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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Filed in figures