Category: Eastern

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Kirishima Touka

Today’s figure is Kirishima Touka from Tokyo Ghoul:re, the second (main) series in Tokyo Ghoul.

This was also the first figure that I needed a hammer to assemble – assembling the official was easy enough, but the bootleg had other ideas in mind. The bootleg only came in a (very smashed) blister, so let’s get straight to the figure-reviewing.

Want to vote on which figures you’d like to see in the Official vs Bootleg series? Head over to the OvB voting site!

Pricing

NEW section, starting from this blog. In this section I will list the MSRP (manufacturer’s suggested retail price), the price I paid for the official and bootleg including shipping (as the bootleg prices normally include shipping in the price) and state whether I PO’d the official figure or bought it in the aftermarket.

MSRP (without tax): ¥12,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥11,970 (£82.58)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £10.40

For the official figure, I pre-ordered.

Spin-around

Time to take a figure tour!

https://i.ibb.co/94bF5tx/touka-spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ZfrVpmm/touka-spin-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/ydWQXp0/touka-spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/17bk5gK/touka-spin-right.jpg

First thing that is immediately noticeable is the difference in the kagune (that’s the red winglike protrusions from her back. Wiki article about what kagune are in Tokyo Ghoul) – Kotobukiya’s is a much more solid colour and the bootleg’s is much more transparent. Light can shine through Kotobukiya’s, but in normal lighting conditions it looks solid. The bases are also markedly different, and Touka’s clothing has a different highlight colour.

Base

Here is the official base:

https://i.ibb.co/FbWrYF4/official-base.jpg

Please excuse the water droplet – thought the figure was finally dry after cleaning the dust off it… Guess not for this photo!
Not a particularly coherent design, but better than a plain base. Kotobukiya generally has nicer, more involved bases than this, but we got what we got.

And now for the bootleg base to knock it down a notch:

https://i.ibb.co/PwWQcFT/bootleg-base.jpg

Mmm, quality. The plainest of discs, with a couple of metal pegs. And a small plastic one. At least this one doesn’t have any tape residue and bonus hair that previous bootlegs have had.

Close-up of a metal pin:

https://i.ibb.co/Z2KptTb/bootleg-base-peg.jpg

And these rough, misshapen buggers is why I had to hammer the bootleg onto her base. They don’t fit into the figure well at all, and the plastic underneath the peg is so thin and flimsy that the metal pegs just popped through the bottom of the base when I tried to push the figure onto the pegs. Managed to hammer the pegs in enough so that the base could sit juuust about flat, though one was still slightly proud. If I was wanting to keep the bootleg, I would’ve probably enlarged the holes instead of hammering the pegs in.

Figure close-ups

Face:

https://i.ibb.co/5R9BKML/face.jpg

The hair has a few moulding defects in the middle of it, making it blobby. We’ve also go no shading on the bootleg, which makes the hair look flatter and less detailed. The points on the bootleg’s hair are slightly less defined, but not too badly blunted.
Next we have the eyes – and here the bootleg differs a lot – it looks like the bootleggers sketched something that roughly represents Touka’s eyes. The iris on the bootleg is only one colour, missing all the small details of the original. Bootleg Touka also has an interesting arrangement of eyelashes. The red ‘blood’ detailing is entirely missing on the bootleg.
Finally, we have the mouth – the original is unpainted, but the bootleg couldn’t resist giving her some lipstick. Not sure what Touka herself would think…

Side of head:

https://i.ibb.co/4YfBbnk/top-of-head.jpg

The bootleg’s hair isn’t any better around here, and the strand of stray hair has been adhered to her head.
Her cloak hood also has a very visible seam, that can’t be seen on the original. The paint shading over this seam is particularly bad, with the colours not aligning well. Moving to the edge of the top layer of her cloak, the bootleg has several parts where the paint has gotten scratched.
Overall, the shading on the bootleg cloak doesn’t make much sense – it doesn’t really fit the contours of her clothing and it doesn’t come from a sane light source. On the original, we have highlights on the creases of the fabric.

Right hand:

https://i.ibb.co/jhzzGxS/hand.jpg

The bootleg’s hand didn’t get assembled correctly, and isn’t at the same angle as the official, but I’d consider this a neutral change. Interestingly, her hand has more definition on the bootleg. Her skin colour is also paler.
One not-so-nice change is the additional seam on the sleeve. Bit strange to not have this at the back, but there you go.

Left arm:

https://i.ibb.co/DtgDR7G/left-arm.jpg

Here, my official has a couple of marks. Not sure if these were originally there or not. The bootleg’s arm is at a more upwards angle, with a slightly differing position with her hand again.
This side of the bootleg figure also features a couple more ugly seams – one on the hood, one on the top of her arm. With the bootleg they’ve attempted to shade the wrinkled part in black, with the rest of her coat a purple colour.

Lower part of the coat:

https://i.ibb.co/7Y1kgP3/coat-bottom.jpg

The sculpt on the coats are pretty much a match, however the paint… not so much. The shading is more similar to the original than the rest of the coat, but it is still full of paint errors. Towards the right of the photo, we can see a purple blob in the middle of the black shading. The edge of her coat is also rough and not finished well on the bootleg.
Looking to her legs, we scan see that her trousers are much shinier on the bootleg than the official.

Belt:

https://i.ibb.co/F5vrQhH/belt-closeup.jpg

Here we can see the bootleg has not been attached very well, and glue is blobbing out. Looking at the moulding here, I’m wondering if the bootleg was made from an official figure taken apart as the construction is quite different – the belt seems to be part of the lower half of the figure, but on the bootleg it seems to be a separate piece.
The upper part of the cape is a uniform thickness and finish on the official but the bootleg suffers from a rough edge that varies in thickness. Some of it copies the original, and some of it looks like it has taken on the thickness of paper.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/2NYbHrB/back.jpg

In terms of sculpt, we’re pretty much the same back here. The same paint flaws show themselves here. With the lighting on the bottom half of her coat, we can see that the bootleg lacks the matte finish of the original. The wings attach in the same way on both, however the bootleg came pre-assembled and the official you needed to push the large “wing” in.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/XzfkQLp/foot.jpg

Here we can see that the bootleg’s trousers are much darker in colour, and the shoe is a very different shade of brown. Interestingly, we have two different shades of brown on the bootleg, instead of the singular colour of the original. In isolation, the different colourations work OK, but I think the official’s colour matches in more with the colour tones of the rest of the figure. The bootleg one suffers from some stray white paint. No surprises there. We’ve also got some scrapes/stray paint on the “connecting” bit – I don’t think this bit looks good on either figure, but it’s not really visible when on display.

Now for the star of the show… The large kagune:

https://i.ibb.co/8dwjZzW/large-wing.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/WpM8CYx/wing-large-back.jpg

Here is where the figures differ the most – the bootleggers have gone for a much more translucent look than Kotobukiya. Personally, I’m kind of conflicted which kagune look I like more – Koto’s probably more true to what a kagune is supposed to look like, but I do really like the translucent look of the bootleg. The paint blend within the bootleg kagune has actually been done decently well and looks good. Kotobukiya’s also looks nice, and has some good details in the paint.
One downside of the bootleg is you may notice that some of the parts that stick out are at different angles – this is at least partially due to the plastic being too soft so it’ll easily bend, especially if the kagune is left leaning up against something. Initially I was going to toss the blister for the bootleg when she arrived, but ended up storing her in it so that her kagune wouldn’t get too bent up prior to review.

Small kagune:

https://i.ibb.co/gFyX9mY/small-wing.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/DkSJv5b/smal-L-wing-back.jpg

With the smaller wing, I think the transition from solid paint to translucent paint on the official works better than on the larger wing, where the tail-off feels sharper due to size.
On the back of the bootleg kagune, we see some stray paint dots – one at the top near her hood and another just down from the large red central blob. We’ve also got some roughness of the mould – the bit at the bottom that forms a loop has some stray plastic on it still.

If both the kagune came out of both figures, I’d probably swap them around and see what it would look like. I wouldn’t be too cut up about having to butcher the bootleg, but with the smaller wing being attached on the official, I don’t fancy having to break my original to test it out.

Conclusion

This bootleg would be an easy one to spot, if you’re aware it exists. With the very different kagune, purple colouration to her outfit and the shoddy base, there isn’t much confusing her for the original. Most of the bootleg is pretty poor and not very good, with the one stand-out feature of her kagune. Maybe an idea for a second release version of her?
This was the cheapest of the scale bootlegs that I’ve bought for this series thus far, and I think it shows.

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Harley Quinn (Bishoujo New 52)

This figure is the first one that was not on the original poll, but I suspect it would have garnered a reasonable number of votes, so here she is.

And talking about voting… I now have a website where you can register your interest in what figures I feature in the Official vs Bootleg series. The website is https://ovbvote.tharglet.me.uk. You can vote for figures in my collection that are marked as having a counterfeit version on MFC and that I haven’t already planned to blog or blogged about.
If you have any questions/comments about the site, feel free to comment down below or send a PM on MFC.

