How to spot a fake nendoroid

I’ve been wanting to make a guide like this for a while, so at last here it is! Today we’re going to be reviewing how to spot and avoid fake nendoroids. Those who are new to nendoroid buying might fall victim to counterfeit/bootleg nendoroids. Don’t let that be you! This page will hopefully be of use for anyone who wants to avoid purchasing a bootleg nendoroid.

How to Spot a Fake Nendoroid

Let’s get started. In my hands I have two Miku Hatsune nendoroids. One of them is real, and one is fake. Can you spot which one is fake?

Bootleg Fake Nendoroid Comparison

If you guessed the one on the left, then you are correct! If you can’t tell the difference, don’t worry, there are a few things you should look for right off the bat when looking at a nendoroid box to tell if its a fake.

Authentic nendoroid stickers

1: A sticker of authenticity

Most nendoroids from a series will have a sticker, either holographic or plain, on the front which contains the name of the licensing company for the anime the nendoroid is from. In the pic above are four stickers from various nendoroids. Can you guess which nendroroids they are from?

A sticker is a sure fire way to tell if a nendoroid is real or not, HOWEVER, make sure the sticker has the company’s name on it. I’ve seen bootleg nendoroids for sale which have a holographic sticker that says ‘OFFICIAL’, when the nendoroid was obviously fake.

Nendoroid Boxes

Now, you might have looked at the picture at the beginning of this post again and said “Hey wait a minute, there isn’t a sticker on either of these nendoroids! What gives?”.

Well, as you just found out, not all nendoroids have a sticker of authenticity on them. If you look at the above pic of Nendoroid Miku Append and Nendoroid Miku, you will notice that neither of them have a sticker. This is because Vocaloid nendoroids don’t have stickers on them (my guess is because they aren’t from an anime). This is where it pays to have a good eye on how to spot bootlegs, which leads us to our next point.

Fake Miku nendoroid

Miku Hatsune Nendoroid

2: Quality

There is a significant difference in quality between a Bootleg nendoroid and a real one. Characteristics of fakes include messups in the paint job, overly shiny faces (will touch more about this point further down), parts falling off, parts broken, poorly packaged, and damaged box.

Nendoroid Hatsune Miku Bootleg

3: The Box

Sometimes it’s hard to tell looking through the plastic window of the nendoroid box to see if the nendoroid is a fake, but sometimes you can tell without even looking at the nendoroid itself. Just the box alone can be a big indicator, fake nendoroid’s boxes can be damaged as you can maybe tell in the previous pictures (Although do note that just because a box is damaged does not mean it is a fake nendoroid). Also notice how the printing on the box has discoloration, the nendoroid picture has a sort of yellow tint to it. A bad print job is a sign of a fake nendoroid, plus fake nendoroid boxes are a bit flimsy compared to real ones.

If it’s your first time buying a nendoroid, it isn’t likely that you can tell just by the box, and I don’t recommend using this method. The best method is to look at the nendoroid itself. Take a look at my earlier pictures and see if you can notice some differences in the real and fake nendoroid. I know it’s a bit hard to see in the pictures, and it’s easier in person, but I’ve included pictures of the nendoroids below highlighting things to look for in a fake nendoroid.

Bootleg & Authentic Hatsune Miku Nendoroids

It might be a bit more clear in this picture here: notice the difference in packaging. The real nendoroid (one on the right) is packed much better, while the one on the right uses only a plastic bag for the nendoroid. The small parts are held in with tape in the fake one, something that is rarely done with real nendoroids if at all. The plastic case on the fake one barely fit together, where as the plastic case on the real one fit nice and tight.

You might also notice that the faces are switched, but this just something that probably varies in fake nendoroids ^^.

Fake and Real nendoroid

Here you can get a good comparison. Remember that ‘shiny face’ I was talking about earlier? In the fake nendoroid the paint and the face has a distinct shine to it, which if you notice a shine like that in a nendoroid it is almost certainly a fake one.This brings us to our next point:

4: The Paint Job

Another huge thing to look at is the paint job. Look at the small details, see if there are any smudges. You can see on the fake miku (left one) that there is a blob of black on her skirt, and the paint on her tie clips is not all that good. Also notice the black paint smudges on her shirt.

Bootleg Nendoroid Miku

5: The Joints

Bootleg nendoroids are terrible when it comes to their joints. Parts often fall off without even being touched. If you see a nendoroid in a box with one of its arms off, it’s almost certainly a bootleg. I’ve seen bootleg nendoroids in the box with parts completely broken in half! Look for things like this.

Another thing to mention is the neck joints of fake nendoroids, which in the case of this fake Miku do not match the face color. They are made of cheap plastic, and it’s easy to see that they are cheap.

Bootleg Miku Nendoroid

Nendoroid Miku Hatsune

Here you can get a better comparison look of the two nendoroids. You can see in the top pick how the paint has that shine to it, while the official nendoroid has a more matte paint job. When it comes to spotting fakes, I always use the paint job as in indicator of authenticity.

Bootleg Nendoroid Stand

Nendoroid Miku Stand

6: The Stand

As an aside, fake nendoroid stands usually just say ‘MADE IN CHINA’ where as real nendoroids have the company’s name on it. It’s hard to notice the stand when looking at a boxed nendoroid, but it’s just something extra you should know. Most fake nendoroids come with the generic round stand in the first pic, whether it actually fits the nendoroid or not ^^.

The Miku Hatsune nendoroid I have has the square base, where as older Miku Nendoroids have the round base if I recall correctly.

Bootleg and Real nendoroid

Another comparison shot. Once again you can see the differences in paint job, how the fake one has paint smudges, discolored skin, etc.

Bootleg Miku Nendoroid

Here you can get a look at the neck joint and how it doesn’t match the face color as I mentioned earlier.

Nendoroid Miku Hachune

Real nendoroid looks much better, no paint smudges, no rough edges, nicely fitting joints.

Fake and Real Miku Hatsune nendoroid

Probably the most drastic difference between the two figures can be seen here. On the fake nendoroid her cheeks have way too much red paint on them to make it look like she’s blushing. The eyes are also almost completely different from the real one, and the face is severely discolored.

Bootleg Hatsune Miku Nendoroid

Kinda scary looking if you ask me ^^.

Nendoroid Miku Hatsune

Much better.

So you might be saying to yourself “It’s nice to be able to spot the differences in person, but what if I’m buying online?”

Buying nendoroids online is probably how most people end up getting fakes in the first place. If you want to buy a nendoroid online, which is how most people get nendoroids these days, there are a few things to know in order to keep yourself safe:

1: Price

If the price a of a nendoroid is too good to be true, chances are it is just that. A cheap nendoroid is probably cheap for a reason: it’s a fake. Most nendoroids run from around 3,000 JPY ($36.40 USD at the current exhange rate) and up. If you see a nendoroid for sale at $15 USD, be cautious as there is a good chance it’s a fake. Now, if a nendoroid is on sale for cheap that can be a different story, which is why it’s good to know trusted online dealers. There is one place to avoid however:

2: Avoid places like Ebay.

