Pick Me Up Miku instructions

Original (requires Weibo account, Chinese): https://weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404786134344401123

This is a translated version of the operating instructions for Pick Me Up Miku. The wording has been machine-translated then rewritten by me to (hopefully!) make sense.

  • Unscrew the screw at the bottom of the base, open the battery cover and insert 3 x AAA batteries and close the battery cover
  • Open the battery cover at the bottom of the remote control, insert 1 x CR2025 battery and slide it in.
Position of the test button – this becomes relevant later, if you need to do diagnostics if your base does not function correctly
  • Press the ‘switch’ button on the upper part of the remote control to turn on the base light
  • The arrow functions are as follows:
    • Up: Increase the brightness
    • Down: Decrease the brightness
    • Left: Next lighting effect
    • Right: Previous lighting effect
Remote buttons

If there is a problem with the remote control or lighting effect, please refer to the following steps to check operation and diagnose issues.

This should be a flashy GIF. But the filesize was too big. So enjoy this still image.

NOTE: The following instructions are only for self-testing/fixing Pick Me Up Miku when the base lighting is not working properly, and is not suitable for daily operation. If it functions normally, please do not use this part of the guide, so as to not cause issues.

If the lighting does not work after these diagnostic steps, please consult our after-sales. [Author’s note: Not sure if this is available to international customers, but they do have an email of support^at^apex-toy.com. If you bought from an international retailer, I would advise contacting the retailer in the first instance]

Test base lighting

  1. Open the battery cover, install 3 x AAA batteries and close the cover. Preferably, use three of the same AAA batteries with the same amount of usage. Ensure the batteries have sufficient charge.
  2. After confirming the batteries, press and hold the button next to the battery cover for about 3 seconds to light up the base. Press and hold again for 3 seconds to turn off.
  3. When the base is lit, quickly press and release the button next to the battery cover to switch the lighting effect.

If the above works, the base lighting has been confirmed to be functional. If not, it is likely a fault with the circuitry.

Test remote control pairing

  1. With the signal-transmitting port [that’s the LED-y bit] pointing upwards, the button at the top is the “switch” button, and the four lower buttons are up, down, left and right.
  2. Install the battery for the remote control, and press a button. The signal transmitter port should emit a red light.
  3. Install the base batteries, and test the remote buttons, as per the instructions.
  4. As the remotes are paired at the factory, please ensure you’re using the correct remote for the correct base. If the light is emitting from the remote, but not controlling the base, please proceed to pairing the remote.
  5. Pairing the remote: Ensure the batteries are installed in the base, then press & hold the the switch under the base for 3 seconds so it turns on. Aim the remote at the base, then press & hold the up & down button simultaneously until the indicator light at the top of the remote begins to flash. Remove one of the batteries from the base, ensuring the light turns off, then re-insert the battery. Once the battery is re-inserted, the base light will flash several times and the remote indicator light will turn off to signify the successful pairing.
  6. If pairing wasn’t successful, you can remove the batteries from the remote control and base and try again. If it continues to not work after multiple attempts, please contact aftersales.

Idol Cthulhu (Fengrong Culture)

Do you like your figures cute, but just a bit scary? Then this figure is for you!
This review is pretty long – feel free to scroll past any sections that don’t appeal.

About Fengrong Culture

Fengrong Culture is a Chinese manufacturer, so you won’t find this figure in the MFC database.
Fengrong Culture was established in 2017, but this is their first release – they did intend to release another figure prior, but was cancelled before being available for order, likely for licensing reasons.

One thing to note this is the review of the figure without the DX base – the DX base is a separate release in China, and I do have this on preorder. Fengrong currently estimate 15th-20th August for the base’s release. The base was originally going to be resin, but due to the number of orders received, they changed it to be PVC & ABS. Oh, and it has lights and a speaker…

My history with the figure

I believe this figure was first revealed at Wonfes Shanghai 2019 – my first glimpse of it via an image posted to a Discord server I was on. I then promptly forgot which server it was posted on, and then couldn’t find it a week or so later. Thankfully awhile later someone reposted it, which allowed me to track down the details.
From there, I discovered Fengrong’s Weibo, which allowed me to keep track of the figure. I also discovered hpoi’s site (a Chinese MFC), so also watched the figure there.
Not knowing if the figure would see any international distribution, I registered with a Taobao proxy and did a couple of in-stock purchases to investigate how it worked, as well as looking into how deposits/preorders worked.
I decided to preorder this figure with hpoi’s store, as it was highly rated and seemed to be a good bet.
Then came the usual preorder wait. And delay. Then delay again… At one point the release date wasn’t known, but eventually Fengrong published that she’ll be sent out at the end of July. True to their word this time around, I was able to pay the replenishment (final) payment, and she was at my proxy very shortly after.
EMS from China to the UK took 11 days, so didn’t have too long to wait once she was enroute.

Figure box size and weight

As some of you reading this are likely waiting on their preorder from AmiAmi, the box weight & dimensions are:
Weight: 1875g
Dimensions: 330 x 265 x 190mm
So prepare for hefty shipping.

Figure’s box

We have an interestingly-shaped window here, showing off most of the figure. We have some glossy-printed tentacles which give a nice texture and detail to the box.
We also have the figure’s name in Chinese and English, plus the tagline “Rhythm from R’lyeh”, which I like.

Not too much to see here – some little star windows, and the continuation of the front and back designs.

We have the figure in front of her illustration. Interesting choice, works OK. At the bottom we have mostly the standard warning text and figure information, plus an authenticity shiny from Fengrong and the barcode.
The design is pretty enough, but not hugely exciting.

This was taken after I did the photoshoot, so we can’t see the top of her head here, but it wasn’t the most exciting angle in the window. Does the job.

Nothing to see here. Move along. S’gone all moiré though…

Seem to have a jumper pattern here. You don’t really see a lot of it through the box’s windows when the figure is in the box, so it’s fine. Not sure how they decided on this pattern – doesn’t really have anything to do with the figure.

Info card:
Has some basic safety/warranty information. However, we have some kind of exchange code at the bottom – for an app/website that doesn’t exist yet… Well, I’ll keep an eye on their Weibo for more info! See if I can get anything good, despite not being in China.

Box inner, if you’re curious:



It’s a reasonably sturdy blister, but has bent a fair bit on the front. As a blister, it clips together well, and kept the items secure as I pulled it out of the box.
Looking at the blister contents, we have the main figure, a basic base and her mic. We also have an empty hole to the bottom right – nothing was in here, and looks like that’s the case for other people’s copies. Maybe they planned to include some headphones for her at one point?


I swear this came pre-fingerprinted. Ah well, it was gonna invariably gain some of mine at some point anyway, plus I have the deluxe base coming soon. Not a very exciting base – some detail to the edges and that’s about all we get. And one bit to support her foot.
This was more base than anticipated, as the prototype shots just showed her balanced on her tentacles.

The plastic pieces didn’t go together so well here, so we have some protruding edges. They’re hidden once she’s on the stand though.
A decently long metal peg here, to keep her stable – nice to see a metal peg, as that’ll stay nice and sturdy when displayed.

No copyrights, no nothing. Plastic grid might be useful if you want to put her on a display plinth smaller than her diameter though.

Unpacking the parts

Not too much to see here – it is pretty small, so the details are sufficient. No notable paint mishaps here.

Cthulhu with her protective materials:
She comes with a good amount of plastic separating the parts, stopping her from scraping against herself. She also has a foam block behind her legs to stop her from swinging back and hitting her hair.
Closer look at the foam:
There weren’t any instructions with her, so I just squidged it up and squeezed it out between her leg and tentacle, being careful not to nudge the bow on the back of her ankle off. I did waggle her body around, but not sure if it detaches, so left it be.

Propped without base:
She can be balanced without the base like the prototype images show, but she looked a little wonky when I did this.


Foot hole:
This fit fine onto the metal peg – was fairly easy to slide her on once I got the correct angle for the peg. Is a little bit of marking on her sole on my copy.

Hand for the mic:
This is what her hand looks like without the mic. You may see some excess rubbery stuff on her hand – I noticed this after this photo, but it just brushed off with a little force, thankfully.

It fit into her hand just fine, no issues here. Seems to be in there firmly enough too. Also note the lack of cruft on the back of her hand.

OK, that’s everything unpacked and assembled. Let’s give ‘er a spin.





Yep, she’s definitely a statement piece of a figure. A bold green and definitely tentacle-y. Very heavy too – guessing that the tentacles were cast solid, as she’s a weighty beast. Complete opposite of a B’Full/Insight figure. Unfortunately that means she’ll cost a pretty penny to ship.


She has quite a cute singing face. For some reason, her hair is propped a bit away from her face – I don’t think it shows much on display, but does look a little odd. The cast isn’t the best but it isn’t the worst I’ve seen. We do have some nice shading here though. Her stray hair has some stark contrast on it – it doesn’t bother me personally, but I can some people finding this to be a bit of a paint flaw.
Looking at her hair accessories, the cast is a little blobby, and the gold-y part hasn’t been painted neatly.
Her face skin hasn’t been shaded, so it relies on natural shadow to give it depth. We do have some shading in her mouth though, and two cute fangs.
Her eyes might be a bit divisive – it’s an unusual pattern that fits her, but they do look like faces, which is a bit annoying when you notice it.
Looking at her head wings, we do have some paint detail, but nothing really in sculpt detail.

From the side of her face:
I think her head and mic hand have been posed well – really gives off the vibe she’s singing whilst she waves at her fans.
Her sleeve is shaded nicely, and her cuffs add some nice detail to the figure. The lines on the cuff look neat, and the ruff has been nicely sculpted.
We’ve also got a couple of starfish in her “hair” here too. I do like these little details.

Cthulhu bow detail:
This li’l dude is neat imo. He’s been sculpted well, and the greens are nice. His eyes are painted neatly… but the stars, not so much – here the paint is too sloppy imo – the one to the right of the photo has a fair amount of overspill. In close proximity it’s very noticeable, a bit of distance less so, but you can see it’s there if you’re looking.

Lower half of the dress:
This angle we can see the sloppy gold paint more in focus. If you wanted to…
The dress itself I think has been moulded well, and feels like there’s some life to it with the bottom ruffles rolling upwards in the middle. There is a little shading on the green panel, but it is a bit indistinct. The white parts do have quite noticeable shading.
Loving the three layers they’ve given her dress – adds volume and detail to the dress.

Close up it looks a little chonk – that’s to say a little blobby in the sculpt. Being close up to it doesn’t do it any favours, but looks fine from a viewing distance.


Unlike the head wings, I feel like these two have had full attention paid to them – much more detail in the sculpt and paint here. These two wings add to her cuteness and cthulhuness :D.

Looking at the top of the stockings, it does look like the dark blue banding is a bit different in widths between the two legs, but I don’t think it is something particularly noticeable unless you’re looking up close.
She has bits of shading on her stockings, which help add depth, and a little bit of wrinkling at the back of her knee. I also like the little star details here too.
Her shoes match her tentacles in colour, but have been done with a gloss finish. Unfortunately where the paint blobs out ever so slightly it does produce quite a dark tone which makes her straps look like they’re a little dirty up close.
The bows behind her legs don’t stand out too much, but are a nice additional detail.


I love this little cute detail – it does look like a boat tossing in the sea of her tentacles. Again, this is a detail that looks fine from a distance, but up close the sails are rather blobby and unshaded. If I was to change this bit, I’d probably add some grey shading to the sails to hide some of the deficiencies in the sculpting. Though I think a more experienced manufacturer might be able to work on getting a better cast for the sails.

Top of the tentacle-hair:
Isn’t the most attractive meeting of hair, but the lower parts of the tentacle joins is fine. We can also see the shading on the tentacles – I was worried they wouldn’t have much shading, so I was very happy to see this. The shading is pretty striking from a distance, which can be seen in the spin-around shots.
For the backs of the wings, we can see the head wings lack detail on this side, but her body wings are also shaded and sculpted back here. Though one is notably darker than the other. I don’t mind a bit of variance, but some people may find this bothersome.

Lower meeting of the tentacles:
These tentacles meet up nicely.

Wiggly tentacles:
Here we can see more of the shading, and I do like the wiggly lines of these tentacles at the back. The top is slightly glossy, which I think works well.

She wants to stick right to you }:). The undersides of her tentacles have some subtle shading to add depth. The suckers aren’t sucker-shaped, but do mostly look the part. Now I’ve mentioned that, it’s probably going to annoy someone :P.

And that’s a tour of Idol Cthulhu!


So is she winning any awards? I think she deserves an award the concept – I love the idea of a Cthulhu idol. The figure definitely has a fun vibe to her, and I think the shading is better on the figure than I was hoping – most of her has some elements of shading, though her face doesn’t. With the liveliness of the figure, I think she’s fine on a simple base, though there is the complex base being released later.
Some of the paint details could’ve had more attention put in – though the only one that really bothers me is the stars on the chest Cthulhu. There are a couple of bits of sculpting that could do with refining, but nothing I find particularly bothersome.
I’m glad I went through the journey I did to order this unique figure, and I think it’s a solid first figure for Fengrong. Her recommended retail is around ¥12,000, which looking at the figures around that price point in my collection is a fair price for her.
With postage, she cost me around ¥18,550. If you’re in Europe, I’ll be curious how much she cost to ship (I shipped her via EMS from China) – see how ordering from AmiAmi compares when they have her.

Do you feel she’s worth her retail? Have you ordered her from China/AmiAmi? Excited or scared for her?
Thanks for reading this review! And a thank you from Idol Cthulhu!

Official vs Bootleg: Wing Saya

This figure I went back and forth on covering as her bootleg is quite well documented. Finally decided to cover it, as she’s quite a unique figure in some respects, especially if you’ve ‘played’ Saya No Uta.


MSRP (without tax): ¥17,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥18,060 (£129.60)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £22.11

The official I bought from Big In Japan


The first difference that is immediately noticeable is the missing “WING” logo in the top-left of the bootleg box. As this box is dominated by an image of the Saya figure, the poorer print quality on the bootleg shows with the two side-by-side. The print colours are also generally darker on the bootleg box.
Looking through the window of the box, we can see the large hair strands are in different positions between the two. The bootleg’s hair strands have much less of a gradient and a lack of protective plastic.

Again, the print quality is poor and dark on the bootleg, plus the removed logo. My bootleg box is also in the process of disassembling itself.

The lighting effects in the background have lost their lustre on the bootleg thanks to the poor colour reproduction. The bootleg’s dress is looking more grey and her hair less shaded.
At the top of this side we can see the round tape the official uses, whilst my bootleg has no tape at all.
Also no logo on the bootleg on this side too.

Here we have a fair amount of differences. Starting with the tape seal – the bootleggers have used a piece of circular tape with a brand on it, to give it some air of legitimacy (or maybe it came from a brick and mortar shop or something…).
Any text block that has the audacity to mention Goodsmile or Wing has been removed on the bootleg design, with the leftover boxes spread about to not leave large empty gaps. The Nitro+ logo was not spared the purge either.
The poor printing has also given us lots of moiré patterns on the bootleg. Does not look good!

More of the same here – missing logo and darker colours for the bootleg. Can see more of that bootleg seal here too – it was cut when I got it, as the box was flattened for transport.

It’s large, it’s missing on the bootleg and it is the logo.
The barcode on the bootleg has been replaced with a numerically valid barcode (check digit is correct) but is in the “no man’s land” of the GS1 country assignments, so isn’t related to an actual product.

So if you’re looking to see if a boxed Saya is bootleg, look for the Wing logos. Not finding any? Bootleg.


This figure comes with two blisters – one with Saya and the base and one for the wings. The wing blister sits in the back of Saya’s blister.

Yep, the bootleg’s blister is the usual mangled mess. Both the blisters appear to be identical in shape but not in material.
Both of them have the supporting plastic piece for her hair to keep it in shape during transit, but the official has some sheathes to stop the hair from being scraped.
The bootleg figure looks a little lost in the blister due to the way it sits.

Not much difference to be seen here. Bootleg’s blister is a bit yellower. Looking to the wings themselves, the official has some layers of protective plastic that the bootleg lacks, and we can see some extra colour variance in the bootleg wings.

This figure doesn’t have accessories per se, but we do have the wings to attach. So let’s take a look at those.

Left wing:

The main immediate difference is the aforementioned colouring – the bootleg’s wing has two very different-coloured paints, neither of which matches the official. They have got the two colours in approximately the right places, but the difference between the paints is not subtle at all, especially on the underside.
I’m not against the bootleg’s colouration, but could do with not being so different. Not accurate to what it is supposed to be though.
The bootleg’s finish isn’t as smooth, which can be seen via the distortions in the reflections.

Right wing:

The bootleg’s right wing manages to be a lot less garish than its left. Still not the green it is supposed to be though.

Close-up of a wing part on the right wing:
The change in finish is fairly apparent with the way the light reflects off both. Looking at the edges, the bootleg isn’t as precisely moulded and the ends are maybe a little stubby – definitely better than some bootlegs I’ve seen and not something you’d really notice without close inspection.
However, we do have some speckles on the bootleg, visible in the upper ‘feathers’. The official wings are nice and clean.

Overall, the bootleg wings were moulded closely in line with the official, but the colours make them obviously different.


Back of the base:
These bases are noticeably dissimilar in colour and texture. The bootleg base has less vivid reds and doesn’t have much of a sheen to it. The bootleg’s blood tendril seems to have a dark line drawn up the back of it, instead of shaded like the official.

From this side the lacklustre paint job on the bootleg’s tendril shows up well. Doesn’t have the impact of the official’s, especially as it lacks any paint blending on the green part.
Looking to the lower part of the tendril, we can see a metal peg on the official, but just an indent in the same spot of the bootleg.

The bootleg’s green tendril tip stands out from this angle too. Here we can see the official uses pegs on the tendril to attach Saya’s foot whilst the pegs are on Saya’s foot for the bootleg.
Looking to the bottom of the base, the small blood spikes look burned on the bootleg thanks to the tips being painted in black and being poorly moulded so some are shorter than they should be. The official’s look like splashes, thanks to the tips of these parts being painted a lighter colour.

Yep, very different attachment systems here. Metal peg on the official is appreciated, as this means that the figure won’t threaten to sag over time.

Bottom of the base:
The official’s looks like a pool of blood/gore with a tendril growing out of it. The bootleg’s looks like… scorched ground. With some kind of red tree growing out of it. The bootleg has absolutely no subtlety in the colouring and lacks the shine that would make it look liquidy. Whilst the official’s tendril is clearly a separate part, the bootleg one looks more separate as it lacks the close fit to make it sit right.
Looking to the bottom left of the bootleg base, we can see some of the paint has been scraped off some of the blood spikes.

Tendril tip:

Yeah, no hiding the fact the bootleg is two parts. Though the official, I wish the split wasn’t so obvious, but at least we have a gradient fade here.
With the full transparency of the bootleg, we can see how this tip attaches, which is not a pretty look. Looking at the lower picture, we can see seams down both parts of the bootleg tendril, plus the parts don’t fit together well at all.

Official is shiner down here too. The bootleg uses the wrong screws to attach the tendril, so they don’t sit in the provided recess.

Closeup of the tendril attachment:
No removal of the copyright here on the bootleg, showing that copyright on the base isn’t a sure sign of a genuine product.
The bootleg came with tape residue, which has seemingly found a piece of my hair :/.
Looking at the corners of the plug hole for the tendril, the bootleg’s mould looks like it’s had a hard life and the corners have become rounded, assuming there wasn’t a change in the mould between releases (my Saya is a 2nd release).

The bootleg base is easy to tell apart from the official – the upper green section of the tendril is one of the easiest ways of telling a bootleg apart from the official in my opinion.
The base shading is also starkly different if you have photos of the base or see it in person.

Figure spin-around




Gosh, assembling both of these was a small nightmare – the way she rests on the tendril is not fun. Getting the foot pegs in at the same time as resting her on the tendril is not easy. So no points in the assembling department for either.
Looking at the right photo, I didn’t quite get the bootleg’s pegs in. With the pegs being on her foot, it does make it harder to warm up to get her in – it’s easier if the holes are on the side you warm to keep the pegs solid so they can slide into the softened hole easier. Feel free to make up your own innuendos here :P.
Looking at the figures in their entirety, the difference in hair, dress and wing colours are fairly apparent.

Figure close-ups

Let’s take a quick look at Saya’s back before we attach her to the base.
The sculpts of the bodies appear to be the same apart from the attachments on the foot. The finish on the bootleg’s skin is shinier, which can be seen on the upper legs in this photo.
The bootleg’s dress is a lighter shade, and doesn’t sit the same with respect to her hands – the bootlegs ‘fit’ less with the dress, whilst the official’s is orientated so the hands sit neatly in the folds.

Upper back:
The wing holes match up here, though the edges inside the bootleg holes looks a bit rough.
Moving to the straps of the dress, the bootleg’s are much more opaque and the white doesn’t match with the rest of the dress too well. The painting on the bootleg’s leaves isn’t as neat and isn’t of a consistent thickness. The paint also lacks the glossy shininess of the official’s.

Holes for the official, pegs for the bootleg to match their respective stands.

OK, let’s get her assembled and look at her face:
Looking at the eyes, the official’s are a deeper green and don’t have the dotted pattern of the bootleg.
Moving to the mouth, the way the bootleg is painted has changed her expression – to me the bootleg looks more disappointed or something, unlike the determination of the official. The red line around the bootleg’s mouth I think is especially bad.
Looking at her hair, the bootleg’s is a flat black whilst the official’s is a smooth gradient of dark greens.

The bootleggers have gone for the same black as they’ve used for her hair whilst the official’s is blue.
The bootleg’s bow has also become squished during manufacture and has bits of excess plastic around the edges of it. Just generally looking blobby there.

For the painted parts, the bootleg looks more opaque, and the part over the stomach looks more see-through. There is some extra shading on the bootleg, but it kind of looks like staining rather than shading on the lower part of her dress to me.
The sculpted seam down the middle of the dress is more apparent at the top on the bootleg.

Closeup of the bottom of the dress:
The shading on the official follows the creases, whilst the bootleg has a couple of seemingly random areas shaded.

Under the dress:


The bootleg’s panties are more of a blue-white than the official’s

The bootleg’s dress isn’t joined very well, and we see two seamlines instead of one. The bootleg has a paint transfer on this shoulder on my copy, possibly from the hair.
The official’s skin has a much nicer appearance to me than the bootleg, thanks to the finish.

Side of the hair:
Yap, no shading on the bootleg’s hair around here either. The seam on the bootleg is also more noticeable thanks to the parts not attaching together neatly.
Looking at the hair tips on the front half of her hair, the bootleg has some excess plastic.

Back of the hair:
Oh, oh, I think I see a bit of shading… on the top of the bootleg’s head. And nowhere else. The official has subtle shading throughout.
Here we have quite a bit of excess plastic on the bootleg hair points as well.

Top of the head:
Oh look, here’s the bootleg’s excuse for shading. And it manages to be terrible by being mostly on the front and not really continuing to the back hairpiece.

Left hair tips:
The hair back here doesn’t take the same paths – the bootleg’s hair strands hide behind her wings, plus the back hair bends much further away from her body.
Looking at the tips, the bootleg uses a different shade of green and the transition from tip colour to the main hair colour is much harsher on the bootleg.

Rogue back strand:
Here we can really see the harshness of the bootleg colour transition – the lighter green only extends up a fraction of the hair strand.
The bootleg’s hair strand has got squished at the tip, leaving it with more of a bend than the official’s.

Closeup of the right wing:
The wings both curve in the same way, and look similar to each other in shape. Under the official’s wing we can see a hair strand that has gone AWOL on the bootleg.

Closeup of the left wing:
The wings look similar in shape on this side too, though the very tip of the bootleg wing does look like it curls in a bit more. Some of the darker ‘feathers’ in the middle look like they curl differently at the ends.
However, in colouration, the bootleg certainly stands out.

Back of the wings:
The figure stays on the tendril by pinning it between the wings. Would honestly be easier if it had a peg here instead of… this. The bootleg’s right wing didn’t quite go in all the way, not sure if it will or if it’ll need some hole-scraping to go in fully. Both wings match the colour of their respective tendril tip.

The official’s fingernails are much more neatly painted, and there is some shading towards the fingertips.
Yet another bootleg that’s dipped its fingers into the nail polish bottle.

The official’s legs are a nicer colour to me, whilst the bootleg’s legs look yellowy or dirty in spots.

Front of the feet:
The bootleg’s toes aren’t as roughly painted as the hands, but the paint doesn’t match the dainty pink of the official. The bootleg paint is also matte instead of glossy.
Looking to the base, the bootleg’s tendril isn’t fully into the hole which makes it look odd.

Side of the feet:
Here we can see where the bootleg refused to go all the way into the base, but I did eventually get the official’s foot in. Looking at the left foot, the official has shading that the bootleg doesn’t, and the bootleg’s foot has a tiny bit of excess plastic.


Due to the differences, this bootleg is decently easy to spot. With the box, the missing logos is a big clue, along with the invalid barcode.
Looking to the figure itself, the hair shading and wing shading are starkly different between the two, though it does look like the bootleggers based their colouring on the overly-contrasted promotional photos. So if you wanted the more contrasting wings from the promotional shot, these have that colouring.
With the base, the tendril tip itself is the biggest clue with the bootleg’s tip not being blended at all to the main body of the tendril. The bootleg’s base is also not painted well, leaving it looking like odd-coloured ground.
Looking at the bootleg as a separate product, it’s not a train wreck – I can see someone being happy with the bootleg, especially for the price. However, if you’re expecting the finish and polish of the original, the bootleg definitely falls short. The bootleg’s face is off, the hair shading is poor and the dress isn’t as nice. The base is also a letdown with the parts not being assembled properly, the lack of transition on the tendril and the black-tipped “blood”.

