark gum paint.
For the price point of the bootleg, the face isn’t bad, and doesn’t look so bad when not looking so close with the camera. You can see the paint mishap on his nose quite well though.

Top of the masked head:

https://i.ibb.co/fxJbmx3/hair-top.jpg

Not too bad, but lacking the paint detail of the official. Main issue here with the bootleg is the hair hasn’t been assembled properly, leaving a gap.

Shoulders:

https://i.ibb.co/jMw2fSz/shoulders.jpg

The official’s painting I’ve always thought is a bit weird here, and didn’t quite look as it should. I don’t think the bootlegger’s had a clue either, and just sorta aimed at the spot instead of filling in the area.
We can also see the thin edge of the bootleg plastic, compared to the properly-finished edges of the official around the neck. If you pose the bootleg a lot, you may end up damaging the edges due to this.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/7n4GbzV/chest.jpg

I much prefer the colour and finish of the official’s suit; the bootleg’s just feels kind of… eeehhh. Just doesn’t have the classy shine or the deep bluey purples. The bootleg’s zipper also doesn’t go down the zipper line – starts off next to it, and manages to get with the plot just before it disappears into his shorts.
The paint on the cream parts is also lacking on the bootleg – we’ve got some marks in the paint, and the triangles don’t stay within the lines. The official ones do escape the lines to some extent, but with less paint in the overage so it stands out less.
The bootleg also has some moulding defects in the plastic – you can see some “worm trails” left from poor moulding near the bottommost cream details. These don’t tend to be visible unless caught by the light though.

Right arm:

https://i.ibb.co/1KsF8wW/arm-side.jpg

Again, we get to see the poor edges on the bootleg’s plastic and the lacklustre paint.
The official we can see where the paint lines on his cuff line up, but on the bootleg they don’t quite.
The bootleg’s shoulder pad doesn’t quite match the rest of it, whilst the official manages to work the shading through the entire arm.
There’s also a different colour joint in the wrist – we’ll get to this later.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/5TspY0P/back.jpg

And here we have a paint error on the bootleg… the arrow part of his suit hasn’t been painted on the upper part of his back.
The shinier paint of the official shows off the definition of his back more – something I can appreciate.
Moving to the visible part of his back, honestly I feel both figures are equally bad here in slightly different ways – both could do with some tidying of the skin paint.
Moving to the top of his butt, the shading on the official again brings out the definition of the sculpt more and looks much nicer to me.
Moving to the top of the shorts, the official has a fairly normal-looking band whilst the bootleg looks kinda… tubular. Some of the moulding detail has been lost on the trousers – the creasing has gone from the middle and the pockets look like they have softer indentations.

Shorts:

https://i.ibb.co/y5JnZj9/pants-front.jpg

Very different on the colouration here – the black shorts of the official match the outfit, the bootleg ones I feel stand out a lot more. Also not a fan of the greeny-grey colour they are.
The poor moulding at the top of the bootleg shorts continues around to the front and does not look good.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/8NymFDV/feet.jpg

Seriously, why did the bootleggers paint his feet bright purple, instead of, y’know… the same colour as the rest of his skintight suit?! I guess I’ll never know…
The purple paint is also put on too thickly which makes it look worse and sort of rough.
Both of these figures the ankle cuff paint isn’t great.

And here’s me attempting to articulate the bootleg’s feet:

https://i.ibb.co/2K6NdVb/bootleg-feet.jpg

The ankle joints work OK, but those toe joints ain’t going anywhere. Completely frozen in place – very likely just to break the figure than get them working.

OK, let’s get to some accessory replacing – let’s start with the maskless head.
Pop:

https://i.ibb.co/4dHrTn9/head-removal-part-1.jpg

Hm, OK, this is how the official detaches, and this is what happened on the bootleg… not supposed to do that, but oh well, let’s grab the neck and tug it loose:

https://i.ibb.co/7gWcbvp/bootleg-broken-neck.jpg

Dammit. Didn’t even hulk it – it snapped with very little force. At first I didn’t even realise it snapped until I looked into the bootleg’s head and saw this broken-off joint. So if you want the unmasked head on the bootleg, you very much run the risk of breaking the figure.

The review must go on:

https://i.ibb.co/WfbzPzM/maskless-face.jpg

The bootleg head actually balances enough to get this comparison finished, but not going to get much in the way of dynamic poses out of him now. Minus a lot of negative points for the bootleg.

Let’s move onto a hand swap:

https://i.ibb.co/5kYB1HF/bootleg-hand-joint-oops.jpg

Sigh. You’re gonna play this game, bootleg. The wrist joints are supposed to stay in the body. The wrist joints are tiny, so it’s a fiddly but doable operation to put it back where it belongs.

Wrist joints:

https://i.ibb.co/4JK492f/wrist-joints.jpg

The official’s are flesh-coloured to give him wrists, whilst the bootleg’s are purple to match his suit. This difference isn’t really too noticeable as they do match his suit but can look a little silly when you notice it. I think the skin-coloured ones were a better choice.
The bootleg’s wrist joints are a bit rough, having excess plastic and less precise moulding.

Completed hand swap:

https://i.ibb.co/gZ9R33r/swapped-hands.jpg

Both were easy to do. And the hands look fine. However, you know the way bootleg Kaneki’s hand was rolling around in the box? Yeah, the left hand can drop off sometimes, as the joint doesn’t seem to have the band that helps hold the hands on. It’s not terrible, but if you’re posing his hand it’ll probably drop off.

The bootleg hands work on the official figure:

https://i.ibb.co/DQYkhfY/hands-replace.jpg

Whilst they are a different skin tone, as he’s wearing a full body suit the difference isn’t super-noticeable – here the official hand is to the left and the bootleg to the right. So you could use these as a replacement if you lost or broke a hand, but you’d probably want to replace both.

Kaneki and his kagune

OK, let’s get these set up for a spin-around:

https://i.ibb.co/BtnFrVg/kagune-pose-fail.jpg

Dammit. Bootleg Kaneki, do you want to stand up for me for the rest of this review please?

Spin-around:

https://i.ibb.co/VmnVNsd/spin-kagune-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/p1pCWyN/spin-kagune-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/xgbZCt9/spin-kagune-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0C4LQ7m/spin-kagune-left.jpg

The bootleg kagune look fine from the front, in isolation from the official. From other angles though, those joints look bad which does count against it.

“Closed” kagune:

https://i.ibb.co/Jq4bgj9/kagune-closed.jpg

Both kagune hold their poses well, so you get the same poseability out of the bootleg here as the official.

Conclusion

Before I write this, let’s have a look what we’re left with:

https://i.ibb.co/M68qZq3/figures-posed.jpg

Oh, um, gosh… going to be hard to recommend this bootleg!

From a standpoint of telling these apart, the purple clown shoes rather give it away as well as the shorts and the brighter-coloured kagune, which isn’t in keeping with what they should look like. The stand also lacks logos which makes it easy to tell apart.
As far as a replacement for the official, in some places it could but others it is so, so far away. If you wanted him standing in a not too dynamic pose and were OK with the masked head, then it’s a reasonable figure for its price tag. If you want the unmasked head, you’ll want to be very careful with the head swap and hope for the best – so I couldn’t recommend it to someone who wants the full functionality of the original.
Lastly, can this figure act as donor parts? The base functions, the hands would work but the rest of it I’d give a hard pass to. Without being repainted, the bootleg kagune is going to make it look like you own the bootleg, and the colours are off for the rest of the figure. Didn’t want to attempt a headswap of either bootleg head lest I accidentally damage my official one.

Overall, on its own it looks OK, but the flaws start to show once you place it next to the original or try using it as an action figure. Someone not familiar with the figure could mix these two up, but those clown shoes might act as a hint that something isn’t quite right. For the official, I’m not sure it’s worth the full MSRP as the paint is a little iffy in a couple of spots, but it’s a fairly solid figure otherwise. So I’d recommend looking out for the official at a discount price, however Kaneki Ken figures can be a massive pain to get hold of.

Official vs Bootleg: Alter Kurosaki Mea

Alter… one of the most highly regarded figure companies. Let’s see how an Alter bootleg fares to its original. Will this be the Alter of bootlegs? Let’s find out!

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥12,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥13,945 (£97.65)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $20.47 (£15.90)

The official figure I preorderd the second release.

“Box”

This bootleg technically came with a box:

https://i.ibb.co/SmJYFYc/bootleg-box.jpg

Hm, not really outclassing the original’s clear box here.

This is how the figure was packed in the box:

https://i.ibb.co/hYVtrWS/bootleg-box-inside.jpg

Not too bad, and did keep the figure protected in transit.

Here’s the parts laid out:

https://i.ibb.co/FKSK3TG/bootleg-pieces.jpg

Not the worst packaging, but nothing to stop the parts of the figure from rubbing up against itself.

Now to start unbagging these bits and compare them to their official counterparts.

Base

Top view:

https://i.ibb.co/drZ53ff/bases-top.jpg

The first things that stands out to me is the difference in colour of the text and the base size – surprisingly, the bootleg is larger than official. Looking at the edge of the base, we can see that the bootleg has a “triangular” edge, whilst the official curves down sharply. The “To Love ru Darkness” text on the bootleg is uneven and lacks the pink wing end markings of the official.
With the peg holes, the desk ones look slightly different – we’ll see why later. However, the biggest difference is the foot pegs – with the official the foot support is part of the base but the bootleg’s was attached to the figure, leaving two pegs to attach the foot support instead (more on this later).
The bootleg base is less transparent than the official, and there is no copyright text to see through it.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/GRkBKpH/base-underneath.jpg

Not really anything extra to see here with the bases being transparent. We can see the plastics are quite different with the way the light goes through them, especially at the edges. On the bootleg, we can see where the “A” in “Kurosaki” has got a large printing mistake – a flaw that wouldn’t make it to an Alter figure base.

Foot pegs:

https://i.ibb.co/P4q3SwP/base-pegs.jpg

Yep, pretty significant difference here.

Size comparison:

https://i.ibb.co/mD4Mbst/bases-piled.jpg

The main writing isn’t too different in size, but the spacing is significantly different for the subtext. The size difference is pretty significant – bootlegs don’t tend to make parts larger, and frequently the opposite, so surprised the base is larger than just the chamfered edge.

Overall, the bootleg base looks decent, barring the printing flaw that at least exists on mine. The official does look nicer, but there isn’t anything particularly wrong with the bootleg one. The bootleg base couldn’t be used as a replacement for the original, as the pegging is significantly different for all of the pegs.

