This figure was my first Pop Up Parade so is the first release. Pop Up Parade is known for being a budget line, so how does a knockoff of a budget figure compare?
MSRP (without tax): ¥3,545
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥3,900 (£29.28)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $20.07 (£14.14)
The official I pre-ordered from Big in Japan.
Can you tell the difference? No? It’s hard isn’t it…
As is common with figures that come in clear boxes, the bootleggers have made their own card design with dubiously-sourced art. I’m not an art aficionado so I don’t know what was sourced from where. Interestingly, we have a photo of the bootleg crudely slapped on the bottom right of the box – interesting they didn’t go for promo art of the official product. The cutout is also of an interesting shape which is a surprising amount of effort for a bootleg box.
The official has some geometric shapes and the Pop Up Parade logo – the original Pop Up Parade boxes really were very generic.
The bootleg has photos of the bootleg figure – at least we’re not being sold a misrepresentation of the contents! We also have the NGNL logo and the figure title repeated. Honestly, this isn’t a bad-looking box all things considered.
For the official box we have all the legally required stuff and not much excitement. Gotta keep those costs down. The bootleg though… is a colourful clusterfuck of elements. It’s not a well put-together scene, but I still love it for its crazy composition.
Generic triangles for the official, a chequered grid with a gradient for the bootleg. Looking at this, I think it would be nice if Goodsmile did simple character-related motifs for characters that have them for the Pop Up Parade line. Doing a similar grid effect for the official card wouldn’t have been too complex.
Back of the bootleg box:
Again, I love this bit of design for the bootleg box. Would look better if it was just the official figure without the stand taking centre stage, but this bit works without being too chaotic like the back.
In terms of telling these apart, that’s easy. A lot of bootleg Pop Up Parades come in cardboard boxes, so that’s an easy tell. Though some aspects of the bootleg box I think it would be nice to carry over to the official just so it isn’t so generic and boring.
She has the one accessory – a gun of some sort. Probably a bubble shooter? Kind of looks like a hairdryer too, but those don’t tend to have triggers. Or maybe she does have some heart-shaped bullets!
The biggest difference is noticeable here – the official is painted black inside whilst the bootleg is cream inside and out. The plastic cast is also a bit wonky on the bootleg, but far from the worst I’ve seen doing this series.
Overall, the bootleg gun isn’t too bad – it has some defects but nothing major. If I replaced the gun on the official with this bootleg one, I’m sure casual observers wouldn’t notice.
Out of the box
Here they are, out of the blisters. We can see distinct differences in their poses – the difference between the base holes becomes much more apparent once she’s on the stand. Though we do have some bending/misassembly in the bootleg that changes some parts of her pose further.
Definitely seeing some grossness with the bootleg – shiny skin and lumpy hair. The hair looks deflated on the bootleg, as well as the colours being duller and less attractive. Her left arm is also posed differently.
The bootleg hair doesn’t disappoint in sadness – the stray hairs are all melty and lumpy. We’ve also got scratches in the paint. However, moving onto her face, it’s not actually that bad – the print is definitely not up to par with the original, but the alignment issues aren’t as severe as other bootlegs I’ve covered. From a distance you wouldn’t be able to see that some of the lines are slightly off.
One thing you do notice, however, is the neon mouth paint – that does stand out along with the shiny skin plastic.
Back of the hair:
Mmm, the back of the bootleg looks gross – dirty and shiny on the blue part. The poor construction of the bootleg is fairly apparent back here too. The hair fades are more abrupt on the bootleg, plus they occur at different heights.
Side of the hair:
Here we can see where the bootleg’s hair is much flatter and lacks the volume of the official. All the hair strands seem to be present, just in a much more squished configuration. The green also extends further up the hair tips.
Closer look at those hair tips:
Yep, definitely not a match for the official. The green paint is pretty messy on the bootleg with the longer strand seemingly getting some overspray from the lower hair strand. Also the pink paint is nowhere to be seen in this area on the bootleg.
The bootleg holds the gun at a slightly different angle. But the most noticeable thing is the very melted finger – not going to be doing much trigger pulling with that! Just awful – makes her had looks like it is made out of wax. However, she does hold the gun well so if you can get past the mutant wax hand it’s still functional.
The bootleg is a very shiny plasticky affair – not very realistic-looking. The details have also been muddied by poor casting, leaving it looking a lot flatter. On the original you can see the detail of each button/popper whilst the bootleg’s are barely visible.
Bottom of the shirt:
The lack of definition is evident down here too along with a messier hem. Moving to the stocking, the bootleg’s is less glossy than the official, sports a visible seamline and paint slop onto the leg. Peeking out of the bootleg shirt we have some pallid, shiny leg.
Side of the shirt/leg:
The edge of the official’s shirt has a nice crisp, clean edge. The bootleg is less so, but not the worst crime against plastic. The bootleg has the same level of shiny on its leg and stocking – not the best look.
Unfortunately due to my inability to focus the camera properly, the official shot is blurry but all the interesting action is on the bootleg anyway. With the bootleg, the toes are slightly less well-defined and there is a seam running down the front of the leg. And that scratch also shows from this angle.
The supports are pretty similar, though the bootleg’s is less transparent. Looking about the lug and peg that goes into the support the official is the same colour as the stocking but the bootleg’s is unpainted.
The bootleg has lighter and messier stripes that don’t quite got to the edge in all cases.
With the box, there is no mixing these up – clear boxes for Pop Up Parades. For the figures themselves, there’s some key tells like the deflated hair, shiny skin, semigloss stockings, bent finger and the clear base. Looking down the end of the gun, we can also see that the bootleg one is unpainted.
In terms of the quality of the bootleg, it’s definitely not the worst. It mostly lacks in the hair department but the shiny skin and shirt also look fairly bad. Though there’s also a chance the bootleg’s leg may bend over time – haven’t tested for that. I can see a less particular collector being happy with this bootleg despite its flaws as it doesn’t contain any hilariously bad issues like some other bootlegs.