Official vs Bootleg: Sega Hatsune Miku (SPM, Ghost)

This figure I purchased for my collection as I love the purple-blue colouring of her hair. When a bootleg popped up for this one, I just had to get it to see how it compared.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥1,663 (£12.61)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $7.56 (£5.79)

The official I proxied from Otamart via From Japan

I don’t keep the boxes for my prize figures, so don’t have a box to compare. Due to this, I also bought the bootleg boxless. So straight onto the box contents!


The official base is octagonal whilst the bootleg has opted for a hexagonal base. So a noticeable shape change here. The official is also translucent whilst the bootleg is fully opaque. The bootleg’s base is also a shade of brown instead of grey.
Looking at the holes, the bootleg’s are positioned very differently. So how is this one going to stand…?

The official base has the usual copyright and manufacturing information, whilst the bootleg is entirely plain. Not even the usual injection moulding marks to see here.

The base makes it easy to tell if the figure is bootleg or not – different shape, colour and hole positioning.


This figure doesn’t come with any accessories, however to get her to fit in the box her pigtails are separate. So let’s take a look at those.

Left pigtail:

You can see all the shapes are there for the bootleg, but some of the hair curls differently – especially at the bottom.
In terms of colouring, the light blue is lighter on the bootleg but the darker colours are darker. We’ve got more light purple tint in the upper half of the hair than the official.
Looking at the hair tips, the bootleg’s hair is more rounded at the ends.

Right pigtail:

We have some variation in the curls on this side, but not as great as the left hand side. We also have similar colour variations as to the left side.

Figure spin-around

Let’s get those pigtails attached and see how she looks overall.



First thing I notice is the bootleg’s right pigtail going off into space! Vroom! Due to the differences in her neck and pigtail sculpt, it sticks out a lot more than it should.
Looking to the dress, the bootleg’s is noticeably darker and shinier.
With the bootleg, her foot can go in either hole – I ended up doing two photoshoots with her, and I think she looks better standing in the other hole, but these photos came out nicer. So I went with the dodgy base position.

When I had them on the stands, they appear to be difference sizes, but comparing them side-by-side, I don’t think there’s any notable difference in height:

Figure close-ups

Let’s see how the details hold up when we look up close.
The bootleg’s hair on the head… oof. It’s very thick and pearlescent, not really matching the pigtails. Plus we have a bunch of mould defects in the middle. The bootleg also doesn’t have the purple tips of the official, though there are some purple accents in the paint. If we look to the left side of the bootleg’s hair, she seems to have had a haircut as we’re missing some hair strands.
Moving to her face, the bootleg isn’t Miku-pale – seems a running theme with Miku bootlegs.
The bootleg eye print isn’t as good a quality as the official either, missing out on some of the dotted shading and the grey parts have been done in white. The white layer hasn’t been done as thickly on the bootleg, so the eye details show through.
Looking to her mouth, the pink paint didn’t go right on the bootleg, almost looking like she’s gormlessly sticking her tongue out. Was rather amused by this when editing this image.

Mark on her face:
This bit has been replicated on the bootleg. Looks like it’s at a very slightly different angle and we’ve lost a little detail – nothing particularly noticeable.
Looking at her hair, the bootleg’s has some rough spots and globs of paint.

Back of her head:
The bootleg has a bit of purple shading back here that the official doesn’t. The mould back here looks the same on both, however the bootleg pigtails aren’t fitting in the holes as well as the official’s.

Closeup of those pigtail joins:
The official’s go in pretty easily – one thing I like about it, didn’t have to do much fiddling to get them in, which is nice as not all prize figures fit together well. Bootleg though, yeah, they weren’t too happy.
Looking at the scrunchies, the bootleg’s has mould lines going around them and are a bit lumpier than their official counterpart.

The bootleg’s hair is more all over the place, as previously observed. However, looking at it on its own, it’s not that bad. The fringe doesn’t match the pigtails, so without them side-by-side, this might still look slightly odd. Both the bootleg and the official can exhibit air bubbles in the cast – if you look at the pale blue areas on both you may spot some bubbles.

Now we get to see some of the serious downgrades on the bootleg. Starting with her collar, the green paint has been roughly applied on the bootleg, missing out on the finer details of the official. The casting on the bootleg’s collar is a bit rougher and it has a shinier appearance.
Moving to the skin, the bootleg definitely has a shininess problem. None of the skin parts on the bootleg fit correctly with the dress, leaving gaps around the edges of her dress. The diamond cutout in her dress hasn’t been painted thickly enough either, letting the dress colour show through.
Lastly, looking at the dress, the bootleg’s is too shiny and has a mould defect above the cutout.

Oof, those bootleg parts really do NOT fit together well.
The top of the bootleg’s glove is really rough, missing the edging entirely. The glove seam isn’t great on the official, but the bootleg really manages to make a hash of it.

Glove detail:
Now that moulding is just painfully bad on the bootleg. The diamond area has totally lost shape, revealing the shape of the body’s plastic underneath.
The official is fine for a prize figure – we have a tiny bit of gap but nothing hideous. Thankfully.

Back of the bow:
Looking at the collar, the bootleg’s green trim is painted too thickly here too. The collar has also lost its shape and doesn’t stand up as much as it should, giving her a bit of an elongated neck.
Moving to the ties, the bootleg’s are shiny instead of matte, we have too much green (again), there’s excess plastic on the edges and the collar doesn’t hide where it attaches, looking like someone lost a game of “pin the tail on the Miku”.
Again, the body doesn’t attach properly on the bootleg back here, revealing one of the pegs that attaches the parts together.

Back of the dress:
OK, let’s start with the good: the green bow is painted nicely on both.
Oh dear… this bootleg… she seems to have pink icing instead of a back. This bit fits horribly.

Close-up of the back action:
Just. No. This bit just doesn’t fit at all. Nothing to salvage here.

Let’s distract ourselves with a good joke:
Bootleg must’ve enjoyed the joke – her sides seem to be splitting!
Green paint is kind of dodgy on both here. Not sure what happened with the seam design on the official here, does look odd with the plastic seam running over the sculpted one.
The bootleg is a total fail here though – just has a large gap between the dress parts with a darker grey bit in between. If this was done nicely, it could’ve looked better than the official with two parallel seams, but no.

The casting on the hand seems to have gone fine, but the fingers aren’t as spread as they are on the official’s. The difference in finish of the dresses is quite apparent here – with the photography lights clearly shining off of the bootleg.
Those dress seams aren’t looking very good on the bootleg down here either.
The trim is a bit of a mess on both. The bootleg’s trim paint is a bit of a thicker line than the official’s.
The dress’s overall shape is a little different at the bottom, with the back of the dress folded inwards a bit more on the bootleg.

Skirt trim:
For me personally, this is the worst part of the official – the green paint wasn’t very neatly applied, leaving both the official and bootleg trims looking messy.

Back of the boot tops:
The boot tops are less defined on the bootleg, and her right boot has a dent.
Skin colours are also notably different on the legs.

Front of leg:
The vertical line manages to be decent on both, but the bootleg’s sole is a bit lacking in the paint department.
Again, the top of the boot is better defined on the official.

Foot pegs:

Big difference: The bootleg has only one peg, whilst the official has two. So there is potential for the bootleg to develop leaning issues thanks to a lack of support. This is also why you can peg the bootleg in both holes – as one foot lacks a peg. And no, the bootleg didn’t come with a stand piece or anything for the second hole.
The bootleg’s one peg is green, whilst the official’s have been painted the same black as the rest of her boots.


Yeah, the bootleg isn’t worth your money. Due to the poor fit of the parts, she can look pretty defective from certain angles. I know quite a few people aren’t a fan of the charcoal dress – I rather like the contrast it gives and I think an all-shiny-black might look overly ‘heavy’. Though I think it can probably be agreed the extra shiny on the grey dress doesn’t enhance the figure.
As for telling them apart, the bases is the easiest at a glance. Looking up close, the hair on the head is notably different, and there’s the shininess on the dress and skin. Plus the parts just not fitting right at all, making the bootleg look a mess.
With assembly, the bootleg’s poorly cast pigtail pegs don’t fit into the holes well, and the bootleg leaves an ugly hole on its base – not sure what they were thinking here! With the two pegs, the official is nice and sturdy, and the bootleg noticeably less so with its one peg.

And if you’re curious as to how she looks without her pigtails:
This can work from the front angle, if you want a shorthair Miku, though it has a specific set of view angles it works with, thanks to the peg holes.
This shot was also done with the bootleg in the outer hole – I think this was the intended hole to use on the bootleg as she sits more centrally to the base.

Official vs Bootleg: Phat Ryuko (Kamui Senketsu ver)

This figure was voted for by CLOD_LILYY. An excellent choice.
This figure’s bootleg does crop up now and then, so does make a solid choice to have a look at.
I own the second release – so there will be some differences between the box due to this. They will be pointed out in the text below the images.


MSRP (without tax): ¥9,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥11,037 (£72.59)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $20.65 (£15.83)

The official I bought from The Store I Shall No Longer Mention.


The bootleg has two things missing – the Phat! logo and the authenticity sticker. The bootleg box looks like it got dragged around a warehouse floor a bit with the amount of dust scrapes on it, especially to the left. The red text is a deeper shade of red on the bootleg, so other than the logo it is a close copy.

This side is a direct copy, again with the darker writing. One point of note is the official box is sealed with round tape – one of which you can see slapped to the side of my official box (yeah… sometimes I do that) but the bootleg has no tape on the sides.

This side is also a copy, including the window. Nothing much to tell these sides apart.

The back of my box has some large differences at the bottom as I have the second release – this box back is actually an edit of the first release. Here is a photo of the first release by Raithos.
The edits they’ve made are interesting. They’ve removed the QR code that should be in the upper right box as well as the barcode, but the thing that gets me the most is they’ve removed the Goodsmile partner support web address… but not the other web addresses in the bottom right. Who cares for consistency in removing the branding?

Senketsu is giving us a stare from both boxes, and we have the same window. The bootleg box has the Phat! logo removed from this side too.
We can also see the bootleg uses a small piece of normal tape instead of the three round pieces the official has.

Here we have another second release vs first release difference – the barcode for the second release is down here instead of on the back. If I had a first release, the bottoms would be pretty much indistinguishable.

Into the box:
Again, not too much to see here – they’ve got the inner very close to the real thing… except the box flaps. We have a straight cut at the top of the bootleg edge flaps instead of a curve – looking at videos, it looks like this is a bootlegger change rather than a release version change.

The bootleg liner is a slightly different shade of orange. It also feels less premium and less shiny than its official counterpart.

In terms of telling the boxes apart, the easiest method is to look for the Phat! logo. Can you find one? Very likely official. Can’t find one? Definitely bootleg. It is also interesting to see there is actually a box variant for this figure, and is something to take into account when bootleg-checking – a difference in the bottom text area isn’t always due to a bootlegger buggering about with it, companies can update their information box layouts between releases. Not the first time we’ve seen this, but probably one of the more striking variants in this regard.



My official won’t be packed as it was originally, but the bootleg hasn’t made any attempt to ensure Ryuko’s face is on show. The plastic sheeting also extends partly over the scissor blade.
This bootleg blister manages to be better than most other bootleg blisters I’ve looked at – it has mostly retained its shape and the accessories are mostly held in there – the hilt of the decapitation blade has slipped a bit though.
The most notable difference looking at her in the blister is the foot pegs – here you can see the official’s are white and the bootleg’s are blue-grey. This can be a very easy way of telling a boxed bootleg apart from the official, especially if someone crops their photo to hide the fact the logo is missing.


The bootleg base is lighter than its official counterpart and looks smoother due to the less defined moulding and difference in finish.

The official base’s bottom is a brighter white than the bootleg’s. There is some copyright text on the upper right flat area, though it is hard to see in this photo. If we look to the bootleg, you may see the scratch pattern where they’ve scratched the copyright off of the mould, though a little evidence of where the text is remains. So it does feel like this cast was done from a stolen mould.

Removed cover:
This base has a removable part to add a knee support. The area under this stand piece is the same, albeit a less bright white on the bootleg.

Base piece:

The base pieces match the colours and paint styles of their respective bases. The knee support on the bootleg is a much cloudier plastic however.
In terms of shape, the bootleg is a lot flatter on top than the official, where moulding detail has been lost.

Underneath the base piece:
Both are numbered “2”, and are the same layout. We have some differences in the divots around the edge (notable on the top lug) and the hexagonal shape has been lost in the round peg parts on the bootleg.
Looking at the circular mould markings, it looks like the plastic was injected in the four corners for the official, but two in the middle for the bootleg.

Attaching attempt:
The bootleg’s peg wasn’t glued in so can fall out when assembling. Not a big deal as it pegs in securely, but is a difference between the two.

Base piece installed:
Both work just fine and match their respective bases.

Bootleg stand on official base:
Does indeed fit, but doesn’t match in colour.

Overall the bootleg base manages to be pretty close to the official’s but the colour and lack of texture give it away. You can also see where they’ve scratched the copyright out on the bottom if you look carefully.


This figure comes with an extra hand, a normal scissor blade, a scissor blade in decapitation mode and a set of instructions.
Let’s start with the instructions:

Shock horror, the bootleg actually came with a copy of the instructions! The bootleg’s have had the Phat! logo removed, but other than that they’re a photocopy.
Only one downside… some of the instructions tell you what you’re missing on the bootleg due to a couple of parts being fused together. We’ll come to this later.

When doing the photoshoot, I couldn’t remember which was the default hand, so will cover both here.
Flat hand:

The blue-black parts of the glove on the bootleg are more black than they should be. The upper layers of paint on both sides of the bootleg hand is too thin, showing bits of the undercoat through. The paint is also less precisely applied, which is most notable on the top of the glove.
The underside fares better, but is a darker red than it should be on the bootleg.

Gripping hand:

The top of the bootleg hand is painted even worse than the last hand, missing much of the linework parts and the “V” part not extending down as far as it should. Plus it seems some of the black paint got smeared into the red paint, leaving the colour inconsistent.
Again, the palm isn’t so bad, though we are missing some red paint on the inner thumb.

Scissor blade:

The colours of these are notably different – the official is a much darker red and has a shiny finish.
Looking at the underside, we can see a mould defect at the top of the bootleg’s blade.
Both of these blades detach at the same point, and did indeed both pull apart.

Top of the decapitation blade:

These two are closer in colour, but the bootleg lacks the fully glossy finish of the official.


Here the bootleg hilt is darker. We’ve also got a curvier shape going on near the top – almost wondering if this was a prototype design where they wanted it to slide into her hand, instead of having the closed-fist they went with. Does look like the official one might actually be the retooled part – with the mould looking less precise on the left side, and smoothed out on the right.

Separated parts:
We can tell the left is the official, as the instructions show how to take the blade apart and you just can’t do that with the bootleg part. This indeed gets problematic later.

Figure spin-around

Here she is, out of the box but without her blades:



The main notable difference at a glance is the skin colour – the official is much more yellow than the bootleg. There’s also less shine on some parts of the bootleg too.
That mark on the bootleg’s bum also shows up fairly well.

Overall, the two are fairly similar – if you weren’t aware that she has a yellowy skin tone, it would be possible to mix these two up at a glance. Let’s look up close and see how she fares in the details.

Before we go do that, here’s a bonus top shot:

Figure close-ups

Before we start looking up close, I did have some assembly issues with the bootleg:
The leg wasn’t initially near the hole it needed to go in. With a bit of heating and persuasion, it went in. I seem to recall having a small amount of difficulty getting the official’s pegs in, but they weren’t this far off.

The official isn’t the happiest of chaps, but the bootleg is downright angry. Also looks like the bootleg’s face has been shifted down by quite a bit. The eye prints match up between the two, but the paint is lacking on the bootleg’s lips.
Moving to her hair, the red paint on the bootleg is squiggly and a bit all over the place. The hair is also a darker colour and lacking the shading of the official.
Moving to the Senketsu’s eye (the red/yellow part), this piece seems to be joined incorrectly on the bootleg, letting her head overlap more and pointing it upwards. The paints aren’t as vivid on the bootleg, and the sculpt seems to not be as clean.

The casting isn’t as neat on the bootlegs, leaving them a bit wonky and smaller. The colour also differs slightly.

Top of the hair:
Here we can see where the bootleg really lacks in the shading department – just plain up here, with some seam marks. The official is much neater and the blue tones really add to the hair.

Underside of the hair:
Oof, the bootleg paint is really rough under here. They gave it a good go, but ultimately it ended up being a lumpy, sloppy mess.

Back of Senketsu:
Ignoring the hair, the biggest difference back here are the red fins – the official captures the light in such a way to give it depth, but the bootleg is just a very apparent flat red. Looks like they may have remodelled this part to make assembly easier at the sacrifice of appearance.
Looking at the sticking-up parts, the red wash on the bootleg isn’t quite as good.
Lastly, the silver paint at the bottom attaching the strap is a bit sloppy on the bootleg.

Back collar:
The dark paint here is almost a little sparkly on the bootleg. Interesting choice.
The red paint for the inset line has been painted decently well on the bootleg, but the paint isn’t as thick and vivid as the official’s.
Looking at the bottom corners of the collar, one is is pointer on the bootleg and the other side has got completely chomped off.

Oh boy, if I thought the paint was messy on my official, the bootleg’s gonna one-up it. The grey paint is too thin and we don’t have the points that the joining clips should have.
The bootleg strap is also poorly attached – it doesn’t connect properly at the bottom and we can see glue leak out in the middle of the strap.

Not sure if the official’s clip paint is messier than the bootleg’s. The sculpt suggests the shape should be more like the official’s, but the official paint doesn’t quite get to the edges of this sculpted area.
Both bodies would look pretty similar, if it wasn’t for the skin colour.
If we look at the arms, we will see the bootleg’s right arm (upper in photo) isn’t quite attached at the same angle as the official’s.

And the bootleg paint is getting really ropey here – the clip is just a suggestion, the red band at the top of the skirt is inconsistent and too thin, and the grey skirt tips are dabbed on. We’ve also got some stray red paint on the bootleg’s body, just above the skirt clip.
The hands are at different angles here, but they can be rotated as they’re pegged in.

Close-up of the skirt:
The skirt paint colours are different – the bootleg is a bit of a darker, blacker colour. The bootleg sculpt is also not as sharp, resulting in less wrinkles. We’ve also got some grey paint slop from the skirt edge.
Looking at the tips on the skirt, we can see some mould marks on the edges of the bootleg that aren’t present on the official.

The bootleg’s skirt edge paint is bad here, but the panties aren’t too badly painted though she does a little mutant towards the front due to the panty paint not reaching to the edges. We also have this massive line on my bootleg’s arse – probably not a feature of all copies of the bootlegs, but shows how inconsistent they can be. We’ve also got some yellow spatter near the bootleg’s panties for some reason… quite unpleasant to look at.

Right arm:
The finish on the bootleg does spoil the look – makes it look greasy instead of clean. The red paint bands on the square parts is also lacking on the bootleg – not enough paint and not as vivid of a red.
The bootleg’s arm is also angled slightly differently.

Top of the arm:
This hand doesn’t match the bootleg’s arm well in terms of colour – looks like a different blue.
Again, the finish really doesn’t help on the bootleg. The shading is a bit off, but close enough to be passable.

Top of the left leg:
Sloppy. Yeah, that bootleg is definitely suffering from paint issues here, especially the horizontal band on the boot. The boot’s edge and main part have a bigger gap on the bootleg.

Outside of the left leg:
The person painting this bootleg didn’t have the steadiest of hands, and we have some quite waggly linework going on, and some of the paint dripped before it dried.
Looking at the boot material itself, we have the same lacklustre finish on the boots too.

Back of the left boot:
Mmm, did I paint this bootleg? Sure looks like it.
Here we can see a paint flaw on the official where they’ve painted half the line, stopped then did the rest.

Knee support for the left leg:
Yep, both admirably doing their duty. The official one looks nicer to me as the bluey hue matches the base better and the transparency makes it less of an eyesore.
We’ve got some red paint spatter on the bootleg’s boot, for good measure.

Left foot peg:
Here we can see the official’s is unpainted, whilst the bootleg’s has been painted blue-black for some reason, and is a bit dodgily moulded.

Outside of the right leg:
Here the difference in finish is the most apparent – definitely getting more shine off of the official. The shading isn’t too bad on the bootleg, though the finer detail paint is such a mess.

Right foot:
Yeah, that red paint on the bootleg didn’t quite make it did it? Didn’t quite drip its way to its destination.

Now we’ve looked at Ryuko, time to look at her holding her accessories. For holding the scissor blade, she has the flat hand and for holding the decapitation blade she has a fist hand.

Let’s try out the scissor blade first:


This accessory works fine for both – the bootleg does hold hers at a slightly different way due to the arm angle, but this can be adjusted somewhat as the hand peg can rotate.
As most of the blade is hidden from her main viewing angles, the bootleg’s one looks generally fine.

Let’s try the decapitation blade:


Yeah, this one isn’t holding the same, though in terms of angle from the from, it sits OK. Not sure what would happen with the bootleg’s blade over time with the lack of support.

Closer look at the problem:
The official blade fits in nicely and easily with its three parts, the bootleg one not so much.
With the two narrow areas, it does look like they maybe hoped that would be where she would grip it, but that turned out not to be the case.
The bootleg blade does hold, but it is unstable. Also can’t be used as a replacement blade due to the missing joint.
From this angle, you can see where it looks like they’ve redesigned the middle bit to make it fit the model properly. Wonder if the hands were initially intended to be closer together, with the handhold areas on the bootleg.


Telling the bootleg apart from the official isn’t too hard if you’re aware of what the official looks like. I can definitely see someone not realising they’ve bought a bootleg with this one – the box looks good and the bootleg looks OK from a distance, but close up you can see the paint mess and have potential marks on this one.
For telling these apart, the lack of “Phat!” logos on the box is a big clue, plus the painted pegs. The pale base lacking texture may also give clues she’s not official. Lastly, a close look at the red paintwork will likely reveal the shoddy nature of the production.

What’s most interesting about this bootleg is the decapitation blade – it seems like they may’ve pinched a pre-mass-production mould. This would also fit with the fact the decapitation blade is two pieces in the box, instead of separated into three, which would be the norm if part of it is separated off. With the design of the accessories, it feels like they intended to have her not have closed hands initially, but probably realised the number of issues that would bring with her dropping her blade. Also possibly different arm positions to bring her arms closer together. This is all speculation, I could be entirely wrong, but does feel like there may be something to it.

Official vs Bootleg: Alphamax Hatsune Miku – Lamp

This figure was a relatively popular pick, with three votes. The people who voted for her were NAYANMORIELISE_GRIMWALD and TAIGAPAWS. So I hope you’ll enjoy this article!

This Miku is one of the few in my collection – I was drawn to the relatively unique theming of this figure and the strong green/orange colours. So let’s see what the bootleggers have done to this figure and if it can come close to the original.


MSRP (without tax): ¥3,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): AUD$60 (£34.58)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $15.14 (£11.60)

The official I bought from another collector.


What’s this? A bootleg box that isn’t obliterated? Rare!
The front of the box is a copy of the original. The colours on the bootleg are a bit different, most notable difference is the background colour.


Again, these sides are 1:1 copies, though the colours haven’t been calibrated correctly so the orange parts are darker and the black/grey areas are more browny in tone.
The print quality is a bit more fuzzy/blurred on the bootleg, but not as bad compared to other boxes I’ve looked at.

Yep, this side is also a duplicate. The mediocre printing shows up a bit more here as this side is largely product photos.
The barcode is the same – the sticker on my official is because the previous owner bought her preowned from AmiAmi.

The difference in colour is most apparent here as it is dominated by the background pattern. We can see the official was sealed by a piece of round tape whilst the bootleg was sealed with normal tape.

Nothing really to see here – both have the same flap pattern.

The bootleg’s inner is a paler colour, plus the card is cheaper and doesn’t have the shiny finish like the official. This part probably is the most different bit out of all the packaging.

The bootleg box is very similar to the official, with no edits made. The print quality and colours may give the game away in person, but most of the box flaws would not necessarily be apparent in a poor-quality photograph. So the box isn’t necessarily a conclusive way of determining if you’re looking at a bootleg.


Blisters out of the box:
The bootleg’s blister is much more yellowy, and has started buckling. The official one has remained rigid, despite being pulled in and out of the box multiple times.
Looking at the bootleg’s hair, we can already start to see figure defects without getting her out of the box, and we can see the lamp she carries is missing? Oh, no, wait… it’s located at the bottom of the blister on the other side…

Figure blister:

Even without the back blister, that bootleg blister is looking very yellow. We can also see the hair is a mess and the lamps are pointed at funny angles.
From the back we can see the figure more clearly thanks to less protective plastic and where that lamp got to – bootleg blisters are often flimsy, so accessories relocating themselves on “new” figures can be a bad sign.
We can also see the hair shading is a lot less distinct.

Back blister:
Yes, this is how the bootleg stand came packed!

Let’s put the bootleg stand into its blister properly:
The full blister for the stand was included with the bootleg, but for some reason it was packed incorrectly, which is probably largely why it got damaged in transit.
The stand blister is a copy of the official, but again, yellowed plastic.


One of the nice features about this figure is the base – no plain disc here!

Here are the bases… plus one of the bits that broke off the bootleg whilst it was in transit. The other fence piece I couldn’t find, no idea where that went.
The bases look overall similar, but the ‘metal’ fence parts on the bootleg are made from a more brittle plastic and are black instead of grey.
The bootleg’s stonework also has an ugly yellow tinge to it.

