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Rules to unmask false Action Figure [AntiBootleg]

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This article was taken from the site, expert action figures; the site also offers a section dedicated to the phenomenon of bootleg, you can follow the address book from here. Our site is intended to provide only a hint of all the things that a good visitor should know when to visit the fair in Lucca Comics & Games, so any material reported here is the legitimate owners.



The phenomenon of the bootleg, among the themes closest to the staff of so that their readers do not fall into the trap of false, is unfortunately growing, so much so that every day we see both on the network and at physical stores or at events a real invasion of these mere unauthorized copies that undermine the healthy growth and light of the original products.

000 Slide Rubrica AntiBootleg 01aIn this regard the heading AntiBootleg of, which now boasts a number of articles, is in addition to the present text, which will act as the article “mother” of the entire cycle of special dedicated to the sector, thanks to a series of ‘ general information and applicable in all fields of industry.

  1. The Sticker
  2. The figures
  3. Quality materials
  4. Packaging: Prints and Seals
  5. The price





The stickers are undoubtedly the most distinctive element known as theoretically possible to recognize an original product due to their presence. These little stickers of various shapes and sizes, are more often than not the logos of the companies that own the rights to the title that inspired the article reproduced (video game, anime, manga, feature etc …).
Over the years, companies have renewed their sticker to avert the possibility that potessere be falsified, adding elements of hard to play as holographic effects or different colors.
However, there are still many adhesives made ​​with very simple processes (such as ASCII Mediaworks or MediaFactory), and then easily forged. Fortunately it seems that the producers of bootlegs are not always interested to engage in such production, also because often those who buy a fake has little experience, and then how does the case to the poor quality of the product does not even know of the existence of the sticker. But some of these, such as the well-known logo Toei Animation, suffered counterfeits.
The stickers are in effect an element to be taken with the tongs, partly because their main function is often relegated to the identification of the origin of the product, helping yes, but only in part, the unmasking of a bootleg.

Turning to the practical side, the following are some of the most common currently sticker:

There are many other sticker as well as many other companies who own the rights to reproduce, so the images above are just a taste.Recall also a very important detail: the products distributed in Japan or in other parts of the world are all from the same factory;therefore, a product which bears, for example, the vignette TOEI Gold will be completely identical to one with sticker TOEI Silver or one without adhesive sticker but with the importer, since these are only of the distinctive elements to identify the area of distribution, but the production is absolutely identical, therefore, does not result in lower or higher quality (and value) of the product.

In Japan, companies distribute directly, and consequently their packages have as hallmark adhesive exclusive home of the owner of the copyright.
In the rest of the world authorized distributors dealing in supplying retailers not Japanese, and to cover a large space as the whole world obviously does not refer to a single company. Each distributor normally applies its adhesive on the bottom or back of the box, usually near the barcode with your own logo (Abysse Corp, AAA Anime, Cosmic Group etc …), it certifies the originality.

Normally, the same adhesive supplier, there is a sticker applied instead on products popular in Japan, but this is not a fixed rule, because some companies apply it practically always (for example Gainax), others occasionally (Kadokawa Shoten ), others adopt different colors according to the area of distribution (Toei Animation), others not at all. Also recently appeared a sticker “Sales Outside Japan Only” on some imported products abroad, which could help further identify official articles obtainable from authorized distributors.
The only sticker that will always and in any event is to holographic JP Genuine Product, but is only available on high-end products(Alter, Good Smile Company, Max Factory etc …) and almost exclusively on products static or large (no action figures, Nendoroid, figma etc …) or in relation to companies (usually produced by Max Factory Nendoroid have the sticker JP Genuine Product, those of Good Smile Company not).

Therefore, this element is highly distinctive, but relegated to a small group of products and used only by a few companies. Instead, as regards the course PRIZE articles with the stickers are almost always absent, and are printed directly on the packaging for a matter of saving (being very cheap products). Sometimes it can happen that there are, as in old publications relatedSEGA universe GAINAX or Kadokawa Shoten, or recent releases related to ASCII Mediaworks, but in principle a PRIZE figures does not have this element.

Summing up the stickers are an important and highly distinctive, but their usefulness is confined mainly to the identification of the origin of the product (direct import Japanese or foreign), that we remember to be identical, only dealt with more or less speed, but manufactured at the same location at the same time.


In 90% of cases a bootleg is recognizable without appealing to the packaging or the sticker, but an untrained eye or a collector struggling with his first purchases can easily make a mistake and end up with a counterfeit item. Lets get the bootleg can be the result of a recast (mold obtained using a single original cast as the matrix) or matrix original (or obtained as a cast from an original).

