Category: Action figures (articulated)

Official vs Bootleg: FREEing Red Pyramid Thing (figma)

Time for something horror-themed… in more ways than one. When I bought the bootleg to feature in this series I wasn’t intentionally hunting for it, but the photos I saw of the bootleg made me buy it. So let’s see what horrors I manage to uncover.

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

MSRP (without tax): ¥4,444
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,000 (£28.13)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $16.20 (£12.58)

I bought the official figure secondhand whilst visiting Japan.

Box

This bootleg came with the box, which was interestingly folded around the inner plastic. Not entirely sure why they did that, seeing as it doesn’t take up less space to do so. I guess they didn’t want to take the time to shove the blister into the box.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/XW4DCTq/box-front.jpg

The bootleg box from the front is a straight-up photocopy of the original. The colouring is a bit off, but hard to tell anything’s amiss from the box front if you don’t have the original next to it. Ignoring the figure, the main difference here is we don’t have a backing card for the figure – in the official box we have a sheet of red card, in the bootleg, nothing.
The bootleg box also looks like it had a trip around the warehouse floor with its fine layer of dirt before it made its way to me.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/PG2xQKN/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/wsZ0NZP/box-left.jpg

Again, the sides are a mildly inferior copy. Here it is more obvious though, with the skin colour being markedly different than what it should be. The other parts also show colour differences, but it isn’t as distinct as the arm colour imo.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/ssDXLkQ/box-back.jpg

Here is where the print quality issues are most apparent. Looks like Pyramid Thing is attempting to hide in the shadows on the bootleg box promo shots. However, being a direct copy it would likely fool less experienced collectors.
My copy of the bootleg box has a massive crease down the back from being folded in transit. Also no tape of any kind.

Box ends:
https://i.ibb.co/P4KDd6c/box-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/WvX65jk/box-bottom.jpg

Print quality is the same as the sides. Nothing new to report here.

Flaps:
https://i.ibb.co/mbvGpY0/box-flaps.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/RC3Rmfr/boxes-open.jpg

Ended up with the boxes the wrong way around in the first photo… swore I remembered to switch them as I knew I’d rotate the photo… apparently not. Again, as with the Alien figma, the flap shape is different, though there is no difference in what’s printed on there this time.
Upon opening the box, the official has the card insert present but the bootleg does not.

Accessories

This figure comes with a decent number of accessories for an SP release.

Let’s start off with the hands:
https://i.ibb.co/mh8j5Cx/hand-trees.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/SfsZDcr/hand-trees-under.jpg

For the hand tree, the official comes with a figma-branded white tree, but the bootleg comes with a clear, bubbly tree.
For the bootleg, we have the same hands as the official. The casting is mostly OK on the bootlegs, but we do have some seams that have been tidied up on the official. The part that the bootleg hands fall down is the paint – the reddish brown wash is much too harsh and makes it look like the bootleg hands are carved from stone or something, instead of wearing latex gloves.

Knife:
https://i.ibb.co/NtFbgXc/knives-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/BGXQBcn/knives-back.jpg

The bootleg knife is actually pretty decent. If someone switched the knife on my official figure, I’m not sure I would notice until I looked closely.
We do have some difference in appearance between the two – the paint on the blade and hilt is less even and the blade edge is less smooth on the bootleg.
The knives are both the same size (any apparent difference in the photos is an optical illusion of them not being aligned properly).

Spear pole:

https://i.ibb.co/7Wpp2R2/spear-pole.jpg

The bootleg one came with a quite severe bend to it, and the paint is a lighter shade. The paint isn’t quite as good on the bootleg, but not very noticeably bad.

Spear pole peg:

https://i.ibb.co/9gF21xm/spear-pole-end.jpg

Here, the official is unpainted and, for some asinine reason, the bootleg has a painted peg. This makes the peg into a funny shape, and means the bootleg spear cannot be assembled – I tried, I tried and I tried again. Wasn’t happening. The spear tip would just drop off straight away.

Spear tip:

https://i.ibb.co/bJ3czYX/spear-tips.jpg

Here the spear differs noticeably – the official has a dark silver metal-coloured tip and the bootleg is black. Bootleg moulding is also a bit shaky, leading the edges of the spear tip to be uneven and rough. Not that the flaws on the bootleg matter much, when it isn’t usable with the spear shaft.

Spear neck:

https://i.ibb.co/LhzXwJx/neck-piece-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/Qmvd8QF/neck-piece-back.jpg

This figure comes with a pretty neat action feature featuring this neck piece – you can have him speared in the neck, using the hole provided. There will be some images of this action feature later in the blog.
For the neck piece itself, we can instantly see a difference in colour – the flesh tone is paler on the bootleg and the lower half is more cream than grey. The neckline on the bootleg has also been painted much higher and the neck paint is very thin, allowing the grey/cream paint to show through in spots. If that wasn’t economical enough with the paint, the bootleg neck piece isn’t painted on the inside, unlike the official.
Lastly, the bootleg comes with a joint of its very own, unlike the bootleg. The official also had a protective plastic piece in the top, to prevent damage to the hole.

The accessories on the bootleg are very hit and miss. The knife is decent, but the spear is a definite miss, with the large bend in it and the whole fact it can’t be assembled without modifying the spear shaft. The neck piece doesn’t look too bad, though is definitely lower in quality.

Base

https://i.ibb.co/C9qpcmM/bases-side.jpg

From the side, the bootleg is an inferior copy of the official. The typical air bubbles can definitely be seen in the bootleg copy. Also a slightly different clear plastic, which doesn’t have the same tint as the official.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/Xbk93XR/base-bottom-top.jpg

We have the “figma” logo and tagline replicated here.

Underneath:

https://i.ibb.co/nMgbZqw/base-bottom-bottom.jpg

Official has the copyright for the figure, and, unsurprisingly, the bootleg does not, leaving this as probably the biggest tell this is not an official stand. Here we can also see a rough end on the stand arm – typically bootleggers don’t sand the nubs off of stands when clipped out from a sprue.

The bootleg stand is pretty typical for a bootleg figma, with its air bubbles and lack of copyright. The base does feel cheaper than an official one, but would do the job to replace a broken stand.

Figure spin-around

https://i.ibb.co/PzLmvD6/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/TmQ6xH2/spin-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/NWSXYHR/spin-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/3FV8wv1/spin-left.jpg

And here we get to see why I found this bootleg entertaining – poor ol’ bootleg Pyramid Thing seems to have been out in the sun too long and got sunburned. Though he did manage to save some of his arms going by the colour of the joints…
The other major difference that stands out to me is the yellowy colouring on his clothes. Also the bootleg’s clothing is very sticky – likely plasticiser leaking out, as it’s the same kind of stickiness. Whatever it is, it makes the bootleg unpleasant to handle.

Figure close-ups

Head:

https://i.ibb.co/h9NPB26/noggin.jpg

Here, the official captures the grimy, red metal… thing quite well. Bootleg, not so much as some of the detail has been lost, especially towards the bottom. The paint colour is also a bit off, feels more brick red to me, though it still captures the pyramid thing vibe decently well.

OK, downhill from here. Let’s get into this horror.
Brain from the back:

https://i.ibb.co/ryFgr72/brain.jpg

The shading has been done well on the official, giving a creepy, leaking brain appearance, with bonus rusty nail.
The bootleg gives off an orange Silly Putty vibe, with a black plastic peg nailed into it. Not quite the horror we were going for.

Front of the apron:

https://i.ibb.co/k1pVM1L/apron.jpg

Let’s start off with the rips – on the official they’re done decently well, not perfect, but the red paint is mostly where it should be and you can tell what it is supposed to be. On the bootleg, we have the most halfarsed attempt ever on the upper half, making it look like he’s had an accident with a red marker pen. Lower half is a better attempt, but with the blood mostly missing the holes, it looks like blood spatter rather than the intended gashes in his clothing.
The silver buckles haven’t been painted on the bootleg and are instead the same as the rest of his clothing. Also the paint is really uneven on the bootleg – his skirt doesn’t match his upper half, thanks to the very different applications of the paint between the halves, making the upper half look much more yellowy.
The bootleg’s upper half has ended up slightly lower down, which may’ve been caused by the internal joints not being quite the same as the official’s.
Lastly, the top of the bootleg’s skirt hasn’t been cut correctly, leaving it a wobbly mess and starting higher up on his body. The official has been cut to match the middle torso part, and does so well.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/n1CF4h4/back.jpg

The bloody carved holes in the clothing don’t look good on the back of the bootleg either, but at least they’re pretty much in the right spots this time.
The straps over his shoulders have been done in an OK shade of brown on the bootleg, but lacks the shading of the original. The belt buckles are nowhere as nicely painted as the official though.
With the zipper on the back of the official, it extends to the middle of his back, just above the hole whilst on the bootleg, it only extends down to the upper back joint, and then they forgot to paint the rest of it. Not a big issue, and one that’s essentially dwarfed by the yellowy-creamy colour he’s been painted with.

Closer look at the straps:

https://i.ibb.co/bmfh7tX/upper-back.jpg

Yeah, things don’t get better for the bootleg up close. The straps have seemingly been flattened to the body on the bootleg, and there’s body paint on the tips of the straps.

Feet:

https://i.ibb.co/YtHMgsG/feet.jpg

The bootleg definitely misses out on the finish of the official, and the moulding is really poor here. We’ve got extra bits of plastic, and the front part of the toes just doesn’t fit on very well, especially when compared to the official. However, the toe joints do function, which can be a rarity with bootlegs. The ankle joints are also visible from the front on the bootleg, which adds to the uglier foot look.

Let’s see if these feet can dance:

https://i.ibb.co/LCsPLj7/splits.jpg

Yep, both can do limited splits of about the same angle. Both are restricted by the skirt of the dress – whilst it does flex some, it’s not enough to allow free movement.

Knees:

https://i.ibb.co/G9ZztGB/crotch.jpg

The joints look like the same type, but are slightly different colours. The bootleg joints are slightly concerning though as there is a distinct gap in the joint – these could eventually split and come apart. Also the “modesty panel” on his skirt on the bootleg has a lack of cream paint to match the rest of his skirt. Not a big issue, as you don’t usually look down here.

