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:
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.

Official vs Bootleg vs Bootleg: Skytube Hermaphroditos (Melonbooks)

On my hunt for bootlegs to compare, I found this figure had not just one but two different bootlegs so I had to get both to see what they’re like.

The first bootleg is your “standard” bootleg and is an attempted copy of the figure. The second is a “soft version” featuring a squidgy body. So let’s see if the soft version has anything extra to offer than the original or if its bootlegginess outweighs its extra feature.

For the bootlegs, the soft version was slightly more expensive than the hard one, but due to ordering the hard one boxed and the soft one unboxed the cost was about the same for both. Didn’t really need two bootleg boxes that were likely to be the same.


MSRP (without tax): ¥15,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥15,220 (£112.52)
Price I paid for the bootlegs (inc shipping): £15.64/each

The official I preordered from Nippon Yasan. Before they went to being totally useless.


The official has a flap, hiding the figure from public view whilst the bootleg does not want to hide its secrets. The bootleg box’s front is a copy of this front flap with the logos removed. And yes, both say “Hermaphroditus”, with a u. Due to being a copy, we can still see the bottom of the figure outline underneath the “illustrated by” text which looks odd underneath the box window.
The bootleg also has a weird green border on the edges of the box – not exactly an attractive addition, but I guess that prevents any print alignment issues being a problem.
The window of the bootleg’s box has been made to compliment the front design, and they’ve actually done a decent job on this to not make it look obviously bootleggy.

Front flap open:
Here, the official box shines – we have the artwork the figure was based upon on the inside of the flap and a very large window showcasing the figure. Originally there was some foam pieces covering the figure’s chest and crotch, but I don’t have those any more.
We notice the official doesn’t start off with her ring of lilies on her head, and the figure itself is in a different orientation in the box.
We also have a different showcasing of accessories – the official just has the penis part up front, albeit hidden in modesty packaging. The bootleg chooses to showcase the penis-hiding cloth, and the other bits are jammed in a hole to the left of the viewing window.

The bootleg is a copy of the official here – again, with the logos edited out and a olive-y green border added and a small helping of poorer print quality. I’d say this bootleg box is better than most of the others I’ve looked at – there’s less noise in the detailed sections and the contrast between colours has mostly been preserved, even if the colours aren’t quite the same.
If it wasn’t for the horrible green border, the box sides would be a near-match.
Side-by-side, we can see the bootleg box is fractionally shorter.

Mmm, more gross border. And logo removal.
Here the boxes differ quite a bit – the background image has weirdly been stretched all the way to the bottom of the box, allowing less viewing of the figure images on the bootleg.
Inside of the information box, the logos have been replaced with some age warnings, as apparently the one above the barcode was not enough. The text above the barcode has been changed, as apparently we can’t acknowledge Ban! on the back of the box too.
On the subject of the barcode, we have a different one – which apparently is for a bromide set related to this franchise. Very strange! Not sure if it is coincidence or if they just happened to have that product to hand when deciding a barcode.
Also missing from the box is the authenticity sticker – no surprises there.

Here we can see the bootleg box is much bigger than the official but we do have the same overall design. The official has the company logos, plus some of a brown border. The bootleg box sort of has this, but it has been thinned down to match their additional “hide the defects” border.

Both of these boxes have the same flap arrangement, albeit the bootleg one trying to take itself apart due to it being shipped flat. I prefer the official’s brown colouring to the green of the bootleg.

Box inner:
The official box has a separate inner that can be taken out and has a nice, shiny finish to it.
The bootleggers have decided to save themselves cardboard and have printed on the inside of the box. We can also see the rushed glue job on the box windows.

Here we can see the size difference in the blisters – the official is taller and thinner and the bootleg’s is shorter and fatter. The accessories included with the bootleg are all in this same blister, mostly jumbled together.
The official also has this accessory tray:
This tray houses the accessories in the shapes they’re needed, as well as accessories the bootlegs don’t have. More on that later.

Overall, the boxes are easy to tell apart, if you know what the official looks like. The bootleg’s box is actually a decent rework of the box, so I wouldn’t say it would be immediately obvious to someone not familiar with this figure, however the image on the back is kind of a big clue if you see the cut off border. If you’re aware of bootlegs, the lack of company logos is a dead giveaway though.


For the bootleg without the box, this is how she came:
Yeah, not exactly an attractive display.

If we open up the containing bag, we get these bags:
Well, at least the parts aren’t going to be rubbing up against each other too much.

Bagged the way she is, maybe she’d pass for a lewd prize figure?


Accessories… this figure has a selection of them! One of the design features of this figure is you have a variety of ways to display her, with varying levels of lewd.
The official gives you an instruction sheet to help you put the bits together:
Whilst I think you could get by without the instructions, it does help with showing you how to do the vines and noting that the penis is magnetic. This instruction sheet shows some of the things the bootlegs don’t have, so wouldn’t make sense for them to include it anyway.

Due to the way the official ones are packed, these are pretty much in the shape you need them in. No such luck with the bootleg ones – prepare for a fight to try and get these into place should you subject yourself to the bootleg.
The soft bootleg’s vines are especially awful – these are more like fish tank decorations than figure accessories. The colouring and the plastic texture is all wrong.

Tip of the crotch vine:
Only the official has a magnet on this vine piece, rendering the other two useless. This vine is supposed to be usable to cover her crotch if you don’t have the penis attached – both of the bootlegs fail at this.

Hard vine tip:
Again, lacks a magnet, but this one has the hole for one. This vine is less problematic without a magnet, but still means there will be difficulties when trying to get the bootlegs to look good with the vines.

Robe front:
The robe parts of these figures are three very different colours. The official has a slight amount of translucency, and a brown tint to it. The hard bootleg is pretty much a solid colour and very white. The soft bootleg has decided to go with no colour whatsoever and is fairly see-through. All three attach with a ball at the top, but with varying degrees of how well that happens.
Due to the clearness of the soft bootleg’s robe, we can see the magnet inside it from the front.

Robe back:
Looking closely, we can see some degradation in the sculpt between the robes – the hard one is slightly off, and the soft one a bit more.

Robe bottom:
The official and hard version features two plugged holes, and the soft version features one unplugged hole – there is a reason this one is different, which we will see later.

Penis ‘robe’:
This part can be used to cover the penis if you want her to have one, but not have it fully on show. These parts match the colour of their robe counterparts, though the hard one comes with a bit of free dirt. Due to the plastic used and the poor packaging of the bootlegs, the bootleg ones are somewhat bent. This could be remedied by heating, bending and cooling the part to set it into place… but we ain’t got time for that.
The sculpt of this part is fairly similar for all three. The hard one I think is a bit thicker at the edges than the official.

Penis robe top:
Reminds me of the fin of the orca in “Free Willy” (willy, heh). As we can see, the bootleg ones are of varying degrees of bent. The hard version has a very prominent seam line across the top, and the soft one isn’t quite as bad.

Penis robe bottom:
Due to the colouring, the official is a little hard to capture. The hard one has no such issues, and you can see the chunky thickness of the edges. The soft one seems to have been moulded badly and the folds are filled with plastic.

Penis robe magnet:
Each one uses a different shaped magnet – the official’s is oblong, the hard more square and the soft one has decided to be completely different and gone for a round one.

Sheathed penises:
Yep, these fit, so we should be able to demo these… The hard bootleg gives the ultimate privacy and nothing is visible through its white plastic. However, the soft version offers no such privacy and is very visible through the “fabric”. So I guess the choices for the soft ver is lewd or, erm, still kinda lewd.

OK, with that preview, let’s get onto the accessory you’ve all been waiting for! OK, OK, maybe not all… but here it is anyway!

Side of penis:
Three very different colourations on these too. The official’s head colouring is much more blended into the penis than the hard one, and we have a vein detail not present on the others – it is pretty subtle, but it is there on the shaft.
The end of the hard bootleg’s penis is a bit of an odd, peachy colour and seemingly a bit smaller. The skin colour is OK, but not a match for the official.
And then there’s the soft bootleg version… which looks like the blood has left it, barring a bit at the bottom. Erm, she’s not supposed to be dead! I think this penis might be staying erect from rigor mortis rather than arousal. It’s not great to look at, and the colouring is all wrong.
All three have an odd-looking divot in the ball facing the camera – this part is where the ball touches the leg, so doesn’t show when on display.

