We at Anime Culture South Africa aim to bring you not only the latest but also the highest quality anime figures from your favourite shows! We know there’s nothing worse than waiting weeks for your figure to arrive only to find it looks nothing like what was advertised on the website you bought it from!
In light of this we believe it is important that our customers know:
- That they are purchasing legitimate, officially manufactured products from us and,
- How to distinguish between an authentic (real) and bootleg (fake) figure.
So what exactly is a "bootleg"?
Simply put a bootleg figure is an imitation of the original figure made by someone other than the official Manufacturer. Bootleg figures often look completely different from the authentic figure with differences in packaging, colour, pose, texture and ultimately overall build quality. Bootleg figures will often be marketed as originals however are far from it.
Here are some key points to consider that will help you distinguish between authentic and bootleg anime figures:
- Official Manufacturer’s seal
- Position and pose
- Coloring / different versions
Figures arriving in unbranded packaging material can generally be a sign of bootleg products. Authentic figures purchased will arrive in the Manufacturers packaging and will generally include some form of Manufacturer identification on the packaging itself.
Some form of Manufacturer identification should be seen on the packaging the figure arrives in, either a branded logo, official seal or barcode and figure number. Below are some examples of authenticity stickers as well as manufacturing information clearly identifying the Manufacturer.
Official figures are often crafted in specific poses to convey certain scenes in the anime. Oftentimes bootleg products will not be in the same position due to the fact that the same level of care and quality control is not being taken and implemented during the manufacturing process as an official Manufacturer.
Products painted in a different color to what can be found by the official product images is most likely a bootleg figure. Additionally the quality of the paint job itself can indicate potential bootleg figures, low quality generally found in the bootleg painting process means not as detailed and colour accurate figures as officially manufactured figures. Look for thin, highly detailed painted areas on a figure to identify bootleg figures as these areas will generally not be painted as accurately and consistently (i.e often times not within the lines) as the official figure.
Be wary of any figures that are priced too low. Official figures sold locally carry a decent cost due to the high quality material used in the manufacturing process as well as the fees associated with bringing in the products. Spend some time doing some research on the seller, do they have good reviews or a decent track record selling figures? Is the price substantially below the market value (i.e what you would pay for it at another store)? If the price is significantly cheaper then chances are you purchasing a bootleg figure.
Remember - you get what you pay for.