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Friday, 5 February 2016

Toys 'n' Stuff | Amuse Bootlegs vs Authentic

"Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort."
John Ruskin

Welcome to the latest edition of my Toys 'n' Stuff series. Today I will be discussing some of the ways I determine whether or not my plushies from Amuse are authentic or in fact bootlegs. These may not be all the ways to tell and I'm not saying by following these that you 100% won't get caught out with a bootleg. Just that these are what I use to determine what I feel is genuine to the best of my ability. These things are also always subject to change as bootleggers get more clever. Some items will be closer to the real thing than others.

The original idea for this post came when I made an order with blippo.com, a Japan and Kawaii store. After doing some research I knew before I made the order that Blippo was known for selling fakes. Especially fake Alpacasso plushies by Amuse. However, as I've written in a former Toys 'n' Stuff post, I don't always mind fakes. So I figured I would judge for myself.

Sure enough when my Alpacasso plushie arrived it turned out to have all the markers of a fake that I had researched. I decided then I would purchase the same plushie from another store, Tofu Cute, and compare them. I'd heard that Tofu Cute had sold bootlegs in the past but on their site they boast 'Tofu Cute is an official retailer of Amuse Co. Ltd in Tokyo, so authenticity is guaranteed!'  So I was confident that they had mended their ways. Thankfully I was not disappointed, so here I am. Both Alpacasso plushies are supposed to be from the Goodnight series.

First I am going to show you a photo of the authentic and the bootleg side by side and I would like you to guess which you think is the fake on first glance. Then tell me if you guessed right at the end.

The first and the most obvious thing is quality. Does the item look good quality? You can see from the photo above that one of the alpaca's heads is crooked and looking off to the side almost. The other is looking straight on. The alpaca on the lefts ears are also set further back on it's head and it's hat doesn't sit as nice. 

In the top photo the bootleg alpaca's face is just off and it's head isn't a nice round shape. The authentic alpaca in the photo below has a nice rounded head and it's face points forward. It overall looks less derpy... for lack of a better word.

You can see in the photos above that the alpaca (fake) on the left is also slightly smaller than the alpaca on the right (authentic). You can allow for a little bit of size variation, but also you can see from these photos how the authentic alpaca stands very straight. You can see it's face evenly from each side. When the bootleg alpaca is facing left, you can't see it's face at all. These kinds of flaws in quality is something to look out for in a fake. Eye spacing is another thing to look out for. Some can be too close or two far from the muzzle or wonky. 

You can see in this example that the fabric tags on the alpaca's butt are very close to each other. But on some the colours might be different to what they should be. Wrong colours can also be something to look out for with the paper tags, as well as even the wrong tags for the particular series the alpaca is part of! But once again, the tags for these two were pretty close. 

One difference you can see is that the alpaca on the left (fake) only has one tag and the alpaca on the right (real) has two. Often fakes will come with only one tag when there should be two. Though I believe the number of tags can depend on the series or size of the Alpacasso. If a particular line should have two tags and yours has one, then you know something isn't right. If you flip the tags over you can see another difference. 

On an authentic Alpacasso the tag will have a QR code. That is the squiggly looking code in the square box that can be seen on the right tag. While the number of tags can vary, all authentic Alpacasso will have a tag with a QR code. The second tag on the real alpaca looks like this.

Now that I've compared two from the same series, lets add another to the mix. You may remember I recently made another order with Tofu Cute and got a another Alpacasso from the Pop'n Ribbon series. 

Again, you can see how much better she looks. All her proportions are correct, as are her tags. Again, she came with two and the colourful paper tag includes a QR code. 

I also have a large Kids Alpacasso from the Sherbet collection that my sister got me for Christmas. She too is from Tofu Cute and is authentic.

Her proportions are also all correct and you can see she is a wonderful quality. She also came complete with two tags, the one around her neck having the QR code. 

You can also use these pointers to identify whether other plushies by Amuse are authentic or bootlegs. Below we have an Amuse Namakemono sloth. It's well put together and includes two tags, one complete with QR code as seen below. 

So there you have it. A few pointers on what to look out for when it comes to determining whether you have an authentic or bootleg Amuse plushie. I apologise that some of the lighting in these photographs isn't the best. Hopefully it doesn't take away from the helpfulness of the post.

So, did you guess correctly?
Could you tell the bootleg from the authentic Alpacasso?

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