How to Spot A Bootleg
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Thread: How to Spot A Bootleg

  1. #1
    Ganbare Lizardon!! Araragi-hakase's Avatar Head Administrator
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    Default How to Spot A Bootleg

    So, you want to finally buy that Umbreon PokeDoll you've had your eye on for some time now. A quick eBay search, and...wow, these are pretty cheap! Of course they are, they're bootlegs.

    Umbreon is one of the most popular and bootlegged Pokedolls because of the high price it often fetches among collectors.

    First off, what is wrong with bootlegs? Why should I pay nearly $50 for a legitimate Pokedoll when I can grab this one for $5?

    Besides being illegal, bootlegs are:
    -poor quality/easily breakable
    - often off model and often sometimes discolored
    - often lacking parts
    - some have been reported to be foul smelling, and some have even found stray needles in them
    - You might support illegal actions by purchasing from bootleg sellers
    - While factory rejects are not stricly bootleg items, they often have errors and lack parts. Official items are quality and look better!

    Since this is image heavy, examples are under the spoiler tag.

    This is what an official Umbreon PokeDoll, from the Pokemon Center in Japan looks like:



    Now, let's look at this one found on an Ebay auction. At first glance, it appear very similar. But let's look at what's wrong:

    1. Takara Tomy is not the manufacturer of PokeDolls. Takara Tomy DOES in fact make official Pokemon merchandise, but PokeDolls are exclusive to the Pokemon Centers in Japan. Bootleggers are getting craftier in putting brand names in descriptions to fool people.

    2. The price. Sorry, but you're not going to get any legit PokeDolls for about $3, especially not an Umbreon one.

    3. Shipping from China. This is personally the first thing I look at when looking at eBay auctions. 95% of the time, things that are shipped from China or Hong Kong are bootleg or factory rejects. Not EVERYTHING is, but if you are not 100% sure, it's better to be safe than sorry. The plush that are available in Japan are manufactured in China, and often times factory rejects are stolen from the factory and resold on eBay, passed off as legitimate plushes from the Center. This is what looks to be happening here.

    4. The plush itself. First, there's only one image. This should ring a bell. Another thing is note is that often times bootleg sellers often use stock images of said item. Most legitimate sellers use actual photos of the item and will provide more upon request.

    Let's take a closer look at the plush:

    - Obviously messy sewing. Not all sewing on PokeDolls is perfect, but it is much more careful than this.
    - Face is a bit lumpy
    - Its legs should be together, here they appear to be apart.

    But, wait! This seller has perfect feedback! Surely they aren't selling illegal merchandise!

    No. Check through their feedback, especially the negatives and neutrals. If you are apprehensive, read through and see if anyone has said anything about "seems fake", "didn't have any tags", "fell apart easily", etc. Often times the people who purchase bootlegs are parents who buy them for their kids, who certainly aren't going to pay $50 for a PokeDoll when they can find a much cheaper one for $4 on eBay.


    Most importantly, if you have any doubts that something may be a bootleg, do not buy it. Look through some of the seller's other items, do they seem off to you? Do the faces seem a bit lumpy? Check out PokemonPlushProject and compare them to the images of official images on there.


    Another product that is often boot legged are figures. However, these are often hilariously easy to pick out. The Pokemon are often the wrong color and shape.



    The ones that do come in some form of packaging are equally as easy to spot



    Check out Hell's PokeMart for more examples, or if you just need some laughs.

    Credit:

    Photos:
    Umbreon - Eeveelutiongirl's Collections
    pkmncollectors: Is this rare?
    Last edited by Araragi-hakase; 25th December 2013 at 11:53 AM.