There are tons of fake nendoroids on ebay. Usually I tell people to avoid ebay all together when it comes to nendoroids. There is a risk involved when buying there, but if you want to buy from ebay there are a few things you should look out for to avoid getting a fake:

  • If the seller is from China/Hong Kong area, be weary of fakes. Almost all fake nendoroids come out of China, so if the seller is from China there is a good chance the figure is fake. Whenever I see a fake nendoroid on ebay, most of the time it’s from a Chinese seller. Not all figures coming out of Hong Kong will be fakes, but they do exist so be careful.
  • Make sure the listing says the figure is an Official Goodsmile figure. Sellers will avoid puting that in their listing if the figure is fake since they might get in trouble. If it doesn’t say it’s an official, don’t buy it.
  • Stock photos: Make sure you are seeing pictures of the ACTUAL product, not photos taken from the goodsmile site or some other website. For example if the photo looks like this: Miku Hatsune Nendoroid
    be careful as it could be a fake as you aren’t seeing the actual product.
  • Price plays a huge role in looking at things on ebay. Once again if it’s too good to be true it probably is.
  • Sellers from Japan are usually a safe bet for a real figure.
  • Don’t buy from someone who has a picture like this, it’s an obvious fake:Bootleg Nendoroid

Another place you can encounter fakes is on Amazon, but it’s not as common as ebay. The good thing about amazon is that customers can write reviews, which will tell you if the nendoroid is real or not. Make sure the nendoroid has reviews & be sure to read them before you buy. I have bought nendoroids on Amazon before and I have not gotten a fake so far, but I only buy from items/sellers that have good reviews.

3: Buy from a trusted retailer

There are tons of anime shops on the internet, many of them are legit but some of them might be a bit sketchy. If you’re new to buying, here are a few places to buy from. Note that there are plenty of other places to buy legit figures, this is just a quick list:
The official Goodsmile Online shop.
AmiAmi
Hobbysearch (my personal favorite)
Mandarake
Hobbylink Japan
Tokyo Otaku Mode
Kid Nemo Company
Figure Haven
Jlist

Again these are a few trusted online retailers you can buy from. There are many others you can buy from, but be sure to do a little research before you buy. A good place for help would be myfigurecollection.net, a place I would recommend for any figure fanatic.

Also, another great resource is GoodSmile’s Bootleg Warning list. This provides photo evidence for known bootleg figures, allowing you to compare and contrast an official figure with a bootleg one. Definitely check it out!

While the majority of fake nendoroids exist online, there are places that sell fake nendoroids out in the real world. Think you will be safe at an anime convention?

Fake Nendoroids

Think again! See the picture above? All of those nendoroids are fake. This was take at the New York Comic Con 2011 (A con that supposedly has a ‘no bootleg policy’ -.-), and there were fake nendoroids the year before and still in the 2012 show. I’ve also heard from other people that other anime festivals have fake nendoroids for sale as well. You would think that an anime convention wouldn’t have fakes, but the sad case is that is far from the truth. This is where the ability to spot fakes comes in handy!

AAA Anime Distribution

For those of you in the US of A, if you’re buying from a brick-and-mortar store or even at a con, look for this sticker on the back. AAA anime distribution is a major anime distributor int he US and if your nendoroid has this sticker saying its from them, there is a good chance its legit!

How to Spot a Fake Nendoroid

Phew, that sure was a lot. I hope I’ve helped you in learning how to spot a fake nendoroid and what to look out for. If you have any questions to ask, be sure to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!

Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter or like us on Facebook!

Thanks for looking, good luck!

201 thoughts on “How to spot a fake nendoroid

  1. Good article. Yes, there were a many bootleg nendoroids at NYCC when I went in 09 and 10. Sad, but the policy is just not being enforced properly. I also saw bootlegs at Otakon 2011.

    • It really is a shame that there are fakes at conventions, especially a major convention like Otakon. Oh well, we can only hope that bootleg policies will be enforced more strictly in the future.

  2. awesome post! I’ve been meaning to do a post like this but looking at yours made me realize that yours is so much better and comprehensive! The details and pictures are really useful and even though I can sniff a bootleg Nendo a mile away, it would definitely help those starting out! And it’s real sad that cons try to sell bootlegs as well..damn..if it’s too good to be true..it probably is =3

  3. Ah, sad, but true. Also, don’t buy Nendroids at Milanoo.com. . . .

    I bought a Sebastian Michaelis Nendroid for around 15 bucks, and it claims it was a real Nendroid. But the pictures and comments on the product prove otherwise.

    But, I already ordered him(But haven’t got him yet)

    And I’m so happy Sebby wears mostly Black, mainly because if they’re any smudges on his uniform, I can just fix him up! And he’ll be for display in my room anyway. . . . .

    What do you think the Sticker of Authenticity for him will be? Square-Enix? Aniplex? or Funimation?

    • If I recall correctly Sebastian is one of the nendoroids that doesn’t come with a sticker of authenticity on his box, which makes it slightly harder to determine if you are buying a fake or not.

      • Well, it was on Milanoo, and the people who had bought him claimed he was a bootleg. But I can fix him up and make him into a stable Nendroid anyway. But this was really helpfull ^____^

  4. Good info, sad i already bought an nendroid from Milanoo.com but i know i will order from Amiami, no big loss imo. but thanks for this info

    • Yeah I haven’t been hearing good things about Milanoo.com… best to stay away from there. It’s best to just stick with trusted retailers so you know you are getting the real deal.

  5. This is really helpful! However I’m still having doubts about my Madoka Nendoroid that I got about 6 weeks ago at a convention.
    Her paint job is good, her plastic is matte and her stand is square and says on the side “Magic Quartet/Aniplex*Madoka Partners*MBS”. Her box isn’t exactly in good condition but my friend told me that it probably got bumped around during transport. It’s kinda shiny and has 2 round stickers on the top an bottom to keep it closed. It even came with a piece of paper saying all the little parts that come with it.
    Here’s the kicker. One of the joints on her pig tail broke when I tried to take it out, the joints for her other pair of bows don’t have holes big enough for the pigtails to go in and the hole for Kyubey’s tail is WAY too big on the second body they included for him.
    Can you help me out?

    • Sure I can help! 55 dollars is a standard price you would pay for a nendoroid at a convention. From what you describe the nendoroid sounds legit, although still hard to determine. The box may be damaged, but I find often times nendoroid boxes at conventions tend to be a bit more beat up as they are kinda thrown/hauled around when brought to cons (unless it’s excessively damaged, could be a problem). Does the box have a sticker on the front? The sticker should look like this: http://waa.ai/9cM
      Also here is a picture I took a while back of my madoka nendoroid in case you want to compare: http://waa.ai/9c6

      Sorry to hear about the broken part… Nendoroid parts do break if you aren’t careful with them, so be sure to be extra careful in the future! If the joint broke really easy then it might be fake.

      It sounds like your madoka is a real, but it’s hard to tell from the description. If you still aren’t sure you could upload photos and have me take a look at them if you want.

      Hope this helps!

      • My friend sent me a link to the Good Smile Company website where I could find out for sure. Turns out she’s fake :/ Oh well, I’ll get a real Nendoroid some day and I still think she’s beautiful.

  6. I ordered a Miku nendoroid from Crunchyroll (supposed to be arriving in June), and I didn’t really check any of the photos. It was a pre-order, so there weren’t any comments. I bought it for 50 bucks, so I’m hoping that it’s legit.

    • While I’ve never bought anything from Crunchyroll, I’m pretty sure they sell legit nendoroids. I have a premium membership with Crunchyroll, they are a legit business and I can almost guarantee all the figures they sell are real. I’ve been tempted to buy from them myself as they have been having a bunch of sales recently, but I’m already tied up with my existing pre-orders ^^.

    • Definitely a fake. Price is way too cheap, plus I’ve heard nothing but bad things from milanoo.com. So far anyone that I’ve talked to who has used milanoo.com to buy nendoroids has gotten a fake. Avoid them at all costs!

      Unfortunately being that she was released a year ago it’s hard to find legit nendoroids of menma. There is one on Mandarake however for 3,500 yen ( 37 USD ) + shipping : http://ekizo.mandarake.co.jp/shop/en/item_s-856821.html . Mandarake is a great place to look for older nendoroids that are out of stock in most places. You will have to pay for shipping from Japan, but otherwise they do have some great deals on there.

