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Buyer Be Aware - Bootleg Bandai Daikessen SD Figure Set

By Sean McGuinness & Richard Cox (2001)

History and Comments

The Bandai Daikessen set was first bootlegged in either Thailand or China around 1998.There are some very easy things you can do to protect yourself from paying too much for the wrong set. In all of the featured images, the True Daikessen set is pictured on the left while the bootleg is on the right. There is almost no way to confuse the two.

The Figures

The ten figures included in the set are Battra, Battra Larva, Gigan, Heisei Godzilla, King Ghidorah, MechaGodzilla, Mecha-King Ghidorah, Mothra, Mothra Larva, and Rodan.

Size Comparison
A size comparison of the legitimate (left) and bootlegged (right) Rodan, Godzilla and MechaGodzilla.

Size does matter. While this may have been the battle cry of the Tri-star GINO movie, it is the Telltale Heart of the bootleg set. As can be seen in the images, the bootlegs are obviously smaller than their predecessors. Each seems to be a few centimeters to a full quarter inch smaller. This makes the bootlegs rattle around in their box since the plastic holders are the same size as the original. The reason for this is that the knockoffs are cast from the original figures, not an actual mold, thereby making the copy naturally smaller due to material shrinkage. Rodan, Godzilla and MechaGodzilla provide clear examples of this shrinkage.

Color and quality are the last marks of the bootlegs. The originals, on the most part, have a near-glossy coating to them, while the boots look cheap and have a matte effect to their skin. The colors on the originals are more vibrant and varied, while the boots give the idea that they were hastily thrown together. Adult Mothra, Adult Battra and Gigan are the best examples of this.

Size Comparison
A paint comparison of the legitimate (left) and bootlegged (right) Mothra, Battra and Gigan.

Lastly, is the common difference found on almost all bootlegs; the lack of copyright markings. If you couldn't figure out that it's a boot from looking at the paint job and figure design (there would have to be something wrong with you if you couldn't!), then check the feet for the copyright markings; which are nowhere to be found on this boot.

The Box

When it comes to the box, the first thing that stands out is the non-Japanese script at the top of the box: "SD Godzilla Daikessen!". The bootleg lacks this. The bootleg is also missing the UPC code and phone numbers from the bottom of the box, replacing them with the SD artwork featured on the top lid of the box. Most importantly, and really the best way to check for the set being the bootleg, the Bandai logo has been removed from the lower righthand corner of the box front.

Box Comparison
A comparison of the legitimate (left) and bootlegged (right) boxes.

Finally...

If you are thinking of bidding on a Daikessen set that you can't tell is bootleg, ask the seller if they can show a picture of the bottom of the box. It's pretty easy to copy the picture in this article to fake it. But you can usually tell the difference in the quality of the pictures. If you find out the set is fake, it's usually a good idea not to get upset and write a vulgar letter to the seller, as they may not know it was fake. Finally, if you get the set in the mail and it turns out to be fake and you thought it was real, there are proper authorities you can go to in order to resolve the issue if e-mailing the seller proves fruitless.