GOD okay so you know that candy store I sometimes go to with all the wonderful terrible bootleg shit? I kinda felt bad for them for a while for being duped by their suppliers, but after bringing it up with one of the employees and being ASSURED, rather RUDELY, that the items were legitimate and genuine and not at all bootleg… I think I’m pretty much obligated to start taking pics.
these are new. entire packs of these beauties. I wanted to buy it but they were charging $12 for each pack like what
So while we were at Anime Midwest last weekend, perusing the shops, I ended up finding a really nice Mewtwo statue for a surprisingly-cheap price. ($30)
I’m usually pretty careful about purchasing merchandise at conventions, since you can never be quite certain where the vendors got their stock from. That being said, I’ve become pretty good at spotting bootleg pokemon merchandise. Not everyone knows this, but there’s actually some really easy to spot differences in tagging and production that can out a forgery, if you know where to look.
So while we continue working to brew up some original art and content, I thought I’d start a series of educational posts about common fakes and how to spot them. I’ll be covering tagging, pricing, and design of authentic products when compared to fake products. If you’re unsure if a product you’re considering buying is a fake or not, send us an ask and I’ll help you out in making responsible purchases.
Because nobody likes getting an inferior product, right?
Bootleg Subtitles Mewtwo Strikes Back VHS Manufacturer: Bootleg Release Date: 1999ish Size: Standard VHS Origin: Sold at a lot of comic book stores and anime shops in the late 90’s. Where I got it: At a now closed comic book store in Eugene, OR (I honestly can’t remember the name) Favourite detail: The subtitles are tremendously bad. Also the cover art is basically a terrible Xerox of the Japanese VHS with the U.S. logo added. Personal story: I was SO STOKED when I bought this before the VHS was out in the US I think I paid like $30 for it.
I haven’t had time to update my Pokemon bootleg guide, so I’ll make a quick list of important hints here instead!
- If your plush won’t stay still (meaning it falls on its face or falls backwards), it doesn’t necessary mean it’s a bootleg. Although it’s true that bootlegs have a weak support in their stitching and filling, original plushies do also faceplant due to their anatomy (For example, this occurs to Pokedolls with huge heads).
- The paper tags are usually around the tush tags with a plastic loop; this way, you keep your plushies without a hole in their ears, arms or head, etc, once you cut the plastic loop. This is a technique used in official plushies from Japan. American releases (specially with the brand TOMY), tend to continue putting plasting loops in their plushies (ears or other part of their heads), so don’t be fooled with TOMY being bootlegs.
- As TOMY is a new brand outside of Japan now, it gets bootlegged easily. However, it’s just a matter of a good eye to spot these copies. Always, the official tags feature the Pokemon which they are selling (as in, Amaura plush has in its tag a picture of an Amaura; Dedenne plush has a picture of a Dedenne, and so on). However, a copy will feature a wrong picture. You might see a Dedenne plush with a picture of a Fennekin on its tag or a Froakie wih a picture of a Fennekin or other Pokemon). This is not a mistake of TOMY, it’s a bootleg from China which tag is used for many more copies.
- Be on the look for barcodes, especially on Pokedolls. Official merchandise have them most of the time. However, some earlier releases don’t have barcodes in their tags, but worry not, since they have the Pokemon’s name written. Bootlegs don’t have barcodes nor the Pokemon’s name in their tags since, once again, the tags are made for many copies of different Pokemon.
- Worried about your items being bootlegs? You can find the answer yourself in the seat of your computer! Simply go to google and search for your questionable merchandise (say, let’s imagine it’s an Eevee Pokedoll). You might see many pictures which may or not be the same to the item you have. Now, go to Ebay and search for the same thing and select “From lowest to highest”. You’ll see the first items will be from China or Hong Kong, meaning most of them being bootlegs. If you select “From highest to lowest” you’ll see items from Japan and most likely original merchandise.
If you still have a question about your items, you can simply search for a “Bootleg guide”. The internet has many easy guides in English, and many feature copies of popular Pokemon such as Pikachu and eeveelutions.