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.

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