  2. #2
    Forbidden Forest Ranger Cosmic Gerbil's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    I hope it is OK me posting here :O

    I have found a seller on eBay who is offering Pokedolls for £5. They look legit and they're a British seller but I'm not 100% sure. Could I PM the link to a mod to have a look please? I am saying about PMing cos I'd feel rotten if I go ahead and post it up and the seller is legit. I wouldn't want to give bad publicity to their business that way.
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  3. #3
    Ganbare Lizardon!! Araragi-hakase's Avatar Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic Gerbil View Post
    I hope it is OK me posting here :O

    I have found a seller on eBay who is offering Pokedolls for £5. They look legit and they're a British seller but I'm not 100% sure. Could I PM the link to a mod to have a look please? I am saying about PMing cos I'd feel rotten if I go ahead and post it up and the seller is legit. I wouldn't want to give bad publicity to their business that way.
    Yup, of course you can post here, this is exactly what the thread is for :)

    And I understand your reasoning, but if you are unsure, I think it is best to post the links here so that everyone can see them if in fact they are bootlegs so that others do not buy from them.

    You can go ahead and PM them to me if you'd like though! :)



  4. #4
    Forbidden Forest Ranger Cosmic Gerbil's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Awesome, OK then :) I will PM you the link first, just in case they are a legit seller. If not, I'll post it up here :)

    EDIT: They were bootlegs :O Here is the link:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-Pokemon-Plush-selection-Eevee-Jolteon-Vaporeon-Piplup-Combee-More-/140861237474?_trksid=p5197.m1992&_trkparms=aid%3D111000%26algo%3DREC.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D14%26m eid%3D2503420897498431197%26pid%3D100015%26prg%3D1006%26rk%3D1%26sd%3D140861237474%26
    Last edited by Cosmic Gerbil; 6th October 2012 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Adding in link
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  5. #5

    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Is there any official website for the Japanese pokemon centres, where I can buy legit plushies online? I've been working on a Gary Oak cosplay, and I need an Eevee doll as a finishing touch. I live in Australia, and although I'd gladly pay around $50 for a plush, I can't exactly travel to America or Japan to get one. I don't want my Eevee to fall apart in the middle of the convention, so I want to buy a legit Eevee pokedoll.
    Last edited by Little Miss Eevee; 6th November 2012 at 07:48 PM.

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  6. #6
    Ganbare Lizardon!! Araragi-hakase's Avatar Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Miss Eevee View Post
    Is there any official website for the Japanese pokemon centres, where I can buy legit plushies online? I've been working on a Gary Oak cosplay, and I need an Eevee doll as a finishing touch. I live in Australia, and although I'd gladly pay around $50 for a plush, I can't exactly travel to America or Japan to get one. I don't want my Eevee to fall apart in the middle of the convention, so I want to buy a legit Eevee pokedoll.
    The Japanese Pokemon Centers themselves do not have online stores, no. But there are many places online that you can get Pokemon Center goods.

    Is there a particular Eevee plush you were looking for? There is an Eevee promotion going on at the Pokemon Center right now, so you shouldn't have too hard of a time finding them :)

    Here are the 3 places I most commonly use to buy Japanese pokemon goods:

    Pokevault: Plush Toys Pokedolls
    Sunyshore Pokemart: Open 24 hours a day and powered by Electric Pokemon, Happy a Happy Shopping Life!
    Figures Pokemon Kids, Straps items in ANIMERAROdotCOM store on eBay!



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    ORAS HYYYYYPE! OmegaAlpha's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Wait a sec... I have a Takara Tomy Chimchar doll, but this thread said that Takara Tomy does not make PokéDolls. So it's fake right? But still I love it a lot, and I got it for Christmas.
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    Ganbare Lizardon!! Araragi-hakase's Avatar Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by InfernapeMaster View Post
    Wait a sec... I have a Takara Tomy Chimchar doll, but this thread said that Takara Tomy does not make PokéDolls. So it's fake right? But still I love it a lot, and I got it for Christmas.
    TOMY does make plushes, but not the actual PokeDolls, no. Do you have a photo of it by chance?