  7. Thanks for the article. Recently GoodSmile warned people on facebook about buying and identifying Bootleg Nendoroids. I have never actually seen Bootleg nendoroids before, but now that i know, i’ll be able to identify Bootleg nendoroids. I think the best way to avoid getting a bootleg is by directly pre-ordering the nendoroid on the Goodsmile online shop after it is released. The sakura miku nendoroid bootleg is the moat obvious to spot thats it is a bootleg. the box is completely different from the real one. Furthermore, the nendoroid with the most number of bootlegs created is probably Miku, as shes very popular. Thanks for the article anyway!XD

  8. Something ive noticed on ebay is most of the time the people selling bootlegs make no mention what so ever of the manufacture or have a note saying “not orignal version chinese version” or something like that in there listing since it is against ebays terms of use to misrepresent the item. Im not really a big nendoroid collector i’ve only got Sonic and i had no issue with getting him and it was from a Hong Kong seller. How i know it was legit was because in the listing it said it was manufactured by good smile then when i got the item it had an elite toys limited sticker on it who are good smiles official distributors in Hong Kong.

    I’ve brought a lot of figures off ebay because most of the stuff i was collecting is kind of old and discountiued lines and have never had problems with bootlegs. I think you were a bit harsh on ebay sellers the main thing with using it is just read the listing if its bootleg there’s a lot of give aways with whats said in it. And if your not sure ask the seller for photos ect.

    But other then that good article and should be helpful for my future nendoroid collecting ^^

    • Thanks for the comment! Glad you liked the article.

      I haven’t bought from ebay in a while, but I just checked some listings today after reading your comment and you make a good point about sellers not saying it’s an official goodsmile figure. They must have changed their strategies (maybe due to complaints) because if I remember correctly a few years ago sellers used to say the figure was from goodsmile but it turned out to be a fake (I should know, I fell victim to it ^^). It was then that I learned to judge whether something was fake or not by how much it cost and where it was from (China produces a lot of bootlegs).

      I have bought from ebay and gotten legit figures, but you just need to be careful. The reason I warn about ebay so much is for people who are new to collecting. I don’t want them to get a fake figure as one of their firsts as it might put them off from collecting more figures.

      Thank you for the feedback! I’ve updated the ebay part of the article after reading your comment and looking at listings on ebay. Any other questions/comments/feedback is greatly appreciated ^^.

  9. ; _ ; feeling kinda sad cause i just bought a fake one…

    Ah well, i love this article! I will be more careful in the future ^_^

  10. I wanted to thank you so much for this! I went to look on eBay for a Sonic Nendoroid, as I’m a huge Sonic the Hedgehog collector and have never been able to find any Sonic Nendoroid for under fifty dollars. I found several on eBay or $20, and thought maybe they had just gone down in price. I also thought that it was too good to be true (a lesson I learned when I had bought soundtracks to Sonic Unleashed, Sonic Adventure 2, True Blue: Best of Sonic, Kingdom Hearts 2 and both the soundtrack and vocal tracks CD for Sonic and the Black Knight on eBay over the years, for all great prices. I just found out a few months ago that they were bootlegs, as Jun Senoue put on his Twitter that the company that made all of these soundtracks only produces unofficial products. The quality of the music is still pretty good, though the cases are made poorly.) Anyway, after reading this I was able to easily tell that all listed on eBay currently that’re $20 are indeed bootlegs. I try to be thrifty with my money, as I’m 19 and have some medical problems that prevent me from working right now. You saved me from buying a fake, money that I can put toward something else or just save up, as the only reason I was willing to spend it was because I’ve been looking for a Sonic Nendoroid ever since they were released. This article has been so helpful, and I thank you so much for taking the one to write this; it is so very much appreciated! I will always keep this in mind when Loki g to hiy a Nendoroid.

  11. Hi!
    Great post on these tips, I’ll try to use them sometime, even though I’m already aware of how to spot fakes :D I still haven’t mastered online buying, though. These will be a great help to new collectors! :)

    I would personally like to endorse so far the only shop I buy my figures from, GreatToysOnline (greattoysonline.com). They’re a local company from the PH that sells all-original Jap merchandise, even mags and model kits :) Everything’s legit, because if they sold something fake, it would tarnish their reputation.
    What I like is that the figures there are cheaper than most online sites, and they ship internationally (free even if you’re local).
    Trust me, you might want to check out their site. :)

  12. At the latest London Comic con, there was an official anime and manga retail store that had their own stand, I noticed they were entirely clueless about what they were selling, they had a selection of bootlegs and genuine figures! I bought one figure there that I was positive was a genuine but I made sure I bought nothing else from there. Might not buy too many more figures at comic con later this year….

    • Yeah unfortunately a lot of anime conventions have dealers that sell fake figures. You’d think an anime con would be more on top of preventing sales of bootleg merchandise, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking. This is why it’s important to know how to spot a fake nendoroid!

      • The worst part of it was that there were heaps of people picking up all of these bootlegs and buying them, I feel bad not saying anything to them but it’s kind of awkward when the people running the stall are stood right next to you…….

  13. Very useful! thank you very much for this article! I was wondering – is there a way to know if an online retailer is … good or not ? I stumbled on this site : rakuten, Japanese imports for Canada (i live in Montreal, Canada) and as I was searching for Nendoroids and … some of them are really low priced and i find it suspicious as the provided pictures they show are … it looks like an image saved from an official site … http://global.rakuten.com/en/search?st=&tl=0&k=nendoroid and you seem quite the knowledgeable resource to ask. I would like got get a few but, if this is fake – I’ll just pay the higher price off amazon’s trusted goodsmile company. Thank you again for this. (I also will be attending the New York comic con this fall with friends and I’m also thinking, I might hold on my Nendoroid shopping from the web and get (hopefully the ones I want) there, live and so, by the same token, i could check them out with my eyes and be sure they are the official products).

    • Thanks for the comment! Rakuten works sort of like amazon in the sense that it’s a bunch of different shops / sellers selling things under one website. I haven’t heard too many horror stories of fakes listed, however there still is a possibility since it’s based on the seller. Most of the sellers are located in Japan, which is usually a good sign when looking for legit nendoroids. I would be a bit weary buying some of those really cheap nendoroids (<$20) as I haven’t had the courage myself to try it ^^. The prices are good, but do note that they are shipping from Japan and some shops only do EMS shipping!

      If you’re looking for another option you can try Mandarake, which I use all the time and they do tend to have some good deals on there (Shipping is still from Japan, however)

      You could hold off on nendo shopping on the web and buy at NYCC, although do note that Nendos at NYCC generally run pretty expensive ($55 and up) plus there are bootlegs out there. If goodsmile company is back again at NYCC this year they would be a good place to buy as their prices are good and the figures are obviously real.

      • *glomps & huggles* thank you so much for answering back and thanks even more for answering so quick! wow! I am also into the BJD hobby and I know they only use EMS, which even if is pricey, at least i find a certain security option; you are sure to get the package, and all in all, with the rates of on the spot at NYCC and the shipping, it more or less comes to the same. And I will definitely explore the site your recommended in your answer. (And one last question – that whole “figure skating” aspect, is it just bad translation or a particular series ? I’m very very very new into Nendoroids ( as in a week or 2 into it xD) … it just sounds odd to me.

        • My guess would be the ‘figure skating’ is just a bad translation. The sellers on Rakuten are mostly Japanese, so I guess they aren’t too good at english ^^.

