Here's a fact that should absolutely not shock you: Good Smile Company's products are popular. They're so popular, in fact, that they're often reproduced illegally and sold as bootlegs. And even the bootlegs are so popular that Good Smile Company saw fit to create a page with in-depth guides on how to spot them.
If you want to protect yourself from bootleg hell, do yourself a favor: go over that database and learn all the telltale signs of a bootleg. With practice, you can become as good at spotting fakes as Senator Vreenak. Just be aware that in the guide, official merchandise is highlighted in red.
Not all of the things on GSC's site can be spotted at a glance - some require you to open and closely inspect the merch. Really the best advice is to buy from trusted retailers. That's not always a brick and mortar store, mind you. Veila in the c-blogs ran into a retail store that sold bootlegs, but they've since closed down. There are still plenty out there, so always be careful and be educated!
[Thanks to AnimeFTW for the tip!]
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