This figure was voted for by CLOD_LILYY. An excellent choice.
This figure’s bootleg does crop up now and then, so does make a solid choice to have a look at.
I own the second release – so there will be some differences between the box due to this. They will be pointed out in the text below the images.
MSRP (without tax): ¥9,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥11,037 (£72.59)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $20.65 (£15.83)
The official I bought from The Store I Shall No Longer Mention.
The bootleg has two things missing – the Phat! logo and the authenticity sticker. The bootleg box looks like it got dragged around a warehouse floor a bit with the amount of dust scrapes on it, especially to the left. The red text is a deeper shade of red on the bootleg, so other than the logo it is a close copy.
This side is a direct copy, again with the darker writing. One point of note is the official box is sealed with round tape – one of which you can see slapped to the side of my official box (yeah… sometimes I do that) but the bootleg has no tape on the sides.
The back of my box has some large differences at the bottom as I have the second release – this box back is actually an edit of the first release. Here is a photo of the first release by Raithos.
The edits they’ve made are interesting. They’ve removed the QR code that should be in the upper right box as well as the barcode, but the thing that gets me the most is they’ve removed the Goodsmile partner support web address… but not the other web addresses in the bottom right. Who cares for consistency in removing the branding?
Senketsu is giving us a stare from both boxes, and we have the same window. The bootleg box has the Phat! logo removed from this side too.
We can also see the bootleg uses a small piece of normal tape instead of the three round pieces the official has.
Here we have another second release vs first release difference – the barcode for the second release is down here instead of on the back. If I had a first release, the bottoms would be pretty much indistinguishable.
Into the box:
Again, not too much to see here – they’ve got the inner very close to the real thing… except the box flaps. We have a straight cut at the top of the bootleg edge flaps instead of a curve – looking at videos, it looks like this is a bootlegger change rather than a release version change.
In terms of telling the boxes apart, the easiest method is to look for the Phat! logo. Can you find one? Very likely official. Can’t find one? Definitely bootleg. It is also interesting to see there is actually a box variant for this figure, and is something to take into account when bootleg-checking – a difference in the bottom text area isn’t always due to a bootlegger buggering about with it, companies can update their information box layouts between releases. Not the first time we’ve seen this, but probably one of the more striking variants in this regard.
My official won’t be packed as it was originally, but the bootleg hasn’t made any attempt to ensure Ryuko’s face is on show. The plastic sheeting also extends partly over the scissor blade.
This bootleg blister manages to be better than most other bootleg blisters I’ve looked at – it has mostly retained its shape and the accessories are mostly held in there – the hilt of the decapitation blade has slipped a bit though.
The most notable difference looking at her in the blister is the foot pegs – here you can see the official’s are white and the bootleg’s are blue-grey. This can be a very easy way of telling a boxed bootleg apart from the official, especially if someone crops their photo to hide the fact the logo is missing.
The official base’s bottom is a brighter white than the bootleg’s. There is some copyright text on the upper right flat area, though it is hard to see in this photo. If we look to the bootleg, you may see the scratch pattern where they’ve scratched the copyright off of the mould, though a little evidence of where the text is remains. So it does feel like this cast was done from a stolen mould.
The base pieces match the colours and paint styles of their respective bases. The knee support on the bootleg is a much cloudier plastic however.
In terms of shape, the bootleg is a lot flatter on top than the official, where moulding detail has been lost.
Underneath the base piece:
Both are numbered “2”, and are the same layout. We have some differences in the divots around the edge (notable on the top lug) and the hexagonal shape has been lost in the round peg parts on the bootleg.
Looking at the circular mould markings, it looks like the plastic was injected in the four corners for the official, but two in the middle for the bootleg.
Overall the bootleg base manages to be pretty close to the official’s but the colour and lack of texture give it away. You can also see where they’ve scratched the copyright out on the bottom if you look carefully.
Shock horror, the bootleg actually came with a copy of the instructions! The bootleg’s have had the Phat! logo removed, but other than that they’re a photocopy.