  9. #9
    ORAS HYYYYYPE! OmegaAlpha's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by Araragi Hakase View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by InfernapeMaster View Post
    Wait a sec... I have a Takara Tomy Chimchar doll, but this thread said that Takara Tomy does not make PokéDolls. So it's fake right? But still I love it a lot, and I got it for Christmas.
    TOMY does make plushes, but not the actual PokeDolls, no. Do you have a photo of it by chance?
    No, I do not have a photo. It doesn't say PokéDoll on the tag, anyway. If I did have a photo, he looks sooooo cute!
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  10. #10
    someone in the dark garrison-san's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by InfernapeMaster View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Araragi Hakase View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by InfernapeMaster View Post
    Wait a sec... I have a Takara Tomy Chimchar doll, but this thread said that Takara Tomy does not make PokéDolls. So it's fake right? But still I love it a lot, and I got it for Christmas.
    TOMY does make plushes, but not the actual PokeDolls, no. Do you have a photo of it by chance?
    No, I do not have a photo. It doesn't say PokéDoll on the tag, anyway. If I did have a photo, he looks sooooo cute!
    Is it actually a PokeDoll (as opposed to a more generic Pokemon doll)? "PokeDoll" refers to a specific model of plush, with the pokemon rendered in a distinctive chibi style (as with the Umbreon above).

  11. #11

    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    For the record, this is what the official Chimchar PokeDoll looks like. PokeDolls are made by Pokemon Center.

    y team

  12. #12

    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    This makes me kind of sad considering that I bought a Pokedoll for about $5 and I thought it was legit .__.
    Or maybe it was just hopeful thinking.
    No good Mew doll would ever be that cheap...

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    Registered User zakisrage's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Anyone ever discovered a bootleg and was able to exchange it? One of my friends ordered a Cubchoo plush, but it's a bootleg - the tush tag looks similar to the one you showed. She is looking to see if she can exchange it for a non-bootleg Cubchoo. Is it possible to get a bootleg exchanged for a genuine toy?

    On a side note, I found a video with a guy who ordered a Mandibuzz online, and when he got it, he found out it had two left wings. It took him a few tries before he got a Mandibuzz that looked better.
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  14. #14
    Ganbare Lizardon!! Araragi-hakase's Avatar Head Administrator
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    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    Quote Originally Posted by zakisrage View Post
    Anyone ever discovered a bootleg and was able to exchange it? One of my friends ordered a Cubchoo plush, but it's a bootleg - the tush tag looks similar to the one you showed. She is looking to see if she can exchange it for a non-bootleg Cubchoo. Is it possible to get a bootleg exchanged for a genuine toy?

    On a side note, I found a video with a guy who ordered a Mandibuzz online, and when he got it, he found out it had two left wings. It took him a few tries before he got a Mandibuzz that looked better.
    Pokedolls are manufactured in China, and have these types of tush tags - it was the year that was wrong. I should have been more clear about that ^^; But on legitimate Pokedoll tush tags, it does say Made In China. That is why factory rejects are so commonly sold in China. I have been meaning to add more and show more examples in this tutorial, which I will try to do soon.

    People who sell bootlegs know what they're doing - their goal is to pass it off as legitimate merchandise. They're not going to let you exchange it because they don't have legitimate merchandise to offer. Especially on eBay, all eBay cares about is that the buyer got a product. In this case, all you can do is leave feedback that says that it is a bootleg. If you buy the pokedoll from a legitimate source, you don't have to worry about this, especially if it comes from the Pokemon Center in Japan. They don't sell bootlegs there at all, it's only on the internet you really have to worry about it. The price is usually the first indicator - most Pokedolls go for about $20-$30 USD from Japan. Bootlegs are much, much cheaper than that. Do you happen to know where she got the Cubchoo?



  15. #15

    Default Re: How to Spot A Bootleg

    I noticed quite a few of the 2012 Pokemon Eeveelution standing plush toys seemingly pop up over night on Ebay. They're on sale about £12.99 and bids starting at £1.00, low for this specific plush). All of them for low prices, all of them using the same set of stock images. Just a heads up. They all come from "reputable sellers" but as the first post said.

    Here's an example of a Vaporeon (which I know is usually on sale for more than the others): Pokemon Pikachu Plush Doll Soft Toys - VAPOREON 8" #S540 | eBay
    And compare it to a genuine one on sale at PokeVault: Pokemon Center 2012 Eevee Collection Vaporeon Standing Plush Toy

    I own a few of the standing Pokemon Center plush toys that I bought from a reputable source and they cost a lot more than these ones on ebay. Some of these items on ebay are for bid, starting at less than £1, which is ridiculously low. Just thought I'd post here because I love the Eeveelutions myself and I don't want anyone to be tricked if they are rejects or fakes.


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