Outside of the arms:

https://i.ibb.co/kMCwygS/arm.jpg

Man, that skin texture on the bootleg is just awful.
The official has some nice shading, and is around about right for what I think his skin colour should be. We also have some of his glove on his wrist, to complete the look of the gloves.
And the bootleg… oh my, the bootleg. You could almost pass this off as a black version of Pyramid Head, if it wasn’t for the poor quality of the darker shading which makes him look diseased or burned. They’ve also neglected to paint the part of his glove on his arm, giving him a bit of a mutant arm look. Lastly, we have a fairly clear mould line running down the length of his upper arm.

Inside of the arm:

https://i.ibb.co/Px48jsS/arm-joints.jpg

On the official, they have selected arm joints that match up reasonably well with the arm colour. For the bootleg, did they pick paint to match the joints? No. Joints to match the paint? No. Instead we have these very light skin tone joints that don’t match in the slightest. Not sure what they were thinking with this one, even for a bootleg. The bootleg joints don’t look to be very high quality – the lower one seems to be splitting already and plenty of extra plastic on the shoulder joint. Initially I thought these joints did differ on the bootleg, but on close inspection, they are the same, it’s just the bootleg ones are slightly mutant from poor production quality.
Again, he’s looking very much seared in the skin department, almost leathery. The hairlines and poor reproduction of the details on the upper arm end up reinforcing something bad has happened to this poor Pyramid Head. He probably deserved it though.

Shoulder:

https://i.ibb.co/5W7Rq3b/shoulder-joint.jpg

These photos I could’ve made a closer match I found out after the photoshoot… but the bootleg’s joints are a bit harder to manipulate, leading me to accidentally believe it didn’t have the same joint inside. The bootleg will articulate upwards and hide the shoulder joint though. However, this photo does show that if you do want the arm in a lower position on the bootleg it will look silly anyway due to the joint colour.
This photo is taken of his left side from the back – on this side my bootleg isn’t quite assembled correctly, leaving a gap between the skin and his dress which looks really odd close up. This area is all odd and misshapen, but this area doesn’t usually show much on display.

OK, now for some accessory testing! Let’s exchange some hands:

https://i.ibb.co/NstMrQy/hand-peg.jpg

Here the joints do differ – the bootleg has a black joint, whilst the official matches the grey of the gloves. The black peg is also hewn off quite badly, and lacks the retaining ring that the official has. That ring is pretty important – it holds the hands on once assembled. For my bootleg, the left hands fall off very easily.

OK, new hands:

https://i.ibb.co/YcnjhF1/hand-swap.jpg

The bootleg’s hands went on OK, just the aforementioned issue that one of them will fall off pretty easily when handling the figure. The black joint isn’t so bad on the bootleg, due to the improper painting of the hands, but it does sort of make his hands look stubby to me.
If it wasn’t for the poor paint job, these would be an OK set of hands.

Let’s do a neck change now:

https://i.ibb.co/4sttBLQ/bootleg-neck-and-joint.jpg

Uh, that’s not supposed to happen. That joint is supposed to stay in his head. OK, some hard shoving should get this back in…
Hrngh, hrngh:

https://i.ibb.co/rmYW0QB/bootleg-broken-hole.jpg

… bollocks. The joint was an extremely tight fit, and the glue gave out before the ball would go back in. Yay, broken bootleg with no real way of repairing it! However, the review must go on!

Whilst we have the heads off, let’s compare the paint underneath in more detail:

https://i.ibb.co/L8X93H5/head-underneath.jpg

I do really like the fleshy-brainy texture they managed to produce on the official one.
The bootleg I’m not entirely sure what they were going for, and I’m not sure they were sure either. The orange and yellow doesn’t seem reminiscent of anything, so it’s almost like his head was stuffed with something rather than being brain. We’ve also got a really ugly seam line that isn’t present on the official.

Inside of the neck:

https://i.ibb.co/ZH8Cyvj/neck-holes.jpg

Here the official has gone the extra mile and the inside of the neck is painted with a skin texture, even though this part isn’t usually visible due to Pyramid Thing’s large head. Bootleggers saw the opportunity to use less paint, and left it black.

Let’s see if the bootleg spear is good for something:

https://i.ibb.co/s6SjrKg/bootleg-stabbed-nohead.jpg

Huh, it actually does manage to clip into the neck. Just a shame his head will no longer stay on.

Both stabbed Pyramid Things:

https://i.ibb.co/mtz4h0P/neck-pole.jpg

Both work fine with their respective accessory. And this allows me to have the bootleg’s head balanced on his body, so hey, extra utility.

Let’s go for some final posing!

https://i.ibb.co/680FyKx/posed.jpg

The official holds his weapons well, in whatever pose you would like. Poor bootleg can only use his spear to stab himself, though he can hold his knife OK. Oh, and is now permanently headless thanks to the broken headpiece.

Articulation

The official doesn’t have any distinct articulation issues, though the head won’t rotate fully due to the brain parts fouling on the shoulders. However, I’d very much take that instead of a head that breaks.
My official figure passes a “flop test” (grab the upper torso of a figure and shake) with flying colours – nothing rattles around. My bootleg nearly passes, and only the upper torso joint waggles around. Overall, the joints on the bootleg work, with nothing too stiff to move or too loose to pose. However, the head breaking is massive minus points, and if you do a full ab crunch, the torso on mine pops off at the lower joint, which doesn’t happen on my official. The torso will pop back on fairly easily though.
Not sure how long the bootleg’s joints will last – I wouldn’t want to handle this guy roughly if I was keeping him, but they have all stayed intact for this review.

Conclusion

The bootleg could’ve been OK for a bootleg if it wasn’t for the head joint breaking and the bizarre paint job on the skin. If you were making a horror diorama, and wanted some dismembered arms, the bootleg’s could fit the bill. Weapons would also work with a horror diorama. If you bought the bootleg to display, you’d have to be pretty picky with the posing so that the horrible non-matching joints didn’t show.
As far as telling these apart, looking at the contents of the box would very quickly tell you if you’re looking at the official. If you were just looking at the box, someone could be easily duped as there’s no super-clear tells (e.g. missing manufacturer logos) that tell you something’s wrong.
Would I recommend this one to someone who happily buys bootlegs? Ehhh. Definitely not the worst bootleg you could buy, but does have some significant flaws. You’d have to be happy with the mediocre paint job and not using the spear accessory. It could be possible to modify the peg to work with the spearhead, but replacing the neck for the special part can result in a broken bootleg.

Official vs Bootleg: Figma Alien

This blog is part 3 of 3 of the Alien Blog Series, so for those of you who are not into Alien, feel free to rejoice :P.

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

MSRP (without tax): ¥8,148
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥8,122 (£59.60)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $13.80 (£10.77)

The official figure I preordered.

Box

Figma bootlegs commonly come with their box, so I have a box for both the official and the bootleg.
Front:

https://i.ibb.co/KwFRHLq/box-front.jpg

Instantly we have two bits of missing text on the box – the Max Factory and GSC logos in the top left and the Fox logo and copyright in the bottom left.
Interestingly, we still have the “10 years anniversary” print on the plastic window, though the colouration is different.
The colour depth is also significantly poorer on the bootleg box – if you look in the bottom right where the box says “ALIEN”, you’ll notice the Alien’s tail a lot less distinct on the bootleg.
Another notable difference is this:

https://i.ibb.co/YLJPHrM/box-postcard.jpg

The postcard on the bootleg is visible, whilst the official it is not…. that’s because the bootleg lacks the inner card liner that Figma have in their boxes.

Top:

https://i.ibb.co/x2VbtbN/box-top.jpg

Again, the Max Factory and GSC logos have been removed. We also have some standard tape on the bootleg – my official figure has been on display, but the crinkled-up tape is the circular round “tape” that GSC uses.

Sides:

https://i.ibb.co/ctVmFyx/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/56WQmfZ/box-left.jpg

Not much to report here, other than the shoddy print quality. Oh, and the bootleg is creased up from not being packaged well before being posted.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/NyF6cgr/box-back.jpg

Can’t see any edits here. Just some murky photos on the bootleg box… don’t want to show too many of the details off of the official product now, do we?

Bottom:

https://i.ibb.co/SmjGjVy/box-bottom.jpg

Again, logos removed. Well, at least the bootleggers got the correct box bottom this time, unlike the Revoltech Alien Queen.

Flaps:

https://i.ibb.co/bPCh4FR/box-flaps.jpg

Rotated this image, so the boxes are the wrong way around here. But notice what’s conspicuously missing? Telling you that the postcard is behind the “inner paperboard”, because the bootleg doesn’t have one. Interesting that they actually remembered to remove this.
Also the flaps are slightly differently shaped, which is an interesting change to make. Guess they already had some flap template they decided to use for the cutting.

So if you come across this figure boxed, it’s pretty easy to tell you’re looking at a fake due to the removed logos. The lack of backing card is also a big clue you’re looking at a less-than-official figure.

Accessories

Let’s start with that postcard:

https://i.ibb.co/RjDfwyv/postcards-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/QPX1vTG/postcards-back.jpg

Interestingly they’ve removed the logos off of the back, but left the copyrights on the front. Other than that, there isn’t really any big differences between the two – side by side there’s a difference in colour of the blacks, but if I saw the fronts one at once, I’d have a hard time telling them apart. So you do get a serviceable postcard out of this, but that’s not really worth £10.

Instructions:

https://i.ibb.co/DG82Jty/instructions.jpg

Again, there wouldn’t be much notable difference here, other than the fact they’ve removed the Max Factory logo (top right of the first page)

Rest of the bootleg accessories:

https://i.ibb.co/QczN3w6/bootleg-baggie.jpg

Hmm, this isn’t how Max Factory usually packs these… The original official packaging I’ve long since disposed of, but it was the same style as other Figma – with a segmented bag for the base parts, and separate packaging for the other parts. The official facehugger tail packaging will appear later. The bootleg also lacks the Figma resealable bag.

