Look out people! Even the prince of all Saiyans is at risk of becoming a lowly bootleg. In our second installment(yeah I know we’ve been slacking) to our blog series The Fake, Forgeries, and Phonies we’ll give an in depth look into what seems to be the most popular S.H. Figuarts Dragonball Z bootleg that’s peddled online. Some sellers are even going as far as claiming it as an official S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta figure. In this post we’ll tell you what to look out for and what separates the real from the fake.
(Disclaimer: The “real” Super Saiyan Vegeta we are referencing is the US release by Bluefin. We can’t speak on any other county’s releases of the figure.)
Since it’s release in early 2012, the demand for S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta was so high even Bandai didn’t expect it. And with anything that’s incredibly popular you know what comes next….bootlegs. The fake we’ll be comparing our S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta figure is by a company called Datong… or atleast that’s the name they go by. Most bootlegs are laughable at best, but companies are getting much better at replicating the original version of a figure. At first glance, the Datong Vegeta seems almost spot on. Keyword… almost.
Let’s dig in shall we?
Writing on Box – First things first. The box is the most obvious give away since the letters seem to be in Chinese on the bootleg’s box. There isn’t Chinese written on the box released by Bluefin. You’ll find on the original that the box is primarily written in English with some Japanese sprinkled here and there.
Graphics – This almost never fails. Bootleggers can never get the box graphics right. This figure is no exception. The graphics look like a low quality photocopy. Making the red on the box a burgundy color and Vegeta’s picture completely washed out looking. On the real box everything is much more clear and the box color is in fact red and not burgundy.
Logo’s – Another error you might notice on the bootleg’s box is that the S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Vegeta was released with the Dragonball Z logo sticker and not a static Dragonball Kai logo. Also, it comes along with a little nifty Toei Animation Certificate of License Grant right next to it along with the Funimation and Bandai logos on each side of the box.
One of the things that makes the Super Saiyan transformation so special is how a Saiyan’s hair changes from jet black to golden blonde. Once transformed the characters look awesome. Same thing goes with the figure. Vegeta’s hair has a mixture of yellow, white and orange colors all throughout it giving it a nice contrast between each colors. The bootleg figure has the yellow and orange tones in the hair, but none of the white on the tips. Even on the promo pics released by Bandai you can see how the hair gets light the higher up it goes on Vegeta’s head.
S.H. Figuarts figure’s tend to use the same or very similar body molds between each set of characters they release. So it’s no surprise that most of the detail would be going into the figure’s face. To keep him semi realistic, Vegeta is painted with pinkish flesh tones while the Datong figure seems to be painted with yellow tones. Under low light it can be harder to tell what’s going on with the paint, but when you get the figure in light you’ll notice the skin color is yellowish.
Taking the figure out the package his joints seem fine, but after a few poses the joints start to loosen up. Usually in a particular spot. You may have neck, waist, or arm joint problems. It all depends on which is your figure’s sweet spot. Our figure is loose at waist line joint. After a few light poses the figure feels like it wants to separate in two. This may vary from bootleg to bootleg, but a common occurrence with bootlegs are their joints start to loosen up quicker than they would on the real copy.
Saiyan Armor Gap
This was something I thought was just on our figure, but it turns out that I’ve seen it on quite a few others. On the bottom right portion of the Saiyan armor there’s a separation where the back half connects with the front half. There isn’t a piece missing on the Saiyan Armor of the authentic figure as you can see below.
Neck Peg Color
When you take off the face of the real Super Saiyan Vegeta there’s a peg that connects to what’s left of his head. In the picture below you’ll notice the peg is blue. On the bootleg the peg is white. Also, the color on the inner head piece is suppose to be flesh colored and not yellow.
Extra Face Fitment
Face fitment is another problem on the bootleg. There’s a noticeable separation between the ears and the hair. Even when his face is jammed down onto the head there’s still a gap located right behind the ear. The piece that the extra face clicks onto isn’t a perfect square like the real figure.
This one is a subtle detail and can vary from figure to figure, but there’s much more shading going on with the bootleg particularly on the bottom half of the figure. On the upper half it’s the exact opposite. There isn’t enough. The real figure has some subtle purple shading on the front pieces of Vegeta’s Saiyan Armor and less black shading on his lower legs.
Copyright Details & Serial Numbers
Toys are all fun and games, but we can’t forget that the companies releasing these items are businesses. Pretty much every toy released has some type of serial number or copyright details somewhere on the figure. Some are more strategically place than others. Vegeta’s happens to be located on the bottom of his left and right feet. Where are they on the bootleg you might ask? Nowhere to be found.
The instruction manuals between the two are like night and day. I’ll let the pictures do all the talking on this one.
After examining everything between these figures you can see the bootleg just doesn’t come close in the quality department against the real thing. Some sellers are listing these figures as the real deal. Be careful out there. Paying 40 bucks may sound like a deal when some auctions and listing are ending at $200+, but the bootleg isn’t even worth the $40 you’d be spending.
That about wraps it up for this installment. We’ll be updating this article if we find anything else out there on this bootleg. Also, we’re going to continue buying bootleg’s and releasing article’s informing you on what to look out for. See ya next time!