Without going too much in legal matters of the second option, which would mean understanding how matrices can get out from factories without being discovered (we let the police take care of the task involved), it is well understood as the first option may be subject to strong elements that will determine its recognition.
First, the ability to detect large crusts on the thinner parts, because a recast is made with ductile material, then the new matrix will be less accurate than the original. As the bootleggers will engage in cleaning up the best products, you will notice the imperfections, differences in angle of the head, arms, legs or head of hair than the original, and some gross errors in the casting of the press.
Often it happens that, in the case of static with two pins on the base, one of the two feet does not coincide with the respective positioning on the support, precisely because of what is described. In this regard, in fact, sometimes the bases of the bootleg are different than those of the original. A bootleg obtained from an original matrix can be very dangerous, as the casting of pvc inaccuracies may present less than expected. In this case you have to appeal to your eye and seize all those differences or those inaccuracies painting that somehow attract attention: decorative elements inaccurate, glossy finish of the skin, any decal poor quality, cross-eyed or with abnormal angle etc. …

Recall also that the material used for casting is not qualitatively good as the original products, and usually the mixture is the same for each part (as firms official use different compounds in different zones). Therefore happen that the hair is too thick in the presence of strands thinner or that the figures hang as casting uniform does not respect the study of gravity played by the original company. If you see a figure of companies such as Alter or Max Factory with real sausages instead of the tufts of hair or emulate the exploits of Michael Jackson in“Moonwalker” ask yourself the question, “will be original?”.



As explained in the previous point, the material used is much poorer, cheaper and therefore subject to obvious differences compared to the originals. This applies both for the PVC used for the casting of a press for the paint, which is not having to pass certification tests are often toxic or of unknown nature. In this regard, pay attention to the following steps:

a) the smell: while the original materials have a strong smell but not annoying, that of the bootleg is intense and pungent, capable of infecting a room within minutes after removing the product from its packaging. Obviously a bootleg purchased without box will have lost much of the original bad smell, but comparing “nose” an article and an official bootleg there will be difficult to identify which of the two is counterfeit;

b) oily finish: all products printed in a matrix, just excerpts, are characterized by an oily film, which prevents the PVC from sticking to the molds. This course is removed during production with several washes and treatments, but a bootleg does not enjoy so much attention, and then over time the lubricant may ooze from the figures and go through the paint, giving that effect “sweaty and shiny” that characterizes false;

c) transparency: how many of you know, there are now numerous figures made ​​transparent parts, mostly locks of hair or clothing parts very special, but also the traditional bases of static, Nendoroid, figma etc … Often the material is used or too transparent or not is almost nothing; consequently the foundation of a Nendoroid seem made with plastic of precooked foods supermarket, almost completely transparent and a little ‘rifled, while chiocche hair will be virtually the same material as the rest of the figures, since adopt systems for castings crossed would mean to increase the production costs and make the production of a false disadvantageous.

As always, there may be many other factors related to materials, so these are only guidelines of the most obvious.



The box of the figures are the result of a study, whether it be of the blister containing the parts of the figures or graphics box. Usually the prints are of high quality, even for cheaper products, so if the figures show a box of prints similar to a trivial color photocopy, without depth and with some signs of printing or, as often happens for figma, shading or different colors of the images placed on the box, ask yourself some questions. In some cases, moreover, the bootleg products come on the market before official (with substantial differences, and sometimes even quite personal interpretations of the gadgets included). Obviously in this case the packaging of the product will not be a mere copy, but just something completely different.

The companies almost always seal their products, those with the common scotch, those with the seals circular adhesive material satin.The bootleg often are not sealed, as well as the edges of the blister inside, and therefore do not find even a sign of a piece of tape on a figure of ‘Alter or Max Factory can be a great help to sgam a fake. Of course do not forget the presence or absence of stickers and stickers (as explained in point 1).



The figures are the result of a series of processes which, consequently, determining the cost. A static PVC in 1/8 scale is not only what you see with your eyes, it is much more.

Firms face many costs:

  • Obtain permission for the reproduction of that particular character / vehicle, with payment of the rights to their owners;
  • Develop an idea that appears to be engaging, compelling and reflecting the product intended to commercialize;
  • Assign the prototype to an artist, who will be hired and which will be commissioned the work;
  • Analyze the proposal, possibly ask for changes, and then begin the production process;
  • Study the method to divide the product into several parts in order to be printed, then reassembled and decorated;
  • Start the process of production and bear all costs related to the personnel who will take care of handling the press, to extract the parts and separate them from the lava, wash them, assemble them, decorate them and start them canning.

The list, very long, wants to prove to collectors like these products undergo a long and expensive process, which can not be negligible in the calculation of the final cost of the part. Of these points only part interested counterfeiters, in practice only the last and thus lowering the cost of the previous steps can get the finished product (within the limits of its non-quality) at a fraction of the cost compared to the amount spent by firms officers.

Therefore a list of figures that costs more than 100 Euros will certainly be sold to 30, except in cases of total sellout, super offer or exceptional cases. A shopkeeper who proposes a figure of ‘Alter 20-30 euro is a crook, because even from his supplier (excluding VAT) will pay less than 50 euro, let alone with the tax and their personal gain. Eye also to products now rare, because the sellers of fakes will not scruple in selling at the same price as the original, illudendovi to conclude a great deal by paying 20 euro less a piece that usually runs at 150 among collectors.

Always pay close attention to where you buy, because this sector is booming, and many shopkeepers are venturing into the field without possessing the basic preparation of collectors or those working in the industry for many years, suggesting either knowingly or unknowingly Articles false that undermine the “health” of this market, with irreparable damage to the industry and for honest traders.

Last advice, generic but still useful, where can read up before making a purchase, to see if there is a copy of the counterfeit product you want to buy; if you are fair and do not have the ability to control your trust in the rules above, and if the doubt is strong remember, the better a deal gone awry that a rip brought home, even when the enthusiasm is going to get the better of reason.

For everything else, as always and as long as you wish, the staff of will follow you and will support you trying to answer all your questions.



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