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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.