Official vs Bootleg: Play Arts Kai Xenomorph Spitter

Seeing as Alien Day is just around the corner, I’ve decided to group together my blogs connected to the franchise. This blog is part 1 of a 3-part series.

This bootleg figure was one that intrigued me by the pictures – the title of this one said “action figure” and “model toy”, with the images looking not very articulated. So with the curiosity of what exactly I was going to get, I shoved this one in my basket.

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

A bit like comparing apples and oranges here, but I’ll include the prices anyway.

MSRP (without tax): ¥8,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £59.99
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $18.83 (£14.68)

For the official, I bought it in the aftermarket (from a UK retailer – Zavvi)

Now, let’s get the less intriguing bit out of the way…

Base

https://i.ibb.co/gw3Bch5/stands-side.jpg

Here we can see the the bootleg base is a very close replica of the official one, only in black plastic. There is one major flaw with the bootleg though – and that’s the part with the hexagonal holes is made from a flexible plastic. If the stand is in use, this is fine, but trying to pull the damn thing apart to adjust it is a serious pain.

Grabber:

https://i.ibb.co/mzjVj5F/stand-top.jpg

Not much to say here. Works, does the job.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/1J9mqnC/bases-bottom.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/8YMmsg5/bases-underneath.jpg

The official one (if you look verryyy closely) has a Play Arts Kai logo on the top at the front, and has a copyright statement underneath the support stand. Bootleg is flat black.

Figure

OK! Now for the exciting bit! Let’s see our friends side-by-side!

https://i.ibb.co/FHxYjxp/pak-both.jpg

Here’s me (poorly) trying to get them in roughly the same pose. Indeed the bootleggers have made a static statue based on an articulated figure!

Side of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/2SzPJR8/head-bubbles.jpg

Let’s start by comparing one of the most iconic parts of this figure’s design – the yellow sacs on the side of its head, presumably storing up acid to spit. The official has some texture behind the transparent plastic, whilst the bootleg seemingly has nothing and a more translucent plastic instead. Definitely preferring the look of the official here. We can also see how the light shines off the head of the official, but not so much on the bootleg – the bootleg has a much more matte finish throughout.
With the paint, the bootleg is sporting a much brighter crest, and lacks the green colouration underneath his head, next to the backmost sac.

Top of the head:

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

Whilst the texturing has been replicated on the back of the alien’s head, the paint and spikes leave something to be desired. With the paint, we can see it is much too contrasting and isn’t blended as neatly as the official. The spikes have also been blunted and not painted properly, plus we have some line defects in the moulding (mostly to the left of the spikes). A lot of the edges/ridges on the official have been highlighted with the blue colour, but if we look to the back of his head, we’ll see where the bootleg has missed these off. This is pretty much a constant through this figure.

Mouth:

https://i.ibb.co/7y5t2wY/gnashers.jpg

Looking at the figure’s head is definitely where the lack of shiny finish definitely shows. Again, the blue shading lacks the subtlety of the original, but the teeth paint is OK. Not amazing, but decent enough. The protrusions from the sides of his head have lost some of the moulding definition, but are actually pointed.
And now for one thing the bootleg mouth can’t do:

https://i.ibb.co/kGh1spr/official-mouth-articulated.jpg

Pfft, what’s an Alien figure when it can’t extend its inner mouth?! Major negative points for the bootleg :P.

Underside of head:

https://i.ibb.co/kH7NqV2/under-head.jpg

Bit hard to get the same angle, when you can’t articulate one of the figures…
No paint detail down here on the bootleg, though the official paintwork isn’t much to write home about. The details on the bootleg are a bit less defined here, but isn’t massively noticeable unless you have them side by side like this.

Back ‘spikes’:

https://i.ibb.co/D93XsSz/back-spikes-side.jpg

The paint is roughly applied here on the bootleg – a quick go-over with a brush it seems. The official has some subtle additions with the blue paint, but nothing that really stands out. Interestingly, the official has a decent amount of blue on the back but the bootleggers have opted to ignore this and just leave it black.

