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.

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