Counterfeits and Bootleg Guide/Discussion (under construction)

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Counterfeits and Bootleg Guide/Discussion (under construction)

Post by Pai on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:29 pm

A huge (and scary) part of figure buying is how to determine if the figure you are buying is a counterfeit aka Bootleg. Bootlegs are figures made from the castings of the original figure though made of cheap materials with cheap or even hazardous (lead) paint. The top sites that you need to be aware of that sell bootlegs are Ebay and Amazon. Ebay is by far the worst when it comes to bootlegs. There is no TRUE way to guarantee what you're purchasing is an original until you have it in your hands.

There are some ways to mitigate the chance of buying fakes when using Ebay or Amazon.

Here's an example I've made to show you what to look out for!


This is what a recent search of ebay for a commonly bootlegged figure brings up. As you can see, the prices vary wildly. One thing to look for in figures after they've been on the market for a while is the price and popularity. The original price (posted on MyFigureCollection) of $95 should be a good benchmark. Figures almost always go up in price after initial release. There's no way a popular $100 figure should be selling for almost half the price of the initial release.


The first thing you see on the sale page of the first link is the name of the figure. "Tier" is NOT EVEN the name of the character! Her name is Tia Harribel. "Sexy!" is no where in the actual title of the product listed. It's just a cheap catch word to get more interest from unknowing buyers. Nowhere does it mention Alpha x Omega (the manufacturer of the figure).


Another thing to notice is that the seller is located in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong is the center of the bootlegging industry and should throw up a red flag if buying from there. (Why would a company based in Japan sell a figure through China at half price a year after the release of the figure??) Also notice FREE SHIPPING, which is insane, because the shipping costs for a figure of that size to be sent from China is probably $20. Which if deducted from the price of the listing, puts it at $35. There is no way this figure is actually just worth $35.


Surprisingly, the seller took actual pictures of the product (to avoid seller fraud). Which reveals the true quality of the figure. Usually bootlegs are always a shade or 2 off-color (which is probably fixed with some photoshop tinting) but the paint is also messed up. I outlined the most obvious paint mess-ups in red. No real figure manufacturer would allow such flaws.


Finally check out the wording of the shipping and payment section. The wording is awful and doesn't make sense. I can understand some Engrish, but you should expect clear wording on the most important part of the page.

The seller's rating may be really high, but that doesn't mean you will get a genuine product!

If someone writes a complaint about not getting the product they ordered, the seller can claim that they DID IN FACT sell you the product pictured and listed. Thus nullifying your negative review. Many people may be completely oblivious to the fact that they bought a bootleg and genuinely wrote a good review for a shitty product.

Amazon.com is more dependable, though some figures are bootlegs on there, just look out for the obvious things that I listed above for Ebay. One good thing about amazon is that is has trusted sellers and sellers backed by Amazon itself. Look specifically for these sellers.

If you have a figure in hand and want to know if it's bootleg, check out the box. Compare it with official pictures that can be found on myfigurecollection and other official news sites. Many manufacturers put stickers on the box to indicate genuine products like so:

these can be simulated by bootleggers who may print something similar on the box, but you'll rarely find an actual bootlegged shiny sticker.



Bootlegs are usually a parasite on the industry and only serve to hurt the hobby. Though some bootlegs are just a technicality. for example, the resin kits sold on http://www.e2046.com/ ARE BOOTLEGS because the products sold are not officially licensed by the owner of the source material. This doesn't make them illegal, it just puts them in a legal grey area. Despite this fact, the products sold here are of the highest quality and craftsmanship.

Take the Castanic statue I bought as an example:


there's no actual figure that Bluehole studios is selling, it's just a figure that a sculptor made and is now making resin kits of that figure. It's just using the image of the characters in the game.

I'll post more examples of true bootlegs in here as I come across them.

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Re: Counterfeits and Bootleg Guide/Discussion (under construction)

Post by PT-Desu on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:44 am


Welp, i'm glad i took the time to read all this.
will be helpful in the future

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Re: Counterfeits and Bootleg Guide/Discussion (under construction)

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 22, 2013 6:49 am

PT-Desu wrote:
Welp, i'm glad i took the time to read all this.
will be helpful in the future

yh same

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Re: Counterfeits and Bootleg Guide/Discussion (under construction)

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