  14. I ordered a Sebastian Nendoroid from amazon and I really hope Its not fake.
    I wont be too pleased with it if it is a fake but I will still love it like a misbehaving puppy <3
    Some people in the comments say its a fake ^^''
    I bought it for 24.30$
    I checked my other nendoroid figures to see if its fake.
    I believe my snow miku is fake cause it has the round stand but it doesnt look like a crappy nendoroid like the fake examples you see above. It did say on the box "goodsmile"
    I checked my orginal hatsune miku nendoroid and I know it is not fake at all. It has the circle stand. Those two I got for xmas.
    I really hope I dont get a fake sebastian one. Im praying!
    But like i said, If it is a fake then I will still pretend and accept that it is an orginal nendoroid because No collection is exactly perfect. Especally if your a 13 year old otaku collecting nendorids. Its different if its like a nendorid museum then everything needs to be orginal. But if its just a personal home collection it shouldnt matter if they are fake or not. But if it bugs you then nendoroids are simply NOT for you

    thanks ^^

    ~Shirororasuketo

  15. But my nendoroid is from hongkong. No shiny face perfect paint job and well fit! Soo does it mean its original?

    • If it doesn’t look like a fake then it most likely is a legit figure. Just because it’s from Hong Kong doesn’t necissarily mean it is a fake figure. I only say to avoid figures from China / Hong Kong area because that is where the fake figures are made and distributed from. It certainly is possible to get real figures from HK, just be careful.

  16. I got a Sonic Nendoroid for my birthday from Amazon, only to find out it was fake. I was really disappointed. I hope I can get my money back and get a real one somewhere.

  17. Thank you so much for this article! i’m a newbie and i only own three petit nendos and three regular nendos so far, but i plan on collecting way more. I’ll be way more careful now, i think i almost bought a fake nendo on my city’s local anime-con but i noticed the hair wasn’t holding correctly to the figures head and i could see that the face looked strange. I though a fake nendo was supposed to have yellow-ish skin so i was about to buy it but i didn’t had enough money. I can’t believe they were selling fake nendos PLUS overpriced nendos!

    • It’s a shame that anime conventions sell fake nendoroids, at full price no less! Well now that you know more about spotting fake nendoroids hopefully you can steer clear of those bootlegs.

  18. Oh no ¡¡¡ i did the most stupid thing in the world TT wTT now i have to do something because i have two fake nendoroids on their way to my mail but anyways thanks now i have learned a lesson

  19. Oh this is fantastic! I needed this information since I was so close to buying my first nendoroid only a few hours ago. I didn’t want to make a huge mistake when buying Madoka.
    The first thing I noticed was one of her legs actually missing from the box itself though it was sealed. I couldn’t understand it. Along with her arm being completely loose. Her box was not in the best shape either, so that could’ve been one of the issues for the missing leg. She did not look shiny, she looked authentic yet her paint job was not done well. I had a hard time figuring it out at first. The box looked authentic though she did not have the authenticity sticker.
    But learning the other few tricks, I now know if they’re truly fake.
    Ill only buy off of certain amazon or crunchyroll.

  20. I’ve been looking into getting some Nendroids since I am getting some money for my birthday soon and it seems the ones that I can only be found pre-owned. Everything about this vendor (Auc-Terraformer) seems to be positive but I’m still wary of buying something pre-owned. They even have information to accommodate foreigners http://www.rakuten.ne.jp/gold/auc-terraformer/info_en.html. Is there anything I should look out for? Is there still a possibility of getting something fake or damaged?
    These are the listings for reference:
    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/auc-terraformer/item/200000014439/
    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/auc-terraformer/item/200000014441/
    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/auc-terraformer/item/200000021451/

    • I would doubt that those are fakes, most likely legit. Since they are pre-owned there is always the chance of the figure having damage, it’s up to the seller to tell you what kind of condition the figure is in.

    • Hmm.. difficult to tell since I’ve never bought from or even heard of Hyperionz, they look like a relatively new online shop so hard to tell. They look legit but like I said I’ve never bought from them so I can’t tell you for sure. I’ve heard of a few people buying from Ofuda before so there’s a good chance that what they sell is legit.

  21. Hello! I’m completely new to buying any type of anime figures, so I’m very glad I found this. I’m thinking about ordering petit nendoroid madoka magica set from amazon (possibly the Japanese amazon) and I was wondering if they make fake petit nendroids. Thank you!

  22. hi, this article is very useful but i still cant figure out if my black rock shooter nendoroid is fake or not. It has a good paint job, the stand is correct, the box has no discoloration or whatsoever but the packaging of the nendoroid was wrong because the small parts are held in with tape and its not in a plastic bag, also the joints fall off even without someone touching it and some of the parts is not well fit, so is it fake or not?

    • Thanks for the comment! Unfortunately from what you described it sounds like your BRS nendoroid is a fake. Is it the original BRS nendo version? If so it should have a large round sticker on the front of it saying it comes packaged with a DVD. The sticker should look like this : http://waa.ai/8I6.jpg

      Hope this helps!

  23. Thank you for the article. I want to start a collection of Touhou figures, and I found some alarmingly cheap ones at ebay, which are no doubt fakes. I almost bought one until looking around a bit for prices.
    If the seller says “Chinese version” or “Not original Japanese version” that might be a clue of a fake.

  24. How well do Nendoroid Petits usually fit into their stands? Should there be some kind of snapping sound when they fit in? I have a few I’ve bought at conventions, and although the paint jobs are great, the joints fit in fine, and they don’t give off that “shine” you mention, I’ve had a hard time fitting their stands onto their backs. Once I do though, they stay there.

    • From my experience usually nendoroid petits aren’t the best when it comes to fitting into their stands. There isn’t really a snapping sound, the peg just kind of fits in the back and keeps the nendoroid upright via a tight fit. I’ve gotten quite a few where I’ve had the hardest time getting the peg into their back, sometimes I’ve even taken a small knife and widened the hole where the peg goes in so I could get it to fit! So don’t be worried, it seems like this is a common problem with Nendoroid Petits. My guess would be that since they are so small it’s harder to get everything 100% accurate in the manufacturing process.

  25. Good article. However, I still recommend for all, excuse the expression, newbies to, if possible, ask the help of more experienced friend when buying nendoroids. Todays bootleg nendoroids are getting so much better that they require even an experienced collector to thoroughly study them to identify as bootleg (the ones you show here are relatively easy to identify). I also recommend against using GSC website’s bootleg warning section as the sole aid to identify bootlegs since those bootlegs pictures they are showing are far, far worse than the ‘real’ bootlegs one may find in the stores. I hope that more articles like this is being spread in the internet, because lately, at least in where live, there are villains who take the crime a step further by selling these ‘improved’ bootlegs at the full price of their original counterparts. When you’re buying online, be sure to thoroughly examine the seller. See if you can see something suspicious about them. I personally would steer clear from those who sell a mix of confirmed bootlegs and originals, even if they’re being honest about it.

    • Thanks for the comment! As you mentioned, picking out bootleg figures without the help of an experienced collector can be a huge challenge. While online articles can certainly help, the best way to learn is just through experience. Someone who is new to collecting might not spot a bootleg right away, but hopefully bootleg guides at least make them aware that bootlegs do exist and to be cautious when buying. Newer bootlegs do seem to be harder to spot, and while I wrote this article on nendoroids there is the whole other world of bootleg scaled figures which is even more challenging. Buying online can definitely be more of a challenge when it comes to avoiding bootlegs but as you stated as long as you research the seller, or just buy from a know trusted seller, things should be fine.

  26. I was a naive fool and thought that because the box looked official, that they must be authentic. I didn’t realize Chinese scam artists were so crafty….. (I had just assumed that certain figures were way cheaper because they were from popular anime/more were produced…of course now it’s clear that it’s more profitable to only replicate popular figures versus obscure anime…)

    In any case, I bought a fake L figure. I kind of thought something was up because it had an awful plastic smell before I even took it out of the packing box it came in. I have experience with that type of plastic figure, and they don’t normally smell that terrible… But his paint job is superb and his faces fit perfectly. I guess I lucked out because his outfit and color scheme is so simple that it’d take a real dumb**** to screw up that paint job… Oh, and of course I bought it on eBay.

