Spotting fake Nendoroids and other figures

fake nendoroid L Death Note

I still consider myself as a newbie in figure collecting and my biggest concern when buying figures is to avoid counterfeit or fake figures. The figure industry is booming, it’s no wonder that there are a lot of fake figures being sold in stores and even more online.

I know I have to be extra careful when buying figures because counterfeit items are sometimes difficult to spot. I don’t want to pay for something inferior even though they are cheaper than the original. Luckily, I haven’t bought any fake figure. So how do you spot a fake when you haven’t actually seen and touched the original? Well, what I do is, I research online. Figure manufacturers have websites and most likely they have large images of their products. There are even some where you can view the figure in different angles. Take note of the details of the figures, like the packaging, the colors, accessories, etc. so when you’ll buy from stores, you can compare if it’s original or not.

So how about if you buy your figures online? There are some sellers who post pictures of original and then send you the fake one. To avoid that, purchase only from reputable sellers. On eBay, you can check out their ratings, buyers’ comments and how long they’ve been selling these items and other details about the seller. If you’re tempted to buy but you think the item’s price is too good to be true, then trust your instincts and look for another. I think the saying you get what you pay for may apply here. Don’t scrimp on a few dollars, you might just regret it in the end. Of course there are also wholesalers who sell original items at cheaper prices, just be careful. Don’t be shy to ask questions to the seller, it’s your right to know the details about the figure that you’ll be buying.

I already saw a fake Nendoroid L being sold in one of the malls in Greenhills (sorry I forgot the name but it’s in the newer mall area) I still don’t own a Nendoroid at that time and I haven’t even seen pictures of original L but I feel there’s something really wrong. The quality of the figure is really poor. There are even smudges of paint, just look at L’s eyes, (main photo), he should fire his make up artist leaving him looking like that. Lol. What’s worse than buying a fake figure without knowing it’s fake? Buying it at a price higher than the original! But in that store, Fake L is marked down at Php 600 or around ¥1158. Based on Good Smile’s website, Nendoroid L’s price is ¥3,000.

fake nendoroid L's chair
Just look at L’s chair, the original is on the left and the counterfeit is on the right. There is a missing detail on the fake one and the paint is not that smooth, seems like there are air bubbles or something.

fake figure missing sticker
According to the Good Smile website, fake figures sometimes have missing stickers on the boxes. You can also determine it’s a fake if there are no stickers. Though some manufacturers of counterfeits also copy these stickers, check it closely and if they look questionable, then don’t buy it.

fake nendoroid box konata
The box of the fake Konata looks much redder and brighter than the original. If you haven’t seen the original box and you think that the box of the figure you’re about to purchase is too bright or too pale or it has smears or print bleeds, then stay away from it.

fake Saber/Zero poor paint quality
Just look at fake Saber’s hair, it’s really a mess. It looks haphazardly painted and it even has chips around it. There are also imperfections on original figures but if it looks this bad, I guess you don’t need another warning sign that it’s a fake.

fake nendoroid Miku Hatchune
I think there are a lot of people who got ripped off with a fake Miku Nendoroid. Miku is so popular and many collectors would like to have her in their collection. This fake Miku looks sunburned and too shiny. It’s another way to tell if the figure is fake. If it’s too shiny for your liking and the color is so bad, then it’s probably fake. Look at her feet, it looks a bit distorted too. Ugh!

Check out Good Smile’s informational page about counterfeit items here. I hope more manufacturers will put information like this so buyers will not be cheated by makers and distributors of fake products.

Images via Good Smile

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45 Responses to “Spotting fake Nendoroids and other figures”

  1. Marinakirby says:

    I have the nendoroids Misa, Light,and L, and they are ALL counterfeit.
    I thought L was real because he came from America, but then I noticed his hair is slightly greenish, and he looks JUST LIKE the counterfeit pictures. Misa was FAKE! SUPER FAKE!
    Misa had two left legs, her body falls apart too easily, and her face paint is all messed up. She’s just so ugly, messed up and disfigured. Light was just fine, nothing was wrong with him, but I bought him from the same seller who sold counterfeits (they came from China, so there’s 85% chance that he is counterfeit). He was my first nendoroid.
    Light’s and Misa’s figure boxes were crushed when I received them. (‘Cause the figure boxes were taped!)
    It just makes me cry.
    Oh, and I bought them from e-bay (its hard to trust)
    I’m expecting to get a death note case file 2 set (hoping its not counterfeit).
    Shouldn’t be though, it’s from Japan. 日本~!

    1. xine says:

      I’m sorry to hear that you got those fake nendoroids. You really have to be careful, some sellers post pictures of original and then send fakes to the buyers.