Top of penis:
The official looks decent, the bootlegs… not so much. The odd colourations are even more obvious from this angle, in my opinion. The soft ver also comes with some bonus dirt.

Bottom of penis:
Here we can see the bumpy bit where the urethra runs through, which is present on all three. The official we have some shading on the balls, which is a nice touch the others don’t have.
The hard version has a seamline through the balls – not the best look, but not going to be that visible when she’s on display.
The soft version… reminds me of a tampon. From the poor colouring and the shape, it just keeps reminding me of a tampon. Not the best look for a penis!

Lastly, here are two accessories exclusive to the official:
The lily circlet is an accessory on the official, and attached on the bootlegs. The official also comes with two different hairpieces – the one attached by default covers up her nipples, and this one allows the nipples to be seen. The bootlegs only have the default nipple-covering option that is attached to them and not supposed to be removable.

The accessories for the bootlegs are easily inferior to the official ones, even before trying them out. The hard bootleg’s robe parts are passable in colour, but the soft bootleg’s just look silly. The vines on the bootleg versions are not very good, and liable to cause issues when assembling.


The three bases also are very differently coloured – the official’s has a brown wash mostly focused on the recessed parts, and then a dark-coloured wash focusing on the edges of the raised parts. We also have a pair of metal pegs.
The hard bootleg’s base is a paler colour, with some dark wash in the middle section. Interesting take on the original, and I think works OK. We have the same peg arrangement here, but the pegs are plastic.
The soft one is a completely different colour. Not sure how they chose this brown, but it doesn’t look very good. We have two plastic foot pegs in the same locations as the others, but we also have a third very chunky, ugly-looking peg towards the back.

Two white bases, one brown.
For the official and hard bootleg, we have two protrusions – these should contain magnets to help hold her robe in place. The soft one does not have this – instead we get the ugly peg that goes into her robe.
Didn’t actually test if the magnets are present in the hard bootleg base or robe – became sort of a moot point when assembling these.
Here’s the soft bootleg’s foot showing the hole arrangement that corresponds with its pegs:

The bases are easy to tell apart, especially the brown monstrosity for the soft version. Official base is easily better than the other two.

Figure spin-around

Now for the big reveal! How do they look like, standing together?
Leaning Tower of Drunk. Some people had issues with their official Hermaphroditos not standing up correctly, however I didn’t have that issue with mine.
However, the bootlegs both definitely had standing issues with the hard ver being the worst. She really won’t stand up straight without some serious work in trying to get her legs into a somewhat sensible position. The soft ver stance is OK from some angles, but from the side we can see she can lean badly. For this one, I won’t be surprised if the ability to stand varies drastically from bootleg to bootleg.

Figure close-ups

Time to look at these interesting specimens close up. Yes, it was an absolute pain to do this, and yes the bootlegs kept falling over.

Sensual, confused, and plastered… Showed this photo to my husband and he thinks the soft version is going to murder him. Better not tell him that she’s in the Box of Bootleg, right next to where he exercises.
Neither of the bootleg faces look good in my opinion – they don’t capture the look the official was going for and just look bizarre.
The official’s fringe has been painted thickly so that the hair isn’t translucent there, the bootlegs have decided to go for thinner paint, so we can see through to their foreheads.
The gradients on the hair tips is also different – the official goes to a turquoise-y colour, hard to a yellow-green and the soft ver forgoes green hues entirely and is blue-purple-blue.
In terms of the eye colours, the hard version is pretty close, but the soft version is completely off and has very red eyes, which is probably not helping the potentially murdery vibes.
A lot of the poor expression comes down to the lips – the official’s mouth is quite small and neatly painted. The middle one only seems to have a bottom lip painted and her mouth slightly agape. Soft version has a thick line of lipstick all the way around, in a darker colour, which coupled with the wider mouth opening completely ruins her look as a figure.

The official ones are sculpted and painted well – we have the detail on the leaves, and the stems look really good.
Now to the hard bootleg… we’ve lost the leaf detail, and gained some raggedy edges. The stems are not great, but you can see what they’re supposed to be. We have some shading in a similar colour to the official, but not as well placed.
And the soft version, oh boy. I think she’s killed her lilies. The colour on the shading is off, so it looks like they’re spattered with dirt or blood or something. The stems have lost nearly all of their definition as well as the leaves. Not a great final product.

Top of her head:
All of them have a visible seam across the middle, though the official’s is there for a reason – as her front hairpiece can be switched.
Looking at the seam where one of the back hair strands joins, the official’s is a lot more smoothed out than the other two. We can also see the quality of the vine connecting the lilies is pretty poor on the bootlegs, especially when compared to the official.

Left hair tips:
This part differs quite significantly between all three – the official’s loops around her leg and curves quite a bit downwards.
The hard version is very flat and doesn’t curve down much at all. The shading has some similarities with the official, but is more vibrant and quicker to change shades.
The soft version is the least similar – it takes a different curving route, and doesn’t have the green-yellow at the tips. We also have one strand of the bunch pointing upwards.
Both of the bootlegs have noticeable seam marks – the hard version has a seam running along the hair strand near the camera, whilst the soft version has a horizontal seam towards the tips.

Back of her hair:
The official and hard versions don’t look too dissimilar, though we can definitely tell some detail has been lost in the hair strands. We have a nicer finish on the official, but the colours are pretty similar.
Aaand soft version is doing its own thing again – the upper blue isn’t quite the same, he lighter parts are quite different and we don’t have the pearly finish.

The body colours is where these differ the most – the official is much more tan than the other two, and the soft version is the palest of the three. We have slightly more paint detail on the official (shading underneath her chest), but all three feature some paint highlighting her curves. The soft version’s paint makes it look more like she’s sore than shaded though. Her skin also reflects the light strangely, due to the rubbery material used for her body.
Looking at the hard version’s crotch, we can see a seamline. Is she wearing a skin-coloured swimsuit…?
With the hair, we have one strand that comes in front of her body, the bootlegs both have this bit go behind.

Looking closely at the soft bootleg’s stomach:
Lots of dirt on the rubbery material. Could likely clean this off, but shows how well this material can hold onto dirt. Pretty disgusting to get this figure out of the packet and it already looks like this.

The official’s has some quite accurate sculpting… the bootlegs, not so much.
I did try to get a picture of the hard version’s crotch, but due to her legs it wasn’t very possible, but it is sort of like the soft one, only with a little bit more definition.
On the soft version, we have her seamline just above her labia, making her body look quite strange.

Aka the really hard bit to get right.
This photo also shows why the crotch photo was difficult for the hard version – her legs are much closer together, whilst the soft version’s has more of a gap.
The hard version’s leg vine wrap doesn’t press into the skin like the others, and is connected incorrectly, so her leg is halfway up in the air. With the imbalance, she also leans to her left, increasing the angle she stands at.
With the soft version, we don’t have much in the way of matte finish, making her look shinier than the other two. We also have two leg vines as this is where the squidgy rubber-coated torso connects to the hard plastic of her lower legs. This join is really rather noticeable in person as the texture and and the colours don’t match.

Apologies for the poor focus on the official’s feet. So you’ll just have to trust me when I say her toenails are neatly painted in a subtle nail polish colour – similar to the hard bootleg’s right foot. We’ve also some skin shading that emphasises her toes.
Moving to the hard bootleg, we have some decently sculpted feet too, but she’s used different nail polish on each foot. Kind of strange. The paint is neat enough it looks fine from a short distance.
Soft version doesn’t have any nail polish, leaving her with weird-looking nails. The feet have also been poorly cast, leaving them looking kind of blocky and slightly webbed.

Left arm:
Here we have another vine hiding the arm join. The official’s looks nice, the hard version OK but has gotten a bit loose, and the soft version… last place again. Just looks like some kind of gelatinous thing she’s wrapped around her arm. Also the soft version’s arm skin tone doesn’t match her body in the slightest.