And now for the main feature!

The bootleg didn’t come with a box, so no box comparison for this one. So let’s get straight onto the figure!

Spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/yX6j5LR/koto-harley-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wdsGsbq/koto-harley-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/R6JYmw6/koto-harley-left.jpg

Firstly, no your eyes do not deceive you – the bootleg is indeed a couple of cm shorter than the official. The bootleg figure has been scaled smaller than the original. Guess this saves on the plastic! The other immediately noticeable thing is the way bootleg Harley “holds” her mallet – floating roughly in front of her arm. That’s some holding ability! One thing to note about the bootleg is getting the hammer in was not easy and is very much prone to falling out. The original has some of the falling-out problem, but not as bad as the bootleg.

Due to some of the parts being mangled during the production of the bootleg cast, this one was another one that was hard to line up certain shots for. The two notable parts in this regard are the hammer-holding arm and the cape.

Hammer

https://i.ibb.co/Fgvx8cM/koto-harley-hammers.jpg

Here we can clearly see the scale difference – the bootleg hammer is noticeably smaller than the official one when they’re side by side. The colours are also markedly different – the bootleg looks like a painted wood colour to me, instead of an actual wood colour.

Top of the hammers:

https://i.ibb.co/ngfKJJ3/koto-harley-hammer-top.jpg

The bandings are a fair bit worse on the bootleg, being uneven and losing the sharp definition of the bumps. We’ve also gained a mould line around one of the bandings. The middle of the hammer has also seen some “damage”, and isn’t cylindrical like it should be.
The bootleg has also been painted post-assembly, leaving lots of paint slop of both paints.

Hammer handles:

https://i.ibb.co/cJ8xjWS/koto-harley-hammer-hilts.jpg

The red paint on the official is paint transfer from the figure, and was not originally on there. My bad.
The bootleg’s handle has lost much of the finer texturing detail on the leather wrap, leaving it looking a lot less like leather. The original also features a shiny finish on the end-cap and a matte finish on the leather wrapping, whereas the bootleg has a semi-glossy finish throughout.

Pegs:

https://i.ibb.co/pxnxWjD/koto-harley-hammer-pegs.jpg

And this is why the bootleg was so hard to assemble… the peg is so much bigger than the original, and doesn’t have a proper shape. The hole on the figure isn’t much different, so it took some heat and shoving to actually get the darned thing in. The official, on the other hand, slips in easily, and it’s just a case of getting the angle right for assembly and to balance the hammer correctly on her shoulder.

The bootleg hammer also has some scratchy defects:

https://i.ibb.co/tXjyhgJ/koto-harley-hammer-boot-scratches.jpg

What? Is this a rusty hammer?

Overall, the bootleg hammer is fairly clearly the inferior product in my opinion. Couldn’t be used as a replacement for the original due to the scale and the defective peg. Whilst the peg could potentially be fixed, the scale cannot.

Figure close-ups

Before we get onto the figure proper, let’s have a quick look at the bottom of the base:

https://i.ibb.co/9n45zXv/koto-harley-base-bottom.jpg

The original has the copyright information, and most notably, a screw. The original comes as one piece with the figure screwed to the base whilst the bootleg actually pegs onto the base. If you see her displayed loose turning her over to see if there’s a screw on the base is probably the fastest way of seeing if she’s bootleg. If there’s no screw, she’s not Kotobukiya.
We can also see here that the original base has a much better finish quality, whilst the bootleg has a bunch of defect lines and mould marks.

OK, back to the top. Here’s their faces:

https://i.ibb.co/0s2gmCf/koto-harley-face.jpg

The first thing that strikes me is the much less pleasing tones of her hair colours. Kotobukiya’s chosen a blue and red that pop and complement well. The bootleggers have gone with whatever paint they could find. The bootleggers have also seemed to have put a glossier finish on the blue part of her fringe which makes it look quite odd indeed.
I think bootleg Harley did her makeup when drunk – much too heavy on the eyeshadow and wtf is up with that lipstick?! My official seems to have her right eye stamped incorrectly, but I’ll take that over the poor colour definition on the bootleg. And to complete her facial features, the bootleg seems like she’s been rubbing her nose in the dirt, and the tip of her nose is a greenish colour. Not too pleasant to look at up close.
Lastly, we have her ruff – the official is decent, with one bit of moulding left that I can see, but the bootleg is an unfinished mess. All of the edges are rough, and it’s not something I can really ignore.

Top of her head:

https://i.ibb.co/7SVxbmG/koto-harley-head-top.jpg

The official isn’t flawless here – we have a tiny amount of paint bleed between the halves, and the way her part-in doesn’t line up between the parts may annoy some.
Now onto the bootleg… here, we are really not lining up, and have a large unpainted gap between the halves of her hair. The red hairband has become more of a bead and doesn’t really match her hair. Not sure why we’ve gone shiny just for this bit. The hair across the top of her hair has lost some of the finer details, so doesn’t look as nicely bunched as the original.

Top of her chest:

https://i.ibb.co/3FdWpmV/koto-harley-chest-top.jpg

Here we can see where her bodice didn’t fit correctly to the chest on the bootleg, leaving an odd ridge that follows the edge of the bodice. Interestingly, the ring on her cape is more rounded on the bootleg to the official. And if you’re keeping a good eye on her cleavage, then you may have noticed the speck of dirt embedded into the bootleg’s left boob.

Now to “admire” the bodice closer:

https://i.ibb.co/fpw7zQ8/koto-harley-bodice.jpg

Yeesh. This is really where the bootleg falls down, if the face didn’t do it for yah.
The official could be neater – where the red and blue paint joint doesn’t look as neat as it could, but the laces are nicely detailed and look like actual laces.
And the bootleg? An attempt was made. Blue and red paint have been quickly slopped on, without much regard for coverage. The eyelets have been completely ignored and painted over. And the lacing? All the fine moulding details have gone, and the top ones have suffered badly during moulding and don’t look like they’re pulled tight. And to finish the whole thing off, there’s semigloss sloshed over the lot of it to further make the lacing look incorrect.

Let’s take a look at her arms. First the more statically-posed one:

https://i.ibb.co/DzdFVtt/koto-harley-arm-right.jpg

Here we can get a good feel for how different the skin tones are for these figures – the official is much more of a pinkish-white tone, whilst the bootleg is a much more peachy-based skin colour.
Under her armpit, we can see a very distinct seam line on the bootleg, as well as part of the bodice banding being missing.
For the arms themselves, they are pretty similar, but the diamond paint is a bit messier on the bootleg. With the blue-red we can see the official has a much stronger contrasting colour scheme whilst the bootleg is more muted.

Hammer-holding arm:

https://i.ibb.co/kcwLSNF/koto-harley-forearm.jpg

This was the photo I was editing that made me notice the arm on my official Harley has come slightly loose – it does push down so her arm doesn’t look so misshapen. So I’m going to ignore that ¬¬.
Here we can see why the peg is such a pain on the bootleg. For the official, we have a perfectly-shaped square hole that matches with the hammer peg. (You may also notice the peg hole is painted, which is why there is a paint transfer on the official’s peg). On the bootleg we have… a roughly-hewn mess. I think they tried to add a keyed slot looking at the hammer peg, but instead we got whateverthefuckthatis. With the official arm guard, we have some subtle red shading, but on the bootleg it is simply a flat colour.

Holding of the hammer:

https://i.ibb.co/CKDxkmZ/koto-harley-hammer-arm.jpg

With the official, we can see she is leaning on the hammer so that it balances on her shoulder. The pose looks natural and carefree, matching Harley’s “doesn’t give a fuck” nature.
Now to the bootleg. She seems to have attached a spike to the hammer and rammed it through her wrist. Ouch! The self-injuries don’t end here – on her hand we have some holes and scrapes in the form of moulding issues. Her fingernails also lack the sharp points they’re supposed to have. Not sure what’s going on with the thumbnail paint on either of them, but the rest of the fingernails are painted nicer on the original. However, this detail is very small, so you wouldn’t really notice unless you look up close.

Belt and stomach:

https://i.ibb.co/mCrrfxY/koto-harley-belt.jpg

Bootleg Harley’s belt looks like it has been through the wars – the poorly-painted buckle leaves the black paint poking through, and the bullets look like they’re rusting copper oxide. The belt doesn’t seem to have been scaled down as much as the rest of the figure, which leaves it sitting higher up on her hips. It kind of looks like they attempted to re-add the detail on her buckle and ended up with a misshapen mess on the front of it. The bootleg bullets look much more of a brassy colour than their official counterparts.
The bootleg Harley’s stomach has less shading, but we seem to have some bonus warehouse dirt baked in. Yay? I really like the shading on the original as it helps give the figure more definition, so this is lost on the bootleg.