      I hope you’ll have more luck next time with your online purchases. Have fun with your Death Note case file 02. I got case file 01 and they’re all adorable. ^^

    2. superunatura says:

      If price of any regular nendoroid is under $30, you can pretty much guaranteed it being fake. unless they are private collector who is liquidating their collection on used figures. There is no reason a business can or would sell that much below the MSRP, they have to buy the goods to sell to you too. Although sometimes, you could get a big discount on genuine figures, but that won’t occur on ebay. try hobby search, amiami, HLJ those kinds of sites and dish out larger sum of cash. You are just wasting money buying fakes. I intentionally bought a fake figure to compare. and it looks like cr@p and better in the trash.

    3. LenChan says:

      Oh. The same thing happened to me. I got fake miku, len, rin, meiko and kaito in petit……
      The way to get real nendoroid petits in a good price in ebay is to buy them seperately.
      There’s a 90% chance to get a fake nendoroid from china or hongkong.

  2. Feli says:

    Awww really? I’ve got only 2 nendoroids, Miku & L, and now I see they’re both fake! Now I get why they break so easily ¬¬
    But to be honest, I like to have them just for fun, I’m not a collectionist, so I don’t care thaaat much if they’re fake actually. Luckily the differences are not very notorious…
    I thought they were real because the boxes were in an excellent shape, and still are (I keep all the faces in there :P) and they were painted very good actually. Maybe I was just a lucky buyer (?) Lol, thanks for the post, by the way! :D

  3. Jo says:

    Awww… looking at all these articles make me worry. I’m going to buy a L nendoroid pretty soon and all of this stuff worries me. I look at the prices on eBay and I get tempted to press the “Buy Now” button. I look at the product and everything seems to be okay, I read the reviews and they’re good. But now I have the bad feeling to what I might get.

  4. Dai says:

    That makes me sad. My L and Light are probably fake. Although the quality is pretty high for both of them. But the chair and the boxes are tell-tale. OTL

    Now I’m really worried that my Sebatian one is fake too.

  5. Angel says:

    Okay… I bought mine in an anime con so I thought it was real. NOW FOR ALL FANS YOU BETTER READ THIS!!!!

    The nendoroid was fake. The box? real. Or so it seemed real. It had the floral pattern and it wasn’t reddish at all! but once I brought it home and enjoyed the satisfaction i opened it and it revealed to me a fake figurine. I was depressed.

    The box was real but the contents were not. :O Be careful!!!

  6. Zoe says:

    I feel really bad… I have an Azusa Nakano one which I got really cheap but now I realize it’s fake… No wonder it was so cheap… But I must say it is in good shape and not all the situations fit for mine but I still fell really bad although I am not a serious collector… I just want to finish the whole k-on band….

  7. alice says:

    and this is why i only buy from official retailers in japan….

  8. Feli says:

    Hi, me again! So, Angel, it happened the same to me with L, the box had the copyright thing and the logo was ok, the sticker, everything, etc. Now I get why I thought it was true ._.

  9. johnie gold says:

    too bad… I bought a hatsune miku nendoroid fake too.. i dont know it was fake.. and the bad thing about it is it wont stand in the circle plastic stand.. T_T

  10. johnie gold says:

    I was attracted for the low price, but I dont know It was fake… I wasted money…

  11. Rainie says:

    Hello! Are you a Filipino? Cause I’ve been to Greenhills just recently and I bought a nendoroid there…And it cost Php350 only!
    In Comic Alley, they sell nendoroids just for P590. I also bought one there.
    Sheesh…so all my nendoroid were fakes?

    1. xine says:

      Hello Rainie. Yes, I’m Pinoy. ^^ You should always be careful when buying Nendoroids in Greenhills. With the prices you mentioned, they are most likely fakes. Genuine Nendoroids cost around Php 1600 and up depending on where you’ll buy it. I usually buy from AmiAmi, Omniclone toys and sometimes I buy from Great Toys and Wasabi Toys which are both located in Greenhills. Great Toys has a branch in Makati too.

      1. Kirei says:

        was just gonna ask if its ok to buy at great toys or wasabi coz i was planning to get a yukimura sanada, arawn and riannon nendroid versions.

        coz i have been searching through the internet how to distingush bootlegs and authentics of these characters, could you please help me. thank u

        1. xine says:

          Based on my experience, Great Toys and Wasabi Toys sell genuine Nendoroids. Their prices may be a bit high than when you order online but at least, you don’t have to worry about your Nendo being trapped in customs which can cost you even more. ^^

  12. Enimae says:

    Ughh, I got a fake Hatsune Miku Nendoroid for £11 something, then during the time it was being shipped, I realized it was a fake. And guess what; No refunds or returns! She is so bad-looking, her paint is already scuffed a bit, it’s so annoying! Then again, don’t trust eBay for figurines like Nendoroids, most Hong Kong sellers sell fakes/replicas etc.
    I got the Miku fake Nendoroid from Hong Kong, biggest buying mistake I ever made. Does anyone know any good UK/USA sites that sell anime figurines? I can’t find any decent ones.