Desk

The lone accessory for this figure – the desk which she sits upon. How does our bootleg compare before we sit her upon it?
Top:
https://i.ibb.co/X5DWjGy/desk-top.jpg
The official desk has a grain texture on top, to enhance the realistic look of the wood whilst the bootleg is just a flat brown. Both desks have a hole to pin Kurosaki’s hair bobble into, though the bootleg one serves no purpose, which we will see later. The official’s hole has been countersunk, to allow the hair bobble to sit as flush to the desk as possible.

If we look at the lower edge of the desk in the top photo, we’ll see that it looks distorted. Here’s a close up of this area:

https://i.ibb.co/KLFtS24/desk-dent.jpg

This “dent” is to help the figure sit firmly on the desk. The bootleg lacks this extra feature.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/chsFRFm/desk-front.jpg

Hm, do my eyes deceive me, or is that bootleg desk taller? Yes and no. The desk itself is the same size, but the bootleg desk has pegs whilst the official has peg holes, and this change is replicated on the bases hence why the parts are not compatible with each other.
The bootleg desk also leans somewhat – it is a bit rickety, and the legs will wiggle about a fair bit unlike the official. It has managed to stay together for this blog, though it did make assembly a little more difficult.
With the desk painting, the bootleg misses the finer details – the white pockets(?), the grey rubber feet and any shading on the metal. The wooden part of the desk has a noticeable seam running around it too.
The bootleg desk also looks like it might have been through the wars a bit – a couple of “dents” are visible on the upper metal part, which could almost be passed off as extra detail.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/ZBD1Y1G/desk-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/C7mTdLF/desk-left.jpg

The metal on the bootleg desk looks very cheapy compared to its official counterpart – Alter have done a nice job of replicating the metal look, whilst the bootleg paintjob is very simple. On the hook parts, we can see the limitation of bootleg’s casting, and little air bubbles give a rough appearance.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/HVQZy3B/desk-back.jpg

Both of the desk shelves look like they’ve had a bit of a rough life – the Alter one is bent slightly upwards, whilst the bootleg’s is bent downwards on one side, plus a “scrape” from a moulding issue.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/Jt094K0/desk-bottom.jpg

Here we can really see the peg difference. With the holes taking up most of the space in the feet, I suspect this is why the bootleggers changed it – the casts would need a decent level of quality to replicate this which probably wasn’t happening. With the official having peg holes instead of pegs, you could use this as a separate figure accessory, but I don’t think you’d want to display the figure itself without the base.
The bottom of the official’s desk shelf has been shaded. And the bootleg’s, erm, has not been.

Overall, the bootleg desk isn’t bad, but it’s a significant step down from the official, lacking certain paint details that gives the desk its premium feel (as much as a school desk can have that…).

Figure spin-around

Let’s see how well these parts fit together:

https://i.ibb.co/tZBn5RH/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/TtzF3Km/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/gtCTqsn/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wMtCztZ/spin-left.jpg

Not too bad, at a glance. The more notable differences to me is the dangling bit of cape and the finish on her clothing. We also have the sad ahoge and wandering hair on the bootleg.
If you look closely at the bootleg’s left knee in the first photo (you will likely need to look at the enlarged pic), you can see where her hair has scraped against it during transit – being in a bag with no extra plastic wrap, the hair has rubbed one or two spots.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/SVj5Mgn/face.jpg

Eeesssh. The eye prints on the bootleg are awful. Her left eye on the bootleg is completely in the wrong spot, as well as the layers not being aligned with each other. We’ve also lost all of the finer details, so she doesn’t even appear to have an iris.
The face itself is shinier on the bootleg – as evidenced by the shine above her nose. The bootleg also have some stray paint next to her mouth, and she has “slapped face syndrome” where the bootleggers have been a bit heavy with the rouge, leaving her face too red.
The bootleg’s hair has lost some details, which has been emphasised with the overly light colour used in the recessed parts of her hair. Not sure why they did this – a darker colour would’ve looked better, to emulate shadow. It looks like the bootleg’s hair has been given a pale-coloured wash, which extends the shading problem to other parts of the hair. Yeah, definitely liking the official’s hair more.

Braid:

https://i.ibb.co/ZXWgBSX/head-braid.jpg

Even my camera doesn’t like this angle of the bootleg…
The larger, upper bead/clip in her hair has a messily painted cross on the bootleg, and it isn’t made out of the translucent material the official has. The braid is also a different colour on the bootleg, making it look odd and not part of her hair. The bottom hair bead is painted a lot larger on the bootleg, and again, isn’t translucent. The hair on the side of the bootleg feels rather sad – the mould edge and lack of depth in the moulding makes it look kind of dead and lifeless, which the paint job does nothing much to remedy.
This angle also shows the misshapen ahoge well. Not quite the same.

Back of hair:

https://i.ibb.co/nCVNzJJ/hair-back.jpg

Here, the shading isn’t so bad on the bootleg. We also have the overly light wash present here too, making her hair look like a light source.
What truly mars the bootleg here is the stray red dot right in the middle of her hair. Can’t avoid that at this angle.

Hood:

https://i.ibb.co/K56RQd3/hood.jpg

Here we can see where the Alter paint job stands out – a good amount of shading here, to give depth and realism to the hood, whilst the bootleg has… nothing. Just plenty of one shade of blue. Towards the top of the photos, we can see how the official’s hair is nice and neat, but the bootleg’s is scruffy and unclean.

Star buckle:

https://i.ibb.co/44t3DjS/star-front.jpg

Here we get a threat of a peek of her chest, yet not have anything truly on show. The sculpt of the star on the bootleg has gone a bit wonky, leaving the points unevenly-shaped. The paint hasn’t been applied neatly, leaving spillage onto and off of the star.
Here is one of the places the lack of glossiness on the bootleg’s clothing is quite noticeable – one of the reasons I bought this figure was for the glossy clothing, so this is a pretty big negative to the bootleg for me.
The bootleg also looks to have Raynaud’s, which isn’t the best look for a figure. It looks like that her hand wasn’t painted – I wouldn’t be surprised if this area was assembled before painting, making it all but impossible to apply the paint. Assembly before painting seems to be a common theme with bootleg figures.

Stomach:

https://i.ibb.co/6w5PWBL/midriff.jpg

Here, the shadows are much more distinct on the official, helped by some subtle paint. The extra paint and matte finish on the official give her skin a much more lifelike appearance. From certain angles, the glossiness of the bootleg skin is visible – if you look close to her belly button there is a ring of shine, showing the different finish.

Pants:

https://i.ibb.co/y54NM4W/pants-front.jpg

The lack of gloss is again pretty noticeable here. The belt buckle is more neatly painted on the official, and the overall finish is much neater and nicer looking. We also have a difference in the arm pose here – on the official she is teasing you, the bootleg… not so much. With the bootleg, both the arm and hand are not in the same position, leading to the quite different pose. Her fingers are also overly white on this hand too with the bootleg – I think the bootleg needs to get her circulation checked.

On closer inspection, I noticed that the bootleg’s short/pants/thing was loose…

https://i.ibb.co/S5nvHjQ/bootleg-panties.jpg

They’ve made her into a cast-off… kind of. She has these panties roughly painted, but the skirt has been glued at what someone probably intentionally made a peg. As a result, she’s some form of forced cast-off, but not to reveal anything exciting.
If you wanted to do this cast-off, there’s a few major issues – the panties aren’t painted well and look a bit naff, she needs her clothing to sit on the desk properly, and I doubt it would go back on unless you glued it. So not really a worthwhile advantage of the bootleg, to be honest.
If there’s demand, I’ll rip off her lower clothing and take a pic. Requests can be submitted as comments below.

Left arm:

https://i.ibb.co/2Zyg4VH/left-arm.jpg

The paintwork is actually fairly decent on the bootleg here, and does try to emulate the original figure quite well. However, the lack of shiny finish and the posing kind of kill it. The moulding is also not as deep and detailed as the official, which further flattens its appearance.
With the posing, the angles of the arm and the hand on the official make her look seductive, but the change in angles on the bootleg make it look more like she’s just posing for a photo. It’s a small difference, but feels very different to me.
Looking just above her arm on the bootleg, the top fails to taper at the edges, giving it a very thick and not very clothlike appearance.

Close-up of the left hand:

https://i.ibb.co/McdNQnQ/left-hand.jpg

For the shading on her glove the bootleg has gone for a more standard appearance with the light focus on the middle, whilst the Alter one is lighter towards the left giving a better appearance of angled light. With the paint, the edges of her gloves are much neater on the official, and she has her fingernails painted.
Oh, and yes, the blood loss.

Right leg:

https://i.ibb.co/3yLFmjb/right-leg.jpg

For the skin tone, I feel it is nicer on the official than the bootleg. The bootleg leg from this angle isn’t too bad, though if you look closely at the band around her leg, it does’t quite fit together as nicely as it should.

Right boot:

https://i.ibb.co/Z8zYkNg/right-boot.jpg

The buckles on the bootleg are painted surprisingly nicely here. The paint shading follows the official pretty closely here, but there is a bit of shadow missing where the boot bends just above her toes. The moulding is a bit less distinct in places, but not massively so. If it had the same finish, it would be a decently close match to the official, though the silver paint is a different tone.

Left boot:

https://i.ibb.co/3WHsx9c/left-boot.jpg

Again, not a bad copy of the official, though the silver paint isn’t quite right here – we’re missing some to the “back” side of the buckle. And the sole of the bootleg’s shoe is a bit thicker.
Here we can also see the differing foot stands – the official is clear and matches the base and the bootleg’s is black. I think I much prefer Alter’s decision, seeing as the base isn’t black. When fiddling with the bootleg figure whilst writing this review (to see if she was cast-off or forced), it turns out she isn’t really glued to the foot support as I initially assumed from it coming pre-attached to the figure. It does have pegs similar to the official, so you could technically attach the foot support to the bootleg’s base if you wanted to.

Lower back:

https://i.ibb.co/5jGdC1z/hair-braid.jpg

The lack of different shades on the bootleg’s skin again makes her skin look flatter than the original. The moulding of her shorts went a little wrong here on the bootleg, and is a bit bunched up to her right. On the bootleg’s leg, the silver paint has been a bit overgenerously applied to the belt buckle.
Lastly, we have the hair braid – the red is a decent bit less vivid on the bootleg than the official.

Left side of her pants cape:

https://i.ibb.co/6ZJTvyR/cape-side.jpg

If you like the shiny, this part of her clothing will likely lead to the most disappointment. The official has a shiny, clean appearance, whilst the bootleg is rough and mostly dull. We also have a visible seamline, ruining the smooth appearance. Due to the plastic composition used on the bootleg and poor recast, it also doesn’t curl into a very pleasing position.