Holster:

https://i.ibb.co/XYfdNhV/harley-holster-red.jpg

Here we can see how the belt sits differently on the bootleg – on the original the holster sits below her shorts, on the bootleg it has ended up sitting at the end of the shorts line, due to the belt riding up.
The gun’s grip on the bootleg has lost some definition, but it isn’t particularly noticeable. The more matte finish is, though.
The holster on the original looks like its outer layer is made from plastic/pleather. The bootleg… I’m not sure what this looks like.
With the shorts, we can see how the official is glossy but the bootleg is not. Also we have a bonus seam line on the bootleg. Another bootleg that’s been to the Chinese knockoff clothing store.

Feet & base:

https://i.ibb.co/ScS2h4Z/koto-harley-feetr.jpg

Massive overspray here on the bootleg – her left shoe didn’t know where to stop. We’ve also got some grey scratches on the base and not entirely sure why. With the bases, we actually have more contrast on the bootleg than the official, which is a switch compared to the figure itself.

Cape:

https://i.ibb.co/TKcN4tG/koto-harley-cape.jpg

Here we can see the different colour and finish of the capes – the original is brighter and has a more matte finish. The bootleg cape curves in different amounts in certain places, which makes it look more different than it truly is in my opinion.

Bum:

https://i.ibb.co/vw6Q9Rs/koto-harley-bum.jpg

With the cape, holsters and her arm, there isn’t much backside action going on here. Here we can see the massive difference in the finish on the shorts though – on the official you can see plenty of shine, and the bootleg is super-dull. We can also see some mould defects on the back of the bootleg’s right leg – the small wormy lines. The nail polish is passable though – it didn’t quite get to the ends of her fingernails, but at least it isn’t blobbled out over everywhere.

Conclusion

This bootleg isn’t really going incognito with the poorly-done hammer peg and pose alterations. May fool a non-seasoned collector at a distance, but a close-ish inspection will reveal the poor quality. Was also interesting to find out she was scaled down – I’ve seen this with action figures but less so with bootleg scales. If you were hoping to pick this one up to use for spare parts, I’d give it a miss as it won’t work with the scaled-down pieces.

Official vs Bootleg: Aquamarine Hatsuse Izuna

Today’s blog brings us Hatsuse Izuna by Aquamarine. And one not by Aquamarine.

I did not get the box with the bootleg, so there will be no box comparison. Though there were two problems with the bootleg figure prior to the final photoshoot – on arrival, her foot was snapped off, and then her tail became unglued prior to the test photoshoot. Not the best start!
Here are some photos of the damage, which I repaired before the photoshoot:

Base

For this figure, the base is a very plain one:

The official is an off-white, and the bootleg is stark white. Not a huge difference, unless you have them side-by-side.

Bottom of the bases:

On the official, we have the copyright information. And the bootleg has some sticky residue from the tape holding it into the remains of the blister packaging, plus some of my hair (might’ve had this lying around my room for awhile…).

The bases feel the same, so from visual inspection it’s only the colour and the copyright information that are noticeable differences. The official base weighs 40g and the bootleg weighs 36g, so there is some difference in the plastic used. On a personal level, I don’t like either base, and don’t use the official one with my official figure – she currently sits on a glass shelf, so the base only has the attribute of taking up space. However, the bootleg does show that the official base isn’t quite as plain as it could be.

Figure spin-around

Here are some photos showing the figures side-by-side in the same shot:

The most noticeable difference I’d say is the hair – the gradient is fairly different on the bootleg, leaving the hair having much more yellow than the official. The second thing that stands out to me is the tail – the gradient isn’t as nice on the bootleg as it is the official.

Close-ups

Let’s take a look at her face first:

The hair gradient is much smoother on the official and doesn’t dominate her hair. If we look to the left side of her hair, it looks liken they sprayed it after assembly instead of before, leaving large amounts of yellow undertones.
The seams at the top of her fringe have significant gaps on the bootleg, plus yellow paint seemingly seeping out. Her headband also doesn’t fare too well, with a less golden paint and purple paint overspray.
For her face, the printing is of a lower quality and the blush on her cheeks hasn’t been blended in, giving her a more “comic” look.

A closer look at her headband:

Here we can see that it’s not just the hair colour getting onto her band, but her band colour has seeped onto the top of her fringe with the bootleg. Original is definitely taking it here! If we look to the upper part of her hair, we can see where the purple paint wasn’t thick enough to cover the initial yellow coat and one bit of purple paint is straight-up missing on the front-facing part of her hair.
For the fringe, we can see where the bootleggers have stuck with a more basic red paint instead of blending to the nice subtle red of the original.

Back of her hair:

Here we can see how the bootleg’s hair was originally painted yellow and had the other colours layered on top. This deprives us of the nice, solid tone of purple the original has. Due to the quick sprays the bootleg has, we can see how the gradient and coverage suffers. It also hasn’t been handled well, leaving marks in the paint.

Ear close-up:

Buy one bootleg, get warehouse dirt free!
Most (if not all) of the dirt we see on the bootleg came with the figure. Not entirely sure if it’ll all wash off, but chances are some is embedded in the paint, so there will be some black dirt clearly visible against the pale colours of the inner ear.
We can see where the remoulding has gone kinda wrong here too – the points on her ears have been lost and the whole thing curls up far more than it should. They’ve also seemingly used the same cream colour as the base colour for the ear and the tuft, presumably to save time and cost. On the original, it is painted a bright white like a tuft should be. Lastly for the ear, the purple on the bootleg is marred with bits of yellow paint.

Chest:

For me, these parts are surprisingly close for a bootleg and official. The writing actually looks OK to me on the bootleg – the bit on the end may’ve been squeezed in a bit though. We can see where the label paint overshot – it should’ve followed the raised line on the right, but it is extended out, giving the label a weird rumpled look. They’ve also neglected to paint the lines on her swimsuit, but I’m not entirely sure this was a bad choice given the blobbiness of the original.
The shading on the swimsuit makes less sense on the bootleg, but isn’t distractingly bad. What is mildly distracting when looking up close is how there is a gap between her upper chest and the swimsuit on the right-hand side of this photo.
With her body wrap, we can see how the not-great seams on the original are now even worse on the bootleg, and don’t even attempt to join up really. By both not-joints there is missing paint, plus the scratched paint just below her chest.
It’s not overly visible in the photos, but the swimsuit on the bootleg doesn’t have as glossier finish as the original.
At the top of the photo, you can see the usual mess that bootleg figure hair usually is – the official comes to nice, neat points whilst the bootleg has very obvious seams and blobbiness.

Upper arm:

Here we can see how the “print” on the bootleg has been roughly painted on this part of the wrap and there’s no background shading. The rest of it isn’t so bad, but this part really suffered. Moving onto the red crisscross pattern, the original is a bit flawed, but the bootleg tops it, especially the part where two of the diamond parts don’t even touch.
In the crook of her elbow we can see the bootleg has less subtle shading, leaving her looking a little sunburned. She’s also developed a skin condition and has some surplus plastic poking off her hand.

Close-up of the wrap:

Again, these are surprisingly close in appearance. The printing on the bootleg didn’t suffer too much, and contains pretty much all the details of the original. If we pretend there was a lack of warehouse dirt, there are some small tells though. Near the top of the image, we can see where the paint has been scratched during production of the bootleg. With the print itself, we can see where it interferes with the gold banding and we have some whitish bits overlapping. Another subtle print issue is where the design goes onto the very edge of the wrap, where it does not on the original. Finally, the pink shading is not blended as well on the bootleg.

Leg:

The legs themselves aren’t that different, nor is there anything particularly wrong with the bootleg one. However, this all falls apart when we get to the sock and notice a distinct seam line on the bootleg. The paint is also rough here, giving a very cheap feel to her sock. On the official, we have a much more vibrant, pleasing red on the sandal strap compared to the bootleg. The shading on the base of the sandal has been simplified, so the dark shading isn’t concentrated to the inner-ish parts of the sandal base.

Foot:

Here we can really see the difference between Aquamarine’s super-gloss and the bootleg’s… whatever. The roughness of the paint is particularly bad here, and looks like she’s been using those sandals a fair bit! We also don’t have the nice gradient the original has.

Tail:

Here we can see the original tail transitions fairly smoothly between around four colours, and the bootleg jerkily transitions between three. We also have a shinier finish on the tail on the bootleg, but it’s not massively noticeable. The bootleg is also marred with marks, straight out of the factory. The lower picture shows just how different the colouration is and how scratched up the tail is on the bootleg.

Underside:

Let’s see what’s going on underneath… The bootleg has shiny knees, but not a shiny swimsuit. The original has highly-contrasting finishes whereas the bootleg is the same level of half-shininess throughout. We also see some gapping between her swimsuit and her legs, where the parts don’t quite fit together. The difference between the paint colours of the bottom of her wrap are pretty stark too. and then there’s the much-maligned tail seam… On the original it isn’t too hidden, but there’s definitely no ignoring it on the bootleg. On the original they’ve at least attempted to blend it in (though some people’s copies are far worse than mine), but the bootleg it is just… there.

