Month: January 2021

Official vs Bootleg: Konami Chestburster (SF Movie Selection)

Time for the second of the Alien trading figure bootlegs! Chestbursters aren’t exactly complicated in shape, so this review will be a short one.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥300
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £11.00
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): CNY¥46 (£6.00)

The official I bought from eBay

Box

The bootleg in its blister:
https://i.ibb.co/yNrSqsY/bootleg-box-front.jpg
This one has been packaged in the same way as the Dog Alien bootleg, with the figure on top of the oval base. Feels like the contents are at a slightly jaunty angle, but quite a nice presentation method.
For the rest of the packaging it is the same as the dog alien, so you can read more about it in the Dog Alien article.

Base

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/vxrrc5w/base-top.jpg
As with the Dog Alien, we have the rectangular base for the official and the oval one with a different floor pattern for the bootleg. This time, neither base have pegs as the chestburster will stand on its own.
At the top of my official base you may notice some remnants of glue – this was from the previous owner who glued the chestburster to the base as apparently it didn’t stand up well enough for them. Not long after owning it, I did pull the chestburster off of the base, and personally haven’t had issues with it falling over.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/2vsn3fW/base-bottom.jpg
On the bottom of the official we have an ALIEN logo and a copyright sticker. Bootleg one we have some mould marks and a scratch.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/xDZYQDx/spin-base-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/1zYxC5P/spin-base-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Ry1tDvS/spin-base-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/YRW1rMQ/spin-base-left.jpg
The colours and bases vary noticeably, as well as the curvature of the tail. The bootleg’s tail doesn’t curve as high and touches its body.

Figure close-ups

“Face”:
https://i.ibb.co/kJFZX54/face.jpg
A face only a mother could love… For me, the bootleg manages to look even uglier with the crooked head, the paint job on the teeth and extra darker areas near its “eyes”.
The official we can see one seamline on its chin but for the bootleg, the seam clearly runs all the way up to the top of its head. For some reason, the bootleg’s chin seam is further to its right and the parts also don’t align correctly.
The bootleg’s forehead is much flatter in terms of colouring and has a shiny finish.

Side of the head:
https://i.ibb.co/mS0Jr20/head-side.jpg
The mould has mostly survived intact for the bootleg, but the dark wash is more like it has been dunked rather than washed. We’ve also not got the different shades of brown making its details look flatter.
The dome paint edges are rather sloppy on the bootleg and looks rather odd to me.

Top of the head:
https://i.ibb.co/1v4m7Cq/head-top.jpg
Here the paint and finish differences are the most obvious in my opinion. At the bottom of the official’s head we can see some of the darker paint used to add texture.
With the bootleg, the paint is uneven and thin – we can see some of the underlayer poking through, especially to the left side of its head. And we have a seam running the length of its head.

Underside of the head:
https://i.ibb.co/MfB0tRx/head-underside.jpg
Here the bootleg’s overly enthusiastic black wash manages to hide much of the detail. Some of the cast isn’t as distinct, but I think the black wash is doing a fair bit to hide the detail too.
The bootleg’s body colour is really off of what colour I imagine a chestburster to be as well.

Underside:
https://i.ibb.co/d5cV0ss/bottom.jpg
The official has a “(C) FOX” stamped on it, showing this to be the officially licensed product.
The bootleg has no such notions, and some of the detailed linework has been lost.
The bootleg’s seam in its upper body is much more noticeable than its official counterpart, not helped by this area being smoothed for some reason.

Tail:
https://i.ibb.co/JRsDzv1/tail-left.jpg
The bootleg’s black wash isn’t quite as overenthusiastic on its tail, so isn’t as off-looking on this end.
The tail’s pose however is not very good, and lacks the mildly threatening pose of the official. With them side-by-side, the bootleg’s kind of looks sad.

Segment:
https://i.ibb.co/0JNg3kR/official-detached-tail.jpg
The official is actually three pieces to help it fit into the oblong blind box. Here’s the end part separated – it also separates at the “U”-shaped area visible in the underside shot. The bootleg has been moulded as one piece, which does have the advantage of no visible join.
If you look closely at the underside of the bootleg, you can see where this joint should be as there is a slightly wider black band where the parts have been moulded together.

Conclusion

Telling these apart with the boxes is easy – the official is blind-boxed, the bootleg isn’t. Very clear-boxed in fact.
Without the box, the base is a dead giveaway. Without the base or the box, the fact the bootleg doesn’t disassemble nor have “FOX” stamped onto it gives the game away if the paint job doesn’t.
As far as the bootleg’s quality goes it’s OK. The paintwork and visible seams does let it down, but at least this one is displayable, unlike the dog alien.