Closer look at the soft version’s arm:
Does NOT match. There’s something really wrong with soft version.
The body wasn’t designed to join at the shoulder, so the wreath isn’t doing a lot to hide that. The hand hasn’t been sanded down, leaving seam lines aplenty.
With her hand on her chest, it makes it very clear that the arm is a lot more yellow-toned than the main part of her body.

In shape, the official and hard versions look very similar, but the hard version misses out on some shading to emphasise the shapes. Soft version ends up looking different largely due to the the material used, and looks kind of lumpy to me, not helped by the shadow caused by the hair in this photo (the other two currently don’t have their hair attached – more on that later). Some of the depth of the sculpt has been lost – if we look at her butt crack, it doesn’t go as deep, and the fold between her bum and her leg isn’t as great.
Looking at the apples, the official’s is easily the shiniest of the three, and we have the more subtle paint shading on it.
Looking at the hands, the official’s nail polish matches with her feet, the hard ver has gone with the darker tone and the soft has gone with none. Again. And the soft version’s arm is yellow and nonmatching with her body again.

Close-ups of the apple:
For the official, I think some concessions were made when sculpting the hand, making it look a bit deformed to me. The hard bootleg carries on this trait, but her hand is pointed outwards more for some reason. The soft bootleg turns the mutant hand up to 11, and just looks awful from the side.
Looking at the tops of the apple, the official has a much daintier stem, and I love the golden finish of the apple, with the red shading at the top. The hard bootleg has made a passable attempt, but that stem does not look like an apple stem. We’ve also got some seam line action.
The soft version has gone for a fully golden apple, which might be a good choice considering how bad the rest of it is. Still, we’ve got bad seamlines and a stem that doesn’t look like an apple stem. Hey, waitamin, is this actually a bomb…?

Now let’s remove the heads, and get some closeups of bits obscured by the hair.
Turns out the soft bootleg’s head doesn’t actually come off, so just shoved her hair out the way a bit.
The official’s nipples have a distinct sculpted shape, and we have a shiny finish to draw attention to the nipple.
The bootleg nipples have lost the shape of the official’s, but look fine to me. I think the shape of the soft version is slightly different, which hasn’t helped with her hand, which doesn’t clasp her boob as it should.
Personally, shiny nipples don’t add anything for me (checked mine, not shiny), so I don’t mind the hard version’s nipples. Soft version a little weird-looking to me though.

Right shoulder:
The official has a wreath part to hide the join here, whilst the bootlegs have… nothing. The official arm comes apart, then this vine piece comes out so that you can use the longer vine piece. For the bootlegs, the arm parts are glued together so they don’t come apart. The soft version has a particularly rough join, not helped by the two material types.

Left hand:
The official fingernails are the nice pearly pink colour as the rest of her nails, with her hand pressing lightly into her breast. The hard version is pretty similar – her fingernail polish isn’t quite as neat and is slightly darker. She has some excess bits of plastic though, that could do with cleaning up. And the soft version is still the pallid blob we saw before floating above her breast. Instead of nail polish, we’ve got some dirt?

OK, time to play with the vines. For the vines, they peg under the foot, like so:

Now to wrap them around her arm…
The official is pretty easy to get into place, with the magnet holding it. The hard bootleg was an absolute nightmare that wouldn’t stay where it was put, and wanted to keep the shape it had from being folded in the box. The soft version’s vine was a bit easier in that regard, but doesn’t hold an attractive “pose”. Just sort of… hangs about.
Assembly for the bootlegs was also harder due to the arms being glued.

Lower part of vine:
Again, the official’s vine holds more shape than the bootlegs. With the official vine, it was a bit of a pain to get in place, needing heating to get the vine peg fully into place.
The bootlegs end up the best of a bad job, and sort of go where they go and everything isn’t shaped quite right so she stands properly on top of the vine. The tolerances are pretty tight on the official, which leaves the bootlegs not working well.

Crotch vine:
As predicted, the bootlegs were an absolute fail – without the magnet the bootleg vines won’t stay in place, and you’d have to provide your own adhesive/magnet.
All the points to the bootleg for this vine. The others are just decorative items.

Fastening the robe:
The official fastens up well, and has a fabric-y feel to it. The hard bootleg one also fastens, but not quite as tightly. However, the paint is a bit thick, giving it a rough appearance. The soft bootleg’s robe is a fail. It doesn’t fasten tightly, and therefore has a habit of becoming undone. Also doesn’t look like anything with its strange clear plastic.

Robe back:
I like the translucent nature of the official’s robe so you can see she’s in there.
The hard bootleg’s also has the thick white paint on the back, and a lack of tidying of the plastic at the bottom of it. I think a white sheet could’ve worked, if it was done better than this one.
The soft bootleg I think is stepping out of a gelatinous blob. It really doesn’t look good. We can also see the extra base peg that helps hold it in place straight through it. Looking at the top of it, the flopping down part is bent upwards.

Penis time!
The official’s penis easily sticks to her body, thanks to the magnets. The skin tones match, so as long as you’re not looking at where they connect, it looks like part of her body.
The hard version bootleg’s one would NOT stick. Just kept falling off. Felt like there was a bit of attraction there, but not enough to hold it. So in the robe it fell.
The soft version’s penis at least stays up, but doesn’t look like it belongs. How do you get a penis that simultaneously erect but looking like it has no blood in it? Guessing she’s using an implant?

The official fits nicer than the soft version. Also the soft version needs to pay more attention to her foreskin when cleaning.

Let’s give covering the penis a go:
Not sure I’ve got the official fully set up right here, but the sheath part matches the rest of the robe well.
The hard bootleg, we can sort of use the robe part to almost get the penis somewhere vaguely in the vicinity of her crotch. The robe parts don’t match very well at all.
The soft version isn’t strong enough to hold the penis and the robe part together, and the whole thing dropped off and nestled itself in her robe. The robe part does match the robe, not that any of it looks good enough for it to matter.

Side view:
Yeah, only the official one looks good. The other two don’t attach right, and just look awful. The bootleg deprives you of penis. So that’s a big fail in my book.

Official alternate hair part:
I do like this hair piece, so this is a large negative to the bootlegs that don’t even include it. If you like to see the nipples on your figures, the official is the way to go.


Overall, there’s no contest with which is the better figure – the official! With more parts, better construction, better painting and just you know… generally better it is the easy winner. I don’t think either bootleg could act as a substitute for the official as there are too many flaws and issues, especially with standing up straight.
Neither can act as easy donor parts figures as the colours and quality of all the parts differs too much. Some of the parts might act as workable replacements, if you’re willing to put some time and effort in.
Telling the figures apart is easy – especially with what they did accessory-wise. If her wreath is glued to her head, it isn’t the official. If her face looks scary… not the official. If the vines look like trash. Yep. Not the official.
Out of the two, I’d say the hard version is nicer overall than the soft version. Whilst you can squidge the body due to the rubbery material, it has a lot more flaws and colouring issues that very much ruin her appearance. Feels like all the budget went into making her rubbery and everything else was skimped out on. Definitely wouldn’t recommend.


After I completed the photos for this review, I decided to investigate the soft bootleg’s head, as parts of it were relatively loose and her head didn’t detach from her neck. The wreath and hair were glued, but not very well.
Turns out her face comes off:
Scary. Turns out the inside of her mouth is an orange blob behind the face. The orange lump is well-attached to the rest of it, so this is as far as I got.
If you want to see her chest not obscured by the hair:
Well, there she is. Not sure what’s scarier – her original face or this orange blank-face.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Leafa Noodle Stopper

Today is another noodle stopper – Leafa from Sword Art Online.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,160 (£15.09)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £3.00

Let’s get this blog started with the spin-around:
Erm, time for some white tack and to start this again… The first fail of the bootleg – it won’t actually act like a noodle stopper as the weighting on her is so uneven she’ll just fall off what she’s perched on.
White tack sourced and applied…

Figure spin-around
Yeah, the finish on the bootleg is looking rough – poor paint, gaps and that brightly yellow hair. Oh, and the unsightly white tack I’ve had to use to keep her on the stand.