    • Sorry to hear that you got a fake! L is a very popular bootleg nendoroid, since he was released a long time ago it’s probably more common to find the bootleg version than the official Goodsmile one. Be sure to be careful buying in the future!

  27. Superb article!

    But, I was wondering: Is it true that buying (or possessing) fake-nendo is really that bad and disgrace? You know, there are some people who cannot afford to buy genuine-nendo, and they don’t mind with the fake–as long they can own the physical substance of their idol-chara.

    In Indonesia, the sellers are bluntly label the fake and the genuine, sportively. And, quite oddly, the fake-nendo has it own fan-base. May be that’s why they sell fake-nendo at major international festivals.

    What do you think?

    *sorry for my bad English :3

    • I wouldn’t necessarily say owning a bootleg is a disgrace, the main reason I tell people to avoid bootleg figures is because of the quality. If you buy an official figure you know the quality is going to be top notch, where as with a bootleg figure the quality varies greatly, and often times the quality can be really bad. There are some fake nendoroids that do have sort of a following, take for example the fake Sakura Miku. But overall I think people would be happier saving up for an official figure as compared to buying a fake.

  28. Thanks for the article on bootlegs!!!!
    I was wondering if my Megurine Luka Nendoroid was fake.
    Her paint job is good and her skin isn’t shiny at all.She had that smell new Nendoroids have when I took her out the box.Her stand is round but it has CFM’s label on it.I bought her in Thailand when I was still new to the Nendoroid series

  29. I forgot to mention this in my previous comment. If all else failed, you can always ask GSC costumer support via their email (support@goodsmile.jp) along with pictures of the suspected nendoroids. These guys are surprisingly very helpful; they helped me identify my first nendoroid (which happens to be Megurine Luka #97) that I suspected was a bootleg (it wasn’t, thankfully ^_^)

  30. I got the official Miku nendoroid that you used in this article from Crunchyroll for $28 + shipping. It was a fantastic and rare deal for a legit nendoroid. She came in yesterday and she is my first figurine. I am very happy.

  31. Hi,
    I’m terribly sorry if I’m bothering you however after readinh your magnificent article I just had to ask one thing.
    I am going to buy my boyfriend a Guilty Crown Nendoroid from a site you suggested.
    I believe this is the link;
    http://www.toylet.net/969237.html
    I’m just wondering if its legit because the people I normally buy from (aka Anime At Abbostford) dont have her in stock.
    And I just wanted to triple check if she is legit.
    By the way Anime At Abbostford are specticular! The guys are great and the site is Anime-oz.com I highly reccomend them as they sell NO BOOTLEG!! :D
    Thank you so much for writing this article.

    C.

    • Thanks for the comment! Yes, toylet sells genuine figures so you won’t have to worry about getting a fake figure.

      Thanks for letting me know about Anime At Abbostford, I’ll definitely check them out!

  32. Do fake Cu poche figures exist? Or do they not care about them? I would imagine they’d be quite difficult to fake because they have magnets and stuff. I quite like the few I got. Kotobukiya do a really good job on them, the Idolmaster ones are quite striking.

    • So far I’m pretty sure there are no fake Cu-Poche figures out there. They are relatively new to the figure world so they haven’t gotten the bootleg treatment yet.

  33. I just made my first nendoroid purchase as I bought a Kirito(SAO), Asuna(SAO), and Hatsune Miku(Vocaloid) nendoroid from the Crunchyroll store. My question is “Are these nendoroids legit?” and I stumbled upon this site after i made my purchase.

    • Haha Kirino is a nendoroid that has been on my to get list for a while but I just haven’t pulled the trigger on buying her yet. I definitely do want to get her and kuroneko sometime in the future, but they are on hold for now. Although I do have the Kirino figma :)

  34. Hello! I had just received a Sonic Nendoroid for Christmas…and as soon as I got it out of the box, its head came off D: I went through your guide, and I’m 99% sure its real; its a high quality figure, has a sticker with SEGA on the front, has the correct base with Sega copyright, and was bought at BigBadStore.com for around $40 to $50. Have you heard of this figure being easy to break? I’m actually made fun of a bit because I’m so anal about being careful with all of my collectibles, hadn’t really even posed the Sonic and the head just plopped off. Thanks for your help! :D your guide was the first thing I went to after received the figure.

      • Thanks very much! :D. I heard back from BigbadToyStore today, and they’ve offered to refund/exchange the Nendoroid. They’re actually willing to pay for shipping when I send my defective one out and for the new one they send to me. However, they made sure to put that I could have an exchange if “the item was still available”. So I thank you so much for your help; especially because now I have a way to contact GoodSmile directly for a replacement if BBTS doesn’t have a replacement Sonic to send to me :)

        BTW the joint is broken on it; The it might’ve been weakened (since Sonics head is so heavy compared to his body; not sure if every Nendoroid is like that, this is my first one), but I could actually see exactly where it broke off from the body.

  35. Hi, i was considering buying this set of vocaloid nenoroids, but after reading this artical, i’m having second thoughts about it? Please help! http://www.dhgate.com/product/wholesale-vocaloid-hatsune-miku-family-figures/175407254.html?utm_source=Criteo&utm_medium=remarketing&utm_campaign=102003015%20Cartoon%20&%20Anime%20&%20Movies%20Accessories&utm_content=175407254&f=bm|102003015%20Cartoon%20&%20Anime%20&%20Movies%20Accessories||remarketing|Criteo||175407254|DC||

  36. Oh bother! I ended up buying a bootleg Mikasa Nendoroid! I had no way of telling until I got her out of the box… The paintwork is very poor and some of her parts don’t fit and the packaging was all broken and taped up. Compared to the official pictures they look nothing alike. I suppose I can replace her, but gee I ended up paying full price for the damn thing. Just my luck!

    • Sorry to hear you got a fake! One thing to remember in the future is to make sure that the nendoroid is officially released before you buy from a questionable source. The mikasa nendoroid hasn’t been officially released yet (She will be released later this month), so anybody trying to sell you a figure that isn’t released is obviously selling you a fake.

  37. sad to say most otaku shops in the Philippines is selling fake nendroids. thank God i didn’t buy that fake asuna nendroid! :D

      • Just watched a program on this company on TV and was very impressed. Seems like an excellent investment to me. However, with all their high-tech equipment I don’t know why they don’t have a database with the pedigrees of each and every figurine and name of owner. Just as you would with a dog. When I see huge numbers for sale over the internet at knock down prices it is clear that fakes are everywhere. Fine for the kids but not good for collectors.

  38. awesome, thanks so much! i literally had a cart of about 100$ worth of nendoroids on ebay, (5 different ones) and thought, “this is just too good to be true” . so after a quick search i found this article, and it really helped me out (and probably saved my wallet). thanks, I’m definitely adding to my bookmarks to reference when i pull out my old nendoroids to make sure they’re legit. Also, one obvious thing ive noticed is that a lot of fake nendoroids are for sale on ebay/anime figure sites before Good Smile even releases them!

    btw, i think theres a typo under the pic about packing, you say the fake and legit one is the one on the right, just letting you know, thanks again :D

  39. I was wondering if anyone bought from playmoya.com or a website close to that im pretty sure that is the website, anyways I was wondering if it sells legit nendoroids as I was looking for older series of nendoroids. Thank you

  40. Is the square base that says “MADE IN CHINA” fake? Because my Rin Kagamine nendoroid has that base and shows no hints that it’s fake.

    • Is ‘Made in China’ the only thing on the base? All nendoroids are made in china, but it should probably also say ‘(c) crypton future media’ as well on the base.

  41. Does this apply to nendoroid petits, as well? I just got my Kyouko Sakura nendoroid petit in the mail today, and I was super excited. But there’s a few smudges on her, the stand doesn’t fit into her back and her face is kinda smushed..