Now for the official does what the bootleg don’t.
Here we have the stuck-together cluster of the bootleg’s back spikes:

https://i.ibb.co/2NHrt64/bootleg-back-spines.jpg

And the articulatedness of the official:

https://i.ibb.co/yVhY4Qq/official-back-spikes-articluated.jpg

The bootleg wouldn’t be so bad around here if they actually posed the back spikes in a pleasing arrangement, instead of letting them get all squished up and calling it a day.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/RD5K79w/fronts.jpg

Apparently I didn’t do any proper close-ups of their chests and arms, so here I’ll talk about them. The chest paint is actually decent on the bootleg – it lacks some of the fine blue shading, but the yellow is decently done, even if it is a bit brighter than the official. The sculpting seems to have been replicated OK, and this is probably the part that has been done the best, compared to the original.
The posing of the arms is decent enough, but the head being in that odd angle I’m not so fond of.

Leg:

https://i.ibb.co/7R92C0t/leg.jpg

Yeah, can tell this is one of the first set of photoshoots… Again, we have the overly bright blue paint detail on the knee spikes. The joints have been decently removed, though he does have some cankle going on. I don’t like the stance of the legs on the bootleg though – he feels far too upright for an alien. I think he’d look far better if he was crouching slightly, instead of looking a bit like he’s peeking over the edge of a cubicle wall after hearing his name.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/xqg2XFj/feet.jpg

More heavyhandedness with the blue paint. With the official, we have silver toenails and the bootleg’s are simply blobbed-on white. Much prefer the paint detailing on the official.

Now for the tail. When I first opened the box for this figure, it was broken into two, as the plastic is kinda brittle. Here is a picture with the repair highlighted:

https://i.ibb.co/JcrTyzW/tail-break.jpg

It wasn’t had to repair, but annoying. With the tail being a thin part, it’s not terribly surprising it snapped in transit, especially with not being packaged properly.

Full tail:

https://i.ibb.co/55QcWfS/tail-full.jpg

The official is on a wire, so bends freely. The bootleg is stuck in the pose you’re given. Unless you want to botch repairing it. You can use the bootleg’s to balance the figure without the stand, as pictured. With the bootleg, they’ve highlighted the outer edges, which isn’t at all present on the official.

Tail base:

https://i.ibb.co/nwWRZvF/tail-base-closeup.jpg

Here we can see the official is attached on a large ball joint. The bootleg one is a large peg, and simply slots in. Assembly wasn’t the smoothest thing, and I seem to recall heating the peg hole to make it go in for the first time. Fits in OK, once it is in there.

Tip of the tail:

https://i.ibb.co/B29TVCx/tail-tip.jpg

Here we see the bootleg’s tail is very much stunted at the bottom, though I think this happened in transit. Battle damage. Again, what’s with the weird paint highlights?
The official tail tip also has an articulation feature that the bootleg doesn’t have:

https://i.ibb.co/kHffbb4/tail-articulated.jpg

So the official can sideswipe things if you want him too :).

Finally, some photos of things you can do with the official, that the bootleg very much won’t do:

https://i.ibb.co/GvXKkYX/crouching-alien.jpg

Hewwo!:

https://i.ibb.co/bQkJ7Ww/bum-peek.jpg

Conclusion

With the total and utter lack of articulation, there’s no mixing this bootleg up with the official. I don’t think this bootleg is a very good figure at all, with the poor posing choices. They could’ve made some better articulation choices before “freezing” it in place, especially with the back spikes melded into pretty much a singular blob. Even if someone wanted a statue of this figure, I wouldn’t recommend this bootleg to them.
Having a black PAK stand is kind of neat, but the poor plastic choice does spoil it somewhat – especially as some PAKs can be a right pain to pose and can often result in altering the stand a couple of times to get it just right.

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