hello everyone! i'm coming to you to bring you a great big special something! some people heard i was working on a bootleg plush spotting guide, and here it is! i know this community has a bootleg spotting guide already BUT this one will cover EVERYTHING i think there is to know about spotting booties! i'm not experienced with brands other than pc simply because ive never bought any other brand online. i'll update this as i learn more!!
☆ WHAT IS A BOOTLEG?
bootlegs are unofficial copies of official merchandise. bootlegs have been made of nearly everything you can think of; toys, jewlery, even vehicles! we'll just stick to pokemon plushies, i think!
☆ WHERE DO BOOTLEGS COME FROM?
good question! i find that bootlegs often come from sweatshops in other countries. china is a popular one. this is extremely unsafe, to you and the people working in said sweatshops. theyre often children (see "cheap labor"), and i don't think anyone supports the practice. there is also factory rejects. these tend to come from the same place as authentic plush! the items that don't meet the standards to be put on store shelves are tossed out, but sometimes the employees will steal those rejects and resell them on sites like ebay.
☆ HOW DO I SPOT A BOOTLEG?
there are many MANY ways to spot booties before you are fooled and purchase one! ebay is a popular place to buy merchandise you can't get anywhere else. let's head to ebay and see what we can find!
so you look up "pokedoll" to see what you can find and....
say, is that a dragonite pokedoll?
5 dollars with free shipping! i can afford that! the picture looks good too... i think i'll go ahead and-
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE!!!!
there's MANY things to talk about here!
1. the price! sorry, but you will NOT find an AUTHENTIC pokedoll for 5 dollars 98% of the time!
2. the picture! it looks good, but its a stock photo! bootleg sellers will take an image of a legitamate item, slap it on their listing, and call it good! i bet if i searched up "dragonite pokedoll" then....
3. where it's coming from! a general rule is DO NOT BUY FROM CHINA OR HONG KONG! they are the number one bootleg sellers! never buy from those countries! japan is the best place to buy, but places other than those are generally alright too.
ok, how about... oh!
this one is from new york, usa! and there's also a pokemon center in ny, so this one is real, right?
a lot of bootleg sellers tend to set up shops in new york. that's how they get ya. but how do you know that it's really a bootleg seller? ALWAYS check the description. if the description is written in broken english, this is your giveaway.
let's see if we can find an authentic one.
hey, this one looks like it might be real! (i know this isn't a pokedoll, but there arent any that MIGHT be authentic on ebay right now...)
this one is coming from the us too, but this one is coming from missouri!
it's too cheap! it CANT be real, can it?
some people dont know how much what they have is worth! somebody in the community recently got an authentic eevee pokedoll for 6 dollars! the seller didnt know how much it was really worth.
something else to always take a look at is all the pictures of the item the seller has given you.
do all the pictures look like they were taken at the same place at the same time? if yes, that is a good thing! bootleg sellers will often not do this since they use stock photos.
i generally trust photos that look like they were taken in someone's home.
** as it turns out, this dragonite is not authentic either. i was informed that legit banpresto plush have a blue shopro sticker on the tags.
with this being said, some people buy bootlegs, never know it, and then resell them when they see fit. just be careful!!
these tips apply for ALL PLUSH. NO MATTER THE BRAND.
☆ OK, HOW DO I KNOW I DONT ALREADY OWN A BOOTLEG?
theres a good number of ways to tell if a plush you have is bootleg or authentic. tags are the easiest way to tell, but the overall look of the plush plays a big role as well. if you're really unlucky, and notice your plush is lacking a part, then congrats! you likely have a factory reject.
☆ WHAT TAGS SHOULD MY PLUSH HAVE TO BE AUTHENTIC?
it differs from brand to brand! pokemon center tags are the easiest to spot,
☆ POKEMON CENTER ☆
pc is probably the most popular brand of pokemon plush. these bad boys are of extremely high quality, and are expensive. they have many different tags, but i'll try to help you out!
☆ REAL PC PLUSH TUSH TAGS ☆
- the text on real pc plush tush tags from later than 2002 are a dark, deep, brown color. 2002 tags will be black.
- the pokeball next to "pokemon center" is detailed. the top of the ball should be nearly completely colored in, minus the highlights.
- there will more often than not be an "S" sticker on the inside of the tags.
☆ FAKE PC PLUSH TUSH TAGS ☆
- text is a lighter brown/orange color.
- the pokeball is not detailed at all. the coloring is just lines.
- no "S" sticker.
☆ REAL PC PLUSH HANG TAGS ☆
theres many different hang tags that pc uses for different years. however, ive never seen a fake tag past the red pikachu tags.
☆ REAL RED PIKACHU HANG TAGS
these tags are the most famous of all the hang tags. theyre red, feature pikachu, and look like banners. they are attached to pokedolls from 2002-2005.
- pikachu will have a shadow under his chin, but nowhere else.
- the colors are rich and bright.
- the word "pokedoll" has some black shadow.
☆ FAKE RED PIKACHU HANG TAGS
- the colors will seem a bit more dull.
- pikachu will have a purple shadow under his chin, feet, and on his bottom.
- the word "pokedoll" will have no black shadow.
additionally, check the year of the hang tag and the tush tag. do they match? if they don't theres a good chance you have yourself a bootie.
identifying bootleg plush from banpresto or tomy is somewhat harder, and i'm afraid i can't help you there! just follow the tips from earlier, and you should get by without buying bootlegs fairly well!
you've made it to the end of the guide! nice job!
hopefully i could help you identify bootleg plush!
if you have a question or need help checking the authenticity of a plush, be it one you have in your collection, or one from a listing on ebay, i'd be happy to help you out!
feel like i missed something? let me know!! i'll be sure to add it to the guide when i can!
best wishes and happy halloween! - espen