Figure close-ups


The eye decals are almost competent on the bootleg – the various bits seem to be all present, albeit in the wrong colour and slightly squashed, plus the lines above her eyes are too thick. The too-thick lines also follow through to her eyebrows and mouth – the eyebrows look OK, but the mouth is somewhat scary at this distance, with the mottled paint.
The bootleg’s hair is a blobby, seamy mess, so nothing unusual for a bootleg here. The hair also entirely lacks shading, whereas the official has darker tones towards the ends of her hair.
I don’t think her hairbands look great on either, but the bootleg’s right hairband seems to have completely missed the mark.


Both are flawed here – my official has some stray paint and the green loops are slightly off from where they should be, though I’d definitely rate the bootleg as worse here – less care has been taken to draw the green line in and the paint has got gaps in from the uneven surface. The bootleg’s moulding is also blobby, misshapen and rough.

Left side of head:

Here we can see more paint shading on the official which is lacking on the bootleg. The moulding is also poor here on the bootleg – most noticeable from where her pigtail goes underneath her fringe – the lack of paint shading and depth makes this look odd. The bootleg’s ponytail also comes with a bonus seam.

Top of head:

Some rough bits to be seen on both here – both have a distinctive seam as part of the fringe part. The bootleg has some very uneven paint here – lots of blobs and mess in the paint itself… and no shading.
The bootleg’s ponytail looks like it is separating too – it didn’t fall off during the review, but I won’t be surprised if it comes off at some point.

Side of her head:

Paint on the bootleg is decidedly rough here – lots of unevenness and blotches. Her hair parts haven’t been assembled correctly, leaving a larger gap above her ear than there should be.
We can also see some laziness with the green paint – the hairband doesn’t even go all the way around.

Back of hair:

Neon, unshaded and bits of bonus plastic – yep, we’ve got most of the usual flaws in the bootleg’s hair. Her ponytail also hasn’t been attached correctly, meaning it sits to the left of her instead of over to the right. Whilst this does mean you can see more of her bum, it’s not doing us much favours due to the flaws (more on that later).
The flower band in the bootleg’s hair is also a plain white, instead of the official’s green-white, showing a cheaping out on the paint.

Let’s get a close-up of that backside:

I think on the official’s sculpt they sculpted it well – you get to see the shape but nothing on show. We’ve also got some creasing in the material to make it more lifelike.
Now the bootleg, oh the bootleg. For starters, the parts aren’t assembled correctly leaving unsightly gaps by her left leg and back. The shape of her bum is slightly lost, making it less well-defined. The green paint has been roughly done and we have what looks like a fingerprint in the white paint, making it look messy.


Here we have the typical armband that is used on a lot of figures to hide where an arm joins the body. On the official, it is mostly doing its job, though there is a little gapping. The bootleg on the other hand has a massive gap all the way around her arm so the join isn’t hidden at all. The paint is also too thin leaving the flesh-coloured plastic showing through. We also have an unsightly seam mark running down her neck and upper arm.
Moving to her top, the bootleg’s is very poorly assembled and the neck strap isn’t even pushed into the hole correctly, leaving it broken and revealing the unsightly assembly hole. The painting is also very poor – the strap lacks the buckle detail and the paint is very messy on the cup. We’re also missing the line detail on the cup.


There was an attempt.
The official’s is far from perfect on mine – one of the lines runs wayyy off, the silver buckle paint is a bit lacking, but we do have the nice little flower ring detail.
And then we look at the bootleg and realise how much worse it could be. The strap is overly thick and rough, and the buckle details aren’t painted at all. The moulding has gone very badly wrong here – the ends of the straps have gone very blobby and odd. Due to this, neither side of the strap has been assembled properly, with her right side nowhere close.
Moving to the cups on her top, the edging paint is very messy – no neat edges here. The inner lines haven’t been painted at all, and the flower ring has missing flecks of paint. Just underneath her top on the bootleg, we can see a decent amount of overage on the white paint too.
Erm, is the bootleg’s stare-face also creeping people out in this photo?


Both of the actual stomachs on these figures looks fine to me, though the bootleg does have bonus shiny. To the bootleg’s side, we can see a visible seam line that doesn’t show on the official and we have some gapping between the parts.
The quality of painting of the green band on her bottoms is about the same on both, but the bows are much nicer on the original – the green paint matches and the bows have much better definition. On the bootleg we can see the peg hole where the bow should attach, and the bottom of the ribbon has gone to a strange rounded shape.

Left leg:

Yeah, the bootleg bow doesn’t look any nicer from this angle. And we get to see her leg looking like it might fall off.
The quality of the plastic on the bootleg’s leg is also particularly bad here – we can see lots of small scratchlike imperfections in the plastic.

Right leg:

Again, the bootleg’s bow is very messy and the wrong colour – there’s a surprising amount of excess plastic left on the bow. Around the bootleg’s bow we can seemingly see some bits of stray glue.
Moving to her hand, the bootleg’s has sunk down a bit so it is no longer resting on her knee – though this change in pose isn’t particularly noticeable unless you have them side-by-side. The bootleg’s hand though lacks definition and has become blobby and looking slightly mutant.


Focus didn’t go so good here… Stupid bootleg hair getting in the way when it shouldn’t do.
Surprisingly, this part came out OK on the bootleg – was expecting it to be as deformed as the hands, but the feet actually came out OK.

The flat side:

Yeah, minimum effort here for the bootleg. Here we can see how poorly assembled this figure was, with massive gapping on both legs. We have a very obvious seam, and the shiny, rough plastic. Plus some excess plastic that wasn’t shaved off.
The official doesn’t have any of the above flaws, and actually has some paint detail on the skin, despite this part not usually being visible.


The bootleg you very much get what you paid for – it’s a low-quality copy of the original with many flaws. Even at a distance, some of the defects are visible – the extra paint on the top, the poor assembly of the parts (especially the top’s strap) and the poorly painted mouth giving her a slight creepy vibe. Even if you can live with the visual flaws, this bootleg has a propensity to roll over due to the incorrect assembly of parts – I believe it’s mostly to do with how her hair was glued on at the wrong angle. So as well as being kinda ugly, she’s not functional either, so definitely couldn’t recommend.
I think the poor quality is fairly evident, but I can see a novice collector dismissing most of the flaws as “cheap prize figure”. It’s a bit unfortunate my official does have a major paint flaw, but looking at the MFC gallery not all of the official ones are like this (might even just be mine).

Official vs Bootleg: Good Smile Company Albedo (Nendoroid)

For this series I decided early on that I’d like to feature a Nendoroid. After some debating of what one to pick, I settled on Albedo, so here she is in all her “glory”. Let’s see how the bootleg can measure up to the original.


MSRP (without tax): ¥4,630
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥4,815 (£32.73)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $14.46 (£11.89)

The official I pre-ordered the re-release.


Interestingly, we have what looks like an extra to my box – the bootleg features the 10th anniversary logo whilst my official box does not. However this is due to mine being the re-release – the original release has it but the re-release does not.
Looking past the 10th anniversary logo the bootleg does not have the GSC logo, which both the official boxes will have, along with the Kadokawa sticker.
Other than that, the bootleg box is a copy but the colours and print quality has suffered. The picture of Albedo on the front looks murky on the bootleg.
If we look to the figure in the box, the official will come with the smiling face equipped by default but my bootleg came with the manic grin face equipped. One thing to note is I have put my official back in the box (as with most of these) so the protective plastic is missing.

Not too much to see here – colours are off on the bootleg and murky print for the detailed parts. Not so easy to tell the differences unless you have them side-by-side.

Round tape vs square tape! A Nendoroid should be always sealed with round tape if it is new.
Interestingly for this box they’ve left all the mentions of GSC’s website & support alone but they’ve taken out the logo in the bottom right. Very half-assed edit job for this one. To “hide” the empty corner they’ve moved the “MADE IN CHINA” text from underneath the materials listing.
Again, we can see Albedo in an off-white on the bootleg box and looking slightly grey.

