Month: October 2020

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.


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.


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:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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:
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.

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:
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.


For the bootleg without the box, this is how she came:
Yeah, not exactly an attractive display.

If we open up the containing bag, we get these bags:
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… 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:
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.

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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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’:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.


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.

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:

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?
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.

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.

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:
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:
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:
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.

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:
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.

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.

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.

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:
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:
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.

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:
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.
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:
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:
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:

Now to wrap them around her arm…
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:
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:
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:
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:
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!
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?

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:
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:
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:
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.


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.


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:
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:
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.


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:
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
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


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.


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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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.


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.


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?


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:

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:

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.


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:

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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:
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).

Ignoring the colour, these are a match.

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.


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.

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:
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:
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:
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:
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.

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.


An essential accessory for most Nendoroids – let’s take a look how the bootleggers did with this one.
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.

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.

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:
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.
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:
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:
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.

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.

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.

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:
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:
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.

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:
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.

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:
Again, less precision in the moulding, but is similar other than that.

Downside to the less precise moulding:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.


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.


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.


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.

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


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.


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


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


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

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


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.


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:

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:

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:

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.


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.


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:

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:

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.


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.


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:

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.


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.