As the anime industry continues to grow, so do the number of anime merchandise. And with the increasing number of anime merchandise, several fake ones have also popped up. Now, in some cases, sellers would say that their merchandise are “fake” or “bootlegs” from the very beginning. However, there are also cases when they don’t tell the consumer what it is they’re buying.

For the uninitiated, buying figures can be quite daunting, especially those who want to avoid fakes. However, often times, it’s actually quite easy to tell whether or not an item is fake. The first test would be the price. Are you getting a brand new item that’s waaaaaaaaaay cheaper than what they sell during events like AFA? Sometimes, that would be too good to be true, as most fakes are a whole lot cheaper. For example, if you go online and buy an original Nendoroid, you’d see that it would cost quite a bit of money. However, when you go to a different shop and see that you can buy it at half the price. Be careful when dealing with such items as more likely than not, it’s gonna be fake.

Another example would be the box art. In original items, you could see the quality and effort companies actually put in making the packaging look good. However, most bootleg items look a bit on the cheap side, using low-quality cardboard, and its printing ain’t as crisp. This one is from Kotobukiya, which compares what is real and what is fake:

Good Smile Company also released their own warnings online. For the packaging, they often don’t look like the usual packages that these figures originally come with. And sometimes, the printing of the box also feels a bit off.

And then there’s the quality of the figures themselves. More often than not, the painting is a bit off, at most times even dull compared to the original. There are also plenty of painting mistakes such as misaligned eyes and mouths, or just big noticeable botches. Sometimes, they don’t even paint some details in, and you can even see the mold lines in some of them. Here are a few Kotobukiya examples:

Here are also a few examples of one of Kotobukiya’s most popular figures ever, Dark Angel Olivia. The images highlight the dirty paint job and careless detailing bootleg figures often have. (images via Geek Headquarters)

As you can see from the images above, original figures tend to look cleaner… way cleaner. Meanwhile, over at Good Smile Company, they actually have an entire listing of fake figures over at their official website. Here are a few examples, including Orange Rouge’s Mikazuki Munechika and Nendoroid Umaru.

So there you have it folks, a better way to be careful not to be fooled. Remember, always check with the store if it’s original or not. If they tell you it’s “CLASS A,” then it’s fake. Then, check the price. If it’s too cheap, then be careful. Afterwards, check the boxart, and then the figure quality, and you’re set to go!