Sofvi Bootlegging Scumbags

Discussion in 'Other Asian Toys' started by badteethcomics, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. Waterbear

    Waterbear Comment King

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    It can very much harm artists. I think there is a big difference between bootlegs and fakes. Bootleg stuff is like mexican spider-man figures with batman's head. Or pachi style sculpts of toys without the license. Bootlegs should be recognizable as bootlegs. When this dude started making his fakes they were pretty shitty. Certain colors were coming out like squishy dog toys. Stamps were almost unrecognizable. It was not hard to tell the difference besides maybe with a couple of the specific heads. Even at that point some custom painters were putting fake heads on real bodies "just for fun". Not too long after this dude actually re-molded these toys to get more accurate copies because he's making fakes not bootlegs.

    If you buy a fake you know it's fake but how many toys these days have just one owner? What happens when the next guy gets it? Or the guy after that? Or ebay? At some point lots of stuff just gets mixed in with everything else and no one knows where it came from originally anymore.

    Imagine it was your first time getting a mvh dx with a grody peanut head on it. You find one on ebay for a decent price and buy it. Then you get it in hand and you hate the quality because the details aren't sculpted very well and the joints feel loose and soft and it stands a little crooked. So mvh and grody shogun lose a new fan and customer. The toy goes off into the world to disappoint or rip-off another random person.

    For so many toy makers the quality of their stuff is incredibly important to them. This guy is filling the toy world with subpar copies of everything. That hurts artists and fans.
     
  2. Sophie_Sofvi

    Sophie_Sofvi Fresh Meat

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    I think you make a good point. Whether that happens at a level that financially hurts an artist I don't know. Hypothetically I agree with you, doesn't seem to be affecting sales at the moment.
     
  3. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    I get the mexican bootleg vs this distinction, but its not like they are the same thing nor that the environment is anywhere similar now as it was then.

    Youre assuming that this hobby isnt a bunch of entitled toy nerds buying toys. Your point foregoes that this hypothetical MVH-grody-peanut-head-buying customer isnt aware of 1)how big MVH is in the scene already and 2) that there is a massive catalog along with multiple ways to triple check youre not getting ripped off. It isnt big enough a margin to warrant what you are saying (yet).

    Again, I agree with the sentiment, fakes suck, but its naive to assume that person that finds the knockoff on ebay or whatever isnt aware of the toy and its history. That level only works if some rando lands upon the toy randomly and buys it, and few people do that these days without a few google searches.
     
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  4. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    Someone did buy a 'meat' 'Aitsu DX' off Mandarake for $800 the other day :lol: I can't find it now so no clue if the store realised and removed it.
     
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  5. Sophie_Sofvi

    Sophie_Sofvi Fresh Meat

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    I’ll stick to me bullmarks. Less worry.
     
  6. Waterbear

    Waterbear Comment King

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    You're dismissing the fact that popular toy makers are constantly getting new fans who aren't toy nerds and haven't been around for a decade. Take your MVH example. With Unbox releasing cute versions of his most popular toys at cheap prices he gets tons of new fans who may have never even heard of him before. A good deal of whom may not even speak English. They love their new chibi version and want to grab the bigger version off yahoo japan or ebay and would have no idea what is legit or not. I know several toy collectors with great collections who know nothing about who makes what at all. They just buy things they like. It is easy to think everyone is an expert or knows about SB but it simply is not true.

    To say the margins aren't there isn't accurate either. How much is a DX at retail these days? Around $300 bucks or so? Easily double that on the after market. The vinyl copycat sells them for $99 bucks. That is a pretty big margin.

    I am a toy nerd like you and just last year I did a big trade with a guy I've known for years. Pile of vintage toys and a few new toys going each way and I ended up with a fake DX myself. He got it from another trade and that guy thinks he got it from ebay. Neither of those two had any idea it was fake. I was able to tell pretty easily because I had another DX for comparison. So obviously any new collector who gets a fake DX as their first DX might not know any better.

    All this shit also really effects the trading/buying/selling of all the bootlegged toys. I sure don't feel confident about doing any of that stuff these days. And that does effect artists even if it's not directly. It was always fun to trade versions of toys for other versions or try to get enough pieces to mix parts or swap heads. It gets more people going after new stuff for sure. But now it just doesn't feel safe. Fake blanks everywhere. Fake blanks painted by random custom dudes. Fake parts on real toys. Full on painted fakes by the faker trying to copy actual releases.
     
