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Bootleg Figmas spotted!

2010/02/04

Well, I planned this post at about two weeks ago, but I have been feeling so lazy lately… Sorry about that, guys.

During one of my weekly trips to Liberdade, the Japanese district in São Paulo, I decided to enter in one of the galleries to check if they had something interesting. Well, the thing is that I was surprised because one of the first things that caught my eye was a Figma, a Saber Lily Figma to be more precise.

I just couldn’t believe it: An exclusive figure being sold in Brazil? And the price was somewhat ok if you consider she’s an exclusive (BR$220, roughly US$107 or ¥9,700) – one should know that Brazilian import taxes are up to 6o% of the purchased item value, so the price was indeed ok. I was in a hurry and could not pay some close attention to details. So, I decided to return there the following week just to discover that it was nothing but a counterfeit figma. Luckily, I had my camera with me and took took some pics of the bootleg. As a (wannabe) figure collector, I felt obliged to warn everyone out there about this.
Bootleg Figma Exclusive - Saber Lily
Bootleg Figma Exclusive - Saber Lily 2
As you can see, there’s apparently nothing wrong with the box. But when you examine the figure closely…
Bootleg Figma Exclusive - Saber Lily 3
Bootleg Figma Exclusive - Saber Lily 4
First thing I’ve noticed: the two pieces of her hair have different color tones. It does not seem to be something the guys at Max Factory would allow after some quality control. Hmmm… A bad sign indeed. It also seems to lack the black ribbons in her arms. Besides, take a closer look at her clothes near the elbow joints. That does not seem to be right as well. Let’s compare with some pics of the original found at MyFigureCollection.net .
Figma Exclusive Saber Lily - original
This is an official shot. As you can see, the removable part of her hair matches perfectly with the fixed part. It would not be possible with the counterfeit, since it has two blatantly different color tones.
Figma Exclusive Saber Lily - Original 2
Figma Exclusive Saber Lily - original 3
These two are tsuki-board member’s pics (from Mia-chan and Artemis‘ boards, respectively). Once more, the color of the two halves of Saber Lily’s hair matches perfectly. You can also spot the two black ribbons I talked about. And finally, you do notice there’s definitely something wrong with bootleg Saber Lily’s clothes, especially her sleeves (can that be called a sleeve?)

Some weeks later I attended to a local anime convention (Anime Dreams) and spotted another Figma with problems. In this particular case I do not know for sure if it’s just another bootleg or if it was open and some parts were missing… Anyway, I’m talking about this Figma Konata Izumi Summer Uniform Ver.
Bootleg Figma Konata?
As you can see, Yutaka’s face is missing. Not to mention that Konata is not packed with that O.O face on. What follows is a close-up at the potential counterfeit’s joints.
Bootleg Figma Konata? 2
Note that there seems to be something wrong with one of her elbow joints…

And this is another Figma Konata I’ve spotted. I’m pretty sure this is an original.
Figma Konata Summer Uniform - original
As you can see, everything is right here: Yutaka’s face is there, the extra faces are on the right place and even Kadokawa authenticity sticker is present. I know very well the sticker is not a “must-have” item. I own a Figma Kagami that came with no sticker and I’m pretty sure she’s authentic, but the sticker is a plus, no need to argue against that.

Both Konata were being sold for BR$120,00 (same as US$64 or ¥5,850).

As advices for figure collectors I cannot help repeating what everyone should know already: avoid eBay whenever possible – especially Hong Kong sellers, be careful when you spot a figure for a price that seems to good to be true, and be always skeptical about rare and exclusive figures popping out here and there. Finally, if you’re buying online, always prefer paypal as a payment method since it’s a lot easier to get a refund.

Fellow figure collector and cosplayer Koharu also posted about a fake figma she bought on eBay some time ago.  Thankfully, she got a refund, but not everyone is so lucky. You may check her story here.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 2010/02/05 9:55 PM

    I have seen a Saber Lily Figma being sold as is as well. I didn’t take a closer look at it because I already have one. The price was around Can$80. At that time I was wary that it was a fake, but I was in a rush so I didn’t have time to check it properly. The next time I went there, it wasn’t on the shelf anymore.

    I tend to notice that GSC and Max factory uses circular sticky tape to seal the box, so to me that’s one sign to know its authenticity. Bootlegs usually just use normal tape. Second sign would be the quality of the box. Bootleg boxes are usually very crappy. Those are the only signs I look for usually. Not really the best way. If I’m not sure then I won’t buy it at all, not wanting to risk it.

  2. 2010/02/09 8:25 PM

    Really informative post! o:
    Thank you!

  3. yuuichikun permalink
    2010/02/10 9:03 PM

    This is the reason why I always try to order either from HLJ/HS/Otacute/AmiAmi, or from a US distributor that acquires their figures from AAA Anime Distrobution. Thank you for pointing these out!

  4. paiki permalink
    2010/02/12 9:22 AM

    Really nice infos! Adding your post to my Bootleg Check list!

    I also saw these figures on Liberdade and pointed than that they were bootleg and they said that they bought from Japan, I said “So, you bought a Bootleg from Japan… coz I have one from there too”, just the difference that I went there to buy, didn’t buy online ^^;

    Thanks Shikinami!

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