Back of her pants cape:

https://i.ibb.co/yfSc8ZL/cape-back.jpg

Yep, the bootleg cape looks just as dead and lifeless on this side too. If this was a prize figure, I think this is fine, but comparing it to the official… it just doesn’t hold up.
With the bootleg, we can see how the cape is used to hold her onto the table – with the official the hair is pegged to the desk, so it covers this slightly odd-looking part up to some extent.

Hair tips:

https://i.ibb.co/7VPDVKD/hair-frond.jpg

The bootleg’s paint has ended up a much darker shade of purpley red than the official. We can also see some rough moulding parts on it too. The curlier hairs are also less curly than the official – pretty common with bootlegs.

Hair bobble:

https://i.ibb.co/thffX8M/hair-ball.jpg

This part separates them relatively significantly – with the official being transparent, and the bootleg being opaque. The bootleg also hasn’t had its halves matched together properly, leaving it lumpy around the middle.
Also the bootleg lacks this feature:

https://i.ibb.co/gjwFmc4/official-ball-peg.jpg

Without the peg, the hair is annoying to pose and won’t stay where you want it easily – this peg holds the hair in the correct place, which helps hide the slightly unusual sculpting on her clothing, which is there to help her stay on the table firmly. I did try to check for evidence of the bootleg ever having a peg, but it doesn’t seem to have had one. Or at least it wasn’t there when it was painted.

Conclusion

First off: bootleg isn’t worth it for the cast off feature in my opinion. Official might not have this, but I don’t really want to display her with poorly painted pink-stripe panties. Honestly, blue stripes would look better in terms of colour choice.

As far as telling these apart, there are distinct differences on each of the parts, making it easy for anyone who knows what this figure should look like. The table misses key paint details – no texture on the top and a lack of properly painted feet, as well as shading. The base of the bootleg just doesn’t look premium, and has the nonmatching foot stand.
The figure itself lacks the glossy shine, very much making it look like a prize figure version of itself, also assisted by a lack of transparent parts. The eyes are easily the worst thing about the bootleg – it makes it look like she doesn’t have proper eyes when looked at up close, which I think would make this figure unappealing to a number of collectors.
For the bootleg overall, I think you’re getting what you’re paying for – I don’t think she’s awful, but definitely not up to par with the official. I could definitely see someone buying this and not knowing it was a knock-off, especially if she was sold at a price point closer to that of a prize figure than an Alter scale.
As for this being the Alter of bootlegs… hm, maybe? I think it comes closer than most of the bootlegs covered thus far, but I have one upcoming figure that I think is a closer match to its official counterpart, and this one is definitely not without its flaws, especially with that hair bobble missing its peg.

Official vs Bootleg: Good Smile Company Racing Miku 2012

This figure is the first one chosen by user vote! This figure was voted for by GerardHaZ and dtindcarea.
Partly surprised this wasn’t one of the bootlegs I chose for myself, as it was one I was curious as to how the bootleg compared to the real thing many moons ago. However, the real thing can be had pretty cheaply, with the postage likely costing more than the figure itself due to the box’s large size.

Whilst writing this blog, I ended up doing some more research on bootlegs for this figure – there appears to be at least three different bootlegs. One version is shown in the MFC gallery, featuring a box claiming the figure was made by Max Factory. There’s a second version which appears to be a run-of-the-mill bootleg, which looks more prize figure than scale, but comes with a box that’s pretty much a match for the official:

https://i.ibb.co/bKFBLsF/image.png

Note the unfinished green lines on her top, shiny hair and face plus seam marks as far as the eye can see.

And then there is the version I got. Which… well, you’ll see!

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥8,381
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥8,670 (£48.42)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £24.58

I bought the official version from AmiAmi preowned.

Box

Let’s get the boxes lined up for display…

https://i.ibb.co/4TjLNQC/box-bootleg-packed.jpg

Ah, hm, OK, time to do some unpacking! Though credit to the seller on this one – it’s probably the least bashed-up bootleg box I’ve got to date!

Size comparison:

https://i.ibb.co/2vfB1Vh/box-height-comparison.jpg

The box for this figure is quite chunky, so here’s one photo of them both in the same shot, showing that the bootleg box is actually slightly shorter than the official.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/vckVhjj/box-front.jpg

The box design of the bootleg has been to be made to be close to the official, but without key graphics in some kind of attempt to avoid copyright infringement. The Goodsmile Racing logo is missing from both the top right corner of the box and the window. We’re also missing the copyright line in the bottom left. The blocks of colour at the top of the box are noticeably thinner than the official, and didn’t quite survive the resizing process intact.
The rest of the front is a copy of the original, only poorly printed – the colours have come out much darker and there’s a bunch of artefacting going on, especially noticeable in her hair.
And we can already see these figures aren’t going to be a match…

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/mtSnYjg/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/KNv0NPG/box-left.jpg

A fairly similar story as to the front, but here we can see the poorly done edit job that has been done to remove the logos – looks like they’ve just grabbed the paintbrush tool and scrawled over the logo in white, leaving an oddly fuzzy edge to what’s supposed to be an ovalish sort of shape.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/L66ZQQX/box-back.jpg

Here the bad print job on the bootleg is pretty apparent. The darker areas have lost significant amount of details, and gives the photos an overall odd quality. Again, the Goodsmile Racing logo has been removed, from the lower part of the box. And they were too lazy to draw the gridline back in.
Several chunks of the lower box text have been taken out, where it refers to GSC and being intended for sale in Japan only. To not leave huge white gaps, they’ve rearranged what was left to mostly fill out the space. As this is an edited copy of the original box, the barcode matches with the official one.
My official has an AmiAmi preowned sticker on it – they have their own control codes to keep track of their stock, so if you see a sticker very similar to the one to the bottom right of the official box, it’s just AmiAmi’s way of keeping track of stock. The “[中古]” at the start of the label text is “preowned”, and you can see the figure grade of A and the box grade of B.
OK, not here to talk about AmiAmi’s labelling process, so onto the next side of the box.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/CKhvr1L/box-top.jpg

Another missing logo, another mediocre edit job. Not much to really notice up here, other than that hot pink bar at the top.
Oh, and this:

https://i.ibb.co/kyGt6d9/box-bootleg-sticker.jpg

It actually has a round piece of tape – but just the one, whilst the official has three. And it’s the cheapest, thinnest bit of tape you ever did see. If you’ve ever picked off or cut through GSC’s round circle dots, you’d know that this was not it.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/4sHb3Sq/box-bottom.jpg

Yep, no Goodsmile Racing logo here either. Boxes look pretty similar other than that, albeit with a colour difference.

Let’s have a little look in the box:

https://i.ibb.co/d0k6Tds/box-inside.jpg

Here we have one of the smaller things that the bootleggers will cheap out on – the amount of glue used to adhere the plastic window to the box. The official one is glued down on the outer edge as well as around the window itself, the bootleg only around the window. This has led to the plastic not lying flat, and will catch on the blister as it is pulled out.
The flap design is also slightly different on the bootleg – the triangular parts at the bottom of the box come much closer to the lower flap than they do on the original.

This box also featured a liner for both the official and bootleg:

https://i.ibb.co/F3Skzsy/box-liner.jpg

For scales, sometimes the bootleggers will actually copy the official inlay. For this one, we also get an edit – they have actually drawn in the gridlines (though some are not level with the ones they’re supposed to join up with), but didn’t bother to complete the swooshes, making it look incomplete. This is mostly hidden by the figure in the box though, so by the time you get it out the bootleggers probably don’t care if you notice this.
The bootleg liner is also much lighter and less vivid in colour. The shapes are a match though, so if it wasn’t for the missing logo they would be relatively hard to tell apart.

One more “sneak peak” of the figure, before we take her out of the blister:

https://i.ibb.co/vhrW966/box-inner-blister.jpg

The blisters feel very different to the touch. The bootleg blister has little rigidity to it and will scrunch up easily. Even with the extra padding the seller added, the bootleg blister has become partially deformed. The flimsiness of the bootleg blister does actually make it harder to pull out of the box.
The official figure is likely a fair bit older than the bootleg (and has been out of the box more times), yet the official blister stays in shape nicely.

Accessories

None, really. But there are a couple of things I want to add here.
First is the official comes with a little warnings sheet, which the bootleg doesn’t come with:

https://i.ibb.co/M7gJzLX/instructions.jpg

And the official comes apart like so:

https://i.ibb.co/sQc95w4/official-exploded.jpg

Which allows you to display her without her skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/wpk6nfr/official-no-skirt.jpg

Which means you can treat it as an accessory if you wish to. The bootleg I tried very hard to take apart, but it wasn’t going. I tried just tugging relatively gently before I did the photoshoot, but after the photoshoot I tried heating up her torso a bunch and tugging on it very hard, and it’s definitely glued (didn’t want to do this before the photoshoot just in case I ended up with a very broken figure). The skirt is the same mould as the official, so it sits loosely on her, but there’s no way of taking it off easily.

Base

Top of the bases:

https://i.ibb.co/7vsywNB/base-top.jpg

Overall, very similar. The bootleg is more creamy in colour, and misses the patterning in the blocks of colour (most noticeable in the rings to the right of the base).
The green teardrop to the right of the foot pegs is a solid colour on the bootleg, whilst the official one shows the colours underneath. There is also a teardrop towards the top right that is purple on the official and blue on the bootleg (on top of the pink blob).
There are colour differences throughout, but that is probably the main, most easily visible ones.

Bootleg base pegs:

https://i.ibb.co/XJPq0CJ/base-bootleg-footrest.jpg

Even before I’ve assembled the figure, there’s seemingly paint transfer on the bootleg pegs. No idea where the green paint has come from – could possibly be stray paint in the factory. I don’t think the figure would have rubbed up against the base, especially for the lower peg.
Also the longer bootleg peg didn’t survive disassembly – I needed to take the figure off the base for another base photo, and the upper part of the peg has started to snap – one more disassembly and it will likely break right through. The official has been taken off its base a few times (usually for cleaning) and the pegs are still holding strong.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/9tTxTmS/base-bottom.jpg

Here we can see the distinct difference in plastic colour. Here we have a slightly different mould mark on the underside of where the foot pegs fit in.

Copyright:

https://i.ibb.co/4Skw4zm/base-copyright.jpg

For all the removing of the logos on the box, they’ve left the copyright on the base.