Left side of the fence:
Here we can see where the railings have a blacker and shinier finish on the bootleg with the way the light shines off the tip of the railings.
Looking at the railing curls on the left, we can see bits of excess plastic on the bootleg fence that aren’t present on the official. We’ve also got some excess plastic fuzz on the top of the wall too.
Looking at the brickwork, most of the detail seems to have survived, but the dull paintwork hides the finer details.

Top of the left brick wall:
I don’t think the top survived as well as the side – the cracks on the top two parts are nearly all missing on the bootleg.
If it wasn’t for the weird greenish colour, the dirt effect on the bootleg bricks would actually look pretty decent.

Top of the right fence:
This side also suffers from excess plastic on the outermost curls.

Right wall:
Most of the detail survived on the bootleg, but the paint is sloppy in places – notably the dark grey bricks have a fair amount of green spillover onto them.

They’ve managed to match the darker brick patterns on the bootleg however the edges are sloppy here too. If they didn’t go for such a greenish colour, this would look fairly decent. But they didn’t. So it doesn’t.

If you’re yet to notice the horrible nubs on the bootleg base, here there are close up. Really not sure what happened here – was it that hard to correct the mould so the pegs weren’t mere lumps on the base? Both the official pegs are much taller than the ones on the bootleg base and are normal peg shapes. Have we got another non-functional base on our hands? More on that later!

Back of the bases:
Not too much extra to see here, but the paint on the top of the bootleg base has run down onto the edges. The official’s are neatly painted in grey.
Can also get a good look at where the two of the spikes sheared off on the bootleg fence.

The bootleg has copied the mould exactly for the bottom so we still have all the copyright information. However, the bottom of the base doesn’t fit into the upper portion correctly leaving larger gaps, and we have a variety of scratches and paint slop here. And that shade of sickly green.

The bootleg base is a valiant effort that manages to come close, yet is so far away. The cheaper plastic for the fence definitely lets it down as it can be broken easily. Bending the bootleg fence panel felt a lot more liable to breaking than the official one does, though I did manage to not destroy it more than it was in transit.
The off colours of the bootleg base ruins its appearance – just looks disgusting with the green tinge.
One visible difference that can’t be hidden with poor lighting is the nubs – not sure why the bootleggers didn’t manage to get proper peg shapes here, but as it stands it’s a difference that would be fairly clear if the base is photographed separately without relying on colour.


This figure comes with one accessory – her lamp.
The loop at the top of the lamp is smaller on the bootleg, plus it has been roughly moulded.
Moving to the body of the lamp, the top of it melds more into the top part on the bootleg. The bootleg also lacks any shading in the glass. Looking at the painted black detail, the paint is a bit thin on the bootleg.
Looking at the bottom tip, the official has a shiny finish, and the bootleg mould has gone horribly wrong, and the spike is quite deformed. The halves of the bottom don’t fit together well either on the bootleg, leaving a gap.

Close-up of the top:
Here we can see the ring part also has a different finish on the official. Looking to the bootleg, we can see how the black line on the glass isn’t painted as well.
With the lamp glass, the finish is more polished on the official – we can see the photography lights and the window reflected, whilst the bootleg’s reflections are nowhere near as clear. We’ve also got some moulding defects in the bootleg, leaving hair lines going across the lamp’s surface.

Close-up of the spike:
The bootleg’s spike is fatter than its official counterpart. Both we can see a bit of the seam on this side on the upper half of the spike part. The difference in finish is quite noticeable here.

Overall, the bootleg lamp doesn’t look awful, but it does lack the small details of the official.

Figure spin-around

Attempt no. 1:
Didn’t even have to stage this shot… this genuinely happened when I was about to take the first photo for the spin-around. Those nubs are indeed kind of useless – you can get her to stay upright with them, but if she imbalances or gets knocked she’ll roll over and fall off. Yeah, not good.

Spin-around, for realsies:



The first notable thing is the bootleg’s hair – it’s a mess. It can be partly sorted out, but the curls won’t ever match the official’s as the inner parts are too short. I did sort the hair and lamp posts out on the bootleg after doing the photoshoot, but it still looked silly, just less so. We’ve also got more tan and shiny skin on the bootleg.
Looking at the bootleg’s lamp it doesn’t sit correctly in her hand – the loop is smaller than it should be which means it won’t fit properly. This also means it can’t use this as a direct replacement if you’ve lost/broken the official.
The bootleg’s hair and lamp glass are also noticeably plainer.

Figure close-ups

Looking at the bootleg’s hair, it’s slightly paler and has some rough edges – most noticeable to her left. The finish also has a slight difference, which can be seen how the lights reflect off of it.
The hair curl on the bootleg is tighter and the plastic is more see-through. The edges are also looking a little rough, with the tip of it not even pointy.
Looking at her face, the bootleg is a fair bit more tan. The bootleg eye prints are a bit darker and the print layers aren’t properly aligned so the black and yellow have been shifted to her right. The lines that should be under her eyelashes are very off from their intended positions, making them look odd and out of place.
The mouth on the bootleg has an extra downward flick at one end, making her expression less happy than the small, cute, innocent smile of the official. Also looks like the bootleg’s been eating warehouse dirt. Lovely.

Top of the hair:
Yep, the bootleg’s hair isn’t as smooth and shiny up here either. We’ve got some dirt included towards her fringe too.
Looking at the back half of her head we can see a litany of seams on the bootleg, whilst we can only see a bit of these seams on the official. The bootleg headband also has a seam, and there’s a seam in the hair just above it.

Back of the hair:
First thing of note is that the bootleg misses out on the darker blue shading here, though the ponytails do seem to include the darker paint.
The dents in the hair from it being pulled into ponytails are not as distinct on the bootleg, leaving it a little unclear what’s going on.
Looking at the headset pieces at the bottom of this photo the official has a slightly shiny finish whilst the bootleg’s are matte.

Root of a ponytail:
Here we can see the official tries to match up the hair colours of the two parts, but the bootleg doesn’t.
The hair grip itself is shiny on the official but not so on the bootleg. And yet another visible seam.

Right hair curl:
Here we can see how the official hair has two curls that go down to nearly the same length as each other, and the colour fade goes around roughly half a curl.
The bootleg’s inner curl is a LOT shorter… and isn’t in the main curl! The lamp post isn’t in there either – though it is possible to get both in if you want to. Still doesn’t look good. The shading also doesn’t even make it past the top of the lamp.

Closer look at the right lamp:
The sculpting at the top of the bootleg lamp has gone a bit blobby and misshapen. We’ve also lost the shiny finish on the metal parts. The filigree-style details are thicker and more uneven than the official’s.
Looking at the lamp glass there isn’t any shading on the bootleg and it is a lot more see-through. I find the official lamp much more pleasing with its orange shading, giving the appearance it is lit.

Left hair curl:
The official’s hair curls are also a similar length on this side. Meanwhile the bootleg’s inner hair curl is off… somewhere. Not sure where. Trying to hide in embarrassment I think.
This side also shares flaws with the other side – lamp post and inner curl not inside the outer curl, shading ending far too early, roughness in the sculpt.

Left lamp:
Showing off all the flaws from the other side plus the filigree paint is only half there and the lamp is at the wrong angle.

Side of an earpiece:
In lieu of earrings, we have something that looks like an earring attached to the bottom of the earpiece.
The official earpiece is one smooth block but the bootleg we can see where the parts went together. The “earring” itself on the bootleg isn’t painted fully and poorly cast.

Top of the earpiece:
Didn’t get a good shot of the official here, but hopefully still obvious enough the triangles here are neatly painted. The bootleg has a lot more slop and doesn’t look very good. Also seem to be missing a piece that should cover the area above the triangles to the band on the bootleg.
The bootleg they’ve seemingly redone the sculpt – the three parts should be in a triangular recess, not recessed in of themselves.

The official’s fits over her hand so it looks like she can hold it. The bootleg you can get it to rest on her fingers, but it isn’t a particularly secure fit.

The official’s choker has been painted neatly at the top of the neck, with two circular details in the middle. The bootleg aims for this, but is very messy and doesn’t have the shiny finish.
Looking at the top of the dress, the grid pattern has lost a lot of its shape on the bootleg and also has excess plastic. The green line on the top of the bootleg dress is also a lot thinner and not as neatly painted as the official.

Bottom half of the dress:
The finish on the black parts is significantly different – the official gives a good view of my hands in the reflection, whilst the bootleg just shows off the lights.
The green paint is quite messy on the bootleg, not matching up with the sculpt and overlapping in places.
The details attached to the bottom of the dress show the same defects as the part up above, no surprises there.

Full front of the dress:
Drink in all the defects on the bootleg all at once.

Side of the dress:
The bootleg’s dress has an obvious seam that the official does not, along with the rose on her back. The rose itself is a much darker red on the bootleg and not as shiny.
We’ve also go one of the lamp posts visible on the bootleg due to the way it curves.

Side of the rose:
Yep, that seam on the bootleg rose continues around here. The leaves on the bootleg are sadder in shape and less vivid. They also seem to lack any shading, unlike the official.

Rose top:
The bootleg’s rose is very much looking like Play-Doh due to the colour and rough paint texture. Official might not be the most roselike-rose, but does a better job than the bootleg.
Again, we can see the bootleg’s leaves don’t go out as far and lack shading.

Back of the legs:
We’ve got the same differences in paint as the dress, again the bootleg’s green paint is messily painted. The trapeze-shaped bits on the bootleg have been painted smaller. And the right one looks more square than trapezoid.

Feet n’ panties:
Yep, they’ve both been painted under the skirt. Paint is looking a bit rough on the bootleg.

Ring connecting the lamp “post” parts together:
Bootleg was hard to photograph here, thanks to the messed-up hair.
The paint is a bit messed up on the official unfortunately, other than that, it looks decent.
The bootleg’s ring has become misshapen and the paint is a mess, plus we seemingly have a random hole on the bottom post part. The inside of the ring has been painted brown instead of black too.

String tie on the post:
The bootleg’s paint is definitely messy here, and having issues getting over the mould line.

Post weight:
Bootleg clearly didn’t know what was supposed to be going on here – we have the hole filled in and the end of the post? thread? doesn’t go into the hole that isn’t there. Something went quite wrong with the moulding of the bootleg weight, with the top edge curves not matching each other. Definite sloppy part here.


Telling these apart with just the box to go on would produce some distinct difficulties, as the bootleg isn’t a half-bad copy. Once the figure is out the box, oh boy. The base is a sickly colour with inferior plastic for the railings. With the figure itself, the hair is an absolute mess and the paintwork is not good. Looking at any of the finer details will reveal paint mistakes and defects in the plastic/moulding. If the details didn’t give it away, then the fact she won’t stand on her base properly seals the deal.
Her hair can be sorted to some extent, but she still looks somewhat defective. The upper lamps aren’t properly visible and the one she carries doesn’t fit on her hand properly. Should imagine owners of this bootleg are probably annoyed at her propensity to fall over.
With her lamp ring not being big enough, this figure isn’t a good parts donor either.
For all its faults, this bootleg does look passable at a distance, but definitely won’t be gracing my shelves. The official one periodically comes up at a good price, so I’d definitely recommend saving up and waiting for that one.

Official vs Bootleg: Aquamarine Sinon

This figure was voted for by DTINDCAREA. With Aquamarine going bankrupt there won’t be any re-releases of this figure, so the aftermarket is the only choice for obtaining this figure. So how does this bootleg stack up to the official, and what does it look like so we can avoid it?


MSRP (without tax): ¥13,000
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥13,087 (£91.93)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $22.95 (£17.59)

The official I bought from Nippon Yasan (send out my last two orders, you cretins).


My figure is the 2018 release – looking at the box pictures on MFC the bootleg box is actually emulating the older releases.
Looking through my photos, I think I have her backwards in the box – it’s a weird box, hard to tell what is supposed to be the front and what’s the back, and I’ve assumed the authenticity sticker should go on the front. I think this may actually be wrong, so I’ll refer to the sides by more descriptive names…

Front & back:

The artwork on the box is a direct copy – we have all the logos and text the official has. The Japanese text for “Sword Art Online” has a black outline on the bootleg, but this is in line with the older releases, and was changed for the 2018 box.
The bootleg box doesn’t have the authenticity sticker, but you won’t get this on units officially distributed outside of Japan – if you don’t have one of those, you may want to check the sides of a box for an importer’s sticker (e.g. Ultra Tokyo Connection, HEO).
The bootleg box does have a smaller border above the window – that’s not a feature of the older release. The box cardboard is also more of a yellowy-white and cheaper.
Looking at the colours, Sinon’s hair stands out as being incorrect on the bootleg an has come out a neony green instead of more of a blue colour. Looking closely at Sinon’s clothes on the bootleg box we can also see a bit of the murky ‘fuzz’ that happens with cheap printing.

Windowed side:
Another copied side. The colour difference here is more obvious, with the “SINON” underneath the figure photo. Looking at box photos on MFC, the colours on the older boxes may be between these two.

Product information side:
As the back of the box is a giant window, the product information is on the side of the box.
Again, the bootleg box is a copy of the older releases – with the 2018 release they moved the barcode to the this side of the box, so if you see the barcode located in the bottom right, you know you have a 2018 release on your hands.
Looking at the product shots, the bootleg box images are fuzzier than they should be, but the rest of the box is pretty much as the original it copied.

Another copy, nothing particularly to differentiate it up here.

I don’t have a reference for the bottom of the older box, but assume the bootleg is a direct copy. The 2018 release varies significantly – the pattern doesn’t go all the way to the middle and we no longer have any text here.

Box lid:
The official’s box cardboard is brown on the inside, whilst the bootleg’s is white. Checking videos of older releases, it does appear that one is also brown on the inside too.
We’ve also got an interesting dotted pattern for the glue on the bootleg.

Box liner:
Here’s where added confusing for me came in for which way around the figure goes in the box – and now I’m thinking they may have switched the box orientation between the 2018 and the older releases! The official liner is a higher quality of cardboard and finish – we can see the way we get a nice clean reflection of the photography light at the bottom. The bootleg’s shine is much more diffuse due to the more matte finish and the card has a yellowy tint to it.
Looking at the liners, the circle part is on opposite sides, meaning the liners go in the opposite way around in their respective boxes.

These boxes are very similar, and not necessarily the best way of telling the bootleg from its official. Telling the 2018 version from the bootleg box is fairly easy if you have a picture of the side/bottom due to the relocated barcode, and we also have the redone text shading. However, the bootleg box is pretty much a direct copy of the older releases, and the only real tells are the top border and the inner box colour being different. If in person, the fuzzy print quality may be apparent, but a poor-quality photo of the box may hide this tell.


Let’s have a quick look at the blister before we unpack her.
As usual for bootleg blisters, this one is in an atrocious state. When these figures are shipped singly, they crush down the blisters and fold the box around the blister to minimise shipping costs. Even if this wasn’t done, the blister would likely be sagging in places anyway due to the thinner plastic used, but maybe not this level of destroyed.
We have a less clear view of the bootleg, and we’re seeing a large difference in the hair colour. The bullets were also not held in – the official has some cling plastic to hold them in (if new) – my cling plastic is a lot more visible than it should be here as it has lost some of its cling thanks to being restuck.


The official’s base is much more textured. The bootleg one features scratches fresh out of the box.

The official has the copyright going across the middle. The bootleg just has some tape residue, left from where it was stuck into the blister.

The muted quality of the texture extends to the side of the base.

Overall, the bootleg base is very similar to its official counterpart, but can act as an easy way to tell an official apart from a bootleg as it misses out on the copyright on the bottom.


Official has these, bootleg doesn’t. Win for the official here. Though the instructions don’t fully apply to the bootleg, as we’ll find out later.

The bootleg bullets have been painted in a singular colour and are a bit misshapen from poor casting. The official bullets have some shading at the bottom and a different colour at the tip.


(I’m not the most familiar with guns, so if I use the wrong terminology, I apologise)
The bootleg’s barrel is noticeably shorter than the official’s and has a lack of shading.
The lack of shading also extends to the scope – some paint has been blobbed on in the middle, unlike the official’s where the body is much more of a grey/black and the ends are silver.
Looking at the gun stock, the bootleg’s is a much different shade of brown, and the metallic bit at the top is poorly fitted and poorly shaded.
The stand has also been attached at a different angle, which will become problematic later. As this is a static scale, there’s no hinge on the stand to fix its angle.

Closeup of the scope:
As well as the poor painting on the bootleg, we have a much more obvious seam. The cap on the end looks a little misshapen too.
The bootleg scope also seems to be pointed downwards slightly – not going to be doing much good aiming like that.

Closeup of the stock:
That texture is yuck on the bootleg… lots of unevenness on the upper part. The bootleg lacks the shading of the official and the parts all have less pleasing finishes.

Tip of the rifle:

The bootleg’s paint actually has some added shading here, but that’s somewhat marred by the poor cast leaving the edges messy and the extra seam across the middle of the side. Next to this extra seam line we also have some extra plastic that hasn’t been smoothed down from cutting it off its runner.

Overall, the bootleg accessories are inferior to their official counterparts, with the gun having some notable flaws. The bullets likely wouldn’t stand out on display, but up close we can see they’re not as good as the official ones.

Figure spin-around




This spin-around was done without accessories – I’ll cover the why later.
From the front, we can see a litany of poor paint choices – the hair being particularly notable, followed by the dead-looking stomach area and the darker green of her trousers and jacket.
In terms of pose, the bootleg seems to be a fairly close match, though her left knee isn’t pointing outwards as much as it should.

With accessories:
The official holds hers just fine, but the bootleg’s won’t plug in properly, so it just sort of sits there incorrectly. You can get it to balance like this, but any slight knock and she’ll drop it.

Figure close-ups

Continuing on with the sniper rifle fit, here is a closeup with the hair:
The bootleg’s head doesn’t come out and the hair fouls against the stand, stopping it from plugging in. Even if you shove it under there, the differing position of the stand doesn’t match with the hair.
The official’s head comes out, allowing you to slot the rifle in the provided support hole on her scarf, then put the head in on top so the stand goes under the hair. Not sure I’ve got it done quite right here, but it does show the difficulty that would be encountered when trying to do the bootleg.

The official with the official then the bootleg rifle:

The sniper rifle peg is fine and correctly placed for the bootleg, it’s the figure’s head mostly responsible for producing the fit issues on the bootleg.
For using the bootleg sniper on the real, you might need to do some bending of the stand legs, but it does fit. Doesn’t look good though.

Talking about fit issues, here’s getting the bootleg onto the stand:
This is as far as it got with just some shoving. She really doesn’t fit well onto her stand.

After some heating, swearing and shoving we’re now mostly connected:
About as good as I’m going to get. Not terrible, but way too much faff to get to this stage. Especially when the official takes mere seconds to assemble.

To complete looking at the accessories, here are the bullets in Sinon’s hand:
Both hold in fine, so no further issues with this accessory.
Looking at her gloves, the bootleg’s seems to lack a finish and the edges aren’t quite as neat, though this doesn’t really show from a distance.
The bootleg’s cuff is a funny shade of pinky-white – not sure why this is. We also get to see the start of the poor paintwork on her sleeves too.

Back to our regular programming. Here’s Sinon’s face:
Oof, let’s start with that hair. The official’s has a nice greeny-blue colour to it, with a white undertone. The hairclips weren’t painted well on the official in my opinion – wish there was more distinction here.
Moving to the bootleg… we have a horrible yellow undertone for the hair. Not sure why. The paint is uneven in a lot of spots, scratched and dirty. The moulding is poor, leaving gaps and hair going in directions it shouldn’t. The hair “shading” doesn’t make much sense whatsoever. Just… no. No.
Moving to her face, the bootleg’s is shrouded in darkness due to the misplaced hair. Her eye prints are actually reasonably decent under there.. if you can see them!
The skin shade on the bootleg isn’t too far off on her face, but it does have a a shine to it, which we can see by her nose. The mouth is a bit more thickly painted, but looks fine to me.
Moving down to her scarf, the bootleg is looking rough. The bootleg’s white paint isn’t white and is rough and lumpy. The dark blue detailing doesn’t follow the sculpt in several places, making it look a mess.

Let’s move onto the top of her head and see how bad the hair gets up there:
Oooh yeah, not looking good up here either. The official has some seaming going on, but nothing too notable.
For the bootleg – oh boy. Seams aplenty, all splitting apart. The middle of the hair has a lot of yellow, making the hair paint look unfinished instead of shaded. The added bit of hair at the back almost looks like she’s had a painted banana stuffed in her hair.

Side of her hair:
The hair horror show doesn’t stop here, with the back of her hair not painted on the fringe adding to the unfinished look. The hair-banana also sticks out on this side too. Lots of scratches and slop to be seen.

Back of the hair:
Not as awful-looking back here, but definitely no match with the official. Apparently hair-banana isn’t painted underneath, revealing its yellow nature. Again, the yellow undercoat of the hair isn’t doing anything for it, leaving certain parts of the hair an odd colour. It’d honestly look better if they doused all the hair in turquoise and didn’t try to shade it at all…
Looking at the scarf, the bootleg’s paint isn’t following the line again.

Peg hole for the rifle:
The hole on the bootleg has slightly dodgy edges, but succeeds at being a peg hole. The paint line that should butt up to this hole is quite messy on the bootleg though.

Scarf joins:
The official joins look nice, and like the scarf is going underneath itself. The bootleg… not so much – the pieces don’t fit together so we’re seeing into spaces that shouldn’t exist, ruining the effect. The part of the scarf going around the bootleg’s neck also doesn’t match the colour of the other parts, further implying there’s more than one scarf going on here.
Again, the bootleg’s paint is sloppy and we have bits of grey paint smeared to the right of the photo.

Scarf fluttering in the wind:
The bootleg scarf manages to mostly look like the official one in shape, which is an achievement for a bootleg. The paint is still dodgy though.

Scarf end:
Here we get a good look at the poor line painting on the bootleg’s scarf and another paint mishap. The edge nearest the camera we can see is a bit fat and flattened on the bootleg too.

Here’s where the painting starts to get really rough – the black lines and cups are painted thinly and messily. The gold fares a bit better, but the zip is looking a mess. The zip’s moulding is also messy.
The edging on the bootleg’s jacket doesn’t go around the edges, leaving green visible where it shouldn’t be. Special credit goes to the black line on the right side, which misses its target entirely.
We also get to see the first bit of the bootleg’s overly pale skin – she’s looking pretty dead here, as the skin seems to not have any red tone to it at all. Looking at the gridded bits over her chest, the bootleg’s are a bit lumpy around the edges.

Here’s where the bootleg’s body starts to look really rough. Again, the black paint is poorly done with lots of smudges and splatters. The top has no finish, so lacks the texture difference of the official. This coupled with the skin’s overly pallid colour, it’s a bit hard to see where the top ends and the skin starts.
Looking at the parts that are supposed to be skin on the bootleg, the whole thing doesn’t fit together well, leaving noticeable gaps in the body which have been emphasised by black overspray.
Moving to the belt, the bootleg’s buckle and gem are the wrong colours, plus the holes in the buckle have incorrectly been painted silver. The belt also lacks a shiny finish.
Moving to the shorts, half the bootleg’s shorts haven’t been painted, leaving her with shorts that appear to be cloaking… this could get embarassing!
All in all, a pretty terrible looking package from the bootleg.

Close-up on the jewel:
I remember this one being touted as the easy way of telling the bootleg from the official… and I have to agree. The green gem is definitely not a match for the official’s blue, plus it is more opaque.

Right hip:
Yeah, you wanted to see that hideous skin again on the bootleg, didn’t you? The painting is nice and neat on the official, not so much on the bootleg.

The official’s has much nicer colours and finish. We’ve also got way too much sweaty, pallid skin on the bootleg too. Has that back panel of the top even been painted on the bootleg?

The bootleg’s pistol is a lighter silver, and the holes on the extended magazine aren’t as deep.

Left arm:
Yet more rough painting on the bootleg – the line has been smeared a lot into the white paint and the dots aren’t quite where they should be. And another look at that really oddly painted cuff. Nope, I don’t know either!

Right arm:
Do you like you paint all messed up? As that’s what you’re getting with this bootleg! Again, they’ve decided to do this cuff a pinky colour, so it must’ve been some kind of choice made by the bootleggers.
The bootleg’s glove paint is also a bit too thin on this side.

Palm of the right hand:
The bootleg’s nails aren’t painted, and the fingers are more bent over. Not a match for the official, here. The details in the palm have also been entirely lost.

Right leg:
Here you can really see where the greens differ – the bootleg’s is much darker. The linework here on the bootleg is actually acceptable, plus the dots aren’t too far off. We do lack the darker shading in the wrinkles of her clothes though and have some black paint slop on her lower leg.
The inner side of the bootleg’s left boot is strangely grey though.

Left leg:
From this angle, the poor texture on the green parts of the bootleg shows up. Again, the linework is actually acceptable for the most part on the bootleg and we don’t have the shading.

The boots are probably the best part of the bootleg, and actually look very close to the official’s. They have been painted in a darker black from this angle, which isn’t entirely a bad thing. Not canon though. Looking at the top of her right boot, some of the finer wrinkles have been lost, but not something you’d notice unless looking up close.

Back of the stand:
On both figures this part is attached to Sinon’s foot. So no difference in assembly for this one.
The bootleg’s matches the outer shape, but there looks to be some difference in the internal structure at the bottom. We’ve also got a much more yellowy toned plastic.
Looking up at the shoe, the bootleg’s sole and upper both have a shiny finish, whilst the official’s sole has a matte finish and the upper is slightly shiny.