Official vs Bootleg: Parfom Asuka Langely (Phat)

Previously I covered Rei Ayanami… now it is Asuka’s turn. Will Asuka’s bootleg be as good as Rei’s? Let’s find out!

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥8,079 (£57.51)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $12.80 (£10.42)

The official I bought from Nippon Yasan.

Box

Front:
https://i.ibb.co/6mVRrR0/box-front.jpg
Same as Rei’s box, we have the NERV logo in the top left, and the rearranged text at the bottom including the product number prefixed with an “F”.
However, Asuka’s name has been butchered – she’s now apparently called Shikinami Asuka Rangur… Iiinteresting.
The bootleg box is also noticeably lighter coloured than the official.

Sides:
https://i.ibb.co/jG2gkKt/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wLPCkKd/box-left.jpg
As with Rei’s box, the right hand image has been shrunken down however it is much more noticeable on this box as not all of Asuka is included on the official box.

Back:
https://i.ibb.co/rpBLvfs/box-back.jpg
As with Rei’s box we have the rearranged warning text blocks to avoid copyright and a lack of different card finish underneath the product images.
Again, the bootleg is filled with junky text whilst the official is about Parform line and the figure itself. I believe the text on the bootleg is actually about Ayanami Rei rather than Asuka…

Top:
https://i.ibb.co/TwRJxqy/box-top.jpg
No logos on the bootleg box, and the most boring font choice known to man. The Parfom text font isn’t exciting, but it’s more exciting than whatever the bootleggers chose.

Bottom:
https://i.ibb.co/ZBdVsZ9/box-bottom.jpg
Again, the bootleg has a problematic lack of barcode. And Asuka is still “Rangur” down here.

Box flap:
https://i.ibb.co/mJx0T9Z/box-flap.jpg
Yup, this bootleg box also lacks the text and logos on the various flaps.

Box inner:
https://i.ibb.co/7RxdfPX/box-inner.jpg
The backdrop colour is a couple of shades darker on the bootleg inner. We have the same edits as Rei’s inner, with the boring text and the removed logos, however Asuka’s name doesn’t fit quite as well on the right flap due to its length.

Blister:
https://i.ibb.co/7gxtnkD/blister.jpg
Same as Rei, we’re missing instructions in the blister and the accessories are taped in rather than using cling plastic. Our bootleg seemingly has a “broken ankle” in the box – ow.

Base

Apparently I didn’t take a photo of Asuka’s base assembled, so here it is in pieces:
https://i.ibb.co/MV0Wt77/base-top.jpg
It’s the same as Rei’s though, with the lack of Parfom logo and more yellowy plastic.

This time I managed to remember to take photos of the base connectors. Each base comes with two, but here’s one of each for comparison:
https://i.ibb.co/377dJpm/base-connectors.jpg
Slightly less clarity in the bootleg’s connector, but essentially just the same.

Accessories

Asuka comes with two faceplaces and four sets of hands like Rei. Asuka also has her doll.
Let’s start with the faces:
https://i.ibb.co/sKcrDQZ/faces.jpg
Just like Rei’s, the difference in finish is the first thing that’s noticeable. Looking at the irises, the official’s are a nicer print. With the mouth, the smiling face looks fine on both however the teeth have been painted poorly on the bootleg’s yelling face, making her expression slightly odd.
Looking to the bottom of both the bootleg’s faces we see a little bit of excess plastic.

Back of the faces:
https://i.ibb.co/Y3NfCMj/faces-back.jpg
The bootleg faces have a large mould mark in the middle, with what looks like a “1” and a “2” inside of it.
Looking at the bottom face, it doesn’t look like the parts of the mould were aligned quite right, leaving the peg hole in the wrong place.

Top of the hands:
https://i.ibb.co/JRptJ9L/hands-top.jpg
The bootleg hands are noticeably a different shade of red, and have a certain level of sloppiness. The top bootleg hand seems to have not had its finishing layer sprayed onto it and the second had a bunch of dirt. The hexagon on the third hand down doesn’t look like it was placed in the right spot.

Bottom of the hands:
https://i.ibb.co/92hhcFY/hands-bottom.jpg
The black paint on the bootlegs is a bit sloppy in places if you look closely, but nothing too noticeable for the most part. The second hand down is probably the weakest – we have some excess plastic and some of the black paint is too thin, allowing the red paint to show through.

Doll:
https://i.ibb.co/f01FsGv/dolls-front.jpg
Not a terrible effort from the bootleg, but does have its flaws. The eye prints aren’t properly aligned, leaving the white part of her eye escaping the outside. We’ve also got some yellow on its right eye – not sure why. The bootleg doll also looks like its dress has been made out of plugsuit material instead of fabric and the “Asuka” text doesn’t quite follow the line of the dress.
Lastly, the bootleg doll is quite dirty – I don’t think Asuka would stand for that!