    • There are definitely bootleg nendoroid petits, and there are definitely fakes of the Madoka Magica nedoroid petits out there. Spotting bootleg nendoroid petits is a bit more tricky, it differs from regular nendoroids as there usually isn’t a shiny sticker of authenticity on the box. Plus if you’re buying them in person you can’t see the exact product inside the box as it’s a blind box. When buying petits online, follow the same rules as nendoroids: make sure you’re seeing pictures of the actual product taken by the seller, not a stock photo from the GSC website. This can be tricky because if you’re buying a whole petit set the seller (usually smaller sellers) is more likely to take a photo from a different website rather than taking out every figure to photograph. This is why it really helps to buy from a trusted online dealer, just like regular nendoroids there are a ton of bootleg nendoroid petits on places like ebay and amazon. Hope this helps!

      • Oh wow, thank you! That was really helpful. Also I bought her for a whopping $13.00, with free shipping and no tax, which I was pretty suspicious about.
        P.S. Sorry if I’m a hassle, but why are bootlegs so bad? I’m sure that the one I got is a bootleg, but I personally think she’s fine. I always hear people saying ‘Woah, it’s a bootleg! grr!’ and stuff and I don’t get it because mine (a bootleg) kinda looks the same as any normal ones. Thanks for replying!

        • No problem, happy to help! To answer to your question: in my opinion bootleg figures are bad as the quality is always sub par to the official. When you buy an official figure you know that the manufacturer has a reputation for making good figures so you know the figure you’re buying is going to be of a high quality. With a bootleg, you’re never sure what quality you’re going to get. It might be a decent quality figure, or it might be terrible. Plus bootleg figures usually aren’t that much cheaper compared to their official counterparts, so it really pays to do your research and buy an official figure for a bit more. Overall I think 99% of the time people will be more satisfied buying an official release over a bootleg.

  42. Thank you so much for this detailed and useful guide! Sadly, I had to learn the hard way, since I have already purchased two nendoroids and have been proven to be bootlegs :( I hadn’t bought a nendoroid before, so I couldn’t really tell the difference from the packed box and the guy who sold them to me reassured me they were authentic and unopened..

    • Sorry that you got a bootleg for your first nendoroid! That was pretty rude of the seller to say it was an official nendoroid, but unfortunately there are sellers out there looking to make money off fake products. Be sure to be more careful in the future!

      • Hi I’ve just now recently gotten into collecting figures. I know this topic is mainly about Nendoroids, but I was wondering if you would happen to know if Sega has some of their figures made in china? I recently bought 2 oreimo figures on amazon as a pair for about $27 (not nendoroids), from what I’ve seen the packaging has looked the same from any pic I’ve seen. The quality so far looks pretty nice despite being simple figures. Only thing is it says “Made in China” under the sega logo on the back of the box, so I can’t figure out if they’re authentic or not as google hasn’t helped. Any reply is appreciated.

        • Most figures these days are made in china, so you’re probably alright. Usually when it comes to pvc figures you’re more likely to find bootlegs of more expensive figures than prize figures.

          • Ok cool, yeah I noticed I failed to mention they were prize figures and also just the other day noticed that most prize figures do say made in china on the back, but then noticed a fair amount of imperfections and got kinda iffy again. Found out that’s common with prize figures though so feeling better about that now, I want to get higher quality pvc figures but they’re too expensive for me at the moment. So going to have to stick to buying Oreimo prize figures in pairs and their figmas for now. Anyways thanks for replying, still helps hearing it from someone who knows more about figures

    • Sure! Nippon Yasan carries genuine figures so there’s no need to worry about bootlegs there. However some people do complain a bit about Nippon Yasan in regards to prices, slow shipping and customer service. But you will be getting a legitimate figure, and since most places are sold out of Kirito at the moment going with Nippon Yasan is probably your best bet.

  43. I’m considering purchasing a nendoroid but a bit concerned about its authenticity. It does have the AAA anime distribution sticker on the bottom, but on the front has a “not for sale in Japan” sticker (a bit smaller than a stamp. Can’t find anything about these stickers. Any info on that?

    • Hmm, honestly I’ve never really encountered the sticker you mentioned. I checked a few of my nendoroid boxes but none of them had such a sticker, even the ones with the AAA distro sticker on the back didn’t have it. I do have a figma box that has a “Sales outside Japan only” sticker on the back, with another sticker (not AAA) from a different distribution company.

      My gut feeling is that the nendoroid you’re looking at is probably real. My best guess for why the sticker is on there is the distribution company put them on after they imported the figures from japan to show they are slated for localized distribution only.

      • Got another weird question for you. The box has the round sticker seals on top and bottom of the box, but each end has 2. One that was sliced open, then another on top of that. They are both the exact same round sticker. Have you seen that before?

  44. Sorry for another question but I was just curious. Is Playmoya.com a trusted site when it comes to figures? Reason why I’m asking is because I found a kamineko figma that’s cheaper than I’ve found anywhere else so far but it only has one image for the figure, they do have customer reviews on other figures and even pics of their own figures which seem legit, but wanted to ask first about them before deciding to drop $50, thanks again for any help http://plamoya.com/en/figma-ore-no-imouto-ga-konna-ni-kawaii-wake-ga-nai-kuruneko-holy-p-43573.html

    • A lot of people use playmoya to find figures that are out of circulation / sold out elsewhere. You’re not going to get a fake figure from playmoya, I have yet to hear a report about someone getting a fake.

      • Oh ok that’s great to hear, thanks a bunch once again. Promise I’m going to get better at this so I don’t have to keep asking a bunch of the simpler stuff haha

  45. Nice job! On Sunday, I bought a Len Kagamine Nendoroid from Amazon.com and it arrived today! I don’t think it is a bootleg, even though the joints were tricky at first. At least my Miku Nendoroid has a friend!

    I remember ordering my first Nendoroid, which happened to be my Miku one. I had heard about bootlegs and I was so worried until she arrived the day after I bought her. I think she’s an older one because she has a round stand.

    Thanks for the help!

    • And by the way, another way (as you noted) to spot a bootleg has to do with the joints. For one, genuine Good Smile Nendoroids’ joints have a smiley face in the middle of the joint.

  46. Question!
    I wanted a Date Masamune (from Sengoku Basara) Nendoroid but when i went onto the websites that you’ve mentioned that sells legit Nendoroids and other products from GCS, i couldn’t find it. The Date Masamune Nendoroid and Sanada Yukimura Nendoroid were released in 2012. Can you still order legit Nendoroids that were released a long time ago on the websites you’ve mentioned that sells legit figures?

    • The big problem in trying to find older figures is that when figures are originally released only a limited number are produced. If a figure is really popular it might get a re-release, but most often once a shop is sold out of a figure they probably are not going to get more. Basically when the most popular online retailers are sold out you’ll have to search around and see if you can find one somewhere else, though you’ll probably end up paying double the original MSRP + shipping. I did a bit of searching for you and it looks like plamoya still has some for sale (http://plamoya.com/en/nendoroid-date-masamune-pvc-figure-p-25539.html). You might be able to find a cheaper one on Amazon or Ebay, but of course there is always the risk of getting a fake when buying from those sites. I’m not sure if there have been any confirmed Date Masamune bootleg nendoroids or not, but I wouldn’t run the risk.

      Hope this helps!