Well… that was a thing! From the outside, the bootleg could pass for the real thing – the box is a copy, though slightly flawed in places. One big thing to note is the 2018 release the box got somewhat of a redesign, and shouldn’t be regarded as a bootleg if found.
The inside though, oh boy. This bootleg is one ugly mofo that cannot be assembled right. Can’t get the bootleg to hold her gun properly, not that I really want to as the hair and skin make this one poor-looking bootleg. If you can jam her onto the base.
Telling this one apart isn’t too hard – the sniper rifle has a number of flaws and mispaints, and the figure has weird hair, a barely visible face, poor painting and an odd-looking shape around her waist.
I honestly couldn’t recommend this bootleg to anyone. The flaws are too great and stand out from a distance. No getting away from the hair, and the strange body shapes from the poor assembly. Some of the white bits painted pinkish is also somewhat offputting – can almost get away with on the cuffs being her jacket inner, but the scarf just looks a bit silly.
If you can’t get the official, just skip this. Get another Sinon instead.

Official vs Bootleg: FREEing Jibril (Shampoo ver.)

One more of the No Game No Life 1/12 set has been bootlegged… Let’s see how this one compares to the last disaster.


MSRP (without tax): ¥4,500
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,000 (£29.97)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $13.69 (£10.73)

The official I bought in the GSC Stay At Home sale


No real similarity with the boxes from the front! The bootleg box has a random model number at the top (how do they decide these things?) and Jibril’s name at the bottom. As well as a massive window showing the figure in the box.
The only copied element here is the top half of the figure photo, which has been moved to the bottom-left of the bootleg box.

Much more similarity here! Due to the bootleg box dimensions, the bootleggers have expanded the image so it will cover the side of the box meaning it has now become blurry and cropped. This has also had the advantage that the “S-Style” logo at the bottom is now no longer present.
At the top we have the three bullets, but they’ve copied the ones from the front of the box instead of the side. As the bootleg has a different model number chucked on it, they’ve dropped the model number box on this side too.
Lastly, the bottom pink line has been dropped, though they did include the one at the top.

For the official we have the back of the figure and the bootleg we have the front again. Can’t let that minor edit go to waste! Despite the incorrect photo, this side makes more of an effort to look like the original and includes the extra text at the bottom and the pink stripe.

The back of the box is practically a photocopy compared to the front. We have the same images, albeit expanded to fill the space, and several sections of the text copied across, notably missing out on anything that mentions FREEing or Goodsmile support.
There is also the addition of a barcode… that relates to a Cardfight!! Vanguard G A2 clear poster. Erm, another interesting pick!

Here’s where the official’s barcode hides out, whilst the bootleg box is nothin’ but white (ignoring the overprint).
This side highlights just how much bigger the bootleg box is versus the original – interesting to see such an increase in box size for such a small figure.

Interestingly, the bootleg has added a window up the top here – not sure why. Suppose it does help fill the space without it looking suspiciously blank, though it doesn’t leave much of a view of the figure. We’ve got the addition of Jibril’s name up here, but for some reason they’ve done it overlapping the lower line. For the Jibril figure photo they’ve chopped off the top of the halo instead of fully cutting it out of the original artwork.

As the official box has no windows the box is a plain brown with no liner. The bootleg has gone for a shade of salmon pink to add a background colour when viewing the figure through the box’s window.
Interestingly we seem to have the upper window of the bootleg box stuck on with some tape – this wasn’t my addition. Guess that stops it from falling off!

As with the box designs, these are not very similar. The bootleg has a traditional-style clear blister in lovely bootleg plastic, the official has a black back and a clear front, as with the rest of the figures in the S-Style line.
For the actual figure, the official’s is disassembled in the box whilst the bootleg is allegedly assembled. The official figure we can’t see too much of thanks to the large amount of plastic wrapping to keep the bits from scraping against each other, the bootleg has no such qualms and is very visible in its blister.


Unlike Shiro’s bootleg, this one comes with a replica of the official base. The bootleg base has quite patchy colouring to it and doesn’t have the central support post.

The bootleg base says “MADE IN CHINA”. The official also says it’s made in China, but also has a copyright line with both bits of text in a smaller font than the bootleg’s proclamation.
The bootleg’s cog teeth are much more triangular than the official’s, possibly indicating they made their own mould for the base, or at least modified a stolen one.

The teeth do line up between the two bases, so they must have at least a reference for what the real base was like.


This figure doesn’t precisely have accessories, so this section will cover the halo and the separate parts. For the bootleg it came “assembled”, but the head wasn’t pushed on properly, so that fell off during unboxing. Then the halo fell off, so within about 10 seconds it became about as disassembled as the original.

Top of the halo:
The print on the bootleg is a bit thin and ropey in places, but the pattern survived intact. The colours are fairly close to the original, but not an exact match.
Looking at the bootleg’s peg we can see some white stress marks in the plastic just above it.

Bottom of the halo:
The official actually has two layers of print, making the black areas of the print white underneath. Bootleg doesn’t have this, so we have the mirrored image from the top.

Official has these… just in case you couldn’t work out the assembly of the figure. She’s really straightforward to assemble, so these aren’t that necessary.
Bootleg doesn’t even need to show how she should assemble, as she comes preassembled.

Parts of the figures laid out:
Yep, same number of things here, that look roughly the same. Main difference to be noted here is the neck peg arrangement – we’ll have a closer look at this later in the blog.

Figure spin-around




The bootleg actually manages to be fairly similar to the original. The most noticeable difference for me is the hair – the front is darker on the bootleg plus it has less gradients at the back.

Figure close-ups

Head peg/hole:
The official figure has a clear peg whilst the bootleg has a hole. So this means you can’t get the bootleg Jibril to have more Jibril head for your S-Style figures, even if you can excuse its flaws (one feature of the S-Style line is the heads are somewhat interchangeable, apart from the early releases). Being a hole you could add a peg if you wanted to, though, so not entire loss if you don’t mind a bit of DIY.

Body hole/peg:
The official has a hole to accommodate its peg, whilst the bootleg has a roughly-hewn peg to accommodate its head.
Looking at her hands, it looks like the bootleg dipped her index finger in the nail polish. We’ve also got some stray pink paint from the shampoo bottle on her fingers. The bootleg’s hands also have a fair amount of excess plastic.
Looking to the shampoo bottle, the bootleg’s is more of a hot pink and the white print is not thick enough to hide the grey underneath. We’ve also got a seam running through the middle of it, extending all the way up through the attached tube.

Putting the bootleg’s head on her body:
The bootleg’s head doesn’t fit nicely on the peg – I needed to warm the head to get it to go most of the way onto the peg. This is why the head rolled off of the bootleg when I unboxed it – there was a vague attempt made to get the head onto the peg but the poor fit likely didn’t make it worth the packer’s time to sort it.

The official’s hair starts with a pale pinky-purple and transitions down to a darker shade at the tips. The bootleg forgoes the shading and is a very deep purple throughout, and has rough edges.
The eye prints on the bootleg have large dots for shading, instead of being a smoother transition.
The bootleg’s mouth has been painted much more roughly, with a paler shade than the official, making her mouth lack depth.
The bootleg’s head is also at a different angle, making her look on forward instead of what she’s doing, akin to the official.

Top of her head:
There is some variation in the bootleg’s purple hair paint, but not much to speak of. Both of them have distinctive seaming for the various hair parts, though some smoothing has been attempted for the official.

Halo hole:
The halo holes are similar and don’t have paint down the bottom of them, though not quite at the same angle which can be seen by the bootleg’s halo not sitting towards the front.
The hair halves of the bootleg have been painted in fairly different colours here, making her hair look like two completely different parts.

Back of the hair:
The right-hand seam looks nicer on the official, but the left on looks better on the bootleg to me…
The official’s hair colour I think is more aesthetically pleasing, and you can see the yellow transition in this photo. The bootleg doesn’t have the yellow transition, so purple is all we get here.
The stray bits of hair on the bootleg are also a lot more curled, whilst the official’s does a larger, more pleasing curve.

Left side of the hair:
The bootleg’s hair hangs more towards the back and is less spread out, so we get to see her arm tattoo from this angle.
We can also see the failed paint transition on the bootleg – the yellow is entirely missing and the green shading is very spotty.
Looking at the hair tip that joins the hair mass towards the bottom, the official’s is pointier than the bootleg’s.

Right side of the hair:
Again, the bootleg is more bunched on this side and has the poor shading. Looking at the hair tips of the bootleg, we can more clearly see the purple underside of the hair. The official also has purple undersides, but this is less visible on the official.
We also get another good look at the foreshortened curly hair strand on the bootleg here too.

Hair tips:

Here we can see the sloppiness of the curls on the bootleg, plus that 2-colour hair again.

Arm tattoo:
The bootleg’s was easier to take a photo of here, as the shampoo bottle’s “wire” goes under the hair here.
Looking at the tattoo itself, the bootleg’s is a lighter shade and isn’t printed as well, leaving it a bit thin in places.
Looking at the shampoo wire just underneath her arm, the bootleg’s seems to cut uncomfortably into her arm and part of it doesn’t join correctly, leaving it dangling out weirdly at this angle instead of encircling her arm.

Shampoo wires:
The official’s goes up over her shoulder, under her armpit, around her arm and then down.
The bootlegs.. hmm…. goes by her neck, terminates by her arm (where you can see it poking out) and then she has a pink snake from her armpit and down.

Leg tattoo:
Again, the bootleg’s tattoo is paler and not printed as thickly. It’s also been printed at the incorrect angle, heading directly down her leg instead of towards the back of her knee.

Here we can see how the bootleg’s hair is much flatter to the body than the official’s. We can also see a shine on the bootleg’s knee, thanks to the shiny finish.
Looking at the wing tips, the bootleg’s wings are flatter to the body and a bit higgledy-piggledy.

Closeup of the shampoo wire:
Here we can see the official went for some shading, even though you’re unlikely to really see this bit. The construction is a bit iffy on both here, but the official’s inner wire end is a bit better hidden than its bootleg counterpart. The bootleg’s wire going upwards has quite a noticeable seam on it from this angle.

Both the stomachs came out fine on both, in my opinon. The wire has more shading on the official, giving it more of a ‘pop’ of colour.
The wing tips of the official are aligned with the legs, the bootleg – not so much. The bootleg’s wings are off-centre, revealing more of her left leg.

Front of the wings:
The bootleg’s have less in the way of shading, making them paler than their official counterparts. They’re also shiner, which shows up from certain angles. The casting isn’t great on the bootleg wings, leaving them with more rounded feather ends.
With the left wing not over the left leg, it makes the feathers look oddly bent instead of resting on her leg, as they’re supposed to.

Side of a wing:
This angle captures the aforementioned shininess well – a bunch of glare at the top of the bootleg’s wing. Doesn’t do much to hide the joint here – the official’s is obvious if directly looking at it, but I think isn’t that noticeable unless you’re looking for it. The bootleg has more separation, making it more obviously there.
We’ve also got a moulding defect on the side of the bootleg wing, towards the purple part of her hair.
The shiny finish and lack of shading on the bootleg don’t make her wing look very real, and more like the plastic it is made out of.

The wires on the bootleg are very messy here – the one coming down doesn’t link properly behind the one that should be looping over it, and the parts aren’t the right shape making her look like she’s splitting apart just above her butt. Not to mention the seams here too…
The wings do manage to attach fine here, but the wings show the flaws present from the other sides.

I did take some shots of her without her head. I’ve decided they’re not worth annotating, but if you want a closer look at her body without her hair in the way, check out the spoiler below.






Boxed, these are easy to tell apart – the boxes are very different. Out of the box, the hair is the biggest clue, followed by the badly done shampoo wires. We also have flaws in the smaller details, like the nail polish mess.
As far as bootlegs go, it’s fairly decent, but the hair is a big deal-breaker for me. The mispositioned wings also ruin the look somewhat, once you notice they’re not quite in the right positions.

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Freddy Krueger (Bishoujo, 2nd Edition)

This figure was voted for by NAYANMORI, and I commend them on an excellent choice.
I own the 2nd Edition, and wasn’t sure what the bootleg would purport to be – upon receiving it, the box was a copy of the 2nd Edition one so I get to compare “like” with “like”.


MSRP (without tax): ¥7,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £53.99
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $20.65 (£15.83)

The official I bought from eBay.


Yep, two very similar boxes, both claiming to be the 2nd Edition. The bootleg’s box print is a bit paler and the Kotobukiya logo has been removed from the top right. Still crediting the arrangement to Shunya on the bootleg, but not sure how much he’d approve.

Another copied side with the Kotobukiya logo removed.

No Kotobukiya logo here either on the bootleg. The colour difference on this side is more obvious due to the fact the bright red of the blood didn’t come out right on the bootleg print. We do still have the box slash “holes”, though the bootleg cutouts are more smoothed around the edges.

There is no Kotobukiya logo on the back of the official box, so the bootleg is a straight-up copy on this side. With the figure photos, we can see the bootleg’s print is a bit muddy. In the bottom-left, the green didn’t come out right at all, and is more a forest green.

Here we can see a lot of information has been left off of the bootleg version. The barcodes have been copied over, but we have a credit to Marvel. Uh, this isn’t a Marvel character, bootleggers! We’ve also got a credit to a sculptor (Abe Junnosuke) who does superhero characters, suggesting this area of the box was copied from another Kotobukiya figure.
We’ve also got an age-rating of 15 on the bootleg instead of 18 like the official.
Looking at the box structure itself, the official’s has a singular flap whilst the bootleg is the “4-flap” arrangement.

Moving onto our last missing logo that should be in the top-left. The writing at the bottom has more of a gap underneath it on the bootleg.

Box lip:
The official box is black all the way to the edges but the bootleg’s they’ve cheaped out on the print and left the flaps white.

Inner liner:
The official’s liner has a shinier finish, as which can be seen with the reflection of the photography lights.
The print quality is really poor on the bootleg – for some bizarre reason the fog effect has a very dotty “pattern” to it on the bootleg, which makes it look rather ugly. The thinner bits of fog that should be towards the top of the liner are pretty much entirely absent on the bootleg too.

Overall, the bootleg box is pretty similar to the official’s. The lack of Kotobukiya logos gives it away, and the bottom of the box is entirely different in construction and design, making it an easy side to compare.


Bootleg blister is the usual crinkly, weak mess that is typical of bootleg blisters. The bootleg also lacks the hole that reveals the face and has a lot less plastic sheeting to protect the figure – just one sheet protecting her front. The blister has also been modified slightly to accommodate the base.

Here we can see the bootleg’s blister is clearer than the official. Whilst this does allow us to see the figure more, it’s probably more a testament to the thinness of the plastic used.


The selling point for the 2nd Edition was the revised base. Let’s see what revised base goodness the bootleg gives us…

Oh, hm. Not looking good from this angle. The bootleg base is entirely plastic instead of metal, which means the bootleggers have added pegs to the base to hold the figure. The official’s base is made of metal, and the figure has magnets to hold the figure to the base.
The bootleg’s base is also a bit scratched up, fresh outta the box.

The official’s base has some fabric so it doesn’t scratch your shelving, plus some copyright information.
The bootleg’s has… plastic. Lotsa plastic. And no writing.

Bases from the side:
The bootleg base is MUCH thicker than the official’s, and I believe thicker than the first version. The thick, flat sides of the bootleg doesn’t really help to ‘sell’ it as a pool of blood. Last I checked, blood doesn’t stack like that.

Shape comparison:
The blood shapes don’t line up at all, suggesting the bootleg is an entire recreation of the base (unless the v1 is more different than I think it is).

The bases are quite dissimilar – the bootleg base only partially resembles the official base. It’s better than just substituting in a plain disc, but it managed to emphasise the v1 base’s flaw of being too fat. The pegs are also a large giveaway that the bootleg isn’t the official figure. Overall, the bootleg’s is a downgrade from even the first edition base.

Figure spin-around

Getting the figure out of the box we had a bit of a mishap:
The bootleg’s arm wasn’t glued to the body anymore, but it did just peg back into place. Not the most secure attachments without any glue, but did stay in place for this review. Was being careful not to knock the arm off, though.




From the front, we have a noticeable difference in head and hand pose, plus the leg scratches are very much not in the same place. The base also gives the bootleg a little extra height.
The poses are more similar from other angles, but there’s a few seams marring the view, along with differences in colouring & paint.

Figure close-ups

Looking at her eyes, the bootleg’s seem darker and a bit more sunken-in. The official has the eyelid lip painted in a paler pink, which likely helps the eyes look lighter.
Moving to the lips, the official’s are a pinker colour and we have her teeth and inner mouth painted. There’s also some darker lines on the lips to add shape and definition. Looking to the bootleg, her teeth and mouth have been painted with the same colour as her lips making it look like a closed-lip expression instead. Looking closely at the bootleg it is possible to see the sculpt of the teeth is there, just painted over.

The bootleg’s glove claws are a definite downgrade – nowhere near as long as the original’s and the parts aren’t embedded into the gloves properly. The paint is also a less shiny silver. The arm and wrist have been posed incorrectly, so the bootleg’s hand pose doesn’t add to her alluring expression.

Back of the glove:
The bootleg’s glove leather is a noticeably lighter shade. Looking at the black part of the glove, some of the sculpt detail has been lost and the less shiny paints make the bootleg look a lot flatter in design. The bootleg blades are also hilariously chonky compared to the official’s, which also ruins the look. Bootleg definitely loses out here.

Top of the hat:
The bootleg’s hat seems to have much more of a purple undertone to it, and we have some dust preapplied to the figure. Supposed to be my own laziness that means my figures are dusty!
Looking at where the hat has become ragged, some of the sculpt’s definition has been lost on the bootleg, making the hat look just misshapen rather than worn.

Side of the hat:
Yeah, it didn’t quite survive the bootlegging process with a less distinctive shape and colouring. Looking at the hair join, this fared even worse – the bootleg has a noticeable gap just above her ear where the hair should meet. The hair is also dangling down a bit, so we can see the tops of it.

Back of the hair:
Here we can see the hair colours vary quite wildly. The official’s has some greenish tone added to it, to give it more definition whilst the bootleg’s is an unpainted solid yellow. Looking at the ends, we can definitely see some misshapen and blunt bits on the bootleg.
Whilst I’m not the biggest fan of the official’s hair colour, it does have more definition to it than the translucent bootleg hair.

Closeup on the bootleg’s right hair:
The bootleg has a few spatters of red paint on her hair. They don’t look particularly good and I’m pretty sure they’re unintentional.

Left shoulder:
The blood on the bootleg’s shoulder is a bit more orangey and the slashes curve slightly differently over her arm.
Moving to her top, the top edge of it is thick and lumpy – not looking good! The seam running across the top of her arm is a lot more visible, making it look like her top is splitting apart.
The paint is a lot sloppier on the bootleg and not as nice colours as the official’s.
Looking to her bra strap, the bootleg’s doesn’t tuck into the top and the pink paint is very sloppily applied.
The creasing at the top of the top has pretty much gone on the bootleg, as well as the rips near the bra strap.

Closer look at that arm seam:
Oof, the halves of the top on the bootleg really don’t join correctly. This angle really doesn’t look good.
The longer ragged bits on the end of her sleeve are also a lot shorter on the bootleg.

Ungloved hand:
The nails are painted neater on the official – no surprises there. The nails also longer on the official, as the bootleg’s have lost the overhanging part. The shading is nicer on the official’s skin, in my opinion.
The bootleg also has more errant red paint here.
The bootleg’s pinky finger suffered the most – looks like it got bent after being moulded, making it look mutant.
And we’re also seeing that weird semi-shiny paint on the bootleg’s sleeve.

Back of the right arm:
The right arm has much of the issues of the left – the seam is possibly even worse here. The casting is rough on the bootleg’s tattered sleeve. We’ve also got the arm’s join showing a fair amount on the bootleg as this piece is no longer glued. Or was never glued in the first place!
The sleeve paint looks pretty scratched up here too on the upper part of her arm.

Here we can see the very different hand poses – the official’s blades are much more visible in this shot.
Looking to the hair, the bootleg’s hair ends are definitely looking rough with excess plastic.
Moving to the chest, the bootleg boobs look like they’ve been squished flat to some extent and has some excess glue on her left breast.
The bootleg’s bra hasn’t been cast well – the scalloped edge has pretty much been lost. Along with the poor edge, the pink paint has been squiggled on and the black paint has ended up a bit lumpy.
Moving to the top, the “window” on the bootleg makes the top look more like plastic – the edges aren’t very thin and are painted solidly, which does nothing to hide the poor cast.

The overly dark colours on the bootleg’s top is very apparent here. The paint colours are also flat on the bootleg – the official has some shading on the wrinkles to emphasise them.
Looing at the stripes, both have some flaws where the paint isn’t quite following the lines, but the bootleg does have a scratch next to her right boob.
Looking at the torn part at the bottom, the bootleg has lost a bunch of the detail of the ragged shapes.

The official has some of a muffin top, but the bootleg is definitely goin’ muffin top. The bootleg’s shorts don’t join up well with the body, leaving a fairly visible gap. Bootleg Freddy looks like she bites her fingernails, with the shortness and the shape.
Looking to the stomach itself, the bootleg’s belly button is less deep than the official’s. The skin is a slightly different shade but definitely not as noticeable as other bootlegs I’ve looked at.
From this angle, we can see the shininess of the bootleg’s top paint as well… hm, maybe the bootleg’s top is wet? Almost works for that, lol.

Those are some short shorts…
In terms of detail, this is one of my favourite parts of the figure. In line with the rest of the figure, the moulding has lost a bunch of detail from the official – the double stitching on the pocket is now single, the indent for the stitching isn’t very even making her shorts look pockmarked.
The jeans button interestingly looks more like your average jeans button on the bootleg, but that’s as far as the complements go. The paint detail from the distressed jean fabric isn’t present and the shredded jean at the bottom is just lumpy. Most of the creasing made it to the bootleg, but there are some little bits missing here and there.
The metal studs on the pockets are misplaced on the bootleg.

Side of the shorts:
Say hello to the inside of the bootleg… Yeah, we get a good look at the gap in the bootleg from this angle. Some more stray red paint here too, just above the shorts.
This side also shows a lack of detail on the bootleg… and the pocket rivet that is now in the middle of her arse. Not sure what happened there!
The bootleg’s trim really is just a muddy mess on this side.

Yep, the detailing defects extend around to this side too. The “Freddy vs Jason” ‘logo’ on the bootleg has become strangely curved, not sure what that’s about. There’s also a fair bit of overspray onto the jeans ‘badge’, making the finish not very good.
The official’s body sits nicely in her shorts, giving you a glimpse of the goods, the bootleg looks partly odd and podgy.

The attachment of the bootleg’s right leg is not good – it hasn’t been set in right, leaving it looking mutated. We’ve also got excess glue and a lot of dirt in the leg seam. Looking at the shorts edge there’s a thick part exposed, not making the shorts look very material-like.

Cuts on the right leg:
The bootleg’s cuts are a darker colour, which I kind of wish the actual cut was that colour on the official, with the dripping blood being paler. However, the bootleg’s blood is currently defying gravity as the print was put onto the wrong side of her leg – instead of being on top of the leg, it’s more on the inside of her thigh.
The linework is a bit thicker on the bootleg, but I don’t think it really detracts from its appearance – if it was on the correct part of her leg it would be a decent replication.
Again, we have a bit of a fit issue with the bootleg – there is some of a gap between the leg and the stocking.

Right leg:
More lost definition here, in the form of the creases in the stocking – most of it survived intact, but looking close you can see missing bits. We’ve also got a seam that runs down the front of the stocking and the boot.
The colour of the stocking isn’t too far off, but the bootleg’s is shinier. The boot colour is a lot more off – the boots on the bootleg look like they’re actually purple instead of black with some shading.

Top of boot closeup:
Yep, those bootleg boots are looking less classy and less shiny. Stud on the inside of the boot looks fine, but the one on the outside is a smudgy mess.
The bootleg boot seam line is pretty bad.

Side of the boot:
The silver ring and straps are decent on both. We’ve got a bit of a purple scrape on the top of the bootleg boot though.

Side of the left leg:
At the top of the bootleg’s leg we have a good glob of excess glue and some black smudge marks.
The top of the stocking is a shinier black on the bootleg, plus we have some unevenness in the paint.
The stocking itself has smaller holes and doesn’t hug her leg as well, leaving a gap in her stocking behind the knee and some excess going into her boot.
The stocking seam is also much more visible on the bootleg from this angle.

Back of the left leg:
Yeah, that bootleg is looking like a baggy, old stocking. Not particularly impressive, especially with the large overlap used to stitch it together.

Bottom of the feet:
With their different attachment methods, they’re not compatible with each other’s bases. For the official, we have a pair of magnets that securely attach her to her metal base. For the bootelg we have two pegholes that work fine with the respective pegs. We’ve also got a visible mould mark here too, and the very purple underlayer of the bootleg boots. Looking at the soles, the bootleg’s shoes aren’t as pointy as the official’s.
I guess purple paint is cheaper than dark blue… not the first bootleg I’ve had where the boots have been like this.