Size comparison:

https://i.ibb.co/9p7Dtnb/bases-size-comparison.jpg

Seem to be identical in size. Can also see where the bootleg is a bit rough on the edge and more stray paint (yellow spot towards the left of the photo).

If they weren’t side-by-side, it would be easy to not recognise the bootleg base as bootleg. However, I wouldn’t recommend mixing them up as the plastic on the foot peg is weaker, and may snap inside your figure.

Figure spin-around

Let’s look at this beauty!

https://i.ibb.co/jv4q64F/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ZXH1TZt/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/JHn1xxR/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/YZWf1Wp/spin-left.jpg

The first thing that sticks out to me is the off colouring of the bootleg’s hair – the middle is starkly an off-green colour for Miku. And her outfit is mostly silver instead of pearly light grey.
With her head pointing down and the lean, it feels like bootleg Miku is captured in the moment of falling over. Though she managed to stay upright for this photoshoot!

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/VD9nxc8/face.jpg

That hair… The bootleg’s hair colour is completely off, and shows off an extra seam line. We also have lots of extra bits of plastic that haven’t been cut off.
The bootleg’s crown has been painted in white, which is odd given most of the bootleg’s outfit is silver. For the official, it’s the same pearly white/grey as the rest of her outfit.
The prints on the eyes seem to be the same pattern, but the colours differ, so this part looks fine.
The inner mouth on the bootleg is lighter – probably could do with being less neon, but isn’t too bad. Also her teeth are painted neatly, which is sort of rare for a bootleg.

Headset:

https://i.ibb.co/LSG60gb/face-side.jpg

Before we look at the headset she’s wearing… that hair seam on the top of the bootleg’s head is distracting me. Not only is it gapping, we seem to have some glue or something in there that’s given it a yellow line.
OK… headset… The paint is much messier and less precise – the purple paint at the top of the headset doesn’t follow the lines it is supposed to, the part that joins the ring to the earphone hasn’t been painted, and we’re missing some grey shading and the grey dot on the earphone itself.
The headphone on the official has a translucent-y back, but the bootleg just has a paint blob, giving more detail to the official. The bootleg headset is finished off with some purple paint thrust at the back of the mic, leaving it only vaguely in the right spot.
From this angle, we can also see how the bootleg’s skin and hair is shiny.

Top of her head:

https://i.ibb.co/56TVTXG/head-top.jpg

The main seam line is definitely rougher on the bootleg, and we have that mint-green hair going on. The rings around her hair have some very visible seam lines on the bootleg, which aren’t very apparent on the official. The paint shading on the bootleg has a lot more variation in colour, which isn’t bad in of itself, but it goes a few shades too light, which really doesn’t help the off colouring.

Hair ends:

https://i.ibb.co/BTypwKJ/hair-curl.jpg

For this part, the official has more colour depth, and has a matte finish. The bootleg is shiny and has a fair amount of excess plastic, especially on a couple of the hair tips. The hair is also more bunched up on the bootleg and less liable to keep its shape due to the plastic used.
If we look just above the bootleg’s hand, we can see where the moulding has gotten quite dodgy, where the “stray” strand connects to the main strand.

Hair strands from another angle:

https://i.ibb.co/JCGCnWH/hair-swoosh.jpg

For this part, the lack of shading on the bootleg hair is very apparent. We also get to see very easily where the joins are in the hair. With the official, the joins do show in places, but it isn’t too bad imo. We can also see where the back hair strand has been scrunched in on the bootleg, instead of flowing free as it should.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/vXtzzzs/chest-front.jpg

And here we have the super-silver outfit! Where the top is a pearly white on the official, we have silver on the bootleg. The moulding here is awful on the bootleg – all the edges have lost their shape, and the details have gone wonky and misshapen. The worst parts for this are the triangle window on her chest and the black part at the bottom of her top.
The painted details on the bootleg’s top are mostly correct, though we are missing the black lines through the centre. Probably a good thing though, given the messiness of the paint in general on this figure.
The transfer/stamp for the logo on the bootleg is terrible, and is barely legible as a result. Certainly not the finest reproduction here.
Next noticeable element is her tie – the painting on the top part of it has been done OK, but the tie itself is opaque on the bootleg instead of the translucent of the official, as well as having a poor moulding job.
Then comes the “vest”. Not sure what to call this, but I’m going to stick with vest for this review. The design has many lines – the bane of many bootlegs, and indeed here we have the sloppy paint job as can be expected of a bootleg. The sheer parts have been painted on the bootleg, so it doesn’t look super-odd.
Lastly, we have her skin – the lack of contrast between the sheer parts of the vest and her skin on the bootleg show how bootleg Miku is more tanned than she should be – Miku is usually portrayed as being very pale.

Side:

https://i.ibb.co/xMRjwYf/chest-side.jpg

Here we can really admire that terrible logo and poor green linework on the bootleg. We also might have a clue here why the moulding on the top is so bad – it looks like they’ve reproduced it as the moulds join in different places – the official we can see a mould line on the strap (next to the purple part) whilst the bootleg’s join is on the cup.
The seamline on the body is also in a slightly different place – if you look just above the skirt on the official, you’ll see the mould line close to the green line on the vest, whilst it is a lot further away on the bootleg.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/j8HMCzc/back.jpg

Viewing her from the back, the hair on the bootleg looks super-weird due to the difference in colour between the hair on the back of her head and her pigtails. The hair tufts at the bottom of her hair are also pointing upwards a bit more.
With her hand, it is pointing more upwards on the bootleg than it should be, and the bootleg’s nails aren’t painted well. We’re also missing the green detail at the top of her sleeve.
The back of bootleg’s outfit is interesting – the top bit has been painted silver, but the lower detail has been inexplicably painted white. What they painted white and what was painted silver on this bootleg figure seems very inconsistent.
For the lower detail (fastener?) we’re missing the glossy part in the middle of it, and it is thinner and taller than it should be, giving it a more oval appearance.
The green linework here isn’t as blobby on the bootleg as it is on the front and sides. Still not great though.

Skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/MnncQJM/skirt.jpg

Yeesh. Where to start with this one? Colours? Completely off. Apart for maybe the green lines at the edge of the skirt. For some reason the circular “button” details here are a different green on the bootleg, whilst it’s a matching “Miku green” on the official (and glossy).
The centre of the upper part of the bootleg skirt is easily the worst part of this – the paint is awful, the green border is missing and the moulding is terrible. If I had to display this bootleg, honestly it’d be tempting to snip off this skirt due to it being so poor (and it doesn’t come off like it should). The lower lines are very roughly done, and incorrect. The upper lines are too thin and the joining lines do not match the official at all – there are 3 where there should be 2 and none joining this part to the skirt hem. And talking about the hem, the green paint here has been applied very haphazardly.
Again, the logo here has been poorly reproduced, but at least the main part of the logo is legible.
The silver paint has been oversprayed on one side, but not enough on the other side. Well, it evens out to a proper paint job…?

Side of the skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/8Bjznzt/skirt-side.jpg

Here we can really admire that overspray on the bootleg, and we also have a seam line not present on the official. The official has some overpainting in parts, but it’s nothing compared to the sheer messiness of the bootleg in the respective areas.

Back of the skirt:

https://i.ibb.co/8xt1jCQ/skirt-back.jpg

Here, the green linework on the bootleg is actually close to prize-figure levels of messy. Instead of “wouldn’t pass prize figure QC” levels of messy. The dark green paint and the black paint is a fail here on the bootleg – very poorly done. Official is looking neat and tidy though!

Left arm:

https://i.ibb.co/tsd41bv/left-arm-top.jpg

And we’re back to the closer shade of paint to the official here… In terms of raw colour, this isn’t actually a bad match for the official, so it’s a bit strange why they made certain parts of her clothing silver. Though that’s about the only positive for the bootleg’s paint in this area.
So, missing paint details on the bootleg: Green part at the top of her sleeve, green button on the cuff, lack of shading on the sleeve and the black rings on the glove. The bootleggers obviously noticed a shade change between her sleeve and her glove, but this has been replicated by the glove being a different colour instead of replicating the shading that it is supposed to be. The glove paint on the bootleg didn’t make it all the way up the gloves, leaving her with mutant hands.
Lastly for the paint, it looks like bootleg Miku dipped her fingers in the nail polish instead of y’know… painting her nails. Does look quite funny from certain angles.
Again, the seams are very visible on the bootleg. Official, you can see a bit of a seam on her hand if you look closely.

Hand:

https://i.ibb.co/JzZb6Ww/hand-top.jpg

Here we can appreciate the details that went into the official – with the shading and the small details being painted neatly.
And then we have mutant-hand Miku dabbing in the nail polish.
The cuff on the bootleg’s glove has also been moulded poorly, and feels like the button is more on top of her wrist rather than to the side.

Top of the boots:

https://i.ibb.co/5ksCwxm/boot-tops.jpg

For the purple/grey detail, the bootleg has lost the middle grey bit. Probably not a bad thing for the bootleg, given the poor paint overall. Again, the green paint is messy and we also have the grey paint on the main part of the boot bleeding into the white.

Legs:

https://i.ibb.co/zRXMg35/legs-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/3vtH5MS/legs-back-view.jpg

We’ve got some attempt here of matching the shiny finish of the official’s outfit here, but it doesn’t live up the the pearly finish of the official. The pearly finish was one of the things that attracted me to getting this particular Miku.
Paint is also messy here on the bootleg – most apparent in in the green areas from these angles.
From the back, we also get a lovely seam line to look at on the bootleg.
For the official, we have a couple of zippers swinging out from the boot, on the bootleg these have been flattened up against the boot.

Closer shot of one of the feet showing the worst of the paint here:

https://i.ibb.co/p4Mrvc3/left-foot.jpg

Paint slop and scrapage. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, the seam line.

Back of the legs:

https://i.ibb.co/VHsKcGY/legs-back.jpg

The bootleg has some very bad overspray on her right leg, very much covering the white area of the boot. We can also see how she’s not posed right, which is why she leans funny when assembled.
Her panties are a darker grey than the official’s – not that you’ll be seeing them much seeing as the skirt isn’t removable. We’re also missing most of the green linework – only the top band has been painted here.
At the top of the boots we have yet more messy paint and the purple line details are missing.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/FqbMgG9/foot-front.jpg

Finally down to the bottom of the figure! Paint is messy here, but at least we have all the details. Here we can see the stand for her foot isn’t quite the same shape as the other, also contributing to her standing funny. I didn’t quiiite get her to the bottom of the stand pegs for the detail shots, but in the spin-around, you can see how much she faces the floor when properly on the peg (I had to redo one of the base shots – usually I’ll do base and accessory shots first, but I realised one of my base shots was done incorrectly after I did the spin-around shots. Which lead to the bootleg’s foot peg nearly shearing off).