  7. JoeMan

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    Yes, i think the larger issue is that the quality of the fakes keeps becoming better and will be unrecognizable to many in the future. People point out differences online and then the bootlegger remolds to correct the issues, like the footstamp for example. They will continue to refine their process, finding vinyl that is closer and closer to the Japanese mixture. Experimenting with the marble techniques to achieve effects identical to the actual marble releases. Solid blanks will become extremely difficult to separate from the authentic blank. They are even recreating header cards and paints acurately now, and again with practice their painting will become even better and unrecognizably bootleg by the majority of the collectors. In 5 years they will have reverse engineered this stuff to a tee and people will likely have bootlegs in their collections and be completely unaware.

    I guess that is the real issue to me. I'm not even bothered by the ethics anymore, as long as the seller is honest, and the lineage to the bootleg stays in tact. It's interesting to me how it has woven itself into the fabric of the artists and become a part of the history, hardcore collectors may even want to purchase bootlegs to sit along side the authentic pieces, if they want to collect the history of the artist, and that is fine to me as well. I don't think anyone out there who can afford an original, would neglect to buy it to buy a bootleg instead. And people who can't afford an original buying a bootleg...well who cares, they couldn't afford the original anyway, the artist, or the secondary market flipper aren't losing business, but the artist still retains a non-buying fan.
     
  8. Waterbear

    Waterbear Comment King

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    Fuck. I didn't even consider that.
     
  9. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Toy Prince

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    In a thread so full of negativity (rightfully so), I thought I'd mix it up a bit and share how some are working to combat bootlegging—NFC stickers on header cards.

    * Click to watch video.

     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
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  10. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    This is a great idea. Also gives owners a big incentive to hang on to those header cards.
     
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  11. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    Remember seeing a company offering a service for verifying collectibles on a blockchain--think it might be the same thing you're talking about, @HBCoffin? I don't remember the name but they were based out of Singapore.

    I have no idea how their implementation works and am still new to this stuff, so I don't know how resistant to tampering it would be.
     
  12. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Toy Prince

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    Most probably the same. I believe Centuryfugu is based out of Singapore. The service they were marketing is called PlatformXChain.

    I'm in the same boat and not well versed in the technology. This article provided enough information for a layman such as myself to get a basic understanding.

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/blockchain.asp

    TL;DR: I think a hacker with the skill and resources it would take to tamper with it wouldn't waste their time on an application for authenticating collectible toys.
     
  13. eckotyper

    eckotyper Post Pimp

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    i can scan that with this samsung phone my friend gave me and rewrite on another sticker though. in less then 10 seconds. I did this for animal crossing with amiibo cards lol
     
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  14. zindabad

    zindabad Comment King

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    If they're using the technology properly, an attempt to change one of the tags or create a new tag will be traceable. No idea how you'd apply blockchain to NFC tags, but it's the reason you can't counterfeit Bitcoin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
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  15. JoeMan

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    Interesting, but something I have 0 desire to deal with. And obsolete if it’s not embedded in the vinyl. Are the non-Marmit Godzilla’s century Fugu releases officially licensed by Toho, I have not seen any kind of toho markings or seals on the figures or header cards.
     
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  16. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    Have a provenance with the header card. End of story. it’s like this is getting complicated for no reason, many makers use the omakes as traces too. Cmon, There is a whole field of curatorial practices devoted to this. It is not hard and it should’nt be. Places like SB also serve to trace and triple check.

    NFC chips, holographic decals, artist signature, it’s all forgeable. As long as things continue to not have a provenance, they can be forged. If amiibos can be haxed, dollies will be too.
     
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  17. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Toy Prince

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    I don't think it's the perfect solution by any means, but I found it interesting nonetheless.

    Akametenshi created a flow chart on how to properly transfer ownership and verify authenticity using the PXC application. In this example there is a chip placed inside the sofubi as well.

    I believe you may be referencing Akametenshi's work such as the Desu-Ultimatum, Koijira Koi Ju, the more recent Shin Desu and Desucookie. Those are all original designs (i.e. novelty creations). They are of course unlicensed productions—Godzilla does not officially exist in any of those forms.
     
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  18. Patrickg2k

    Patrickg2k Toy Prince

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    Are you suggesting that provenance can not be forged? That's absurd. If that was the end of the story then we wouldn't be having this conversation. What kind of provenance are you suggesting should be included with the header card anyway? Provenance can be so many different things.

