This figure I went back and forth on covering as her bootleg is quite well documented. Finally decided to cover it, as she’s quite a unique figure in some respects, especially if you’ve ‘played’ Saya No Uta.
MSRP (without tax): ¥17,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥18,060 (£129.60)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £22.11
The official I bought from Big In Japan
The first difference that is immediately noticeable is the missing “WING” logo in the top-left of the bootleg box. As this box is dominated by an image of the Saya figure, the poorer print quality on the bootleg shows with the two side-by-side. The print colours are also generally darker on the bootleg box.
Looking through the window of the box, we can see the large hair strands are in different positions between the two. The bootleg’s hair strands have much less of a gradient and a lack of protective plastic.
Again, the print quality is poor and dark on the bootleg, plus the removed logo. My bootleg box is also in the process of disassembling itself.
The lighting effects in the background have lost their lustre on the bootleg thanks to the poor colour reproduction. The bootleg’s dress is looking more grey and her hair less shaded.
At the top of this side we can see the round tape the official uses, whilst my bootleg has no tape at all.
Also no logo on the bootleg on this side too.
Here we have a fair amount of differences. Starting with the tape seal – the bootleggers have used a piece of circular tape with a brand on it, to give it some air of legitimacy (or maybe it came from a brick and mortar shop or something…).
Any text block that has the audacity to mention Goodsmile or Wing has been removed on the bootleg design, with the leftover boxes spread about to not leave large empty gaps. The Nitro+ logo was not spared the purge either.
The poor printing has also given us lots of moiré patterns on the bootleg. Does not look good!
More of the same here – missing logo and darker colours for the bootleg. Can see more of that bootleg seal here too – it was cut when I got it, as the box was flattened for transport.
It’s large, it’s missing on the bootleg and it is the logo.
The barcode on the bootleg has been replaced with a numerically valid barcode (check digit is correct) but is in the “no man’s land” of the GS1 country assignments, so isn’t related to an actual product.
So if you’re looking to see if a boxed Saya is bootleg, look for the Wing logos. Not finding any? Bootleg.
This figure comes with two blisters – one with Saya and the base and one for the wings. The wing blister sits in the back of Saya’s blister.
Yep, the bootleg’s blister is the usual mangled mess. Both the blisters appear to be identical in shape but not in material.
Both of them have the supporting plastic piece for her hair to keep it in shape during transit, but the official has some sheathes to stop the hair from being scraped.
The bootleg figure looks a little lost in the blister due to the way it sits.
Not much difference to be seen here. Bootleg’s blister is a bit yellower. Looking to the wings themselves, the official has some layers of protective plastic that the bootleg lacks, and we can see some extra colour variance in the bootleg wings.
This figure doesn’t have accessories per se, but we do have the wings to attach. So let’s take a look at those.
The main immediate difference is the aforementioned colouring – the bootleg’s wing has two very different-coloured paints, neither of which matches the official. They have got the two colours in approximately the right places, but the difference between the paints is not subtle at all, especially on the underside.
I’m not against the bootleg’s colouration, but could do with not being so different. Not accurate to what it is supposed to be though.
The bootleg’s finish isn’t as smooth, which can be seen via the distortions in the reflections.
The bootleg’s right wing manages to be a lot less garish than its left. Still not the green it is supposed to be though.
Close-up of a wing part on the right wing:
The change in finish is fairly apparent with the way the light reflects off both. Looking at the edges, the bootleg isn’t as precisely moulded and the ends are maybe a little stubby – definitely better than some bootlegs I’ve seen and not something you’d really notice without close inspection.
However, we do have some speckles on the bootleg, visible in the upper ‘feathers’. The official wings are nice and clean.
Overall, the bootleg wings were moulded closely in line with the official, but the colours make them obviously different.
Back of the base:
These bases are noticeably dissimilar in colour and texture. The bootleg base has less vivid reds and doesn’t have much of a sheen to it. The bootleg’s blood tendril seems to have a dark line drawn up the back of it, instead of shaded like the official.
From this side the lacklustre paint job on the bootleg’s tendril shows up well. Doesn’t have the impact of the official’s, especially as it lacks any paint blending on the green part.