Conclusion

This bootleg is straight-up bad. Even in the box, you can tell there’s something not quite right, thanks to the hair, and potentially the logo on her top if you’re looking closely. The overall quality and appearance is poor – her pose has been messed up, some parts are poorly moulded and the paint is messy. Also only certain parts of her clothing have been changed to a silver colour, which looks kind of odd as some of her outfit is still white/grey.
In terms of differentiating this one from the official… the outer box is clearly missing logos (especially the one on the plastic), and the figure having different coloured hair and outfit make it stand out as not the real thing. There does seem to be a bootleg out there that is closer to the real thing, so to watch out for that one, look for the shiny hair and poor paint.
Would I think someone who buys bootlegs would be happy with this one? No, not really. Definitely wouldn’t recommend this version of the figure – it’s like a bootleg of a bootleg. The official one comes up reasonably often secondhand, so I’d recommend getting that and eating it on the shipping. One of the other bootlegs may have been worth it for a “prize tier” version of her, but this one is not.

Official vs Bootleg: Banpresto Q Posket Harley Quinn

I promised another Q Posket blog, and here it is! The figure I bought at the same time as Catwoman was Harley Quinn.

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing
MSRP (without tax) – prize figures do not have an MSRP
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,439 (£14.71)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $4.49 (£3.47)

The official figure I bought unopened from Mandarake.

Accessory

This figure comes with Harley’s hammer, so let’s look at that first.

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/JxPhXJc/hammer-top.jpg

First thing that is immediately noticeable is the bootleg hammer is smaller – it is smaller in all dimensions, but the shorter handle is the most noticeable.
The bootleg has lighter coloured silver paint and a free dent on the head of the hammer. The shaft on the bootleg is a darker shade of brown and has a bit of excess plastic still attached.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/LgfDCQX/hammer-underside.jpg

The underside on both can be told by the inserted plastic piece which leaves a seam on this side of the hammer head. Other than the seam, there aren’t any notable flaws on the official. For the bootleg though, the head of the hammer is very rough in places and my copy has a slop of paint in the middle of the flat surface. We’ve also got a couple of marks from the moulding process. Well, at least the bootleggers had the foresight to face these towards the back.

Edge:

https://i.ibb.co/BcWKNdY/hammer-edge.jpg

This time we have a defect on the official – part of the paint has been scraped off of the hammer, probably in transit. The paint is a lot smoother though than the bootleg, which has a bunch of knobbly marks from manufacture.

Base

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/CsJ6ybh/base.jpg

The official has the Q Posket logo and the bootleg has… nothing! The edging on the bootleg is much deeper on the bootleg, which is a bit of a trend reversal for moulding on bootleg figures. Can’t say it’s an improvement though. The bootleg base is also shinier than its official counterpart.
The bootleg base also has a very strange feature – a second hole. I have no idea why this is here, and it isn’t used for this figure, even in bootlegger’s photos of it. I do wonder if this is a previously bootlegged base that just happened to work for this figure or if it was an unintentional mistake when “designing” the base for production. If you’re wondering if the hammer can stand in the hole – the answer is no. Hole is far too big and top-heavy for that to work. Maybe if you stuffed some tack in it?
Both stands have pegs for her feet – both figures work fine on their respective bases.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/n7vHNRF/base-bottom.jpg

The official has a copyright mark, but interestingly only for Banpresto and not DC on this one.
Here you can clearly see the one peg hole on the official and the two on the bootleg. The bootleg also has a number “2” marking. I know Bandai has used numeral markings like this on trading figures to ensure parts stay grouped properly (all parts of a trading figure may have small numbers on them to denote what they belong to). This makes me wonder if this is a bootleg of an older Q Posket base, but these two were my first Q Poskets so I don’t have any of the older ones to compare.

These two bases would be hard to mix up. No Q Posket? Not a Q Posket.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/BG8zG2L/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/L0X4zfG/spin-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/D7XSzbg/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/r2rmKZD/spin-right.jpg

First thing to note – no, your eyes don’t deceive you – the bootleg has indeed been scaled down. This is why the hammer is smaller than the official – so it would fit this scaled down version of Harley. After the Catwoman Q Posket, it was a surprise to find this one was scaled down, especially for the tiny bit more it cost.
Also looks like the bootleggers only had some version of the figure to work off of – for the figure’s support they’ve gone for an inverted-L shaped post that pegs into the back of the figure, whilst Banpresto has gone for supporting her by the head. For me, the different support options have pros and cons – the hair stand type means you don’t have a hole in the figure, but the figure can be more unstable (though this is mostly alleviated by the foot pegs). The L-shaped stands tend to be better for stability and you can see more of the figure from the back, but you do have a hole in the figure to make the stand work.

Figure close-ups

Before I could photograph the figures I had to repair the bootleg:

https://i.ibb.co/L6h8zkg/bootleg-hair-break.jpg

She wasn’t packaged very well from the seller – not uncommon for figures from China – so her hair snapped in transit. A tiny bit of superglue and time to dry, and she’s ready to go.

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/S6RgRjx/face.jpg

Bootleg Harley’s been a bit heavy on the rouge, and has quite orange cheeks. She also has the appearance of being sweaty, thanks to the shiny plastic. The bootleg has fuller lips – I think the thinner lips suit her more, but they aren’t bad in of themselves.
The colours in the official’s eyes make the highlights more subtle than the highly contrasting lines in the bootleg’s iris. We’ve also got some actual shine on the official’s eyes that the bootleg lacks.
Most of the moulding is pretty much identical on the bootleg, but some has been lost on the strands of blue hair from her ponytail.
Overall, the paint on the bootleg’s face has actually been applied well, though giving her cheeks less highlight would improve it. If you’re familiar with these figures, the lack of shiny eyes would give away pretty quickly you’re looking at a bootleg.

Back of her head:

https://i.ibb.co/f96R5Qc/hair-back.jpg

Again, the bootleg has a shinier finish back here. Neither figure has a perfect hairline back here, and both leak some of the hair colour over to the other half. The official has the blue extending slightly into the red, and the bootleg is mostly the opposite.

Neck:

https://i.ibb.co/wYdqjy9/neck.jpg

Didn’t quite get the bootleg in focus here, sorry!
Honestly, I think both collars here could use some work, though at least for the official her neck hasn’t turned into full collar. The official I find a bit rough-looking and lumpy. The bootleg avoids that, but the finish makes it a bit like she’s wearing a jelly mould or something.
We can also see where the bootleggers haven’t tidied up the seam down here. Also the neck has a pointless recess for some reason, not sure what that’s about.

Chest:

https://i.ibb.co/sHkrvZJ/chest.jpg

OK, let’s start with the good – I like the ring on the official’s collar. The bootleg’s isn’t as nice but does the job.
Now onto the bodice – my official has a bunch of stray blue paint, and honestly, the painting feels rushed here. From a distance it doesn’t look too bad, but that stray red paint above the laces should really not be there. The difference in the body colour and the “skin” on the bodice looks OK at a distance, but if you’re holding the figure it does take on an odd appearance as it isn’t an exact match.
So let’s take a bit that looks a bit “eh”, and bootleg it… The black paint is a bit more of a mess, and that stupid red line is still there. The blue and red badly overlap on her right hand side, and the blue isn’t staying within the lines on her left. They’ve also used a white instead of an off-white making the bodice even more strange when looked at closely.

Legs:

https://i.ibb.co/S06FpSx/legs.jpg

Just above the bootleg’s belt we start off with a dot of stray red paint.
The official’s paint on the belt is a neater job that the bootleg, but the bootleg isn’t too far off. Both have minor paint flaws on the hot pants, and personally I prefer the way the bootleg’s holster straps were painted.
The tops of her stockings are rougher on the bootleg and we have stray red paint down the front the bootleg’s blue stocking. The ankle bands are much more neatly painted on the official, but we have paint spillage on both of the bootleg’s and official’s right foot.
The moulding is pretty bad on the sole of the bootleg’s right shoe – looks a bit like her sole’s falling apart.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/YpLx9VS/feet-side.jpg

The official wins hands down here – the paint is much neater and thicker on the official, keeping the contrast between the colours.

Top of the cape:

https://i.ibb.co/fDQBsc8/cape.jpg

My official one has a bit of stray blue paint – not so great. The shade of red is better on the official imo, but there really isn’t a lot in it. The bootleg’s cape isn’t free of flaws either – and there’s a small “nibble” on the edge of the cape.

Underside of the cape:

https://i.ibb.co/fHMnSjf/cape-underside.jpg

Yep, both blue down here. We can see the edge of the bootleg cape is a bit rough and the bottom is a bit shinier. Again, nothing major.

Conclusion

Looking at just the figures, they would be a bit hard to tell apart without them next to each other. However, if you’re familiar with the official figure, then the lack of shiny eyes would be a clue, along with the slightly shiny face.
With the base, it acts as a dead giveaway – the bootleg lacks the “Q Posket” branding, and has an extra hole for no apparent reason. Also the figure has a different stand type, so that would be an easy difference to pick up on.
Could this bootleg be recommended to someone who buys bootlegs? I’d say yes, as she’d still look cute on a shelf. She currently goes for ¥1,200 on Mandarake, which isn’t super-expensive, but the bootleg is stupidly cheap. Does come with a free plastic-y scent though which the official doesn’t have.
If you’re wondering why there was no headswap in this blog – that’s because I can’t. The head pegs don’t work either way around, so I’m afraid there’s no silly headswap pics. Would’ve looked funny with the different scales, oh well.

Official vs Bootleg: Banpresto Q Posket Catwoman

oday’s blog features Q Posket Catwoman. As this is a small figure without any box or accessories, there will be a “bonus” blog next week featuring another Q Posket bootleg I ordered at the same time.

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing
MSRP (without tax) – prize figures do not have an MSRP
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,393 (£13.00)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $3.77 (£2.93)

The official I bought unopened from Mandarake.

I ordered this bootleg as I was curious what I would get for the princely sum of £3. These small figures are usually sold without boxes in multilistings, so I decided to grab two and see how they turned out.

