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Bootleg Items

I've thought long and hard as to if I should or should not include a section like this. After a number of inquires from people asking about video, CD and model kit releases which were bootlegs rather than legit items, I decided to create this section. First up, I in no way wish to promote nor endorse the sale or manufacture of any bootleg product. In fact all of the items listed on this page are no longer in production. The information here is meant to serve as a warning so you don't get caught out as occasionally you will find bootleg merchandise being sold at some less reputable retailers that sell anime products, and of course online auction sites. Old bootleg DVDs, CDs and model kits do come up occasionally on these sites. Secondly some of this stuff is truly pathetic and laughable and some of it is rather interesting, hence the reason why I included these items. I must also point out that I own none of this merchandise. The pictures come mostly from online auction sites and some blogs.

For those who don't know, bootlegs are goods made illegally without the copyright owner's and/or creator's permission. These goods can be clothing, CDs, DVDs, records, toys and other items. Bootlegs are usually manufactured and marketed in Asian countries. The quality of these products is almost universally low to very low.

Thereís a few good reasons why you should never buy bootlegs. Number one is that the artist gets no money from the sales of bootlegs. Often, especially in the case of music, artists get royalties from the sales of their works (some Japanese voice actors also get royalties from video sales). If you donít buy an original licensed product, of course the artist who created the work isnít going to get a cent from it. Sometimes these royalties are their main source of income. Secondly the quality is usually pretty horrible (as you'll see from the items listed below). They're not worth wasting your hard earned cash on. The second reason is that the profits of bootlegs almost always end up in the hands of organised crime groups such as the Triads. These groups fund their other "business ventures" with these profits, like the manufacture and distribution of illegal drugs, prostitution, and one of their number one profit earners, people smuggling.


Shogakukan Sticker 1 Shogakukan Sticker 2 NTV Sticker JASRAC Sticker

I also want to point out that it's pretty easy to know what an official product looks like. Above are common stickers you'll see on Patlabor products; Shogakukan, NTV, and JASRAC. If you see small stickers like these, you'll be safe. Generally only buy products from companies you're familiar with like Bandai, Movic, Cospa, Kotobukiya, Kaiyodo, CM's Corporation etc. I try to list as much legit merchandise as possible, so if I don't have it listed somewhere on this site, it's probably a bootleg. Also try to shop from shops you know only sell legit merchandise.


Model Kits

Bootleg Helldiver Plastic Model Elfin Bootleg SD Heldiver Elfin Bootleg Griffin

I get a lot of queries about model kits. Mostly about Korean bootlegs from manufacturers like Elfin and Academy. These companies do not have licences to create these kits and most of them are based off legitime kits from Japan. Above you can see bootlegs of Bandai and Kaiyodo plastic and resin kits.

Woefull Thailand Kit Advert 1 Woefull Thailand Kit Advert 2 Woefull Thailand Kit

This one is pretty hilarious. A couple of years back some company in Thailand made a bunch of Patlabor plastic model kits. As you can see by the photo above far right, the quality is pretty shocking (and only one leg for our Ingram/Zero hybrid kit). It looks as if these kits are casts of the 1/180th scale kits Fujiya released in 1990 that came with a box of chocolate biscuits snacks.


Ingram Figure

Ingram Figure Box

This Ingram figure comes from Hong Kong and sort of looks legit, but it's not. The figure is based upon the Hearty Robin/Popy Ingram released in 1989 and the artwork is stolen from two different Bandai 1/60 plastic model Ingram kits.


DVD Sets

Bootleg Early Days OVA Set 1 Bootleg Early Days OVA Set 2 Bootleg Movies 1 & 2 Set
Bootleg WXIII Patlabor the movie 3 disc Bootleg TV Series Set Bootleg New OVA Series Set

Hoo boy, are these a popular item. There are so many different variants of bootleg Patlabor DVDs, it's a little hard to keep up with what was available on the market. As you can see some of the artwork doesn't even relate to the show on DVD, with some of it being taken from artbook and the Playstation game. Secondly the English subtitles on these DVD sets are beyond woeful. It's like the script came from some random word generator. In short if a DVD has only Japanese dialogue and Chinese and English subtitles, consider it a bootleg. No contact details on the cover or a Yahoo email address (like a commercial video company aren't going to be able to afford a domain, yet can buy video licences), it's a bootleg. Digipak packaging is also a dead givaway. Luckily I haven't seen a bootleg Patlabor DVD set in ages, so that's a good sign.

As far as I'm aware only Proware Multimedia in Taiwan has the licence to distribute in the area. Their DVDs and VCDs are region 3 and only have Chinese subtitles. In Hong Kong Panorama have released the first two Patlabor films legitimately on DVD, coded for region 3 with Japanese dialogue, a Cantonese dub, English subtitles and Chinese subtitles.

SM Records Music Clips/Concert Tour '92 Bootleg Disc

This is a bootleg DVD of the extras disc taken from the Patlabor New OVA Series DVD Box originally released by Bandai Visual in 2000. The bootleg was released by the infamous Son May (SM) Records, a Taiwanese company that for many years released close to a thousand different bootleg anime and game soundtracks. This disc is just a straight dupe of Bandai Visual's disc, right down to the packaging and artwork (with the SM logo replacing Bandai's of course). There's not even Chinese or English subtitles on the disc, just the Japanese dialogue.


CD Soundtracks

Bootleg Patlabor Best Collection Compilation CD

Naturally, just about every Patlabor soundtrack album has been bootlegged by the infamous Taiwanese pirate company Son May (SM) Records. This one though is a bit of a curio, it's an original compilation made by SM Records. Luckily it seems that CD bootleggers don't seem to care about Patlabor anymore. I haven't seen a bootleg CD in years.



Bootleg Artbook 1 Bootleg Artbook 2

Yes, believe it not they even bootleg books. These two originate from Hong Kong. I have no idea where in hell they got the artwork for the Pulsation book (pictured above left). It's certainly not a Akemi Takada piece. From the pictures I've seen of the contents of that book, some of the pages are back the front with images that span two pages just disappearing off the edge of the page. I can only assume that the rest of the image might be elsewhere in the book (maybe).

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