You said facehugger? Yes I did:

https://i.ibb.co/PQ0qCCn/facehugger-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/3Fjz1cW/facehugger-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/zRb2fQC/facehugger-back.jpg

The bootleg is a much more cheerful shade of yellow, and some of the details have turned to mush on the underside. We also lack the pale shading on the top of the flap parts.
Also the bootleg one has a major defect – I couldn’t disassemble it! They’ve painted it post-assembly, and the tail is now firmly glued into place, and no amount of tugging is likely going to get it to separate properly – I suspect if I do detach the tail, it’s going to take some of the peg with it. Or I’d just have to snip it off and go from there.

Let’s look at the alternative tails for the facehugger:

https://i.ibb.co/stfD8Qx/facehugger-alt-tail.jpg

Unsurprisingly, they match the colours of their respective facehuggers. Here we can see how Max Factory taped the tail to a board so it wouldn’t get damaged in transit. I don’t plan to take it off the card as this thing is tiny, and I don’t want to lose or damage it. Interestingly, the bootleg has an extra shading detail, though it’s not one present on most facehugger interpretations. They’ve also painted the peg, so I suspect it’ll be a pain in the ass to attach to the facehugger, if I could even do so. The tail attached to the bootleg isn’t fully pushed in, so I suspect the peg would be too large anyway. The official has some paint drippage on the peg, but probably not anything that’d impede assembly.

Hands:

https://i.ibb.co/qpmT00v/hands-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/PMzbLm3/hands-bottom.jpg

With both the official and the bootleg, you get one set of replacement hands. The black and silver are painted decently on both the bootleg and the official, and the moulding looks around about the same. However, what’s supposed to be the brown wash has been applied very patchily on the bootleg. A sign of things to come…

For the accessories, each one has a “tell” to signal it isn’t the official. Though special mention goes to the facehugger on mine, with it being nonfunctional. The tail that is stuck on isn’t even in a good position, so it can’t display well without being modified.

Base

Here’s the bases side-by-side:

https://i.ibb.co/41Bnx9V/stand-side.jpg

The official stand arm has a bluer hue to it, and a lack of air bubbles. This bootleg stand definitely has air bubbles on show – which is a common trait of bootleg stands of this type. The bootleg stand also has a bit of flashing poking off the end of the peg – on Figma, this doesn’t tend to impede getting the figure on the stand much, but probably wants clipping prior to using the stand.
Bootlegs are probably the easiest way of getting a replacement Figma stand (sadly, would be nice if GSC sold replacement stands or stand parts). One thing to note is the plastic can be weaker, so if the screws are too tight to articulate the stand, unscrew them a bit first to prevent accidentally snapping it. And tighten the inevitably loose screws whilst you’re at it.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/PtGyT5v/stand-base-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/fCnt8B0/base-bottoms.jpg

Side-by-side, we can see there is a colour difference between the bases, plus there is a more distinctive frosting pattern on the official. On the bottom of the base we lack the copyright information on the bootleg.

Here is a close-up of what the copyright looks like on the official:

https://i.ibb.co/JWTz8R0/stand-copyright-notice.jpg

I’ve increased the contrast significantly, so that it is more visible in this photo. They can be kinda hard to see when looking at the base, but visible enough you can tell that it is there.

Overall, the bootleg base functions, but has the quality control flaws to be expected from cheap manufacture. It can be differentiated from the official by the lack of copyright on the bottom, and likely by having air bubbles in the stand arm. If you wanted to use it as a replacement for a broken official stand, it will work though.

Figure spin-around

Time for the main event! Let’s have a look at these two side-by-side:

https://i.ibb.co/ykrqs74/spin-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/1rMtvYY/spin-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/260mCm3/spin-back.jpg

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

The first things that stand out to me is the clarity of the dome and the fact the bootleg’s head is less hunkered down to the body. Oh, and the fact it looks like the bootleg has been rolling around in the dirt. The figure is supposed to have a subtle brown wash, however on the bootleg this has translated to a very uneven wash on the figure, which makes it look like mud. Can’t say I’m a massive fan of it on the official, but at least it is subtle enough to not look like dirt.
With the head, it’s not uncommon to see this on bootlegs – either they use a different joint piece or the holes aren’t drilled right, leaving the heads more prominent. In this case, it doesn’t look so unnatural to human figures, and not really noticeable unless you’re looking closely. It seems more visible in these photos than looking at it in person. It does offer one more test though – with the official, the head is practically straight when touching the upper back protrusion, but the bootleg is slightly looking up.

Figure close-ups

Right, let’s go back in time and get the bootleg figure out of the box:

https://i.ibb.co/QPztj3b/bootleg-out-of-box.jpg

Off to a good start with the bootleg!

OK, now for an articulation test after shoving the head back on:

https://i.ibb.co/fFTTyPn/bootleg-falls-apart.jpg

Don’t think this Alien is going anywhere fast! With my bootleg copy, his right leg will fall off very easily, and did fall off once or twice when I was moving the figure around. Articulating the joint, it will definitely have a propensity to fall off. The upper arm joint was also fairly loose, but will stay most of the time. One of the arm joints is frozen and won’t articulate without doing something to sort it.
For my official, articulating it doesn’t have pieces flying everywhere (Mafex Alien could learn a thing or two…).

Whilst we have his leg off, let’s look at the bootleg leg joint:

https://i.ibb.co/kBzH7Rb/bootleg-leg-joint.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/r4CS5cv/bad-joint.jpg

Hm, so he’s muddy on the inside too! Almost wonder if they were using paint to sorta glue him together to go into the box… Didn’t work though as he fell apart not too long after I took him out of the box.
The joint itself is likely loose due to the “cup” part where the ball goes into being roughly cut resulting in the hole being too large to properly contain the ball joint. Action figures need a certain level of precision in their manufacture otherwise you end up with loose or too tight joints, and end up with… this mess.

Top of the head:

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

One of the iconic features of the alien. For the official, we have a darker shell. Some of the moulding detail is missing from the bootleg – the ribbing on the tubes that go from the front to the back and the outer bone pieces within the shell lack finer detail. The skull plate joins are also somewhat different. For the bootleg, we’ve also got a colour difference between the middle bits of bone and the outer bits, which isn’t a thing on the original. Outside of the head shell, we have a brown shading detail on the side of the head (bottom of the photo) that isn’t present on the bootleg.
For this, the bootleg doesn’t look bad, but comparing to the official, you get to see what you’re missing.

“Face”:

https://i.ibb.co/v18WYPs/inner-mouth-front.jpg

First thing that hits me is the poor paint quality of the teeth on the bootleg – both his inner and outer mouths are a mess. We’ve also lost some of the finer mould details, which adds to the messy appearance, especially for the inside of the inner mouth
Despite the bootleg’s dome appearing more transparent on top, it’s more opaque on the front, pretty much hiding the eyesockets. Quite a disappointing “feature” as this is one of the iconic parts of the transparent dome Alien design.

Inner mouth, extend!

https://i.ibb.co/74cBrGF/inner-mouth.jpg

I said extend. Yep, my bootleg is defective here, and it won’t pop out. I tried. For the inner mouth, the official is somewhat flawed, partly thanks to a mould line. However, what I can see of the bootleg’s, it doesn’t look like they tried.
We can also see how the clarity of the dome is much better on the official than the bootleg. It looks like they painted part of the dome to try and emulate the dark shading, instead of relying on the plastic’s thickness.
Here we can see how the brown wash is supposed to work, and how it’s just muddy spots on the bootleg.

Torso:

https://i.ibb.co/D8PQk1L/torso.jpg

Here, the mould details are decently replicated, but the paint…. not so much. The black paint on the bootleg isn’t as shiny as the original, and isn’t quite as dark. Also, can we get the bootleg Alien a bath? Definitely looks like he’s been rolling around in the mud from this angle. The brown wash is much more evenly applied on the official, making it look much more like shading/detail and definitely nowhere near as distracting.

Back:

https://i.ibb.co/ZxkmbQq/back.jpg

If I thought the official looked overly plain in spots, the bootleg trumps it with a lack of the knobbly textured effect that is on the flatter parts – especially noticeable on the buttocks.
The protruding parts are also all over the place on the bootleg – official shows how they’re supposed to go, but the bootleg’s are twisted all over the place. Not really a great look imo.
Oh yeah, and he’s also muddy. Did I mention that already? What do you mean the bath isn’t ready yet?

“Pipes” from the side:

https://i.ibb.co/pKVTPXT/pipes-side.jpg

Not got much to add here, but we get to see yet more of the mud and the way that the bootleg was incorrectly assembled.

Arm:

https://i.ibb.co/YBrMqbP/right-arm-above.jpg

The limbs are all a fairly similar story, so let’s just compare an arm. The moulding seems to be a decent copy, but the paint job has suffered. We can also see on this hand how unevenly the wash has been applied on the bootleg. The silver nails, for the most part, have been painted OK though.

Close-up of the other hand:

https://i.ibb.co/41VYQ7M/attached-hand.jpg

You’ve been slinging mud around haven’t you, you naughty Alien?

Tail:

https://i.ibb.co/v1Xz6Mc/tail.jpg

Well, we can definitely tell these apart! The tail end has been assembled incorrectly on the bootleg and points the wrong way. It’s not like they had an artist’s impression of this figure on a piece of card to tell them how it was supposed to go…
The curvature is also quite different – likely mostly due to poor assembly, but the bootleg also doesn’t have the two hidden joints that the official does. For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the official’s articulation, but this picture by YamiYumi shows what the articulation in the tail can do.

OK, let’s do some hand swapping:

https://i.ibb.co/bHc6FMs/bootleg-hand.jpg

Um, one moment please! Unlike the official, pulling the hand can sometimes result in the joint coming out. With the official, pulling off the hands will leave the joint in the wrist. The joints seem to be a bit short on the bootleg and a bit misshapen, which is likely the cause of this issue. And the hole not being small enough to hold it tightly.

Swap complete:

https://i.ibb.co/bL4ZZ80/bootleg-hands-replacement.jpg

Wasn’t too bad, other than having to put the joints back in the right place when hand swapping. The wrist joints have more of a habit of staying visible than the official, but the hand swap is possible. For both the official and the bootleg I heated the hands to facilitate assembly.