Base

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/2PMbbRH/bases-top.jpg

The bases from the top are very similar, with the holes and the logos in the same place. The writing is thicker on the bootleg, and came pre-dusty. The “Q” looks copied, then for the “posket” the bootleggers have seemingly picked a font they thought was similar enough. It isn’t very similar though – the characters are thicker and lack serifs (the sticky-out bits at the ends of letters).
The leaf pattern around the edges matches with the official, which is a mild surprise given the half-arsed font match on the top of the base.

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/jzQMD7C/bases-bottom.jpg

As is typical, the official has copyright markings and the bootleg has nothing. The construction also slightly differs between the two – the peg holders on the official are one solid piece with the base but on the bootleg we have a part inserted to form the bottom of the pegholders.

Overall, the bases are very similar. There are two tells here – no copyright on the base, and the incorrect font on the top of the base. So if you see these displayed at a con unboxed, the easiest trick of inverting it to look for copyright notices holds strong (n.b. if there is no copyright for a Q Posket on the bottom, this is a surefire tell of a bootleg, however the inverse doesn’t 100% prove it is official, as in some cases bootleggers will do their best to duplicate everything).

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/wwvqYCk/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/8jpF202/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/mJHhZ7R/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/JqyBmND/spin-left.jpg

Not too dissimilar with each other. The main things that stick out for me is the more transparent goggles on the bootleg and much more skin visible as you rotate the figure. We’ve also got variations in the finishes, where the bootleg is duller in some spots but shinier in others.
Oh, and the zipper. For some reason on my official, this now has a tendency to point straight out. It is flexible though, so it can be pushed down more into the intended position.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/hXcbwkg/face.jpg

The masked part of the bootleg’s head is less shiny than the official, which can be seen via the window reflected on her forehead.
Going to skip the goggle lenses for a sec – on the bottom of her goggles is a bit of silver plastic sticking out… resisting urge to go snip it. The silvery parts of her goggles are quite rough-edged when looked at up close. The official holds up well, even getting this up close and personal with it.
OK, back to those lenses. The tint is much better on the official and looks more in line with how Catwoman should be. The yellow on the bootleg isn’t strong enough and doesn’t give off the luminous yellow/orange vibe that Catwoman’s goggles should have.
Comparing the eyes on the figures, her left eye is markedly different and the iris & pupil are up much higher on the bootleg than the official’s. The lower parts of her eye are also off on their own journey, leaving some skin in her eye area and the lashes in the incorrect position. When not looked at up close, the defects in the eyes aren’t too distracting though.
Underneath her left eye, we also have some paint damage which is definitely visible at a distance and looks quite offputting. Catwoman isn’t usually in the habit of having her face marred, so it looks quite odd.
The lipstick is pretty solid for a bootleg, though we do have some stray lippy going just above her lips. Official Catwoman has gone for a matte lipstick, whilst the bootleg has gone for a glossy look.

Neck & chest area:

https://i.ibb.co/phzKkr2/zipper.jpg

OK, I think the obvious place to start here is… what’s happened with her chest?! The bootleg has been very much incorrectly assembled, and the chest area has been placed kind of on top of the jacket instead of recessed into it. To complete the mutant look, we have some yellowy skin paint slopped thickly over it. From the front, it’s harder to spot the error, but some angles look hilariously bad as it sticks over her collar.
Her collar has curled over more on the bootleg, and her zipper is in a flat, fixed position. The zipper pull on the bootleg can’t be moved without breaking it.
The zipper itself has lost a chunk of the moulding detail on the bootleg and doesn’t look as nice as the official, however the paint is correctly placed on both the official and bootleg.
Lastly, we have some glue slop on her jacket over her boobs, probably from attempting to glue the chest part in completely the wrong place.

Butt:

https://i.ibb.co/KWjWsGW/butt.jpg

Here we have more matte on the official and shiny on the bootleg. The official isn’t free of flaws, and we see some hairline markings in the plastic. However, the bootleg suffers much worse in this regard and has what looks like quite a scratched-up posterior when looked at up close. What is more visible to the naked eye though is the scratched paint that’s missing from her right buttcheek. That doesn’t look so good.
I think bootleg Catwoman got her catsuit from AliExpress, whilst the official Catwoman got hers from a much more quality store.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/M8qZgfv/feet.jpg

Pretty similar here, and the paint on her buckles is neat on both the bootleg and the official. The official we do have a little bit of flesh colour poking out – let’s take a closer look at that.

Pegs:
https://i.ibb.co/9GKsLhB/feet-pegs.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Nsr46qr/pegs-side.jpg

Honestly, this is one part where the bootleg I think is slightly better – having the black pegs means that the flesh colour can’t stick out by mistake. On the official, it’s supposed to let you know when you’ve shoved the pegs in fully, but it’s a bit awkward (at least on mine) which leaves a bit of a line visible on my official. It’s not a huge deal to me though.

OK, let’s pop her head off:

https://i.ibb.co/17FBsHc/neck.jpg

This figure starts of as three separate parts – head, body and base, which is typical for Q Poskets so her head is removable.
The bootleg’s collar has been painted not very well at all – the black paint isn’t dedicated to be either on the outward facing side or all the way over the top, as per the official. We’re missing some of the black paint on the bottom of the collar on the bootleg too, which ruins the look of the collar. Whoever was doing silver paint did a good job, though. Credit to silver paint guy.
For the official, the skin parts are just the colour of the plastic, the bootleg it’s all painted, which probably wasn’t the best idea but possibly cheaper than getting the right colour of plastic.
Overall, the paint on the bootleg here does nothing to alleviate the incorrect assembly.

Bottom of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/G73jvB7/head-bottom.jpg

Bootleggers missed this copyright marking. Here there isn’t much difference between the two – some extra black paint slop on the bootleg. The band is a lighter silver on the bootleg, but this isn’t too noticeable unless you have both of them together.

Whilst we have them headless, let’s do a headswap:

https://i.ibb.co/QDGb4hr/head-swap.jpg

Yep, you can do this. Not entirely sure why you’d want to though, as the face and body of the bootleg are pretty flawed.
Also this is similar how I had the official displayed before I got the bootleg… initially I thought my official base was defective, but then I realised she’s supposed to be looking sideways when both sets of peg holes on the bases turned out to be the same, d’oh! So I have the bootleg to thank for that!

Conclusion

All in all, I’d say you get your £3’s worth out of the bootleg. It’s definitely flawed but… £3. That’s less than 4 American bucks. You can currently get the official version of this figure much cheaper than I bought it (is ¥600 at time of writing on Mandarake), so I’d recommend just buying the official currently for anyone vaguely interested in it.
Telling them apart is pretty easy, thanks to the manufacturing mistake with the chest, and the more transparent goggles. And if you’re still not sure, turning the figure over will reveal a lack of copyright on the base of the bootleg. So a pretty easy one to avoid if seen in the wild.

Official vs Bootleg: FREEing Red Pyramid Thing (figma)

Time for something horror-themed… in more ways than one. When I bought the bootleg to feature in this series I wasn’t intentionally hunting for it, but the photos I saw of the bootleg made me buy it. So let’s see what horrors I manage to uncover.

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥4,444
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,000 (£28.13)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $16.20 (£12.58)

I bought the official figure secondhand whilst visiting Japan.

Box

This bootleg came with the box, which was interestingly folded around the inner plastic. Not entirely sure why they did that, seeing as it doesn’t take up less space to do so. I guess they didn’t want to take the time to shove the blister into the box.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/XW4DCTq/box-front.jpg

The bootleg box from the front is a straight-up photocopy of the original. The colouring is a bit off, but hard to tell anything’s amiss from the box front if you don’t have the original next to it. Ignoring the figure, the main difference here is we don’t have a backing card for the figure – in the official box we have a sheet of red card, in the bootleg, nothing.
The bootleg box also looks like it had a trip around the warehouse floor with its fine layer of dirt before it made its way to me.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/PG2xQKN/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wsZ0NZP/box-left.jpg

Again, the sides are a mildly inferior copy. Here it is more obvious though, with the skin colour being markedly different than what it should be. The other parts also show colour differences, but it isn’t as distinct as the arm colour imo.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/ssDXLkQ/box-back.jpg

Here is where the print quality issues are most apparent. Looks like Pyramid Thing is attempting to hide in the shadows on the bootleg box promo shots. However, being a direct copy it would likely fool less experienced collectors.
My copy of the bootleg box has a massive crease down the back from being folded in transit. Also no tape of any kind.

Box ends:
https://i.ibb.co/P4KDd6c/box-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/WvX65jk/box-bottom.jpg

Print quality is the same as the sides. Nothing new to report here.

Flaps:
https://i.ibb.co/mbvGpY0/box-flaps.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/RC3Rmfr/boxes-open.jpg

Ended up with the boxes the wrong way around in the first photo… swore I remembered to switch them as I knew I’d rotate the photo… apparently not. Again, as with the Alien figma, the flap shape is different, though there is no difference in what’s printed on there this time.
Upon opening the box, the official has the card insert present but the bootleg does not.

Accessories

This figure comes with a decent number of accessories for an SP release.

Let’s start off with the hands:
https://i.ibb.co/mh8j5Cx/hand-trees.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/SfsZDcr/hand-trees-under.jpg

For the hand tree, the official comes with a figma-branded white tree, but the bootleg comes with a clear, bubbly tree.
For the bootleg, we have the same hands as the official. The casting is mostly OK on the bootlegs, but we do have some seams that have been tidied up on the official. The part that the bootleg hands fall down is the paint – the reddish brown wash is much too harsh and makes it look like the bootleg hands are carved from stone or something, instead of wearing latex gloves.

Knife:
https://i.ibb.co/NtFbgXc/knives-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/BGXQBcn/knives-back.jpg

The bootleg knife is actually pretty decent. If someone switched the knife on my official figure, I’m not sure I would notice until I looked closely.
We do have some difference in appearance between the two – the paint on the blade and hilt is less even and the blade edge is less smooth on the bootleg.
The knives are both the same size (any apparent difference in the photos is an optical illusion of them not being aligned properly).

Spear pole:

https://i.ibb.co/7Wpp2R2/spear-pole.jpg

The bootleg one came with a quite severe bend to it, and the paint is a lighter shade. The paint isn’t quite as good on the bootleg, but not very noticeably bad.

Spear pole peg:

https://i.ibb.co/9gF21xm/spear-pole-end.jpg

Here, the official is unpainted and, for some asinine reason, the bootleg has a painted peg. This makes the peg into a funny shape, and means the bootleg spear cannot be assembled – I tried, I tried and I tried again. Wasn’t happening. The spear tip would just drop off straight away.