Conclusion

This bootleg may fool some people, but has some pretty distinctive differences from the original. The hair and the ears are the big giveaways, with smaller flaws throughout. If the thing hasn’t fallen apart. The base is also a distinctive clue – if it is bright white, then you’re looking at the bootleg. If you can only get a good look at her body then the missing black lines and lack of shiny finish are the biggest differences.

Official vs Bootleg: Jibril – Great War Ver.

For my inaugural Official Vs Bootleg, I’ve chosen to do the most-voted for option: Jibril. I own the Great War version, as I liked the darker wings and more warlike vibe.

The official version of this figure can be found on MFC here.

Images will be clickable throughout the blog, if you wish to see the full-sized images.

As this is the first blog, see if you can guess which side I have the bootleg on in this picture:

So… did you guess correctly which figure is which?

I should imagine most of you worked out which is which :). To me, the thing that stands out the most is the drunken angle which she is holding her scythe – her arm on this side has been mis-manufactured, causing this kind of odd angle. This, coupled with her expression, makes the bootleg look drunk to me, and she’s in the kind of state where she can hold onto things, but not really too concerned with what angle they’re at.

For this figure, I ordered the bootleg with the box, so if you’re interested in how the boxes compare, see the content of the spoiler below

Front of the box:

Overall, it is very similar to the original, but they have edited out the “Phat” logo in the middle of the right-hand side. Notice the extra “fluffy” black where the logo was. Another missing piece of text is the copyright in the bottom-left.
Also, unsurprisingly, there is now Kadokawa authenticity sticker on the bootleg.
Looking at the inside of the box, you can see that the decorative card did not come with the bootleg either. Some bootlegs do come with a backdrop card, but this one did not.
The box print is fuzzy and mildly off-colour, but this would be easy to miss in a photo, or to someone not used to looking for print defects. If you compare her hair on both boxes, you’ll notice the different colouring, and the wing has less contrast to it.

Left of the box:

Again, the Phat! logo has been edited out, but little difference other than this. The card cuts on this bootleg box are actually decent and match up.
One thing to note is the tape or lack thereof – the box came flat-packed, so it wasn’t taped. If someone was to package this up and sell it at a con, then you’d likely see tape common to your native country, instead of round tape here.

Right of the box:


This side is pretty much a straight copy – though the image cuts off slightly early to the left. Wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve blown the image up slightly, to compensate for having to perhaps crop it after scanning. This side is probably the most obvious that the print quality is poor.

Back:

Here are are two major differences – a lack of Phat! logo, and the bottom information area has been stripped of information pertaining to Goodsmile Company. There is also a minor change to the background near the information box to fill in the background area – note how the pattern of the background is very different to the right of the box.
With these changes – this is why I advise if you can’t work out who made the figure by looking at the box for 10 seconds, start to be suspicious you have a fake in your hands.
Another thing to bring up here is the general box condition – here we can see several bends and creases from it being folded up in transport. Again, if a figure has a creased up box, especially similar to this, I’d advise caution. Some people do fold their boxes, but it is rare. If you see it at a con though, you’re generally looking at a bootleg. The crease that gives away the box was flat-packed is the one that runs through the edited info box (towards the right-hand side).

Top:

The box bend on the back is more obvious from this angle. Would be less obvious if taped up though. Here, the replication is spot-on, barring the print quality, so not much clues this is a fake from this side.

Bottom:

Not too much to see here either, but again, a lack of tape. In my country, you don’t get to get the type of tape used here, so chances are if someone taped up the bottom of the box, it wouldn’t be the same tape type. Font for the text here is very subtlety different, but not something you could pick up without having the boxes side-by-side. The barcode matches, as most of this box is a photocopy.

All in all, I’d say this bootleg box is a close match to the original, but has key differences to make it obvious you’re looking at a bootleg. One to fool the casual buyer, but thankfully not a total replica, making it easy for someone avoiding bootlegs to avoid it.

Before we get onto looking at Jibril herself, let’s look at the accessories she comes with.

Base

Here are the bases:

Interestingly, the bootleg has one thing over the original, with not having a mould mark in the centre. Other than that, it is mildly inferior – the white isn’t quite as good, and has some mistakes in it. The bases are exactly the same size, so it has that going for it.

Close-up of the worst of the paint issues:

Here you can see where the paint has blobbed out of where it belongs, and doesn’t go over the rounded edge neatly.

Bottom of the base:

The colours of the bases are more closely matched than shown here – I edited the official so that the copyright information can be seen more easily in the photo.
For the official, the copyright information can be seen in the centre of the base. For the bootleg, we just get some remnants of tape glue (where it was taped into the plastic clamshell) and a bit of my hair. Ew. That tape residue would be a pain in the ass to get off, if you wanted to. Thankfully no horrible tape residue to be seen on the official, as the clamshell was properly packed into a box. One thing to note is most bootlegs aren’t sent in a shipping box, and this particular one was no exception, being sent in plastic wrap (as of time of writing, only one of the bootlegs for this series actually had a shipping box).

Overall, I’d say the base would be a decent replacement to the original, but does lack some of the quality.

Scythe

Top of the scythe:

The scythe head is the same size as the original, but isn’t the same colour and has defects. The paint job here isn’t bad, but doesn’t match the original’s colour. However, if you follow the lower edge of the bootleg scythe, you’ll see two places where the curve isn’t smooth, where either there wasn’t enough plastic in the mould or have been damaged prior to painting. The nicked parts are painted over, so this defect happened during or just after moulding. The tip of the scythe is also more blunt.

Scythe peg:

Here, we see how bootleggers get overenthusiastic with the paint sometimes – here, the peg is actually painted on the bootleg for some bizarre reason. Also note how the peg is slightly bent and rough – this makes assembly a lot more awkward, and took a bit of force to get the parts together. Taking apart the original is a bit of a pain, but the bootleg is even more annoying due to the defective peg. Other than the peg, the shaft of the scythe is pretty similar to the original.

Overall, the scythe isn’t bad once assembled. The damaged scythe blade does add to the whole “drunk Jibril” thing. Dunno what she’s been bashing the scythe on, but it seems to have broken it.

Headpiece

In NGNL, certain characters have little floating discs above their head. Jibril is one of these characters, so here we have her disc:

Not too different at a first glance, other the colours. However, if you look at the spikes to the top of the photo, you’ll notice the black is missing on most of them on the bootleg. The spikes towards the bottom of the photo also show the worst of the print misalignment that is present throughout. Also the coloured parts do not align properly with the black part.

Now to see where the bootleggers cheated:

Here we can see where the bootleggers printed the black on the bottom and the coloured bits on the top. With the original, all of the print is on the underside, and properly aligned, so both sides look the same. On the bootleg, the black print “cuts through” the coloured print, which makes it look inferior from underneath. Another thing to note is the peg and hole on the bootleg don’t match anywhere as neatly as the original, making the headpiece much harder to get in place.

Can’t recommend this bootleg accessory.

Azriel

Jibril did indeed come with her little chibi Azriel:

First thing that immediately comes to my attention is the shininess of the bootleg’s face – no matte finish here. A significant amount of detail has been lost at her hairline, and the large, curving part of her hair just looks sad. The paint on her face has been done with thicker lines than the original, which loses the detail around her eyes, and leaves her with panda-eyes. Her tooth is also escaping her mouth!
Her top also amuses me on the bootleg – the official it connects up with her neck… and the bootleg they’ve given her some kind of weird boob tube arrangement.
The paint transitions on her hair are poorer than the original, which contributes significantly to her cheapy feel.

Back, with her hair disc:

Here, we immediately see the hair disc doesn’t sit at the same angle on the bootleg. Another notable attribute is the plastic hasn’t been polished, leaving it looking “grainy”, with many lines. The print alignment is better on her disc than Jibril’s though, making it look better than hers.

Back, without disc:

Here we can see why the disc doesn’t sit at the same angle – the hole isn’t quite in the same place, and has some flashing in it. Here, the lack of matte finish on the hair is particularly obvious. Her wings also look like a blobby mess on the bootleg. The stand plastic is also different – the original has a slightly purple tinge that the bootleg does not. Probably cheaper plastic, but I’m not about to go breaking it to find out.

Sides:

Here we can see the overall poor quality of the finish of the bootleg. Very visible seams, particularly on the right, and a missing band of paint on her sock on the left. Also her arms are weirdly bent…

Overall, the bootleg has some amusing differences, but would work as a chibi chucked to the back of a display. If she’s upfront, you’re going to see the sloppy paint and poor finish though.

Jibril!