Top & bottom:
For the top of the box, we have the GSC logo removed and the bottom has an issue with the barcode where there seems to have been an incident with a text box and we’ve lost two of the digits. The barcode itself scans correctly though.
With the barcode error, I suspect they may have worked from the original print file rather than a scan. If I was to guess how they got the file in the first place, I would suspect from the factory that did the box print run rather than some convoluted hack job on GSC servers (easier to bribe a local worker to copy a file. Or walk into the factory and take it for yourself).

Ignoring the colour, these are a match.

No edits to be seen here, just a different shade.

This box is mostly a clone, but fairly obviously not the same due to the missing GSC logos and the accidentally duffed-up barcode. In person, the poor print quality is fairly apparent – if you’ve got Nendoroid boxes, the murky print would be a red flag. However, if there is no 10th Anniversary logo, this is because it is the second release – time-limited logos like these may not be on all releases of a figure.
Whilst preowned Nendoroids may have the wrong faceplate attached, anything being sold as new should have the smiling face.


What’s a Nendoroid without a plethora of bits to customise it? Thankfully Albedo doesn’t disappoint and has a decent collection of arms, two faceplates and wings.

Despite trying to get the order to match, looks like I’ve accidentally switched top left and bottom left of the bootleg arms – oops. All the arms are present though that should be.
The first notable difference is the skin colour – the officials have a nice pale skin tone, whilst the bootlegs are more yellowy. The top-left arm of the bootleg set gets a special award for “most visible seam”, whilst the others aren’t awful in this regard. Honorable mention goes to bottom right.
The white paint is much more grey on the bootlegs, and some of the armbands are pretty sloppily painted. Some of the gloves don’t look to be glued on at quite the right angle on the bootlegs, which will change posing slightly.
Looking at the backs of the arms, some of the bootlegs come with some excess plastic – this will not help with assembly and articulation.

Closeup of a hand:
The rings aren’t painted as nicely on the bootlegs, but aren’t a hideous mess. We can see the thickness and roughness of the bootleg paint here, which gives it that less premium look.

Extra faces:
Again, we have the off skin tone here – really not a match for Albedo. The bootleg faces also look sweaty, thanks to the non-matte finish. Overall, the printed parts of the face look decent on the bootleg – certainly one of the better face prints I’ve seen. The top face is missing its blush by the looks of it though, and the lower face is printed slightly low down, but doesn’t look distinctly “off”.

Backs of the faces:
A look at the quality from “behind the scenes”. The officials are moulded nice and evenly and have had any flashing removed. Two of the three bootleg faces have had a large air bubble in the mould, plus some rough bits of plastic can be seen at the neck slot.

Wing hole protector:
This item is placed into the wing holes on her back to protect them from damage and dirt and probably stopping the hair from scraping the back of her body if you don’t have the wings in.
The bootleggers have seemingly dipped theirs in black paint whilst he official has been made to match Albedo’s colouring. Always interesting to see if bootleggers include parts like this – and in this case they did. Was also assembled into the figure, just like the official.

Visually, these are pretty similar – a slight difference in colour and finish. However, the bootleg ones are a lot rougher to the touch and feel kinda nasty.


An essential accessory for most Nendoroids – let’s take a look how the bootleggers did with this one.
The bootleg base is less blue and isn’t frosted. The part of the stand arm that’s near the top of the picture has an air bubble in the bootleg. Looking at the other end of the stand arm, the bootleg has an extra piece glued on.

If we look at the stand arms, we notice that two of the screws are going the other way through the bootleg vs the official, and the screws they’re using have much smaller heads. The official stand is designed around the screws GSC uses, to ensure a tight and secure fit.
If we look at the top end of the stand arms, there is a difference in the moulding just before the peg part.

If you look carefully at the official, there is the copyright notice. The bootleg has none on any of its four sides. If a stand base doesn’t have any writing on it, it is definitely a bootleg though some bootlegs may have the copyright notice printed.

Figure spin-around

Going to start off with the blister shot today for this:
The official box holds the pieces nicely, the bootleg… not so much! Arms were all falling out and the faces span round. Looks like the wing on the right wants to escape its plastic prison too. The inferior blister plastic really isn’t doing its job.
Well, the bootleg does mostly look like the figure it is supposed to be. One thing that isn’t pictured is the rough, nasty texture of the bootleg paint – this was one of the worst figures I’ve had to handle in that regard and it wasn’t much fun to do the photography for this one due to that.
You may notice the bootleg is looking down – this is the best I could do with it due to the bootleg stand arm.

Figure close-ups

Let’s see why the positioning is a bit useless on the bootleg:
That extra glued-on stand part on the bootleg? Yeah. It really shouldn’t be part of the stand for Albedo, but they included it anyway – it pushes out her hair so she can only miserably stare at her feet if she is facing forward.

Due to the way the head obscures her body, she’ll be disassembled for most of the close-ups. Let’s get her head off and look at her dress:
Aaand the bootleg decided to leave its peg behind. The gold paint on the bootleg hasn’t been painted thickly enough around her neck and is generally messy in most places. The delicate detail of the spider web has been lost as well. Gold paint is a tricky thing, so not a real surprise the official’s is a much nicer colour.
The dress frills are rough and dirty on the bootleg – I don’t think Ainz would be too impressed with this! We’ve also got some stray red paint on the bootleg’s left glove.
The white part of the collar on the bootleg looks really dirty – I wonder if the gold and white paint ended up mixing here. We’ve also got some excess plastic that looks like it is trying to be a fancy collar.

Looking close, my official has some misassembly here… d’oh!
Going to the bootleg, we again have a bunch of gold paint slop. We’ve also got some fairly visible seams marring the side of the dress and her body.

The white paint looks particularly rough and nasty back here on the bootleg. The fabric from the dress knot also looks like it wasn’t cleaned up after being moulded.

The bootleg’s shoes haven’t been fully painted, and look really odd when they’re on show. The shoes should be fully brown, but for some reason they didn’t paint the sides.
Here we can also see where the hole/back protector is inserted into the figure initially.

OK, let’s get that peg out and take a good look at it compared to the official:
Whilst this one does have the Goodsmile face on the bootleg, it is poorly cast and the wrong way up. This is why checking the neck joint can be a good way to ascertain authenticity – replicating this small detail is hard to do on a budget, so it’ll easily look messy if it isn’t cast precisely.

Closer look at the neck hole:
The official’s has been sculpted so that the neck joint will sit within a recess so that it isn’t on show as much. The bootleg has no such luxury and is a shallower divot. The edges and the paint is particularly rough here too. We have missing gold paint on the middle of her neck and one of the spider web strands that go over her chest.
The armbands haven’t been painted properly on the bootleg either – the tops haven’t been painted leaving her with mutant arms.

The head as a whole isn’t awful, but we are lacking some shading in the hair and we do have some roughness in construction.

Behind the face:
Here we can see where the casting on the bootleg has suffered – all the edges are slightly less even than their official counterparts. Some of the curvature has been seemingly lost on the neck part – it curves up more sharply instead of being rounded. The lighter parts of the hair on the bootleg are more blue than purple.

The paint colour for the horns has ended up duller, and both the bootleg horns came with free dirt marks. Yuck. The detail in the hair moulding has been lost on the bootleg, plus the paint has been simplified and looks nasty.

Inside the front hair part:
Again, less precision in the moulding, but is similar other than that.

Downside to the less precise moulding:
The bootleg’s hair doesn’t go together as well as the official’s and will tend to pop out. We can also see that at the top the bootleg parts don’t quite go together as well as they should.
For the shading in the hair, I much prefer the colours of the original, and the bootleg is too dark.
Also getting another good look at the dirt on her horn. Ainz hasn’t been rolling you around the dungeon floor has he?

Next, I tried the wings:
This was as good as I was thinking I was going to get – the bootleg wings do NOT fit well. Her right wing was especially problematic and falling out, so I gave up at this point.

