Today we're looking at rip-offs and bootlegs. Bootlegs can be very, extremely super amusing and duly make you wonder what the folks behind them were thinking...
Well, money is what they were thinking, we know that, but the design choices, the audacity and the overall style make for something that collecting peeps find rather quite alluring.
The fact is that bootlegs are rife these days, and aren't slowing down, quite the opposite. Anyway, have a look down below at some of the more amusing bootleg toys that have been found.
1: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Mexico has been making Ninja Turtles bootlegs for quite some time, many of which are made with a clear plastic. Interestingly, some of the other versions of the bootlegs appear to use the same sculpts as the official Playmates/NECA toys. Ninja Turtles have to be one of the most bootlegged toys on the market, so that's why we've kicked off with the heroes in a half shell.
2: Super Man Big Alliance
Many 99 cents stores (or 99p/pound stores if you, like me are from the UK) have these multi-packs of bootlegs that contain an elite team of superheroes. One of the most popular and well documented online versions is 'Super Sense' or 'Right Alliance', which came in a select few variations. Pictured below is SuperMan: 'Big Alliance'. And naturally, the crime-fighting team includes A TMHT, The Thing, some Power Rangers, Shrek (yes, really) and more! This is one of the most random assortments of characters you will ever see. All hail the SuperMan(less) 'Big Alliance'!
This one is interesting as it is a total knock off, but many people have reported finding this set and other similar sets in genuine retail stores. Sometimes the figures are different and so are the ring and accessories, but the majority of these sets seem to come with four wrestlers, which are made using knock off parts from Jakks Pacific when they had the WWE license. This particular set we are looking at here even goes as far to use the actual WWE logo. How can you not love the slogan 'Toy Model Of Virtual Reality'. What in the known world does that even mean? Is that a 'thing'? Crikey.
4: Mighty Morphing Bootleg Rangers!
The Power Rangers have been getting knocked off ever since they were brought over from Japan to the West. This particular set is one of many that you can find all over the world. However, as with many bootleg sets, you'll find that the packaging and the names will vary from country to country and store to store. Yet the figures always seem to be very similar; cheap plastic with cheap LED lights. This particular set comes with an extra set of mini figures and a mask. Fully loaded.
5: Bionicle Of War
Now this one is a bit more obscure, but we have to give kudos for the effort. Here in the UK, right around the time Gears Of War 3 was released for Xbox 360, cheapy cheap pound style stores were all infested with these Bionicle Of War 2 toys. They were clearly bootlegs of Gears Of War and somehow the people behind them had gotten their hands on actual Gears Of War figure molds as some of the likenesses were pretty spot on. Sadly the same cannot be said for the paint jobs! These were actually available all over the world and many people actually thought they were pretty cool. This is a good example of a bootleg toy that is clearly a rip-off, but they change just enough elements so and therefore (barely) get away with it...
6: Transformable Tomas
OK, so the fact that they left out the 'h' isn't really the big issue here. The fact that T(h)omas has combined with his good old engine chums (Henry and James) just so he can become pally pally with the Autobots (or Decepticons, as F'it, anything's possible in this universe, right?) is somewhat more disturbing. What would the Fat Controller say?
And now let us take a closer look. What, really?!
Yep - 'Tomas' has been sidelined to 'shoulder' and James takes the center stage. Go James.
7: Batman R2 D2
If R2 D2 got into cosplay and went to a con as Batman, he'd likely look like this. Personally, we'd like to see C-3PO as the Joker. Jokers aside, this figure really is out there. We're not too sure that the quirky, cute, comic relief supplied by R2 lends well to the moody, brooding Dark Knight, but you know, opposites sometimes attract...
8: Mystic Rings
9: Alien Spider slayer
Not a bootleg, in our opinion this is a massive rip-off of Alien/s. The people at Marvel clearly wanted to pitch Spidey against an Xenomorph, but likely didn't or couldn't sort a license. Here's how the boxed figure looks:
And now check out the artwork on the box:
It's even called an Alien! Tsk tsk.
10: Galaxy Wars
To end sweetly, we're going to let the picture do the talking here. Do you see anything to do with Star Wars? Of course not, no siree, absolutely noooo way *awkward whistle*...
These are but some of the many, many bootlegs and rip-offs out there. Have you come across any yourself? If so, post pictures in the comments below, as we'd love to see them.