Signs of Bootleg Figures

Every collector should know how to identify an authentic figure from a bootleg. I’m sure most of you can tell a fake figure just by looking at it, but for those who don’t, especially first time collectors like me a couple of months ago, I hope this will be useful for you. ^_^

First off, how did I come across this bootleg figure of Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2 by ARTFX/Kotobukiya? In a nutshell, it was a gift. I knew the moment I saw it that it was not the same as the images on the internet and even on the box itself. However, I did not have any experience yet in selecting and buying figures so I assumed it was like the toys I had as a child — the actual item is not like the picture on the box. I eventually learned how to tell the difference before buying more figures (which I will describe later on) and finally got my hands on the authentic version of the Yuna figure thanks to my boyfriend ^_^

In this post I’ll be talking about things you should look out for when buying a figure by showing you the difference between the authentic figure and the bootleg. The next A future post will be more tips such as what to do before buying the figure and steps you can take to make sure you’re getting what you wanted.

Most stores have figures still in their boxes (at least the ones I visited did) and online sellers usually have an image of the figure in its box. It will be difficult for you to check the box of an online store. I’ll be talking about online shopping in the next post.

Start by checking the printing. Is it blurred? Are the colors faded or desaturated? Does it look like the image on the box was a photo/scan of the original that someone simply printed? In other words, if the printing is not clean, clear and professional looking, then it might be a fake. It might not be that obvious in the picture I took, but the fake packaging’s color is a bit more desaturated than the original. The colors stand out more on the authentic one and are brighter.

Another way to tell if the figure is fake is if the markings and other details on the figure are not defined. Putting aside my poor photography skills, you can see that the writing on the gun is clearer and more defined on the original than on the bootleg. Also, the color on the fake’s gun has a more green-ish tint compared to the yellow-orange color of the original. Color (paint) is a very important factor when checking the figure.

As you can see, the paint on the fake’s boot bled onto the leg. This is also the same boot/lower half of the leg that fell off when I unpacked the figure (see top image). Parts of a figure should not fall off when picked up; especially for fixed figures. I know that you cannot check for this in a store, but I think its a good thing to know. Also, even if the paint used on the boot is a solid black, you can clearly see the details of the top part of the boot on the authentic figure. ^_^

Then there’s the skirt. Notice the gradual and graceful fade from blue to white on the original, as well as the detail of seams by the bottom of the skirt. The painting of the skirt on the imitation figure is botchy — the blue seems hurriedly done and the seams aren’t painted at all! XD

Finally, the most important part of all, the face. I always look a the eyes first. Right off the bat you can say that there’s obviously something wrong with the eyes of the fake figure. One eye is looking more to the left, the other to the right. However, most of the figures nowadays have their eyes simply painted or stuck (sticker) onto their faces which makes it more difficult, but there are always ways to tell.

I hope that this was helpful and I’ll be back with more tips on my next post ^_^

Other bootleg articles :

  1. Bootlegged Figure by gyndynames

[Side note: I am assuming that all my figures are authentic based on the research I have done. If they aren’t… well, then they are very good knock-offs >.>]


8 thoughts on “Signs of Bootleg Figures

  1. The face is what I always look at first.
    I almost bought a bootleg Onegai Teacher figure(the really awesome bikini fig) was £25, but the eyes were slightly wonky, and I was like… Nooooooo way.

  2. Yea…I’m just going to stick to legit Japanese sources such as HLJ and HobbyFan from now on…I thought I saw the last of bootlegs with my eyes until eBay came along >.>

  3. Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to
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