Back of the doll:
https://i.ibb.co/b135SRs/dolls-back.jpg
Both are painted neatly back here, but the bootleg is missing the stitching on the hat, and we’re still feeling like it’s made out of plugsuit.

Bottom of the doll:
https://i.ibb.co/3k2Xv6n/dolls-hole.jpg
Not too much to see here. Both have the hole.

If you want to see all three of the dolls together (official, this bootleg and the static Parfom one), expand the spoiler below.

https://i.ibb.co/SPsvJyH/dolls-trio.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/F6rskr0/doll-trio-back.jpg

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/LNG6HMj/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/nMPkVhj/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/545V3LJ/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Np9vSC0/spin-left.jpg
At a glance, the bootleg and official are looking pretty similar. However, when we look closer, the bootleg’s got a bit of a giraffe neck going on and the hair doesn’t have as many tones to it.
The bootleg’s plugsuit is couple of shades darker than the official and not quite as shiny.
Those ankle joints on the bootleg also stick out like a sore thumb with being a lot lighter red than the rest of the figure.

Figure close-ups

Face:
https://i.ibb.co/sVz8gfL/face.jpg
For the bootleg, we have shiny-face giraffe neck. Looking closer at the face, the bootleg’s has some strange white lines going across the bottom of her eyes and the print quality is poorer, leaving more visible dots in her eyes for the shading. Moving to her lips, the paint line is darker, making her mouth less subtle.
Moving to her hair, the bootleg’s fringe has a lot less shading and has a shinier appearance. The hair tips aren’t as dulled as other bootlegs I’ve looked at and are actually fairly comparable to the official’s. We do have some seams on the long edges of some strands though (most visible on her left side, near the bottom of the longer part of her hair).

Top of the head:
https://i.ibb.co/YBcMf4C/head-above.jpg
The official’s hair parts match in shading, and look part of a cohesive whole. Not so much for the bootleg – we have a lighter part on the back of the fringe that doesn’t blend in with the darker part behind it. The fit between the fringe and her head isn’t very good either, and we have a bit of a gap.
Looking at the top of the bootleg’s head we have a visible seamline and a scratch in the paint.
With the interface headset, the parts don’t sit as neatly on the bootleg’s head and generally look a bit cheapy.

Chest:
https://i.ibb.co/KXFPdSH/chest.jpg
Well, the upper chest of the bootleg doesn’t look so good… The red doesn’t match with the rest of the suit properly, and we have sloppy dark blue paint. The “02” is off-centre and printed in with thinner lettering than the original. Not sure what’s up with the texture on this part, but it’s very weird. The orange paint on her chest is a lighter shade than the original.
Looking at her shoulders, the “screwheads” are quite sloppy on the bootleg – the left one especially.

Backpack:
https://i.ibb.co/1q5tGzf/backpack.jpg
The differences in the backpack themselves aren’t as great – a different finish, and a lighter orange. We also have some bonus dirt back here too, just next to the ‘2’.

Hips:
https://i.ibb.co/M7vYnts/wrist-joints.jpg
The linework isn’t as good on the bootleg – the line on her left hip doesn’t terminate where it should at all. The lines have been done thinner and darker than the original.
The line on her right actually goes slightly more in the right place than the official’s does.
Looking at the how the photography lights reflect off of both the figures, we can see the official has a much smoother and shinier finish.
This photo was originally to compare her hand joints – looking at the pegs, the bootleg’s wrist joints are lighter and have bits of excess plastic coming off of them.

Bootleg arm joint:
https://i.ibb.co/Bwg3tbc/bootleg-arm-joint.jpg
This joint is a bit proud, sticking out slightly leaving a more visible gap from certain angles.

Back of the legs:
https://i.ibb.co/0jJJ3GF/legs-back.jpg
The bootleg’s joints stand out from this angle – they really don’t match the rest of the figure as well as not being installed correctly, so that the peg parts of the joint are still visible.
We’ve also got some missing detail on the bootleg – the shape on the back of her leg is supposed to be filled in.

Outside of the leg:
https://i.ibb.co/fvTTRk6/leg-ouside.jpg
Yeah, the bootleg’s leg fell off whilst doing this review, and the official’s comes off fairly easily too.
The black stripes at the top have more even painting on the official. With the foot, the black paint is very sloppy on the bootleg.
The linework over her knee is off on the bootleg, and the poorly done joint doesn’t allow the lines to meet where they should.