Now onto the Main Event – Jibril herself. Let’s start with that face of hers:

Well… there’s a superficial match here…
OK, so the hair. The hair is a blobby mess. Lots of bits of flashing and hairtips that are just fat blobs of plastic and paint. The hair undertone is a yellowy colour, which produces a less flattering colour than the white-purple of the original.
The eye decals are particularly poor imo – the originals have nice, crisp detail and a pleasing gradient. The black lines inside her eye aren’t distracting to the overall look. To me, it looks like the bootleg Jibril stuffed a mascara brush into her eyes. Ouch! Also some of the finer details are lost with the poorer eye print. Her mouth is pretty decent overall, and has much of the shading of the original, however her teeth are a bit pink to one side. One notable thing about most of the paint on her face is how it is all darker shades, which means it lacks the subtlety of the original.
Finally, her collar is a matte silver instead of shiny like the original, which gives off a bit of a “cheap toy” vibe.

OK, let’s move around back:

Ow. Here, the original is nicely smoothed and her hair parts nicely match. Some seams visible, but nothing too distracting. And the bootleg? I don’t know what dye job she went for, but her fringe is nowhere near matching the back of her hair. The yellow undertone isn’t the worst thing ever, but it’s not accurate to how her hair should be. Little care and attention has been given during assembly, so the parts don’t line up properly, leaving fairly visible gaps at this angle. The hair strand that sticks out to the right is a very notable example – not only does it not match up right, you see where the purple paint stops, giving it a very strange appearance.

Top of the hair:

This angle reveals exactly how nasty and shoddy the hair on the bootleg is. Some of the finer line details have been lost and the parts just don’t match up properly. We have some covering up of the seam at her parting on the original and the bootleg just has a gap. Overall, just a terrible mismatch in both paint and moulding.

Side of her hair & arm:

Mmm, much shoddiness. Here we see the transparent “proto-wings” in her hair are at the wrong angle, and are kind of cloudy and miscoloured. The purple line on her top has been painted shoddily, and lacks paint at the bottom. The original has a minor paint defect here, but I’d take that over the missing paint on the bootleg! We can also see where the clothing and her boob don’t fit together right on the bootleg, leaving a very odd-looking seam.
Here we can see exactly why she holds her scythe drunkenly – the purple part of her sleeve/arm has been moulded incorrectly, causing her hand angle to be entirely wrong. They have seemingly changed this part significantly for some reason, which has introduced a visible seam line. If there is a seam on the original on this part, it will be hidden underneath her chest. We can also see significant bits of flashing in the crook of her arm, and just by her elbow – guess they couldn’t be bothered to get into the arm gap to clean that out. The purple part is also not shaded very well at all, compared to the original. Looks like some black paint was used in spots – two different shades of purple were probably too expensive! The silver part on her hand also shows significant moulding defects and is painted with the inferior silver paint, which brings down the “class” of the figure significantly.

Hm, let’s take a look at her other arm:

Don’t adjust your set. Yep, that’s indeed the colour of her arm on the bootleg! Sorry about the botched focus… For some utterly bizarre reason, whoever painted this one chose to paint the skin visible through the rips in her sleeve green. Utterly, utterly bizarre. Maybe they thought this was some funky pattern instead of her arm? Whatever, I think Bootleg Jibril is diseased… Or maybe she’ll turn into a zombie… eep!

Upper of the diseased arm:

First thing that pops out to me here is the way her lower arm does not connect properly to the upper arm on the bootleg, leaving a pretty noticeable gap. The silver paint here has really been slopped on, without any attention to the details present. Probably isn’t helped by the mould being a bit crap and losing half the detail here either. We can also see the blobbly hair with lots of flashing here too.
Next thing to stand out here (other than Zombie Arm) is the seamline that runs right through the arm tattoo, making it look broken up and misprinted.
Finally, we have the band on her top that’s kinda pinkish for no reason – the original the band matches the top, but here, the front of her top is white and the back is pink. Guess she’s been buying her clothes from China too…

Let’s go for a full view ’round back:

Yeah, that hair definitely doesn’t look good around the back. The colours don’t transition properly, and she has a massive seam, disrupting the appearance of her hair. Her back is also weirdly pink, which is super-unusual seeing as the original doesn’t have much shading here. Wondering if this was intentional or a sign that the hair painting may have been done post-assembly. Makes it look like she has sunburn on her back. Here we see how the hair sculpt does differ quite a bit for the strands that are on the floor – note how some of them go underneath her body wrap, and it’s almost like tentacles on the right. Also something that can be partially seen from this picture is how her body wrap is more translucent on the bootleg. If you’re a booty fan, you’re also going to get a bit less of that with the bootleg with how the wrap sits – on the original it shows her panties slightly, and the bootleg she’s more covered up.

So, onto that hair:

This pesky mismatch of the hair caused me to have to redo some shots, thanks to making it harder to line up shots to make them similar enough for comparison. The bootleg’s hair is MUCH more curved inwards, which does make her overall footprint smaller. Not entirely sure why this happened, but this is the way it is. here we can see a much more visible seam on the bootleg, and some bits of shoddy shading. Not entirely awful, but room for improvement. Most notably the pink goes further down her hair than it should, and the purplish colour is missing off the end of some strands.

Hair on her left:

Again, this shot was a pain to take, as both her wing and hair are in different orientations compared to the original. her back hairs have become overlaid, and the curvy one in the middle-ish now all curls one way, instead of one part curving out. We can also see dull, blunt ends to the hair on the bootleg, thanks to poor moulds. Bootleg Jibril also kinda had a techno-hair vibe from the way the purple paint was applied somewhat haphazardly to the ends of her hair. It does look like one of the bits of hair towards the back moved after the painting process – there’s a blue stripe, and that looks to correspond with the hair that overlaps it. Overall, the layout of the bootleg hair isn’t too bad, but with the original to compare it to, I prefer how the original’s hair sits.
With her wing, we can see how it sits much closer to her hair on the bootleg, with it curving down more towards the floor.

Let’s take a closer look at that wing:

The original has a very nice finish and some rich, deep colours (and a little bit of house dust ahem). Meanwhile, the bootleg wing colours are nowhere as vibrant, with the black looking especially off-black. The plastic also seems to be less translucent than the original, which also ruins the look of the wings. The wing details all appear to be tehre though, however some of the wing tips have ended up rounded instead of pointy.

Left leg:

This part is one I’ve previously used as a “tell” to ascertain if someone is looking at a Jibril bootleg. Here we can see several common bootleg defects, and this part can be used to detect if either variants of this figure is a bootleg.
First thing to note is the leg print – the original has some colour variation in it, and neatly sits above the lower part of her leg. On the bootleg it goes into the crease of her leg. We can also see that her body wrap is a different shade of pink, which is usually reasonably evident in photos, even given changing lighting conditions. Her leg is poorly joined, leaving a noticeable gap. The paint is very poor on her sock, and almost looks like they used Tippex for the white part. Geting to the end of her leg, her show has a very noticeable seam that is barely noticeable on the original. Again, we have some of the red “sunburn” paint used for shading… whyyyyy.
And if you thought your Jibril’s hand was floaty in the original… take a good look at the bootleg’s – twisted at such an angle, it stands no chance of being flat to the ground.

Finally, let’s take a look underneath:

The most striking thing here is the wrap – much more see-through on the bootleg. If you get someone to take a pic from this angle, then it should be dead-obvious if it is an official figure or not. Next, we have the curly-in hair that doesn’t sit anywhere near the correct positions, and the poor, unfinished painting some parts have. There are nice gradients on the original, but particularly for the hair towards the bottom of the picture, it’s been painted from one angle, and then not finished off. The shading on her boots isn’t too bad, but doesn’t really match the original. Again, we seem to have a fascination with pink-ish paint, and her legs seem to have sunburn and her panties have pink undertones. Here we can also see areas where parts of the figure have a matte finish in the original, but shiny on the bootleg – most notably the skin and her boots. Her arse is shiny on both, though.
And the last thing that stands out to me is her hand – on the bootleg, the hand colour doesn’t match her leg colour, and predictably whoever painted this couldn’t be arsed to paint her sleeve ring on the underside – it is actually painted on top, but not here. If you look at the original’s hand, you’ll see the silver ring around her middle finger.

Overall, a good chunk of her is similar to the original, but she has some major defects that make it easy to tell the bootleg from the official – most notably the way she holds her scythe. She has most of the defects of a bootleg – lack of matte finish, incorrect paint colours, seamlines, blunt parts and incorrect translucent plastic. I think a non-serious collector would be happy with this, but I think anyone who has collected some quality scales would be unhappy with her.

Rei Ayanami – Seaside ver

This figure I bought secondhand from another user on MFC.

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She has a small chip on her leg, that was there when I bought her. She’s a very tall figure and quite heavy, as she’s cold cast. 

Left view:

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Some detail to be seen here, in her armpit and wrinkle on her swimsuit. 

Right view:

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Little bit of a mark here too, at the bottom of her swimsuit. Doesn’t really affect looking at the front of the figure, and that side of her is obscured from where I chose to place her, so I forgot it was there, until I got her out for these photos. 

Back:

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Some detail to be seen here, but nothing that stands out to me. The dent in the sand on the base is a nice touch. Being a heavier material, it does cast some of its own shadows, but there’s no shading in the paint. This leaves her looking rather plain compared to other figures, especially as her skin tone is paler than the concept art for this figure. 