I tried again later, and this time I was successful:
So there is a chance a bootleg will come with entirely defective wings, but I was able to get them in eventually. Due to the looseness of the joint, posing is very limited on my bootleg, otherwise I run the risk of it popping out and starting again.
From these angles, we can see some missing mould details – the wing tips are more rounded and the feather indentations are less on the bootleg.

Wings open and closed:
The bootleg’s wing parts do articulate similar to the official, but on mine may go a little too far if you push it. The action works though, with no breakages/issues.

Lastly, I did an arm swap test:
The bootleg pegs are problematic and generally won’t go in all the way due to moulding issues with the pegs themselves. Switching the arms is easy on the official, but the bootleg will take force and probably heat to get the arms in place. Not really much fun to play with!

I didn’t do parts swap with my official, due to the skin colours being so different – without a repaint it’s not going to look very good. With the wings, I didn’t want to risk damaging the official parts, so decided to skip this outright – ball joints can be quite finnicky in fit, so don’t want to risk damaging the socket/ball slightly as this may make it prone to falling out.


Yeah, bootleg nendos are not great if this one is anything to go by. The bootleg’s articulation was mostly fine, but in appearance it falls down, as well as the poor stand part. At least it didn’t disintegrate in my hands?
What I consider to be the worst feature of this bootleg I can’t photograph – the feel of the paint. Picking it up, it just doesn’t feel nice so can’t really imagine someone wanting to play with it/pose it. This is due to the powdery paint that’s been used and how thickly it has been painted on without any finish to cover it up.
With the accessories, the bootleggers provide a full set, but the quality may make one or two not very usable. Wings are probably going to be a crapshoot as to whether they stay in the holes or not.
As for replacement parts, the stand works but not for this Nendoroid. The skin colour is so off, it wouldn’t go with official parts so not worth it unless you want to customise to match (in which case fixing any fit issues is probably within your skill level).
The boxes are easy to tell apart if you know what you’re looking for, with the missing Good Smile logos. The figure itself would look off to a moderately experienced collector with the lumpy paint and shiny skin. The feel of the figure is probably the biggest clue – once you handle this bootleg, you’ll know.

Official vs Bootleg: FuRyu Asuna Noodle Stopper (Ordinal Scale)

Sword Art Online (SAO) might not have the best reputation, but it is popular enough that its prize figures get bootlegged, so now I have four of the SAO noodle stoppers to look at. First up on the block is Asuna.


MSRP (without tax): n/a
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): ¥2,060 (£13.06)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): £5.53

The official I preordered on AmiAmi.


This one I got the box for, just to see what the boxes are like. I no longer have the original box, so there isn’t a direct comparison here.

Interestingly they’ve kept the FuRyu logo, but removed the JAMMA logo. The JAMMA logo should be sat underneath the FuRyu logo.


This box is thinner than the original and lacks the claw machine grab holes. The sides are also the same side duplicated – on the official one side has the copyright mentioning Kadokawa and SAO.
We can also see the print quality isn’t great and Asuna is a bit bluey and fuzzy.


This is a mildly inferior copy of the original. Also note the dotted circle where there should be an authenticity sticker.


The top image has been squished to fit the non-square top, leaving the text looking slightly stretched and jagged.


Not much to see here, but this does show one of the fold lines you do tend to get when a box has been flattened – if you’re buying something “new” that has similar fold lines, be suspicious of its authenticity.

Figure spin-around

Huh, I thought Asuna had orangey hair? Bootleg Asuna says no! Surprised by how off the hair colour is on the bootleg.

Figure close-ups


Bootleg: stare, stare
The hair and eye colours are massively off on the bootleg – not being very character-accurate here. The official’s hair is the orangey-brown it should be and the bootleg I think had chocolate melted over its head. Just… so bad. The bootleg’s hair is also blobby in shape and the sculpt is ill-defined.
The official’s eyebrows match her hair, the bootleg’s is some other shade of orange that matches the bootleg’s eyes instead of her hair. Quite odd.
Getting to the eyes, the bootleg’s aren’t just lacking a lot of detail but are incorrectly coloured and shaped. I don’t think they were thinking when they chose the eye decals.
The bootleg’s mouth is probably the most inoffensive part and looks OK, though its colour doesn’t match.
Lastly, the bootleg has pasty, shiny skin making her look potentially slightly ill. Glad the official isn’t like this.


Poor bootleg Asuna is losing her top! The paint for her straps doesn’t even go all the way to the
top of her neck.
Here the shiny, pasty skin of the bootleg is on full show and not making her look great. The official is a much better skin tone. The loss of detail in the bootleg cast really doesn’t help her skin’s appearance.
The paint on the official’s top is on a par with most prize figures, the bootleg’s is almost neater, but completely missed the line on her left boob. The bow on the bootleg appears to be red plastic rather than painted, which gives it a cheap feel.

Bra strap:

The official’s strap looks like it is lightly pressing into her skin and the bootleg’s, well, looks like it’s trying to chop her in two. The seam line going down from the top’s strap on the bootleg also adds to her unrealistic look. With the bow and the strap, the official’s match up perfectly in colour, but the bootleg’s does not look like a match.
Looking further to the left, her hair bobble is painted neatly on the official, but the hair colour is most definitely intruding on the bootleg version.

Side of her hair:

Yuck, don’t think I’m going to get over the bootleg’s awful brown hair.
With the official, we can see the way her hair was laid in sections dangling over her shoulder. This part passed the bootleggers by, and hers is piled up incorrectly, leaving it floating unnaturally in the air.
Moving to her arm strap, the official’s does look too tight for my liking, but the bootleg’s is thick, uneven and looks incorrectly assembled towards the back.

Wrist ruffle:

Here we can see how the bootleg’s hand is misaligned – maybe they thought she was supposed to be waving? The shiny skin makes her hand almost look like a gelatinous blob to me.
Going to the band around her wrist, the bootleg’s has lost all detail and is a painted mess. Much prefer the original one.


The mould mostly matches on the bootleg, but is somewhat sadder. The hair on the bootleg hasn’t been attached properly from the upper hair to the scrunchie leaving it looking even odder.
Due to the poor construction and deformed moulding the bootleg’s hand now sits atop her hair instead of on the ground level where it should be. Slightly better than hanging freely I suppose.


Whilst we’re on the subject of her left hand, here is a close-up of it. Not sure if the dirt on the official hand is my fault or not. Her left hand does look odd from certain angles on the official, and the bootleg has the same curse. Plus the added one where they had to have some floaty, and her palm isn’t even level with the surface. Her wrist manages to look even more bizarre.

Skirt bow:

Again, we have the colour mismatch between the official and the bootleg. The bootleg’s bow looks kind of sad and melty instead of lying flat due to gravity.
The leg bands on both look OK to me, just different.

Left side of skirt:

Here we get to see the true horror of the bootleg paint. And the fact I don’t dust my figures as nearly as often as I should.
These lines are slightly ambitious for a prize figure, so they have come out a little sloppy on the official. The bootleg manages to take this to the next level though, and the skirt line is barely there and the cross painting is definitely sloppy and thin.
Going to the plastic of the skirt, the official has been painted in white giving a more matte finish, and the official has been left plasticky which doesn’t look good in my opinion.


Ah, this time the bootleg can have the dirty mark. And seeing as I opened the bootleg for the review I can categorically say this is Chinese dirt.
The foot moulding doesn’t suffer as badly as some other parts, but we can see her toes have become shorter. The bootleg’s feet are also closer together, giving her a different pose.


Here we can see they’re both flat on the bottom. Useful for the shelf-sitting :). Here we can also see how different the leg and hair positions are, which is a theme running throughout the bootleg figure.

And maybe to try and make up for the sadness that is the bootleg, it came with some equally sad-looking accessories:

First we have the thinnest rubber keychain I’ve ever seen, allegedly of Totoro – this thing feels very thin and not very nice to touch. The metal chain and ring are also very thin and could be easily broken.
Next we have a hairband that doesn’t feel very well made and has a little plastic heart that says “shen xi”. Not sure what the translation of this is. I don’t have hair long enough to use this, but even if I did I’m not sure it would last long – the fabric felt loose and would probably come apart if it was used.


