First of all: I must apologize for never updating this blog. But as I mentioned before, I am pretty much addicted to Instagram, so if you want to see any photos or follow my (mostly boring) life, please check my IG account @theflyingace. :)
Lately I have been collecting a lot of Sailor Moon merchandise, because they keep releasing the 20th anniversary goods probably to align with the release of Sailor Moon Crystal. (Probably a whole 'nother blog post in and of itself, lol.)
This post is mostly a warning to other collectors to be careful when buying stuff on eBay. I mean, that goes without saying when you're buying anything online...and I probably got what I deserved for buying these since I did not ask for extra photos of the boxes or close-ups of the boxes/figures themselves. Also the price ($34 shipped) is too good to be true, seeing as how I just paid $63 total for all 4 outer senshi figurines.
While I have had many positive experiences buying on eBay, there have been a handful of negative ones.
Recently, I purchased some Sailor Moon figurines from a seller located in the USA. The seller's name is collectorsaldo21 in case you were wondering. I thought I'd be safe ordering from a US seller, as most of my experiences with counterfeit items were the result of me purchasing from sellers overseas, particularly in China. However, this was not the case in this particular instance.
While I am not an expert in spotting fakes, I will say that there are some tell-tale signs you can look for. Specifically, with respect to the packaging and the overall quality of the items you receive.
The fact these came shipped in a flimsy bubble mailer with the figurines OUTSIDE of their boxes, and the boxes as flat sheets stack inside should have been the first sign that these weren't the real deal!!
The first thing to look for is the gold Toei sticker on the top of the box (or in some location on the box or tag, if your item is not the same variety as mine. These are the Banpresto Crane game figures.)
(I apologize in advance for my shitty photos. I am NOT an expert photographer by any stretch of the imagination. Also for reference, the Chibiusa figure is REAL, and not a fake. I bought her from Big In Japan, an online store that specializes in collectible items from Japan.)
The Chibiusa on the right DOES have the gold sticker. But note that the Sailor Moon does not.
Everything arrived like this:
I assembled the Sailor Moon box for the box comparison photo.
Fake Sailor Moon figure - note the smudge on her bow and generally poor workmanship.
Back of the fake figure. Note the messed up paint on her sailor collar, and the mold lines on her back bow that were never sanded down or cut off.
Click "read more" button below to see more pics and read more.
fake Mercury figure. I did not take a pic of the back because I had to leave these in their baggies since I was returning them to the seller. So therefore, it was very difficult to accurately capture them while still inside the bags.
Fake Sailor Mars figurine. Note the messed up paint - white paint from her leotard going onto the red skirt. Ick!
Fake Luna figure. Hard to tell with this one. It's the least awful of them all maybe due to the size. But the eye decals are semi translucent and not opaque. :(
For reference, this is my REAL Chibiusa figure, not a counterfeit:
Note the significantly better paint job!!
So I hope this post was somewhat informative to all y'all Sailor Moon collectors out there. I wish I had a better set of photos ....was almost tempted to buy the real ones and keep these too so I could do comparison shots, but I'd rather have my 30something bucks back in my pocket so I can invest in legit merchandise!!
I am shipping these back to the seller today. I told him they were fakes and the answer I got back was like it came out of google translate or something....broken English. So yeah....weird. I don't know what to say other than be careful. At least eBay has buyer protection so you can at least have peace of mind with most of your purchases.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. :-(