Inside of the leg:
https://i.ibb.co/xFphfQj/leg-inside.jpg
The bootleg has seam lines visible on both parts and a moulding defect in the middle of the back of her thigh. The bootleg knee joint possibly looks even more silly from this angle.

Hole for the left leg:
https://i.ibb.co/Xb9Sk68/leg-hole.jpg
We have a fully-painted hole for the bootleg, and some bonus black paint… getting our money’s worth of paint… or something like that.
The official has some “1”s to assist with assembly. These have mostly been lost from the bootleg – we can see a bit of the “1” next to the black paint, none on the ring bit, but there is a chance it was installed upside down.

Peg that the leg was attached to:
https://i.ibb.co/R20mX72/leg-joint-peg.jpg
As well as the hole, the peg is painted on the bootleg. Her hip also looks a little less thicc.

Accessory test
First comes the face, so let’s start taking her apart.
Fringe:
https://i.ibb.co/wNb5QXX/hairpiece.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wwCvYTm/hair-inside.jpg
Yeah, not improving when separated – and this photo captures the stray yellow and black paint on her fringe better.
For the back, the bootleg has a very visible mould mark in the middle, plus they’ve added some grooves to try and improve fit… I guess. From the back, the sloppiness of the bootleg cast is more apparent, with a fair amount of excess plastic between the hair strands.

Behind the face:
https://i.ibb.co/3R7Tccx/no-face.jpg
Urgh, the bootleg really looks diseased like this! The moulding is much neater and sharper on the official. The holes where the fringe goes in look especially sloppy on the bootleg.
The face peg and its surround are close in colour on the official, but markedly different on the bootleg.
And here we can see why the bootleg has a giraffe neck – the joint isn’t recessed into the neck like it should be, and the casting looks awful.

A closer look at the bootleg’s neck joint:
https://i.ibb.co/1qhSNgW/bootleg-bad-joint.jpg
Oof, looks like a minor miracle this didn’t break in the review. Pretty sure that the neck joint will break without much effort if I try.

Now to get down to some face swapping:
https://i.ibb.co/Jkcr2zc/face-swaps.jpg
The bootleg faces work on the official, and vice versa. So you can use the bootleg for replacement faces, if you don’t mind the shininess/willing to sort it out and the not-as-good print. I did try the others and didn’t have any issues to report.

Hand swap:
https://i.ibb.co/zfHsKyQ/hands-bootleg-on-real.jpg
This photo is of the bootleg hands on the real figure – both sets of hands are interchangeable with either figure. So also a viable option if you need some hands in a pinch.

Articulation test

Well, the articulation of the bootleg started off like this:
https://i.ibb.co/XkP8pWC/bootleg-looses-leg.jpg
At first, this leg was OK, but once it popped off, it was prone to falling off for the rest of the photoshoot.

Leg flex:
https://i.ibb.co/5Kx0Px6/leg-angle.jpg
You do get some more flexibility out of the bootleg, but not in any way that truly looks good – the knees pretty much always look off due to the incorrectly installed joints and the hips can show some of a gap. The bootleg’s left foot also has a habit of bending as the joint is too loose. However, if you can get her so her legs don’t fall off, she will hold a pose.

Arms outstretched:
https://i.ibb.co/HxvR748/arms-outstretched.jpg
No overly loose joints here.

Hug:
https://i.ibb.co/s3rBYG0/arms-hugging.jpg
The official’s right arm can come in a bit closer than the bootleg’s, and the opposite is true for the left one. All down to the shoulder joint and the clearance between her arms and body.
So overall, both can do this pose OK.

Exorcist:
https://i.ibb.co/KXDCDbV/body-backwards.jpg
More like the “half exorcist” as this is the upper body joint that’s been rotated rather than the head, but both can do this without having clearance issues.

Conclusion

Telling the boxes apart is easy – same as Rei’s we’re missing key logos and text. Accessory-wise, the bootleg base misses out on the logo, the bootleg faces have a shiny finish and the hands aren’t as nicely painted.
Moving onto the figure itself, the joints are the easiest indicator – the bright red joints of the bootleg stand out. Looking closely at the body and the hair, we can see defects in the bootleg’s paintwork.
As a figure, the bootleg isn’t bad as far as bootlegs go – it’s a mostly functional figure, if you can get the leg to not drop off. Posing is made more difficult with the improperly installed joints, and cause the bootleg to look more unnatural. However, the accessories do all function properly. If you like to play with your articulated figures however, I can see the neck and wrist joints breaking – they didn’t look or feel particularly sturdy.
For me, the silly neck and the lack of proper shininess on the plugsuit would be dealbreakers for me. I could definitely see someone mistaking this one for the original though, at least until they see those stupidly bright red joints.