Looking to the lower part of the tendril, we can see a metal peg on the official, but just an indent in the same spot of the bootleg.
The bootleg’s green tendril tip stands out from this angle too. Here we can see the official uses pegs on the tendril to attach Saya’s foot whilst the pegs are on Saya’s foot for the bootleg.
Looking to the bottom of the base, the small blood spikes look burned on the bootleg thanks to the tips being painted in black and being poorly moulded so some are shorter than they should be. The official’s look like splashes, thanks to the tips of these parts being painted a lighter colour.
Yep, very different attachment systems here. Metal peg on the official is appreciated, as this means that the figure won’t threaten to sag over time.
Bottom of the base:
The official’s looks like a pool of blood/gore with a tendril growing out of it. The bootleg’s looks like… scorched ground. With some kind of red tree growing out of it. The bootleg has absolutely no subtlety in the colouring and lacks the shine that would make it look liquidy. Whilst the official’s tendril is clearly a separate part, the bootleg one looks more separate as it lacks the close fit to make it sit right.
Looking to the bottom left of the bootleg base, we can see some of the paint has been scraped off some of the blood spikes.
Yeah, no hiding the fact the bootleg is two parts. Though the official, I wish the split wasn’t so obvious, but at least we have a gradient fade here.
With the full transparency of the bootleg, we can see how this tip attaches, which is not a pretty look. Looking at the lower picture, we can see seams down both parts of the bootleg tendril, plus the parts don’t fit together well at all.
Official is shiner down here too. The bootleg uses the wrong screws to attach the tendril, so they don’t sit in the provided recess.
Closeup of the tendril attachment:
No removal of the copyright here on the bootleg, showing that copyright on the base isn’t a sure sign of a genuine product.
The bootleg came with tape residue, which has seemingly found a piece of my hair :/.
Looking at the corners of the plug hole for the tendril, the bootleg’s mould looks like it’s had a hard life and the corners have become rounded, assuming there wasn’t a change in the mould between releases (my Saya is a 2nd release).
The bootleg base is easy to tell apart from the official – the upper green section of the tendril is one of the easiest ways of telling a bootleg apart from the official in my opinion.
The base shading is also starkly different if you have photos of the base or see it in person.
Gosh, assembling both of these was a small nightmare – the way she rests on the tendril is not fun. Getting the foot pegs in at the same time as resting her on the tendril is not easy. So no points in the assembling department for either.
Looking at the right photo, I didn’t quite get the bootleg’s pegs in. With the pegs being on her foot, it does make it harder to warm up to get her in – it’s easier if the holes are on the side you warm to keep the pegs solid so they can slide into the softened hole easier. Feel free to make up your own innuendos here :P.
Looking at the figures in their entirety, the difference in hair, dress and wing colours are fairly apparent.
Let’s take a quick look at Saya’s back before we attach her to the base.
The sculpts of the bodies appear to be the same apart from the attachments on the foot. The finish on the bootleg’s skin is shinier, which can be seen on the upper legs in this photo.
The bootleg’s dress is a lighter shade, and doesn’t sit the same with respect to her hands – the bootlegs ‘fit’ less with the dress, whilst the official’s is orientated so the hands sit neatly in the folds.
The wing holes match up here, though the edges inside the bootleg holes looks a bit rough.
Moving to the straps of the dress, the bootleg’s are much more opaque and the white doesn’t match with the rest of the dress too well. The painting on the bootleg’s leaves isn’t as neat and isn’t of a consistent thickness. The paint also lacks the glossy shininess of the official’s.
Holes for the official, pegs for the bootleg to match their respective stands.
OK, let’s get her assembled and look at her face:
Looking at the eyes, the official’s are a deeper green and don’t have the dotted pattern of the bootleg.
Moving to the mouth, the way the bootleg is painted has changed her expression – to me the bootleg looks more disappointed or something, unlike the determination of the official. The red line around the bootleg’s mouth I think is especially bad.
Looking at her hair, the bootleg’s is a flat black whilst the official’s is a smooth gradient of dark greens.
The bootleggers have gone for the same black as they’ve used for her hair whilst the official’s is blue.
The bootleg’s bow has also become squished during manufacture and has bits of excess plastic around the edges of it. Just generally looking blobby there.
