Time for the articulated clones of the Parfom figures! First one I’m going to cover is Ayanami Rei as she’s best girl. Obviously. Yes. No other choices.
If you’re interested in the non-articulated bootleg, the article about them can be found here.
MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥7,242 (£51.55)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $12.80 (£10.42)
The official I bought from Ninoma. Déjà vu yet?
These figures are a lot more similar than the non-articulated ones, including the box.
Instead of the Parfom logo and tagline we have a NERV logo – a thematic replacement – whilst the Phat logo has just been straight-up removed.
Moving to the bottom-left, the “PARFOM” text has had its font changed and is now in sentence case. Looking at the model number, this is prefixed with a “F” on the bootleg. We have “Shin Seiki Evangelion” written out, instead of being stylised. And no authenticity sticker. In the bottom right, instead of a credit to the sculptor we have Rei’s name in English transliteration.
The official box has a premium texture and pattern to it whilst the bootleg is a flat blue.
On this side, the model number has been dropped and the text changed to list “Shin Seiki Evangelion” and Ayanami’s English name. Interestingly, the photo on the bootleg box has been lowered so the text doesn’t overlap. The bootleg’s image is too light, and is a bit lower quality than the official but definitely not as bad as other bootleg boxes. We are also missing the “Evangelion Shin Seiki” text from the bottom.
This side the photo doesn’t appear to be resized, but we have the same text changes as the left side.
Neither of these machine translate too well. On the official box we have some text to the right describing the figure and Parfom series, and at the bottom we have some text to encourage us to buy Asuka.
The bootleg box… ummm… the right-hand text looks like utter junk. The bottom text seems to be some text lifted from something connected Evangelion, but I have no idea what.
The bottom warning areas are very different, and I don’t think the bootleg’s one can be mixed up with the official. I think I’ll let the photo speak for itself for the differences here.
The bootleg copies the warnings, albeit in a different font. They’ve also decided to forgo having any kind of barcode, and we have a duplication of text from the front of the box, entirely lacking any reference to Phat or Parfom. Which is just as well, as it is neither.
Having similar, lazier text substitutions on the top too. And we’re forgoing the print on the plastic. No tape either.
Aww, and I’m glad too, official box! Whilst the bootleg box just gives us a sullen silence.
The top text has been copied, but again, the font doesn’t match.
Lower down, we have similar substitutions to the box, with the added “F” in the product code and the removal of the sculptor credit in the bottom left. To the right, we have less logo action going on, apart from apparently the NERV logo is OK to dupe. Interesting.
The cardboard is also a duller blue than the official’s.
The blisters are very similar, with the accessory spots in the same place. The main difference is how the accessories are held in place – the official has some static cling plastic whilst the bootlegs are taped in. As I’ve repacked the official, the cling plastic isn’t so clingy – brand new it was flat.
One notable omission is the bootleg doesn’t have an instruction manual.
Bases in their bags:
The official’s is the usual segmented bag that most manufacturers use. The bootleg has all the bits jammed into a singular bag.
The bootleg’s base is a more yellowy plastic and lacks the Parfom logo.
The bootleg faces are relatively decent, but do have a lack of matte finish. The eye prints aren’t as good as the official’s – we lack some of the shading in the iris, and the white area edges are bleeding slightly.
The bootleg’s lenses are not as transparent as the official’s, and the cracks look worse. For those not aware, the glasses are supposed to look damaged, though it’s a lot more subtle on the official’s.
The top of the glasses’ frame isn’t as well painted on the bootleg, leaving it bumpier and thicker.
Looking at the back, it looks like the bootleg ones have been rolling around in the dirt – lots of mottled brown stuff seems to be on the arms. Yuck.
Top of the hands:
The bootleg hands are similar to their official counterparts, but do have some small bits of excess plastic and misplaced paint. Nothing too noticeable.
Bottom of the hands:
The palm paint is noticeably darker on the bootlegs, and doesn’t quite have the coverage that the official’s do. However, both sets have hands where the paint doesn’t quite meet the bottom line where it should stop.
Looking a lot more similar than the previous pair! The main notable difference to me is the bootleg’s sweaty skin and thinner white paint. She definitely appears to be more of an off-white unlike the official.
The interface headset parts are quite messily painted on the bootleg, with some of the paint even making it onto the hair. The paint also emphasises the poor casting – there seems to be quite a number of defective areas where there are dents and lumps that shouldn’t be.
Moving to the hair, we have the usual casting issues – blunt ends and excess plastic. There is some shading, but not quite as distinct as the official’s.
Moving to the face, we indeed have the sweatiness and inferior eye prints.
Closer look at the interface parts:
Yeah, the bootleg ones are pretty awful up close.
Top of the head:
The bootleg’s hair has a lot of paint scrapes up here. Even with the fact the official photo ended up unfocused (sorry) we can see that there’s better shading on it, and the bootleg’s is just blobbed into certain areas. We’ve also got an extra seam just above the part where the two halves of the hair meet.
Back of the hair:
This angle shows the difference between the bootleg and official’s shading. The official’s does help accentuate the sculpt.
The hair tips are noticeably dulled at the back. With Rei’s neck, the bootleg’s is an odd yellowish colour instead of flesh-toned. The top ring on her suit has been painted neatly on both.
The bootleg’s plugsuit has a yellowy tinge to it, which is definitely on show in this photo. We’ve also got some bonus dirt on her chest – guess she’s already been into battle.