Only one downside… some of the instructions tell you what you’re missing on the bootleg due to a couple of parts being fused together. We’ll come to this later.
The blue-black parts of the glove on the bootleg are more black than they should be. The upper layers of paint on both sides of the bootleg hand is too thin, showing bits of the undercoat through. The paint is also less precisely applied, which is most notable on the top of the glove.
The underside fares better, but is a darker red than it should be on the bootleg.
The top of the bootleg hand is painted even worse than the last hand, missing much of the linework parts and the “V” part not extending down as far as it should. Plus it seems some of the black paint got smeared into the red paint, leaving the colour inconsistent.
Again, the palm isn’t so bad, though we are missing some red paint on the inner thumb.
The colours of these are notably different – the official is a much darker red and has a shiny finish.
Looking at the underside, we can see a mould defect at the top of the bootleg’s blade.
Both of these blades detach at the same point, and did indeed both pull apart.
Here the bootleg hilt is darker. We’ve also got a curvier shape going on near the top – almost wondering if this was a prototype design where they wanted it to slide into her hand, instead of having the closed-fist they went with. Does look like the official one might actually be the retooled part – with the mould looking less precise on the left side, and smoothed out on the right.
The main notable difference at a glance is the skin colour – the official is much more yellow than the bootleg. There’s also less shine on some parts of the bootleg too.
That mark on the bootleg’s bum also shows up fairly well.
Overall, the two are fairly similar – if you weren’t aware that she has a yellowy skin tone, it would be possible to mix these two up at a glance. Let’s look up close and see how she fares in the details.
Before we start looking up close, I did have some assembly issues with the bootleg:
The leg wasn’t initially near the hole it needed to go in. With a bit of heating and persuasion, it went in. I seem to recall having a small amount of difficulty getting the official’s pegs in, but they weren’t this far off.
The official isn’t the happiest of chaps, but the bootleg is downright angry. Also looks like the bootleg’s face has been shifted down by quite a bit. The eye prints match up between the two, but the paint is lacking on the bootleg’s lips.
Moving to her hair, the red paint on the bootleg is squiggly and a bit all over the place. The hair is also a darker colour and lacking the shading of the official.
Moving to the Senketsu’s eye (the red/yellow part), this piece seems to be joined incorrectly on the bootleg, letting her head overlap more and pointing it upwards. The paints aren’t as vivid on the bootleg, and the sculpt seems to not be as clean.
Top of the hair:
Here we can see where the bootleg really lacks in the shading department – just plain up here, with some seam marks. The official is much neater and the blue tones really add to the hair.
Back of Senketsu:
Ignoring the hair, the biggest difference back here are the red fins – the official captures the light in such a way to give it depth, but the bootleg is just a very apparent flat red. Looks like they may have remodelled this part to make assembly easier at the sacrifice of appearance.
Looking at the sticking-up parts, the red wash on the bootleg isn’t quite as good.
Lastly, the silver paint at the bottom attaching the strap is a bit sloppy on the bootleg.
The dark paint here is almost a little sparkly on the bootleg. Interesting choice.
The red paint for the inset line has been painted decently well on the bootleg, but the paint isn’t as thick and vivid as the official’s.
Looking at the bottom corners of the collar, one is is pointer on the bootleg and the other side has got completely chomped off.
Oh boy, if I thought the paint was messy on my official, the bootleg’s gonna one-up it. The grey paint is too thin and we don’t have the points that the joining clips should have.
The bootleg strap is also poorly attached – it doesn’t connect properly at the bottom and we can see glue leak out in the middle of the strap.
Not sure if the official’s clip paint is messier than the bootleg’s. The sculpt suggests the shape should be more like the official’s, but the official paint doesn’t quite get to the edges of this sculpted area.
Both bodies would look pretty similar, if it wasn’t for the skin colour.
If we look at the arms, we will see the bootleg’s right arm (upper in photo) isn’t quite attached at the same angle as the official’s.
