Any newbie to collecting figures may most likely purchase bootleg figures without knowing, if they buy from a source like Amazon, eBay or any other site. Im not saying every figure on Amazon or eBay are bootleg, but there are those people who DO sell bootleg figures on that site, no candy-coating that one.
There is more than one way to tell you have a bootleg figure. Anyone can tell if they have seen how a “Legal Figure” looks. Bootleg figures look similar in sculpting but everything else is in a horrible condition.
Stereometric (on figure.fm) bought a Kagami Miku nendroid from Tisinc99 on Amazon (his website : http://www.toystop.net/ ) he posted pictures of the bootleg figure, so lets take a look at them, shall we?
This is the Bootleg Kagami Miku box. The flaps look rather unusual. Now take a look at the legal one below.
See the huge difference? If anything and the people who are making the bootleg items know what they are doing and actually mimic the box exactly to the legal one, dont worry, I doubt they could but they are many more ways to tell.
Looking at it this way makes it look like if it isn’t really a bootleg. If you examine it down to the tiniest detail you would find out. First the plastic holding the nendroid looks damaged. You an see the figure and how the paint on it looks rough and horribly painted. The print on the box is a lower quality as well, you may not be able to see that in this picture though.
Heres a close picture, once again, its more obvious the nendroid wasn’t painted properly and its all rough. Some of the paint bleeds onto the other section, for example for the right leg the blue on her stockings bleed onto the black. The headphones looks as if a 6 year old painted it with very thick paint. The nendroid’s skin color looks yellowish compared to a normal nendroid figure.
Here’s a more closer look at the additional faces for the nendroid, once again, the plastic is scratched up. The skin looks yellow. I noticed most of the bootleg figures, or all of them, have yellow skin. So far, i believe as far as the face goes with the stickers, its okay.
Another handy note before I close off this post, bootleg figures can be taken apart easily. I mean you can literally pick it down to little pieces like if your creating a figure (well at least most I have seen does that.).
BE VERY CAREFUL AT ANIME CONVENTIONS, I HAVE HEARD AT SAKURA CON THERE WAS SOMEONE SELLING BOOTLEG FIGURES. DETERMINING BOOTLEG FIGURES IN PERSON IS WAY EASIER THAN DETERMINING THEM OVER A PICTURE PROVIDED ON THE INTERNET. MOST LIKELY THOSE WHO SELL THEM ON AMAZON, eBAY OR ANY OTHER ONLINE WEBSITE THAT SELLS BOOTLEG FIGURES WILL PUT UP A LEGAL PRODUCT PHOTO.
If you get a hold of a bootleg figure, do not worry, think of it as an experience and a reference to the newbies. If there’s a friend who is interested in collecting figures you can show them what it looks like and give them some pointers. It is a really horrible feeling to waste your savings in bootleg items.
I would recommend using: AmiAmi ( http://www.amiami.com/ ) , J-List ( http://www.jlist.com/home ) , Hobby Search (http://1999.co.jp/eng) , Hobby Link Japan ( http://www.hlj.com/ ) and the Good Smile Company Shop ( http://www.goodsmile.info/top/en/ )
Those websites are used among many people and they don’t sell bootlegs. The Good Smile Company Store is the official store for Good Smile Company (GSC) figures and they produce the best figures out there. You should not and will not get problems with these websites regarding bootleg items.
I use Hobby Search myself and I have not once got a problem with their items, I have ordered quite a bunch of items from them already.