She’s rather a mediocre part of my collection. I don’t regret buying her, but she doesn’t particularly stand out, either. 

Rei Ayanami – Poolside Ver – Evangelion

This figure was part of a Suruga-ya order. Unfortunately, this one had an unpictured extra – cigarette smell :/. So this figure got a couple of baths too… 

Here she is, assembled with the pool piece:

I like the pose for this figure, which is why I chose it. Figure quality isn’t great as she’s a small gachapon figure. Main thing that bothers me is the kinda strange paint job on her hair – not sure what’s going on with the shading there. 

She also has a leg piece:

.. so you can do this if you really want to. Could look cool on a shelf ledge like this, or some kind of custom display.

However, it’s more so you can do this:

If you’d prefer to display her without the poolside, this piece allows her to look complete. Though her pose is a bit odd without the poolside. 

Some other angles without the pool:

“Don’t look at me”:

Back:

Here you can see where her parts need to be shoved together a bit more.. Her foot is nicely sculpted, and we do have some wrinkling in her bikini bottoms.

Front:

Not too much to see here. However, you can see the paint job that looks like some ink was spilled on her head… Probably needed to use a lighter blue here. 

Other side:

Not too much to see on this side. Hair is nicely sculpted, pool handle looks good.

View from below:

She has some nice sculpting on her body, giving her good body definition. 

Overall, she’s decent for a gacha figure, and would recommend as a “bonus” item to an order. Hopefully if you get one though, it won’t come with bonus smoke smell like mine :

Alien – Real Action Heroes

This was another random discovery on Mandarake. The description and picture didn’t match, but decided to go for it anyway and see which of the Real Action Heroes Alien figures this was…. and it turned out to be neither of the ones I was guessing it was. This one is #41. 

Here he is, on a Play Arts Kai stand:

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S’cuse the derpy pose XD. Some of the threads on the joints had become loose, so I added some PTFE tape, so this is slightly visible due to his transparent nature. If it ever bothers me, I’ll replace the PTFE tape with clear nail polish, but PTFE tape is what I had to hand. 

Overall, he’s one cool-looking dude, but it is a rubbery plastic outer, so it had got very sticky with age – ended up giving him two baths to get rid of the sticky residue. 

‘Face’:

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Scratches on his teeth were prior damage. Could get some silver paint/marker to fix this. His mouth has been sculpted well, and he has his inner mouth, as any Alien should. 

Crotch (because apparently I deemed this as a shot worth taking):

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Here we can see some of the mechanisms, and the way his rubber suit is almost like a swimsuit. 

Feet:

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Here we have some shiny silver toes. Paint and sculpt is nice. 

Left:

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Love the sculpt on the side of his head, and he’s a decently poseable figure. Even with his joints tightened, he doesn’t stand too well on his own, so I’d recommend getting a stand, if you get any of these Alien figures. 

Hand:

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These hands are just the rubbery plastic, plus some silver painting on his fingernails. 

He does have a second pair of hands:

These are hard plastic, with a singular wrist joint. I prefer the spiky ones.

Right:

Looking symmetrical to the left side. 

Back ‘pipes’ side:

Details look nice and crisp. 

Back:

Not too much to see back here, but we can now get a good look at his tail. 

Tail joint:

This is the part I dislike most about this figure – the tail goes onto a rubberised “spike” so it can fall off easily and isn’t poseable. Wish they had a hinged joint here, so you could move his tail to the side at lest. 

Tail in all its glory:

This thing is long and does pose issues when placing him on a shelf. The rubberised nub does allow it to bend to the side a bit, but can be knocked off in the process. 

Tail tip:

Nice bit of sculpting to end his tail. 

Head dome:

The details in here are sculpted nicely, and the transparent dome works well. You do get some dots on the dome, from the spikes pressing against it. This is also probably some of the plasticiser that’s leaked out over time too. 

Overall, I really like this figure, especially for the price I paid. He hasn’t aged too well, but the faults are mostly minor and fixable. For anyone interested, for getting off the plasticiser (sticky stuff) I used either hand soap or washing-up liquid, or possibly both. And some good ol’ fashioned elbow grease. Due to his head already having some potentially liquid dots in there already, I was careful not to dunk his head in the water, just in case it leaked (which would be a pain to fix). 

Misato Katsuragi – Moto Riders ver – Evangelion

This was a figure I decided I wanted when I saw it. Came across it on Mandarake, where it quickly made its way to my basket.

Here she is:

Some of the “free” dust can still be seen on the base. This time it wasn’t my fault it was dusty! The thing that attracted me to this figure was her outfit. I like the cute look of her face, and the skintight outfit has been done nicely for a prize figure. 

Face:

Her face is fairly decent, and I like the expression. Hair is a bit “eh”, but decent enough for a prize figure. I like the choker they’ve added to her neck. Her chest is actually a soft rubber, if you like to poke your figures. An interesting additional feature for a prize figure.

So… let’s see if she has her scar:

Nope, can’t find it anywhere down there. Due to the rubbery material used for her chest, I’m not surprised it wasn’t included. On her had, the rubber has denatured slightly, but her body seems fine. 

The zip on her uniform has been painted neatly. Sculpting is OK for the zip – looks a bit thick close-up but OK with a bit of distance.

Left:

Here she’s leaning forward slightly, and she has a shapely upper body. I like that they’ve included some shading on her suit, instead of leaving it flat-coloured. 

Right:

The creasing on her clothing looks good, and the boots have been done well. Her hair I’m not so keen on, but it does the job. Though to me, her hair doesn’t feel quite right – her hair is overly flat in places, which looks odd next to the more sculpted parts. 

Back:

Hair looks good from the back – I do like the way it flows. 

Overall, I’m pleased with this figure, though I do wonder how the rubberised bits will age. 

Freddy Krueger – A Nightmare on Elm Street – Bishoujo v2

Now for another horror-themed figure – Fredd Krueger, but perhaps not as you’ve seen him before!

This figure is part of Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line, which has a few gender-swapped characters, this being one of them.

So here he, uh, she is:

A very sultry-looking Freddy. I love the face and the pose from the front. With the second edition, they slimmed down the base and reshaped it a bit, to make it fit with the figure more. The base does the job, but I don’t have many feelings towards it.

Face:

I love the way the lip gloss has been done, and the hair is an interesting effect, but feels a tad green which I find a little off-putting. The glove has been sculpted and painted well. Her top is fairly decent, but doesn’t have a proper ripped effect going on with the edging, which is a minor downside to the figure.

This close-up also shows the issue I have with her body shape – her back looks rather broken at certain angles… especially this one! She’s fine from the front, but some of the side angles aren’t very flattering.

Chest:

Her cleavage has been done well, and I like the cute bra under the top.


Left:

With her arm covering her back, she doesn’t look so broken. Love the dimple in the hat, and the strands in her hair. Her boots are also nicely sculpted, and I think they pulled the ring detail off well.

Stocking close-up:

Her stocking looks especially good on this figure, and they’ve even included the stocking seam at the back, which I thought was a nice touch.

Right:

The blood effect isn’t terribly realistic, and could’ve done with a bit more shading to it. The flat red makes it look kinda bad imo. The shape of the paint works, but there’s no depth to the wound. I think a little bit of an edge would have helped.

Back:

Again, lookin’ kinda bent. However, her back is otherwise sculpted well, and the shorts are really well done. Here the “off” hair shade shows up the most I think, and could’ve done with being a tad more yellow in my opinion. He doesn’t have any hair, so it would’ve been nice to give it a more complimentary shade now he has some.

Shorts close-up:

Love the logo on the back of the shorts! The detailing on these is nice, and the frayed jeans effect I think works here. The stitching has been detailed, which really adds to the realistic look.

Overall, I’m happy with this figure, and glad to have finally got around to getting it. I think the hair could’ve been done in a better colour, which is my main gripe. Seeing as I don’t move my figures around too much, I can display her at a favourable angle, so not too bothered about the oddly shaped back. I think it’d bother me more if it wasn’t for the hair though.

Kuroyukihime – Black Dress ver

A small figure for today:

A small chibi figure of Kuroyukihime, from Accel World. With this figure, I like the hair and the outfit, but not sure if the face fits – her face seems to lack the “severity” of Kuroyukihime, as it is rounded and her expression is almost smiling. Just feel it could be tweaked a bit to give off more of a Kuro vibe… However, what is there looks nice for what it is. Her dress is nicely sculpted, and her shoes fit well with the outfit – my only real complaint is that the flower is pretty much covering up the silver butterfly detail at the top. I feel the flower could’ve been a tad smaller so the butterfly could show. 

Mask:

Bendy! Haven’t got around to fixing this – some heat and cold water should fix this, but this figure is going to be prone to this part bending.. Well, better than it breaking tbh. The mask itself looks the part and is painted well.