Spear tip:

https://i.ibb.co/bJ3czYX/spear-tips.jpg

Here the spear differs noticeably – the official has a dark silver metal-coloured tip and the bootleg is black. Bootleg moulding is also a bit shaky, leading the edges of the spear tip to be uneven and rough. Not that the flaws on the bootleg matter much, when it isn’t usable with the spear shaft.

Spear neck:

https://i.ibb.co/LhzXwJx/neck-piece-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Qmvd8QF/neck-piece-back.jpg

This figure comes with a pretty neat action feature featuring this neck piece – you can have him speared in the neck, using the hole provided. There will be some images of this action feature later in the blog.
For the neck piece itself, we can instantly see a difference in colour – the flesh tone is paler on the bootleg and the lower half is more cream than grey. The neckline on the bootleg has also been painted much higher and the neck paint is very thin, allowing the grey/cream paint to show through in spots. If that wasn’t economical enough with the paint, the bootleg neck piece isn’t painted on the inside, unlike the official.
Lastly, the bootleg comes with a joint of its very own, unlike the bootleg. The official also had a protective plastic piece in the top, to prevent damage to the hole.

The accessories on the bootleg are very hit and miss. The knife is decent, but the spear is a definite miss, with the large bend in it and the whole fact it can’t be assembled without modifying the spear shaft. The neck piece doesn’t look too bad, though is definitely lower in quality.

Base

https://i.ibb.co/C9qpcmM/bases-side.jpg

From the side, the bootleg is an inferior copy of the official. The typical air bubbles can definitely be seen in the bootleg copy. Also a slightly different clear plastic, which doesn’t have the same tint as the official.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/Xbk93XR/base-bottom-top.jpg

We have the “figma” logo and tagline replicated here.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/nMgbZqw/base-bottom-bottom.jpg

Official has the copyright for the figure, and, unsurprisingly, the bootleg does not, leaving this as probably the biggest tell this is not an official stand. Here we can also see a rough end on the stand arm – typically bootleggers don’t sand the nubs off of stands when clipped out from a sprue.

The bootleg stand is pretty typical for a bootleg figma, with its air bubbles and lack of copyright. The base does feel cheaper than an official one, but would do the job to replace a broken stand.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/PzLmvD6/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/TmQ6xH2/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/NWSXYHR/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/3FV8wv1/spin-left.jpg

And here we get to see why I found this bootleg entertaining – poor ol’ bootleg Pyramid Thing seems to have been out in the sun too long and got sunburned. Though he did manage to save some of his arms going by the colour of the joints…
The other major difference that stands out to me is the yellowy colouring on his clothes. Also the bootleg’s clothing is very sticky – likely plasticiser leaking out, as it’s the same kind of stickiness. Whatever it is, it makes the bootleg unpleasant to handle.

Figure close-ups

Head:

https://i.ibb.co/h9NPB26/noggin.jpg

Here, the official captures the grimy, red metal… thing quite well. Bootleg, not so much as some of the detail has been lost, especially towards the bottom. The paint colour is also a bit off, feels more brick red to me, though it still captures the pyramid thing vibe decently well.

OK, downhill from here. Let’s get into this horror.
Brain from the back:

https://i.ibb.co/ryFgr72/brain.jpg

The shading has been done well on the official, giving a creepy, leaking brain appearance, with bonus rusty nail.
The bootleg gives off an orange Silly Putty vibe, with a black plastic peg nailed into it. Not quite the horror we were going for.

Front of the apron:

https://i.ibb.co/k1pVM1L/apron.jpg

Let’s start off with the rips – on the official they’re done decently well, not perfect, but the red paint is mostly where it should be and you can tell what it is supposed to be. On the bootleg, we have the most halfarsed attempt ever on the upper half, making it look like he’s had an accident with a red marker pen. Lower half is a better attempt, but with the blood mostly missing the holes, it looks like blood spatter rather than the intended gashes in his clothing.
The silver buckles haven’t been painted on the bootleg and are instead the same as the rest of his clothing. Also the paint is really uneven on the bootleg – his skirt doesn’t match his upper half, thanks to the very different applications of the paint between the halves, making the upper half look much more yellowy.
The bootleg’s upper half has ended up slightly lower down, which may’ve been caused by the internal joints not being quite the same as the official’s.
Lastly, the top of the bootleg’s skirt hasn’t been cut correctly, leaving it a wobbly mess and starting higher up on his body. The official has been cut to match the middle torso part, and does so well.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/n1CF4h4/back.jpg

The bloody carved holes in the clothing don’t look good on the back of the bootleg either, but at least they’re pretty much in the right spots this time.
The straps over his shoulders have been done in an OK shade of brown on the bootleg, but lacks the shading of the original. The belt buckles are nowhere as nicely painted as the official though.
With the zipper on the back of the official, it extends to the middle of his back, just above the hole whilst on the bootleg, it only extends down to the upper back joint, and then they forgot to paint the rest of it. Not a big issue, and one that’s essentially dwarfed by the yellowy-creamy colour he’s been painted with.

Closer look at the straps:

https://i.ibb.co/bmfh7tX/upper-back.jpg

Yeah, things don’t get better for the bootleg up close. The straps have seemingly been flattened to the body on the bootleg, and there’s body paint on the tips of the straps.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/YtHMgsG/feet.jpg

The bootleg definitely misses out on the finish of the official, and the moulding is really poor here. We’ve got extra bits of plastic, and the front part of the toes just doesn’t fit on very well, especially when compared to the official. However, the toe joints do function, which can be a rarity with bootlegs. The ankle joints are also visible from the front on the bootleg, which adds to the uglier foot look.

Let’s see if these feet can dance:

https://i.ibb.co/LCsPLj7/splits.jpg

Yep, both can do limited splits of about the same angle. Both are restricted by the skirt of the dress – whilst it does flex some, it’s not enough to allow free movement.

Knees:

https://i.ibb.co/G9ZztGB/crotch.jpg

The joints look like the same type, but are slightly different colours. The bootleg joints are slightly concerning though as there is a distinct gap in the joint – these could eventually split and come apart. Also the “modesty panel” on his skirt on the bootleg has a lack of cream paint to match the rest of his skirt. Not a big issue, as you don’t usually look down here.

Outside of the arms:

https://i.ibb.co/kMCwygS/arm.jpg

Man, that skin texture on the bootleg is just awful.
The official has some nice shading, and is around about right for what I think his skin colour should be. We also have some of his glove on his wrist, to complete the look of the gloves.
And the bootleg… oh my, the bootleg. You could almost pass this off as a black version of Pyramid Head, if it wasn’t for the poor quality of the darker shading which makes him look diseased or burned. They’ve also neglected to paint the part of his glove on his arm, giving him a bit of a mutant arm look. Lastly, we have a fairly clear mould line running down the length of his upper arm.

Inside of the arm:

https://i.ibb.co/Px48jsS/arm-joints.jpg

On the official, they have selected arm joints that match up reasonably well with the arm colour. For the bootleg, did they pick paint to match the joints? No. Joints to match the paint? No. Instead we have these very light skin tone joints that don’t match in the slightest. Not sure what they were thinking with this one, even for a bootleg. The bootleg joints don’t look to be very high quality – the lower one seems to be splitting already and plenty of extra plastic on the shoulder joint. Initially I thought these joints did differ on the bootleg, but on close inspection, they are the same, it’s just the bootleg ones are slightly mutant from poor production quality.
Again, he’s looking very much seared in the skin department, almost leathery. The hairlines and poor reproduction of the details on the upper arm end up reinforcing something bad has happened to this poor Pyramid Head. He probably deserved it though.

Shoulder:

https://i.ibb.co/5W7Rq3b/shoulder-joint.jpg

These photos I could’ve made a closer match I found out after the photoshoot… but the bootleg’s joints are a bit harder to manipulate, leading me to accidentally believe it didn’t have the same joint inside. The bootleg will articulate upwards and hide the shoulder joint though. However, this photo does show that if you do want the arm in a lower position on the bootleg it will look silly anyway due to the joint colour.
This photo is taken of his left side from the back – on this side my bootleg isn’t quite assembled correctly, leaving a gap between the skin and his dress which looks really odd close up. This area is all odd and misshapen, but this area doesn’t usually show much on display.

OK, now for some accessory testing! Let’s exchange some hands:

https://i.ibb.co/NstMrQy/hand-peg.jpg

Here the joints do differ – the bootleg has a black joint, whilst the official matches the grey of the gloves. The black peg is also hewn off quite badly, and lacks the retaining ring that the official has. That ring is pretty important – it holds the hands on once assembled. For my bootleg, the left hands fall off very easily.

OK, new hands:

https://i.ibb.co/YcnjhF1/hand-swap.jpg

The bootleg’s hands went on OK, just the aforementioned issue that one of them will fall off pretty easily when handling the figure. The black joint isn’t so bad on the bootleg, due to the improper painting of the hands, but it does sort of make his hands look stubby to me.
If it wasn’t for the poor paint job, these would be an OK set of hands.

Let’s do a neck change now:

https://i.ibb.co/4sttBLQ/bootleg-neck-and-joint.jpg

Uh, that’s not supposed to happen. That joint is supposed to stay in his head. OK, some hard shoving should get this back in…
Hrngh, hrngh:

https://i.ibb.co/rmYW0QB/bootleg-broken-hole.jpg

… bollocks. The joint was an extremely tight fit, and the glue gave out before the ball would go back in. Yay, broken bootleg with no real way of repairing it! However, the review must go on!

Whilst we have the heads off, let’s compare the paint underneath in more detail:

https://i.ibb.co/L8X93H5/head-underneath.jpg

I do really like the fleshy-brainy texture they managed to produce on the official one.
The bootleg I’m not entirely sure what they were going for, and I’m not sure they were sure either. The orange and yellow doesn’t seem reminiscent of anything, so it’s almost like his head was stuffed with something rather than being brain. We’ve also got a really ugly seam line that isn’t present on the official.

Inside of the neck:

https://i.ibb.co/ZH8Cyvj/neck-holes.jpg

Here the official has gone the extra mile and the inside of the neck is painted with a skin texture, even though this part isn’t usually visible due to Pyramid Thing’s large head. Bootleggers saw the opportunity to use less paint, and left it black.

Let’s see if the bootleg spear is good for something:

https://i.ibb.co/s6SjrKg/bootleg-stabbed-nohead.jpg

Huh, it actually does manage to clip into the neck. Just a shame his head will no longer stay on.

Both stabbed Pyramid Things:

https://i.ibb.co/mtz4h0P/neck-pole.jpg

Both work fine with their respective accessory. And this allows me to have the bootleg’s head balanced on his body, so hey, extra utility.