The bootleg? No… just… no. I couldn’t recommend it to anyone. The hair and the awful eyes make it not look like Asuna, and I’m not sure if someone who didn’t know who Asuna was would particularly want this pasty, sweaty-looking mess. The box could likely fool some people, but I think once they pulled this brown-haired, light-orange-eyed stranger wearing Asuna’s bathing costume out of the box they’d be mighty confused.

Official vs Bootleg: Kotobukiya Asuna (Aincrad ver.)

This particular figure was a user request, but also one I’m personally interested in as the bootleg seemed fairly similar to the original item.
Let’s see how close it really is, and how to tell these two apart.


MSRP (without tax): ¥8,800
Price I paid for the official (inc shipping): €43 (£38.12)
Price I paid for the bootleg (inc shipping): $21.67 (£17.82)

The official I bought secondhand from another MFC user.



Wow, looking very similar here – the bootleggers haven’t edited out any logos for this one. We do have a lower-quality print with some different colouring – the Sword Art Online logo at the top has ended up pretty much the same blue as the background design. Looking closely at the cutout, there is a variation by her head – the curve around the right of her face has been smoothed out.


Again, pretty similar. The cutouts aren’t quite the same, but a decently close approximation of the official’s and the logo has poor shading.
The print quality I think is noticeably worse here – looking at the back of her cape shows print artefacts that could raise suspicions. Looking at the “Sculpted by Hiritoshi Nakamura” text we can see where the lack of colour depth on the bootleg box has pretty much hidden the design that should be present here.


Again, the poor print quality shows through here. And this time the bootleg has an extra curvy part in the cutout by her hair strands.
Plus we have the reason why my official box doesn’t have Genco sticker on it – it was a unit destined for international sale. For Genco-licensed stuff, you will generally find there’s a plain sticker stating it is for international/outside of Japan sale if it didn’t come from a Japanese shop originally. One reason that a missing authenticity sticker isn’t a sure sign of a bootleg.


Here the poor print quality is on full display – the trees in the background have gone quite bluey, and the figure photo looks generally awful to me. Definitely not something Kotobukiya would have on their boxes.


Just a poorly-printed replica here.


Mostly a duplicate… but there is a difference if you look closely. No, I’m not referring to the heo sticker. For some reason that I cannot fathom, they’ve just changed the barcode numbers, but not the barcodes themselves – if you scan them they’ll come up as per the numbers on the left box, but for some reason they’ve changed the written numbers.
(heo is a wholesaler for pop culture stuff, as per their tagline. By law, they need to put their details on stuff they import, so that’s why these stickers get placed on EU boxes).

Inner lid:

Fun little squiggly with the glue on the bootleg, but not exactly practical for keeping the plastic attached. The cardboard is also a bit darker.

Box inner:

Pretty similar – definitely feels like a poorly-printed photocopy.

Box inner bottom:

Here is where the poor print quality is the most obvious in my opinion – lots of the ground detail has been lost into a brown, murky mess.


The blister for the bootleg is noticeably worse for wear despite it having been less in the wars than my official’s box. The blister plastic is noticeably thin and cheap and easily crumples. Also seems to be marginally smaller, though some of that is due to it trying to collapse in on itself.

Face in the blister:

The official we have a cutout so we can see her face clearly within the box. The bootleg is a bit ashamed of itself, and is fully encased in the blister.

The official also has this bit of packaging:

Due to repacking her, it’s slightly out of place, but this holds both her foot and the pillar in place – stops things rattling around in transit, as well as keeping separation between the figure parts.

Overall the box is quite a close copy to the official, with very little in the way of edits to give itself away. The poor print quality is fairly evident, with the miscoloured logo being probably the easiest thing to spot if you can’t see the bottom of the box. Even in a poor photo, the logo on an official box should look differently-coloured to the rest of the blue parts.


OK, time to break open these blisters and see what we get!
Let’s start with an official-exclusive item:

This is actually a useful item – it tells you how the sword should go, which the bootleg doesn’t give you any favours in helping you understand how to place it properly in her hand.
Also useful telling you to do the rings first, instead of rushing to place the figure on the stand. The ring placement can be understood from the box though, but does help to have a handy reminder here.

Rings and base, as packaged:

Official: here’s some bits, packaged so they don’t bump each other (the rings are in a 2-section bag)
Bootleg: Erm, here’s some stuff. Good luck!

Base top:

The official has some of a texture to it to give it a stony/metallic texture, not quite sure which. The bootleg is a singular colour, so it doesn’t really look like much. And has a couple of scrapes on it out of the box.

Underside of the bases:

The official has some ridges to reinforce it. The bootleg just has some… dirt.

Larger ring:

The official is more of a yellowy gold colour than the bootleg. We’ve also got some shading detail on a few parts of the official ring, whilst the bootleg is a singular colour. The bottom side of the bootleg ring has some missing chunks of paint, leaving it look a little silvery in places.
The peg on the official hasn’t been painted, which allows the peg to slot in easily to the base part.

Smaller ring:

Similar story for the smaller ring,, though we also have a bit of a dent in the top of the peg instead of the ridges to help hold it in place.
A couple of the small holes on the outer edge of the bootleg ring haven’t been put in the right place, making them into notches on the outer edge instead of holes.

Let’s look at these rings from the side:

Oh dear, no mistaking them from this angle! The bootleg ones are both badly warped, especially the larger upper ring. Whilst it would be possible to fix this, there is a good chance they’ll just warp again over time. The official figure has been on display for some months prior to this photoshoot and show none of the warping issue of the bootleg’s rings.

Sword sheath:

First thing that stands out is the bootleg sheath is a much darker colour than the official. Looking at the details on the outer side of the sheath, the band at the top lacks the white part on the bootleg, and some of the silver detail just above it is missing. The tip isn’t painted too precisely on the official, but the cross part is missing from the bootleg.
Looking at the back, it’s a similar story. Here we can see a bit clearer that the official does have some paint shading in the brown – the sheath is darker at both the top and the bottom. The official there is no paint in the peg hole, but the bootleg is painted all over.


Looking at the blade, the moulding is poor on the bootleg and is not very sharp and defined. This poor moulding extends to the bottom of the sword where most of the smaller mould details are missing and we have distinct mould lines on the hand guard. They’ve attempted to replicate the mint green details, but only approximately. The paint on the underside is particularly poor.
The handle of the sword didn’t come out too badly, but we are still missing some fine moulding details.

Disassembling the sword:

The official comes apart well, though the peg on mine is bent – this happened prior to me owning it, so not sure how this happened.
The bootleg, however, was not very willing to come apart as the bits had been painted together. We don’t get much of a peg to work with, but not even sure it pulled apart correctly anyway. With no instructions and the sword handle being hard to remove a bootleg owner would likely have trouble getting the sword into her hand.

Overall, we’re not looking good on the accessory front – from poor painting and moulding to warped parts. The sword is also already presenting issues with not disassembling correctly. Let’s see how assembly goes…


Firstly, the rings need to be inserted into the pillar:

The official pegs slide in easily enough, but the bootleg’s were NOT cooperative. This was the best I could do – the holes are the wrong shape and the paint on the pegs don’t help the shapes match. The bootleg rings will fairly easily fall out if knocked.

First thing of note with the pillar was the pegs that go into the base:

The official’s are unpainted, whilst the bootleg’s are painted the same colour as the pillar. Now to demonstrate the issue with painted pegs.

This was about as far as I got with a minute or so of shoving her into the base. The pegs have become far too fat with the paint, making it very difficult to get them into the holes.
A close-up of the peg progress:

You know you want to go, you stupid pegs!

Let’s take it apart and assess the damage:

Due to my efforts, some of the paint has now transferred itself to the base. You can see some other paint transfers caused by the pillar pegs not going into the holes and slipping across the base. This really was a pain to assemble, and I was contemplating either scraping the pegs or just doing this article with her at a jaunty angle.
Thankfully, my second attempt went better and I got her into the base without breaking it. Bonus!