  13. Psychotic says:

    Oh my gosh. My Light Nendoroid is fake. I see like 90% of people on here got counterfeit ones too…*sigh* Well at least I know why his legs snapped off so easily. But it’s worth it; nothing some superglue can’t fix. I still feel really bad though. Should have looked into the whole ‘fake Nendoroids’ thing. Maybe when I get L I will look for a REAL Japanese dealer and get the real one. I got my Light for like $24. He’s really shiny, and his eyes are a little badly painted. And the case was same with me and Angel. Light is fake, and I believe the box is real. Blahhhh…

  14. Jessica says:

    Man I am so scared! I bought an L nendoroid off of ebay and it was cheaply priced! He should be coming in the mail any day now, I swear I’m gonna cry if he’s a bootleg. Stupid scammers!

  15. Charsiupao says:

    I got a Nendoroid 117 Ciel Phantomhive from a reputable video shop which only sells original videos. The price was RM39.90, or just over $13 – I assume that it was fake? I also got a 106 Black Rock Shooter for the same price.

    I’m getting an original one tomorrow (at least it’s selling for the price of the normal original Nendoroids). Hopefully it’s real, and I can compare the two.

  16. Ostel says:

    When I was in Japan, I bought a nendoroid,
    opened, and got Len. it’s absolutely genuine.
    But I went to a store at the mall in America, supposed to be Japanese, and I saw the similar shaped nendoroid, but painted funny. details were missing. I was freaked out, and they had whole glass cases selling various figurines, and I could tell that 99 percent of them were weird looking. especially pokemon. ugh. And more disturbing…. they had nendoroid keychains…tons of fake nendoroids impaled through their heads! most of the merchandise was cheap and fake looking. All the posters were too vivid, all packages, too. weird badges with random pictures shot from anime, illegit wallets and jewelry. the lady at the couter was chinese.the store had a no-return policy.
    It’s sad what China will do to gain money.
    It hurts my country….

    1. xine says:

      It’s sad to see that some people are buying/selling fake products. I feel bad for the original artist who spent a lot of time creating a product while others profit from an inferior copy of it. :(

      1. Ostel says:

        I know, right? Imagine being happy and selling your art, and one of your unfaithful customers makes a mold of your sculpture and replicates it. they open a store beside yours and make money from your art. i think many people who own fake nendoroids have never seen or played with real ones.How could they?
        They go to conventions and stores online and run into this stuff on a normal search.
        If it looks perfect, it’s real.
        If there’s a detail to question about it, it’s fake. by the way, what is Greenhills?
        Is it a store?
        As for fakes, the Nendoroids of Miku and Remilia scarlett nendoroids my friend gave me are fake. when i first recieved them, I thought they were old and dirty. but after reading this, i can confirm, they too, are

        1. xine says:

          Greenhills shopping center has various stores where you can get good bargains including toys. You’ll see a lot of knockoffs there too. It is located in San Juan, a city in Metro Manila, Philippines.

  17. Sara says:

    Oh my gosh, I cant tell you how pissed I am about a counterfeit Dead Master that I just recieved. I swear if I had a pair of Brass Knuckles I would bust that woman in the face for lying to me and screwing me over like that. It is beyond annoying and heart braking.

  18. Sara says:

    Oh and by the way, Dead Master’s horn, arm and head bump(puchito) BROKE off when I tried to replace it with a different item. OH MY GOSH IM SOOOOOO EFFIN PISSED!!!!!

    1. xine says:

      I guess you really have to be careful when buying figures especially online. As I’ve mentioned before, some will post photos of the real thing then send you a different item. Hope you’ll be lucky with your future purchases.

  19. Ignae-kun says:

    I’m from the Philippines and I’ve been buying PVC figs of Miku on Comic Alley(1550pesos ea)…..thought something was up since my LAT miku’s details was kinda-off,Racing miku’s hair is messed up,Append miku’s stand breaks easily…..

    Good thing I saw this…I was about to buy Nendo’s of Rin,Miku & Madoka

    If you want a real figure or a nendo…….buy from a real store even if it’s more expensive at least it’s worth the money…

    but under the right light a fake LAT miku & Appned miku seems ok….(just trying to comfort myslefy >_>)

  20. Marius says:

    Hi, what if the figures that you have don’t have any information or big/good enough pictures to compare to your own figures ?