  47. hi. ive just read the whole page here and most of the comment. its very useful. thanks for that.
    and also i got some question.
    im a newbie here, i got mio akiyama nendoroid on my birthday 2 years ago from my friend, and after that ive been interested so much on nendoroid.
    and whenever i tried to buy this stuff, there always thing stop me. now im going to try online shop. and i need some suggestion.
    im really interested in this katsura hinagiku -> http://www.goodsmile.info/en/product/2918/Nendoroid+Hinagiku+Katsura.html
    and well, its sold out, ive been searching on the website you recommend from the article, also from googling, also amazon.
    and im pretty confused right now, and to be honest this is my first time buying from online shop.
    can you help me recommend the best shop with also the best price.

    thanks. :)

  48. Great article. Too bad buying from anywhere besides ebay is a no for me (might try Amazon at most). My country taxes a lot and pretty much none of these sites will send them as “gift” (to avoid taxes) and have expensive shippings. Buying from them is like asking to pay twice the price in taxes. Like you said most stuff in ebay is fake, but at least they are pretty decent and in most cases I can’t really tell the difference (at least most, unless you buy them from a really bad seller). One example of that is my Rin Okumura figure, even though it’s fake (it was pretty obvious by looking at the listing) I can’t point out any difference from the original and it was really well made. Wasn’t so lucky with my Black Rock Shooter Figure, though.

  49. I just purchased sena from AmiAmi, but I bought Asuna and Iron Man from ebay…

    And those ebay sellers are from China and Hong Kong…

    I just bought from them because their feedbacks are good… (but also found some negative feedbacks)

    What do you think about my cases?

    For Asuna, the seller mentioned Good Smile, but Iron Man does not have any description like that.

    I feel really sad right now.

  50. Hi, after i saw this page i prefer to buy nendo from a forum, where it provides COD as payment so i can check the nendo because this is going to be the first nendo im going to buy.
    Ive done some research about the person and until now the buyers ive asked answer that he is a good seller and not selling bootleg, he also got a recommended seller comment from the buyers.
    And ive also asked some photos of nendo which is stated MISB.
    Im pretty sure that the product is not a bootleg
    This is the photos :
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-TcXJ0oxQp-Q/U34r…00/DSC_0088.JPG
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GCpi0vAk85Q/U34r…00/DSC_0089.JPG
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_k5jH9zrhrw/U34r…00/DSC_0091.JPG
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pHY8Zc2ZRyY/U34r…00/DSC_0092.JPG
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1HsoGx82dkU/U34r…00/DSC_0093.JPG
    And the forum is :
    https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1421798/all
    I just want to ask about your opinion since i dont know the bootleg version.
    Thanks.

  51. i was told about this site, does Plamoya sell legit figures? I noticed that the site also sells old Nendoroids like Haruhi Suzumiya.

    • Yep, Plamoya sells legit figures. They are good for figures that are out of production or hard to find, although their prices are a bit high.

  52. Hi there, I just read your article, and I mean EVERY LITTLE DETAIL. I just recieved my Sonic Nendoroid today and from Amazon too. It has the matte finish (all except for the shoes of course), the stand has both phrases “Made in China” and “(C) SEGA” on it, and the paint job is 99.9% flawless. My only concern is that my box didn’t have the little sticker of authenticity so i’m starting to have second thoughts. I’m sure the figure is real, the only thing the box was missing was the sticker. Do you think you could help me? Is the figure real even if it doesn’t have the little sticker, but everything else is ship shape? Just curious.

    • Sounds like you’re sonic figure is legitimate. Keep in mind that some nendoroids won’t have authenticity stickers dues to how they’re licensed, and if I remember correctly Sonic is one of the nendoroids that doesn’t have a sticker of authenticity on his box. So no need to worry!

  53. First off, I wanted to say thanks for writing such a great article. It’s very well written and helps A LOT.
    Second, I have a question. My question may be a bit stupid, but I’m new to internet shopping and I’d rather be safe than sorry. When browsing through different Nendoroids on Amazon I noticed that there was both a Good Smile brand and a Good Smile Company brand. Is there a real difference between the two?
    Thank you so much!

    • GoodSmile Company is the official name of the company behind the nendoroid brand. Sometimes sellers will just put GoodSmile, which is a shortened version for saying the same thing.

  54. I just ordered a Megurine Luka petite Nendoroid. Yes, it was from Ebay, but the seller was from Japan. I’m not sure on the price for petite Nendoroids, as they’re listed at 510 Yen on the site, but apparently only available at cons. I didn’t see any Nendoroids at the con I went to. Anyway, it’ll be here in a couple of days, and I was wondering if you would mind looking at it if I send pictures. It is the Akahitoha version. I know the picture wasn’t taken from a website, because it’s poorly lit and compares to the other pictures taken by that seller. If anyone would be interested in taking a look, let me know. Thanks!

  55. hi there. first of all, i wanted to say that this article is super helpful, thank you so much!
    now, i’ve never bought a nendoroid before but i want to get a sebastian one for my friend for his birthday. they are very hard to find! i know the article says to avoid ebay, but i can’t seem to find any legitimate ones anywhere else. there are a good few on ebay that say they are from japan, but i’m still uneasy about it, and they’re expensive. the only one that i have found so far that seems the most credible is http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nendoroid-Kuroshitsuji-Black-Butler-Sebastian-Michaelis-68-Figure-Good-Smile-/251527417219?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9033cd83 this one, but it’s also one of the most expensive… i guess i just wanted your opinion before purchasing? or if there are any others on ebay/elsewhere you would recommend instead?
    i appreciate your time! thank you!

  56. I’m really worried after reading this we purchased two Nendoroid’s for my sisters birthday in a few weeks…
    and well I just saw the site we ordered them from it was milanoo.com. It’s too late to cancel so I hope they look OK for bootlegs…

    if you were wondering which ones we chose it was these:
    http://www.milanoo.com/product/lovely-vocaloid-hatsune-miku-anime-action-figure-p209352.html
    http://www.milanoo.com/product/accel-world-black-lotus-pvc-stylish-anime-action-figure-p303264.html

    *sigh*

  57. Hello, this is extremely helpful! I have read the whole thing including all the comments which took me I think 3 hours (And I’m a fast reader) T^T But it’s worth it xD I was going to buy my first nendoroid, looking on all websites for the cheapest I could find without realizing that there were fakes! I’m so glad I checked this out before purchasing, thank you very much!!
    I wanted to buy this snow miku from two websites I haven’t heard of and I don’t really trust them because, like I said, I read all the comments and saw nothing about them:
    http://www.dhgate.com/product/retail-cute-4-quot-nendoroid-hatsune-miku/170123098.html#s4-8-1|3551155870

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Hot-Gift-Nendoroid-Series-Vocaloid-Snow-Hatsune-Miku-Figure-207/1897166546.html

    (I almost bought a Mikasa nendoroid but the first picture looks like a fake and was very inexpensive so I decided against it)
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GoodSmile-Good-Smile-Nendoroid-365-Attack-on-Titan-Mikasa-Cute-3-5-Figure-NIB-/111216015325?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19e4fdb7dd

    I want a inexpensive one for I don’t have much money, but I don’t want a bootleg >.< I don't think the pictures are genuine, and taken from the official site so I doubt that~

    Thank goodness I can never make up my mind because I would have bought one by now, and probably a fake one at that! I was wondering if you could help me with any of this when you're available ^^ Thank you very much!!!

      • I haven’t personally bought from greattoysonline so I can’t speak from experience but from what I’ve heard they do carry legitimate figures.

    • Good move being careful before you buy! The thing about buying nendoroids (especially more recent ones) is that it’s very hard to find cheap ones below the MSRP. Occasionally you might be able to find one second hand through amiami or mandarake for cheap but it can be hard.

      Yeah that Mikasa nendoroid is definitely a fake! If you’re looking to buy her I would recommend going with a trusted retailer as she still is in stock in most places. Amiami has her (http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?scode=FIGURE-001912) as well as Hobbysearch (http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10240250) Sure you have to pay for shipping from Japan but you have the piece of mind knowing you’re getting a genuine figure. Plus Amiami/hobbysearch tend to have pretty good prices compared to other sites.