Left:

Not too much to see from the sides. The hair strands look nice, but not too much detail in her hair otherwise. She has a sculpted ear, which is nice, and her shoes look good.

Right:

Here we get the mast, but it does appear to float from this side, as she isn’t gripping it. 

Back:

Again, not too much to see. I do like the strands on the lower half of her hair though. Just wish there was more to her upper hair so she looks a little less like a billiard ball, though this is fairly typical for chibi figures. At least the shade is nice and compliments her. 

Overall, I find this above average for chibi trading figures, as the design means there isn’t a bunch of paint slop. I don’t think it’s winning any awards for being a Kuroyukihime figure, but in its way, it is a nice figure. Just be prepared to have to straighten out the mask handle. This figure is usually pretty cheap though, if it comes up, so it is good for the price.

Gekkoukiba no Majo Lilith – Puzzle & Dragons

Along with yesterday’s figure, I bought this small figure of Lilith:

Was surprised by the small details on this figure, and the crown she wears has been nicely done. With the crown, the paint looks neat, and the colours compliment each other. 

Close-up:

The clothes… of what little she has… have been printed well. The small parts on her leg are nice and neat. Love her scythe too – the purple-gold works really well imo. 

Left:

On this side, she sports a dark wing. We can also see a cute heart-shaped earring here too. I like the way her hair flows too.

Right:

On this side, her hair seam is a bit more obvious, but not too bad. This side she has a red and white wing, which we can just about see from this angle. 

Closer look at the sides of her outfit:

More material here, than the clothes on her body! Nicely painted though, with very minimal painting errors. Has a good amount of detail to it too. 

Back:

The strands of her hair are sculpted well, and flow nicely. There isn’t any paint shading on her hair, which is a minor negative, but it still looks nice. 

Overall, I’m pleased with this small figure, and glad to add it to my collection.

Kakusei Minerva – Puzzle & Dragons

Again… finding myself buying Puzzle & Dragons figures, because the company that makes them does such a nice job of them. 

Here’s today’s figure:

And, wow, there’s plenty to look at here. Her wings come as four separate parts to attach, and her sword arm as a couple of pieces. Thankfully this one wasn’t in need of extra stand pieces, so she wasn’t too hard to build – just getting the wings and sword assembled in the right order. 

Face:

Her eyes are nicely printed, and the sculpting is really nice – I love her face, and the hair has been nicely done too. The red and yellow on the crown has been blended smoothly into a nice transition. Love the pale pink metallic armour too. The paint here is also clean. 

Ball:

The ball has an obvious seam, but the texturing on it is nice. The black parts on the edges of her armour contrast well. 

Left:

The sides are dominated by the wings – there isn’t any shading on the wings, but the deep sculpt does help make up for this. Love the shiny orange of the sword.

Closeup of the sword on this side:

The handle is a very nice sculpt, and the “runes” on the sword look really good. The lines are nice and clean on the sword, plus the gold and orange compliment each other nicely. 

Leg:

Love these orange spikes. Lots of sculpted details here, though the sculpted details don’t have any paint detail to them. However, that probably counts in the figure’s favour, as it’s less chance of a sloppy pant job but still looks good. 

Right:

Here we see mostly wing, but we can see more details of the sword. 

So here’s this side of the sword:

The dragon sculpt is very eye-catching, along with the gold parts on the hilt. Really love this design and the bright colours of it. 

Back:

.. though that sword is bigger than her… strong lass! Here we can see the four wing parts, as she twists to wield the sword. Love the way the wings add to her motion. and that she has four of them. 

Wings from slightly above:

Where the light on the left obliterates the shading, their non-painted nature does rather show up, but doesn’t look bad where there are shadows. 

I think the weakest part of the figure is the ball in her hand – it’s supposed to be a fireball, and could’ve been doing with being more transparent to emphasise that imo, as it does look like she’s holding a crystal or something instead. However, it does look OK in its own right (well, maybe not the seam), so if you’re not bothered about accuracy I don’t think it’s that bad. The wings do look plasticky under stronger light, but not as bad as the guardian’s white wings. These have more depth and motion to them, which does reduce the plasticky look.

Overall, she’s a really nice figure for the price, and I would recommend her if you’re a fan or just like her design. 

Devilman mini-figure 4-Pack

This set I saw on YAJ first (iirc), but then found one of the Mandarake stores had it, so went and ordered it there. 

I’ll start with my favourite, the one similar to his original colours:

The first apparent downside of these figures – they don’t stand up, and no stands are provided. Not sure if Uni-Five intended for these to be unboxed…? Or maybe you’re supposed to carry these as charms? 

The sculpts for these figures are all the same – and thankfully it’s a decent sculpt. The details are somewhat obscured due to the clear plastic, but are there. We can see details of his face, and the small protrusions of his horns. I love the pose chosen – his arms crossed is a fitting pose. 

Back:

The texture on his legs looks good, and I like the way his tail curls around his leg. The wings also work well, and I do like his pose… even if he can’t stand on his own. 

So with the sculpt analysed, here are the other colours included in the set.

Red:

Probably my least favourite of the set. Bit too on the neon side. 

Black:

Looks OK, bit better than the red one.

Glow-in-the-dark:

Whilst his sculpt details are less obvious in the daytime, he does glow, and for that he’s my second favourite. 

Overall, I like this set, but is probably a set a fair few will just display in box as it has fairly eye-catching packaging:

For myself, I’ll likely get out some white-tack to help them stand, and display them amongst my collection. And maybe sneak one into an ita bag…

Gilles de Rais – Fate/Grand Order Duel

This was the Fate/Grand Order Duel figure that I saw and wanted. I’ve always been a fan of Gilles de Rais’s look. Being a less popular character, this figure was also cheap, which was a bonus. 

So let’s have a look at him:

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From the front, he looks decent, but I don’t like the fact he looks down – it would be nicer if he was looking a bit higher so his face was visible when looking front-on. I wouldn’t mind him looking slightly down, as that fits Gilles, but from this angle you don’t really get to see his face.

So here’s his face:

His face has been sculpted well, and has his angular look. Hair and outfit are both neatly painted, and the pink and blues chosen work well together. His rungs look good too. 

Left:

The paintwork on his arm has been done well, and the shading throughout his cloak looks really good. Definitely doesn’t have the shading issue of the prize figure. The points on his collar are nice and crisp. 

Right:

Here we see him holding his book with a claw-like grip. The book has been done well, especially for a small piece. The cloak has also been well -shaded on this side, and we can see the shading on his upper collar too. 

Back:

Props for the stand not getting in the way on this one – I like the fact they’ve gone for a shorter stand so we can appreciate his cape. The back looks really good to me – with the differing shades of blues from the upper and lower halves, and the shading within each part.

Top of his cape:

His hair his sculpted well, and his colour is nicely sculpted and painted. The spikes are slightly different, giving it a more clothinglike appearance. 

Overall, I think this is a really nice figure of Gilles, if small. As a character without a lot of figures, it’s nice to have a quality one, even if it isn’t a scale. 

Cú Chulainn – Fate/Grand Order Duel

This figure is part of a tabletop game version of Fate/Grand Order by Aniplex. Not interested in the game, but some of these figures looked nice for the second-hand price so decided to pick a few of them up. 

Today, I’m looking at Cú Chulainn (Berserker):

Was attracted to this one by the colours and the overall design – love the tattooing on his chest, and the purplish colours of his outfit. And him looking half-demon was icing on the cake :). 

Face:

Love the mischievous grin :). The paint and print are all nice and crisp, without much paint bleed. Some is visible in the white parts, if you look close up. His ruff looks decent given the figure’s size and price point. 

Left:

Here we can see he has a tail – love the long, black spikyness of it, and the red lines complement it well. The ruffs around his ankle look odd, but this is part of the character’s design. However, I notice some fanart do miss these out, and he does look better for it imo. 

Right:

He looks nice from this side too, and we get to look at his spear – I love the red, shiny colour and the fact they’ve included some texture on the handle. 

Spear tip close-up:

I love these small details included on the tip, which give it more detail. 

Back:

Not too much to see here – we have a supporting stand which goes up into his collar, which does keep him upright. The stand itself is entirely flat, so this is the only form of peg on the figure (hence him having one foot up in the air in the first photo). He seems stable enough though. I think the base compliments the figure well, and I like the icon included on the front that tells you his class. 

Overall, I’m very happy with this figure and glad I got him. The colours work well, and there’s plenty of detail to see in the paint and the sculpt. Even if you’re uninterested in the game, these seem like decent figures to display. Though some of the popular characters may set you back a bit. 

Figure Spotlight: Shana

This figure was purchased from a seller on MFC. This figure has a cast-off option, but I have not cast her off. 

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For the cast-off option, you can take her shorts off and her top, but I have no wish to do so, as she’s a character that looks young and looks fine as she is. Japanese stuff can be weird – you have characters that look old with young ages slapped on them or vice versa. Sometimes in translation, ages are changed to be more suitable for non-Japanese audiences, to make it less weird and less awkward for us :P. Due to this, I largely go by what I would guess the age to be. 