    How could you know that it’s real (and even how much does it originally cost) then ?

    I have Mio Kisaragi’s figure from 1998, but I can’t find ANY information about her at all. (Well, at least by researching in English)

    1. xine says:

      It may not be easy to find information about older figures, perhaps you can ask fellow collectors with the same interest as you? ^^ Start with MFC, you could also join other forums and groups. Good luck!

  21. Fezuke says:

    I bought a fake Black Rock Shooter (Black Gold Saw) figure and honestly I love it. For what it does, Just sit there and look pretty, I find my ‘Fake’ one looks awesome. Maybe I got lucky, but I rather pay 20$ then 60$. But I do understand that for the collecting aspect of it, buying the real ones is important.

    1. xine says:

      Did you know that it was fake before you bought it? Well, you have a choice whether to buy the original or fake but in my opinion, buying the original is not just for the collecting aspect, it’s actually respect to the artist, the sculptor and the rest of the people behind the real product.

      1. Fezuke says:

        You do have a point there. I hadn’t thought of that aspect. Maybe next time I’ll think about that.

  22. HeyTherePPL says:

    well i was at my 1st comicon and was so excited got an L nendoroid and didnt spot it was fake till now … cuz omg its really good doesnt fall apart stands perfectly … no bubles and painting nothing looks so perfect … idk im not a collecions or anything XD i bought it for 20 euros … well i dont really care it looks good to me its just that i feel bad cuz they lied to me XD i though it was real well what ever cant do anything about it … at least the fake L nendoroid doesnt look deformed like the vocaloid ones … looks exactly like the real one and i really preffer the fake nendoroid eyes and chair idk why i think it looks better and the shiny face and hair looks pretty awesome XD well im weird

  23. ... says:

    I just ordered a snow Miku Hatsune (playtime version) from ebay. And it was from Hong kong. I really hope it is not fake, but probably it is… And thats probably also why it was so cheap. But I am not a serious collector, so I just hope it looks to terrible… :D And after I buyed it I found one that you could order from England, and thats probably much safer…

    1. ... says:

      I mean

      DOESN’T look to fake… xD

    2. xine says:

      Even if you’re not a serious collector, you’d really appreciate how the quality of the original differs from that of the fake. Be more careful when ordering from eBay. As I’ve mentioned before, some sellers may post photos of the real thing but sends you the fake one. Check their customer rating and ask a lot of questions. ^^

      1. ... says:

        The nendoroid was fake, but I later ordered one from amiami, and it wasn’t fake! :D You can see the quality differences…. But they are both ccute!^^

  24. Dani says:

    Well, you don’t know how happy I was when I found out you were Pinoy! So what about Comic Alley at NCCC? I got my Miku there, and the legs are just shaky annd pathetic…

    But I still love it, coz my cousin knew how much i love Vocaloid and got Miku for me~ but does this mean that not even Comic Alley is safe?

    1. xine says:

      Hi Dani. Thanks for dropping by. Yes, I’m Pinoy ^^

      Where’s NCCC? The stores that I’ve tried locally are Wasabi Toys and Great Toys Online and they sell genuine Nendoroids. I also order online from Omniclone Toys. Nendoroid normally retails at around Php 1,700 and up, puchis (set) start at around Php 1,400. Check the paint job and the quality of the plastic. The paint job of the fake ones are really bad the plastic is somewhat shinier than the original.

  25. Dani says:

    Wait a sec, I just took a MUCH closer look to mine… IT’S REAL?! I’m confused… I think only the stand is fake, but Idk XD

    But the price was Php549.00… expensive bootleg or the right price for the real thing?

  26. SunsetShimmerFan says:

    I used to have a bootleg Misa Nendoroid (even though I never watched the show she came from, she was cute) because I couldn’t afford a Nendoroid, but I threw it out. My first real Nendoroid will be Stardust Witch Meruru.

  27. Ami says:

    I live in California, This one store I went to in the mall sells Japanese figures and such, A few months ago I went there and they had these little chibi vocaloid figures on keychains. I bought some of them because they were very cheap (probably $9) and it was before I knew of Nendoroids. Now I can tell they look like Nendoroid puchis. Except they’re very horribly painted! The colors are extremely off, the paint is messed up on the hair and eyes, Some parts have no paint completely. Does that mean they’re fakes?
    I’ve seen on google the same thing except way better painted! :o

    1. xine says:

      Check out this page from Good Smile about Nendoroid Petite Vocaloid #01 bootlegs. Is this the set that you got?

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