Conclusion

Overall, this bootleg is a mixed bag. For just under $14, I can see why someone would want to go for this bootleg rather than forking out for the official, though it definitely has its flaws, with the poorly painted brown “wash”, missing articulation in the tail and some joints either too loose or too tight.
Telling them apart, the bad paint job definitely gives the figure away, as well as the missing logos on the box. If you have the accessories to tell the figure apart, the facehugger’s “flaps” not being a paler colour and the lack of copyright on the stand are two large giveaways. If the paper parts are included, the missing company logos on those parts also reveal if you’re looking at a bootleg.

Official vs Bootleg: Kaiyodo Revoltech Alien Queen

Now for the first articulated figure of Official vs Bootleg, plus part 2 of 3 of Alien Blog Series. This Alien Queen was a bootleg I remember considering buying when I didn’t know very many places to get Japanese figures and really wanted an Alien Queen figure. In the end, I didn’t buy the bootleg back then, but was one of the first figures I wanted to do for Official vs Bootleg, and now finally I’ve gotten around to writing this blog. Yay!

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

For the official figure, mine isn’t in the greatest condition as I bought it as part of Mandarake’s “Urban Mines”. One of the spines is broken, and the jaw has been reglued, which means I don’t have the inner jaw in place.

Mandarake used to have an auction subsite called “Urban Mines”. Here they would sell anything that they got traded in and didn’t want to put up for sale on their site. Figures were sold “as-is” and wasn’t uncommon for them to be broken or dirty, though a number of items were perfectly fine. Job lots were also fairly frequent – they’d bundle a bunch of figures together and sell as a lot. This wasn’t part of a lot, but there were some good deals to be had with the job lots… and surprises as they’d only take one photo of the items already packaged to go.
Auctions used to start from a bid of ¥1, but was changed to ¥100. Then not too long after this change, the Urban Mines auctions were retired. My wallet may have rejoiced, but I do miss leafing through the auctions for exciting (and cheap!) things.

Pricing

MSRP (without tax): ¥3,429
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,000 (£18.66)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £14.97

I bought this item in “as-is” condition from the Mandarake Urban Mine.

Box

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/2gHnNXM/box-front.jpg

The front of the box is a direct copy, so not too much difference here. The print quality isn’t so good on the bootleg, and the colours are incorrect. Comparing the plate part of her head, we can see the bootleg box lacks some of the yellow colouring, and comparing her leg we can see where the print is blurry compared to the official.

Other sides:

https://i.ibb.co/Bz8Gdbx/box-top.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/5L24BRB/box-right.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/dtJxBRy/box-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/phJSg7p/box-bottom.jpg

Here we can see that the copper parts of the box are more of a brass colour on the bootleg. We’ve also got some poorer colour definition, giving us a more muddy appearance. From the way the light shines off of the boxes, we can see the bootleg box has a shinier finish.
Another thing of note is the barcode on the bootleg is actually for the Woody Revoltech, suggesting the bottom face of the box has actually been taken from Woody’s box instead of the Alien Queen box.

Back of the box:

https://i.ibb.co/WfWhtmM/box-back.jpg

Due to the difference in prints, the stone texture is quite a stark contrast between the two boxes. The bottom of the bootleg box is much more blueish in tone, compared to the official.

Flaps:

https://i.ibb.co/jV8N1w6/box-flap-side.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/s2RKmrP/box-flap.jpg

The side flap isn’t too different from its official counterpart, but there’s some definite spacing and layout issues going on, making it one of the easier parts to tell if you’re looking at a bootleg box.
However, interestingly they’ve neglected to add the text on the upper flap, leaving that as a more obvious sign of a knockoff box.

So the easiest way of telling the boxes apart is to look at/scan the barcode. If you get Woody (453807040107) you know you’re looking at a fake.

Inner packaging:

https://i.ibb.co/Cs0q2TW/box-innard.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/S5qc56Z/box-innard-bottom.jpg

In the upper picture, we can see that the bootleg version lacks the recess for the Revoltech “coin”, and did not come with one. The clear plastic has a blueish tint to it, compared to the official.
With the lower tray, we can see that the official has a matte plastic, whilst the bootleg is shiny and cheap. This part of the box has the same indentations as the official.

Accessories

Accessory box:

https://i.ibb.co/kQzBxfC/boxes-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/F7bwj78/boxes-back.jpg

The boxes are actually quite hard to tell apart, but there is one notable difference – the bootleg box doesn’t have a mould mark in the bottom left. During the photoshoot I did mix them up at one point, and accidentally edited the incorrect photo initially, d’oh.
Comparing them to the rest of my Revoltech boxes, the design on the back varies to some degree, which made it hard to match up which was which. The mould mark is consistent on all the official boxes though.

Sign:

https://i.ibb.co/T8Mrn92/stands-front.jpg

Had even bigger issues telling which was official and which was not after I picked them up together and plonked them down. Well, after this photoshoot I’ve ensured that bootleg and official accessories don’t get mixed! Had to use some photos from a well-known retailer to ensure I had these correct. The print quality of the bootleg is about the same as the official, but the font of the lower writing is slightly different so the brackets are the same size as the numbers, and the upper text is slightly bulkier. Not something you’d really notice unless you had them side-by-side like this.

Coin:

https://i.ibb.co/Y8Xhck4/revoltech-coin.jpg

Yeah, they didn’t even bother bootlegging this. If there is a bootleg version of this coin out there, here’s what an official one looks like should you wish to compare.
There were two releases of the Alien Queen – I’m not sure if both came with the coin, so it could be a first release was bootlegged instead of the second release.

The accessories have very little difference, so on accessories alone it would be hard to tell. However, this will change when we get onto the base and the figure itself.

Base

https://i.ibb.co/PG6CXRD/bases.jpg

Very stark contrast in colours here – for the official base we have some grungy-looking concrete floor, with the weathering pattern continuing onto the grating. And the bootleg… we have a painted concrete floor and a weird squiggle that almost looks like a question mark. There is also no weathering effect on the grating. Yeah, deffo giving the points to the official base here.

Stand part for the base:

https://i.ibb.co/9Vk3q3g/posts.jpg

Would you like some air bubbles with that? Main difference here is the lack of air bubbles on the official, making it look much better than its bootleg counterparts. We do have slightly different clear plastics here, with a bit more clarity on the official. Not massively noticeable though.

Figure spin-around

Let’s have a look at this pair:

https://i.ibb.co/R255Bgz/queens-front.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0c9HGXC/queens-left.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/hVzm7PF/aliens-back.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/JKyS2qB/aliens-right.jpg

Hmmm. The bootleg is… very purple! Maybe Lanard Toys used this as inspiration for the colour of their alien queen…

The official figure is a nice shade of blue-black throughout, but the bootleg is just a straight-up mess when it comes to colour. The body, tail and hands are tinted purple, whilst the legs and arms are the same blue-black as the official. Very odd combination, not sure why this happened in the bootleg production, especially as bootlegs tend to reduce the number of colours used.

OK, let’s do an articulation test:

https://i.ibb.co/8NVGth0/articulation-test-official.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/rvpzwLv/articulation-test-bootleg-xcf.jpg

The wrist joints are naturally a bit loose, and one of the spines is loose on my official. However, when it came to articulating the bootleg, it just fell apart. One of the more notable parts that fell apart were the feet – one of these on mine is really loose and will fall off without even articulating it and they’re a pain to reassemble. A couple of the limbs will also drop off without much provocation too. A lot of the joint holes on the bootleg are slightly too big, meaning it is prone to falling apart when you’re attempting to pose it. The bootleg did stay together when not being moved or posed, so at least it can be displayed without it falling apart.

Side of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/ThMDMWJ/head-side.jpg

Here we can see the stark contrast in colouring. The official is definitely a translucent plastic, whilst the bootleg seems to have been painted an opaque shiny purple. Some of the mould detail has been lost towards the back of the head, but overall, most of the mould detail has been copied over.

Jaw:

https://i.ibb.co/pK7NNx3/chompers.jpg

The mouth parts on the bootleg look kind of odd, as they’ve been left transparent instead of painted so it doesn’t match the rest of the head. Also from this distance, we can see some stray red paint dots on the bootleg – not sure why these are a thing, but at my best guess I think that this paint colour might be underneath the purple to augment the “shiny beetle” effect.
Unfortunately due to the strange colouring, I can’t use the bootleg’s jaw parts to replace the broken jaw on my official without it looking super-weird.

Underside of the back of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/DbVJFJr/head-underneath.jpg

To my surprise, the bootleg has this detail and it is painted reasonably well. On the official we have some paint shading in the bone parts which isn’t present on the bootleg. Colour is completely off on the bootleg, but with the purple head, we’re way off base anyway.

Inner jaw parts:

https://i.ibb.co/mCpZ3zz/mouths.jpg

The bootleg isn’t painted quite as neatly as the official, with the silver paint bleeding outside of the ribbed part (the paint is actually silver on both – but the light apparently reflected badly off of the bootleg). I didn’t take a picture of the teeth, but the teeth on the official look like teeth, and the bootleg is just… some random splatters of cream paint. You can see some of the mess in the side shot, though.
The mould details on the bootleg part are all a little less distinct than their official counterpart.

Back & spines:

https://i.ibb.co/VV15QBc/back-side.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/0DhzSp1/back.jpg

The mould details are the same here, but very much not the colours. Looking at the top view, we can see the round plate parts on the spines don’t match in colour, which makes them look odd when you’re close to the figure.
The spine on the lower right of my official figure is indeed broken – unfortunately the tip of this spine wasn’t included so I couldn’t repair it. So… would I use the bootleg spine to replace it? No – the colour is all wrong, and the plastic is a lot more prone to curling up, as you can see in the above photos. I was sort of hoping they’d be a close enough match, so I could get some use out of this bootleg, but I wouldn’t recommend it for replacement parts.

