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.
Umbreon - Eeveelutiongirl's Collections
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