Telling the boxes isn’t too hard, seeing as the Kotobukiya logo has been removed from all sides. The bottom is also quite different, plus the inner flaps show where the printing doesn’t go to the edges of the box’s cardboard.
Telling the figures apart, the clawed glove is the biggest clue – the knives look nothing like they should. Next up is the mouth – no teeth on the bootleg! The scratches on the legs is also going to be a big clue, if they’re all misprinted like mine. However, if you have them on the base, the base is a massive tell with the bootleg’s having flat sides.
In terms of quality, the bootleg does the job from afar, but looking at the details it really falls down. We’ve got a mispainted mouth and a top that just looks plain odd. From the sides you’ve got bad seamlines on her top, from the front we’ve got a bad join at the waist. I don’t think the purple boots fit in well either. The bootleg’s base definitely isn’t second edition – that’s definitely new and unimproved.
Next to the official, she looks like a massive step down in quality to me. As a standalone piece, she’s not awful, but not great either. The paint on her chest is definitely messed up, as well as some of the top sculpt, and we do have antigravity blood on her leg. If someone swapped out my official for the bootleg, I’d definitely notice.

Official vs Bootleg: Konami Chestburster (SF Movie Selection)

Time for the second of the Alien trading figure bootlegs! Chestbursters aren’t exactly complicated in shape, so this review will be a short one.


MSRP (without tax): ¥300
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £11.00
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): CNY¥46 (£6.00)

The official I bought from eBay


The bootleg in its blister:
This one has been packaged in the same way as the Dog Alien bootleg, with the figure on top of the oval base. Feels like the contents are at a slightly jaunty angle, but quite a nice presentation method.
For the rest of the packaging it is the same as the dog alien, so you can read more about it in the Dog Alien article.


As with the Dog Alien, we have the rectangular base for the official and the oval one with a different floor pattern for the bootleg. This time, neither base have pegs as the chestburster will stand on its own.
At the top of my official base you may notice some remnants of glue – this was from the previous owner who glued the chestburster to the base as apparently it didn’t stand up well enough for them. Not long after owning it, I did pull the chestburster off of the base, and personally haven’t had issues with it falling over.

On the bottom of the official we have an ALIEN logo and a copyright sticker. Bootleg one we have some mould marks and a scratch.

Figure spin-around




The colours and bases vary noticeably, as well as the curvature of the tail. The bootleg’s tail doesn’t curve as high and touches its body.

Figure close-ups

A face only a mother could love… For me, the bootleg manages to look even uglier with the crooked head, the paint job on the teeth and extra darker areas near its “eyes”.
The official we can see one seamline on its chin but for the bootleg, the seam clearly runs all the way up to the top of its head. For some reason, the bootleg’s chin seam is further to its right and the parts also don’t align correctly.
The bootleg’s forehead is much flatter in terms of colouring and has a shiny finish.

Side of the head:
The mould has mostly survived intact for the bootleg, but the dark wash is more like it has been dunked rather than washed. We’ve also not got the different shades of brown making its details look flatter.
The dome paint edges are rather sloppy on the bootleg and looks rather odd to me.

Top of the head:
Here the paint and finish differences are the most obvious in my opinion. At the bottom of the official’s head we can see some of the darker paint used to add texture.
With the bootleg, the paint is uneven and thin – we can see some of the underlayer poking through, especially to the left side of its head. And we have a seam running the length of its head.

Underside of the head:
Here the bootleg’s overly enthusiastic black wash manages to hide much of the detail. Some of the cast isn’t as distinct, but I think the black wash is doing a fair bit to hide the detail too.
The bootleg’s body colour is really off of what colour I imagine a chestburster to be as well.

The official has a “(C) FOX” stamped on it, showing this to be the officially licensed product.
The bootleg has no such notions, and some of the detailed linework has been lost.
The bootleg’s seam in its upper body is much more noticeable than its official counterpart, not helped by this area being smoothed for some reason.

The bootleg’s black wash isn’t quite as overenthusiastic on its tail, so isn’t as off-looking on this end.
The tail’s pose however is not very good, and lacks the mildly threatening pose of the official. With them side-by-side, the bootleg’s kind of looks sad.

The official is actually three pieces to help it fit into the oblong blind box. Here’s the end part separated – it also separates at the “U”-shaped area visible in the underside shot. The bootleg has been moulded as one piece, which does have the advantage of no visible join.
If you look closely at the underside of the bootleg, you can see where this joint should be as there is a slightly wider black band where the parts have been moulded together.


Telling these apart with the boxes is easy – the official is blind-boxed, the bootleg isn’t. Very clear-boxed in fact.
Without the box, the base is a dead giveaway. Without the base or the box, the fact the bootleg doesn’t disassemble nor have “FOX” stamped onto it gives the game away if the paint job doesn’t.
As far as the bootleg’s quality goes it’s OK. The paintwork and visible seams does let it down, but at least this one is displayable, unlike the dog alien.

Official vs Bootleg: Parfom Asuka Langely (Phat)

Previously I covered Rei Ayanami… now it is Asuka’s turn. Will Asuka’s bootleg be as good as Rei’s? Let’s find out!


MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥8,079 (£57.51)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $12.80 (£10.42)

The official I bought from Nippon Yasan.


Same as Rei’s box, we have the NERV logo in the top left, and the rearranged text at the bottom including the product number prefixed with an “F”.
However, Asuka’s name has been butchered – she’s now apparently called Shikinami Asuka Rangur… Iiinteresting.
The bootleg box is also noticeably lighter coloured than the official.


As with Rei’s box, the right hand image has been shrunken down however it is much more noticeable on this box as not all of Asuka is included on the official box.

As with Rei’s box we have the rearranged warning text blocks to avoid copyright and a lack of different card finish underneath the product images.
Again, the bootleg is filled with junky text whilst the official is about Parform line and the figure itself. I believe the text on the bootleg is actually about Ayanami Rei rather than Asuka…

No logos on the bootleg box, and the most boring font choice known to man. The Parfom text font isn’t exciting, but it’s more exciting than whatever the bootleggers chose.

Again, the bootleg has a problematic lack of barcode. And Asuka is still “Rangur” down here.

Box flap:
Yup, this bootleg box also lacks the text and logos on the various flaps.

Box inner:
The backdrop colour is a couple of shades darker on the bootleg inner. We have the same edits as Rei’s inner, with the boring text and the removed logos, however Asuka’s name doesn’t fit quite as well on the right flap due to its length.

Same as Rei, we’re missing instructions in the blister and the accessories are taped in rather than using cling plastic. Our bootleg seemingly has a “broken ankle” in the box – ow.


Apparently I didn’t take a photo of Asuka’s base assembled, so here it is in pieces:
It’s the same as Rei’s though, with the lack of Parfom logo and more yellowy plastic.

This time I managed to remember to take photos of the base connectors. Each base comes with two, but here’s one of each for comparison:
Slightly less clarity in the bootleg’s connector, but essentially just the same.


Asuka comes with two faceplaces and four sets of hands like Rei. Asuka also has her doll.
Let’s start with the faces:
Just like Rei’s, the difference in finish is the first thing that’s noticeable. Looking at the irises, the official’s are a nicer print. With the mouth, the smiling face looks fine on both however the teeth have been painted poorly on the bootleg’s yelling face, making her expression slightly odd.
Looking to the bottom of both the bootleg’s faces we see a little bit of excess plastic.

Back of the faces:
The bootleg faces have a large mould mark in the middle, with what looks like a “1” and a “2” inside of it.
Looking at the bottom face, it doesn’t look like the parts of the mould were aligned quite right, leaving the peg hole in the wrong place.

Top of the hands:
The bootleg hands are noticeably a different shade of red, and have a certain level of sloppiness. The top bootleg hand seems to have not had its finishing layer sprayed onto it and the second had a bunch of dirt. The hexagon on the third hand down doesn’t look like it was placed in the right spot.

Bottom of the hands:
The black paint on the bootlegs is a bit sloppy in places if you look closely, but nothing too noticeable for the most part. The second hand down is probably the weakest – we have some excess plastic and some of the black paint is too thin, allowing the red paint to show through.

Not a terrible effort from the bootleg, but does have its flaws. The eye prints aren’t properly aligned, leaving the white part of her eye escaping the outside. We’ve also got some yellow on its right eye – not sure why. The bootleg doll also looks like its dress has been made out of plugsuit material instead of fabric and the “Asuka” text doesn’t quite follow the line of the dress.
Lastly, the bootleg doll is quite dirty – I don’t think Asuka would stand for that!

Back of the doll:
Both are painted neatly back here, but the bootleg is missing the stitching on the hat, and we’re still feeling like it’s made out of plugsuit.

Bottom of the doll:
Not too much to see here. Both have the hole.

If you want to see all three of the dolls together (official, this bootleg and the static Parfom one), expand the spoiler below.



Figure spin-around




At a glance, the bootleg and official are looking pretty similar. However, when we look closer, the bootleg’s got a bit of a giraffe neck going on and the hair doesn’t have as many tones to it.
The bootleg’s plugsuit is couple of shades darker than the official and not quite as shiny.
Those ankle joints on the bootleg also stick out like a sore thumb with being a lot lighter red than the rest of the figure.

Figure close-ups

For the bootleg, we have shiny-face giraffe neck. Looking closer at the face, the bootleg’s has some strange white lines going across the bottom of her eyes and the print quality is poorer, leaving more visible dots in her eyes for the shading. Moving to her lips, the paint line is darker, making her mouth less subtle.
Moving to her hair, the bootleg’s fringe has a lot less shading and has a shinier appearance. The hair tips aren’t as dulled as other bootlegs I’ve looked at and are actually fairly comparable to the official’s. We do have some seams on the long edges of some strands though (most visible on her left side, near the bottom of the longer part of her hair).

Top of the head:
The official’s hair parts match in shading, and look part of a cohesive whole. Not so much for the bootleg – we have a lighter part on the back of the fringe that doesn’t blend in with the darker part behind it. The fit between the fringe and her head isn’t very good either, and we have a bit of a gap.
Looking at the top of the bootleg’s head we have a visible seamline and a scratch in the paint.
With the interface headset, the parts don’t sit as neatly on the bootleg’s head and generally look a bit cheapy.

Well, the upper chest of the bootleg doesn’t look so good… The red doesn’t match with the rest of the suit properly, and we have sloppy dark blue paint. The “02” is off-centre and printed in with thinner lettering than the original. Not sure what’s up with the texture on this part, but it’s very weird. The orange paint on her chest is a lighter shade than the original.
Looking at her shoulders, the “screwheads” are quite sloppy on the bootleg – the left one especially.

The differences in the backpack themselves aren’t as great – a different finish, and a lighter orange. We also have some bonus dirt back here too, just next to the ‘2’.

The linework isn’t as good on the bootleg – the line on her left hip doesn’t terminate where it should at all. The lines have been done thinner and darker than the original.
The line on her right actually goes slightly more in the right place than the official’s does.
Looking at the how the photography lights reflect off of both the figures, we can see the official has a much smoother and shinier finish.
This photo was originally to compare her hand joints – looking at the pegs, the bootleg’s wrist joints are lighter and have bits of excess plastic coming off of them.

Bootleg arm joint:
This joint is a bit proud, sticking out slightly leaving a more visible gap from certain angles.

Back of the legs:
The bootleg’s joints stand out from this angle – they really don’t match the rest of the figure as well as not being installed correctly, so that the peg parts of the joint are still visible.
We’ve also got some missing detail on the bootleg – the shape on the back of her leg is supposed to be filled in.

Outside of the leg:
Yeah, the bootleg’s leg fell off whilst doing this review, and the official’s comes off fairly easily too.
The black stripes at the top have more even painting on the official. With the foot, the black paint is very sloppy on the bootleg.
The linework over her knee is off on the bootleg, and the poorly done joint doesn’t allow the lines to meet where they should.

Inside of the leg:
The bootleg has seam lines visible on both parts and a moulding defect in the middle of the back of her thigh. The bootleg knee joint possibly looks even more silly from this angle.

Hole for the left leg:
We have a fully-painted hole for the bootleg, and some bonus black paint… getting our money’s worth of paint… or something like that.
The official has some “1”s to assist with assembly. These have mostly been lost from the bootleg – we can see a bit of the “1” next to the black paint, none on the ring bit, but there is a chance it was installed upside down.

Peg that the leg was attached to:
As well as the hole, the peg is painted on the bootleg. Her hip also looks a little less thicc.

Accessory test
First comes the face, so let’s start taking her apart.

Yeah, not improving when separated – and this photo captures the stray yellow and black paint on her fringe better.
For the back, the bootleg has a very visible mould mark in the middle, plus they’ve added some grooves to try and improve fit… I guess. From the back, the sloppiness of the bootleg cast is more apparent, with a fair amount of excess plastic between the hair strands.

Behind the face:
Urgh, the bootleg really looks diseased like this! The moulding is much neater and sharper on the official. The holes where the fringe goes in look especially sloppy on the bootleg.
The face peg and its surround are close in colour on the official, but markedly different on the bootleg.
And here we can see why the bootleg has a giraffe neck – the joint isn’t recessed into the neck like it should be, and the casting looks awful.

A closer look at the bootleg’s neck joint:
Oof, looks like a minor miracle this didn’t break in the review. Pretty sure that the neck joint will break without much effort if I try.

Now to get down to some face swapping:
The bootleg faces work on the official, and vice versa. So you can use the bootleg for replacement faces, if you don’t mind the shininess/willing to sort it out and the not-as-good print. I did try the others and didn’t have any issues to report.

Hand swap:
This photo is of the bootleg hands on the real figure – both sets of hands are interchangeable with either figure. So also a viable option if you need some hands in a pinch.

Articulation test

Well, the articulation of the bootleg started off like this:
At first, this leg was OK, but once it popped off, it was prone to falling off for the rest of the photoshoot.

Leg flex:
You do get some more flexibility out of the bootleg, but not in any way that truly looks good – the knees pretty much always look off due to the incorrectly installed joints and the hips can show some of a gap. The bootleg’s left foot also has a habit of bending as the joint is too loose. However, if you can get her so her legs don’t fall off, she will hold a pose.

Arms outstretched:
No overly loose joints here.

The official’s right arm can come in a bit closer than the bootleg’s, and the opposite is true for the left one. All down to the shoulder joint and the clearance between her arms and body.
So overall, both can do this pose OK.

More like the “half exorcist” as this is the upper body joint that’s been rotated rather than the head, but both can do this without having clearance issues.


Telling the boxes apart is easy – same as Rei’s we’re missing key logos and text. Accessory-wise, the bootleg base misses out on the logo, the bootleg faces have a shiny finish and the hands aren’t as nicely painted.
Moving onto the figure itself, the joints are the easiest indicator – the bright red joints of the bootleg stand out. Looking closely at the body and the hair, we can see defects in the bootleg’s paintwork.
As a figure, the bootleg isn’t bad as far as bootlegs go – it’s a mostly functional figure, if you can get the leg to not drop off. Posing is made more difficult with the improperly installed joints, and cause the bootleg to look more unnatural. However, the accessories do all function properly. If you like to play with your articulated figures however, I can see the neck and wrist joints breaking – they didn’t look or feel particularly sturdy.
For me, the silly neck and the lack of proper shininess on the plugsuit would be dealbreakers for me. I could definitely see someone mistaking this one for the original though, at least until they see those stupidly bright red joints.

Official vs Bootleg: Konami Dog Alien (SF Move Selection vol 1)

These figures I had very much forgotten there were bootlegs of – I remember briefly seeing them in my early days of eBay then promptly forgot about them. Recently I was casually browsing Taobao (a Chinese marketplace site where you can buy both official and non-official goods) and came across this pair – the dog alien and the chestburster. As I was doing a Taobao order anyway, I chucked these two in seeing as they were cheap.


MSRP (without tax): ¥300
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): £15.40
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): CNY¥46 (£6.00)

The official I bought from eBay


I don’t have the official boxes any more, but they’re fairly typical fare, with a picture of an alien warrior on the front, and photos of the figures you can get on the back.
The bootlegs have gone for quite a different presentation, which makes them look dissimilar at first, but we will soon see how close the figures are.

The bootleg box is a heat-sealed blister, giving us a good look at the figure – no blind box here! We can see the dog alien atop its circular base, with no assembly required – the original requires you to attach its legs.
The background is a fairly generic Alien design and no maker to be found.

A blurry copy of some more artwork. No information to be found here.

Card out of its box:
https://i.ibb.co/DLX7MHj/bootleg-card-back.jpg https://i.ibb.co/hYF22BX/bootleg-card-front.jpg
Some bonus artwork on the front cover, hidden by the base! Gotta stack in that stolen artwork. For what it is, it’s decent.

Not too much to explore with this packaging. With it being completely different, it could be easy to mistake for being an original figure of its own. However, with the lack of manufacturer anywhere on the packaging it gives a clue that this is not an official item.


All of the Alien SF Movie Selection figures come with a square base with a grid pattern, as per the example here. The official bases differ slightly with each figure, to provide support for their figures. With the dog alien there is a peg hole to fit the peg on the dog’s foot.
Meanwhile the bootleg base is an oval shape, and a pretty good grid pattern. I expect that this grid base is knocked off of something, but I don’t recognise it personally. For a bootleg base, it is surprisingly nice-looking and I do like this as an alternate base.

The official has the Alien 3 logo and a sticker with the copyright information. The bootleg has… some mould markings.

The bases are very different and easy to tell apart. But the bootleg is… missing something. Worked out what?
If not, never fear, this photo will make it clear:
No sodding peg hole. Yeah, might look nice, but it doesn’t have a peg hole to allow the dog alien to stand on it! Not that the bootleg dog alien actually has a peg.
So in terms of functionality, the bootleg base sucks. Maybe if you have a small freestanding Alien figure, this base could complement it. But entirely useless to the bootleg.

Figure spin-around

As the bootleg dog alien cannot stand on its own, white tack was liberally used to keep him standing up. And he still fell over a few times when taking these photos. Argh.



And in the displaying we can see that these two figures are the same mould, only with different paint jobs. In the photo of the back of these aliens, you can see the bootleg leaning… he did indeed fall over after this photo was taken ><.

Figure close-ups

These figures aren’t very big, so this tour will be relatively quick. We don’t have a face, so let’s start off with the side of the head:
Parts of the official sculpt look less distinct due to the paintwork, but this isn’t a bad thing – the official has a range of colours to emphasise the various sections of the alien’s anatomy. The bootleg’s paint is the same all over, with quite a dark wash over the entirety. Looking to his jaw, the paint differences are the most apparent – the bootleg’s matches the body whilst the official’s is a white colour.
Looking at the bone part above the shoulder, the official’s is a ragged shape and the bootleg’s has been smoothed out, likely to a poor mould.

Top of the head:
The wrinkly texture is present on both, but more prominent on the official one.
The bootleg head has a seam noticeably running through the middle, and a strange mould mark to the back of it.
The colour of the official is more aesthetically pleasing to me than the pallid bootleg colouring.

Front feet:
So for a dog alien… are these paws or feet? Not quite sure.
For the official, we have more distinctive colouring and a shiny finish. There are some seamlines visible, but not as visible as they are on the bootleg.
The bootleg’s left foot looks rather stuck on and not very good as it doesn’t match the rest of the leg. The right leg doesn’t fare much better and is curled slightly under the body. We’ve also got a paint mishap on this foot too, where the inner toes are darker.

Top of the body:
The paint on the official has an extra orangey shade in places to add extra depth. Looking at the spine parts on the tail, the bootleg mould hasn’t come out too well and these parts have flattened tips.
For the official you can see where the legs are separate parts, but the bootleg has been attempted to be moulded as one piece.
The bootleg’s tail side almost looks like a treacley treat. Or maybe marmite?

Again, we have the orange highlights on the official and the more marmitey appearance on the bootleg. Love it or hate it? Answers below!
The bootleg’s seamline is definitely visible here, with the paint highlighting its existence. The official’s is only really visible when we look at the tail.

The official’s tail has the orangey paint create a shading effect, but does suddenly terminate near the end – would’ve been nice if this was all the way to the back of the tail tip.
The bootleg does have a section of less colour, but it’s slightly less effective. The heavy-handed wash goes all the through, including the tail’s tip.

Back legs:
Again, the colour differences between the legs of the official and bootleg are pretty distinctive.
The bootleg’s feet are distinctively paler than the rest of its legs, and the silver paint hasn’t been applied too well.

Back leg, not attached to stand:
Aand this is why the bootleg won’t stand up on its own – no peg!
Looking at the rest of the bootleg’s leg, we have some extra smoothness in the middle of it and we can see where the front of the foot attaches to the rest of the leg. And some missing silver paint on the toes.

Foot branding:
We can tell which one is the official here easily… One’s branded property of FOX, the other… nothing. Free range xeno! A big clue the bootleg one is indeed bootleg.


This bootleg and official might be hard to tell apart if you’re not familiar with this set of figures, however the lack of any method to attach the bootleg to its stand may give away something isn’t right. I could definitely see someone buying the bootleg in its blister and thinking they have purchased an official product. A more wary collector would notice the lack of text on the box though and possibly the slightly dodgy printing.
Comparing them side by side, it’s pretty easy to tell which is which especially if you have the bases.
I could see a casual collector being happy with the bootleg figure and the stand separately, but as a combination they don’t work together, which I’m sure has confused and disappointed people who have purchased this bootleg. Won’t be surprised if someone out there has glued the bootleg to its base just to get it to stand – the bent legs make it near-impossible to stand. Even if the legs were evened out to maybe stand, the feet are quite small, making balance very difficult.
As far as small figure bootlegs go, this one is much better than the other ones I have previously covered, but definitely has its flaws.

Official vs Bootleg: Parfom Ayanami Rei (Phat)

Time for the articulated clones of the Parfom figures! First one I’m going to cover is Ayanami Rei as she’s best girl. Obviously. Yes. No other choices.
If you’re interested in the non-articulated bootleg, the article about them can be found here.


MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥7,242 (£51.55)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $12.80 (£10.42)

The official I bought from Ninoma. Déjà vu yet?


These figures are a lot more similar than the non-articulated ones, including the box.
Instead of the Parfom logo and tagline we have a NERV logo – a thematic replacement – whilst the Phat logo has just been straight-up removed.
Moving to the bottom-left, the “PARFOM” text has had its font changed and is now in sentence case. Looking at the model number, this is prefixed with a “F” on the bootleg. We have “Shin Seiki Evangelion” written out, instead of being stylised. And no authenticity sticker. In the bottom right, instead of a credit to the sculptor we have Rei’s name in English transliteration.
The official box has a premium texture and pattern to it whilst the bootleg is a flat blue.

Left side:
On this side, the model number has been dropped and the text changed to list “Shin Seiki Evangelion” and Ayanami’s English name. Interestingly, the photo on the bootleg box has been lowered so the text doesn’t overlap. The bootleg’s image is too light, and is a bit lower quality than the official but definitely not as bad as other bootleg boxes. We are also missing the “Evangelion Shin Seiki” text from the bottom.

Right side:
This side the photo doesn’t appear to be resized, but we have the same text changes as the left side.

Neither of these machine translate too well. On the official box we have some text to the right describing the figure and Parfom series, and at the bottom we have some text to encourage us to buy Asuka.
The bootleg box… ummm… the right-hand text looks like utter junk. The bottom text seems to be some text lifted from something connected Evangelion, but I have no idea what.
The bottom warning areas are very different, and I don’t think the bootleg’s one can be mixed up with the official. I think I’ll let the photo speak for itself for the differences here.

The bootleg copies the warnings, albeit in a different font. They’ve also decided to forgo having any kind of barcode, and we have a duplication of text from the front of the box, entirely lacking any reference to Phat or Parfom. Which is just as well, as it is neither.

Having similar, lazier text substitutions on the top too. And we’re forgoing the print on the plastic. No tape either.

Aww, and I’m glad too, official box! Whilst the bootleg box just gives us a sullen silence.

Box inner:
The top text has been copied, but again, the font doesn’t match.
Lower down, we have similar substitutions to the box, with the added “F” in the product code and the removal of the sculptor credit in the bottom left. To the right, we have less logo action going on, apart from apparently the NERV logo is OK to dupe. Interesting.
The cardboard is also a duller blue than the official’s.

The blisters are very similar, with the accessory spots in the same place. The main difference is how the accessories are held in place – the official has some static cling plastic whilst the bootlegs are taped in. As I’ve repacked the official, the cling plastic isn’t so clingy – brand new it was flat.
One notable omission is the bootleg doesn’t have an instruction manual.


Bases in their bags:
The official’s is the usual segmented bag that most manufacturers use. The bootleg has all the bits jammed into a singular bag.

The bootleg’s base is a more yellowy plastic and lacks the Parfom logo.


The bootleg faces are relatively decent, but do have a lack of matte finish. The eye prints aren’t as good as the official’s – we lack some of the shading in the iris, and the white area edges are bleeding slightly.


The bootleg’s lenses are not as transparent as the official’s, and the cracks look worse. For those not aware, the glasses are supposed to look damaged, though it’s a lot more subtle on the official’s.
The top of the glasses’ frame isn’t as well painted on the bootleg, leaving it bumpier and thicker.
Looking at the back, it looks like the bootleg ones have been rolling around in the dirt – lots of mottled brown stuff seems to be on the arms. Yuck.

Top of the hands:
The bootleg hands are similar to their official counterparts, but do have some small bits of excess plastic and misplaced paint. Nothing too noticeable.

Bottom of the hands:
The palm paint is noticeably darker on the bootlegs, and doesn’t quite have the coverage that the official’s do. However, both sets have hands where the paint doesn’t quite meet the bottom line where it should stop.

Figure spin-around




Looking a lot more similar than the previous pair! The main notable difference to me is the bootleg’s sweaty skin and thinner white paint. She definitely appears to be more of an off-white unlike the official.

Figure close-ups

The interface headset parts are quite messily painted on the bootleg, with some of the paint even making it onto the hair. The paint also emphasises the poor casting – there seems to be quite a number of defective areas where there are dents and lumps that shouldn’t be.
Moving to the hair, we have the usual casting issues – blunt ends and excess plastic. There is some shading, but not quite as distinct as the official’s.
Moving to the face, we indeed have the sweatiness and inferior eye prints.