For the painted parts, the bootleg looks more opaque, and the part over the stomach looks more see-through. There is some extra shading on the bootleg, but it kind of looks like staining rather than shading on the lower part of her dress to me.
The sculpted seam down the middle of the dress is more apparent at the top on the bootleg.
Closeup of the bottom of the dress:
The shading on the official follows the creases, whilst the bootleg has a couple of seemingly random areas shaded.
Under the dress:
The bootleg’s panties are more of a blue-white than the official’s
The bootleg’s dress isn’t joined very well, and we see two seamlines instead of one. The bootleg has a paint transfer on this shoulder on my copy, possibly from the hair.
The official’s skin has a much nicer appearance to me than the bootleg, thanks to the finish.
Side of the hair:
Yap, no shading on the bootleg’s hair around here either. The seam on the bootleg is also more noticeable thanks to the parts not attaching together neatly.
Looking at the hair tips on the front half of her hair, the bootleg has some excess plastic.
Back of the hair:
Oh, oh, I think I see a bit of shading… on the top of the bootleg’s head. And nowhere else. The official has subtle shading throughout.
Here we have quite a bit of excess plastic on the bootleg hair points as well.
Top of the head:
Oh look, here’s the bootleg’s excuse for shading. And it manages to be terrible by being mostly on the front and not really continuing to the back hairpiece.
Left hair tips:
The hair back here doesn’t take the same paths – the bootleg’s hair strands hide behind her wings, plus the back hair bends much further away from her body.
Looking at the tips, the bootleg uses a different shade of green and the transition from tip colour to the main hair colour is much harsher on the bootleg.
Rogue back strand:
Here we can really see the harshness of the bootleg colour transition – the lighter green only extends up a fraction of the hair strand.
The bootleg’s hair strand has got squished at the tip, leaving it with more of a bend than the official’s.
Closeup of the right wing:
The wings both curve in the same way, and look similar to each other in shape. Under the official’s wing we can see a hair strand that has gone AWOL on the bootleg.
Closeup of the left wing:
The wings look similar in shape on this side too, though the very tip of the bootleg wing does look like it curls in a bit more. Some of the darker ‘feathers’ in the middle look like they curl differently at the ends.
However, in colouration, the bootleg certainly stands out.
Back of the wings:
The figure stays on the tendril by pinning it between the wings. Would honestly be easier if it had a peg here instead of… this. The bootleg’s right wing didn’t quite go in all the way, not sure if it will or if it’ll need some hole-scraping to go in fully. Both wings match the colour of their respective tendril tip.
The official’s fingernails are much more neatly painted, and there is some shading towards the fingertips.
Yet another bootleg that’s dipped its fingers into the nail polish bottle.
The official’s legs are a nicer colour to me, whilst the bootleg’s legs look yellowy or dirty in spots.
Front of the feet:
The bootleg’s toes aren’t as roughly painted as the hands, but the paint doesn’t match the dainty pink of the official. The bootleg paint is also matte instead of glossy.
Looking to the base, the bootleg’s tendril isn’t fully into the hole which makes it look odd.
Side of the feet:
Here we can see where the bootleg refused to go all the way into the base, but I did eventually get the official’s foot in. Looking at the left foot, the official has shading that the bootleg doesn’t, and the bootleg’s foot has a tiny bit of excess plastic.
Due to the differences, this bootleg is decently easy to spot. With the box, the missing logos is a big clue, along with the invalid barcode.
Looking to the figure itself, the hair shading and wing shading are starkly different between the two, though it does look like the bootleggers based their colouring on the overly-contrasted promotional photos. So if you wanted the more contrasting wings from the promotional shot, these have that colouring.
With the base, the tendril tip itself is the biggest clue with the bootleg’s tip not being blended at all to the main body of the tendril. The bootleg’s base is also not painted well, leaving it looking like odd-coloured ground.
Looking at the bootleg as a separate product, it’s not a train wreck – I can see someone being happy with the bootleg, especially for the price. However, if you’re expecting the finish and polish of the original, the bootleg definitely falls short. The bootleg’s face is off, the hair shading is poor and the dress isn’t as nice. The base is also a letdown with the parts not being assembled properly, the lack of transition on the tendril and the black-tipped “blood”.