Let’s go for some final posing!

https://i.ibb.co/680FyKx/posed.jpg

The official holds his weapons well, in whatever pose you would like. Poor bootleg can only use his spear to stab himself, though he can hold his knife OK. Oh, and is now permanently headless thanks to the broken headpiece.

Articulation

The official doesn’t have any distinct articulation issues, though the head won’t rotate fully due to the brain parts fouling on the shoulders. However, I’d very much take that instead of a head that breaks.
My official figure passes a “flop test” (grab the upper torso of a figure and shake) with flying colours – nothing rattles around. My bootleg nearly passes, and only the upper torso joint waggles around. Overall, the joints on the bootleg work, with nothing too stiff to move or too loose to pose. However, the head breaking is massive minus points, and if you do a full ab crunch, the torso on mine pops off at the lower joint, which doesn’t happen on my official. The torso will pop back on fairly easily though.
Not sure how long the bootleg’s joints will last – I wouldn’t want to handle this guy roughly if I was keeping him, but they have all stayed intact for this review.

Conclusion

The bootleg could’ve been OK for a bootleg if it wasn’t for the head joint breaking and the bizarre paint job on the skin. If you were making a horror diorama, and wanted some dismembered arms, the bootleg’s could fit the bill. Weapons would also work with a horror diorama. If you bought the bootleg to display, you’d have to be pretty picky with the posing so that the horrible non-matching joints didn’t show.
As far as telling these apart, looking at the contents of the box would very quickly tell you if you’re looking at the official. If you were just looking at the box, someone could be easily duped as there’s no super-clear tells (e.g. missing manufacturer logos) that tell you something’s wrong.
Would I recommend this one to someone who happily buys bootlegs? Ehhh. Definitely not the worst bootleg you could buy, but does have some significant flaws. You’d have to be happy with the mediocre paint job and not using the spear accessory. It could be possible to modify the peg to work with the spearhead, but replacing the neck for the special part can result in a broken bootleg.

Medusa vs. Medusa: Sega & Banpresto

Time for something slightly different… a “bonus” blog, comparing two Medusa (aka Rider) prize figures. For a Fate character, Medusa’s been a bit shafted in the figure department – most of her figures are from 2010 or earlier. Then after an 8-year drought, a figure was released! Aaaand it was a mediocre bunny by Funnyknights. Then a few figures of her Fate/Grand Order appearance, which I’m personally not fond of.
Then we get… two prize figures! I’ll take what I can get! There were some debates of which people favoured, but me being me, I went for both.

This blog is intended as a one-off – mostly to compare these two figures and an excuse to use some new photography lights I’ve recently purchased.

Pricing

Due to the weird shipping situation, I’m going to quote prices without shipping for this blog.
Price I paid for Sega SPM Rider: ¥1,800
Price I paid for Banpresto EXQ Rider: ¥800

The Banpresto figure was opened, so I got it cheaper than the current market value (~¥1,500). Sega’s can now be had for around ¥1,200 plus shipping – I was rather overeager to get it, so ended up paying a bit more to not risk missing out. Wasn’t sure how popular she was going to be, seeing as it had been a long time since a F/SN Medusa figure had been released.

Promo shots

This is the main images we had to go on, prior to the actual release:
https://i.ibb.co/bg82hQp/promo-shots.png

Much was left up to the imagination, how would the flowing hair work? What kind of stands would they have? What would the final paint finish be like?

Bases

Here are the bases disassembled:

https://i.ibb.co/FVDDH03/base-parts.jpg

The Sega one has three parts to support the diving pose, whilst the Banpresto’s is just two with a support for her hair.

Assembled:

https://i.ibb.co/K9XPpzK/bases-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/BVtD0Gj/bases-top.jpg

Both are very sticky-uppy. I prefer Sega’s base, as it is clear and has a nice logo on it. Banpresto can have a consolation point for being less of a space hog, though.

Figure assembly

The Sega figure comes in several parts, unlike the Banpresto one:

https://i.ibb.co/G9Kq8Nz/sega-pieces.jpg

As she is reasonably sizeable once assembled, this does help her fit into a smaller box than she otherwise would.

The Sega one also has hands posed to slot her weapons into:

https://i.ibb.co/JFMyM4b/hand-slots.jpg

Her weapons fit fairly snugly into these holes, and don’t feel in danger of dropping out. The head on mine though can be a tiny bit pesky about falling out when moving her around though.

Pegs:

https://i.ibb.co/tQzh07W/foot-pegs.jpg

The Sega one comes pre-attached to her foot stand, whilst the Banpresto has an extra-long peg to push into the base. So Banpresto fully took advantage of giving her an opaque base here. Both of these provide a sturdy attachment point to keep the figure on the base.

Figure spin-around

This photo was done after the photoshoot, attempting to capture the viewing angles that I believe the manufacturers were aiming for:

https://i.ibb.co/0CgxM6j/spin-actual-fronts.jpg

And here’s a spin-around of other angles:

https://i.ibb.co/6P4zwXS/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/9NT1HX8/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Fs2DWSM/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/r4kgKT5/spin-left.jpg

Both are dynamically posed, the Sega one moreso than the Banpresto one. In terms of display, I think the Banpresto one is more flexible in where you can place it versues eye-level, but the pose is more eye-catching and different on Sega’s.
The hair stand is definitely less obtrusive on Sega’s, but Banpresto’s doesn’t look as bad as I thought it might, and the intended display angle does help hide it to some extent.

Close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/M1CCd2T/face.jpg

The rune on her forehead looks different on both – though to me, they both look slightly off in different ways. The Banpresto one is a bit too thick and not quite elongated enough whilst the Sega one feels a bit closer, but has been squeezed vertically, leaving it slightly misshapen.
With the masks, the Sega one has had the dots painted silver, whilst this was skipped on the Banpresto one. Also I think Sega’s is closer to her intended mask colour, especially in contrast to her hair.
Her nose and lips are more prominent on Sega’s, which I personally prefer. However, I can see people being a fan of the Banpresto one, as it has a more anime-ish vibe to it.

Hair seams:

https://i.ibb.co/cD9RNnJ/hair-seams.jpg

Here they both show their prize figure roots (…geddit?) and have pretty visible seamlines in their hair. Sega’s has a bit more gap in it, but you really need to be looking at the figure at specific angles to notice it. The Banpresto ones are a bit more noticeable, if you’re looking closely at the figure as they’re very much there when looking at her from the back or the top.
With the moulding, they’re both pretty typical for prizes, and do lack some of the detail a scale would have, but look fine for their price point.

Hair mass:

https://i.ibb.co/XXTprgg/hair-bulk.jpg

Here we can see the Sega one has some painted shading. The light/shadow on the Banpresto’s hair is all thanks to the lighting – picking it up and inspecting it makes it pretty obvious there’s no shading details on it. With her intended viewing angle, it’s not much of an issue, but looking at her from behind she does look rather flat if there isn’t strong lighting on her.

Hair supports:

https://i.ibb.co/RvSgmLP/stand-sega.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/BcPftNC/stand-banpresto.jpg

The Sega one does a good job of hiding in her hair, but the Banpresto one does a fair bit more supporting. It clips onto her hair to some extent, which will prevent it sagging over time. The Sega one is a bit more of a pain to position the hair onto, and I do wonder if the hair will slip a bit over time.
Both have super-flexible plastic hair, so they definitely do need these supports to not eventually sag.

Dress:

https://i.ibb.co/mFDdpm8/dress.jpg

Both of these aren’t the best executed in my opinion,. I think the sculpts are OK for the black part of the dress, but both are let down by the band. The Sega one has a fat band of plastic that just looks odd and the Banpresto one hasn’t been painted well. The Sega one kinda gets away with it as this part is mostly hidden due to her pose. The Banpresto one doesn’t so much as it is up front and centre. I suspect most of the Banpresto ones will have similar paint flaws based upon previous prize figure experiences.
At least a couple of the purple paint transfers on the Banpresto one are from her hair – it took a bit to get her hair in the right places, and it did scrape one of her boobs. These tiny flecks aren’t uncommon on prize figures though, even without the figure scraping on itself.
With positioning of the hair – the Banpresto one came a bit misshapen, but was fairly easily bent back into the display pose that seems to be intended by the prototype pictures. For both of these figures, I wouldn’t be surprised if they both need their hair sorting if they’ve been in their box for awhile due to the plastic used.

Armband:

https://i.ibb.co/WzmhXy1/arm-decoration.jpg

The Banpresto one has diamonds, whilst the Sega one just has dots. Points to the Banpresto one here.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/tpBTGXN/foot.jpg

The purple detail looks better on the Banpresto one, as they have painted the line to separate the parts. The shape of it also feels a bit more refined than the Sega one.

Sega Medusa getting stabby:

https://i.ibb.co/QX31Tts/weapon.jpg

One feature that attracted me to the Sega one was the fact she had her weapons. They look decent for prize quality, and flow well with her pose. Her fingers have a bit misshapen plastic though on mine…

Chain running through her hair:

https://i.ibb.co/Wvs98LB/sega-hair-weap.jpg

With the flexibility of her hair you can choose to have the chain running underneath some of the strands if you wish to give her a bit more of a dynamic feel. Or you can have the chains outside of her hair if you don’t want to be worrying she’s about to tangle herself up.

Conclusion

Both are decent prize figures, but do have the flaws prize figures do. The shading is definitely limited, especially on the Banpresto figure, and both have parts that aren’t as neat as a scale would be. Her simple character design is fairly suited to being a prize figure though, which helps both prize figures look decent.
I think the Sega one is much closer to its prototype image – the hair seems to have changed a fair bit before production of the Banpresto one, as well as the surprise white hair stand. Whilst you could heat the hair up and position it closer to the prototype image, it’ll likely clump back together again due to the flexible plastic. I’d also expect her hair to sag down eventually over time if the hair stand piece isn’t used. A clear hair stand piece would’ve been appreciated, but not unexpected, as it would’ve added additional cost to the figure to have another plastic type in there.
If you collect Medusa figures, I think both are decent for their price point. If you had to pick one of the two, I think it falls down to personal preference – the Banpresto one would more easily fit into a collection, but the Sega one has a much more unique pose though it does come at the cost of being harder to find a placement that looks good. For me, I have the Sega one displayed “jumping down” from an upper shelf.
If I had to pick between the two, I would likely pick the Sega one – I love her attacking pose, and the stand is nicer, though slightly less functional for holding her hair up over time. Seeing as I don’t have to pick… I will be proudly displaying both :).