Closer look at the interface parts:
Yeah, the bootleg ones are pretty awful up close.

Top of the head:
The bootleg’s hair has a lot of paint scrapes up here. Even with the fact the official photo ended up unfocused (sorry) we can see that there’s better shading on it, and the bootleg’s is just blobbed into certain areas. We’ve also got an extra seam just above the part where the two halves of the hair meet.

Back of the hair:
This angle shows the difference between the bootleg and official’s shading. The official’s does help accentuate the sculpt.

Hair tips:
The hair tips are noticeably dulled at the back. With Rei’s neck, the bootleg’s is an odd yellowish colour instead of flesh-toned. The top ring on her suit has been painted neatly on both.

Upper body:
The bootleg’s plugsuit has a yellowy tinge to it, which is definitely on show in this photo. We’ve also got some bonus dirt on her chest – guess she’s already been into battle.
The paint up close is a bit sloppy on both, but the bootleg has some extra slop in certain areas. Most notable of these is the green areas, the black surround for the red dots and the lines on her lower half.
For the 00 prints, both don’t look properly straight to me, but the bootleg ones don’t seem to even align with each other.

Body straight on:
Looking at the bootleg’s lower arms, we have a noticeable seam that’s not present on the official. Looking at the body in general, we can see that the bootleg is less shiny than the official. The line on the bootleg’s right hip misses the intended path badly, and the other one fails to head for the edge of the body.
With the hip joints, the bootleg’s don’t quite match the body colour, making them look a little odd.

The bootleg’s paint is noticeably more sloppy and less defined here and we have a bonus scrape on the right side of her backpack. The bootleg’s left arm and right side of the backpack have fairly uneven paint, which doesn’t fit the flat texture of a plugsuit.

Top of arm:
The upper linework is actually thicker on the bootleg, which is the opposite for most of this figure. Again, the bootleg’s not very smooth paint shows up here too, as well as the lack of a match between the figure paint and the joint colour. The yellow wrist paint seems more sloppily applied than the official’s and we’re possibly missing some sculpt definition for this part.

Side of the leg:
The bootleg’s paint looks really nasty here. Definitely doesn’t stand up to a close look. The black paintwork tries but ultimately fails on the bootleg. The edges of the leg parts are rough, plus we have a lower leg seam. The bootleg joints here emphasise how not white the plugsuit is.

Again, the black paint isn’t as neat on the bootleg. We’ve also got some bonus red paint from the sole. The poor mould and paint makes the soles of the bootleg’s shoes look thinner.

OK, now we’ve had a browse of the figure, let’s test some accessories.
Taking off the hair:
Looking fairly similar here – we do have a strange blob of plastic just above the bootleg’s face. Looking inside the head, the official peg holes have been painted, but the bootleg’s haven’t.

Front hairpiece:
The official’s is painted in a flat colour whilst the bootleg’s has almost random blobs of different shades. We’ve also got some groove marks that aren’t present on the official.

Whilst the face pegs are the same, the official’s has been painted an even shade of blue, whilst the bootleg’s has been left skin-toned.
Looking at the neck joint, the bootleg’s is already falling apart and will probably soon break if played with.
Looking at the red paint on her collar, the official has a slight overage and the bootleg has an underage. Combine these, and maybe we’d have good collar paint.

Bootleg/official face swap:
The faces are compatible with both. So you could use the bootleg as a donor figure for the official, especially if you’re willing to spray the bootleg face with a matte coating.

Hand swap time:
The bootleg’s hand pegs are pretty much the same as the official’s. There is some excess plastic, but this could be snipped off if needed.

New hands please:
Yep, both figures can have their hands swapped with the other hands provided.

Bootleg on the official:
The bootleg hands also would work as donor parts. If you don’t mind the slightly sloppier painting, these would work if you’re replacing lost hands.

Articulation test

OK, let’s give this a go:
Graarrgghh… she just lost her leg. The bootleg’s right leg didn’t stay on very well for me. At first it was fine, but once it popped off, it didn’t want to stay on so much. Fine if she was standing there, but moving it did stand a chance of disconnecting it.

Let’s start with a star jump:
Both held their pose fine, without flopping down. The bootleg can hold a slightly more “outward” pose on the legs and the arms as there’s a bit more freedom in the joints.

Give yourself a hug:
A reasonable effort from both, but the bootleg can hug herself more.

Bend those knees:
Whilst the bootleg does have more freedom in this regard, it isn’t really useful, as we start to see inside of the body.

Pose in the air:
Again, both were able to hold the pose without issue. As we can see, the bootleg’s legs do bend further under, but we get an eyeful of joint for her to be able to do this.

Again, the official has a lesser range of motion, but the bootleg has too much articulation. More movement in her hips is a positive, but her lower legs bend too far up, giving her “banana legs”. The bootleg joint doesn’t put her lower leg in the right place meaning it can look odd from certain angles with a variety of poses.


Telling the boxes apart is relatively straightforward – the lack of the Phat and Parfom logos are a big giveaway, as well as the lack of the Evangelion shiny (authenticity sticker). The overall design of the front of the bootleg box just gives an overly plain and simplistic feel that just doesn’t fit for me. The lack of a barcode also gives the game away.
For the figure, the face and the hair are probably the easiest places to tell them apart – with the bootleg sporting blunt hair and sweaty faces. The lacklustre and uneven finish on the plugsuit may also give a bootleg away. If you have the figure to hand giving her “banana legs” is another clue.
In terms of replacement parts, the bootleg ones will fit straight onto the official figure. The hands are decent enough that they would look fine imo, but the face would need some matte finish to not look odd.
In terms of looks, I think the bootleg is passable, especially if you don’t have the official next to it. Mine does need some cleaning up though!
Posing for the bootleg is more of a pain – the joints do generally give you a bit more freedom, but that freedom isn’t always useful just giving you more ways to make the pose look wrong. I do personally think the official would be improved with more range of motion, especially in the hips, but the bootleg isn’t the solution. You also have a chance of the bootleg’s joints snapping – the bootleg’s neck definitely looks like it isn’t long for this world on my copy.
It isn’t up to par with the official, but I can see it being a tempting option for its price point.

Official vs Bootleg: Evangelion Q Poskets – The Boys (Bandai)

Now to see how the boys compare! Good? Bad? Shiny?
If you haven’t read the article about Rei and Asuka, it can be found here.
This article will cover Kaworu Nagisa and Shinji Ikari.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,090 each (£14.92)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $5.60 each (£3.95 each)

The officials I bought from Mandarake


Like the girls, the bootlegs were just in baggies:
I’m seeing at least one extra in there…

Kaworu – base

Instead of a 3-part base, we have a 2-part one instead, with a pole that goes into Kaworu’s back. Interesting mismatch from the girls, especially as I bought these as a set.
The bootleg base has an extra hole for the stand plus is lacking the Q Posket logo, same as the girls.

The bottom of the bootleg base lacks the Bandai Spirits marker, and has the different base peg holders the girl’s bases had.

Kaworu – spin-around




The extra stand piece is quite a noticeable difference for the bootleg. The straighter head angle makes the bootleg look less carefree. We’ve also got the extra shininess at pretty much all the angles too.

Kaworu – Close-ups

Yep, that hair on the bootleg is doing a good job of reflecting the photography lights. Most of the hair tips are about the same pointiness on the bootleg, which stops the bootleg’s hair looking entirely derpy.
The eyes have the same poorly printed defects as the girls.
With the blush, the official has a lot more on his face than the bootleg. With his mouth, the official has a much darker line between his lips giving more definition to his mouth. This and the head angle gives quite a big change to his expression, or at least it does to me.

The hair replication is mostly decent on the bootleg, but the shiny finish really does cheapen it. There are some areas with excess plastic on the edges of the hair chunks of the bootleg – easiest to see is in the bottom right.

Return of the icing – the bootleg’s shirt has an icing-like appearance. The bootleg’s undershirt is more neatly painted, but has the appearance of a bootleg polyester shirt with the shininess.
The bootleg skin also suffers from shininess, making him look sweaty.

Right arm:
The bootleg’s sleeve hasn’t been assembled correctly, leaving a bit of a strange gap in his armpit.
From this angle, we can see that the bootleg’s belt end doesn’t hang as far away from his body as the official’s.

Left arm:
Here, my official kind of sucks – there is some extra glue from where his hand has been attached to his pocket. So one win for the bootleg here. Though I think I’ll take the glue mistake for trading the nicer skin colour and texture and the shirt that doesn’t look like icing. And the lack of seam on the sleeve.

That’s one mutant neck the bootleg is sporting! Ew. The collar doesn’t fare much better, with a mess of rough edges. Moving to the middle of his back, we have an off-centre hole drilled into his back and not cleaned up.
From this angle we can see the bootleg’s arms haven’t been assembled correctly – his hands have unsightly divots on them where they should be connected to his trousers.

The official’s belt buckle has some of a texture to it, which the bootleg doesn’t have. The bootleg’s buckle is also a bit deformed and not entirely square.
The belt end has been painted larger on the bootleg – from the sculpting we can see it is just supposed to be a tiny bit on the end.
Looking to the trousers, the official is a very dark blue, but the bootleg has black trousers. A subtle but distinct change.

The official has gone with an off-white, whilst the bootleg has gone with straight-up white plastic. With the lack of paint and poor moulding, a fair bit of the detail is lost on the shoes. Definitely have to give this one to the official.

Here the bootleg’s pegs are white as his shoes have been cast in white plastic. The detail on the bottom of the bootleg’s shoes has also been moulded poorly. The official features some flesh-toned pegs thanks to the shoes being painted plastic.

Shinji – base

Now we’ve finally graduated to no support pole on either base – strange, considering all the others had some form of stand for the bootleg. But still no Q Posket logo.

Yep, same as the others – notice on the official, nothing on the bootleg.

Shinji – Spin-around




Bootleg Shinji is in need of a hair wash – lookin’ greasy. With the pose, it looks like official Shinji is thinking, and bootleg Shinji has had his realisation. The belts are also different between the two.

Shinji – Close-ups

Unfortunately my official didn’t travel so well, and had scratches on arrival sadly. Did think about buying another one at one point, but ultimately decided not to.
The bootleg’s hair is further down his face, covering his eyes slightly, and looking slightly sadder in the middle. The smooth hair shows off the bootleg shininess well.
The bootleg eyes are on a par with the rest of this bootleg set.
Similar with Kaworu, the mouth on the official has been given a deeper accent colour. Though bootleg Shinji seems to have more of a smile.
The bootleg arm has been mounted at the wrong angle, so he’s no longer stroking his face, which makes the pose kind of odd.

Side of his face:
The bootleg’s hair is a bit of a mess – the parts aren’t adhered correctly leaving a large gap, and something’s gone all kinds of wrong near his ear.

Top of his head:
More of a view of the poor join on the bootleg. Also the bootleg’s hair halves don’t seem to match properly in colour to me. Despite the scratching, think I’m going to stick with the official here.

Left arm:
The bootleg shirt is a mess from this side – we have a couple of obvious seams and the icing appearance. The moulding of the collar is also poor.
The bootleg’s left arm has various bits of excess plastic – most notable near his thumb – as well as the shiny finish.
The bootleg’s trousers are also shiny and less refined than their official counterpart.

The bootleg’s moulding is less distinct in all parts, plus we’ve lost the ruffles entirely at the bottom of his shirt. The bootleg’s right pocket is also trying to vanish underneath his belt – not a good look. The belt itself is black instead of brown too.

Let’s have a look at that belt from the front:
Hm, not a match at all! The bootleg’s is overly chunky, black and has a solid belt buckle. We’re also entirely missing the end of the belt that should be dangling down, leaving a strange groove in his trousers.
Wait a minute… has bootleg Shinji nicked Kaworu’s belt…? Ha, I thought it was familiar! Make of that what you will :P.
Looking at my official, we have a plastic flaw here, showing that prize figures aren’t immune from such defects – underneath the dangling belt part we can see a hairline mark.

As with Kaworu, we have the horrible overly-white sneakers on the bootlg. The officials look much nicer and more true to the show. With all that angel-fighting, you can’t keep your trainers that pristine.
The sole of the bootleg’s right shoe has also gone wrong at the front.

Foot pegs:
Same as Kaworu, we have the white pegs for the bootleg and flesh ones for the official. And the poor replication of the soles on the bootleg.

Shinji’s foot peg not being very effective:
Most of these bootlegs, I got them assembled decently well in the end… but this peg was still a pain. Not the best look.


The bootlegs aren’t horrible, but they’re not great either. With more parts of the boys’ figures being white, the poor white plastic on the bootlegs is a greater issue than with the girls. The shiny skin and hair is also present. I’d say the hair was done better on the boys than the girls as there is a lot less seam issues.
Both of the boys’ bootlegs look rather naff, so couldn’t really recommend to someone who wouldn’t have an issue collecting bootlegs.
Telling them apart is also fairly easy – the lack of Q Posket on the base gives them away, as well as Kaworu’s extra base part. My bootleg Shinji was also missing a part, which is a fairly big clue as well as having the wrong belt. The shoes also look suspiciously poor on the bootlegs.
Overall, I’d say this set of Q Posket bootlegs fit the definition of “cheap knockoff” fairly well. Not the nightmare fuel of the previous prize figures I got, but not good either.

Official vs Bootleg: MegaHouse Angewomon Holy Arrow Ver (Precious G.E.M)

This one intrigued me as I wondered if it would survive the journey and it is a fairly detailed figure with plenty of parts to potentially replicate badly. On the survival front, I bought the official at a cheaper price from an MFC member as theirs broke in transit. I repaired it, and wrote a blog about the process. Would the bootleg survive its journey or would I have a second Angewomon to repair?


MSRP (without tax): ¥13,500
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): €70 (£61.96)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $34.53 (£27.88)

The official I bought from another MFC member (see intro above).


I ordered this bootleg with the box, but it did not come with one. So ended up asking for a partial refund, as I sure as heck didn’t want to pay for a box I didn’t get :/. So this section is barren.
The listing had a picture of a box that looked like the official box, only with all the logos in the corners removed. So if a bootleg box exists, that’s roughly what it would look like.

Liberating the bootleg from the shipping box and a layer of bubble wrap, this is what I received:
Yep, arrow taped to the base and the bootleg tossed in there. Miraculously managed to survive despite the mediocre packaging.


Top of the base:
The official has a rune pattern which is entirely absent from the bootleg base. It’s a relatively subtle effect, but glaringly missing when the bases are next to each other. The bootleg base is also a noticeably darker blue.

The writing is a direct copy from the official, though the printing quality isn’t as good so there’s some missing print – most notable on the “W”.

Foot pegs:
Looking at my repair blog photos, looks like both the metal pegs were supposed to reside in the base for the official, but one resided in her foot during this photo shoot and I forgot I had photos where I could check where the peg should be.
Ignoring that for now, the official pegs are metal whilst the bootleg’s are plastic – with the plastic pegs I’d be concerned that they’d break eventually given the figure’s pose. If she isn’t balanced (which is likely) this will put stress on the plastic pegs which could mean they will eventually break. The official is unlikely to have this issue as mere PVC isn’t going to bend metal pegs.
With the bottom part of the foot stand, the official’s has been cast with walls, but the bootleggers have decided to go for a more solid part.

The bootleg base has some roughness around its edges, especially near the top edge. We can see the official base has the foot support attached from underneath the base for greater stability – appreciated for such a dynamically-posed figure.
The bootleg base seems to have more thickness to it than the official’s. With the way the runes have been done, the thinner base allows them to show through better – the bootleg doesn’t have to take this into account so can be chunkier.

The bootleg fits quite neatly into the underside of the official! It is a fraction smaller – gotta save some plastic somewhere.


With the official figure, the arrow is slotted into a dedicated part of the packaging and with the bootleg? Taped to the base. Which meant a lot of cleaning the sticky tape off the arrow and the base. Especially the base – you can still see some of the sticky residue in the above photos. So already off to a weak start.

Arrows side-by-side:
Bendy. The bootleg arrow didn’t come straight, and has a distinct bend to it. Taping it to the base didn’t save it.
The bootleg arrow is duller than the official, and the edges aren’t as sharp/neat, most notable in the fletching and the marks on the arrowhead.

The shiny glossiness of the official is much more noticeable in real life, but hopefully this photo does enough to show the difference between the two arrows. Holding them together, the lack of shininess in the bootleg stands out.

Overall, the arrows are pretty similar but the lack of shiny on the bootleg gives it away.





From the front of the figure, the differing angle of her head is noticeable but the head does have some limited articulation. Her arms have a bit of a different pose, which will be made more apparent later.
Looking at sides and back, the different shading on her wings stands out the most in my opinion.
Overall, they are pretty similar but there are some spots where the bootleg shows its bootleg nature. Let’s get some closer looks at these figures, and see how they hold up to being scrutinised.


If we look at the hair on her head, the heads appear to be roughly at the same angle but the faces tell a different story – the head is actually on a ball joint however the hair doesn’t have quite the same bends to it on the bootleg so it naturally sits in a different position.
Looking at the hair itself, the bootleg doesn’t have the glossiness and bright yellow of the original, plus we have some defects at the tips.
Looking at her face, what little we can see of it, the darker mouth on the bootleg looks more serious and “scary” to me. The “neck-warmer” on the bootleg looks a lot thinner and less substantial than the official’s due to lost sculpt detail and a lack of paint detail.
Moving to her helmet, the bootleg’s paints feel washed-out next to the official. The paintwork has a tiny amount of overspill, but nothing majorly noticeable.
Moving to the fingernails though… oh boy. Looks like bootleg Angewomon dipped her fingers in the polish bottle this morning. The official has much better polish. With the hand itself, we have some excess plastic on the bootleg and the skin colour is noticeably darker. The hand is also at a different angle than it should be.

My official actually has a bit of flaw here – probably some escaping glue at the bottom of her left boob. We also get a better look at the nail polish jobs – definitely something wrong with bootleg Angewomon.
The chests themselves are pretty similar, though I think there’s slightly less cleavage on the bootleg. The join underneath the bootleg’s boobs to her clothing has a bit of a small gap between her breasts.
Looking to the right of this picture, we can see just how sloppy the neck-warmer(?) paint is on the bootleg – the paint doesn’t go all the way to the edges of the moulded part and has very uneven edges.
The bootleg’s chest details are a fair bit less shiny and not as well cast, but we’ll get a better look at these later.

Top of her head:
Here we can see where the bootleg’s ribbon has been squashed in, and now is pressing up against the wings on her helmet. Not quite as stylish as its official counterpart. The wing parts on the right of the bootleg’s helmet have been splayed out a bit more than they should be.
On my official you may notice some purple paint missing – this was present but this paint was ridiculously fragile and chips off SUPER easy. If you get this figure, avoid touching this area. Am sad about the missing paint. Wish the official didn’t flake paint, especially as it seems the bootleg isn’t shedding it.

Close-up of the top of the ribbon:
Looking at the “runes” on the ribbon, the official’s are a greyish black and have thicker lines than the bootleg’s. Almost looks like the bootleg’s were redrawn – they look like cut-price versions of the officials. They also don’t quite sit properly in the middle of the ribbon, compared to the official ones.
The bootleg’s purple has a lot more straight-up shine, instead of a more subtle one like the official.
Lastly, we have a dent on the left side of the bootleg’s ribbon – looks like it wasn’t cast too well.

Side of the head:
The casting of the helmet wings isn’t as good on the bootleg – we can see blunted edges on the fins. The paint job is also seemingly inverse, with the purple towards her helmet, not towards the wing tips. Looking to the ribbon around her wrist, the bootleg’s shading has been done differently so the bottom of it is lighter than the top, whilst the official fades out along the ribbon instead.

Back of her hair:
The official’s hair starts off as a straw-type yellow and transitions down to a dark yellow at the tips. This change in colour also accompanies a transition in translucency. Looking to the bootleg, the colour is fairly similar all the way down, but we do have a change in translucency, albeit a bit more sudden than its official counterpart.
If we look to the middle of the bootleg’s hair though, we have some baked-in dirt. Thankfully the official doesn’t come with this.

So close, yet so far. Starting with the golden chest pieces, the colours of gold are fairly different, with the official’s being a more subtle colour so as to not overpower the rest of the figure. The moulding is definitely poorer on the bootleg here, with the edges being less distinct and plagued by excess plastic.
Moving to the leotard, the official has much more in the way of shading, with the purple tones adding depth to the clothing. We’ve also got a more pearly finish on the official, as seen from the way the light reflects off of it.
Both of the figures are unfortunately flawed where it comes to the stomach – neither piece fits in fully correctly, leaving a bit of a gap at the top. Does make this area look odd close up.
Next we come to the belts around her waist – the official ones are painted neatly and press lightly into her sides. The bootleg’s are noticeably sloppy with the paint in a couple of spots plus the rings and parts of the belts are deformed. Lastly, the lower belt seems to cut brutally into her right hand side, and I think that lower ring is piercing her. Ouch.

Arrow hand:
Here we can se where the arrow slots into her hand so she can be holding it in a floating pose.
With the arm itself, the purple shading is more detailed on the official. The print on the ribbon on the bootleg is a mess – looking at the upper bit, two symbols are printed on top of each other. Looking at the lower part of the ribbon on the bootleg, we can also see some imperfections in some of the runes.
Moving to her hand, the bootleg has a bad case of mutant thumb – it has become as thin and long as one of the fingers – not a good look! The arrow hole doesn’t look quite as well defined, so we’ll see if that affects pegging in the arrow later.

The “bow”:
These parts are actually pretty similar on the two figures. The casting has been done well on the bootleg, maybe ever so slightly less pointy ends, but no glaring errors that I can see. The paint however, we don’t have the same pearly finish and the shading is a lot more mottled than smooth. Seems to be shaded in roughly the right areas though.
With the assembly, the bootleg’s upper bow part didn’t go fully into the figure as it should, leaving a distorted-looking bottom to it. We’ve also got a strange angle to the bootleg’s foot here too.

More of the ribbon on this side:
The official runes are fairly consistent in their placing, but the bootleg’s are definitely running off the edge of the ribbon here. Looking near the sideways “S” we do actually have some paint scrapes on the bootleg too. So my official isn’t entirely alone in losing its paint after all.

Spiky end of the ribbon:
The differences in paint on the ribbon are most obvious here. The shading is much more subtle and smooth on the official. The bootleg lacks some evenness when it comes to comparing the individual tips of the fronds. The middle piece of the bootleg is overly silver, making it not match with the rest of it so well.
Looking at the edges, the bootleg’s has some excess plastic and isn’t as neatly moulded. Due to this, it looks rougher in spots as the plastic has sharper curves than it should.

Crotch area:
This area looks particularly rough on the bootleg – her right leg doesn’t attach correctly, and the bands around her leg are not painted very well.
With the leg bands, the bootleg ones are part of the leg so with the rough painting she has a case of the “mutant flesh”. With the official, the belts look like separate parts which leads to cleaner painting and a more accurate sculpt overall.
The official isn’t free of flaws – the skin on her hip doesn’t look like it was inserted correctly, leaving it bobbling outwards more than it should from this angle. Looking at the skin, there is much more shading on the official than there is on the bootleg adding to the tight outfit look.
Down the right leg of the bootleg we’ve also go a seamline that is fairly visible in places.

Back of the right leg:
Showing most of the same flaws as the side of this leg – the bootleg’s strap painting isn’t very accurate and the skin lacks shading.

Right shoe:
The bootleg’s dodgy moulding shows up fairly well here – the spikes are a bit of a mess. The paint is also not a great match as it lacks the distinction between the boot and the spikes.

Inside of the left leg:
The most notable difference here for me is the zip – the bootleg’s paint is rather bad here, and is just a rough silver line over parts of the sculpting. The official’s is a lot more precisely painted and we have a dark wash to emphasise the sculpt. The poor replication of the sculpt here on the bootleg also gives it quite an amateurish feel.
Looking to her ankle we can see the ring around the bootleg’s leg is much thinner than the official’s giving it a very loose fit. This loose fit doesn’t look good from certain angles, including this one.

Front of the left leg:
Again, the bootleg’s zip misses on the darker shading parts, but at least the silver is where it belongs. The paint on the bootleg’s boot is less refined than the official’s, looking a bit lumpy and a not-so-smooth finish. The sculpt is a bit less defined in the zip teeth and the small belt around her foot.
Looking at the anklet, the bootleg has a nasty seam down it, and the mould is a bit messed up at the bottom. The runes aren’t printed onto it very well, with one on this side practically “falling off”. Due to the bigger hole, the bootleg anklet doesn’t sit straight either.

Outside of the left leg:
Much of the same flaws can be seen on this side too – the rough paint/finish, the poor shading and the dodgy paint on the strap.
From this angle we can see that the bootleg’s leg isn’t the same angle and is pointing a bit more outwards than the official. Not a massively noticeable change, but does contribute to her slightly different stance.

Close up of the anklet:
Yep, that bootleg anklet is much thinner – looks like they had to guess how to mould this bit and got it horribly wrong. We can see that the anklet has been used to hide a joint, which it has managed to do on both. The bootleg’s anklet has two quite visible joins though. Looking at the runes on the bootleg, we can see where two have ran off the central part onto the edging.

Back of the left wings:
The official’s wings get darker towards the tips whilst the bootleg one decides to have a purple band across the middle instead. The tips of the bootleg’s wings are also less pointy, but not to a massive degree.

Back of the right wings:
Again, the shading is off on the bootleg wings, which makes them look flatter than their official counterparts.
The very uppermost wingtip on the bootleg has a defect – the wing tip is curled over instead of pointing up.