    Plus, how do you see that actually working? If someone is selling a very sought-after toy, do you really think that you are going to have the time to verify it's lineage of ownership before someone else snatches it up? Someone selling hype shit wouldn't even want to answer you anyway, they don't care about artistic integrity, they only care about scarcity and cash.

    I do agree that this isn't a new problem by any means...but I'm not sure enough collectors (or artists) even care.
     
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  19. JoeMan

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    Yes, those original designs. You can make a Godzilla toy and give it a new name. But it's clear he is making Godzilla toys and probably marketing them to a majority of collectors who see them as godzilla toys and connect his name to the profitable Marmit Gojis, which only probably adds more credit and authenticity to his Godzilla inspired creations. Even I was confused, and i've been following this crap for nearly 15 years. Seems indicative of the new attitude coming out of many non-Japan Asia based brands, which is take a licensed property keep it 95 percent recognizable and change it 5% to make an argument that it's an original creation. Regardless if it's slush cast, made in Japan or China or wherever, and the high retail price, they are essentially in essence also creating bootleg products and using bitchain to verify authenticity of bootleg goods. But if you live by the gun, you better be prepared to die by the gun. It's a bit presumptive of them to assume anyone would be interested in bootlegging their goods and taking precautionary measures to avoid it. But if they were bootlegged, well in this case would they really have any moral highground to stand on...
     
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  20. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Toy Prince

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    I see your point. It just adds to the confusion when one sees the president of Marmit pulling a Desu-Ultimatum at their factory. :?
     
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  21. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    Also adding to the confusion, is that I've seen his cookie monster goji done before, recently by Gabriel Marquez. I don't know if that's an old meme or joke, or illustration. But I don't quite know the history there.


    I get it, I would love to make a Godzilla or Hedorah or Gargantuas set, but the licensing seems impossible outside of Japan. I just wish they were more transparent. His Baby Desu is a figure I would probably pick up if I thought it was licensed Toho product.
     
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  22. Roger

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    Couldn't help but notice his fish tank:



    The creature on the bottom is an Australian Lungfish. Currently an endangered species but there is only one authorized breeder who can legally sell them. He sells them microchipped with certificates of authenticity. Fish that don't have these are considered illegal.

    https://www.facebook.com/jardiniinternational/posts/2031965307101929
     
  23. HBCoffin

    HBCoffin Toy Prince

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    My apologies. I assumed all manufacturing of independent work was done in-house—that is the case for his most recent releases—but it seems Marmit participated in the production of the original Desu-Ultimatum. That would explain the footage I noted earlier.

    I'm honestly not sure that even the Marmit DesuGojis and MireGojis coming from Centuryfugu are licensed as the header cards I've seen don't have the typical sticker of authenticity you see on official runs. Regardless, Marmit is an active participant as the toys are coming from their factory. Meanwhile they are still producing figures under Toho's license so I'm not sure what the deal is. :?

    I saw that as well. Akametenshi was clearly a fan of the work as he owns one of Gabriel's production pieces. Gabriel's original Shin-Cookiezilla was a conversion of an X-Plus Shin Godzilla model but then fully resculpted for an official/unofficial release.

    EDIT: I think Akametenshi owns Gabriel's original converted model, not one of his production pieces.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
  24. Roger

    Roger Prototype

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    Yeah that looks different than the Cookiezillas I've seen. Those ones had a curved tail with Grover's face on it.
     
  25. gatiio

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    No I’m not. I’m suggesting we all get a grip when discussing this because nowhere it seems anyone is invested in getting out of speculation and into actual cataloguing this.

    it takes work and many toy nerds often don’t seem to want to put it in. If someone wants to sell a hype dolly: papers, please.

    and it works the same way as anything with provenance, there is an artist and then said artist sends documents and prof of sale to buyers/owners (PayPal invoice and shipping label). Anyone with a bit of common sense keeps these things, records them and then passes them along with additions once the toy is sold and so on. Anyone buying this crap is smart enough to ask for this and at the least demand a reduction in price without them.

    I really don’t care. I laugh at how much this seems to be a sore point to so many.

    I for once, couldn’t be able to tell you where any of my HxS headers are or what omake goes to what. But that is just me



    Damn. This guy is charging a ton for these things and they aren’t even pulled by him. Iuno how that lands out here.



     

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