Ugh, after that ordeal, let’s move onto looking at the figures.

Figure spin-around

Well, those warped rings don’t stand out at all, do they…? She still isn’t fully pegged into the base, giving the bootleg a really jaunty appearance overall.
The missing line on her skirt and the absolute mess of the paint on her stockings really stands out to me, as well as the almost-neon orange hair.
Yep, not liking this one from the outset!

Figure close-ups
Let’s see how bad this gets if we look up close.

First thing to stand out is that jelly hair… feeling that’s going to get a fair amount of mentions in this comparison. Her fringe is nicely shaded in the official and the bootleg is mostly the same colour. Looking at the hair by the bootleg’s chin, we can see a big chunk of missing paint.
The bootleg’s eyes seem to be an attempted recreation of the official’s but the colours are wrong and she has some strange white bits underneath her pupils. The bootleg also looks like she has four eyebrows – the lower lines are too thick, giving her a multibrow look.
Moving to the mouth, we have a subtle paint highlight on the official, which has translated to peach-coloured ice cream on the bootleg – the sloppiness of the paint make it look like she’s eaten something but not cleaned up the mess.

A further look at the hair next to her face:

The missing paint isn’t the only defect on the bootleg here – we’ve also got a weird orange stripe on one of the hair tips. Whilst the marred tip is pointy, the others are more rounded than they should be.

Now for a detail you may have seen in the first close-up photo:

Not sure if this is warehouse dirt or mould… whichever way, I’m not touching it and definitely not licking it. Whatever it is, it’s not pleasant and not a feature an official figure would have. And yes, I do wash my hands after doing the photos.

Side of her head:

Here we can see the lack of paint detail in the bootleg’s hair – we have some basic shading on the official, and not much to speak of on the bootleg.
The bootleg’s hair isn’t assembled properly – the main parts aren’t fully inserted into each other, and the ponytail is at a funny angle.
Ignoring the rest of the figure, the top of the bootleg’s hair really looks like some kind of moulded jelly (Jell-O) to me. But given the potentially mouldy nature, I’m not going to eat it.

Hair from above:

I think this angle captures the weirdness of the bootleg hair in full. The official’s hair is OK, though I think a little strange in texture and not too much in terms of paint detail.
The bootleg’s we can see there is some shading, but none of that good. The strange plastic they’ve chosen to do her hair with doesn’t work, and neither does the colour. We can also see some more dirt on the top of her fringe and on the left edge of her hair.
Some of the bootleg’s strands have slightly different curves to them, but look fine from this angle.

Back of the hair:

Here we can see where some of the bootleg’s hair is off in shape – the lower left clump points up more, whilst most of the middle and right points down lower than it should, giving her hair a slightly less dynamic appearance.


Get outta the way, hair.
The painting on the official’s collar could do with some work, but the bootleg’s feels very rushed compared. The crosses just beneath her neck are slightly less detailed, but look fine.
For the actual chest plate, it’s almost as if the poor printing on the box has made it to the figure – the grey gradient of the official is missing and replaced with a mottled grey appearance that doesn’t look very good.
The bootleg arm straps are missing all of the gold paint. Well, suppose that saves a fair amount of time in the painting department.

Left side:

Here we get a better look at one of the bands around her arm – yeah, the colour is off, lacking all paint detail and a terrible seam line.
The bootleg’s shoulder is very shiny and would give most prize figures a run for their money in shininess.
The paint on her cape is very sloppy and messy on the bootleg – a lot of the silver lines are missing and what’s there isn’t even on the mould lines.
The red lines near the top, some paint was… thrust at the bootleg. The chest line isn’t much better, and going to the bottom, it’s better, but still runs off. The official manages to have the red trim surrounded evenly by the thinner inner line. The bootleg you can see where they continued the lines instead of terminating, as it would be easier.

Let’s have a look at a bit more of the trim:

Some of the official’s trim is slightly rough, which is why Kotobukiya isn’t everyone’s favourite manufacturer. However, it’s far better than the bootleg, where the line thicknesses change, paint has blobbed out and there’s bits of the line missing.

Now to put her sheath back on:

The official sheath hangs on at a better angle and is less prone to being knocked off.


I think you have a case of melty hand there, bootleg Asuna. The hand part hasn’t been properly inserted, leaving her with mutant hand. The red line paint is awful here on the bootleg, along with her shiny skin. We can also see seam lines on the bootleg’s thumb and index finger.
Neither seem to have painted nails, so no points for either on that front.

Sword hand:

You seem to be missing something there, bootleg Asuna – the sword was being a pain in the arse, so now she only has the handle to hold.
Again, the bootleg’s hand has been poorly assembled, super shiny and has mould lines. We’ve also got the hair intruding the shot, due to the fact most of it is lower down on the bootleg compared to the official.


The linework is mostly decent on the official, but the red lines are very much a mess on the bootleg – not the worst linework I’ve seen on a bootleg, but definitely not good.
This angle may actually reveal what the strange mark is in her hair – looks like they may have been going in to paint the red lines and missed – with bootlegs they seem to assemble then paint them, which leads to a lot of paint flaws.


The bootleg’s skirt is very different colour, lacks shading and the white line detail. The sculpt is also a bit rough, which can be seen if you look closely at the pleats. The official’s skirt looks much nicer and the shading is quite nice on it.
The top of the bootleg’s right stocking is so badly painted it looks like she’s bleeding to me. Not a very pretty look for a heroic figure…

Stocking tops:

The lines aren’t so bad on the bootleg from this angle, but we can see where the lines have failed to join. The white paint is also somewhat more lumpy than the official’s and lacking the grey shading.


Yep, they’ve been painted on both. Though the bootleg’s have a bonus seam running through the middle.

Top of cape:

The official’s is shaded nicely and the bootleg’s is.. shiny. The moulding mostly went well for the bootleg cape, but the edge is a bit rough.


The lack of shading and different shade of white on the bootleg is quite noticeable when you have both figures side-by-side. The lower legs on the bootleg have the strange sprayed shading similar to the chestplate. The silver lines on the shoes are also a lot less distinct and thick. Much prefer the official’s shoes and stockings.

Bottom of shoes:

There’s a lot more paint shading going on with the official’s shoes than the bootleg’s, even on the soles. The official has a glossy finish on her clothes, but the bootleg is matte.

Side of pillar:

Here we can get a feeling of how different the pillars are – the official is a much more grey colour and has a weathering effect. The bootleg’s is kind of green and just looks sorta dirty.
For the soles of the bootleg’s boots it seems they just went over them with the same colour paint, instead of differentiating them like the official. The official’s shoes are glossy, and the bootleg’s are a lumpy, matte-ish white paint, and we have a seam. Pose-wise, there isn’t any difference in their legs.

Back of pillar:

Here we can see where the weathering is all around the official pillar, and we have some paint detail to add to the broken and cracked parts to give them a more lifelike look.
No effort was expended on the bootleg version – it’s all a solid greenish colour. Maybe this is the colour of the walls of the factory or something?
Here we can also see why it was such a pain to to assemble the bootleg’s rings – we have paint seeping into the poorly-cast holes, neither aspects making it easy to get the ring lugs in.


Whew, that was a fair bit to get through. Hope you enjoyed this tour!
In terms of telling the boxed Asuna apart – the boxes are very similar, but close inspection will reveal the poor printing and the incorrect barcode numbers on the bottom of the box. Definitely sufficient to hoodwink a novice collector.
Looking at the box contents however… it becomes quickly apparent the contents aren’t what they should be – a lot of parts lack shading details on the bootleg, the hair looks weird and the rings will likely come warped. Assembly for this bootleg was quite difficult and a definite clue to its lack of authenticity as parts won’t go in or simply fall off.
Looking at small sections of the figure largely don’t make it look too bad, but the thing as a whole is just a mess. It might pass as a prize figure, but not as a scale.
The amount of dirt on this one was pretty disgusting, which makes it a pretty non-recommendable bootleg, as far as bootlegs go.
Excuse me as I go dunk this bootleg in some cleaner, and thanks for reading!