The paint up close is a bit sloppy on both, but the bootleg has some extra slop in certain areas. Most notable of these is the green areas, the black surround for the red dots and the lines on her lower half.
For the 00 prints, both don’t look properly straight to me, but the bootleg ones don’t seem to even align with each other.
Body straight on:
Looking at the bootleg’s lower arms, we have a noticeable seam that’s not present on the official. Looking at the body in general, we can see that the bootleg is less shiny than the official. The line on the bootleg’s right hip misses the intended path badly, and the other one fails to head for the edge of the body.
With the hip joints, the bootleg’s don’t quite match the body colour, making them look a little odd.
The bootleg’s paint is noticeably more sloppy and less defined here and we have a bonus scrape on the right side of her backpack. The bootleg’s left arm and right side of the backpack have fairly uneven paint, which doesn’t fit the flat texture of a plugsuit.
Top of arm:
The upper linework is actually thicker on the bootleg, which is the opposite for most of this figure. Again, the bootleg’s not very smooth paint shows up here too, as well as the lack of a match between the figure paint and the joint colour. The yellow wrist paint seems more sloppily applied than the official’s and we’re possibly missing some sculpt definition for this part.
Side of the leg:
The bootleg’s paint looks really nasty here. Definitely doesn’t stand up to a close look. The black paintwork tries but ultimately fails on the bootleg. The edges of the leg parts are rough, plus we have a lower leg seam. The bootleg joints here emphasise how not white the plugsuit is.
Again, the black paint isn’t as neat on the bootleg. We’ve also got some bonus red paint from the sole. The poor mould and paint makes the soles of the bootleg’s shoes look thinner.
OK, now we’ve had a browse of the figure, let’s test some accessories.
Taking off the hair:
Looking fairly similar here – we do have a strange blob of plastic just above the bootleg’s face. Looking inside the head, the official peg holes have been painted, but the bootleg’s haven’t.
The official’s is painted in a flat colour whilst the bootleg’s has almost random blobs of different shades. We’ve also got some groove marks that aren’t present on the official.
Whilst the face pegs are the same, the official’s has been painted an even shade of blue, whilst the bootleg’s has been left skin-toned.
Looking at the neck joint, the bootleg’s is already falling apart and will probably soon break if played with.
Looking at the red paint on her collar, the official has a slight overage and the bootleg has an underage. Combine these, and maybe we’d have good collar paint.
Bootleg/official face swap:
The faces are compatible with both. So you could use the bootleg as a donor figure for the official, especially if you’re willing to spray the bootleg face with a matte coating.
Hand swap time:
The bootleg’s hand pegs are pretty much the same as the official’s. There is some excess plastic, but this could be snipped off if needed.
New hands please:
Yep, both figures can have their hands swapped with the other hands provided.
Bootleg on the official:
The bootleg hands also would work as donor parts. If you don’t mind the slightly sloppier painting, these would work if you’re replacing lost hands.
OK, let’s give this a go:
Graarrgghh… she just lost her leg. The bootleg’s right leg didn’t stay on very well for me. At first it was fine, but once it popped off, it didn’t want to stay on so much. Fine if she was standing there, but moving it did stand a chance of disconnecting it.
Let’s start with a star jump:
Both held their pose fine, without flopping down. The bootleg can hold a slightly more “outward” pose on the legs and the arms as there’s a bit more freedom in the joints.
Give yourself a hug:
A reasonable effort from both, but the bootleg can hug herself more.
Bend those knees:
Whilst the bootleg does have more freedom in this regard, it isn’t really useful, as we start to see inside of the body.
Pose in the air:
Again, both were able to hold the pose without issue. As we can see, the bootleg’s legs do bend further under, but we get an eyeful of joint for her to be able to do this.
Again, the official has a lesser range of motion, but the bootleg has too much articulation. More movement in her hips is a positive, but her lower legs bend too far up, giving her “banana legs”. The bootleg joint doesn’t put her lower leg in the right place meaning it can look odd from certain angles with a variety of poses.
Telling the boxes apart is relatively straightforward – the lack of the Phat and Parfom logos are a big giveaway, as well as the lack of the Evangelion shiny (authenticity sticker). The overall design of the front of the bootleg box just gives an overly plain and simplistic feel that just doesn’t fit for me. The lack of a barcode also gives the game away.
For the figure, the face and the hair are probably the easiest places to tell them apart – with the bootleg sporting blunt hair and sweaty faces. The lacklustre and uneven finish on the plugsuit may also give a bootleg away. If you have the figure to hand giving her “banana legs” is another clue.
In terms of replacement parts, the bootleg ones will fit straight onto the official figure. The hands are decent enough that they would look fine imo, but the face would need some matte finish to not look odd.
In terms of looks, I think the bootleg is passable, especially if you don’t have the official next to it. Mine does need some cleaning up though!
Posing for the bootleg is more of a pain – the joints do generally give you a bit more freedom, but that freedom isn’t always useful just giving you more ways to make the pose look wrong. I do personally think the official would be improved with more range of motion, especially in the hips, but the bootleg isn’t the solution. You also have a chance of the bootleg’s joints snapping – the bootleg’s neck definitely looks like it isn’t long for this world on my copy.
It isn’t up to par with the official, but I can see it being a tempting option for its price point.