Right wing spread:
The wing spacing and positioning is slightly different between the two, which makes the wings look different from the front.

Accessory test
Time to equip that holy arrow:
Hmm. The official’s arrow slots in nicely and the bootleg… can’t hold hers at all. Her left arm angle is off, which doesn’t allow for the bootleg arrow to clip into her hand. It’s so far off that it requires a severe bend to even get close to the hole – it’d never stay. So propping it like this is about the best you can do, unless you want to try wrestling with her arm.

Official holding the bootleg arrow:
The bootleg’s arrow is a good enough copy that the official can hold it, though it lacks some of the lustre of the official’s. This does mean you can see the peg through it easier however I think it would make an adequate replacement if the official’s arrow was broken or missing.


Well, I’d say this is one of the better quality bootlegs I’ve covered. She’s definitely not free of flaws but most of the flaws are relatively minor, however not being able to hold her arrow is a major detractor. It might be fixable if I bend her arm to counteract for the poor assembly, but will involve more work than simply getting her out of the box.
Telling these apart, the devil is definitely in the details – the base is a big clue, with its lack of runes and plastic pegs. For the figure itself, I’d say the anklet is the easiest place to see she is a bootleg. Looking at the paintwork, her fingernails, the belts and the face are probably the easiest parts to look at to see the defects, followed by the black runes and the different shading on the wings.
I could see someone happily owning this bootleg, as it does feel like a prize tier version of the official. Wouldn’t recommend owning it, what with it being a knockoff product, but I could see someone wanting this, especially as G.E.M figures are not cheap.

Official vs Bootleg: Evangelion Q Poskets – The Girls (Bandai)

The normal colour versions of the school uniform Q Poskets fairly quickly got bootlegs, so I decided to order a set to compare them to my official ones.
This article will look at the girls – Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley. Shinji and Kaworu will be covered in a later article.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,030 each (£14.50 each)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $5.60 each (£3.95 each)

The officials I bought from Mandarake (unopened).


These bootlegs didn’t have the option of a box, and arrived in sealed bags:
The officials come in very similar bags – only the bags are in a box!

Asuka – base

Base parts:
The first thing that stands out is that the bootleg base comes with more parts – it comes with a support pole that the official doesn’t have and an extra hole in the flat part of the base to accommodate it.
With the base itself, the bootleg doesn’t have the “Q Posket” logo and the feet peg holes are moved forward seeing as there’s no logo to get in the way. The edging of the base has been replicated, but the plastic is noticeably darker on the bootleg.

Bottom of the base:
The bottom of the official base has Bandai Spirits’s logo and predictably the bootleg has nothing. We can also see the extra peg hole on the bottom of the bootleg base too. These peg stands have been engineered slightly differently than the official’s.

Base in action:
Well, it sort of does something. It doesn’t grip the figure tightly, but will stop her from leaning backwards, should she choose to do so.

Asuka – spin-around




Looking reasonably similar – the extra pole on the bootleg stands out, plus her top is looking a bit like a life jacket. We’re also definitely seeing some extra shininess on the bootleg’s skin.

Asuka – close-ups

Eesh, those bootleg eyes… The bootleg’s eyes don’t seem to have been installed correctly and her right eye seems to be quite sunken into her head giving her a creepy look. The print isn’t as crisp on the bootleg’s eyes either, making them look more dull.
The bootleg’s hair is a shade or two lighter and has chubbier ends. The face has been done pretty similarly, though the blush doesn’t show up as well on the shiny plastic. Looking at her neck, the bootleg’s collar is much higher up than the official’s and the bow is more lumpy.

Back of the hair:
The bootleg’s hair is noticeably shinier and features some stray red paint.
The interface headset parts (red hair clips) are less shiny on the bootleg, and the painting isn’t as neat. The one on the right also has a bit “munched” off the end of it.

Close-up of the left interface headset part:
The black band noticeably has less refinement on the bootleg – it remains close to the same thickness throughout, instead of thinning out as it should. On the top of the bootleg interface headset part, we have some excess plastic.
Looking towards the bottom/back of the part, the paint on the bootleg doesn’t get to the bottom of it – it appears the interface and her ponytail were made into one piece, instead of the two that appear on the official.
Looking to her hair, the bootleg has a flaw in the plastic next to the interface headset part, plus some visible seaming towards the top of her head.

Side of her hair:
The bootleg hair is a field of seamlines and gaps – we have a big seamline just above her ear and the ends of her hair aren’t attached properly at the bottom. The official only has a bit of seamline visible here – just under her ponytail and by her ear. Whilst we’re looking at the ear, there’s a bit of hair missing on the bootleg – the official has a triangular piece next to her ear, but this is entirely missing on the bootleg.
We can also admire the chonky hair ends of the bootleg here again.

Underside of the bootleg’s hair:
Urgh, such a mess under here – scratches in the paint and no concealment of the joint.

The bootleg is very much an assembly fail when it comes to her dress. The upper parts of her dress aren’t inserted into the shirt, making them very chunky, and the collar is popped up, with the bow getting in the way of proper assembly. The shirt itself is also sticking out in places it shouldn’t, completing the odd look of her clothing.
With the clothing itself, the bootleg’s is overly shiny which isn’t a normal feature of Japanese school clothing.

Closer look at the upper clothing joins:
Whilst this isn’t a viewing angle, this shows just why the bootleg’s upper half is such a mess – the upper dress parts haven’t been moulded well at all, so they don’t fit with the shirt parts properly. We’ve also got a shirt part which I assume is supposed to be tucked under the belt to hold it into place.
Does feel like the person assembling it had an impossible challenge and did the best they could with the pieces they had. Which unfortunately led to this mess.

Side of the dress:
Mmm, the bootleg starts off strong with sweaty, shiny skin and some escaped glue on her dress.
The official’s paint is a bit rough on the sleeve, but other than that, looking pretty decent. I don’t think the slight complexity of the top assembly did this figure many favours, as the official is looking slightly odd at the bottom as well… but doesn’t have a patch on the bootleg.
OK… bootleg time… the shirt. The material and texture are poor – it looks like she’s wearing icing rather than a shirt. On top of the icing, we have her “life jacket” – from the side it really does look like a life jacket rather than a dress to me. Here the parts really do not marry up well at all, making them all look very separate from her skirt.
The skirt seam isn’t very well hidden on the bootleg, and we have some plastic flaking off. The dress has been flattened a bit at the front, which doesn’t make it flow quite as well. Stupidly, the intended seams at the top of her skirt at the front are less visible on the bootleg… if only they could do that for the actual seam.

Legs and feet:
The sock paint is overly white on the bootleg and the bands aren’t painted very well either.
The shoes are pretty much on a par with the official’s though the paint isn’t quite the right colour for them. The moulding of the straps hasn’t gone well on the bootleg though, leaving them looking a bit bobbly.

Foot pegs:
As per usual, the official pegs are not painted, but the bootleg’s are, making them harder to peg into the base. Though with the painted pegs, it does show less if Asuka’s foot pegs aren’t quite into the base.

Rei – base

OK, now onto Rei Ayanami. Her bootleg also features extra stand pieces:
The bootleg base features a bonus hole and a lack of logo. We’ve also got the overly dark black colouring present too.

Has the same design differences as Asuka’s – with the lack of logo and differing peg holders.

Let’s see how this extra stand performs:

Oh. The stand doesn’t even touch Rei – this thing was definitely not made for this figure, and doesn’t actually serve any kind of purpose. Bonus plastic yay?

Rei – spin-around




Bootleg Rei is looking like a more shiny version of her official self.

Rei – close-ups

Mmm, shiny – the bootleg’s hair definitely has a noticeable shine to it. The bootleg’s hair tips have managed to retain most of their pointiness – a rarity.
The eyes are a lot less scary too but have the same low quality print as Asuka’s. The white shine and the red parts of her eyes are less distinct on the bootleg.
The face skin is a few shades darker on the bootleg, which isn’t right for Rei.
Looking to her bow, the bootleg’s is a bit blobby, but better than the Asuka bootleg’s.

From this angle, the shininess is very apparent on the bootleg. The main head seam is a bit messier on the bootleg, but both it is very noticeable. Not too much difference apart from the finish.

The ribbon isn’t massively different from the official – looks a little sadder and a little redder. Meanwhile I’m being distracted by the bootleg’s shirt that’s looking more like icing.

Neck peg:
I had some troubles with assembling the bootleg – the distorted, misshapen peg it has shows why.
The top of the bootleg’s dress is a lot better than Asuka’s and doesn’t have the “life jacket” look. The shirt is still too thick and looks like icing, but at least this one was able to be assembled correctly.

Arms and lower dress:
The bootleg’s arms are noticeably shiny and have a fair amount of excess plastic. The shirt sleeves also have excess to go with their thickness.
The skirt is mostly a decent copy, but again, lacks finishing at the bottom of it.

Here we have some seaming on the official – on her fingers and her sleeve. Whilst the bootleg seemingly lacks the finger seam, it makes up for it with webbing between her fingers ><.
The bootleg’s arm poses don’t match the official, but doesn’t massively change the figure.
The shape of the bootleg’s dress pieces is better than bootleg Asuka’s, but some of the detail has been lost from the official – most notably around her shoulder.

The backs is a pretty close copy, but looks cheaper from the shiny finish and slightly strange white plastic. The sculpting at the top of her dress is less distinct on the bootleg.

Again, we have bonus shiny on the bootleg. The shoes themselves are overly white, and we’ve lost a chunk of the detail that forms the sole.

Back of the shoes:
Shiny legs! What a surprise!
The tabs for pulling on her shoes on the bootleg have gone a bit funny-shaped and aren’t distinct parts from the main figure.

Foot pegs:
This time we have black painted pegs on the bootleg and unpainted skin-coloured pegs on the official.


Telling these apart, the stand is the easiest place to look – none of these Evangelion Q Poskets should have a separate support stand piece and the “Q Posket” logo should be present on the front of the base. The overall finish of the figures themselves is mostly in line with prize figures on average, but less quality than a Q Posket should be. The shiny finish is probably the easiest trait to see when looking at the bootleg in the real.
The Rei bootleg is relatively decent, but the Asuka one looks quite derpy with the poorly fitting top pieces and poorly assembled eyes.
With the bootlegs, you’re likely to have some assembly issues – at least a couple of the heads wouldn’t go on easily, and they wouldn’t peg into the base as nicely. So they’re a bit frustrating to get displayed.
The officials have dropped a tiny bit from the prices I paid (especially if you don’t mind an opened box), so buying the officials isn’t necessarily that much more than the bootlegs.
Asuka bootleg is an easy “no” with her larger defects, Rei I could see someone being happy with… but confused about her extra stand piece.

Official vs Bootleg: “Parfom” Asuka Langley & Rei Ayanami (Phat)

For the Asuka Langley and Rei Ayanami Parform figures there were two different bootlegs – a double-set on one stand and fully-articulated clones. This article will be covering the double-set which represents a massive saving on the officials, but is it really worth it?


MSRP (without tax): ¥5,980 each
Price I paid for the officials (inc shipping):

  • Official Rei: ¥7,242 (£51.55)
  • Official Asuka: ¥8,079 (£57.51)
  • Total: ¥15,311 (£109.06)

Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $11.98 (£9.75)

For the officials, Rei I bought from Ninoma and Asuka from Nippon Yasan.


As this double-set came with one box for the two figures, the pictures here will be a bit different than normal.

For the bootleg, we have various aspects of the Parform boxes copied over from the official boxes put onto a space-themed blue background design. Probably stolen from somewhere, but isn’t an image I’m familiar with. Feel free to comment if it is familiar to you!
In the top-left of the bootleg box we have Phat’s description of the Parform series in good ol’ “decorative English”. Top-right we have the Evangelion logo. Underneath the box window we have the character’s names (Souryuu Asuka Langley and Ayanami Rei respectively) and the sculptor credit… for the original figures. And, amusingly, copyright Khara. Not sure if the original sculptor would want credit for this bootleg, but we’ll get into that later.
From the window in the box, we can see that we just get the figures and Asuka’s doll unlike the original Parfoms where we have extra hands and faces.

Left of the box:
Here we are treated to a view of Asuka. The text at the top of the box has been lifted from the official box, plus the Evangelion logo in the bottom left. We have Asuka’s name, just to confirm it is Asuka too.
Interestingly, the photo on the side of the bootleg box is of the bootleg, instead of being stolen art from the official. We can tell this easily by the lack of ball joints at her hips.
Looking at the background, we have more stars and shininess plus a border that runs off of the bottom of the box. If the box was made to accommodate this border then the blister may have actually fit in it – the top of the box you may notice is not closed, and that’s because I can’t. The middle of the blister is too tall and won’t actually fit.

Right side:
Fairly predictably, we have Rei on this side. Again, the text and logo has been copied from the official box, with Ayanami’s name added in blue. The photo of the figure is also of the Rei in the box rather than the original Parfom figure.

The window on the bootleg has roughly copied the shape of the official’s, but not the print on it. We have the Evangelion logo again, and an added border.

The warning text has been duplicated onto the bootleg box and converted to black so it is readable against the background image.
The bootleg’s barcode is related to some ball chain hangars for the series Classroom of the Elite, which is not a series I’m familiar with. They’re not currently added to MFC, so here’s a picture:
Yeah, not quite this bootleg, is it?

OK, now for the entertaining side…
The originals have gone with Japanese, for their Japanese audience… but the bootleg has gone for “English” for their more international audience. As the image isn’t the easiest to read, here’s transcriptions of the boxes, left to right:

parfom the red one is a beautiful doll which have a lovely children, and the arm can be rotated till you like it, and the head same as, parfom will bring you a happiest moment soon.

parfom the white one is a beautiful doll which’s arm can be rotated till you like it, and the head same as , parfom will bring a happiest moment soon.

parfom the double one are beautiful dolls which’s arm can be rotated till you like it,and the had same as , you can let them face to face and back to back ,when be inserted the base,parfom will bring you a happiest moment soon
(this last one I’ve taken out the hyphens but left the rest as-is).

Classy. Much laughter was had reading that for the first time – a good example of not-English.

One last view before we move on from the box:
Shiny blue. I like the nice abstract design of the inside of the box, even if it doesn’t have anything to do with the figures themselves.

The bootleg blister did its job and protected the figures in transit. Somewhat squished from the journey though.


Unboxing for the figure to get to the base, I found this li’l fella:
Not sure where this card offcut came from – doesn’t match any part of the box.

Underside of the base:
2016 MADE IN CHINA. Heh, I wouldn’t have guessed the latter. Not sure why they chose 2016, as the Parfom figures came out in 2018. Guess it could be a typo or just a random choice.

Side of the base:
I got a little overeager to assemble this one and then suspected I made a mistake, so I don’t have a proper photo of the top of the base. Pushing Asuka on the pegs didn’t feel great, hence stopping at this point.
The shape of the base is actually a bit more interesting than your average bootleg disc with the stepped pattern. Adds a little to the figure.

About 5 seconds later:
The act of trying to get Asuka on the base broke her pegs – they were every bit as flimsy as they looked and felt. I did manage to get Rei on her peg without breaking it, but that was also relatively short-lived – I did this photoshoot in two halves and it broke off between the sessions.
Asuka’s pegs are more likely to break due to trying to get two pegs in at the same time, possibly into holes that are not as parallel as the pegs. However, the most likely outcome is that all three pegs will break during assembly or shortly after.
Looking at the top of the base, it appears like they’ve tried to polish it, albeit not very well leaving a lined pattern across the top when the light hits it.
Whilst this base could possibly get a pass in the looks department, it isn’t very functional. Had to supply my own white tack to get this review done.

Let’s admire the assembled figure, before I broke Rei’s peg:
Yeah, don’t think this will be winning any construction awards.


This figure set comes with one accessory – Asuka’s doll. As the Parfom also comes with this, I will compare the two.

The bootleg’s face is instantly noticeable as darker and glossier. Next we have some very sloppy hair and hood paint – significant chunks of it are missing. The facial features are all a bit thicker on the bootleg.
Looking to the coat, we have some overage, but looking OK for the most part. The shade of red is a bit duller, but I think is fine. The “Asuka” on both has come out fine but is a bit lower on the bootleg.

The hair mould is a bit sloppy on the bootleg, but at least everything is painted on this side.
The paint isn’t up to par with the official, but not noticeably awful. There is some specks of dirt on the bootleg though.

For the official, you could peg this onto her arm if you want. For the bootleg, you could supply your own stand? Not too much different here, hole in the bootleg is painted as is typical of bootlegs. But seeing as you’re not going to attach this to anything it doesn’t really matter.
Looking at the various edges on the bootleg, we can see they’re all a bit rough in terms of moulding.

Asuka (aka the red one) spin-around

Let’s compare them to their Parfom counterparts! Starting with Asuka.



We can see she is smaller and less articulated than her official counterpart. Yep, apparently the Parfom figures weren’t small enough so they’ve been scaled down further. In my opinion, the lack of ball hips is nice, but her knees and ankles look a bit odd. Not too bad for an edited copy.

Asuka (aka the red one) close-ups

First thing I’m noticing is the bootleg’s face is glossier and dirtier. The bootleg’s eye prints aren’t as good as the official’s, especially the white which didn’t apply very thickly at all. The face also cannot be swapped on the bootleg, which is a feature of the Parfom’s.
Looking at the hair, the bootleg is dirty here too. The paint has quite a rough texture, making it look cheap.
Looking at her chest, the paint is quite roughly slapped onto the bootleg – the green part doesn’t stay within the lines… and the lines go underneath it. Her collar pips are lopsided, and the orange chest paint doesn’t properly cover the areas it is supposed to.
As the articulation has been taken out of the bootleg, we have a strange sculpted line underneath her chest making the top of her suit look weirdly bobbled between her boobs.

Hair clips:
The official’s hair clips are separate parts attached onto the figure’s head but the bootleg has gone the simplified route and made these a part of the main figure body. A small difference, but the official does look better for it, especially as the bootleg has slightly sloppy paint.
Looking at the hair, the bootleg’s is glossier and has a bunch of excess plastic, especially on the hairs above her ponytails. The paint shading isn’t as nice on the bootleg either, with the shading entirely missing on the hair between her hair and pigtail.

More bootleg hair:
The bootleg’s hair is even worse on this side – we have a hole in her fringe with some scraped off paint blob just under that. The seam between the fringe and the main hair body is awful too.
Shading seems to have been mostly avoided on this side, and some of her hair paint is on the hair clip. All in all, not very nice to look at close up.


One nice thing is the legs are a lot less deformed when they’re in statue form, and the leg stripes do stay whole. For the official, I do wish the leg articulation was better – there isn’t a lot of it, so the slightly derpy appearance isn’t offset by much flexibility to be honest.
The painting isn’t too bad on the bootleg – about prize tier quality, though seeing as I paid a prize-tier price, it’s actually decent considering. They have actually painted the backs of her legs properly, which is unusual for a bootleg.
For the most part, they’ve done a decent job of removing the joints, but still looks a bit strange in places (mostly her knees) due to the source figure. At the back, her shoes have a joint line which isn’t correct for a non-articulated figure as the plugsuit is all one piece. Interesting they managed to mould out the knees but not the ankle joint entirely.

Sliver “screwhead” paint seems to have gone walkies on bootleg Asuka’s right sleeve… Paint is a bit sloppy here, especially on her left arm.
Attempted to get the official in the same pose – but I’m not always the best at posing. The official has the advantage she can have many poses with the arms, unlike this more statuesque bootleg.
With the elbows, they’ve attempted to seamlessly remove the joints but haven’t done it too well so she looks a bit like “pipe” arms due to the unrealistic shape. The shoulder joint they didn’t smooth out as they have partially kept this as a joint.
For the wrists, we have lost the cuffs on the bootleg and we just have a peg joint instead of a ball joint.

Let’s try rotating the arms “till you like it”:
Yeah, I’m rotating it… still not liking it. Due to the fixed elbow positions, the arm articulation is pretty pointless. Isn’t a ball joint so you can’t even bend the arms outwards – just up and down. The wrist articulation has some point as it does allow her to grip the doll a bit easier, but equally well, if the hands were locked into the correct positions it wouldn’t matter much.
So your main two poses are having her hands together or holding her doll. Or this weird “karate” pose.

Let’s give her the doll:
Yeah, she can hold it without it slipping out, but you’re going to be quite limited on how she holds it. The official you could go for a few different holding poses, so long as you can balance it. The bootleg you’ve just got to wedge it between her hands and move the arms and hands in their limited ways until you get it to stay.

Rei (aka the white one) spin-around




Rei is also a scaled-down version with the articulation removed. Again, we have the slightly awkward-looking knees and ankles. For Rei, they’ve gone for serious expression with grabbing hands. With the official, you can use the glasses with these hands, but we don’t get the glasses with the bootleg.

Rei (aka the white one) close-ups

Bootleg Rei also has the same glossy face syndrome as her Asuka counterpart. Looking at her eyes, I think they’re closer than Asuka’s but still off – the shines are quite right, though I’m not sure which is the closer red eye colour as to what I envisage Rei as having – they’re both off to me. With the red part, there is more gradient to the darker part on the official.
Moving to her hair, the bootleg has less shading and is quite lumpy around the edges, as is typical of bootleg hair. The black lines on the hair clips is also a bit too thick.
Moving to the upper body, the paint is sloppy in places on the bootleg – the pips and collar aren’t quite right and the upper line isn’t quite shaped right. The “00” isn’t centred properly either. Lastly, the green paint isn’t quite in the right place on the front of the triangles. Whatever they may be.
For the triangles, I actually prefer the bootleg’s as I was never fond of the fact they made these a “floating” part on the official, attached to her upper torso. They look strange and oddly placed – I guess they did this for articulation reasons, but they don’t look great. Wish they attached them to the lower body, possibly as small sliders if they got in the way of the upper torso. So some minor points for the bootleg :P.
Like Asuka, we’ve also got the awkward chest join, but it is less apparent on Rei as she has the red blobs that obscure the between-boob area.

Hair clips:
Again, the hair clips seem to be made as part of the hair mould on the bootleg, which they aren’t on the official. The paint is noticeably worse on the bootleg – we have one of the lines straying quite badly onto her hair, and hair paint on the clip itself.
Looking at the hair, the paint is pretty bad on the bootleg – the two hair halves don’t match and we’ve got dirt and scrapage. The hair strand next to her clip has also been fully adhered to her hair mass, instead of floating at the tip like the official.

An ew for the bootleg… looking quite dirty back here! The shoulder paint is badly done, and we’re missing the black line on the top of her backpack. The 0 has ended up a little slanted on the bootleg, but mostly OK. The bootleg also lacks the shiny finish of the official.
The rest of the paintwork isn’t too bad here, especially considering its small size.

Again, the bootleg’s leg looks more natural due to lacking the joint. However, the legs haven’t been as well melded to the body as Asuka’s so we have a strange seam line by her hip. We also have the ankle seam lines as seen on Asuka too.
The paint stripe hasn’t been painted too well – whilst the edges are straight, it doesn’t fit onto the raised sections properly.
I do like the fact they gave her legs a bit of a pose instead of just having her stand straight – some thought has gone into the posing of this figure.
The backs of her legs have been painted like the official too.

As with Asuka, the arm cuffs are missing and the articulation is limited. And those pipe-like arms. The hands are pretty roughly moulded on the bootleg though, with plenty of excess plastic to see when up close.

More rotating till we like it:
Get a good look at that hand peg :P. The articulation is probably even more pointless than Asuka’s as she has no accessory to hold and less poses where it looks like a natural pose. You’re pretty much limited to having her hands down in front of her if you don’t want her pose to look silly. The two peg joints really don’t have much to offer.


OK, let’s see the thing assembled… erm, well, as best we can, seeing as I’m limited to tacking them to the base!

Officials next to their bootleg counterparts:
Can’t quite get the officials quite like the bootlegs, might get closer if I used just the one Parfom stand. Here you can see how the bootlegs are a bit smaller than the officials.

With Asuka’s doll:
They look kind of cute like this.

Yeah, not a great viewing angle. Other side is definitely the front.

I didn’t do the “facing” pose, mostly because I forgot about it and partly because it’d be hard to do without any pegs – they’d likely have to lean against each other for them to stand, which wouldn’t look good. Their heads can also move, though Asuka’s can’t do much as her hair gets in the way. So realistically, they’re probably going to be posed back to back like this.


Well, telling them apart is definitely not going to be an issue – the near-lack of any articulation gives that one away, as well as being a 2-pack. The bootleg box has quite a bit taken from the official, but has had a fair amount of rework… including poorly-translated English which gives away how not official it is.
For a transformation into non-articulated figures the result is decent considering this was done on a budget. The base is terrible though, seeing as it isn’t functional, and I think they could’ve placed the pegs better so the fronts of the figures were more visible. From the officials you’re losing a lot of features – no articulation and nothing really in terms of accessories. No extra hands or faces were included with the bootleg, so you can’t customise them in this way either.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing an official statue version of this bootleg – I think the back-to-back pose is quite cute with the semi-chibified forms. Whilst the figure box does say you can pose them face-to-face, I think that’s a bit of an afterthought, and not as fitting given the source material.
Overall, this figure pair is decent for a bootleg, but still noticeably bootleg.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Yui Noodle Stopper

Last and potentially least, we’re now up to the last noodle stopper of this set – Yui from Sword Art Online. And one thing that didn’t pass my notice is that Kirito even gets the shaft when it comes to bootlegs – there isn’t a bootleg of his noodle stopper.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,114 (£15.01)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.33

The official I pre-ordered from AmiAmi.