And the bootleg paint is getting really ropey here – the clip is just a suggestion, the red band at the top of the skirt is inconsistent and too thin, and the grey skirt tips are dabbed on. We’ve also got some stray red paint on the bootleg’s body, just above the skirt clip.
The hands are at different angles here, but they can be rotated as they’re pegged in.
Close-up of the skirt:
The skirt paint colours are different – the bootleg is a bit of a darker, blacker colour. The bootleg sculpt is also not as sharp, resulting in less wrinkles. We’ve also got some grey paint slop from the skirt edge.
Looking at the tips on the skirt, we can see some mould marks on the edges of the bootleg that aren’t present on the official.
The bootleg’s skirt edge paint is bad here, but the panties aren’t too badly painted though she does a little mutant towards the front due to the panty paint not reaching to the edges. We also have this massive line on my bootleg’s arse – probably not a feature of all copies of the bootlegs, but shows how inconsistent they can be. We’ve also got some yellow spatter near the bootleg’s panties for some reason… quite unpleasant to look at.
The finish on the bootleg does spoil the look – makes it look greasy instead of clean. The red paint bands on the square parts is also lacking on the bootleg – not enough paint and not as vivid of a red.
The bootleg’s arm is also angled slightly differently.
Top of the arm:
This hand doesn’t match the bootleg’s arm well in terms of colour – looks like a different blue.
Again, the finish really doesn’t help on the bootleg. The shading is a bit off, but close enough to be passable.
Top of the left leg:
Sloppy. Yeah, that bootleg is definitely suffering from paint issues here, especially the horizontal band on the boot. The boot’s edge and main part have a bigger gap on the bootleg.
Outside of the left leg:
The person painting this bootleg didn’t have the steadiest of hands, and we have some quite waggly linework going on, and some of the paint dripped before it dried.
Looking at the boot material itself, we have the same lacklustre finish on the boots too.
Knee support for the left leg:
Yep, both admirably doing their duty. The official one looks nicer to me as the bluey hue matches the base better and the transparency makes it less of an eyesore.
We’ve got some red paint spatter on the bootleg’s boot, for good measure.
Outside of the right leg:
Here the difference in finish is the most apparent – definitely getting more shine off of the official. The shading isn’t too bad on the bootleg, though the finer detail paint is such a mess.
Now we’ve looked at Ryuko, time to look at her holding her accessories. For holding the scissor blade, she has the flat hand and for holding the decapitation blade she has a fist hand.
This accessory works fine for both – the bootleg does hold hers at a slightly different way due to the arm angle, but this can be adjusted somewhat as the hand peg can rotate.
As most of the blade is hidden from her main viewing angles, the bootleg’s one looks generally fine.
Closer look at the problem:
The official blade fits in nicely and easily with its three parts, the bootleg one not so much.
With the two narrow areas, it does look like they maybe hoped that would be where she would grip it, but that turned out not to be the case.
The bootleg blade does hold, but it is unstable. Also can’t be used as a replacement blade due to the missing joint.
From this angle, you can see where it looks like they’ve redesigned the middle bit to make it fit the model properly. Wonder if the hands were initially intended to be closer together, with the handhold areas on the bootleg.
Telling the bootleg apart from the official isn’t too hard if you’re aware of what the official looks like. I can definitely see someone not realising they’ve bought a bootleg with this one – the box looks good and the bootleg looks OK from a distance, but close up you can see the paint mess and have potential marks on this one.
For telling these apart, the lack of “Phat!” logos on the box is a big clue, plus the painted pegs. The pale base lacking texture may also give clues she’s not official. Lastly, a close look at the red paintwork will likely reveal the shoddy nature of the production.
What’s most interesting about this bootleg is the decapitation blade – it seems like they may’ve pinched a pre-mass-production mould. This would also fit with the fact the decapitation blade is two pieces in the box, instead of separated into three, which would be the norm if part of it is separated off. With the design of the accessories, it feels like they intended to have her not have closed hands initially, but probably realised the number of issues that would bring with her dropping her blade. Also possibly different arm positions to bring her arms closer together. This is all speculation, I could be entirely wrong, but does feel like there may be something to it.