Arm:

https://i.ibb.co/yNhTCy3/hand.jpg

Another place where the colours are markedly different. Here, the bootleg gets to be more transparent than the official. It’s interesting we get some shading here on the bootleg, but it doesn’t work particularly well imo – the hands don’t feel like they match the arms. Silver on the fingernails is surprisingly good for a bootleg though and doesn’t look messy. The inner arms on the bootleg have the same purple tint all the way down, so look less out of place than the outer arms.
We seem to have the mould details copied across, but there is some flashing on the bootleg’s hands.

Leg:

https://i.ibb.co/vvCMnv0/leg-with-wrong-part.jpg

The first thing to note here is the fact my bootleg came with two left legs – thought I may’ve assembled the bootleg with the legs the wrong way around (due to it continuously falling apart), but whilst writing this I checked – nope, two left legs.
Here is where the paint is most similar to the official – we have a blue that is fairly close to the original, but the protrusion from the top of the hip lacks the brown shading. The plastic itself seems to have less colour to it, comparing the bony protrusions from the lower leg. The moulding has suffered around here – the indentations are less defined and a little sloppy in places, but not so much you’d notice without the official next to it.
As the legs do work with the parts both ways up, I wonder if they actually bothered to bootleg the right leg, or if mine’s an extra defective bootleg.

Tail:

https://i.ibb.co/qMYBXJd/tail.jpg

Wow, now here’s some stark contrast. For some reason the bootleggers have decided to paint the tip of the tail silver, which doesn’t make any sense if you bother to look at any pictures of the Alien Queen. The queens and most xenomorphs have their tail tips the same colour as the rest of the tail. If it was an OC, this may make sense, but with a well-established character… I guess they wanted to use more of the silver paint?
The official is the same translucent black as the rest of the figure, but the bootleg is the bright, shiny purple colour.
Also on the bootleg we seem to have a tail piece mounted backwards, as it bends the other way from the other pieces around it. Though they should be more rectangular plates anyway, as shown by the official.
Overall, the bootleg’s tail is a mess. It does have a wire in it like the official though, so you can still bend and pose it. Inspecting the bootleg’s tail, the wire seems to be fully enclosed, which can be a problem with some knockoff figures, but not here.

Lastly, this is me trying to pose both of the figures sitting:

https://i.ibb.co/BL7C4Kc/aliens-sitting-up.jpg

Yeah, back to those bootleg joints – very loose. The bootleg wouldn’t sit up at all, so I gave up. You can pose her on the stand, but if you wanted to get more adventurous with the pose on the bootleg, it’s not going to stay in place. That’s if you have enough patience to try, with the thing falling apart every time you touch it. Fun fact: whilst writing this review, I brought the bootleg upstairs to inspect some parts to write about them. During writing this, its head, the mouth part, one of its legs and both of the inner arms have fallen off. And I’m not even trying to pose the damn thing!

Conclusion

Based on the bootleg I received, I’d firmly put the bootleg in the “do not buy” category. The colouring is awful, and it won’t stay together for more than about 10 seconds if you’re touching it. It’s not good for replacement parts – most of the parts don’t match the original’s colours, and those that are a closer match probably won’t stay attached without some work. The spines are likely fixable on the bootleg, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they curl back up over time.
If you’re looking at a copy of this figure and wondering if it is a bootleg – the box barcode seems a good place to start, but the strange colouring of the bootleg is a dead giveaway. This figure has been bootlegged for a number of years, so not sure if the bootleg colours will vary, but I suspect that they will be “off”, no matter the copy. The figure should be translucent over most of its body, with some blue highlights and brown shading in key spots. Also the underneath of the head detail should be a bone colour, not white/grey.

Official vs Bootleg: Play Arts Kai Xenomorph Spitter

Seeing as Alien Day is just around the corner, I’ve decided to group together my blogs connected to the franchise. This blog is part 1 of a 3-part series.

This bootleg figure was one that intrigued me by the pictures – the title of this one said “action figure” and “model toy”, with the images looking not very articulated. So with the curiosity of what exactly I was going to get, I shoved this one in my basket.

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

A bit like comparing apples and oranges here, but I’ll include the prices anyway.

MSRP (without tax): ¥8,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £59.99
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $18.83 (£14.68)

For the official, I bought it in the aftermarket (from a UK retailer – Zavvi)

Now, let’s get the less intriguing bit out of the way…

Base

https://i.ibb.co/gw3Bch5/stands-side.jpg

Here we can see the the bootleg base is a very close replica of the official one, only in black plastic. There is one major flaw with the bootleg though – and that’s the part with the hexagonal holes is made from a flexible plastic. If the stand is in use, this is fine, but trying to pull the damn thing apart to adjust it is a serious pain.

Grabber:

https://i.ibb.co/mzjVj5F/stand-top.jpg

Not much to say here. Works, does the job.

Base’s base:

https://i.ibb.co/1J9mqnC/bases-bottom.jpg

https://i.ibb.co/8YMmsg5/bases-underneath.jpg

The official one (if you look verryyy closely) has a Play Arts Kai logo on the top at the front, and has a copyright statement underneath the support stand. Bootleg is flat black.

Figure

OK! Now for the exciting bit! Let’s see our friends side-by-side!

https://i.ibb.co/FHxYjxp/pak-both.jpg

Here’s me (poorly) trying to get them in roughly the same pose. Indeed the bootleggers have made a static statue based on an articulated figure!

Side of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/2SzPJR8/head-bubbles.jpg

Let’s start by comparing one of the most iconic parts of this figure’s design – the yellow sacs on the side of its head, presumably storing up acid to spit. The official has some texture behind the transparent plastic, whilst the bootleg seemingly has nothing and a more translucent plastic instead. Definitely preferring the look of the official here. We can also see how the light shines off the head of the official, but not so much on the bootleg – the bootleg has a much more matte finish throughout.
With the paint, the bootleg is sporting a much brighter crest, and lacks the green colouration underneath his head, next to the backmost sac.

Top of the head:

https://i.ibb.co/ZHxTbMk/head-top.jpg

Whilst the texturing has been replicated on the back of the alien’s head, the paint and spikes leave something to be desired. With the paint, we can see it is much too contrasting and isn’t blended as neatly as the official. The spikes have also been blunted and not painted properly, plus we have some line defects in the moulding (mostly to the left of the spikes). A lot of the edges/ridges on the official have been highlighted with the blue colour, but if we look to the back of his head, we’ll see where the bootleg has missed these off. This is pretty much a constant through this figure.

Mouth:

https://i.ibb.co/7y5t2wY/gnashers.jpg

Looking at the figure’s head is definitely where the lack of shiny finish definitely shows. Again, the blue shading lacks the subtlety of the original, but the teeth paint is OK. Not amazing, but decent enough. The protrusions from the sides of his head have lost some of the moulding definition, but are actually pointed.
And now for one thing the bootleg mouth can’t do:

https://i.ibb.co/kGh1spr/official-mouth-articulated.jpg

Pfft, what’s an Alien figure when it can’t extend its inner mouth?! Major negative points for the bootleg :P.

Underside of head:

https://i.ibb.co/kH7NqV2/under-head.jpg

Bit hard to get the same angle, when you can’t articulate one of the figures…
No paint detail down here on the bootleg, though the official paintwork isn’t much to write home about. The details on the bootleg are a bit less defined here, but isn’t massively noticeable unless you have them side by side like this.

Back ‘spikes’:

https://i.ibb.co/D93XsSz/back-spikes-side.jpg

The paint is roughly applied here on the bootleg – a quick go-over with a brush it seems. The official has some subtle additions with the blue paint, but nothing that really stands out. Interestingly, the official has a decent amount of blue on the back but the bootleggers have opted to ignore this and just leave it black.

Now for the official does what the bootleg don’t.
Here we have the stuck-together cluster of the bootleg’s back spikes:

https://i.ibb.co/2NHrt64/bootleg-back-spines.jpg

And the articulatedness of the official:

https://i.ibb.co/yVhY4Qq/official-back-spikes-articluated.jpg

The bootleg wouldn’t be so bad around here if they actually posed the back spikes in a pleasing arrangement, instead of letting them get all squished up and calling it a day.

Front:

https://i.ibb.co/RD5K79w/fronts.jpg

Apparently I didn’t do any proper close-ups of their chests and arms, so here I’ll talk about them. The chest paint is actually decent on the bootleg – it lacks some of the fine blue shading, but the yellow is decently done, even if it is a bit brighter than the official. The sculpting seems to have been replicated OK, and this is probably the part that has been done the best, compared to the original.
The posing of the arms is decent enough, but the head being in that odd angle I’m not so fond of.

Leg:

https://i.ibb.co/7R92C0t/leg.jpg

Yeah, can tell this is one of the first set of photoshoots… Again, we have the overly bright blue paint detail on the knee spikes. The joints have been decently removed, though he does have some cankle going on. I don’t like the stance of the legs on the bootleg though – he feels far too upright for an alien. I think he’d look far better if he was crouching slightly, instead of looking a bit like he’s peeking over the edge of a cubicle wall after hearing his name.

Foot:

https://i.ibb.co/xqg2XFj/feet.jpg

More heavyhandedness with the blue paint. With the official, we have silver toenails and the bootleg’s are simply blobbed-on white. Much prefer the paint detailing on the official.

Now for the tail. When I first opened the box for this figure, it was broken into two, as the plastic is kinda brittle. Here is a picture with the repair highlighted:

https://i.ibb.co/JcrTyzW/tail-break.jpg

It wasn’t had to repair, but annoying. With the tail being a thin part, it’s not terribly surprising it snapped in transit, especially with not being packaged properly.

Full tail:

https://i.ibb.co/55QcWfS/tail-full.jpg

The official is on a wire, so bends freely. The bootleg is stuck in the pose you’re given. Unless you want to botch repairing it. You can use the bootleg’s to balance the figure without the stand, as pictured. With the bootleg, they’ve highlighted the outer edges, which isn’t at all present on the official.

Tail base:

https://i.ibb.co/nwWRZvF/tail-base-closeup.jpg

Here we can see the official is attached on a large ball joint. The bootleg one is a large peg, and simply slots in. Assembly wasn’t the smoothest thing, and I seem to recall heating the peg hole to make it go in for the first time. Fits in OK, once it is in there.