Yui comes with one pair of parts to attach – her wings:
The official ones have a blueish hue to them, and the bootleg’s are more of a plainer colour. Probably slightly less clarity on the bootleg ones, but nothing hugely significant.
The pegs on the bootleg ones has some excess plastic, affecting the fit.

Figure spin-around




From the front, the bootleg is definitely veering off to one side, but she does manage to stay balanced. Some of the paintwork is dodgy, which we’ll look at in close detail below.

Figure close-ups

For the skin plastic, we’ve got a sweaty look on the bootleg with its shiny finish. The colour isn’t off by much, which is a rarity.
Moving to the eye decals, we’re certainly seeing a degradation in quality – we’ve got some yellowish imperfections and the eyes aren’t even the same colour on the bootleg. The entire eyes on the bootleg seem to say “low print quality”.
Onto the mouth – I’m not a big fan of how the sticking-out tongue is done on the original, but the paint bleed on the bootleg makes it even less obvious it’s supposed to be her tongue and not part of her lips.
The hair mould is noticeably jankier on the bootleg, and her hair is plain black unlike the blue-black of the official.

The bootleg’s flower is a paler blue, but I don’t think this really detracts from the figure. However, the left-on excess plastic at the top and more squished nature of it does.
Apparently my official has some kind of mishap/dirt on it… maybe I should go see if I can clean that later.

Other side of the bootleg’s head:
Oof, that poor bootleg seems to have a splitting headache! Poor casting and assembly has meant she has an obvious gap on this side.

The straps on the bootleg have been lazily painted and spill out significantly onto her body. The white paint has also got partly onto the bow, but not too badly.
The moulding and overall appearance of her cloth belt on the bootleg isn’t as good as the official with its shiny finish and stray non-blue paint.
We can see the stars are a paler purple too – let’s take a closer look at those.

Bottom of the dress:
The bootleg print is a few shades lighter and doesn’t quite line up with the edge of the dress. The pattern also doesn’t seem to be the same, with the stars being more sparse.

Other side of the dress:
The stars are also lighter and sparser here on the bootleg too – looks like they may’ve mostly chosen to avoid the edge of the dress here. The hands of the bootleg are also translucent caused by thin plastic and thin paint.

Left hand:
The bootleg’s arm is at a different angle to the official’s, making the hand point backwards instead of sideways. The poor moulding on the bootleg makes the bootleg’s hand awkwardly shaped, and the thinness of the plastic is apparent from this angle too, with her “darkened” fingers.

The shininess of the bootleg’s skin is visible in this photo near her shoulder. The white paint has a number of scratches and imperfections on the bootleg, plus we have a very visible seam. The band is also not very good on her – the paint doesn’t reach to the edges, and the parts seem to be different so we don’t have the natural indentations to add detail to the ribbon.
The overall shape of the bootleg is bad – which is why her pose is so off from the front. Here we can see her back isn’t bent right and her backside is an odd shape compared to the official. .
Lastly we have the hair – the bootleg’s being overly black and not posed as nicely as the official’s, meaning it lacks the appearance of motion. The hair strand near her back is also differently positioned – on the official it helps hide where the wing joins to her back, but the bootleg leaves this fully on show. This also reveals how the wing on the bootleg didn’t quite go fully into place – we can see some of the wing’s peg still visible.


Well, the bootleg is cheap. Was cheap and looks cheap. I’d say the main tells on this one is the poor pose, the poor paint and the extra seamlines. Out of the noodle stoppers I got for this batch, I think this one is probably the hardest to tell apart without the official next to it.
Still isn’t great, but not really horrible either until you look up close.

Official vs Bootleg: Max Factory “Death by Embracing”

This is a bootleg I almost bought a few years ago when trying to find this figure for a reasonable price. In the end, I found it for a price I was willing to pay, and forgot about the bootleg.
So did I buy the right thing? How disappointed would I have been if I did buy the bootleg?

Is she Death by Embracing or Death by Embarrassment?


MSRP (without tax): ¥10,286
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥10,430 (£73.11)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $30.88 (£24.93)

The official I bought secondhand via Solaris Japan.

This blog is a long one – if you want to skip sections, the sections are as follows:

  • Box
  • Blister
  • Base
  • Kuroyukihime (3 parts)
  • Black Lotus
  • Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime (2 parts)
  • Conclusion


The official box we can see the figure, and the bootleg box, it seems not. We have an interesting collection of shapes and minifigs.

Looks like a similar story for the side… Super Heroes… waitwaitwait… let’s open this and start again.

Box, for real

Upon receiving the bootleg, I thought they’d possibly stiffed me on the box, but turns out the not-Lego box was just repurposed to protect the bootleg box. It was an incredibly tight fit, so didn’t do a huge amount to protect the box. It still got dented, but suppose that’s better than being caved in.

The front box design has been simplified from the original – the window is now mostly square instead of the multiple cuts of the official. The bottom of the box’s design has been repurposed and moved over to the left, and a new, plainer background put behind it to add contrast.
We still have the Accel World logo at the top left of the box, but not the Max Factory logo or the authenticity sticker.
Despite the larger window space in the bootleg box, we have a less clear view of the figure – we can see the crossed sword arms of Black Lotus, but not much of Kuroyukihime. The official box we get a good look at the swords and Kuroyukihime, with Black Lotus’s head peeking out in the background.


The side box art has been switched, and the windows removed from the darker side.
The print quality is noticeably worse on the bootleg, with the colours merging into each other to some extent. We also have some fuzziness from the artwork being shrank down to fit the smaller box.

The artwork on the back of the bootleg box has been shrunk down to fit, but not quite enough to avoid being lopped off at the top, likely owing to different proportions in the box shape. It works, but it is obviously sloppy.
The bottom area has entirely been reworked with an entirely different set of information, including a new barcode. This information arrangement seems to be the “signature” for some bootlegger, and this barcode number seems to be associated with a variety of bootlegs with a similar information box.

The official has the same artwork as the front of the box, and a window to see into the box. Not sure what the purpose of this box window is, but it’s there.
The bootleg also copies the front of its box, but does not include the window.

The official repeats the “logo” for the figure, as well as having Max Factory. The bootleg is about as boring as you can get, with some overprint from the sides of the box.

Opening the bootleg box:
Well, we’re off to a good start here…

For the official, we can see the glued-on window for the top of the box and the whiteish cardboard that the box is made of.
The bootleg box they’ve decided to go fancy and print images on the inside of the box. Interesting.

Box insides:
The official has an orange patterned liner, with a cut-out for the box side window.
The bootleg… has the various box images tiled in a complete mess. Interesting idea, poor execution.

Let’s look at the glue quality of the bootleg box:
Womp-womp. Barely hanging on. And this box wasn’t even flattened for transit!

These boxes are easy to tell apart if you’re familiar with the official. The bootleg box has a few weirdnesses of its own which could also potentially give it away – the front looks overly plain in a way, and the information banner on the back is off. From the banner, the “MADE IN CHINA 2019” part stands out the most to me, though if someone’s familiar with JANs, the barcode starting with a 6 is a clue that things are amiss.


The bootleg blister is smaller and much more dinged up that the official, and not just due to the transit. The plastic of the bootleg’s blister has a lot less clarity to it, pretty much hiding the back blister. As my official figure was secondhand, I can’t guarantee that the base was the correct way around on release, but I suspect it was. What I can confirm is the bootleg’s was packed backwards.

Ah yep, here’s the logo on the bootleg base. Here we can see the bootleg comes with the same blister arrangement as the official. And we can also see where the fin part has gotten snapped off, presumably in transit. Though I do half-wonder if it actually snapped off in the factory and was just tossed into the box where I found it.

Front of the smaller blister:
Whilst this part has been packed the same for the bootleg, it is noticeably different at this stage, without even having to take the parts out.

Bootleg blister “feature”:
Due to Kuroyukihime’s stray hair pointing in the wrong direction on the bootleg, they’ve cut a hole in the blister to accommodate it.
Here is a closeup of the hole after she’s been taken out of the box:


The first noticeable thing is the messy paint on the motif on the front of the base – the bootleg painting is fairly sloppy. The official base is a shiny black, whilst the bootleg base is matte.
Looking at the water, the official’s fits in the recess provided, but the bootleg one sits proud.

Let’s look closer as to why:
The bootleg has an extra lug here, but no extra indentation to go with it, so it won’t sit in the hole properly.
The official only has one lug at the back:

The water:

The bootleg’s water has less subtle shading and is more orangey in tone. The bootleg lacks the indent(s) required to sit neatly within the rim of the base.

Base from the top, with the water:
The bases look fairly similar from the top – the main difference is the orange parts are different colours. Both the water and the inner of the bootleg are more orangey.

Base top without the water:
Here we can see the bootleg base inexplicably has four lugs. Guess they wanted things even?
For the official base, the supports and the bottom of the base match in colour whilst the bootleg’s support is more flesh-toned than the bottom.
The bootleg base also looks scuffed-up on the top despite being bought new.

Close up of the inside:
The bases have the same support structure on the inside. Looking closely at where the bottom of the base joins the sides, the bootleg isn’t quite as well joined.

Here we can see where the back of the official base attracts all of the dust. Anyone else remember the piano black device fad? Yeah.
The bootleg is a much more matte black, and we have some scrapes along the top corner.

The bootleg base misses out on the copyright text, and has some extra holes which I guess were supposed to tie up with the internal supports.
The official base is much cleaner in terms of smoothness of the plastic. Please excuse the fingerprints!

If you want to just display Black Lotus, you can cover the water up where Kuroyukihime kneels:
Both match their respective waters and look fine. Personally not a fan of this piece as it can’t look seamless.

Tap test:
The bootleg is actually a bit of a looser fit and easier to dislodge out of place, especially with the water disc not sitting properly within the base.

Overall, the bootleg base is reasonably similar, but falls down in functionality. The water part doesn’t sit right which spoils its look and means the water shifts about.

Kuroyukihime accessories

Kuroyukihime can be displayed separately or as part of the diorama. As such, her legs are an acccessory.

So let’s take a look at them:
The official legs have some shading – mostly visible by her toes and the back of her thighs. The bootleg legs are one paler flat colour and have a slightly shiny finish.

Leg peg holes:
The tops of the legs interestingly are differently-shaped between the bootleg and the official – the bootleg’s are rounder and chunkier than their official counterparts. They also lack the “L” and “R” markings that the official has.

Kuroyukihime spin-around




The bootleg’s hair is noticeably darker, and her skink has a more reddish tone. We can also see her stray hairs point upwards instead of downwards towards the front.

Kuroyukihime close-ups

Hair strands:
An oof for the bootleg here – the hair strands have been attached by squeezing out a blob of glue then jamming them on there. Looks awful, especially coupled with the excess plastic.

Top of her hair:
The official has a subtle hair shine, which adds depth to the hair whilst the bootleg is just a flat black. With the main hair seam, it has been minimised on the official but the bootleg has a large gap on this side which give the hair a strange shape. The cast of the bootleg’s hair has lost the strand details in the main body of the hair too.

The bootleg forgoes the nail polish, and looks much paler than the official. The sculpting is OK from this angle on the bootleg though.

The eye decal on the bootleg has lighter colours and less contrast. The brown line that should be above her eye has been moved to be closer to her eyebrows on the bootleg.
Looking at her mouth, the official’s has been painted to emphasise her expression and the bootleg’s looks like she’s wearing lipstick, which doesn’t really suit the scene.

Back of her hair:
The difference in hair colour is quite apparent back here – I like the subtle shade of blue the official has been painted with. The official’s hair also has a highlight towards the bottom.
The bootleg feels more like a prize figure, with the flat black and slightly shiny finish.

Hair tips & bum:
With the hair, the bootleg’s is less defined and has bits of excess plastic.
However, the real show-stopper is the panties – the official’s have been put in a position of slightly pulled down, but the bootleg’s… is just weird. Her ass cheeks are shaped strangely, which makes it look like the panties are inflicting serious damage on her legs, which is also producing a strange gap that makes it look like she’s got a huge hole in her butt.

Looking at the tips of her hair, the bootleg’s are a fair bit messier than the official’s. If we look underneath the bootleg’s hair tip, we can see some glue spilled onto the body – not so good.
The body sculpt is actually decent and looks OK on the bootleg. Some of the panty paint has gone onto the bootleg’s body though, and the legs don’t attach quite as neatly as their official counterparts.

The bootleg’s feet are noticeably more pallid, mostly due to the lack of paint detail. The plastic is also thinner, leading to a small amount of translucency in the toes.

Now to take Kuroyukihime’s legs off and see how she looks assembled to the base.

Leg pegs:

The official’s leg pegs aren’t painted and cast in a milky-white plastic which differentiates the pegs from her knickers.
The bootleg went ham on the paint making this area look awful. Coupled with the poor casting, her nether regions looks strange and lumpy. The paint isn’t going to help with the fit, but they have added some channels to the pegs for some reason. Not sure why.

Attaching to the base:

The bootleg was a pain to attach to the base – the pegs aren’t the right shape and size, so wouldn’t assemble correctly. I did get it in a bit more than this, but it won’t assemble into the holes properly without modification of the pegs. The water disc does not do much to hide the poor assembly of the bootleg.

Here are some photos of later on during the shoot where I made a bit more of an attempt to assemble her:

Yeah, still not great, especially comparing to the official which attaches pretty much seamlessly.

Kuroyukihime alone on the stand:
She looks strange without Black Lotus in my opinion, but hey, this display option exists if you want… As the bootleg won’t assemble properly, the water hole looks strange as it doesn’t match up with her body at all.
To me, the official looks sad and resigned, the bootleg, with her painted mouth and sticky-up hair looks a bit surprised instead.

Black Lotus

Black Lotus comes as three parts – two arms and the main body. The main body slots into the base behind Kuroyukihime. The arms need to be separate pieces so you can assemble her around Kuroyukihime.
The official gives you some instructions on how to do this, and warning to be careful with Kuroyukihime’s hair:

Outside of arm:
Looking at the overall appearance, the bootleg is shinier than the official. The orange-red parts are more of a dark terracotta colour on the bootleg.
Looking at the blade itself, the bootleg is a bit irregularly-shaped, especially towards the tip. At the top end of the arm part, we also have one less piece, which can be seen just underneath the wing-shaped bit at the top.

Inside of the arm:
Here we can see that the arms attach with different peg styles – the official has two round pegs and the bootleg has just the one square peg.
The paint tries to be similar to the official, but misses quite significantly in my opinion.

Closer look at the pegs:
Yep, quite different attachment systems here. The official has the the curved piece and its attaching block on the arm – this is on the main body for the bootleg. Looks like the bootleggers didn’t realise which was the peg for gluing and which was for user assembly.
The bootleg part also has a bunch of scratches and what looks like excess glue.
With the paint, the orange isn’t blended well, causing a less subtle shading effect. We’ve also got the lower blocky part in the middle painted incorrectly.

Here the “missing” piece on the bootleg is more obvious. The purple “glass” isn’t as nice on the bootleg and doesn’t have the strong colour of the official. We’ve also got some bad seaming on the bit just below, with a mould mark that hasn’t been sanded off.
The edge parts that are painted the orangey colour on the official haven’t been painted the same on the bootleg, which gives it a less striking appearance.

Again the paint isn’t as precisely done on the bootleg and we have the shiny finish. The moulding isn’t showing much in the way of defects either, which is a change from usual.

Oh, found the defects! The bootleg sword tip is bent and not pointy. The underside of the blade also doesn’t have the same sharp shape as the official either .

OK, that’s the arms looked at – let’s look at the main body.
Starting with the head, the closest thing we have to a face:
Going straight to the “face”, the bootleg misses out on the orange-brown paint on the visor. The purple plastic is more see-through, not properly obscuring the silver possibly-face behind.
Moving to the top of her helmet, the black is darker than the official’s and also doesn’t have paint accents.
Moving to her fins and lower helmet, the bootleg is bright orange, which is a stark contrast to the official. The bootleg’s chest also suffers from too high contrast – the orange is very bright and there isn’t any shading on her breast armour, making it look odd. Ordinarily, Black Lotus is, well, black, so the bootleg’s painting doesn’t capture that the orange-brownish parts are supposed to be due to the lighting from the pool below.


And here we get to see the missing fin part again. This part can’t be easily repaired as the plastic is quite thin here. No idea why the bootleg is just orange plastic here – looks so odd. I guess they didn’t realise that these parts were partially painted and not orange.
For the purple parts of the fins, the bootleg’s is overly pale again, same as the other purple parts on it.
Looking at the inside of the fins, the official’s is black as this part doesn’t get the uplight, but the bootleg is stupid-orange.

The bootleg has quite a bit of stray spray, making her shoulder look spattered. We also seem to have a gluey fingerprint too. The official has no such problems, and looks quite smart.

Arm connectors:
Here we see the “missing” part on the bootleg that should be attached to the arm part instead. The official has been designed so the arm pegs go snugly into this deep hole so that the arms attach securely but are still removable. The bootleg’s incorrect attachment means that the bootleg figure’s arms are quite easy to accidentally knock off.

Here, the bootleggers have gone ham on the paint, leaving her too orange. The bootleg’s diamond detail is very different – for some reason they’ve decided the surround should be silver and the gem should be a reddish colour. Black Lotus has two colours – black and purple – silver doesn’t enter the equation, so not sure what spurred this decision.

I like the stark shading of the official, and the bootleg entirely misses out on this. Instead we’re treated to a vista of orange plus a bunch of scratches and marks in the paint. The difference in finish is pretty noticeable back here. At the top-middle of the bootleg’s back we have a noticeable seam line that seems to have collected some paint.

Base peg:

The official’s is unpainted skin-coloured plastic, to match the inside of the base. The bootleggers have decided the peg should also be shaded… despite this bit being firmly out of view when assembled.
The pegs are close to the same shape, but the bootleg’s has thinner edges and isn’t in quite the same position relative to the bottom of the figure.

Let’s get her plugged into the base so we can have a closer look at her:
The official slots in nicely, with maybe a bit of fiddling to get it into place. The bootleg doesn’t assemble right, meaning both the bootleg Lotus and Kuroyukihime don’t go into this base right.

What we have now:

Yeah, that bootleg is looking pretty sad already with its ill-fitting parts and broken fin.

Front of the wires:
For a bootleg, the casting came out well here and the gaps in the wires are still present and distinct. What’s lacking is the paint job – the wires are just painted lightly orange here, and have no gradient like the official’s.
The lower diamond on the bootleg also has a silver frame, but the diamond itself seems to be more purple.

Back of the wires:
Much more thought has gone into the official’s paint and has been done to better reflect the intended lighting of the scene. The bootleg’s is… mostly sprayed from the right. Doesn’t look terrible, but doesn’t look great either.

Black Lotus spin-around

Before we look at the figure fully assembled, let’s take a look at Black Lotus on her own. I should’ve put the blanking piece on for this… but I didn’t. So you’ll just have to imagine it.



From the front and side shots, we can see the bootleg’s arms don’t sit perfectly, and sort of lean on each other to stay attached. The official has no such problems, and are rigidly attached and take a bit of force to get back out. Almost thought this spin-around was going to be a fail with the bootleg falling apart.
Other than the arm issue and the broken fin, the bootleg does look broadly similar to the official. However, the bootleg’s paint doesn’t make it quite as clear where the orangey light is coming from and does somewhat detract from its appearance.

Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime spin-around

OK, now let’s look at these fully assembled!



I think the official looks significantly better than the bootleg – the poor fit of the bootleg’s parts doesn’t allow the two figures to pose correctly as well as being a pain to assemble. From the side, these assembly issues are even more apparent as we can see parts of the figure that should be hidden by the base.
When put side-by-side, the lacking elements of the bootleg’s paintwork become painfully apparent and the orange fins look extra-ridiculous.

Black Lotus & Kuroyukihime close-ups

Just a couple of images here, to highlight the issues of the fully-assembled figure.

Upper shot:
Kuroyukihime is supposed to be grabbing at Black Lotus, but her hands are too high on the bootleg, making it look like she’s entirely failing to do so. We’ve also got the painfully-obvious hair seam here.

The framing of her face doesn’t work as well on the bootleg, and her expression is off. The official has a sad resignation and the bootleg looks… sort of concentrating?
The hair strands on the official hang over the arm blade, but the bootleg’s hair strands are nowhere to be seen here, and sticking up strangely instead. I like the way the official has the hair strands over the blade, adding more depth to the figure as a 3D object, even if it makes assembly a bit more of a pain to ensure you don’t damage these strands (they do have some flex to them, but don’t want to pull at them or rub them against the blade, lest they do eventually mark each other).


Telling the boxes apart is pretty easy – with the different window, it’s easy to spot that it isn’t the same. There’s several clues on the bootleg box that it isn’t the real thing – enough to have vaguely suspicious people question it.
Telling the figures apart is also relatively easy – the paint on Black Lotus gives the most clues that the bootleg isn’t official – the shading is poor and we have incorrect colours – chiefly the orange fins and the silver diamond parts. With Kuroyukihime, it’s harder to tell at a glance, but the poor hair gives it away.
In the case of someone taking this bootleg monstrosity home, it’d become quickly apparent that all was not well when none of the pieces fit together as they should.
In terms of a bootleg, I find this one pretty bad – poor colouration, poor fit and just… poor. You could possibly mod some of the bits into something, but I don’t think it would look good to display. Someone familiar with Black Lotus would likely find the fins silly… or at least I do. Doesn’t fit her at all! The visor is also pretty disappointing and doesn’t uphold the mystique that all the other Black Lotus figures have.
The parts could be interesting for custom figure projects, but as a whole, wouldn’t recommend. Save up for the official one!

And to conclude: The bootleg is indeed Death by Embarrassment!

For those who are already familiar with Accel World (plot spoiler):

I am aware that these two characters are the same person – chose to write the article not acknowledging this, for anyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Sinon Noodle Stopper

Time for another noodle stopper – this time Sinon in her swimsuit. Hoping for a day at the beach instead of a day in your noodles. Let’s see if we’d let either of these anywhere near a pot of noodles.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,160 (£15.11)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.00

The official I pre-ordered from AmiAmi

Figure spin-around




Looks like bootleg Sinon has slathered on the sun block a bit too thickly and she is very shiny. Paintwork is noticeably mediocre in a couple of spots, but at least she actually stays on the stand.

Figure close-ups

This figure isn’t very complex, so this will likely be one of the shortest Official vs Bootleg articles I will do…
Let’s start with the face, as is traditional:
The bootleg’s face is actually decent, though the eye colour is off. Hair is a similar story – it has similar shading, but the colour is off. The white chequered print suffers though – all of these bits are printed unevenly on the bootleg, with little in the way of alignment.
Looking to her right arm, we can see where the bootleg hasn’t been assembled correctly, leaving a gap between her swimsuit strap and the arm itself.
Looking at her hands, the bootleg’s have ended up slightly out of place, making her pose look a little off.

Side of her head:
And the quality nosedives. The square hair grip(?) in her hair has become a blobby shape on the bootleg. The bootleg’s hair has some blobby, messy paint plus the shading doesn’t extend around to the sides – only the front-facing parts. On the official, the paint shading continues around to the hair tips at the back. The bootleg’s goggles are also sporting some paint mishaps and poor moulding.

Top of her head:
Main feature here is her goggles – the official’s look nice, if not terribly see-through. The bootleg’s are quite badly painted, with the silver all over the place and the inner blue-black layer not being evenly painted, leaving a gap in the paint towards the top.
Her stealth ahoge has also been flattened on the bootleg, whilst her fringe noticeably sticks out on the official.

The bootleg’s has been painted very sloppily, leaving a lot of black paint smeared on her arm. We also might have a fingerprint just to the left of the chequered marks. Near this spot we can see where the print didn’t quite align properly and the line doesn’t go into the middle of the chequered square.
The official isn’t flaw-free, but certainly looks a lot nicer than the bootleg to me.

Let’s turn her around a bit:
The poorly-assembled parts on the bootleg show up a lot here, and the way the black paint has been done on the strap makes it stand out more.
The grey paint on the bootleg doesn’t fare much better either – lots of slop on her skin, and a chip in the paint on her bottoms. All the paint is overly shiny here too on the bootleg – most of it is fairly matte on the official.

Her back:
We can see the paint isn’t flawless on the official – but this is fairly normal for a figure at this price point. From this angle, the thinness of the bootleg’s paint on the straps becomes fully apparent – could’ve done with another coat.
Looking at the hair, the moulding isn’t as sharp as the official, which is to be expected of a bootleg. The seam lines are about the same here though.
The bootleg’s legs are not properly inserted either, especially the left.

Flipping her over:
Paint is a bit more all over the place on the bootleg, plus it looking shiny. The bootleg’s left leg looks like it wants to escape the rest of her body.



The band details are sort of lost to the shiny paint on the bootleg, and both legs are slightly outward, revealing more of her crotch. Official is a bit marred here, but I think the paint is better as it doesn’t have the missing bits at the bottom of the band.

And now we come to the end of Sinon… her feet:
The bootleg’s are slightly different in position, but have otherwise come out well. And a feature unique to the official: a copyright notice, making this the easiest spot to check if it is an official version or not.


As far as the noodle stoppers go, this seems to be one of the better ones – the paint isn’t hideously off, has some shading, and she actually perches on the stand as she should. However, the bootleg is still noticeably inferior if inspected – the shiny plastic does give it away at any distance, and the paint is spilling out badly in various spots. Some parts are assembled incorrectly, leaving noticeable gaps.
For telling the two apart, the shiny skin is fairly obvious, along with the lack of copyright on her foot. Whilst the chequers have some flaws on the official, they are a bit of a mess on the bootleg.