      The snow miku nendoroid will be a bit more tricky to find. There’s a Pre-owned one up on Amiami (http://www.amiami.com/top/detail/detail?scode=FIG-MOE-7025-R146) if you don’t mind an open box item. Another place to look would be either Mandarake or try on myfigurecollection.net and browse the user listings.

      • Thank you so very much! I’ve looked on mandarake for a while today as well and they have some great offers! I didn’t expect your answer to be this quick! I really appreciate it, I hope my first nendroid will be genuine!

  58. This article is great! I’ve been collecting various collectable things/merch at anime cons since 2001, so my bootleg detection skills are strong (especially helped by a stint of living in Japan – it’s good to know what it’s like to buy from the country of origin). But what I was struggling with was actually explaining to the “I wanna be a good collector!” youngins how I can pick up a box and simply /know/. We were at FanExpo in Toronto over the weekend and all but one of the booths had fake Nenderoids (and other bootlegged figurines), so I at least had one opportunity to let someone hold a legit item and see how different it and its packaging was. Your article helps me pin down in better detail what it is I/we saw that clearly identifies bootleg markers of the figurine itself (my “it just *looks* better!” answer doesn’t help people much sometimes LOL). Thanks a bunch!

    • Glad you enjoyed the article! It’s such a shame that vendors at conventions still sell bootlegs, but it’s something you just have to be aware of I guess. At least it’s good practice for developing an eye for what’s real and what’s fake!

  59. OK, this isn’t rocket science here folks.

    A) if you paid less than $55-60USD then IT’S A FAKE. The vast majority of Nendroids cost ¥3000-3500 at retails stores in Japan or from actual Japanese mail order retailers, so add shipping, exchange and the otaku idiot tax, and you pay ~$60USD.

    B) Unless you are buying from a US/European retailer with a long-standing retail history or a legitimate Japanese retailer, forget it. IT’S A FAKE.

    If the website is an eBay or Yahoo e-commerce store – IT’S A FAKE.
    if the figure is $15 – IT’S FAKE.

    Also, here’s another tip – if the figure has been available for more than 6 months – it’s almost probably a fake as well. GoodSmile does not produce huge overruns of stock for the retail market. The vast majority of Nendoroids are sold-out within only a couple months of release, and very few Nendoroids ever receive a second production run. With over 300 different designs , only a handful have ever been ‘reprinted'; many of the endless Hatsune Miku models are the exception(and just recently Shimakaze from Kantai Collection).

  60. Well looks I’m back, with another question about figma. So my very first figma came in a few days ago, it’s an eren figma. What I noticed is that the ball joint for the upper torso easily comes off, making him hard to pose with say the 3d gear as the bottom part came off if I wasn’t careful. Was just wondering if it’s normal for figma to be like this and just require you to be patient and delicate? It is a legitimate figma as well. Got it off of ami ami and the details and quality are spot on picture perfect. Thanks again for any help.

    • It can be fairly common for figmas to have issues like this. Since there are so many small parts it’s common that during manufacturing inconsistencies in the fit of joints can occur. It’s kind of something you just have to live with, plenty of my figmas have problems with loose joints/hair, etc, especially in earlier ones.

      • Oh ok thanks a bunch once again. Was just making sure because I literally found no one who talked about this being an issue or not that much, nice to see this place is still going as well :b

  61. Frasbob, this is a very good article! Respect for this, it helped me a lot, i almost bought a fake Kirito nendoroid, but then i’ve seen your article. And now… now.. i can’t find an original Kirito nendoroid #295… I’ve serched up all of the sites you said up there and all kiritos were sold out. What should i do? Can you help me find a new or even a used one for a “normal price” ( because i found one for 100$ and an other one for 110$ + they are used) ? Thanks a lot and i hope for a fast answer :) Greetings!

    • Glad the article helped! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to track down a Kirito that wasn’t expensive… since SAO is such a popular series naturally the nendoroids are in high demand. While Asuna had a second release, Kirito only had one release so there’s fewer of him out there, which of course severely jacks up the price. The only way you’ll get a good price is if you buy used, you can try scouting on MFC, or you can try ebay (just be super careful!!)

      • Thank you so much for your advice! I’m kinda sad now because i can’t find Kirito… Ebay is for me a “NO GO” now i almost got tricked… What is MFC (i feel stupit right now xD)? Can i feel free to ask you anything about nendoroids? I would really appreciate that. Greetings! :D

        • MFC = myfigurecollection.net; It’s a must have resource for anyone who’s into figure collecting! There’s a section on myfigurecollection where users can sell their figures to other users: http://myfigurecollection.net/sale/ . It’s a great place to find figures that might be hard to find. If you have any other questions always feel free to comment and I’ll try my best to answer!

          • I figured it out myself yesterday, but thanks anyway. And thanks for your kindness, you are awesome! :D And i have good news i found a Kirito figure! Greetings and have a nice day! :)

  62. Aw man. I ordered a Flandre nendoroid and it got here just yesterday. It’s pretty obviously a bootleg, but the price was half off and quite honestly they paintjob wasn’t that terrible aside from the crystals on the wings. I might end up keeping it anyway, though, as Good Smile apparently refuses to sell Flandre anymore.

    Or I will at least keep it until they restock the real one.

    • Sorry to hear you got a fake! Authentic Touohou nendoroids can be hard to find sometimes, unfortunately it’s probably unlikely that GSC will reproduce them, although you never know :)

      • I managed to get a hold of this situation. The nendoroid kept falling apart on me, so I decided to file to return it a while ago, got it approved and I am posting it later today. Not expecting a full refund though, but eh.

        I decided to look closer on the Amazon page for the official Good Smile page and I found it had actually had the potential to deliver; from other retailers that were slightly more expensive, about a dollar or so. I did that a week or so ago and got it in the mail yesterday. Since I was posting the return today, I figured I’d take a few pictures to detail the difference in quality between the two:

        I made an album here:
        http://imgur.com/a/VicFW#4

        The figure out of the box is the FakeFlan, and the heavily damaged box is the FakeFlan as well. I am fairly confident that other one is real, because the stand actually works, it has a skirt (the fake had the skirt be loose and when attached it bisect when I lifted it from its stand) and the wings were just terrible. Half the fun in having Flandre anything is because of the wings! Her hand also would slip and drop the staff thingie, which sucked. The facemold was surprisingly decent quality compared to the articles examples though, but when she loses her arms and legs at the slightest provocation, it is difficult to recommend.

        For some reason, the realFlan has a lot of red-bleed on the hat, while the fakeFlan does not. And for some reason, the fakeFlan’s hat fits better and more firmly than realFlan. Confusing.

        Regarding the wings, it was very badly distributed with paint inside the crystals and the centers were very clearly transparent. RealFlan had complete coloration.

        That damn stand though. Damn that stand.

        • Glad you got it sorted out! Yeah it definitely looks like the the one on the right is real, especially when you look at the differences in the graphics of the box

  63. HI frasbob! I have a question. I recently bought a figure from RightStuf but instead of an authenticity sticker it has a sticker that says “sales outside of japan only” on the front of the box and on the back of the box it has a different sticker thats not by AAA. I was wondering if by any chance the figure i bought was a fake. Thanks

    • Chances are your nendoroid is legit, rightstuf does sell authentic merchandise so they definitely don’t sell bootlegs. A lot of nendoroids that are sold through US distributors have the “Sales outside Japan only” sticker as they are shipped to the distributor for foreign sales.

  64. thankyou so much for this!
    i just bought a Sebastian Nendoroid off Aliexpress.com and it turns out its fake ;-;
    oh well i won’t die but next time i will be more careful,
    again thank you!

  65. Thank you so much for this article!! I’m Christmas shopping for my husband and have absolutely no experience buying anime figures of any kind. I very nearly pulled the trigger on a Mako Nendoroid on ebay just now, but decided to read up on how to spot fakes just in case, and thank god I did. You just saved me $60!

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