Tip of the tail:

https://i.ibb.co/B29TVCx/tail-tip.jpg

Here we see the bootleg’s tail is very much stunted at the bottom, though I think this happened in transit. Battle damage. Again, what’s with the weird paint highlights?
The official tail tip also has an articulation feature that the bootleg doesn’t have:

https://i.ibb.co/kHffbb4/tail-articulated.jpg

So the official can sideswipe things if you want him too :).

Finally, some photos of things you can do with the official, that the bootleg very much won’t do:

https://i.ibb.co/GvXKkYX/crouching-alien.jpg

Hewwo!:

https://i.ibb.co/bQkJ7Ww/bum-peek.jpg

Conclusion

With the total and utter lack of articulation, there’s no mixing this bootleg up with the official. I don’t think this bootleg is a very good figure at all, with the poor posing choices. They could’ve made some better articulation choices before “freezing” it in place, especially with the back spikes melded into pretty much a singular blob. Even if someone wanted a statue of this figure, I wouldn’t recommend this bootleg to them.
Having a black PAK stand is kind of neat, but the poor plastic choice does spoil it somewhat – especially as some PAKs can be a right pain to pose and can often result in altering the stand a couple of times to get it just right.

Figure Spotlight: Camille Noire

This figure is part of the Clive Barker’s Tortured Souls series. And is a pain to assemble. I got this figure prior to knowing heating figures allows you to assemble them far easier… So first thing’s first… was to assemble her properly. Still a pain, but at least she’s assembled now!

Bit of a gruesome one, but she’s pretty detailed. Here’s her body closer up to the camera for a better look:

Yep, she’s not holding back on the body mods! The blood effects on this one aren’t too bad, compared to other bloodied figures. 

Side shot of the right wing:

These wings are the thing you had to assemble, and they’re a pain. One bit goes into her shoulder, and there are prongs into her back. Also the hooks on the armature can slip out of the wings, and they are NOT easy to get back in. The shoulder part is the one that’s the pain – I’m not sure if they were a little deformed on mine, but there was no way they were going to go in without some heat to bend it into shape. 

Shot of her back:

Some impressive blood effects here… and I’m not sure how she got so much stretchiness out of her back skin. I like the blood effects here – they came out well. 

Shot of the top of her head:

Not sure that’s how you’re supposed to use a saw blade!

For the Tortured Souls I have, I really like this series. I think this one has been well done, and has a good amount of detail put into her appearance. This figure certainly isn’t for everyone, but if you like horror figures, I think this is a good one, if you’re prepared for a very annoying assembly. 

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:

image

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’:

image

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):

image

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

Feet:

image

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

Left:

image

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:

image

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). 

Alex Mercer – Prototype

This little Mercer was a promotional item, so was a nice random find at a not-very-good con. This was the only figure I bought at the con, as there weren’t many stalls there (wasn’t much of anything tbh…) and most of them were local artists. They had an “artist’s alley”, but the entire con was pretty much artist’s alley… Nothing wrong with having a lot of artists, but it would’ve been nicer if there was more variation there. 

Anyways… enough drivel about a con of a con in the UK… 

Here he is:

Cute-sized Alex Mercer, d’aww. The detailing is nice, and the paintwork is nice and neat. I like the way the three layers of his clothing have been sculpted, and his virus arm. 

Claw arm:

I love the texture on this, and the glossier finish, which makes it have a more organic appearance. 

Left:

Here we have his normal hand, I like the way they’ve posed his fingers, so it looks like he’s about to spring into action. The seam in his jeans has also been well-sculpted, along with the stressed-jeans paintwork. 

Right:

Clothing looks good on this side too, love the creasing detail in his hood. 

Back:

The pattern on the back of his jacket is nice and crisp. The dirty shirt effect feels a little overdone here, but isn’t really a big part. Some red paint has crept onto his collar here, so the paint at the back did get a little sloppy.

Double the Alex, double the fun!:

This guy is actually a smaller version of a larger figure that NECA produced. I bought the larger one years ago, but was never able to get the small one for a decent price, due to its more limited nature. Both have the same sculpt and articulation, so this Mercer is one that’s been shrunk in the wash :P. 

Figure Spotlight: McFarlane Viper King

This is one of the figures I bough early on in my collecting. Being McFarlane, it’s still a quality figure in my collection:

image

This figure looks cool… but has a habit of falling over. He doesn’t come with any stand holes either, so I’ve developed various ways of standing the bugger up over the years. Though after this photo session, I did manage to get him to stand up on his own!

Close-up of his face: 

image

Very much an angry fellah :P. The arms move up and down, and his neck moves, which gives some poseability. 

Viper King from the back:

image

The Blu-Tack mark is from the original owner – obviously the technique they used to keep him upright. I favoured stands and string, rather than tack. 

Here’s a close-up of his back:

image

Some interesting details back here, I like the tail part on his head. 

The black, red and silver colour scheme works well, and there’s a decent amount of detail in the sculpt. Just a shame they didn’t provide him with a stand so you could pose his snaketacles fully, thus making him prone to faceplanting. This issue can be resolved by sticking him down, or coming up with your own form of stand, but it’d be nice if he was provided with one. 

Dominia – Unreal Tournament

This figure is part of a short-lived series of Unreal Tournament figures. I found out randomly that they existed a few years back on eBay, when someone was selling them in the UK. Unfortunately I missed out, when the auctions ended and I forgot…

Several years later I remembered they existed, and decided to buy Domina:

image

Here she is, in all her gory glory. The “blood” paint on her leg isn’t the best, but the rest of her looks really good imo. Her articulation does leave something to be desired, and I did have to fix a bend in her leg/foot that had occurred due to time, which meant she couldn’t stand upright initially/

Her grasping hand does have a gun to hold:

image

But with the bother of sorting out her foot, I didn’t get around to warming her hand to get this into it. Gun itself looks nice – a decent amount of detail here, and they’ve done a brushed metal effect, so it avoids the issue of looking plain. 

Face:

image

They’ve done her mask nicely… and included the eye in her mouth. The skin also raises up around her head spikes, which is a nice touch in the sculpt-work. The brushed metal effect on her shoulderpads works well too. 

Left:

image

Love all the little details that have gone into her hand/glove. Spiky shoes looking very ‘metal’ too. 

Hand close-up:

Love the claws, and the paint is neat. Sculpt does look a bit dodgy close-up but fine at a viewing distance. The texture in the paint on the cuff looks good. 

Leg close-up:

image

The scar part looks suitably gory and disgusting, but the bruising/blood-marks don’t look quite the right colour. Little too purplish. 

Right:

Instead of a scarred leg, we have a bandaged one on this side. The asymmetry has been done well, and both sides look suitably detailed. 

Hip:

Here she has a syringe made of a flexible plastic, so that it doesn’t snap. Slight downside to that is it likes to be a little bit bent. Doesn’t look particularly realistic, but enough for a figure of this type. 

Back:

Can’t help but think how cold her backside must be in matches… Does look like she forgot to put her pants on, prior heading to the tournament! Paint shading is nice, but a little off-coloured imo. The back of her clothes are nicely detailed, and they didn’t skimp on the sculpt back here.

Top of her head:

And to finish her off, we have some more cutaway flesh. I like the way they’ve detailed the cuts, and the red wash works well. 

Overall, I think this figure does a very good job of being Domina, the main issue is probably that her skin colour is less pallid than her in-game appearance, but this doesn’t bother me too much. Her articulation doesn’t bring too much to the table – her arms are good for posing, but with the stands she has, posing her legs is mostly done to get her to balance, so you’d need an action stand to get poses out of her. Overall, I think she’s a good figure, though does look a bit dated in some respects… which is fair, as she is an older figure. Wish they did more of the UT crew, but alas, they only ever did four. Would’ve loved to own a Lilith figure, if it was an option. 

Vir Cotto – Babylon 5

Ended up seeing this guy at the Toy Fair, and as I liked the other two I have of this series, I decided to add Vir to my collection too.

Vir:

Here he is, in his shiny ceremonial outfit glory! Love the bright fabrics they’ve used on this figure, and the stitching seems neat. These figures do end up a bit uncanny valley, but it doesn’t really bother me. 

Face:

I like the detail in the face, with the makeup paint and the shading. Hair does look thick plastic though, and the eyebrows don’t really fit with the rest of his more realistic face – probably could have done with a different finish here, and possibly a bit of shading. 

Left:

Clothes look good from the side, hands could’ve done with a less shiny finish, but the sculpt is nicely detailed, and does look pretty realistic. 

Right:

Mmm, shiny and flamboyant. Fits Vir well. 

Back:

Full-on bright shininess. If you like things gaudy, this coat should do it for you. 

Overall, I’m pleased with this figure. The detailing is nice, and it is a difference change of pace to the usual action figures. If you don’t mind your figures more doll-like, and a fan of Babylon 5, then these figures might be up your alley. 

Seven of Nine – Borg’d – Star Trek

This is a figure I’ve kind of been wanting for some time. Because Borg. 

Presenting Borgified Seven of Nine:

She has a very retro vibe – not just in terms of the action figure style, but the design of her borgification. However, with this retro style, I love the way it introduces more colour to her design than the mostly-black modern designs. 

In some places the moulding feels a bit chunky and flat, but in other places, there’s a decent amount of detail. Interestingly, her top seems to be part-fabric – the black part has creasing like she’s wearing a PVC top. I like the metal part on her left knee, though it could do with some paint accents to add to it. 

I like her face, and feel it has a likeness to Seven of Nine in the show.

Left:

Here we have some visible seams on the top of her shoulder and a bit on her arm. I love the detail on her arm, and feel it fits the Borg theme well. Her lower leg also has a lot of nice detailing. The paint here is decently done.

Right:

Here she has a very apparent seam on her side. Not much of a surprise for these figures. The detailing is nice on this side, but some of the stuff on her leg feels a little flat and odd. 

Back:

We have a good amount of detailing back here too. The painting is messy on her upper back, and we have some weird patches of colour which don’t seem to match up withe the sculpt – the wires would look better if they were a consistent colour, then with other bits filled in. Here it looks like the factory worker went with whatever they felt like to colour this in. We’ve also got some stray silver paint in a couple of places, most notably on her right shoulder. 

