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Bootleg Hell: Snow Miku vs. Real Miku

12:00 PM on 08.05.2010 // Colette Bennett

You know the word on bootlegs: they're terrible, no one wants them, etc. And we've brought you news from the world of bootleg hell before. But when I attended Otakon this year, during our Collecting Figures panel, the question of bootlegs came up. One disappointed audience member had purchased what he believed to be a real Snow Miku in the dealers room, only to be crestfallen when we pointed it out as a fake.

After the panel, he walked up to me and asked if I wanted the figure, since he didn't want to keep a fake. I agreed and took it, not because I intended to display it (my Snow Miku ships this week) but to use her as an illustration for any of you that are interested in seeing the difference between a fake and a real Nendoroid. I had never held a fake before, but after this experience, I was simply amazed at the low quality level -- it was much worse than I possibly could have imagined. 

Hit the jump for more.

I feel like the level of detail (or lack thereof) in a bootleg is hard to explain until you get it in your hands, hence our video here. But, I'm going to try to communicate what I experienced with photographs as well. First, let's get a look at the real, genuine thing -- the original Miku Nendoroid officially made by Good Smile Company.

She just lights up a photo, doesn't she? Now, let's take a really close look at the fake Snow Miku in the same position.

This Miku does come with the same face as the one above, but I find it unintentionally funny that this one has a less excited face -- like "Hey, look at much I suck." And she does. You can clearly see rougher texture in her eyes and the front of her hair here, which looks smooth on the original Miku. But that's not where the quality issues end.

Once again, a look at the top of the real Miku's head, which is clean and free from defects (except that one scar where I dropped her. Whoops).

Note the weird plastic nub visible in the seam line between bangs and hair here, which I also talk about in the video up top.

I beheaded the bodies (how gruesome!) so you could closely look at the detailing on the shirts by the collars. Snow Miku's is very smudged looking, while the real Miku's is crisp. 

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to capture on film the weird shininess that the fake faces have. You'll just have to see for yourself. It's funny how holding them in your hands, you can tell so easily. However, it does show here that Snow Miku's teeth are unpainted. Attention to detail!

In the end, the less discerning collector may not mind owning a Nendoroid that falls apart frequently, especially if all they plan to do is display it on the shelf and never take it down. I personally like to play with mine and find the constant falling apart issue an inconvenience. Anyway, here's hoping that this guide is helpful and shows off some of the key differences between a real and a fake. Thanks again to our guest at the Otakon Collecting panel who provided this bootleg so we could use it for scientific study!


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Colette Bennett,
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