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.

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