Category: Official vs Bootleg

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Kirishima Touka

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

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

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

Pricing

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

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

For the official figure, I pre-ordered.

Spin-around

Time to take a figure tour!

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

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

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

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

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

Base

Here is the official base:

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

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

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

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

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

Close-up of a metal pin:

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

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

Figure close-ups

Face:

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

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

Side of head:

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

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

Right hand:

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

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

Left arm:

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

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

Lower part of the coat:

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

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

Belt:

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

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

Back:

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

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

Foot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small kagune:

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

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

And now for the main feature!

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

Spin-around

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

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

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

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

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

Hammer

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

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

Top of the hammers:

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

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

Hammer handles:

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

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

Pegs:

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

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

The bootleg hammer also has some scratchy defects:

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

What? Is this a rusty hammer?

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

Figure close-ups

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top of her head:

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

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

Top of her chest:

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

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

Now to “admire” the bodice closer:

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

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

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

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

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

Hammer-holding arm:

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

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

Holding of the hammer:

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

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

Belt and stomach:

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

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

Holster:

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

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

Feet & base:

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

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

Cape:

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

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

Bum:

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

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

Conclusion

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

Official vs Bootleg: Aquamarine Hatsuse Izuna

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

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

Base

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

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

Bottom of the bases:

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

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

Figure spin-around

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

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

Close-ups

Let’s take a look at her face first:

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

A closer look at her headband:

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

Back of her hair:

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

Ear close-up:

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

Chest:

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

Upper arm:

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

Close-up of the wrap:

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

Leg:

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

Foot:

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

Tail:

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

Underside:

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

Conclusion

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

Official vs Bootleg: Jibril – Great War Ver.

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

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

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

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

So… did you guess correctly which figure is which?

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

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

Front of the box:

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

Left of the box:

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

Right of the box:


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

Back:

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

Top:

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

Bottom:

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

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

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

Base

Here are the bases:

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

Close-up of the worst of the paint issues:

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

Bottom of the base:

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

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

Scythe

Top of the scythe:

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

Scythe peg:

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

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

Headpiece

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

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

Now to see where the bootleggers cheated:

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

Can’t recommend this bootleg accessory.

Azriel

Jibril did indeed come with her little chibi Azriel:

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

Back, with her hair disc:

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

Back, without disc:

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

Sides:

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

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

Jibril!

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

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

OK, let’s move around back:

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

Top of the hair:

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

Side of her hair & arm:

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

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

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

Upper of the diseased arm:

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

Let’s go for a full view ’round back:

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

So, onto that hair:

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

Hair on her left:

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

Let’s take a closer look at that wing:

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

Left leg:

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

Finally, let’s take a look underneath:

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

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

Official vs Bootleg: The pre-blog

For nearly as long as I’ve been collecting, I have been curious about bootlegs. Could they pass for the real thing? How do they compare in terms of paint, materials and sculpt? Up until this point, I’ve mostly satiated my curiosity with other YouTubers and bloggers. And now I want to throw my hat into the ring, and do some blogging of my own!

Thus far, I’ve acquired some bootlegs of my own, ready to do the first set of blogs and produced a new and “improved” backdrop. If you just wish to vote for the bootleg you’d like me to cover first, feel free to skip to the end of the blog.

Creating of the backdrop
First things first, my old backdrop was just not large enough. It was already problematic for certain larger figures, but now I want to do some side-by-side figure photos, it just wouldn’t do.
My husband agreed to knock up a new wooden frame, and I cut apart an old duvet cover that we weren’t using any more to cover it.

Here it is from the back:

https://i.ibb.co/vHDJGrK/backdrop-back.jpg

This partially showcases the first attempt for the backdrop fabric – I thought the stripes might add a bit of a background. Here it is from the front:

https://i.ibb.co/2vMksHk/backdrop-take-one.jpg

However, when I did a test shot with two nearby figures, I wasn’t entirely happy:

https://i.ibb.co/fGyPgfm/test-shot-1.jpg

The lines are hard to get straight-ish, which I expected, but the lines are too “loud” in the image for my liking.
So I decided to make a new backdrop with the back of the duvet:

https://i.ibb.co/PwbV31J/backdrop-take-two.jpg

… and the corresponding test shot:

https://i.ibb.co/0mdSzBz/test-shot-2.jpg

I think this one came out much better, though I did give the backdrop a wash and another iron to get rid of more of the creasing…
One mod I’ll have to do before taking photos is to counterweight the frame. Husband didn’t account for the weight of the fabric on it, so it has a tendency to tip. For the test shots, I made do with some placemats:

https://i.ibb.co/fFQBtt7/backdrop-counterweight.jpg

The poll!
Now is your time to vote for which comparison you’d most like to see! There may be some variance in the order I do them in, but I’ll aim to do the most voted-for first.

Here is the poll. Answers are presented in a random order.

Hoping to put out my inaugural blog early in the next year. Watch this space!