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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Toys 'n' Stuff | Bootlegs & Bloo

"You can't fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal."
William S. Burroughs

As you've seen I've lately become obsessed with all things cute and kawaii. I've bought a number of things from different kawaii stores such as Tofu Cute and Blippo. However, I've done this while aware that many warn against buying from them as they have a bit of a reputation for supplying bootlegs rather than authentic items. So you may wonder why I continue to purchase from them and I thought I would address that in a blog post. I know eventually someone will come along and comment on a post or Instagram photo that whatever adorable plush or squishy is the dreaded F word.


They may even go into details that brought them to that conclusion. So I thought I'd pre-emptively answer a few questions about my own feelings towards bootlegs and why I may have some in my vast toy collection.

1. Given a choice would you choose a bootleg or authentic?
This is pretty straight forward. In an ideal world I'd obviously I'd go for the authentic. When it comes down to it I want the right people getting money for items they created or own. Also, 9 times out of 10 quality is taking a big hit when it comes to the difference between real and fake. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

B. Why do you buy from a website that is known for selling bootlegs?
Usually for one of two reasons. A) I didn't realise they were known for it until after the fact. B) Convenience. The former doesn't exactly explain why I've continued to buy from certain websites with the reputation for fakes but the latter does. Convenience is sometimes worth the risk. Tofu Cute is a UK store and therefore it costs less to buy from and arrives a lot faster. So far I have been more than happy with the products I've received and haven't come across any obvious fakes as of yet and I've checked to the best of my ability. I may be wrong though!

3. Are you disappointed when something turns out to be fake?
That depends. While I would say I'm a toy collector, I'm possibly not a collector in the old fashioned sense. I collect toys because I enjoy them. This is why most of my toys don't remain boxed. Value or rarity doesn't come into it for me most of the time. With ornaments I've even been known to collect broken ones because I don't like the idea of them going unloved because of their flaws. I don't love my unlicensed squishy that Eva bought me any less because it is unlicensed. It's quality may not be on par with a licensed squishy but it is still super cute and squishy! So long as the item passes my personal cuteness test then I'm happy either way.

D. Don't you feel bad endorsing a store that the reputation of selling bootlegs?
I give an honest opinion of the items I buy. When I come across what I believe is a bootleg item I will be honest and mention it so people are aware if they are to buy the same. So far I have been happy with everything I have bought. I'm very cautious of going on word of mouth rather than what I've experienced myself. It would kind of make doing my own reviews pointless. So no, I don't feel bad as I'll always be honest and check these things out to the best of my ability.

So there you have some of my thoughts on bootlegs, why you may find some in my collection and why I might buy from a store with a reputation for selling them. This is how I feel right now but it's always subject to change.

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