Ignoring the upper back, I like the rest of it. 

She also comes with these accessories:

I like the alcove piece, but there’s no method provided to mount this. Would’ve been nice to be given a clear stand to mount it behind her, but… I’ll have to dig around in my accessory box to find something to use. The data pad thing has an interesting sculpt to it, but it is just plain silver, so doesn’t look very exciting. Not sure if she would hold it too well either, but not tried.

Overall, I’m pleased with this figure, and glad I was able to get it. She has got some flaws, but nothing too major in my eyes, for the figure type she is. Glad to have another item to add to my Borg collection.

‘Alien’ Bobblehead

So this one… I bought this from a local-ish action figure shop, he had no idea where it came from originally…. and neither do I. The figure itself has no markings, is made from resin, and is numbered but not signed, so I assume this some rando-artist item. 

So here is this piece:

image

From the front, we have something that seems to be a xeno crossed with H R Giger’s original art. The base appears to be based on an Alien egg, though this is where the bulk of the damage is on the figure – I plan to paint these in a similar colour at some point (maybe even try and get some putty out and reshape the missing bits…). The centre of its chest deviates from both the original and film designs, as it has two ribs instead of one central one. Also the shoulderblades are longer and larger. We have some strange posing with the arms, but I suspect that was to simplify the moulding process for the resin, giving this alien a stylised look of its own.

Left:

image

Here we see the head is more penisy, which follows Giger’s design more than the films. The shoulders seem to be a less-shaped version of the film version. The mould is nicely detailed though, and the shading on the figure is nice. The red and silver of its lips and teeth has been nicely done. If you look near the neck, you’ll see a little of the resin has been chipped off due to the bobblehead feature. I guess this was made when bobbleheads were in! With the egg part, the veins on it have been highlighted with paint, which I like. Whilst the eggs themselves don’t have veins, they’re usually on the ground below, which I assume where the inspiration for this came from. 

Right:

image

This side has fared better, and isn’t chipped by its neck. Here we can see the alien is a bit tubby – I feel the body needs to be a bit thinner and a bit more shaped to give off a full “Alien” vibe. 

Top of head:

image

The details are nicely rendered, and feel like a simplified version of the Alien Warrior head design. 

Back:

image

Here we don’t have protrusions, which again, was likely to simplify the moulding process… or to make the mould smaller. I suspect the artist didn’t want to cast and glue/pin the extra pieces on, so they’ve come up with their own back design. which works decently well. With Giger’s originals, they did (tend) have protrusions, but from lower down and flatter on the back. Again, the tail is flattened against the body to make it an easier mould to deal with. 

Inside the ‘egg’:

image

I like the way the tail curls around and sits in the bottom of the egg. We have some liquid detail in the egg, which I like. 

Bottom:

image

Apparently there are 1199 others out there… do you own one? Know anything about this? If so, please comment below! Water is from rinsing the dust off this fellah – he was very dusty when I got him and in need of a clean. 

Overall, I like this unusual piece – I feel it’s a more “inspired by” piece, as it doesn’t follow one particular Alien design, as far as I can tell. There are shortcuts the artist has taken to make it easier to cast, but overall, these mostly work, and make it its own piece. Don’t think I’ll get much use of the bobblehead functionality though, lol. 

(Also what’s it with amateur artists not signing their stuff?)

Captain Alexi – Virus

This figure I was going to write a blog for about a week ago… but then I decided to watch the film before writing about this figure. This blog will include spoilers for the movie (beyond the figure itself…), so skip this if you want to watch Virus first. 

So, uh, here we are and here’s Captain Alexi:

The turncoat himself :P. Part of me wonders if this figure should’ve come in obscured packaging, because it’s kind of spoilery in of itself. Though, to be fair, it’s fairly obvious this is gonna happen to him, one way or another. 

This is based on his final appearance, so loses some of the iconic features of the original Captain Alexi. Would’ve been nice to keep some evidence of his tattoo or something. 

Left:

Here we can see the gun that’s just been grafted to what’s left of his arm. The gun is nicely sculpted and painted. 

Right:

Here he is… face almost holding on. His arm is nicely sculpted though, and here he is holding his pistol, which also looks the part. Legs are definitely reminiscent of the Strogg figures I have, which are by the same manufacturer. 

Back:

Gruesome! Infection waiting to happen, if you ask me. However, there’s a lot of detail here, and decent paintwork. I think the fleshy parts back here do a good job of looking organic. 

*peel*:

Here we have some very regular-shaped lungs The skull’s decent, as is the electronics, but the lungs look really odd in colour and shape. Also the heart could do with being a shade or two darker to fit in more. 

Skin innard:

This is a thin, almost rubbery bit of plastic. Here we have the inverse of his organs, which helps hold this piece to him… but as you can see from the above shots, the head part doesn’t really stay on properly. I think this is a cool idea, but poorly executed. I don’t think the material it is made out of did much for his looks either. 

Wat?:

Hey! Where did his head go?!

Ah, here:

He does escape and run off as a head in the film, which they’ve replicated here. His spine is flexible, but doesn’t really hold position. Probably so it doesn’t get so deformed as to not fit into his back properly… So it’s not particularly poseable if you want him running around, but you could probably flex it to be able to cling to something. Blood effects lower down look a bit eh, but the rest is OK. 

Mini-virus:

You can use this to terrorise other figures in your collection :P. This thing looks cool, but not like anything much. It’s OK, but with no articulation, there’s not much you can really do with it. 

He also came with a torch, like the ones in the film, but I forgot to photograph it. It looks decent, and has a weathered effect, so it’s a nice accessory…. but I want him to hold his gun. 

Overall, he’s a decent enough figure for a mediocre film. It definitely wasn’t a great film, but I liked it more than the 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes would suggest. Though I do have a soft spot for this kind of film, and it did look older than its 1999 release date. So overall, the toy line is OK, and you can safely skip the film, unless you want to watch a predictable romp involving cyborgs. 

Akiba Blue – Unofficial Sentai Akibaranger – Season 2 version

This is yet another figure I bought because I thought it looked good… It was on sale dammit

So, here she is:

Loving the blue shade and her outfit, and the interesting range of accessories she comes with, that I have little idea about… Reading about her, she’s from a parody series, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they produced more of these than tokusatsu parody fans. In terms of a figure, her outfit isn’t very detailed, but this does give her a stark and clean appearance. I do like the shiny breastplate and the cool-looking helmet she’s wearing. However, her paintwork is flat and without shading, which puts her out of premium figure territory. 

Left:

She looks fine form the side, and has a couple of details on hte side of her helmet. She also has a ponytail thing going on, but it’s not hinged. Don’t try to do so, lest you want to break this part – the gold dot is just for show. The paint lines seem clean throughout – especially on the ball accessory… which I like to think of as a multicoloured bomb… 

Right:

More of the same on this side. A double-jointed elbow is visible, without much to hide it, so it does look lumpy. We can also see the ribbon thing she wears on her shoulder – I like the way they’ve sculpted this so it is flowing in the breeze. 

Back:

The sculpting’s nice on the back ribbon, but there isn’t too much detail here to speak of. There’s a couple of holes in her back – you could probably attach an accessory in here, or a stand. There wasn’t one in the box, but 3mm peg stands aren’t hard to come by. Was disappointed with the lack of stand, but she does have articulated toes, so she’s not too bad to balance. You can also use the accessories to weight her, if needed.

In terms of accessories, she does have a decent range of stuff. One that I managed to not photograph is another ribbon – it’s very similar to the one shown, only it’s more like one half of the ribbon shown, if you want less ribbon for posing. 

She comes with these guns:

I love the overly large “armed” mode this gun has. I guess this is for when the battle gets super serious. Both guns are nicely sculpted and painted, and would make great accessories for any figure they fit with. 

She also comes with many, many hands:

So if you need a certain hand pose, it’s probably in this lot! Always nice to see a range of hands, as it gives more posing opportunities, and especially useful for her, and the several things she can hold. 

Overall, I think she’s a decent figure, but probably not a popular character, hence her cheap price. If you need a random blue ranger for your collection, this one could possibly fit the bill. With the number of parts she comes with, she could be good for custom fodder too, if you’re basing something around a Bandai figure(s). 

Vampire – Wetworks – Alt Colour version

This figure was a random pickup at an action figure store I visited. Thought he looked cool, so decided to buy him. When I did my research on this figure, I found he was the alt colouring. 

So here he is, in his alternative colour scheme glory:

Personally, I prefer this colouring to the main version – here he has black pants and loincloth, which I think fits the theme of the figure better. He’s also a dark green instead of a greyish colour, which I don’t think helps him look vampiric, but the sculpt doesn’t say “Vampire” to me anyway, despite that being his name. 

The sculpt on him is nice and detailed for the most part, but… that waist… what’s going on there?! 

Let’s take a closer look:

Totally tubular! Now I’ve seen it, I’m not sure I can unsee it… not a big fan of this design. I do like the logo thing going on, on the loincloth. The loincloth is made out of a fairly thick plastic, which coupled with the odd waist design, does make it look comedy-sized. As a standalone piece it looks OK, but with it sitting strangely on his hips, it isn’t a good look imo. I am loving the detail on his skin though, which can be seen in the upper parts of this photo. 

Face:

He has this headgear thing that slides on his head. Kind of in two minds about this piece – he looks better with it, but in of itself, it just feels odd. If you don’t like it, then it is an optional part though, so isn’t a biggie. Jury’s out for me though. 

Left:

Here he is, leaning back apparently. He cuts a decent profile from the side imo – looks a lot less strangely shaped from the side. His head sticks out nicely, and I love his hands, with their elongated claw-style. The tendons show up from the top too. 

Aand the obligatory fat leg parts – this is a McFarlane creation after all – these are painted well, and have enough details to not be plain. This fat leg design is useful for keeping the figures upright though! I do like the lesser need for stands. 

He holds his weapon decently well – you could probably get a more convincing grip out of it than I have, but it slots OK over his hand. 