Her necklace is a strand of copper wire by the feels of it, which is a nice touch but also awkward to move around/pose. My favourite thing about this figure is her hair – I love the colour and the translucency. 

Here she is from the back:

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Here you can see where the top disconnects – it’s not particularly hidden. The hair has some dust stuck to it, as it has the plasticizer issue. I did consider cleaning this, but it is leaking some dye, so going to leave it until it’s noticeably dusty, just in case a sizeable amount of dye does decide to leave. She lives in a Detolf though, so not much dust lands on her. 

Here’s a side shot:

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She leans back quite a bit in her pose. 

She has a quite striking appearance, which is what attracted me to the figure. She’s not in the greatest condition, but I did pay a reduced price for her. There was one visible flaw, where her midriff was a bit loose, but that was fixed with some paper down her pants. 

Kaworu Nagisa – Evangelion

Time to get back to a Japanese figure, and what better than Evangelion?

Here we have Kaworu Nagisa, in prize figure form:

Lookin’ tall as Kaworu does. I like his pose, and feel it suits him well. I also like his plugsuit, as they’ve given it a good amount of depth. With the way this figure has been designed, the parts of the figure have nice, crisp lines. I like the clear base for its neutralness. 

Face:

The hair is well-sculpted and his face is decent. 

Left:

He’s leaning forward slightly, which adds to his pose. I love the slender body shape, and the hair looks decently detailed from this side too.

Right:

There’s some good detailing on his arm – the upper light-blue part has some good sculpting details to it, along with the grey parts. His backside has a nice shape to it from this side too.

Back:

Hair also looks good from the back, and his backpack looks the part, and the print is well done here. His body feels slender, without being overly so, with some shape to his backside… very form fitting suit :P. Love the finish on the darker parts of the suit. 

Base:

The base features a logo to say it reflects his 3.0 design. The shape of the base is mildly eye-catching, being a bit different than usual. For me, I’d prefer the base to be a little less tall, as he’s a fairly tall figure as-is.  

Overall, I’m happy with this figure, and am happy to add him to my army of Kaworus. Looking up close, you can see some of the hallmarks of a prize figure, but overall I think he’s a decent quality and would recommend. 

Chestburster Victim & Facehugger Keyring – Aliens

Now for a bit of an interesting figure… one that’s part of the scenery…

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This wasn’t a figure I was planning on getting, but saw it for a reasonable price, and decided to go for it. Thinking of posing this with one the xenomorphs in the same Eaglemoss series. 

The sculpt is surprisingly detailed, and the paint is mostly good, which is a surprise for an Eaglemoss figure. There are some parts where the clothing paint does go onto the fines, but most strands are OK. The clothes are well done, and are shaded well, and the blood isn’t half-bad. My biggest complaint with the figure is the skin colour feels a little too ashen, and could’ve possibly done with a splash of skin-coloured paint. 

Chestburster close-up:

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A chestburster’s head… in full, gruesome detail. I think this has been done well, and we have the t-shirt pushing back from the wound. I feel there’s some inaccuracy in how this would look irl, but I think the artistic liberty does help the chestburster stand out. I feel a little more detail in texture could’ve gone into the hair, but I don’t think this is a big thing, and the paint is nice on the hair, with the strands on the victim’s forehead. 

Sides:

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The sides of the figure look nice, with the alien wall texture continuing around the figure. 

Back:

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Was quite impressed with this – they’ve actually textured the back, so if you have this at an angle where the back shows, it will still look “the part”. The paint here is also nicely and subtly shaded. 

Due to the subject, I don’t think this figure will be especially popular, but it is nicely done, and would look nice in a diorama. 

As a small added bonus, here’s a keyring by Tsudaka Hobby that I picked up in a Suruga-ya order:

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It did come with the key loop, but I removed this to more easily place it in an ita bag (featuring all my favourite things). The legs and tail are very flexible, so they’ll bend if caught on anything. The black wash is OK, but I wish they left a little more on to soften the effect. The bottom of the facehugger is also sculpted decently well. I like this keyring, and glad I got it. 

Battle Break – Part 4

This is the fourth and final part of the Battle Break figures. Let’s see what the last few boxes bring us!

Here we have a Sphinx, Spin-X (スフィン-X):

Robo-sphinx! I love the design of this one, and he’s nicely painted. Looks like some of the green may’ve smudged a bit onto the middle of his wing by mistake. The colours work well together, and fit the Egyptian theme. 

Front:

Here his front is dominated by a large cannon. I like the ornate design on the end of it.

Back:

The bottom of his back looks a bit odd, with the way his legs are attached to it, giving to a strange, bulbous look. Back of his head looks OK. 

Ranch Lizard (牧場トカゲ):

A big one and a little one, aww. The overall design is reminiscent of a triceratops. The sculpting is decent, and the colour scheme works. 

Back:

More of the same. Paint looks OK for teh most part, but could do with a bit more dark paint on the brown part of the tail. 

Head:

Yup, don’t want to have this guy headbutt me. Thinking that’d hurt with that chitinous protrusion. 

So, if you’re a rancher, this is apparently the lizard for you!

Adams! (アダムス):

And now for something completely different… an alien beaming down! Loving the classic alien design. The colours work well together, and the sculpt is decent. This is probably one of my favourites. 

Side:

Here we can see the beam is translucent, and can just about see the alien through it. 

Back:

If you just want an alien craft beaming something down, this is the view for you. I think this figure has been well-sculpted and painted. 

And lastly, Waterline (ウォータリアン):

Here we have a water-based dude, with water protruding from his head. I like the colour scheme on this one too, and the purple parts seem to have been painted neatly on this one. The water on this one is a lot more effective than the foam stuff on the Horse Whale, and wish they went for more of this look on the Horse Whale figure. 

Side:

I like the design of his armour, and his watery hairstyle. The wave and foam have also been painted well, and it does look like a cresting wave. 

Back:

Yup, looks like a wave back here! Not too much to see, but the sculpt and paint are nice. Overall, I really like this one, but he is a bit hard to display so you can see him well due to the wave surrounding him.

With this set overall, I’m pleased with what I got. Some of the figures aren’t that great, but I think there is enough inventive designs here that they work as display pieces as well as game counters. Could also see these being re-purposed for another board game, if these characters fit the theme. 

Battle Break – Part 3

Three more figures from the Battle Break set. 

Starting with Horse Whale (ホシクジラ):

Yep. You read that right. Apparently this is a horse whale… Does look like a whale from this angle… but I’m not getting horse. There’s some foam added to the figure, but it looks more like clouds or ice formations. 

Left:

From the sides, it definitely looks more like a squid-whale than a horse-whale, with the squidlike appendages on its back. The foam has some pretty weird dark blobs on it, where it looks like the paint was incorrectly applied, which I don’t like. The creature itself has a nice design though.

Right:

I think the foam looks better on this side, but is still kind of ropy, and I’d prefer if it was waves instead of seafoam. The slots on the upper part of his head make it look like it might’ve been crossed with a submarine, and the regular spacing of the elements give it a machinelike feel to me. 

Back:

I like the patterns on the finlike protrusions on its back. Foam still looking kind of “eh” to me. I think the solidity of it is what ruins it mostly – if they used transparent plastic here, I think they could’ve achieved a better effect that wasn’t so solid. For a cheap figure it does the job, though. 

Overall, I like this one, and do like the creature’s design, but not so fond of the added parts.

Crow Teng (クロウ・テング):

Here we have a not-so-black crow. Which made me thing “eagle” prior to translating the name. Here we have an interesting battle pose, and a wandlike weapon, which makes me think this dude is a caster. Whichever, he’s a mean looking-dude. 

Right:

I like the sculpted texture on his body, but I think they’ve been a bit miserly with the light blue paint here, and it doesn’t highlight some of the key features, which makes look a little odd overall. I think the part on his leg could’ve been directly painted, instead of giving him a wash, and it would’ve improved the overall appearance. He does have a red beady eye, which is a nice focal feature.

Back:

Looks like he’s had a run-in with a tin of paint. Here the wash is VERY sloppy, and I kind of wish they didn’t bother. Makes it look like a statue in disrepair instead of acting as highlights. 

From the front, this a nice looking piece. From the other angles… not so much. 

Killer Panda (キラー・パンダ):

Vicious and cute. The colour scheme isn’t really befitting of a panda, but I do like the paint apps. The fading has been done well on his body, and most of the painted highlights are done neatly. They’ve even given him some grass to sit in. 

Left:

Paint between his parts didn’t get blended… oops. Looks a bit derpy from the side. We also have some paint chips, which aren’t great. 

Back:

His palms have been painted to match his feet, which works well. Faiding is done well on the back, so he looks good from this angle too. Just a shame about the paint chips on the left.

Overall, he’s not a very inventive character, but he is well-executed, apart from some paint issues on the sides.