Learn to Spot a Fake Statue

Learn to Spot a Fake Statue

A comparison between the official Kotobukiya and counterfeit Dark Angel Olivia Statue

When we purchased the Rage of Bahamut Dark Angel Olivia statue 1/8th scale PVC figure by Kotobukiya we also purposely purchased a knock-off copy. Here we’ll go over the differences between the original Kotobukiya and the fake, giving some insight into how to spot a fake statue and how to decide which is right for you.

Close up of the fake and official statue's chest, showing the difference in quality of paint and molding.

Comparison of the chest, showing the difference in quality.

The first thing you’re bound to notice is the huge price difference. The original statue that we purchased cost more than $200 after adding shipping from Japan. The fake only cost about $40, including shipping from China. Obviously, you can save a huge amount of money by going with the knock-off version, but you’ll be sacrificing a great deal of detail and quality control that went into making the original such a beautiful piece. So lets go over these differences and hopefully give you a better idea of how to spot a fake, not just of this piece but also any other statue you’re interested in.

Close up of the fake and official statue's face, hair and horns, showing the difference in quality of paint work and molding.

Comparison of the head, showing the difference in quality.

The packaging of the original figure was very nice. It came in a beautiful box that illustrated the figure and displayed it through a clear plastic window. Once opened, the statues individual pieces were all well wrapped in plastic and secured into place. In contrast, we received the knock-off version in what looked like a Styrofoam cooler with broken Styrofoam inside to prevent movement. Once removed from the cooler, it was secured similarly to the original, in the same form fitted plastic that was inside the official version’s box. However, instead of multiple plastic sheets protecting each individual part of the statue, she was covered in a large plastic sheet with another wrapped around her leg. All of her attachable parts were secured in the same way as the original.

Close up of the fake and official statue's wings, showing the difference in quality of materials and molding.

Comparison of the wings, showing the difference in quality.

The materials used for the fake statue were clearly different than the official Kotobukiya issue. While the original version felt like softer PVC, the knock off felt like hard plastic. The finish of the material used for the knock-off is also very shiny. This gave it a much different look than the original. The more rigid nature of the replica’s material also hindered its assembly, making it difficult to fit some of the pieces together. The knock off didn’t come with any assembly instructions.

Close up of the fake and official statue's belt, showing the difference in quality of paint and molding.

Comparison of the belts, showing the difference in quality.

You’ll find the most obvious differences in the painting and detailing. The original has clean lines with no running colors, while the knock off has many imperfections. There are several places on the fake where lines were painted poorly, completely out of place or not at all. The red belt of the phony is especially poor, with color overlapping onto the white shirt and only some buckles painted gold.

Close up of the fake and official statue's boots, showing the difference in quality of paint and molding.

Comparison of the boots, showing the difference in quality.

The paint used to color the metal armor is completely different on each figure. While the original has beautiful antique gold colored armor, the color of the fake’s armor is dirty yellow. Colors were also not blended as well on the hair and wings of the counterfeit version. Far less effort was given to blending the lines created by the molding process of the knock-off. Her hair is full of lumps and creases that should have been buffed out before painting and the eyelets of her shirt and boots are poorly formed.

Close up of the fake and official statue's base and feet, showing the difference in paint and molding.

Compares the quality of the base and the painting of the shoes.

The base of the knock off is obviously similar, but was painted with less care and made of cheaper materials. The crystals Olivia is standing in are shiny with less shading than on the original. The black circular base is covered with creases and lines in the paint that can be clearly seen when viewed in direct light. The tips and heels of her boots, which were painted well on the original, are carelessly covered with silver (not gold) paint on the fake. No care was taken to show the carved detail on the metal pieces of the boots, making the paint job look chunky and uneven.

When purchasing a statue, please be aware that these imitations exist. It’s always best to get a good look at both statue and box before purchasing any statue to be sure that you’re getting what you pay for. Not every seller is going to dishonestly try to pass a fake off as original. We found plenty that were very clear that what they were selling was a knock-off version. If you don’t care about having a fancy box and don’t mind that the details are imperfect, you can choose an imitation and have the statue you want on the cheap. But if you’re picky about details you’ll want the quality you get with the official Kotobukiya. Make sure you know what you’re paying for and you’ll be happy with your new statue.

 

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