Right:

Loving the veinwork on his arm, and the horns on his shoulders. The silver bracers around his wrists add a nice detail to the figure, and hide the joint. ABout joints – there aren’t a huge amount, but there are a few posing possibilities. McFarlane figures don’t tend to be super-articulated, especially of this age, but they make up for it in looks imo. 

Back:

The texture details are continued around to the back, and he has some blood marks on his upper right arm. His hair is quite scraggly, but does the job – I doubt a creature like this would have neat hair, after all. Loincloth looks OK back here, but has the same issues as the front (as well as seemingly making a break for it! If you don’t like it, there’s the option of removing it). We also have some mechanical details on the back of his legs, which is nice to see. 

Weapon:

Clod do with a little more red paint on some of the wire/vine parts. It has an interesting, tribal design, but does kinda look… lump of plastic-y. I think if they had sharper points and maybe some paint shading, it would look better. I think it’s mostly the very rounded points that make me think more “cosplay prop” than “dangerous weapon”. I think they could’ve gone a bit pointier, without making it “ouch” pointy. 

Overall, a decent figure. Not sure I’d particularly recommend it, but if you like what you see, and can find him for a decent price, I think a solid enough figure. 

Catwoman Barbie – Batman

And now for a Barbie that I can appreciate! Never did see one as a kid that I’d ever want, but at 32 I find the purrfect Barbie for me:

Hm. I really could’ve straightened out that mask a bit more, couldn’t I?

Anyways, onto the figure – I think the fusion of Catwoman and Barbie works well here – it definitely looks like an even mix of both. I love the fact the clothes have been made to look like leather, and she has just enough touches to sell itself as being Catwoman. A large part of that is the mask, but she has cat claws on her gloves, and the quintessential whip. She has a utility belt thing going on, which apparently marks this as being based on Catwoman from the 2004 movie… which I haven’t watched. Hm. I should probably get on that. Anyway, moving on…

Left:

The seams have been sewn so the stitching is inwards, so everything looks nice and neat from this side. Her claws have been tipped with silver, which has been nicely done. Her neck does look a bit odd from the side though. 

Right:

Here we can see a small zipper, which is a nice attention to detail. I do rather like the fluffy upper to her gloves, and the high heels poking out from the bottom of her trousers. 

Back:

Here we can see some things that weren’t finished off too well – several of teh back joints are uneven, which is a bit of a shame. Also a bit of excess fabric at uppermost join. Her hair is very nice though, and the backs of her trousers look good, even if the belt doesn’t quite line up… 

Overall, I’m glad I bought this Barbie, and I think it makes an excellent first choice :P. Not sure if it’d appeal to a Barbie fan, as her outfit does somewhat limit her articulation, though all the joints are there. For me, I’m using this as a display piece, so I’m not bothered by knees being hampered by her trousers. I may have to get a doll stand for her though, as she’s not standing on her own with those small feet. 

Pose Skeletons – Re-Ment

In Japan I bought two diorama sets for these, but they didn’t come with any figures, so I ended up ordering them from AmiAmi. 

This set I haven’t got out of the box yet, but here’s some pics of the box to show what it would look like if I set it up:

Maybe I’ll carve out some space on a shelf for this sometime…

Let’s move onto the next set, with the addition of a skeleton:

Yup, I bought a toilet. I like the accessories it comes with. The mat that comes with this set, without it being an actual toilet mat as I know and love, this could potentially used as a doormat or something. 

Angled view:

…who doesn’t need a brown skeleton pooping on a toilet?

Here is another skeleton I’ve posed, on top of a flying alien queen:

These skeletons are very poseable, living up to their name of “Pose Skeleton”. If you’re a bit rough with them, the joints can pop apart though. 

Here are the other skeletons I bought:

The two in the middle glow in the dark. I thought, from the names given to them, they’d glow in different colours, but they both seem to glow the same shade of green – not sure what the difference is supposed to be between them. 

However, there’s no mixing up this skeleton with any of the others:

Demon skeleton! The wings articulate, which can be partly seen by the hinge on the tip of each wing. There’s also a hinge where the wings attach to his back, so you get a good range of movement with them. He’s also the only one to come with a stand – it works OK, but it doesn’t grip him too hard, so he’s fairly easy to knock over. 

Sides:

As can be seen from these two pics, his tail articulates, which is useful if you want to pose him sitting or leaning against something. The purple accents also make this guy stand out, and I like the way these have been done:

Back:

The detail on the back matches the front, which is nice to see. 

Overall, I’m pretty happy with these figures – the amount of joints mean you can do many poses, and makes them very expressive. Sometimes they’re a bit fragile and joints can become disconnected, but as long as you’re not rough with them, they should be fine. 

Asuka Langely – Evangelion – Parfom

As I bought Rei, I had to go for Asuka too, so here she is, having a good pout:

As with the Rei figure, her hair is very nicely painted, and the face works well. The plugsuit also feels well-designed from the front, to work with the articulation. 

Left:

Here I’m actually hiding the stripes with her hand :P. Again, these can look kind of odd when you articulate her. From the sides, her suit is pretty much the same as Rei’s, only red. 

Right:

Here are the stripes…. not lining up at all. So I’m not likely to pose these figures side-on. Her hair looks nice though, and the hair seam would be more hidden if I gave her fringe a bit of a shove ¬¬. 

One issue I’ve had with this figure is with one of her legs – iirc it is the right one – when I first opened her, it was loose in the box, and feels a bit prone to popping off. Not sure if this is common with Asuka, or a bit of a defect with mine. Should be fine when she’s standing still, but during posing, it’ll probably pop off again. 

Back:

Her hair flows nicely back here, and the shading really adds to it. Paint all looks good back here, though you can’t see much of her.

Doll:

I loved the fact that she came with such an iconic accessory – and the painting is all very nicely done. Only issue is getting her to hold it – there are no pegs or anything, so you need to either balance it or tack it to her hands, if you want her to be holding it, like on the box art. Currently I ended up putting this in storage, but I may choose to tack it to her at some point, so I can have her holding it and not get pissed off when I knock it out of her hands for the nth time. 

Faces and hands:

Same as Rei, she has two other faceplaces and two spare sets of hands. I almost feel as if there should be some kind of “wacky” set of hands that should come with Asuka, but that’s not to be found here. 

Overall, she’s a solid figure. I think what’s there is well-designed and thought out, but some more hands wouldn’t have gone amiss. Again, it’ll come down to what the price tag is – looking at Mandarake, the price tag on these has gone down a bit, and I think I agree with this assessment. 

Rei Ayanami – Evangelion – Parfom

This was a figure I got some time ago, but never did do the blog for. So… no time like the present!

Front:

First thing that stands out to me is her hair – I love the way this has been sculpted and painted. I like the colour of her eyes – it complements the colour of her hair. The green parts that go over her chest are attached to the other half, so they don’t block the articulation of her upper half. The red dot is also on her lower half, which helps her not look too odd when articulating. 

Face:

Her hair clips are nearly painted, and the shading in her hair is subtle but effective. I think this expression fits Rei very well. The lines on her suit are also neat. 

Left:

The way her hips are make the lines odd on her suit -they’ve extended them onto the hinge part to include it, but this ends up looking odd if you articulate her. Her arms look good though. Due to her chibi proportions, she has very small feet, and wouldn’t balance too well (if at all) without the stand. This stand design works pretty well though.

Right:

I like this splayed hand. Her hair also looks good from the sides, and I think the seam is pretty well-hidden, even though it is right there. As her fringe needs to come off for her faceplate to be changed, there had to be some kind of visible seam. 

Back:

The shading on her hair works well back here, and the paint on backpack looks really good. Here we can see better where they’ve added lines to make her suit work with the hinge style chosen for this figure type. 

Glasses:

She can’t wear these, but you can have her holding them. I think they look pretty decent. 

Alternative hands and faces:

I think the faceplates have been well-chosen to fit Rei, but you don’t get a lot of hand choices. I don’t see this as a big problem, as I don’t think chibi figures are necessarily suited to action poses. Might’ve been nice to have another set, just to round it up to the usual 3 alternative pairs. 

Overall, I’m pleased with this Parfom figure. I think the hip joints are the most problematic part, which will likely be a bit of an issue on most figures in this line imo – I think a decent part of if you’ll like these figures is if you mind the hip ball joints. For me, I prefer this proportions these figures have to “normal” chibis. I think they are a little on the pricey side for what they are, but the paint is above average for an articulated figure imo. So I think if you like the proportions of these figures, and aren’t bothered by the joints/hip design, then I think you won’t be disappointed. If you’re on the fence, I’d probably say give this line a miss. 

Tablis – Evangelion

This was a figure I was considering for a long time, then finally had the opportunity to add it to a Suruga-ya order for a reasonable price:

image

“No pants” Tablis – an angel from Evangelion. She comes with an alternate arm if you don’t want her holding the weapon, but where’s the fun in that? This figure of Tablis has a few hints to its human counterpart in the grey hair, orange undershirt and white overshirt. Not sure where he lost his pants to though. There is some underwear under that shirt though. I like the body sculpt, but the face feels overly simplistic compared.

Left:

image

The wings have a nice amount of depth to them, and the stand holds them well, to prevent any kind of sagging over time. You could choose to leave this part off, if you wish to risk it. The shoes are nicely painted, but this side does look overly flat.

Right:

image

Not too much extra to see here. Hair has a pretty decent sculpt.

Back:

image

The wings are definitely the star feature of this figure – I love the shiny finish, and the sculptwork is really nice. Love all the different wing segments, which really adds to this figure. 

Weapon:

Here we have the words “TEST TYPE” and “A-17 TABRIS”. I like this little detail, but kind of wish it was on the other side or both sides, so it’d be showing in its natural position. The arm isn’t super-poseable, so it’s not easy to show the writing when displayed.

Really glad I decided to get this figure. For me, this concludes the ones of the set I was really after. There is another Rei-based one I’d like, but it’s rather hard to get hold of, so I’m not anticipating getting it. Overall, I’m pleased with this figure, and especially so with the wings. Would recommend these figures at a reasonable price, but they’re not super-detailed so wouldn’t recommend them much over their retail price.